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Friday, March 30, 2007

Actor Todd Bridges isn’t dead: “What you talking ‘bout Willis?”

Despite what you’ve heard, actor Todd Bridges isn’t dead.

In fact, he’s alive and kicking on the CW show Everybody Hates Chris, where he plays an eccentric war veteran.

Bridges, a child star on the 1970s sitcom Different Strokes, is currently battling rumors that he died, according to People magazine.

Apparently, a New York Radio station reported that Shawn Bridges, a truck driver who was in a documentary about drug addiction, died after a long illness. An Internet gossip site then erroneously reported that Todd Bridges had died of a drug-related death.

The truth is that Bridges has been sober for the past 14 years and travels the country speaking to schoolchildren about the dangers of drug use.

Sadly, his Different Strokes costar Dana Plato did die of a drug overdose in 1999.

The Lost Conundrum

It’s been two years since Lost premiered, capturing TV fans’ attention and creating endless water-cooler discussions about the island mysteries and the survivors of flight 815.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of what we know:

--There is a list.
--Kate is not on the list because she is not “special.” She is, however, a fugitive.
--Locke’s dad is the real conman “Sawyer.”
--Locke’s dad pushed him out of a window and caused his paralysis.
--Jack is a good guy.
--Sawyer is a good guy, who sometimes does bad deeds.
--Jack “walks among them, but is not one of them.”
--Desmond sees the future and/or time travels.
--A scientific experiment, known as the Dharma Initiative, is involved.
--Hurley is not crazy, just unlucky, or perhaps cursed by his winning lottery numbers.
--Sayid is the brains of the group and once tortured people.
--The island could be purgatory.
--The Others are evil.
--The monster is actually black smoke that mutilates and kills people.
--Electromagnetic energy apparently crashed Flight 815.
--Walt has special powers.
--Claire is Jack’s half sister.
--Everyone is connected.
--The island has healing powers that cured Locke’s paralysis and Sun’s infertility, but oddly enough, not any of the other injuries that killed Boone, Eko and Shannon.
--Charlie kidnapped Sun because Sawyer told him to, in order to get the guns.
--Not entering the numbers in the computer caused weird electromagnetic activity.

After two years, we have some answers. But, apparently, not enough to keep viewers watching the way they once did. The pilot episode of Lost was two of the best hours of television ever produced and better than most films released in 2004, in terms of storytelling, cinematography and sheer edge-of-your-seat excitement. The ratings the first couple years reflected viewers’ fascination, as the show pulled in more than 21 million people on average.

Fast forward to 2007. Lost hit an all-time ratings low this week with just over 11 million folks watching. Why is the show bleeding viewers? It isn’t that much of a mystery, if you talk to some die-hard Lost fans.

Some folks blame the natural fickleness of the television audience. Shows that start out as ratings winners don’t always keep such large audiences. But, in Lost’s case, some — including me — believe the show got off course last year with the introduction of The Others, and it’s never recovered.

Here’s what we do know, Lost fans love the core group of characters we met in year one. We love their beach antics, their flashbacks, their foibles, their pride, their mysteries and how they interconnect. What we don’t love is watching them being captured, tortured and separated from their fellow Losties. (See the aforementioned ratings.) One of the best episodes this season involved Hurley finding a VW bus and enlisting Sawyer, Jin and Charlie to help him get it running. We were back to the beach, finally, with the folks we’ve come to care about.

Some fans tuned out last season because of The Others. Some left because they got tired of waiting for answers that never came. Some found the show “mentally exhausting” to watch because they couldn’t remember each character’s story arc details due to the sporadic way the show aired. Some simply lost interest.

I admit I tuned out last year when The Others took up screen time from my favorites. My TiVo stockpiled 12 hours of the show, before I finally caved in and watched. This season, things are better. The show seems like its old self again. Well, except for Jack playing football with the enemy like nothing ever happened. Um, note to Jack, these are the folks who hung Charlie, terrorized Claire, kidnapped Walt, and tortured your friends. (If you don’t think they tortured Sawyer and Kate, then you try eating a fish biscuit.)

The writers seem to understand viewers’ dissatisfaction with all the new faces and hilariously have written it in to Sawyer’s dialogue. When the two newest islanders were given a flashback episode this week, Sawyer voiced what many of us were thinking. “Who the hell are you?” he said to the new blonde gal on the beach.

Admit it, you were thinking it, too.

I have faith that Lost will return to its season-one glory. Yes, John Locke would be proud. The show may never recapture the monster ratings it once garnered, but hopefully the show creators will continue to unravel the mysteries of the island and entice those viewers who abandoned ship to come back. Even with its unsteadiness, Lost is still one of the best bets on TV.

And did I mention it stars Jack and Sawyer?

Men in Trees return postponed

Those of you missing your Thursday-night fix of the quirky romantic dramedy Men in Trees, there is no good news to report.

The show was originally slated to return this season in the post Grey’s Anatomy timeslot on April 12. But, now ABC has decided instead to air the new comedy Notes From the Underbelly in the Thursday 10 p.m. slot, according to TV Guide.

So, now, it looks like the earliest the show could return would be May 31, TV Guide reported. Sorry, Tubers. I know you’ve been waiting patiently for Marin, Buzz and Snow Plow Guy. Please, don’t kill the messenger. The perk is that summer is a vast wasteland for good television, so this really could be a plus.

Men in Trees has been renewed for next season, so don’t fret about it not returning. But for those of us who miss this fun hour of television, it’s just not soon enough.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Veronica Mars DVD fan feature on hold

A few weeks ago I reported that the Veronica Mars creators wanted your fan videos for a special feature on the Season 3 DVD. I just received a note from the Veronica Mars folks that the feature is being pulled from the DVD.

The fan-feature idea was scrapped due to some legal mumbo jumbo that the fan-video request must be classified as a “contest” and apparently it takes four months for the network to organize a contest, legally.

Here is the official statement from Warner Brothers:

"Recently, there were reports on websites regarding an opportunity for Veronica Mars fans to submit videotaped testimonials to be included in a special feature on the upcoming Veronica Mars: The Complete Third Season DVD release. Due to time constraints, this feature will not be included on the Season 3 DVD, and we are not accepting any submissions at this time nor do we have plans to use anything that was already submitted. We remain hopeful that in the future we would be able to do something with fans on a future Veronica Mars DVD release. Warner Home Video apologizes for any confusion."

Don’t despair Veronica Mars fans. The good news is that now you have plenty of time to think of something really great to put on your videos for when they open up this contest for season four, which they tell me they will presumably do. Yes, I’m optimistic that there will be a season four.

The other good news is that the Veronica Mars folks are including “something really cool” as a replacement for the fan feature, “something you won't be able to see anywhere else.”

No, sickos, it’s not Logan or Veronica naked.

Frankly, I’d be happy with a funny bloopers reel and some cast commentaries on the episodes. How about you?

The Grey’s Anatomy spinoff gets a name and a premiere date

Photo: ABC

The Grey’s Anatomy spinoff featuring Kate Walsh has a name, according to Buddy TV.

Private Practice is the moniker the network chose for the Addison-centered drama, the Web site reported Thursday. ABC released the name of the spinoff during a media-buyers event but cautioned that the name may change.

Let’s hope that’s true. The title seems a little, um, ordinary for my beloved Addison.

“The spinoff is being touted for its stand-alone premise that will take Walsh's character out of the realm of nightmarish medical emergencies and incorporated hospital trysts into a setting they think less hardcore medical drama fans will appreciate," according to Buddy TV.

Hmm…less gore and bed hopping. OK. I’m not sure why ABC would abandon the magical formula that lands them about 20 million viewers weekly, but hey, I don’t run the network.

I trust show-creator Shonda Rhimes. If she sent Addison to Mars to practice medicine, I’d watch.

