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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Battlestar Galactica to end next year

The cult-hit Battlestar Galactica on the Sci Fi Channel will end next year, after its fourth season, according to the show’s producers Ronald D. Moore and David Eick.

It was the producers’ decision to end the series they said in a joint statement, according to Variety.

"This show was always meant to have a beginning, a middle and, finally, an end," they said. "Over the course of the last year, the story and the characters have been moving strongly toward that end, and we've decided to listen to those internal voices and conclude the show on our own terms."

I still have Battlestar Galactica on my “to do” DVD list, much to the chagrin of all my BSG-loving friends who have declared it one of the best shows ever. So, on their behalf, my deepest sympathies and “Holy frak, this sucks!”

TV’s funniest moments

For decades, television has made us laugh.

Whether it was Lucy and her Vitameatavegamin commercial, Jack Tripper and his famous falls, or Johnny Carson and his Carnac the Magnificent bit, television has provided plenty of comic relief.

This Friday, June 1, the Museum of Television and Radio will count down TV’s Funniest Moments on FOX at 8 p.m. ET.

The two-hour special showcases the 30 funniest moments of television, according to the museum folks. Sitcoms, variety shows, and sketch shows are all included in the fun fest.

I haven’t seen the show yet, but from the official FOX description, it features clips from I Love Lucy, The Honeymooners, All in the Family, Spin City, Mad About You, In Living Color and The Bob Newhart Show.

Some of my favorite funny TV moments are Friends’ Ross getting stuck in his leather pants, Elaine dancing on Seinfeld, and the J.D. and Turk's musical number “Everything Comes Down to Poo” on Scrubs.

What are some of your favorite funny TV moments? Feel free to share them in the comments below.Then, tune in Friday to see if they made the cut.

Dissecting the Lost finale

Ladies and gentlemen, this week I’m unveiling a new feature here at Tube Talk: “Commentary with a Co-Ed.” Please welcome the said co-ed, Ashley Gouveai, who each Thursday will be providing her take on what’s happening on TV. Ashley is from Massachusetts and is majoring in journalism. Please give her a big Tube Talk welcome!

Commentary with a Co-Ed: Dissecting the Lost finale
by Ashley Gouveia

Since I am a huge Lost fan I thought I was trained for the unexpected when it came to season finales. But last Wednesday’s two-hour shock fest left me saying, “Huh?”

It turned out Jack’s flashback was a flash-forward…into a future, where he’s a suicidal addict who desperately wants to get back to the island! So our Losties seem to finally get rescued, but now their leader regrets leaving?

I think I was the only one who didn’t catch on to the flash-forward until the last five minutes of the episode. Even when Kate showed up, I assumed Jack knew her before the crash. After a second viewing, I caught some clues that make it more obvious that this wasn’t your regular Lost flashback. Check out Jack’s phone; it was a dead giveaway.

Speaking of dead, let’s all take a moment for my favorite castaway, Charlie ‘The Hobbit’ Pace. His death scene had to be one of the most heart-breaking moments of the series. I thought he had escaped death, after making it through to the Looking Glass station, but Mikhail (or Patchy McPatch to me) had other plans. That guy has more lives than a cat. When Desmond shot him in the chest I was screaming at my TV: “He’s not dead, brother!”

Patchy blew up the side of the station, leaving poor Charlie to accept his fate. I think that was about the time I started bawling. But before that, he found out Naomi is not part of Penelope’s rescue team. As he took his last breaths, he wrote on his hand “Not Penny’s boat” for Desmond to tell the others. Kleenex anyone?

This jaw-dropping finale left a lot of unanswered questions. But if you’re a Lost fan, you expect that. I’m dying to know whose funeral that was in Jack’s flash to the future. Who is Jacob? Why is Walt appearing to Locke? Who is the man that Kate is with in the future? I have my theories, and I’m sure many of you do, too. These are going to have to sustain us until February 2008 when Lost returns with its fourth season. I can’t wait!

Here are some of my favorite moments of the night:

“I am a dentist. I am not Rambo.”-Bernard (He was pretty good for a dentist. Hysterical line!)

“Because I love you!”-Jack (Jaters rejoice all around the world!)

“That’s for taking the kid off the raft.”-Sawyer (Awesome throwback to season one. Loved it!)

"Want to help me tie him up?”-Rousseau (Simple line, but so funny.)

“We have to go back!”-Jack (Give Matthew Fox an Emmy. He was phenomenal.)

A countdown, three gunshots and a Benry/Shephard smack down!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Rescue Me jaw-dropping season surprises

Photo: Denis Leary as Tommy Gavin, courtesy of FX

Holy cow! Excuse me while I pick my jaw off the floor.

I just finished watching the first three episodes of the new season of Rescue Me, that returns to television on June 13, and all I can say is get your Depends, Tubers. Get them now!

The third episode has such a jaw-dropping surprise that I literally sat staring in shock at the television at the end of the show.

Not to oversell this, but the first few episodes of season four are as strong or better than what we’ve seen from Denis Leary and company in the past. It’s that good, folks.

I’m not going to spoil you because the surprises are way too good. I will tell you this: Tommy survives the fire. Yeah, I know, no big surprise there, right? Frankly, there would be no show without the charming and dysfunctional Tommy Gavin.

The show picks up after Tommy and Sheila escape the fire. Tommy then finds himself under investigation for allegedly starting the fire to get an insurance settlement.

Guys, hottie Jennifer Esposito joins the show this year, as the firefighter who pulled Tommy from the blaze, a fact that macho guy Tommy can’t seem to comprehend.

For those of you who’ve never watched Rescue Me, it isn’t just “dudes in fire suits” as I discussed on the 106.5 Magic Morning show this week. It’s a candid, humorous, and sometimes painful look into the lives of New York City fire fighters.

Season four premieres June 13 at 10 p.m. on FX. So, if you haven’t seen the show, go to the library or the local store and check out the first three seasons on DVD. You’ll thank me later.

NBC says no more super-sizing

NBC has decided to stop “super-sizing” its sitcoms, Zap2It is reporting.

On behalf of my DVR and frustrated viewers everywhere, let me be the first to say, “It’s about time!”

NBC began the practice of extending its sitcoms by five to ten minutes back in 2001 to deter Friends viewers from switching the channel to CBS to catch the last half of Survivor. It worked then, but has become a constant frustration through the years for viewers and DVR boxes that never know when the NBC shows would stop and start. Those who recorded the programs often had problems getting the end or the beginning.

Vince Manze, NBC’s scheduling director, said that super-sizing isn’t effective as it once was.

“It was a good idea when we started it. It was very novel. But it's just not a good idea to have shows starting at 9:23 p.m.," Manze told TV Week.

Gee, do you think?

Why it’s taken six years for the network to discover that salient point is beyond me. The first time I missed the beginning of The Office taught me that lesson.

Thank you, NBC, for halting this annoying scheduling gimmick.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Starter Wife: Debra Messing's new show on USA

The term “Starter Wife” makes me giggle. Add in the comically gifted Debra Messing and this new show on USA becomes a fun, summer escape.

The Starter Wife premieres this Thursday, May 31, at 9 p.m. on USA.

I’ve seen the first three episodes, and I was impressed with what I saw. Sure, it may take you a minute to get past the absurdity that a short, balding, loud-mouthed mosquito of a man could ever dump a woman so beautiful, sweet and polished as Messing’s Molly, but once you do, the ride begins. (I guess it isn’t too much of a stretch to believe that beautiful women get dumped in Hollywood. Just ask Halle Berry or Jennifer Aniston.)

The Starter Wife
is an inside look at the Hollywood moviemakers and their elite wives. Molly works 16-hour days as a trophy wife, dressing in Chanel and Dior and maintaining her husband’s life, from organizing his lunch order to picking up his dog’s poo. She does it all in between yoga class, salon appointments, dropping her daughter at school, and lunching in all the right places. And she has the impossible task of doing it all while wearing a clumsy two-pound diamond that could be seen from space. (I kid, of course.)

Molly’s life then takes a drastic turn, when her husband dumps her for a 20-something pop music queen. (Think Fergie.) Then, the “starter wife” gets the cold shoulder from her former “friends,” with doors literally slamming in her face. Her club membership is cancelled, she’s dropped from charity boards, and she can’t even get a table at her favorite restaurant.

This inside look at the Malibu elite makes me shudder. Using children’s birthday parties to cast movies and network with directors is deplorable. Just imagine growing up in a society when your parent gives you this advice when dropping you off at school, “Share your cookies with Violet Affleck.” I truly hope the Hollywood gang isn’t this shallow, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

Messing shines in this new drama and there are some laugh-out-loud moments. But, don’t be fooled. The Starter Wife is a drama about life after divorce and how one woman redefines herself after years of marriage to a Hollywood studio executive.