The two-hour episode of the new series will debut May 10, according to Buddy TV.

The new series has an impressive cast that includes Tim Daly, Taye Diggs, Amy Brenneman, Paul Adelstein, Merrin Dungey and Chris Lowell.

American Idol Elimination Night: Chris Sligh booted

by guest bloggers Becky Tennant and Bethany O’Neil

We thought Sanjaya would get the ax he so deserves. But, no. You voted, America, and now we get another enthralling week of Sanjaya and his ever-evolving hairdo’s, vocal talent, and lack of stage presence.

Chris Sligh, the curly haired jokester, got the boot on the latest installment of American Idol.

We’re not surprised; America obviously wants entertainment, and without Sanjaya, would anyone really be talking about American Idol? Doubtful.

Lets face it folks. This year has been quite a dry season of American Idoling, not much excitement, not really entertaining. It’s kind of like watching toast burn or paint peel.

But we must venture on; resign ourselves to the fact that Sanjaya is still in the running. There’s always next week. If anything, we can at least get a good laugh at what America thinks is an “Idol.”

Maybe this is our problem America. Seriously, do you remember Kelly Clarkson? Hello!

We’ll be back next week….

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Save One Show campaign

It’s the time of year when TV addicts need Valium. Networks soon will be announcing which shows they’ll give life to for another year and which ones will be put out to pasture.

Each year, Kristin Veitch, at E!Online, conducts a Save One Show campaign, asking TV lovers to vote for which show they’d like to see return next season. Her campaign holds weight with network executives. Five out of the six shows that won the poll were given renewals. In other words, if you’re worried about one of your shows, then go vote.

This year, some of our favorites have unfortunately made the list. Trying to decide whether I should cast my vote for Friday Night Lights, Veronica Mars, or Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip is like trying to choose my favorite chocolate. But, alas, each visitor gets only one vote. Kristin has Friday Night Lights listed in the “Looking Safe” column, so I think I’ll give my vote to Veronica Mars. The thought of not having that clever quiper on my TV schedule is beyond depressing.

Here are the categories. Tube Talk Girl's picks are in red. Readers can vote to save any of these shows at the E! Web site. Voting closes April 6, so hurry. Results will be released on April 13.

Looking doomed:
Veronica Mars
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

The Nine
The Class
Close to Home

Looking uncertain:
One Tree Hill
How I Met Your Mother
Gilmore Girls
Crossing Jordan
Six Degrees
What About Brian

Looking safe:
Friday Night Lights

30 Rock

American Idol Recap: The beginning of the end?

by Becky Tennant and Bethany O’Neil


OK, we actually aren’t speechless. But considering we announced last week in our column that we were going to refrain from talking about a certain 17-year-old boy, then we should be. But if you actually read our blog, you’ll remember that we said we weren’t going to talk about Sanjaya anymore, UNLESS he did something really out of control or weird.

Well, Sanyaya just being there is weird, but last night, HOLY COW! He was cocky with the judges. He sang horrible, and he had a ponytail Mohawk! What can we say?

After much thought and commiseration, we’ve decided that he knows he is a loser, and he’s playing up the angle that “I am a freak, and America obviously likes freaks.” It’s just absolutely absurd to see him up there making a mockery out of this. Yes, it is reality TV. We know that! But enough is enough.

There have been people (AKA the “She Bangs” guy and Chicken Little) in the past that have been on the show, that have completely lacked any musical talent whatsoever. But this show has also brought us some people who have HUGE musical talent and actually have careers now i.e. Kelly Clarkson, Fantasia, Chris Daughtry, and Carrie Underwood. And look at how many former Idol contestants have albums out: Taylor, Katherine McPhee, Bucky, Kellie Pickler, Elliot, Reubin, Clay, and the list goes on and on.

Season six of Idol, does have some talent, but so many people have commented that it just isn’t the “WOW” talent that has been there before. To put it bluntly, the show is BORING!

Maybe the Idol producers are on the right track though. They must know that we are a country and society that likes to make fun of people and that we don’t take much of anything seriously. They also know that having someone on your show who is making absolute idiots out of themselves gives you higher ratings than having people who sing well.

We don’t think it’s going to last though. We think that America is going to look back at this season of Idol and say, “Gosh, this show is a joke. No one is going to take it seriously now.”

You heard it here, folks. This might be the beginning of the downfall of American Idol. It happens to all TV shows eventually.

OK off the soap crate; we know when to stop preaching.

High points of the evening were few and far between. Of course, seeing Gwen Stefani there was totally great. She is AWESOME! And Phil Stacy actually surprised us by singing one of Becky’s favorites songs “Every Breath You Take,” by the Police. He did an excellent job and actually might have some talent there.

It would be nice if all of the contestants, who have been given such a wonderful opportunity, would take this seriously for a change and just TRY a little bit.

We’ll see what happens tonight.

Dancing With the Stars sends Paulina Porizkova packing

by Jennifer Squires Biller
photo: ABC

Supermodel Paulina Porizkova was the first celebrity voted off of Dancing With the Stars. I think I speak for all of us when I say, “Huh!?!?”

Porizkova wasn’t the best dancer, but she was certainly in the top tier. She was graceful and elegant and mastered the footwork of her first two dances.

America, you have let me down. This gal deserved to stick around for a few weeks. Shame on you. I know you love Cliff Clavin. Who doesn’t? And apparently you like Leeza Gibbons, too But, seriously, this is a dance competition. John Ratzenberger, Gibbons, and Shandi Finnessey should have been the three most likely to leave, not the chic and funny Porizkova.

I think she summed it up best when she said that only her family was voting for her and there just weren’t enough of them. Sad, but true. At the end of the day, this is a popularity contest. I keep forgetting that it’s not all about the dancing.

Meanwhile, Laila Ali could win this thing. That’s my fearless prediction.

After her sensational mambo, Ali and her partner, Max, earned the first set of triple nines from the judges. She shook her booty like a pro, looking more like a professional ballroom dancer than a professional boxer. She was elegant, sexy, and to quote Bruno, “simply irresistible.” It was the best mambo of the night. It’s nice to see a female come out strong so early, as the competition always tends to be male dominated near the end.

Speaking of fantastic female performances, can we talk about Heather Mills? Wow. I completely underestimated this gal. She did the most difficult mambo routine of all the ladies, and she did it well. And did I mention she has a prosthetic leg?

I literally gasped during the routine, when Mills catapulted herself into a back walkover, a difficult gymnastic move that involves planting your hands and walking your legs backward over your head. I was nervous about her leg remaining intact. It did, and she performed beautifully. The audience was as shocked as I was at her gymnastic ability. The camera panned to the people in the crowd and they stared at Mills in shock and disbelief. Way to go Heather! You rocked the floor.

The most amusing contestant this year is undoubtedly country singer and self-professed hillbilly Billy Ray Cyrus. He earns the “Springer Award” for his winning attitude and comedic personality, in honor of last year’s jokester Jerry Springer. Every word out of Cyrus’ mouth is a comedy sound bite. Witness these gems from this week:

---“Don’t break your frame. Your achy breaky frame. I just don’t think they’ll understand.”
---“Where I come from, one slow doesn’t equal two quicks.” – on getting the footwork down for his new dance
---“We were sabotaged.” – on the fact that his partner’s wig got stuck during their bit at the end of their dance routine
---“When you come in to a ballroom competition, and you’re dancing to a song called 'I Want My Mullet Back,' you’ve already got one foot in the hole.”

Cyrus was the “most improved” contestant, according to judge Carrie Ann. “You look like a proper ballroom dancer,” she told him. I was just happy to see that he had slicked his hair back so I could see his face this week. You can’t help but love Billy Ray, even when he uses words like “funnest.” The man is universally endearing. He’s an awkward mover at times, but his personality is effervescent enough to make me want him there week after week.

Ian Ziering gave a decent performance, too. Is it wrong that I was just as excited to see his former 90210 costar Brian Austin Green in the audience cheering him on, as I was to see Ian dance? The segment with Ian’s father made me weepy. I was fighting back the tears when the camera panned to the proud dad in the audience. I agree with Carrie Ann that Ian has incredible potential, if he’d just unleash it. He could be in the top two.

I think Shandi Finnessey got the raw end of the deal this week. Her routine was OK, but the judges gave her some harsh criticism. Then, Clyde Drexler followed her routine with an even worse one, and the judges had only kind things to say. Strange. It seems year after year, the judges are kinder to the athletes and tougher on the women.

Joey Fatone proved he’s got great footwork, but he looked like he was channeling Urkel in his opening moves. Nevertheless, the boy can move. He’ll probably be in the top two. Shocking, I know, a boy bander who can dance. Len called Fatone a “geezer” at one point during the critique. I’m not sure what the British/American translations is, but I’m dying to find out so I can start using the word “geezer” in my every-day vocabulary.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The N network is giving away cash

Night owls, the N network is featuring a new game where you can win cash, called “You Stay Up, We Pay Up,” starting this Friday, March 30, from 9p.m.-3a.m. EST.

The network is giving away $1,000 hourly from 9 p.m.-3 a.m. EST each night, through Tuesday, April 3. That’s five days and multiple chances to win a wallet full of Benjamins, just by watching the N and staying up late.

Every hour a different secret “word of the hour” will flash on the screen. So, dedicated couch potatoes will have multiple chances to win, if they watch for the secret words hourly and enter again online. The winners will be selected and his/her name and state will be broadcast at the top of each hour.

I know what you’re thinking: What torturous shows will I have to sit through to play this game? Relax, Tubers. It’s not bad. The Fresh Prince of Bel Air is in the lineup, and who can resist Will, Carlton, Hilary, and the gang? DeGrassi: The Next Generation and One on One are the other shows featured. As I’ve never seen an episode of either one of those, I can offer no words of comfort here.

Hey, it’s free money, people, for watching TV. Does it get better than that?

To enter the contest and check out more details, visit the Web site here.

For a full schedule of which shows will be airing during this promotion, click here.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Tube Talk Girl does radio at Magic 106.5

For the past couple weeks, I’ve been cheating on you, Tubers. I’ve been neglecting the tube, in favor of its audio communications rival, the radio.

Simmer down, and let me explain. I’ve been doing a guest spot on the Magic 106.5 Morning Show with Jack Logar to talk about, what else, television.

My next gig is slated for Tuesday morning around 7:45 a.m. You can listen live from the Magic 106.5 Web page, as I humiliate myself in front of thousands of listeners. Good times.

I know what you’re thinking. Radio? Isn’t that the box that families in the '50s gathered around for evening entertainment? Well, radio is cool again. Tell your friends. I know, I know, you’re in to podcasts and streaming video and You Tube. But, seriously, that’s because you haven’t discovered the acerbic wit of Jack Logar. So, please, join us tomorrow morning.

Don’t be alarmed if Jack attacks my noble profession of TV blogging. He’s prone to saying that my parents neglected me and that I was raised by a television. He also enjoys mocking my moniker: “Jennifer Squires Biller —one woman, three names.” It’s OK. I’ve made peace with it.

Last week, we played a thrilling game with callers called “Are You Smarter Than a TV Blogspotter?” Yes, it was as thrilling as it sounds. (Insert sarcastic snickers here.) Jack gave the winner a sexy prize — free tax preparation service — for correctly answering my TV questions such as, “What was Laverne’s favorite drink on Laverne & Shirley” and “What Oscar winner got his start on the TV show Facts of Life?” (Milk and Pepsi and George Clooney, respectively, for those of you lacking in TV/pop-culture knowledge.)

Please tune in and join us Tuesday at 7:45 a.m. Yes, it’s inhumane to ask someone to make with the funny before 8 a.m., but despite my incessant begging, Jack won’t do “The Night Show with Jack Logar.” So, I’ll be prying my eyelids open to dish the latest in TV news and scoop. And Jack will… well…he’ll just be Jack.

Grey’s Anatomy doctors like cocktails

The mystery of why the doctors at Seattle Grace act so absurd has been solved. Yes, they’re innately flawed individuals, but let’s talk about their real problem; they’re all drunks.

Look, I’m not judging. I’m merely stating a fact. It’s no secret that Meredith’s former best friend was a bottle of tequila, a joke her co-workers continue to crack. Joe’s Bar is where she heads when things get tough. And she’s not alone. We’ve also seen Callie, Alex, Addison, Mark, Derek, Cristina, Izzie and George take out their frustrations on a shot glass of booze.

How they practice medicine after tossing back tequila in massive quantities is a conundrum in itself. Personally, I wouldn’t want my doctor performing surgery when bourbon is reeking from his pores. (Yes, George, I’m talking to you.) At least Addison had the good sense to take the day off when she knew she needed to tie one on. (Remember her day of wallowing at Joe’s Bar with liquor and muffins, after she discovered Meredith’s unmentionables in Derek’s jacket pocket?)

The point is, these doctors make foolish choices after engaging in their favorite past time i.e. binge drinking. The latest couple to get wasted and stupid is George and Izzie. After their hookup, my reaction was much like the rest of America, “Ewwww.” I’m mad at George for cheating on Callie. I’m mad at Izzie for giving in to her loneliness. And I’m mad that on this show, men and women just can’t seem to be friends, if alcohol is involved. Sorry, but I find it hard to believe that Izzie and George suddenly have romantic feelings toward one another. I think their judgment was impaired. Obviously.

Here’s my prescription for the doctors at Seattle Grace. Take two aspirin and lay off the hooch.

Neil Patrick Harris the next David Letterman?

Neil Patrick Harris filled in for Regis Philbin last week on Live with Regis & Kelly and proved that he has what it takes to be a successful talk show host. Harris was among a string of male hosts to fill the seat, while Regis is recovering from heart surgery.

Harris was funny, relaxed, and had great chemistry with Kelly Ripa. He even jovially rolled with the punches, when a guest caller screamed, “Doogie!” in reference to his beloved classic TV character Doogie Howser, M.D. Harris is a master impressionist and does a hilarious Regis. So, if Harris’ acting career ever goes South, perhaps he should look into a career of late-night chatting.

He already has Dave Letterman’s shtick down pat, including voice inflections, mannerisms, and biting comedy. His Letterman impression is the best I’ve ever seen. In this clip from Harris’ show How I Met Your Mother, his character Barney comes up with a list of nicknames for the moving truck that he parked outside the bar and was using as a love nest to entertain the ladies.

Letterman, if you ever need another guest host, I think we’ve found your guy. Here’s Barney’s Top 10 List. Hit play and prepare to laugh.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Max Greenfield guests on Ugly Betty

Remember Deputy Leo from Veronica Mars?

He wasn’t exactly a smoldering ladies’ man. Sure, actor Max Greenfield was sweet in the part, but he was no match for Logan or Duncan for Veronica’s affection.

Fast forward to last night’s episode of Ugly Betty, when Alexis’ sexy new assistant walked into the scene. I did a brief double take before realizing it was Deputy Leo, er, Max Greenfield, looking like the “after” in a celebrity makeover. Sporting a spikey new ‘do and designer threads, he seems poised to give Daniel Meade some competition for the ladies. (Someone should drop a dime to Veronica and let her know about Dep. Leo 2.0.)

If you missed last night’s Ugly Betty, you missed one of the best lines of the week on the tube. As Tube Talk Girl, I feel it’s my duty to share the laugh. Betty was pretending to be Marc’s girlfriend at a family dinner, so his mother wouldn’t find out he was gay. During the awkward meal, Betty confided to Marc the absurdity of the situation: “I keep waiting for Mr. Roper to show up.”