The Starter Wife is based on the popular novel by the same name. It runs through June 28 on USA.

Rosie talks about her View departure, labels it “nuclear Wednesday”

Rosie O’Donnell answered some questions about her last day at The View, via her Web site.

O’Donnell posted a video about the incident, calling the on-air squabble between she and Elisabeth Hasselbeck “nuclear Wednesday.”

Watch it for yourself and form your own opinion, but it seems that she and Hasselbeck won’t be playing together again anytime soon.

O’Donnell also discusses her friend, Janette Barber, in the video. Barber was caught drawing a mustache on a poster of Elisabeth at The View studio, according to The New York Post.

In the video blog, O’Donnell says that Hasselbeck phoned her, but Rosie didn’t speak with her. They have e-mailed, but from Rosie’s comments, it seems that the two are still on a break.

Farewell Veronica Mars: Final thoughts

by Jennifer Squires Biller

Veronica Mars, how could it end like that?

Excuse me while I channel my inner second-grader: “I HATE you CW. I HATE you so very much!” (Stomps foot, sticks out lip, and crosses arms defiantly across chest.)

Veronica Mars took her final bow last week with back-to-back episodes that were so deliciously good, I once again questioned why so few saw the brilliance of this television gem. It’s one of life’s greatest mysteries, and I doubt that even super-sleuth Veronica could solve it.

Show creator Rob Thomas has said he’d like to continue Veronica’s adventures on the big screen, after the network cancellation, and I pray that happens. Veronica’s story wasn’t finished. She deserved a bigger bang for her final episode, and perhaps she’ll get payback in a theater near you. Wouldn’t it be great if Veronica Mars the movie became a giant blockbuster? That would be cosmic karma.

For those of you who are sick of hearing me rant/talk about Veronica, I won’t bore you with another love-letter about the show. I’ll simply leave you with this, a sample of why Veronica went out on top.

The episode “Weevils Wobble but They Don’t Fall Down” was classic “Veronica” style with some memorable lines. Enjoy:

“Rob Thomas is a whore” --- (Said jokingly about the Matchbox 20 band leader in regard to the reunion tour, but poignantly funny to all Mars fans as the show’s creator Rob Thomas is often confused with the Matchbox music man.)

(Mac finds Veronica shaving her legs and makes an observation.)
Mac: “Miss Mars uses Venus razor.”
Veronica: “Because if she doesn’t her legs look like Pluto.”

(Dick goes surfing in his new wet suit and tries to adjust it from irritating his, um, junk.)
Dick: “This new wet suit is like a cheap hotel. No ballroom.”

(Veronica, Mac, Logan and Dick watch Wallace’s motorized airplane attempt to take off on the beach and fail miserably.)
Mac: “He needs more thrust.”
Dick: “That’s what she said.” (stealing a line from "The Office")

Goodbye, Veronica. (sniff, sniff) Hope to see you in the movies.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Rosie O’Donnell departs The View early; perhaps it’s for the best

Rosie O’Donnell will not be retuning to The View, despite that her final air date was supposed to be June 20.

I’m sure Republicans everywhere are cheering.

After her particularly nasty on-air fight with co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck this week, O’Donnell has chosen to end her run with the show.

"We had hoped that Rosie would be with us until the end of her contract three weeks from now, but Rosie has informed us that she would like an early leave," said ABC daytime chief Brian Frons. "Therefore, we part ways, thank her for her tremendous contribution to 'The View' and wish her well."

O’Donnell commented that she was “extremely grateful” for her time on the show. "It's been an amazing year and I love all three women," she said.

Well, you certainly couldn’t feel the love earlier this week when she and Hasselbeck squared off once again about the Iraq war. Things quickly turned personal, with finger pointing and yelling, as O’Donnell took issue that Hasselbeck didn’t defend O’Donnell in the press when she was labeled as calling U.S. soldiers terrorists. O’Donnell called Hasselbeck “cowardly,” while Hasselbeck retorted that O’Donnell should defend her own insinuations.

Even co-host and jokester Joy Behar looked uncomfortable, as the debate switched from politics to overly personal comments about one another’s actions/beliefs. The remainder of the show seemed a little awkward, even when guest Alicia Silverstone came out. Silverstone rudely walked right by Hasselbeck and hugged the remaining three hosts. (Not cool, Alicia. Not cool.)

I’m incredibly saddened that O’Donnell’s stint on The View has ended on such a sour note. She brought such flair to the show, and turned it into must-see-TV for me. But honestly, even I’m having a tough time defending O’Donnell. Her lack of understanding for anyone else’s political views, other than her own has grown tiresome. More and more, O’Donnell didn’t seem content at simply stating her “view” and listening to the other ladies’ views. She seemed to verbally smack down anyone who didn’t agree with her politics i.e. Hasselbeck.

For someone who talks often about respect, peace and love, I wish O’Donnell would have shown a little more of it in her final broadcast. If she had issue with her co-worker and vice versa, they should have worked it out off-screen.

This isn’t the first time O’Donnell has personally attacked Hasselbeck. She once ruffled the youngest co-host’s feathers, and plenty of other 20-somethings, by quickly discounting Hasselbeck’s opinions due to her youth.

Making this story all the sadder is the fact that O’Donnell’s friend Janette Barber was escorted from The View's studios Thursday after being caught drawing mustaches and defacing posters of Hasselbeck at the show's offices, according to the New York Post. ABC confirmed that photographs were vandalized, but did not identify the perpetrator. The network did emphasize that O’Donnell wasn’t in the building.

Defacing posters? Wow. That has to be a new low. Are these people in fifth grade?

I’ve always loved O’Donnell’s easy, fun talk-show manner, but I enjoy her more when she’s simply hosting and not pontificating about the evilness of the president and the administration.

Perhaps it’s best O’Donnell left. Under her stint, The View has transitioned into a program about the view of one woman (O’Donnell,) not the views of several women, which was the original intent of the daytime talk show. Plus, Hasselbeck is pregnant, and frankly, just watching those two spar stresses me out, so I can’t imagine what it’s doing to the hormonal expectant mom.

O’Donnell is a fabulous entertainer, and I’ll watch her projects in the future. But, I hope she returns to her fun, easy talk-show fare, sans the politics.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

American Idol: The Finale

by guest bloggers Becky and Bethany

Well folks, it’s over. Jordin Sparks is the newly crowned American Idol.

Although we hate to admit it, Jordin was the right choice. She is clearly the superior singer of the final two.

The finale was jam packed with the expected filler material. No surprise there because we knew that the producers wouldn’t reveal the crown champion of Idol, until the very last minute of the show. And that was OK; we were treated to some great performances from former Idols Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. It was great to see Kelly back on the Idol stage.

The performances by Ruben and Taylor were lackluster and Fantasia was a no show. (We think she was busy on Broadway.)

There were also some big names at the finale: Smokey Robinson, Joe Perry, Gladys Knight, Green Day, Gwen Stefani, Doug E. Fresh, Be Be Winans, Ce Ce Winans, Tony Bennett and Bette Midler. We’re not sure why Tony Bennett was on there. Was it our imagination or did he “dis” AI for the treatment of the contestants?

Bette Midler’s performance of “Wind Beneath My Wings” was a bit forced. It looked like she was having trouble hearing the music or something. She was totally off, not to mention that black, leather skirt was totally not her style.

Another part of the show that has become an annual event was the “Golden Idol Awards.” We were reunited with Kenneth and Jonathan, aka Best Friends Margaret Fowler and Shollandric Stallworth. All these awards do, though, is humiliate these people even more, even if it is in good fun. Come on producers, don’t you think that the picture of the Bush Baby Monkey was a bit too much?

Finally after 118 minutes of performances and awards, it was time to announce the new Idol. And as we predicted a couple months ago, Jordin won the coveted title of American Idol. Blake did not seem surprised; he knew he had been “out sung” the night before. Don’t worry Blake; we have a feeling that we’ll hear from you again.

Jordin did the traditional performance of what will be her first single “This is My Now.” Again, she choked up at the end. We think it was a little put on. But, anyway, it was her moment to shine, and she did. Congrats to Jordin Sparks 2007 American Idol.

Until next year folks, we will be anticipating the next season of Idol. Let’s hope that Season 8 gives us a little bit more talent than this one has.

Jordin Sparks: The new American Idol

Here it is, folks. The new American Idol is Jordin Sparks. Stay tuned for Becky and Bethany’s wrap up of the season. Meanwhile, hit play and enjoy this incredible performance.