Betty Suarez watches Three’s Company. I love it! And I love this show.

(Here's a photo of Deputy Leo from his Veronica Mars days.)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Adam Sandler and Don Cheadle bond on The Late Show

If you missed Adam Sandler filling in for an ailing Dave Letterman on The Late Show recently, then you missed a hilarious bit with actor Don Cheadle.

Cheadle and Sandler just finished the film Reign Over Me and apparently developed quite a bond. It goes, well, beyond friendship, the duo said. For a complete explanation, hit play and watch this uproarious clip from CBS.

American Idol Elimination Night: Stephanie is sent packing

by guest bloggers Becky Tennant and Bethany O’Neil

Ok by now everyone knows that Stephanie Edwards was sent home last night, not Sanjaya. (Who now has been dubbed “the worst contestant to ever make it to the top 10” and not just by us!)

We predicted it here, folks, and Stephanie’s forgettable performance on Tuesday just couldn’t pull in the votes needed for another shot at Idol stardom next week.

Don’t feel too bad for Stephanie though. She is pretty and has a good singing voice. She will probably be doing Broadway before too long, or putting together a contemporary R & B album. She’ll be fine.

We don’t believe for a minute that Chris Richardson was in the bottom two. It is just another ploy by the American Idol producers to get people riled up? ( Just like the crying girl in the audience.) They knew people would be talking about it the next day, and they were. We had everything from her being Sanjaya’s #1 fan (she needs counseling if this is true) to being a Make-a-Wish child. Come on, she was planted there!

Isn’t it incredible that people, no wait, pre-teen girls are still voting to keep Sanjaya Malakar on the show? Folks, he is now in the top 10. If you are one of those people who actually go and see the American Idol concerts in the summer, you’ll get to see him live and in person. Wow. Isn’t that great?

We’re thinking back to our adolescent days and who our music idols were. The New Kids on the Block quickly come to mind. We know they were a joke, too, but at least Jordan, Joey, Donnie, Danny, and Jonathan could dance. They had the “Right Stuff.”

Anyway, we’ve decided that one of the main reasons that Sanjaya is still on the show is because EVERYBODY keeps on talking about him. So, from here on out, we’re just pretending that he isn’t a contestant anymore. “Poof, he’s gone!” To us, he’s just some sort of joke that the producers put on each week to make us all laugh or shriek in terror.

We’ll be back next week.

ABC renews new and old favorites

In news that is shocking to no one, ABC has renewed Grey’s Anatomy, Lost, and Dancing With the Stars for next season.

The network also renewed its three freshman hits Ugly Betty, Men in Trees, and Brothers & Sisters, as well as old favorites Desperate Housewives, Boston Legal, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, The Bachelor, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Wife Swap, Supernanny, and America’s Funniest Home Videos.

Wife Swap, really? Someone, please explain.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Friday Night Lights returns tonight

by Jennifer Squires Biller

Friday Night Lights returns tonight to kick off its final four episodes, after an excruciating hiatus. Excruciating for me, and all the other TV fans who’ve fallen in love with this compelling drama.

Here’s the official description of what we’ll see tonight:

As Coach Taylor deeply ponders whether to coach for Texas Methodist University, daughter Julie makes it abundantly clear that she doesn't want to move out of Dillon---and away from Matt. Meanwhile, Jason receives important news from the quad rugby recruiters.

Those of you who haven’t taken time to check out this beauty of a show, please jump in tonight. You won’t be lost, or sorry. There are no extensive, perplexing, story arcs to confuse you, just good drama and plenty of it.

Once you’ve got a taste for Dillon and the characters that live there, you can watch all the previously aired episodes you missed at NBC. Thank you NBC for this brilliant move.

So, don’t make me publicly beg you to give this show a chance, because you know I will. And no one wants to see that embarrassing behavior.

For those of you who are already fans of the show, check out these interviews with the cast at Maureen Ryan’s blog at the Chicago Tribune.

American Idol Recap: A Night of Flops

by Becky Tennant and Bethany O’Neil

Here we are into the top eleven, anticipating that it would be an awesome night of singing, right? Wrong.

Last night on American Idol, it was 60’s British Invasion night, which translates into... going to bed early for a change.

The night started off on a bad note. Haley sang OK, and we're sure the guys enjoyed her outfit — or lack there of — but she just doesn’t have “it!” She received some good compliments from the judges, but it’s obvious why she’s staying around; she’s got the guy vote.

Blake and Chris Richardson did well, too. Nothing fabulous, but they aren’t going anywhere. They’ve got the girl vote.

Phil and Stephanie both flopped. Their flames are burning out quickly on the show. If they stay, can they re-ignite their fires? Doubtful.

LaKisha, who usually blows us away, instead put us to sleep. (Nice diamonds though.) And Gina took the rock-n-roll thing way too far.

We reserve the right not to comment on Chris Sligh because, well, we were asleep.

And though we missed Melinda’s performance, according to our co-workers, she was wonderful. We had no doubt that she would be anything less than perfect

The bright spot of the evening was Jordin Sparks. Not only can she sing, but she is beautiful and has such a great onstage personality. She could go all the way. Could.

Of course, we can’t end the post without talking about Sanjaya. He was just recently voted the “Worst Contestant on American Idol to Make it Into the Top 12.” Something we foolhardily agree with. Thankfully, he got rid of those ridiculous curls. His performance was mediocre and manic. What was he smoking before the show? Although, the judges said it was his best so far.

Our pick to go home tonight, should be Sanjaya, but it doesn’t look good for Phil or Stephanie. Until next time…

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Rescue Me News

For the millions of you wanting to know when Rescue Me is coming back, I have the answer. You’ll have to wait until “mid-June” to find out the fate of Tommy and the crew, according to my source at F/X.

The exact premiere date in June has not been scheduled yet, said the F/X spokesman. I promise to let you know the date as soon as I get it.

In other Rescue Me news, Larenz Tate has signed-on to guest star in at least five episodes of the upcoming fourth season. Tate will be playing a highly sought after "probie" (probationary firefighter), who the 62 Truck crew is trying to recruit to join their firehouse, according to a press release.

Finally, a brother joins the crew of 62 truck to add some diversity. This should be good.

Keeping with the diversity theme, the crew will have to make room for a little estrogen in the firehouse this season. Beautiful Jennifer Esposito will appear in four episodes as a volunteer firefighter. (Who I’m sure will be “highly sought after,” as well.)

Esposito starred in the feature film Crash. Tate also starred in Crash, as well as the now-defunct TV series, Love Monkey, and the feature films Ray, Dead Presidents and Biker Boyz.

Dancing With the Stars Doesn’t Disappoint

Photo: ABC, Heather Mills and Jonathan Roberts

Heather Mills didn’t lose her leg during last night’s debut of Dancing With the Stars. In fact, she may have gotten a leg up on the competition.

Let me explain.

Mills did a decent job at ballroom dancing, despite that she has a prosthetic leg from the knee down on her left leg. Described by the judges as “gutsy” and an “inspiration,” I think Mills will get the sympathy vote. She’s likeable, athletic, and apparently, fearless. Those characteristics will help get her votes in the popularity contest that dictates the competition’s outcome. Remember Master P?

Mills said that her prosthetic leg is unpredictable at times, when she shifts her weight, during the dance moves. That makes me nervous. (Even more nervous than last season, when Jerry Springer took the floor.) Mills was shown falling during practice, but delivered a smooth performance for the judges. She could come out the hero of the show.

It’s too early to pick a leader, but here are my choices for the best and worst of the bunch:

The Good
Joey Fatone
The former boy bander proved he’s a real entertainer and was my choice for the best last night. He was confident and had the footwork to back it up. Nicknamed “Fat One” by his partner, instead of Fatone, Joey said he hopes to lose a few pounds during the competition. It looked like he already had, when he took the floor in that white-John Travolta-inspired costume. Lookin’ good, Joey! But here’s a quick note to Fat One: FYI, white adds pounds. Black is slimming.

Ian Ziering
Two-time champ Cheryl Burke always gets the hotties, and this year is no different. Ziering brought the moves and proved that he is a serious contender. They earned triple sevens for their routine, despite judge Bruno’s broken-English criticism of Ian’s lower-body action: “You’ve got to get more down with your hips. Go see a Chippendales show or something.” I guess we know where Ian and Cheryl are heading for their first field trip.

Paulina Porizkova
A beautiful lady and a beautiful dancer. Paulina has the most gorgeous lines we’ve seen since Stacy Keibler. She’s definitely one to watch. Not only is she elegant, graceful, and painfully pretty, she has a sense of humor. She had the best line of the night when her tough teaching partner told her not to question the system. “That’s what they said in the communist countries,” she quipped. Tom Bergeron, we may have found your replacement.

Laila Ali
was the surprise of the night. I fully expected her to be an awkward mover. (Don’t hit me, Laila.) But she was the epitome of grace and ease. She truly looked like a ballroom dancer, not someone who could beat up the judges and not break a sweat. Bruno said he couldn’t wait to see her in the Latin dances. I second that. She floats like a butterfly and…OK moving on.

The Bad
John Ratzenberger
Granted, he only had a couple weeks to practice, as he came late to the competition. But, I don’t think a few more weeks would have helped much. He gets an A for effort, but frankly, he lacked the skills of the other celebs. He should be the one to go home. Sorry Cliff Clavin.

Billy Ray Cyrus
The Country music star/self-proclaimed “hillbilly” didn’t master the cha-cha. In fact, Len called it a “hoe-down” instead of a ballroom dance. I predict Billy Ray is going to be heading home soon with “achy breaky heart.” His partner joked that they received the lowest score in Dancing With the Stars history. Not quite. If he makes it through this week, I’d like to see him cut his hair, so we can see his facial expressions.

Clyde Drexler
At 6’7”, Clyde is the tallest competitor in the show’s history. Known as the gentle giant, Clyde proved to be an awkward mover. He seemed stiff, especially in his lower body. Perhaps he should accompany Ian to that Chippendales show.

The Mediocre
They didn’t dazzle and weren’t particularly memorable, but their performances were decent. Shandi Finnessey, Leeza Gibbons and Apolo Anton Ohno ranked in the middle of the field, talent wise. Leeza seemed scared and her dancing lacked flow. She needs to relax if she’s going to improve. Shandi looked a bit gangly. Yes, she’s beautiful, but she didn’t emotionally connect to her dancing. Apolo did a great job with his footwork and had decent hip movement, but he didn’t put in as many hours training as the rest of the folks and it showed.

Former Superman returns to television: Dean Cain to star in new CBS drama

Dean Cain, best known as the man-of-steel from the TV series Lois & Clark, has been cast in the upcoming CBS drama Protect and Serve, according to Reuters.

Cain will play a veteran police officer in suburban Los Angeles. The show also stars Steve Harris, Eric Balfour, Tamala Jones, Jessica Pare, Victoria Cartagena, and Monica Potter.

Cain fans have been up in arms since his Las Vegas character, billionaire Casey Manning, was killed by a giant squid. No, I’m not joking. It could perhaps go down in TV history as the strangest death on television, second only to Monica getting blown off the roof of the Montecito on Las Vegas.

Cain has been busy since his Lois & Clark days, and not just at maintaining those abs of steel. In addition to Las Vegas, he hosted Ripley’s Believe It or Not and starred in the quickly cancelled TV-drama Clubhouse.

Cain is also currently executive producing the film Ivy League, that chronicles the history of the eight Ivy League schools’ development of college football. As all Cain fans know, he played college football at Princeton before joining the Buffalo Bills. OK, so maybe it’s just me who’s a little too obsessed with the former Clark Kent. But, give me a break, people; he was Superman, after all.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Dancing With the Stars Returns Tonight

Photo: ABC

Get out your scorecards and your sense of humor because Dancing With the Stars returns tonight at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.

Among the lineup, Cliff Clavin versus a one-legged woman.

It sounds like a plot line from My Name is Earl, but it’s true, Tubers. John Ratzenberger and Heather Mills, former wife of Paul McCartney, are among the participants this season.

The show is expected to be a ratings winner, as in the past. But this year, the addition of Mills has created new buzz. In a commercial for the show, she stated her biggest fear, “My main concerns are keeping my leg on.”

Hers, and ours, too. I hope Bruno, Len, and Carrie Ann are insured against prosthetic limbs.

Tune in tonight to see if Ian Ziering can master jazz hands and how Mills will evade having to point her toes.

For previous stories on Dancing With the Stars, including a look at the complete cast, click here.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Bravo to re-air past episodes of Friday Night Lights

by Jennifer Squires Biller

If you haven’t met Coach Taylor, Tim Riggins, and the rest of the Friday Night Lights gang, then now is your chance to catch the very first episode and others you’ve missed.

Starting tonight at 7 p.m. EST, the Bravo network will begin showing encore episodes of Friday Night Lights. The network will run the episodes every Friday and Saturday during March and April.

Here is the official press release from Bravo, as well as a link to the network’s Web site where you can get the schedule:

See it for the first time or all over again, beginning with a single episode on Friday, March 16 at 7:00 PM ET, followed by a triple serving beginning Saturday, March 17 at 2:00 PM ET. "Friday Night Lights" on Bravo continues every Friday (one episode at 7:00 PM) and Saturday (three back-to-back episodes beginning at 2:00 PM), culminating on Friday, April 13 at 7:00 PM ET/PT. Catch NBC's season finale on April 11 at 8:00 PM ET/PT.

For those of you who don’t get Bravo, you can catch up by watching old episodes online at NBC. The network made a smart move by making past episodes available online, as many TV fans are reluctant to tune in to a show if they’ve missed it from the beginning. Hopefully, the move will pay off, and Friday Night Lights will return to a new crop of viewers when it returns next week.

Before going on spring hiatus, Friday Night Lights hit a series low for ratings (5.13 million.) That’s not good news for those who love this show. Yes, that includes me. Need I remind you of what happened to my beloved Invasion when it was pulling in about 8 million viewers? Or how about Freaks & Geeks? Or Jack & Bobby?

You get the picture. If I’ve scared you, good. I’ll do what I have to do to get you to tell everyone you know about this show. The acting is superb, the plots realistic, the emotion real, and the drama intense.

Please, tell your friends about the greatness that is Friday Night Lights. If they give you this excuse: “I don’t want to watch a show about football.” Then, counter with this. “Hey, it stars the hot bomb guy from Grey’s Anatomy.”

What? These are critical times, Tubers. I’m not above pimping the Kyle Chandler eye candy.

Friday Night Lights returns with new episodes on NBC March 21 at 8 p.m. EST.

Save Veronica Mars

by Jennifer Squires Biller

One of television’s most clever characters is in trouble, TV fans, and she needs your help. I’m talking about the adorable, plucky, blonde detective known as Veronica Mars.

To clarify, Veronica Mars has not been cancelled. Not yet. But don’t celebrate prematurely.

E!Online reported yesterday that the show would not be returning next season, but updated the story, today, to say that the CW network hasn’t officially cancelled the show.

What this means, loyal Veronica viewers, is that it’s time to take action. Please take a moment to send a postcard or letter to the following address to show your support of one of the best shows on the small screen:

Dawn Ostroff, President of Entertainment
The CW Television Network
4000 Warner Blvd., Bldg 168
Burbank, CA 91522-0002

You can also visit this excellent Web site http://www.saveveronicamars.tv/ for an impressive action plan on what else to do to save the show.