Studio 60 returns tonight with six all new episodes

Remember that little show with all the buzz last year known as Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip? Well, it returns to NBC tonight at 10 p.m. ET for the first of the final six episodes.

Yes, the show has been cancelled. (Sigh.) But, die-hard Studio 60 fans can at least enjoy the remaining episodes.

I’ll spare you my dissertation on why some great shows don’t score great ratings. (You’ve heard it enough with my Veronica Mars rants.) But, I will say that I’m still in shock that a show featuring the brilliant the writing of Aaron Sorkin and the talented cast of Matthew Perry, Bradley Whitford, Amanda Peet, D.L. Hughley, and Steven Weber bombed.

Get your Studio 60 fix while you can, starting tonight.

Bones’ David Boreanaz hits Broadway

Bones star David Boreanaz is taking a break from the tough FBI character he plays on TV to try his hand at Broadway.

June 6-10, Boreanaz is starring in Spalding Gray: Stories Left to Tell at the Minetta Lane Theater in New York. He was orignally scheduled May 22-27.

The play is about “Spalding Gray's legendary stories and monologues, interwoven with previously unpublished letters and entries from his personal journals,” according to the Broadway Web site.

Boreanaz will join the core cast of four performers to perform the monologues.

I know what you’re thinking: Can the former vampire from Angel and the tough guy from Bones actually pull this off?

I say, absolutely. Boreanaz has a knack for comedy, and anyone who ever watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer knows that he excels at melodrama, too.

For tickets and more information, visit this Broadway Web site.

If any of you go, please drop me a note and let me know if the former vampire with a soul brought down the house!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Jericho fans speak out on show’s cancellation

Photo: Jericho, CBS

Jericho fans, I’ll give you this: You’re a committed, passionate bunch when it comes to trying to save your show.

I had no idea that the CBS show Jericho had so many fans, and I’m not sure CBS did either.

After the show was cancelled last week, my inbox has been flooded with e-mails from passionate fans begging the network to give it another chance. The fans even set a Tube Talk record for the number of comments left on a single blog post and the number of visitors to this site in a single day. I can only imagine the onslaught of mail CBS has been receiving.

In a shocking move that shows perhaps that networks do take fan reaction into consideration, the network executives are meeting this week to discuss how CBS can let fans know how the Jericho story would have ended, according to the L.A. Times.

That’s a decent thing to do, and CBS gets points from me for doing this. But, honestly, it’s a win for the network and for the fans to give closure, because how many more times will fans commit to a serialized drama, when networks drop them so quickly, mid-story? If networks want great ratings, then they should give viewers some assurances that the shows they fall in love with won’t stop mid-storyline. (I’m still ticked that we’ll never know what happened on Invasion.)

On the official CBS Jericho Web page, Nina Tassler, president of CBS Entertainment, told fans that the network hopes to somehow provide closure for the series. Tassler wrote this message for fans:

"We have read your emails over the past few days and have been touched by the depth and passion with which you have expressed your disappointment. Please know that canceling a television series is a very difficult decision. Hundreds of people at the Network, the production company and the incredibly-talented creative team worked very hard to build and serve the community for this show — both on-air and online. It is a show we loved too. Thank you for supporting Jericho with such passion. We truly appreciate the commitment you made to the series and we are humbled by your disappointment. In the coming weeks, we hope to develop a way to provide closure to the compelling drama that was the Jericho story."

Actors from the show have also posted messages on the CBS board about the cancellation.

Although I never got on the Jericho bandwagon, I certainly believe in helping out fans when their favorite shows get kicked to the curb. I’ve been there myself with Veronica Mars, Invasion, etc. I don’t think the Jericho fans will be investing in a sky-writing campaign (R.I.P. Veronica) or a ferris wheel gimmick to save the show (R.I.P. Everwood,) but they’ve set up several Web sites and petitions and have embarked on a nuts campaign that is taking the nation by storm. Check out the links below.









Apolo Anton Ohno takes home the gold on Dancing With the Stars

Apolo and his partner Julianne won this season’s Dancing With the Stars competition. Yay!

It came down to Apolo and Joey Fatone as the two finalists. Laila Ali was the first to go from the final routine, based on fan votes. And in the final minutes, Apolo and Julianne took the title, as Joey and Kym earned the runner-up spot.

As I wrote previously, I was hoping/predicting that Apolo would win. Although, I think Joey and Kym’s freestyle performance will go down in television history as one of the most memorable dances ever performed on the show, much like Drew and Cheryl’s Ride a Horse, Save a Cowboy routine.

The Dancing With the Stars finale gave fans a chance to see all the contestants one final time and hear their final thoughts on the show. I didn’t realize I’d missed Billy Ray Cyrus so much! On a funny note, John Ratzenberger joked that he wanted host Tom Bergeron’s job.

The over-stuffed finale dragged on for what seemed like hours. Honestly, how do people watch this show without a fast forward button?

It was nice to see the past champions on the front row. Kelly Monaco, Drew Lachey, and Emmitt Smith all chimed in with their thoughts on the show and how it had changed their lives.

I did observe one interesting thing, while watching the show. Is it just me or do Julianne and Kym look like twins? I swear, those beautiful blondes look identical, until they speak.

After watching all the clips from the past four seasons, I’d like to see a Dancing With the Stars All-Star Dance Off. (ABC, I’m taking credit for coining this idea right now.)

How cool would it be to see all the champions face off against one another, along with some of the best dancers in previous seasons? (i.e. Mario Lopez, Joey Lawrence, Stacy Keibler and Joey Fatone.) Now that’s one competition that would be must-see-TV.

For now, the show is over and my Mondays and Tuesdays are free again. Hmmm…do you think Maks gives private lessons?

American Idol: Let the finale begin….

by guest bloggers Becky and Bethany

Last night began the season finale of American Idol. The night started off on a good note, with Blake doing a stand up job of Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name.” Once again, he delivered an entertaining performance.

Jordin countered with Christina Aguilara’s “Fighter,” which was surprisingly a good choice vocally for her, though she wasn’t as entertaining as Blake. Were her feet cemented to floor again?

Round two began with Blake offering up another Maroon 5 tune, singing “She Will be Loved,” which was the perfect choice for him to show his “softer” side.

Jordin belted out Martina McBride’s “Broken Wing,” and though she proved that she does have the vocal range that we all dream of having, we totally disagreed with Randy Jackson’s comment that it was better than the original. Um, no, she is no Martina and to even compare the two is blasphemous.

Round three and thankfully the final round of the evening was the dreaded original song that the new Idol will have to record for their first single. This year it is called “This Is My Now.” And, unfortunately, this was a round that was all in favor of Jordin. This type of song definitely isn’t in Blake’s genre or comfort zone, and it showed.

Jordin sang well. However, we kind of think the tears were a bit scripted.

A quick side note for the evening about wardrobe choices: Randy was that the outfit you wore when you tried out for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band?

We’re on the fence with who we think will become the next American Idol. It could go either way. If it is based strictly on singing, Jordin should take the prize, even though Blake is clearly the better entertainer of the two. Of course, we know from previous shows that the best singer doesn’t always come out on top.

Chris Daughtry from last season and his band Daughtry ended the night singing their hit song “Home.” And while Chris may have had a bit too much eye liner, he still rocked. Yea, man!
Tomorrow, folks, you will know who the next American Idol is….

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Why Apolo should win Dancing With the Stars

After last night’s Dancing With the Stars, one thing is clear: Choosing a winner is going to be difficult. All three finalists are excellent dancers.

This year has been an anomaly for me because I haven’t had a clear favorite. The TV gal in me was rooting for Ian, but he clearly wasn’t the most talented dancer. That left me torn between my female loyalty for Laila, my love of Joey the entertainer, and Apolo’s fun, inspired choreography. Talk about a conundrum.

But, as we go into the final, I’m coming down on the side of Apolo and his partner Julianne. Here’s why. Apolo is an athlete, not a dancer, and he’s grown the most since the show began. In contrast, Joey was a boy bander with plenty of dance experience, as he showed off in the freestyle round, so he came into the competition with a leg up, so to speak.

Despite competing against Joey and the other professional men, Apolo often looks like a professional dancer with his crisp movements, pointed feet, and posture. In addition, his partner Julianne has created some of the most unique choreography ever performed on Dancing With the Stars, despite that Len often dislikes the risks the couple takes.

I think Apolo should take home the prize, even though he’s not quite as good as Joey. It could happen, as we all know the best dancer doesn’t always win. (Hello Mario Lopez!) Last year, Emmitt Smith took the prize, due to his popularity and fun routines, instead of the naturally talented Lopez.

For all of those who think Laila deserves to win, I don’t disagree. But Apolo is my pick. Sorry.

Laila has had a tougher time, simply because she’s a woman. But, she could be the dark horse here because she’s the sentimental favorite, after her dad Muhammed Ali sat in the audience and made all of us weepy. But, her partner Maks’ cantankerous attitude may deter people from voting for them.

Good luck tonight to all the contestants. I think they’re all winners, regardless of how this thing plays out.

Check back tomorrow for my final thoughts on Dancing With the Stars.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Bo Duke’s General Lee back on the auction block

John Schneider recently sold his General Lee car for an incredible $10 million on eBay, but the sale fell through because the bidder’s account was hacked and he wasn’t making the bids, according to the Associated Press.

Now, Schneider has the car back up for auction, but only to pre-screened bidders.

Those wanting to bid must prove upfront that they can pay for the car, Schneider said. Once pre-qualified, the bidders’ bank will actually be listed as the bidder, Schneider said.

The car is a 1969 Dodge charger with 10,819 miles and has the signatures of The Dukes of Hazzard cast. It wasn’t featured on the original TV show, but it was used in one of the Dukes reunion movies, Schneider said.

To check out the General Lee auction, click here to hear Schneider discuss the car.

Schneider has had his General up to 175 mph, he said in the clip. Um, I hope no one tells Rosco P. Coltrane about that excessive speeding.

For those interested, bids start at $100,000.

The auction ends May 29.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Shocking season finales

Smallville, The Office, Grey’s Anatomy, oh my!

This week has been a TV lovers’ dream. I’m still on an adrenaline high, after making my way through my DVR lineup.

Several shows manned up for the season finales and delivered unforgettable episodes with jaw-dropping shockers. What’s a TV gal to do? Share my giddiness with you, of course.

It usually takes about six Red Bulls to make my heart race the way it was pounding during this action-packed hour. So far, Smallville gets the prize for the best season finale. Mrs. Kent left for Washington, sadly leaving Clark on his own. Perhaps, now, the Man of Steel will finally get some action at the farm. (I kid.)

Meanwhile, Lana was the one to die, supposedly, thanks to a car bomb. Although, I’m not buying the Lana death card, until I’ve seen a body. I’ve been tricked too many times before. That twit is like the Phoenix. No matter how many times they kill her, she just keeps coming back.

Lois was dead, but Chloe revived her with her meteor-laced tears, and then passed out or died herself. I’m hoping for the former. Lionel was trapped under debris and looked like he may be next for the dirt nap, as the dam broke, literally. Lex was arrested for the murder of his wife, and Clark fought himself, sort of, as he faced off against Clark Kent Zoner freak.

That was how you do a season finale. From the special effects to the plot development, Smallville went out with a bang. I can’t wait for next season.

The Office
That sound you heard across the world Thursday night was Pam and Jim fans breathing a sigh of relief. Halpert stepped up and asked Pam out. And finally, Pam started behaving the way any normal woman would when a hot, sweet, panty-dropper-of-a-guy like Jim shows her some attention: She said yes.

Cue the choir: Hal-le-lu-jah!

I’m not sure what happened to Karen. I guess Jim ended it and left her in New York. Sniff…sniff…I’ll miss her and her influence on Jim. (Goodbye “homeless” guy, hello Mr. Professional. His-Karen-inspired haircut was s-s-s-sexy. ) And Jim rocked that t-shirt at Spamalot.

Meanwhile, Jan had a boob “enhancement” and will soon be wearing stretch pants and living with Michael. Dwight went crazy with power, with Michael out of the office, Creed told us about his blog (now available at NBC.com) and Kevin made a list to compare the hotness of Pam and Karen.

The biggest shocker of the night was when Ryan The Temp scored the job at corporate, besting Michael, Karen and Jim. Then, he hilariously, dumped Kelly. Priceless.

I don’t know about you, but it’s killing me that we have to wait the entire summer to see how Jim and Pam’s date went and if Ryan is going to make Michael fetch coffee now.

Grey’s Anatomy
Seriously? Burke called off the wedding?

I would have laid odds that that Cristina would go all runaway bride on him. So, I was shocked that he ended it. Frankly, I can’t understand why he’d want to marry that cantankerous commitment-phobe in the first place, but there is no understanding the minds of these twisted doctors.

Speaking of which, can someone explain crazy Meredith Grey to me? She has McDreamy. All of him. Yet, she keeps shutting him down. Run, Derek, run. I can’t believe you left your sexy, confident wife for this wishy-washy-whiney chick.

The shocker of Grey’s wasn’t that Burke left. It was that George failed his exam, and Bailey didn’t get the chief resident job. The two of them on that bench was heartbreaking. Bailey was horrified that she’d “failed” George. It appears George isn’t going to be a doctor because he doesn’t want to repeat his internship. I can’t blame him. His first two years have been Hell.

In another stunner, the cute gal McDreamy was flirting with at the bar is in fact Meredith’s sister. I say, “Yay!” Let’s give Meredith something to really be upset about.

I’m taking bets as to how long it will be before Derek and the new Dr. Grey are playing doctor.

Fantasy Island movie to feature Eddie Murphy

In the continuing trend of taking hit TV shows and turning them into films, Fantasy Island, the movie, is headed to the big screen.

Eddie Murphy has signed on to star as the lead, according to E!Online. Murphy will play multiple roles in the film, which is being written by Norbit writers Jay Scherick and David Rom, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

IMDB has the movie release date listed as 2010.

Normally, my blood pressure spikes when I hear of our beloved TV shows being remade into films. But, this one sounds like it could actually work, if done right.

Fantasy Island was always a bit creepy, yet mesmerizing. If it’s done in that way, then the film could be a winner. Murphy always entertains. However, if this movie goes the route of silliness aka The Dukes of Hazzard movie, then count me out.

Fantasy Island was part of the Aaron Spelling TV dynasty and ran from 1978-1984.

No word yet if Murphy will be uttering the famous Fantasy Island phrase “De plane, de plane.”

The Office’s Jenna Fischer injured and Grey’s Anatomy star engaged

Star of The Office injures back
Jenna Fischer, who plays Pam on the NBC show The Office, fell down a marble staircase in New York and fractured her lower back in four places this week, according to E!Online. She was hospitalized and later released. Fischer did not injure her spinal cord.
She’s expected to recover in four to six weeks. She’ll be back at work in time to shoot the fourth season of the show this summer. I’m just curious as to where Karen was during this incident. I’m kidding, of course. Get well soon, Jenna!

Grey’s Anatomy's Kate Walsh engaged
First, Kate Walsh got her own spinoff and now she’s got a new prince charming. Walsh, who plays Addison Montgomery on Grey’s Anatomy, recently announced her engagement. Walsh is betrothed to Alex Young, a studio executive, who is said to be both McDreamy and McSteamy.

CW unveils fall schedule: Smallville, Supernatural, One Tree Hill and Chris return, along with several new reality shows

Veronica Mars won’t be back on the CW, but Smallville, Supernatural, One Tree Hill and Everybody Hates Chris live on.

The CW announced its fall schedule this week, and it includes three new dramas, a new comedy, and two new reality series.

Replacing Veronica on Wednesday is the new drama Gossip Girl, which apparently features Veronica star Kristen Bell as the voice of Gossip Girl.

One Tree Hill is returning midseason, but with big changes. When the show returns, the characters will have fast-forwarded four years and graduated from college. Online diaries will premiere in the fall, so fans can learn what happened during the college years for the characters.
Midseason reality series include a second season of the popular Pussycat Dolls Present, along with two new reality concepts. On Farmer Wants A Wife, a real-life farmer will search for a wife from the big city, and on Crowned: The Mother Of All Pageants, mother/daughter teams must work together to win a beauty pageant.

Here is the CW schedule. New shows are in bold, followed at the end with a synopsis of each.