Even if you don’t watch Veronica Mars, but you’re a fan of quality television, please write in support of the show. Why would you do that? It’s simple. If Veronica loses, we all lose. If well-written TV shows keep getting edged out by reality shows, game shows, and silly sitcoms, the future of television looks sketchy, at best.

Rumors have been rampant for weeks that Veronica would not see another season, but here at Tube Talk, I’ve chosen to be optimistic and not jump on the Veronica-is-dead bandwagon. Veronica has faced these cancellation rumors each year and survived.

The problem this year is that while Veronica has been on hiatus the last few weeks, her replacement, the insufferable Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll, has been pulling down much higher ratings than Veronica did in the same time period.

Yes, I said the Pussycat Dolls. Don’t cha just want to shake some sense into the average TV viewer?

It seems ironic that I have to consistently beg folks to watch an artful, entertaining hour of noir brilliance, but they’ll easily tune in for an hour of mindless wanton reality television. But there it is.

So, I beg you, TV fans, for the sanctity of all that is right on television, please write the CW to show your support of Veronica Mars. This is a sparkling gem of a show among the endless muck of meaningless television offerings cluttering our TV schedules.

Veronica deserves your help. And so do the rest of us, who love television, lest we’ll be forced to watch future installments of vapid reality programming, as that may be all that’s left in a few seasons.

To e-mail the CW network so Save Veronica Mars, please write to this address: feedback@CWTV.com

Veronica Mars returns from hiatus on May 1 to finish out its season. Let’s give her the welcome back she deserves.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Smallville wedding: Lex and Lana head to the altar

Photos courtesy of the CW.

You’re invited to a lavish wedding tonight in Smallville, and you don’t need a tux or gown to attend. Just grab your remote.

Lex Luthor and Lana Lang are poised to become Mr. and Mrs. in front of friends, family, and millions of viewers. But this is Smallville, where things often go awry, so if you bought a gift you may want to keep the receipt.

In tonight’s episode, the events leading up to Lex and Lana's (Kristin Kreuk) wedding are told from three points of view: Clark's, Lex's, and Lana's, according to the CW network. This particular storytelling device worked beautifully on Dawson’s Creek, in “The Longest Day,” and I’m sure in the capable hands of the Smallville writers, it will work well, too.

Will Lionel stand up for his son? Will Chloe do a happy dance to see Lana officially off the market? Or will Clark be the Kryptonite that implodes the marriage before it begins?

If that’s not enough to entice you to tune in, check out Lana’s divine wedding dress. That glorious work of art deserves your attention.

Here’s the official description for tonight’s episode from the CW:

On the day of Lex (Michael Rosenbaum) and Lana's (Kristin Kreuk) wedding, Lex receives a call from Dr. Langston (guest star Fred Henderson) who threatens to tell Lana the truth about her baby. Lana begins to have second thoughts about marrying Lex, and Clark comes to his own realization that he can't let Lana marry Lex and decides to tell her about his secret. However, no one is prepared for what happens when Lionel Luthor (John Glover) steps in. Erica Durance and Annette O'Toole also star. Brian Peterson & Kelly Souders wrote the episode directed by Rick Rosenthal.Catch Smallville on the CW at 8 p.m. EST.

Brothers and Sisters casts former Days hunk

Former Days of our Lives hottie Eric Winter has landed the much-anticipated part of Sen. McCallister’s gay brother on Brothers and Sisters, according to TV Guide.

McCallister (Rob Lowe) has referred to his brother several times on the show when discussing political policies on gay rights.

Winter won fans over as Rex on Days of our Lives, before departing the soap for roles on Just Legal or Wildfire. Fans may also recognize him from those curiously compelling Britney Spears perfume commercials for her fragrance Curious.

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

American Idol Recap: Brandon Gets Booted

by guest bloggers Becky and Bethany

Last night was an Idol shocker. Well, not completely. We predicted here that Sanjaya wouldn’t be going home and that it would more than likely be Brandon or Haley. We were right; Brandon was sent packing.

Is it Sanjaya’s hair, his singing, or his appeal to teenage girls that keeps him from getting the ax? There really isn’t any rhyme or reason why Sanjaya is still on the show. Sometimes, he looks baffled by it himself.

He must have a huge fan base that is totally out of synch as to what an American Idol really is, or people are just voting for him so he can be humiliated another week. Frankly, we don’t know. But this is a joke. The longer he stays on, the more the show reverts away from being a “talent” competition to becoming a circus.

OK, that’s a little harsh. Sanjaya is probably a nice guy, and he would do great in a show choir or something of that genre. But, people, his time has passed. We know it’s hard and it hurts, but it’s time to let him go.

You know that saying, “If you love someone set them free; they will come back if it was meant to be.” Please, just let him go and hope he finds some other outlet to channel his talent.

There’s always hula dancing!

Until next week folks, keep on Idoling!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

American Idol Recap: The Top 12

by guest bloggers Becky and Bethany

Paula’s crying hysterics, contestants forgetting lyrics, and Sanjaya’s hair….what a night for Idol's top 12!

First let us begin by sending a big “THANKS!” out to Magic 106.5’s Jack Logar for putting us on his show this morning. Though, we don’t think we deserve to be called “professionals,” it was fun to be on the radio with Jack. We hope to be doing it more often. (Hint. Hint.)

Now back to Idol recap. The night was just one big disappointment after another.

Of course, LaKisha, and Melinda did awesome jobs, as always. In fact, Melinda did so well, that Paula lost the small grip on reality that she had left. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen waterworks like that. Yes, it was a great performance, but if you had just tuned in at that moment, you would have thought she’d witnessed some kind of second coming or something.

Jordin also did an excellent job. She left us with a nice, warm, cozy feeling. It’s hard to believe she is only 17.

Other than those three, the rest of the evening was a big, fat flop. Brandon, Haley, and Stephanie all forgot their lyrics, and there just wasn’t any pizzazz to the show. Not even Blake, and the two guys named Chris, brought it.

OK, now lets talk Sanjaya – the topic around water coolers everywhere this morning. At first, we were speechless. Then, came the hysterical laughing. And finally, came the “What the heck?”

We have two theories on why Sanjaya changed his hair and went for the curly, ultra-feminine look: Was he trying to channel his inner Diana Ross? Or did the stylists decide to play a joke on him, and everyone was so dumbfounded that they told him, “Hey buddy, nice look!” He had hoop earrings on, people! Stop the madness.

Our prediction for tonight is that Sanjaya should go. But, we’re doubtful that will actually happen. People are voting for him, just to see what he’ll do to his hair next week. So, if Sanjaya doesn’t go, then probably Brandon or Haley will be hitting the road.

We’ll be back tomorrow when the verdict is in.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Grey’s Anatomy Spinoff Gets Bigger

Addison Montgomery is going to be in good company in the upcoming Grey’s Anatomy spinoff.

Actress Amy Brenneman, of Judging Amy fame, is joining the show, according to TV Guide’s Michael Ausiello. And she isn’t the only female coming to the party.

Merrin Dungey is also set to join to the Addison-centered drama, starring Kate Walsh, according to Maureen Ryan at The Chicago Tribune. TV fans will recognize Dungey for her roles in Summerland and Alias.

The Grey’s spinoff has been the talk of the TV world the past two weeks, as Tim Daly, Taye Diggs, Chris Lowell and Paul Adelstein have already joined the cast.

ABC is introducing the spinoff as a two-hour episode of Grey’s Anatomy.

No word yet on if McSteamy (Eric Dane) will follow Addison and her stilettos out of Seattle Grace.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Veronica Mars fans wanted for special DVD feature


Veronica Mars fans, I hope you’re sitting down. If not, grab a chair, because this news is big.

You may get the chance to be included in a special feature on the season three Veronica Mars DVD set.

The executives at Veronica Mars are producing a special “fan feature” segment for the upcoming DVD and need your help.