8:30-9:00 PM ALIENS IN AMERICA (New Series)
9:30-10:00 PM THE GAME

9:00-10:00 PM REAPER (New Series)

9:00-10:00 PM GOSSIP GIRL (New Series)



7:00-7:30 PM CW NOW (New Series)
7:30-8:00 PM ONLINE NATION (New Series)
8:00-9:00 PM LIFE IS WILD (New Series)
9:00-10:00 PM AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL (Encore Presentation)

"ALIENS IN AMERICA" (New Comedy) Justin Tolchuk (Dan Byrd, "The Hills Have Eyes") is a sensitive, lanky 16-year-old just trying to make it through the social nightmare of high school in Medora, Wisconsin, with the help of his well-meaning mom Franny (Amy Pietz, "Caroline in the City"), aspiring-entrepreneur dad Gary (Patrick Breen, "Kevin Hill"), and his popular sister Claire (Lindsey Shaw, "Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide"), who is sweetly unaware of how good-looking she is. When Franny signs up for the school's international exchange student program, she pictures an athletic, brilliant Nordic teen who will bestow instant coolness on her outsider son. However, when the Tolchuk's exchange student arrives, he turns out to be Raja Musharaff (Adhir Kalyan, "Fair City"), a 16-year-old Pakistani Muslim. Despite the cultural chasm between them, Justin and Raja quickly develop an unlikely friendship that just might allow them to navigate the minefield that is contemporary high school. It's going to be a very interesting year for Raja, Justin, his family and the entire population of Medora. ALIENS IN AMERICA is from CBS Paramount Network Television Inc. and Warner Bros. Television with executive producers Tim Doyle ("Jake in Progress"), Moses Port ("Just Shoot Me," "Mad About You") and David Guarascio ("Just Shoot Me," "Mad About You"). Luke Greenfield ("The Girl Next Door") directed the pilot.

"REAPER" (New Drama) For the first 20 years of his life, Sam (Bret Harrison, "The Loop," "Grounded for Life") wondered why his parents went so easy on him. Whether it was school, sports or career choices, Sam's mom (Allison Hossack, "Falcon Beach") and dad (Andrew Airlie, "The L Word") always let him get by with the least possible effort, while at the same time pressuring his younger brother Keith (Kyle Switzer, "15/Love") to excel. As a result, Sam skipped college, took a dead-end job and now wastes endless hours playing video games and wishing he had the guts to ask out his pretty co-worker, Andi (Nikki Reed, "Thirteen," "The O.C."). Everything in his slacker world changes the day Sam turns 21 and discovers the ungodly reason his parents let him slide: they sold his soul to the devil before he was born. Satan himself (Ray Wise, "24," "The Closer") drops by to personally explain that Sam must now serve as his bounty hunter, tracking down evil souls that have escaped and returning them to Hell. At first, Sam refuses to accept his bizarre fate, but after getting just a glimpse of Satan's temper, Sam realizes that breaking a deal with the devil has consequences that are very, very bad. Armed with a constantly changing series of vessels ?? starting with a Dirt Devil mini-vacuum ?? to collect the escapees, Sam immediately finds that the work is dangerous and frightening, even with the goofball help of his friends and fellow slackers, Bert "Sock" Wysocki (Tyler Labine, "Boston Legal," "Invasion") and Ben (Rick Gonzalez, "Coach Carter"), along with Sock's former-girlfriend-turned-paralegal, Josie (Valarie Rae Miller, "Dark Angel"). Still, as weird and scary as his life has become, Sam is surprised to find that he somehow feels good about his newfound "mission" ?? removing evil-doers from the world and sending them back where they belong. With his friends and his trusty vessel-of-the-week at his side, Sam is ready to face his destiny as the Reaper. REAPER is from ABC Studios with executive producers Michelle Fazekas ("Ed," "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"), Tara Butters ("Ed," "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"), Mark Gordon ("Grey's Anatomy," "Criminal Minds"), Deb Spera ("Criminal Minds"), Tom Spezialy ("Desperate Housewives") and Kevin Smith ("Clerks," "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back"). Kevin Smith also directed the pilot.

"GOSSIP GIRL" (New Drama) The privileged prep school teens on Manhattan's Upper East Side first learn that Serena Van Der Woodsen (Blake Lively, "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants") is back in town the way they learn all the important news in their lives ?? from the blog of the all-knowing albeit ultra-secretive Gossip Girl. No one knows Gossip Girl's identity, but everyone in this exclusive and complicated vicious circle relies on her text messages for the latest scoop. Serena's closest friend, Blair (Leighton Meester, "Surface"), is just as surprised as everyone else to find that Serena has suddenly ended her self-imposed exile to boarding school and returned to Manhattan. The tension between Blair and Serena isn't lost on Gossip Girl, who is determined to uncover and fuel any and all scandals. Does it involve Serena's brother Eric (Connor Paolo, "One Life to Live"), Blair's boyfriend Nate (Chace Crawford, "The Covenant") or Nate's buddy Chuck (Ed Westwick, "Children of Men")? Maybe it has something to do with Dan (Penn Badgley, "John Tucker Must Die") and his sister Jenny (Taylor Momsen, "Spy Kids 2," "How The Grinch Stole Christmas"), whose middle-class background keeps them on the fringes of this exclusive clique. Even the parents ?? from Serena's mother Lily (Kelly Rutherford, "Melrose Place"), a former ballerina/rock-groupie, to Nate's high-powered father Howie "The Captain" Archibald (Sam Robards, "The West Wing"), to Dan and Jenny's dad Rufus (Matthew Settle, "Brothers and Sisters"), a former rocker turned art gallery owner ?? are aware that their sons and daughters are constantly checking their Sidekicks to read Gossip Girl's latest sightings and overheard tidbits. Overriding all the shifting friendships, jealousies and turmoil in this wealthy and complex world, the central mystery remains -- Who Is Gossip Girl? Based on the popular series of young-adult novels by Cecily von Ziegesar, GOSSIP GIRL is from Alloy Entertainment in association with Warner Bros. Television and CBS Paramount Television Inc. with executive producers Josh Schwartz ("The O.C.") & Stephanie Savage ("The O.C."), Bob Levy and Leslie Morgenstein ("Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants"). Mark Piznarski ("Veronica Mars," "Friday Night Lights") directed the pilot.

"CW NOW" (New Reality Series) CW NOW blends news and entertainment to create the ultimate source for everything that's hip, hot and happening right now in the world of young adults. With a team of experts focusing on the topics and trends that appeal specifically to The CW generation, this new series will feature informative and entertaining reports on the hottest fashions, the coolest music, the must-see movies and the must-have gadgets and technology. CW NOW will be everywhere young adults are: from cyberspace profiling the best of the web, to hitting the streets and getting inside the most popular hotspots. With young adults' insatiable appetite for all things celebrity, each episode will report on the latest news and gossip from inside the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. Moving at a rapid-fire pace and utilizing eye-catching graphics and visuals, CW NOW fits perfectly with the on-demand lifestyle of adults 18-34. CW NOW is a co-production of Telepictures Productions and Warner Horizon Television with executive producers Lisa Gregorisch ("Extra") and Mike Miller ("Extra").

"ONLINE NATION" (New Reality Series) Young adults have taken their quest for fame into their own hands as the amount of user-generated entertainment continues to explode across the internet. Now The CW is giving them a nationally televised stage to show off what they've got. ONLINE NATION scours the nearly infinite number of websites, blogs and user-generated materials on the internet to find the best, the hottest, the unique and sometimes, the flat-out bizarre, and presents it on The CW audience's other favorite screen: the TV screen. This fun, irreverent weekly series features everything and anything that has captured the attention of the online world, from the most popular sites to the addictive viral videos being shared by millions, to insights from the digital tastemakers. Born of the internet and tailored specifically for this generation, this series also features an innovative interactive element as viewers will be able to see what others are saying and communicate with them live on the air. The CW is turning mouse potatoes into couch potatoes by putting all the greatest internet clips in one ready-to-use package. ONLINE NATION is from Room 403 Productions with executive producers David Hurwitz ("Fear Factor") and Paul Cockerill ("Trigger Happy TV," "Jimmy Kimmel Live").

"LIFE IS WILD" (New Drama) Katie Clarke (Leah Pipes, "Clubhouse") may never forgive her veterinarian father, Danny (Brett Cullen, "Ghost Rider," "Friday Night Lights"), for dragging their entire blended family out of New York City to spend a year living in a broken-down lodge called The Blue Antelope in a game reserve deep inside South Africa. Everyone in the family, including Katie's 11-year-old brother Chase (K'sun Ray, "Smith"), Danny's second wife Jo (Judith Hoag, "Armageddon"), her rebellious teenage son Jesse (Andrew St. John, "General Hospital") and 7-year-old daughter, Mia (Mary Matilyn Mouser, "Eloise"), is sure Danny has lost his mind. But Danny's reasons go beyond his desire to keep his troubled family together while making a difference in the lives of the people and animals of South Africa: his deceased first wife Claire grew up at The Blue Antelope and it's still home to her reclusive father Art (David Butler). After just a few days in South Africa, the family has already encountered an injured lioness, a lost cub, and a gentle giraffe. They've also met a few locals, including a handsome young Brit, Oliver Banks (newcomer Calvin Goldspink) and his twin sister Emily (newcomer Tiffany Mulheron), whose father Colin Banks (Jeremy Sheffield), runs a safari business for wealthy tourists, and Tumelo (newcomer Atandwa Kani), a teen who dreams of becoming a veterinarian. While they are definitely outsiders, Katie and the rest of the family are nevertheless beginning to love the breathtaking vistas of the bush country and the vibrant culture enveloping them. A year in this strange but beautiful place might not be so bad after all. LIFE IS WILD is a production of CBS Paramount Network Television Inc., Warner Bros. Television and Company Pictures, an All 3 Media Company, with executive producers Michael Rauch ("Love Monkey," "Beautiful People"), Charlie Pattinson ("Wild at Heart," "Shameless") and George Faber ("Wild at Heart," "Skins"). Bryan Gordon ("The Office," "Curb Your Enthusiasm") directed the pilot.

"CROWNED: THE MOTHER OF ALL PAGEANTS" (New Reality Series) Judges Carson Kressley ("Queer Eye for the Straight Guy"), former Miss U.S.A. Shanna Moakler ("Dancing with the Stars," "Meet the Barkers"), and television personality Cynthia Garrett referee an eight-episode competition that dares to pit mother/daughter teams against each other in a no-holds-barred beauty pageant. CROWNED: THE MOTHER OF ALL PAGEANTS explores one of the most emotional and volatile relationships as mothers and daughters from all walks of life must compete together ?? and against other mother/daughter teams ?? in order to win. Faced with challenges that focus on preparing them for the pageant show finale, the women will have to brand a 'style' for their mother/daughter team via clothing and swimwear, create ways of expressing a point of view about issues in the world, and practice for the big pageant dance number. Not only do good looks, talent and a penchant for world peace have to run in the family, each team must also have patience, teamwork and a healthy sense of humor. In the end, one mother/daughter team will be "crowned" the winner and will receive a valuable prize package, including a $100,000 cash award, and, of course, a fabulous pair of tiaras. CROWNED: THE MOTHER OF ALL PAGEANTS is a production of Fox Television Studios, with creator/executive producer Laurie Girion ("Cheerleader Nation," "Last Comic Standing 2").

"FARMER WANTS A WIFE" (New Reality Series) The CW cultivates romance a l "Green Acres" with FARMER WANTS A WIFE, a comedic reality series designed to help one farm boy find the city girl of his dreams. Based on the hit British format, this first U.S. version will find a charming, hard-working farmer who is happy with his life but lacking romance and wondering if he might find happiness with a woman from the city. The show's producers will search the nation's cities to select a group of 10 women who have had it with bad dates in the big city and are open to making a big change. The group will consist of women looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and wondering if a country man with country values might offer a more attractive lifestyle. FARMER WANTS A WIFE will bring these city women to the country farmer. The ladies will have to impress him with their heart and their newfound "love" of the country life, or they'll be sent back to the city. Are these city girls ready for the realities of life and work on a farm ?? driving a tractor, taking care of very large farm animals and attending bingo night? Through a series of challenges, group activities, shocking eliminations and cozy dates, 10 fast-lane women will see how they match up with a back-roads guy on the path to true love. FARMER WANTS A WIFE is from Fremantle Media North American (FMNA) and Super Delicious LLC with executive producers Cecile Frot-Coutaz, Adam Cohen, Cara Tapper, and Joanna xVernetti.

FOX announces primetime schedule for 2007-2008: Bones, Prison Break and Simpsons return

FOX revealed its fall schedule this week, and it includes four new dramas, three new comedies, and three unscripted series.

Shows returning to FOX include: 24, American Dad, American Idol, America's Most Wanted: America Fights Back, Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?, Bones, Cops, Family Guy, House, King Of The Hill, Madtv, Prison Break, The Simpsons, Talkshow With Spike Feresten, and Til Death.

Here is the fall schedule. As always, new shows are in bold. A brief description of each new show is included at the end of the post. Enjoy!



9:00-10:00 PM K-VILLE
9:00-10:00 PM HOUSE

8:00-8:30 PM BACK TO YOU
8:30-9:00 PM 'TIL DEATH
9:00-10:00 PM BONES


9:00-10:00 PM NASHVILLE (working title)

8:00-8:30 PM COPS
8:30-9:00 PM COPS

7:00-8:00 PM THE OT (NFL post-game)
9:00-9:30 PM FAMILY GUY
9:30-10:00 PM AMERICAN DAD


8:00-9:00 PM K-VILLE (January)/PRISON BREAK (Spring)
9:00-10:00 PM 24

9:00-10:00 PM HOUSE

(January)8:00-8:30 PM BACK TO YOU
8:30-9:00 PM 'TIL DEATH

(Spring)8:00-8:30 PM BACK TO YOU
8:30-9:00 PM THE RETURN OF JEZEBEL JAMES (working title)
9:00-9:30 PM AMERICAN IDOL Results Show
9:30-10:00 PM 'TIL DEATH


(Spring)8:00-9:00 PM BONES

8:00-8:30 PM COPS
8:30-9:00 PM COPS

(Spring)7:00-7:30 PM KING OF THE HILL
8:30-9:00 PM FAMILY GUY

New Fall Dramas:
K-VILLE (Mondays, 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT):
From writer and executive producer Jonathan Lisco ("NYPD Blue," "The District") comes a heroic police drama set in New Orleans. Two years after Katrina, the city is still in chaos. Many cops have quit, and the jails, police stations and crime labs still haven't been properly rebuilt. But the cops who remain have courage to burn and a passion to reclaim and rebuild their city. MARLIN BOULET (Anthony Anderson, "The Departed," "The Shield") is a brash, funny, in-your-face veteran of the NOPD's Felony Action Squad, the specialized unit that targets the most-wanted criminals. Even when his partner deserted him during the storm, Boulet held his post, spending days in the water saving lives and keeping order. Now he's unapologetic about bending the rules when it comes to collaring bad guys. Boulet's new partner, TREVOR COBB (Cole Hauser, "The Break-Up," "ER"), was a soldier in Afghanistan before joining the NOPD. He's tough and committed, but if he's less than comfortable with Boulet's methods, it's because he's harboring a dark secret. Cobb has come to New Orleans seeking redemption, but redemption can be dangerous. Will Boulet be able to trust him? Will Cobb's past endanger them both? Rounding out the crew of cops are hotheaded BILLY "K-9" FAUST (Maximiliano Hernndez, "Law & Order," "Shark"), who often speaks before thinking; wisecracking JEFF "GLUE BOY" GOODEN (Blake Shields, "Sleeper Cell," "Veronica Mars"), the team's comic relief; tough-as-nails GINGER "LOVE TAP" LeBEAU (Tawny Cypress, "Heroes"), the only female on the squad, who gives as good as she gets; and CAPTAIN JAMES EMBRY (John Carroll Lynch, "Zodiac," "The Drew Carey Show"), who wrangles the eclectic personalities of his squad with equal parts humor and tenacity.

NEW AMSTERDAM (Wednesdays, 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT): Directed and executive-produced by visionary Lasse Hallstrm ("My Life As a Dog," "The Cider House Rules," "Chocolat," "The Hoax") and written by Allan Loeb ("Things We Lost in the Fire," "21") and Christian Taylor ("Showboy," "Six Feet Under"), NEW AMSTERDAM is the story of a New York homicide detective unlike any other. He is brilliant, mysterious, reckless, magnetic, unknowable. And he has a profound secret he is immortal. In 1642, JOHN AMSTERDAM (Nikolaj Coster Waldau, "Kingdom of Heaven"), then a Dutch solider in the colony of New Amsterdam later to become New York City stepped in front of a sword to save the life of a Native Indian girl during a massacre of her indigenous tribe. The girl in turn rescued Amsterdam, weaving an ancient spell that conferred immortality upon him. Amsterdam will not age, she told him, until he finds his one true love. Only then will he become whole and ready for mortality. But Amsterdam has found this to be a mixed blessing. Over the course of three centuries, he's experienced endless adventure and honed his many talents. But everyone Amsterdam meets must leave him in time; lovers and children die while he remains young. His sole confidant and current lifelong friend is the sage jazz club owner OMAR (Stephen Henderson, "Law & Order: SVU"), the keeper of Amsterdam's secret, as well as a few of his own. As the exhilaration of eternal life has given way to emotional isolation and bitter loneliness, Amsterdam discovers the blessing has become a curse. Bringing to bear the unorthodox techniques and unique knowledge gained from his vast life experience, Amsterdam today is one of the NYPD's best homicide detectives, sparring with his vibrant, strong-willed partner EVA MARQUEZ (Zuleikha Robinson, "Rome," "The Lone Gunmen") as they solve difficult murder cases. But when Amsterdam suffers and then recovers from what appears to be a massive heart attack while chasing a suspect, and DR. SARA DILLANE (Alexie Gilmore, "Find Love") pronounces him dead in the ER, he realizes that the Indian girl's prophesy may have come true he felt the pain in his heart that she had foretold so long ago. His soul mate must have been nearby. As he works to find a killer on the streets of New York, Amsterdam understands that his own life and possibly his death have changed forever.