“We’re looking for video of you (plus a friend or two is OK, too) telling us about your passion for all things Veronica,” said Alex Mercer, who is heading up the project.

“Just set a camera up, fill the frame with yourself, (and your friends, if they’re in it with you) and tell us about how you feel about Veronica Mars," he said. "We’ll pick the best ones to include on the official Season three DVD.”

Those submitting tapes are also encouraged to ask questions on the tapes, Mercer said. Here are some ideas to get you started thinking, but fans shouldn’t feel the need to follow this guide or ask these specific questions. (Think outside the box. That’s what Veronica would do.)

--How and when did you first discover Veronica Mars?
--What is it about Veronica Mars and her band of cohorts that excites you?
--Was there a particular moment that got you hooked on the show?
--What keeps you tuning in?
--Who is your favorite character and why? Least favorite character?
--What Veronica Mars related stories do you have? Anything that is related to Veronica Mars in your life.
--What are your favorite lines from the show?
--Can you do a character imitation?
--Have you had interaction with other fans?

And if fans have a question they're dying to ask Rob Thomas, then go for it, Mercer said. For example, “Hey, Rob. Why is Veronica so mean in Season 3?”

Who knows? If you have what the show honchos are looking for, you could end up on the season three DVD set, forever a part of the Veronica Mars legacy. Of course, I’ll have to collect a 10-percent finder’s fee for alerting you to this really cool deal. (Relax, Alex. I’m kidding.)

As for the technical requirements, Mercer and his team are looking for the highest quality videos they can get.

“This means original tapes are best; MiniDV is best of all,” Mercer said. “Standard-Def is better than High Def, for this particular project. We don’t want DVD’s; they are too compressed. The biggest issue will be sound. Make sure you have good audio. Shoot in a quiet environment.”

Here are some other technical guidelines, according to Mercer:

“We cannot have anything in the frame that is trademarked,” he said. “That means no art work in the background, no logos on clothing, no recognizable brand-name products, no music (unless you wrote it and give us permission to use it) and no video clips of the show. (We will put those in ourselves.)”

Legally, the Mars folks have the right to refuse any submissions they receive, and anyone who appears in the video must sign a release that Mercer will provide.

For information on where to send your tape and to get a release, contact alex@slaverats.com.

The deadline for tape submissions is April 6, 2007.

As a courtesy to Tube Talk, please do not copy this article in entirety to message forums or newsgroups. Instead, please use this link to link to this post directly and check back for further news on the project.

Tube News: James Van Der Beek, Eddie Cibrian, Scott Wolf, Marsha Thompson, Grey’s Spinoff, Nikki Cox and Nip/Tuck

ABC is on a casting roll, of late. The network can do no wrong when it comes to hiring talent (and achingly handsome men) as evidenced by the latest additions to its upcoming crop of new shows. Here’s a peek at who’s headed to the alphabet network.

James Van Der Beek - The Beek is back! Van Der Beek has been cast in the new ABC show Football Wives. TV fans everywhere have been waiting for Van Der Beek to return to their screens, permanently, since Dawson’s Creek ended its run. The Beek will play a football player in the new ABC show. The gridiron is not completely foreign to him, as he portrayed a football player in the feature film Varsity Blues. The show is based on the cult BBC show Footballers’ Wives that chronicles the wives of superstar football stars. The show also stars Gabrielle Union, Lucy Lawless, Holly Robinson Peete and Kiele Sanchez. No word yet on which lady will portray Joey Potter, er, Van Der Beek’s love interest.

Eddie Cibrian – Joining Van Der Beek in Football Wives, is Eddie Cibrian, dubbed by Tube Talk Girl as the “The Best Dimples on Television.” TV viewers will recognize Cibrian from his roles on Invasion, Third Watch, and Vanished. Football Wives will also star Ving Rhames. The show is scheduled to debut June 7, just in time to heat up your summer.

Scott Wolf - Wolf has just been cast in a new, yet unamed, ABC comedy about attorneys competing for partnership at a law firm. TV lovers will remember Wolf as Bailey Salinger from Party of Five and also as the cheating doctor on The Nine. Although ABC has not officially cancelled The Nine, the fact that Wolf and Tim Daly have already scored other gigs, doesn’t bode well for the show returning. I guess we’ll never find out what really happened in that darned bank.

Marsha ThompsonThompson is the latest cast addition to the Lost island of misfits. TV viewers will recognize Thompson from her role as Nessa on the NBC show Las Vegas. No word yet on whether she’s an Other, a Tailie, or if she’s been on the beach all along stealing Sawyer’s stuff.

Chris Lowell and Paul Adelstein – These two are the latest additions to the Grey’s Anatomy two-hour episode/spinoff centering on Addison Montgomery. Some online have jokingly nicknamed the spinoff "Montgomery’s Ward." Lowell is currently starring on Veronica Mars, as Piz, a potential love interest for Veronica. Adelstein can be seen on Prison Break as Agent Kellerman.

Nikki Cox joins CBS show
It didn’t take long for Nikki Cox to score a new gig, after leaving Las Vegas. TV Guide is reporting that Cox is joining a new CBS show, The Stumps of Hollywood. Cox will play a “homely girl whose siblings buy her an extreme makeover,” according to TV Guide. Um, has CBS seen Nikki Cox? She’s the “after” in any conceivable makeover scenario, not the “before.” Michael Rapaport is in talks to join the show, too, according to the online magazine site.

Nip/Tuck casting Nicole Kidman and Madonna?
This year’s Nip/Tuck will be fully stacked with guest stars, said series creator Ryan Murphy. At least 10 guest stars, including Rosie O’Donnell, have been lined up for this year’s show, Murphy told fans at The Museum of Television & Radio’s Paley Festival. Nicole Kidman is on board to guest star, Murphy told Access Hollywood. And Murphy is writing a part for Madonna, who is a fan of the show, according to Extra. Someone should warn Christian Troy.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Las Vegas Finale Ends With a Bang

by Jennifer Squires Biller

That’s how you end a season finale. Wow! I haven’t been this excited about a cliffhanger since someone shot J.R.

It’s as if the Las Vegas writers came down with Attention Deficit Disorder and couldn’t decide who to put in danger, so they gave every character a dilemma or an impending death sentence.

That’s overkill, you say? Not in Las Vegas. Here, among the fast-paced, fast-talking casino cohorts, a kidnapping, an explosion, and a shooting seem perfectly plausible.

Those of you who missed it, Danny was headed back to Iraq, to take the place of a marine, facing a third tour of duty, who had saved his life. But before Danny went off to war, he grabbed a gun and went after Mary’s pedophile father, who Mary was intent on killing with her own six-shooter. Ed, facing divorce papers from Jillian, discovered that Danny and Mary both went after sicko Daddy, and showed up at the guy’s usual watering hole. All three took aim, shots were fired, and Daddy hit the pavement. Meanwhile, at The Montecito, Sam was kidnapped, by her creepy whale, and smuggled out of the hotel in a trunk, just as gunmen shot up the vault and made a bid to rob the casino. Then, Delinda, desperate to tell Danny about her pregnancy, tried to befriend the emotional marine, only to discover that he had wired a bomb to blow himself up, inside the hotel. Cut to The Montecito exploding — yes, again.

See what I mean about A.D.D.? Las Vegas Executive Producer Gary Scott Thompson said he wanted to write as many cliff-hanging mysteries as possible, so that NBC would be forced to renew the show for next season. Mission accomplished, Mr. Thompson. This one was a winner.

After the show, I asked Thompson who really shot Mary’s daddy. This was his response:

Regarding who shot Mary's father, the online poll suggests Ed. Yet, Danny and Mary had reasons to shoot him. Danny said he would kill him if he ever came close to Mary, again. But, hey, we will see how the voting continues; I might change my mind on who really did it.