New Fall Comedy

BACK TO YOU (Tuesdays, 8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT): In the 90s, the local TV news scene in Pittsburgh was dominated by one team: CHUCK DARLING (Kelsey Grammer, "Frasier," "Cheers") and KELLY CARR (Patricia Heaton, "Everybody Loves Raymond"). They had that elusive quality all news teams need: chemistry ... at least on-screen. Off-screen, Chuck was a bit of a self-centered womanizer, Kelly a bit of an uptight know-it-all. So when Chuck got the call to move up to a larger market, no tears were shed. But after an embarrassing on-air tirade ended up on the Internet, Chuck found himself on the downswing career-wise. He even questioned whether his lifestyle of chasing women and living in hotels was as exciting as it used to be. So when he got the call to return to Pittsburgh, to reunite with Kelly and try to take the newscast back to No. 1, it was an offer he couldn't refuse. Back in Pittsburgh, Chuck has a new coworker in RYAN CHURCH (Josh Gad, "Mary and Joe"), the overstressed news director. There are also familiar faces like MARSH McGINLEY (Fred Willard, "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy," "Best in Show"), the affable, endlessly inappropriate sports anchor, and GARY CREZYZEWSKI, pronounced Kre-shoov-ski (Ty Burrell, "In Good Company," "Out of Practice"), the perennially put-upon field reporter who always seems to get left out in the snow. But, mostly, there's Kelly, now a single mom to 10-year-old GRACIE (Laura Marano, "Without a Trace"). There was magic between them once. Can they find it again?

New Fall Unscripted Series
KITCHEN NIGHTMARES (Thursdays, 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT):
Hell hath no fury like an angry chef, and no chef has a sharper temper than Gordon Ramsay when things go wrong in the kitchen. The star of the highly rated culinary boot camp "Hell's Kitchen" returns to FOX with another sizzling unscripted series. This time, Chef Ramsay hits the road in each episode, tackling a restaurant in crisis and exposing the stressful realities of trying to run a successful food business. Inspired by one of the UK's biggest hits, KITCHEN NIGHTMARES is seen in more than 50 territories around the globe, and the series reveals a whole new side to Ramsay. He's still prone to the explosive outbursts and spectacular confrontations familiar to fans of "Hell's Kitchen," but he also shows his sensitive and nurturing side a unique blend of fury, passion, inspirational leadership and tough love that can coax a small spark of talent into a roaring flame. There's no time for polite small talk as Ramsay embarks on his mission to turn things around. If the wine waiter's service isn't up to par, he'll be out the door before he can say "merlot." If the head chef doesn't match up to Ramsay's expectations, Ramsay will hammer him into shape, and if he can't stand the heat, he may quit the kitchen. Ramsay's reputation is on the line, so there's bound to be high blood pressure, raised voices and serious clashes as he attempts to do the impossible: turn a deserted dining room into the most sought-after venue in town in just a week.

THE SEARCH FOR THE NEXT GREAT AMERICAN BAND (working title) (Fridays, 8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT): What "American Idol" did for individuals, THE SEARCH FOR THE NEXT GREAT AMERICAN BAND is going to do for musical groups. The producers of "American Idol" will conduct the ultimate search for an undiscovered band. THE SEARCH FOR THE NEXT GREAT AMERICAN BAND is scouring the country, seeking groups from all musical genres who think they have what it takes to make it big. Judges will narrow down bands from all walks of life musicians of different ages, family acts, garage bands, etc. to 10 semi-finalists, who will perform in front of a live studio audience. Viewers then will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite bands. The final three acts will compete for a major recording contract and the chance to become music superstars.

NASHVILLE (working title) (Fridays, 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT): From the creative minds behind the hit series "Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County" comes NASHVILLE, a high-stakes, high-drama docu-soap set in "the biggest small town in America." The show focuses on the dreamers and dream-makers in the music industry, as well as those trying to make their mark on Nashville's big business and high society. The series features a diverse, vibrant young cast perched on the cusp of achieving their greatest successes in a town that can make you or break you. Talent, power, drive, love and hope are the fuel that makes Nashville burn bright and makes this unique place the true embodiment of the American Dream. Behind every song there's a story waiting to be told, and there are many such stories in NASHVILLE.

New Dramas to launch in January
CANTERBURY'S LAW (Thursdays, 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT): From executive producers Denis Leary and Jim Serpico ("Rescue Me," "The Job") and writer Dave Erickson ("Murder in Greenwich") comes CANTERBURY'S LAW, a courtroom drama about a rebellious female defense attorney who's willing to bend the law in order to protect the wrongfully accused. ELIZABETH CANTERBURY (Julianna Margulies, "ER") is a force of nature. An attorney on the rise, she puts her career on the line to take on risky and unpopular cases, even when they take a toll on her personal life. Elizabeth and her law professor husband MATTHEW CANTERBURY (Linus Roache, "Batman Begins," "The Chronicles of Riddick"), haunted by the disappearance of their young son, have settled in Providence, Rhode Island, in an attempt to distance themselves from the tragedy and put their relationship back together. But those goals become elusive whenever Elizabeth's work provides a stark reminder of the justice absent in their own lives. At the office, Canterbury has surrounded herself with a brilliant but motley crew of attorneys. RUSSELL CROSS (Ben Shenkman, "Pi," "Angels in America") was forced out of the Providence District Attorney's Office when he went toe-to-toe with his morally bankrupt boss, D.A. Zach Williams. His reputation tarnished, Russell turned to Canterbury, the only attorney willing to take him in. Now Russell provides a much-needed voice of reason for Canterbury even when she doesn't want to hear it, his position of influence well-earned by their years of friendship. CHESTER FIELDS (Jocko Sims, "Dreamgirls," "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation") and MOLLY McCONNELL (Trieste Dunn, "United 93") are the associates rounding out Canterbury's legal crew. Chester is a blue-blooded congressman's son who is embarrassed by his privileged upbringing and has turned his back on politics. Molly, in contrast, is headstrong, passionate and quick to take sides even if she finds herself in the opposite corner from Canterbury.

THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES (Sundays, 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT): Executive producers Josh Friedman ("War of the Worlds"), David Nutter ("Supernatural," "Smallville") and C-2 Pictures ("Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines") bring to television an intense new drama based on the celebrated heroine of the "Terminator" movies: Sarah Connor. At the end of "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," Sarah vanquished the liquid metal Terminator sent from the future to kill her teenage son, John. Sarah and John now find themselves alone in a very dangerous, complicated world. Fugitives from the law, they are confronted with the reality that still more enemies from the future, and the present, could attack at any moment. THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES reveals what happens when SARAH (Lena Headey, "The Brothers Grimm," "300") stops running and goes on the offensive against an ever-evolving technological enemy bent on destroying her life, and perhaps the world. Her son, 15-year-old JOHN CONNOR (Thomas Dekker, "Heroes"), knows that he may be the future savior of mankind, but is not yet ready to take on the mantle of leadership that he's told is his destiny. John finds himself inextricably drawn to CAMERON (Summer Glau, "Serenity," "The Unit"), an enigmatic and otherworldly student at his high school, who soon proves to be much more than his confidante she assumes the role of Sarah and John's fearless protector. On their trail are not only threats from the future, but an intelligent and tough FBI agent, JAMES ELLISON (Richard T. Jones, "Judging Amy"), who soon becomes a powerful ally. Directed by David Nutter and produced by Warner Bros. Television and C-2 Pictures, THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES represents an exciting reinvention of the "Terminator" franchise, in which the strong and intrepid Sarah discovers that protecting her son and stopping the rise of the machines is more difficult than she had ever imagined.

New comedy to launch in January
THE RETURN OF JEZEBEL JAMES (working title) (Wednesdays, 8:30-9:00 PM ET/PT): Can two estranged sisters, polar opposites, live together when one agrees to carry the other's baby? SARAH THOMKINS (Parker Posey, "For Your Consideration," "Best in Show") is a bright, optimistic, determined woman who seems to have it all a great job as a children's book editor, an eager-to-please assistant, BUDDY (Michael Arden), who helps keep her life together, and a no-strings-attached personal relationship with successful businessman MARCUS SONTI (Scott Cohen, "Kissing Jessica Stein"). Nevertheless, as her father, RONALD (Ron McLarty, "Law & Order"), is constantly pointing out, something is missing from Sarah's life. Her hard work may garner accolades, but when she goes home at night, she is very much alone. All too aware that she isn't getting any younger, Sarah decides to have a baby on her own and gets the shock of her life when the doctor tells her she can't get pregnant. Having no concept of the term "can't," Sarah wills herself to execute a plan. With nowhere else to turn, Sarah sets up a meeting with her quirky younger sister, COCO (Lauren Ambrose, "Six Feet Under"), and proposes a plan for Coco to carry her baby. They haven't seen each other in a while, and Coco refuses to go along with such a huge favor. But something happens when Sarah mentions that she's turned Coco's imaginary childhood friend, Jezebel James, into a children's book. Even though she doesn't say so out loud, Coco is clearly touched, and, realizing that her current living situation sharing a couch with her friend's sick dog isn't working out, Coco decides that this just might be worth a try.

New comedy slated for a spring

THE RULES FOR STARTING OVER (working title) (Date and Time TBA): From the creatively fruitful minds of the Farrelly Brothers comes a single camera comedy, set in Boston, about a group of newly single friends learning the painful lessons of starting over in their 30s. They'd all love to get remarried, if they could just find their true loves. JACK "GATOR" GATELY (Craig Bierko, "Cinderella Man," "Boston Legal") is a charismatic, optimistic leader who never expected to be single again. But now that he is, he's determined to make the best of it. He's going to sift through all the bruised, damaged, occasionally psychotic fruit until he finds "the one." Joining Gator in bachelorhood redux is his thrice-divorced best friend TOMMY (Johnny Sneed, "The Guardian," "Fever Pitch"). The founder and brewmaster of an upstart microbrewery, Tommy has a voracious appetite for food, beer and women. He falls in love easily and always disastrously, yet truly hopes his fourth starter marriage will be "the one." DR. FREDDY SAHGAL (Shaun Majumder, "24," "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle") has seen some pretty strange stuff during his years as a successful surgeon, but he's never seen any of it through the eyes of a single man. Probably the least equipped of the group to handle this unexpected life change is Dr. Freddy, who can execute a triple bypass in his sleep, but is all thumbs when it comes to the opposite sex. Rounding out the group is KATE (Rashida Jones, "The Office"), a smart, successful attorney who handled all three of the boys' divorces. Having just turned 30, Kate finds herself dumped after a seven-year engagement. She reluctantly joins the guys in negotiating the treacherous waters of dating. Kate owns the brownstone next to Gator's. Over time, this pair may find that "the one" is just a brick wall away.

The new unscripted series scheduled to premiere this summer:
ANCHORWOMAN (Date and Time TBA):
PHIL HURLEY is the owner of a tiny Texas news station, KYTX Channel 19, and he is desperate to turn the tide of his mediocre ratings, or even just compete with a rival channel. Phil has shocked the station and town of Tyler, Texas, by bringing in a gorgeous model and ex-WWE diva with no previous news experience to be his next ANCHORWOMAN all in hopes of reinventing the look of Channel 19 and overhauling its below-average 6 share to a number more like his competitor's dominating 36. Former Miss New York and ber-vixen LAUREN JONES packs up her Versace dresses and heads to the middle of nowhere to start a new career. Can this bombshell cut it as a serious reporter? Will she save KYTX, or make it the laughingstock of the Lone Star State? Lauren wants to show everyone she's no airhead, and this is her big chance to prove she's more than just a pretty face. The entire newsroom thinks the boss has made a giant mistake. Reigning anchor ANNALISA PETRAGLIA is not about to lose her Queen Bee status to some L.A. hottie. News Director DAN DELGADO is fit to be tied as his beloved journalistic standards go out the window. MICHELLE REESE, a hard-nosed reporter bound for CNN, will take no prisoners. Lauren will struggle not only with the news team and an unfamiliar town, but also with the not-so-Hollywood news stories covering bake sales, cowpie-tossing contests and county fairs like they were Watergate. News anchor or dead weight? Only the ratings will tell, so stay tuned for the next ANCHORWOMAN: Lauren Jones.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Veronica Mars officially cancelled


Do you think they heard that over at the CW?

News out of the Upfront presentation in New York is that the CW has officially cancelled Veronica Mars. I’ll be rocking in the fetal position, while you let that news digest.

CW president Dawn Ostroff told reporters that the show isn’t coming back, not even as a midseason replacement.

I know I should have expected it, but this is Veronica, one of the most well-written, plucky, fun characters on the tube. I never thought it would end like this.

I could pontificate at length about the sad state of television, when a show about Pussycat Dolls gets more viewers than an entertaining mystery drama. Or I could rage at the networks for putting a show about the Geico cavemen on its schedule and killing gems like Veronica and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.

But, honestly, I’ve done that, year after year when we lose quality TV shows like Freaks and Geeks and Jack and Bobby. Here’s the cold, hard, truth: The bottom line is ratings. And for some reason, the millions of TV viewers with Nielsen boxes apparently have horrid taste in television.

Here’s my proposal: I think we need to screen the Nielsen viewers, and make sure they’re qualified to make judgments about which shows to watch, as they ultimately force networks to determine which shows live and die.

Hey, you have to take a test to drive a car, why not a TV test to show your tastes, considering you’re inevitably going to control the fate of multi-million dollar shows and force us, the masses, to watch The Bachelor? Networks are taking the words of random viewers, despite the fact that their idea of entertainment could be monster trucks, wrestling and I Want to Marry a Millionaire.

If you’re a Nielsen viewer, I beg of you, this season, watch responsibly! It won’t help Veronica Mars, but it may keep another mindless, distasteful piece of TV balderdash off the air.

As for Veronica Mars, thank you Rob Thomas, cast and crew for giving us perfection. It’s too bad too few recognized it.

The Office: Is Karen headed to corporate?

Michael Scott can relax about who will take over the office when he moves up to corporate. One can only assume that Karen is going to snag the job, after hearing the FOX fall schedule today.

Rashida Jones, who plays Karen, filmed a new comedy series for FOX called The Rules for Starting Over, and it was picked up for the FOX schedule.

While I’m happy for Rashida, I hate to see her leave The Office. I love Karen. She makes Jim smile, and they have great chemistry. I’ve never heard of an actor doing two shows at once, but I wouldn’t mind Jones blazing that new territory. Pulling double-duty could be tough, but Karen isn’t in a lot of scenes, so it could be possible, right?

OK, enough with the wishful thinking. I guess she’ll move on. The question is how?

Karen had better not break Jim’s heart, or walking across hot coals will be the least of the tortures I have planned for her.

Jones’ new show also stars Craig Bierko, formerly of Boston Legal.

American Idol: Elimination night….shock, silence, and a big ol’ “What the *@!?”

by guest bloggers Becky and Bethany

Last night’s elimination on American Idol proved to be one of the most shocking nights on television. Well, maybe not the most shocking night, but close.

After 55 minutes of a drawn-out show, we were told that Melinda Doolittle, the only contestant who consistently performed GREAT and who WE were sure was going to be in the final two, was booted. Frankly, we are a bit stunned, but probably shouldn’t have been.

We knew that because Melinda has a more mature voice and is more mature in general that she wouldn’t win Idol. We’ve said that for weeks. But what a shame. She has at least been consistent, which is something that Jordin has not been for the last three shows.

Blake appeals to young girls and everyone who is off the mainstream a bit, and we can understand why he is in the final two, plus he’s cute. But after the last few performances from Jordin, we are beginning to wonder if all of Sanjaya’s fans and all the people who are NFL fans are voting for her. Plus, she just doesn’t seem to have that perky modest personality that she had before. She seems a bit….spoiled.

All we know is that American Idol is a reflection of our society that we live in. It is a popularity contest. And while we have always known this, it’s a bitter pill to swallow the morning after great talent has been let go.

Of course, this may be a positive for Melinda. Look at Chris Daughtry and where he is right now. He has an awesome CD out. And look at Elliot Yamin, last year’s second runner up. He’s got a new set of pearly white veneers and lustrous curly locks and as an added bonus, he has a CD out in stores also.

A word of advice though for Melinda, if you do decide to get new teeth, just look at Elliot and take a deep breath. Don’t go overboard.

Needless to say, we’re just kind of deflated right now and very discontent with the whole show. So, we’ll end with a Bonne Adieu and be back next week with all the details of the finale.

Copyright 2007 Tube Talk