Thompson is referring to a poll at the NBC Las Vegas Web page. (And for the record, Mary got my vote.) Also at the NBC site, Las Vegas fans can read a chat transcript that Thompson and actress Molly Sims did with fans after the finale.

Another interesting tidbit about the finale is that Vanessa Marcil (Sam) got carpet burns during her trunk-escape scene. Sims spilled that tidbit during an interview last week. Apparently, Marcil is quite the trooper when it comes to doing her own stunts. And you thought she was just another pretty face.

As this season of Las Vegas comes to a close, let’s take a minute to give props to Mike, now affectionately known as “Peanut Head.” The dude never gets any respect, despite that he’s instrumental every week in solving the big mystery. Now, it appears Mike is going to save Sam. Hopefully, he won’t get blamed for the robbery and explosion. I’d hate for him to have to go back to singing backup for his “Aunt Gladys” Knight. Because, frankly, “It’s hard out here for a pip.”

New episodes of Las Vegas begin next season. Stay tuned to Tube Talk for the premiere date.

Friday, March 09, 2007

The Office “Newpeats” and Marathon

If you’re suffering from March Madness — otherwise known as the season of endless repeats and silly mid-season replacements — then you’ll want to give thanks to NBC and The Office for giving TV fans something new.

On March 15 at 8 p.m. EST, The Office is offering fans two old episodes, but with a new spin. Termed “newpeats” by the clever PR folks at NBC, the episodes Traveling Salesman and Oscar’s Return will feature never-before-seen footage and will be re-edited for the new showing.

Then, on March 29 at 8 p.m. EST, you’ll want to settle in for The Office marathon. Actor Paul Lieberstein, who plays Toby, is hosting "A Night at the Office" marathon that includes five back-to-back "human resource nightmare" episodes, according to a press release from NBC.

"It's about giving something extra to our wonderful fans," said The Office executive producer, Greg Daniels. "Their loyalty must be rewarded somehow, and we don't have the budget for ten million muffin baskets."

Greg, you can keep the muffin basket. I’ll take new scenes from The Office over banana-nut muffins any day.

American Idol Recap: Elimination Night

by guest bloggers Becky and Bethany

They’re dropping like flies on American Idol.

Last night, four more hopefuls were tossed out the door. We said goodbye to Antonella (Yay!), Jared, Sundance, and Sabrina.

Yes, people, we said Sabrina was sent packing. The only way we can justify this is that maybe Haley has some kind of cult following, that doesn’t mind a lack of singing talent, as long as you look decent and cry a lot.

Frankly, we can’t even begin to understand how Sundance was sent home before Sanjaya. Both have heart. We know that. But, only one could sing well. Sundance was beginning to grow on us. Let’s just hope he can find himself a job back home and maybe a record deal or comedy show.

We know that eventually everyone will have his or her time and there can be only one American Idol. But, unfortunately for us, we must listen to Sanjaya and Haley both butcher another song next week. Can you buy singing talent on eBay?

The highlights of the evening were of course Antonella getting the boot, but also getting to see former Idol winner Carrie Underwood sing and make us (and Simon) proud. Wow. What a voice. That is talent.

All in all, it was a bittersweet evening, folks. Until next week…

Thursday, March 08, 2007

American Idol Recap: The Lovely Ladies

by guest bloggers Becky and Bethany

Let’s hear it for the girls!

The ladies did much, much, MUCH better than then the boring guys. Well, at least some of them did.

Lakisha, Melinda, Sabrina and Jordin all did themselves, the judges, and America proud. And though it may not have been their best performances, they showed us that even on down nights, they can still bring it.

Stephanie and Gina did OK; their performances weren’t spectacular, but they didn’t flop either.

On the other hand, once again we saw Antonella and Haley both take decent songs and put their own — oh how should we put this — “twist” on them.

Now, Hayley, she’s a nice girl and has a decent voice, but she just isn’t going to go much further in this competition. She doesn’t have that Idol “Yo” as Randy puts it.

Antonella, well, she’s a conundrum. She doesn’t even try to act like a “nice girl” on TV. One word comes to mind, but unfortunately we can’t say it here. Our advice for her is that if you want people to like and respect you for more than just being a “good looking” gal, then you need to act like you’re a decent person, not stand there throwing darts at everyone with your eyes and pouting, because the judges tell you that there are other singers in the competition that are better than you. This girl needs to get some class. That’s all there is to it.

As to who may be going home tonight, well, if everyone based their votes on singing talent, Haley and Antonella will be packing up their bags. But, we are a public who is obsessed with looks and beauty, so who knows?

We’ll be back tomorrow to let you know who the top 12 American Idol contestants are. And then, this competition really begins.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Grey’s Anatomy gets a little McDreamier: Tim Daly guest stars

Photo credit: ABC

by Jennifer Squires Biller

Just when you thought the hallways of Seattle Grace couldn’t get any hunkier, Tim Daly checks into the hospital.

Daly is joining Grey’s Anatomy for a special two-hour episode that may become a spinoff, according to The Hollywood Reporter. As previously reported, the spinoff would star sexy, stiletto-clad Dr. Addison Montgomery (actress Kate Walsh) and sexy — minus the stilettos — Taye Diggs.

Daly’s character is described as "handsome, sincere, like a McDreamy," according to The Hollywood Reporter. So, I’m guessing since he’s “sincere,” he’ll be the direct opposite of Dr. Mark “McSteamy” Sloan, who — while certainly handsome — hasn’t exactly been a paragon of morals, sincerity and virtuosity.

Whoever is in charge of this Grey’s Anatomy spinoff, isn’t playing fair. First, they lure us in with one of Grey’s most exciting characters, Addison. Then, they taunt us further with the addition of Diggs. Now, they’ve pretty much sealed the deal that we must watch, by adding the talented and delicious Daly to the mix.

Who’s next? Joshua Jackson? Keri Russell? Rob Lowe? John Stamos? ABC, whomever the casting genius is who’s snagging actors such as Eric Dane, Walsh, Diggs and Daly, they deserve a pay raise. I usually hate spinoffs, but I’m already on board with this one, before it even airs.

Daly hasn’t had the best track record recently, though, when it comes to hit TV shows. His last two dramas Eyes and The Nine didn’t garner large enough ratings to stay on the air, despite widespread critical acclaim.

But I’m not worried about this newest venture. ABC has made this new spinoff, or at least the two-hour special, requisite viewing for any longstanding Grey’s and TV addict. Daly has fans. Me, being one of them. Yes, I still have a crush on Joe Hackett, even though he’s left his Wings far behind him.

American Idol Recap: The Boys Bomb

by guest bloggers Becky and Bethany

Last night, the men came out to show the world that they have talent and that they can be the next American Idol. Well, they didn’t.

To say the least, ALL the boys were mediocre. This was their night to shine, and they blew it. It’s pretty bad when re-runs from America’s Funniest Home Videos are more interesting.

Of course, we know that some of the males aren’t going anywhere: Blake, and the two guys named Chris. But for the rest of them, they had to show us something. And they failed. Miserably.

Brandon Rogers, who has one of the best singing voices, just can’t seem to get back to where he once was, which is a total shame. Jared Cotter is so-so. And of course, there is Sanjaya. Anyone who was watching knows he is so out of his league here.

As for Phil Stacy, his performance just stunk. That’s all there is to it.

Honestly, it’s anyone’s guess who will go home after last week’s shocker.

We’ll be back tomorrow with comments from the girls night. Let’s hope they can step it up and show those guys what you really can do with a little talent.

And on a side note, I, Becky, would like to give a big, “Congratulations” to my pal Bethany. She, along with her husband Wes and son Alex, welcomed Andrew Wyatt into the world yesterday. And even though she had given birth just 8 hours earlier, she still watched Idol and gave me her comments. Now that’s dedication. Congratulations Bethany!

Copyright 2007 Tube Talk