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Friday, August 31, 2007

First look: Tom Selleck on Las Vegas

NBC just released the new cast photos for this season of Las Vegas, and they include the new casino boss, Tom Selleck. He’s joining the show this season, to help fill the void left by the departing James Caan.

I’m a little giddy at the thought of having Selleck back on weekly television. (Yes, I know it’s not 1985, but some childood crushes never go away.)

Plus, he’s starring on my guilty pleasure, Las Vegas, alongside two of my other favorites, Josh Duhamel and Vanessa Marcil. Most of you know about my embarrassing crush on Duhamel, but you probably don’t know that I’ve had a girl crush on Marcil since her days on General Hospital. I can’t help it. She’s “the most beautiful girl in the world.” Just ask Prince.

If any of you have questions for Selleck, please e-mail me or leave them in the comments below. I’m participating in an interview conference call with him in a couple weeks.

Don’t forget to catch the two-hour season premiere of Las Vegas on Friday, September 28 at 9 p.m. ET.

Enjoy the eye candy below!

Joshua Jackson to play Fletch?

The things one can find when digging around IMDB. While looking up a quick fact about Joshua Jackson, I stumbled upon news that my beloved Pacey, of Dawson’s Creek, is rumored to be starring in the upcoming film Fletch Won, the prequel to the successful Chevy Chase franchise.

Jackson's name is listed under Fletch Won’s film credits as “rumored.”

I haven’t seen this news reported anywhere else, so I’m a little skeptical. That said, I know many of you share my Josh Jackson obsession and any rumor about our guy snagging a major film role is worth reporting.

I hope this is true. I’ve been missing Jackson. He needs to be back on television, pronto. (May I suggest as an intern on Grey’s Anatomy or as the new temp on The Office?) Yes, I know he’s pursuing a film career, and he received a lot of buzz in the film Bobby, but I miss seeing him on a weekly basis. Call me selfish. (Or as Dawson would say, a self-centered, self-indulged megalomaniac.)

Previously, Zach Braff was the name being bandied around town for the Fletch role. But, I wouldn’t mind Jackson in the part. In fact, I think he’d be perfect.

Tube News

Smallville fans, if you haven’t completed your DVD set of past seasons, now is your chance. Amazon is offering past seasons for an incredible price, $23.99. I knew I should have waited for the DVD discount, but what can I say? I don’t always think clearly when Clark Kent is involved.

Desperate Housewives is about to get more interesting. The gardener is returning. Yes, cutie-patootie Jesse Metcalfe is headed back to Wisteria Lane, according to TV Guide. Apparently, he wants Gaby back. Hmmm…. where does that leave Carlos and her new husband?

It’s no secret that Kristen Bell can sing. Anyone who caught her stint on Broadway or her karaoke session on Veronica Mars knows that Bell has a killer voice. Now, she apparently is forming a band with TV star Clark Duke. They’re calling the band Kung-Fu Professor, New York Magazine is reporting. Love it!

Busy Philipps, of ER and Dawson’s Creek fame, is set to guest star on How I Met Your Mother. She’ll play, as you may have guessed, one of Ted’s dates. Between Mandy Moore, Danica McKellar, and Busy, Ted is going to one busy guy this season.

Kevin Smith fans, check out this interview with Smith about his new gig: directing the CW show Reaper. I just watched the pilot for Reaper and it’s great!

The ABC Family drama Lincoln Heights will premiere on Tuesday, September 4th at 8 p.m. ET. I don’t watch the show, but I know some of you do. So, enjoy.

Smallvile’s Allison Mack was voted TV Choice Sidekick at the Teen Choice Awards. Congrats, Allison. You’re our favorite sidekick, too.

Rosie O’Donnell will not be appearing on Friday Night Lights, TV Guide is reporting. O’Donnell was reported to be playing the role of a soccer coach, but apparently the gig didn’t work out.

Jason Alexander will join his fellow former Seinfeld co-star Julia Louis-Dreyfus on The New Adventures of Old Christine as a guest star. No date has been released.

Scott Baio is 45…and Single is a hit. The show is being renewed for next year, despite that Baio is no longer single. He’s engaged. The show ranked among the top 10 basic cable programs in its time slot, with an average of 1 million viewers in the key 18-49 demo, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Office preview for the new season

If you’re like me, you’ve missed The Office. Since last year’s season finale, I’ve been dying to find out what went down between Jim and Karen and how Ryan scored the job at corporate. (Yes, I love Karen. Sue me.)

In this new clip, we get some insight into those questions and what the gang has been doing. We find out that Jim dumped Karen (boo!) and plenty of other juicy tidbits. Hit play below for all The Office goodness or simply click here.

Thanks to Big Tuna for the tip!

David Letterman to appear on Oprah

For the first time ever, late night talker David Letterman will appear on the Oprah Winfrey Show.

He’ll appear in her season opener, scheduled for taping September 10 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

For years, Letterman had tried to get Winfrey on his show, and she finally agreed two years ago, mending a reported 16-year silence between them. The two then appeared in a funny Super Bowl ad as a cozy couple.

Winfrey had appeared on Letterman’s show twice on NBC, before he jumped networks in 1993. But Winfrey had told Time magazine that she felt uncomfortable as the target of his jokes.

Let’s hope that Dave doesn’t pull out that unfortunate, “Oprah, Uma” joke.

Commentary with a Co-Ed: Teen Choice Awards

by Ashley Gouveia

It’s that time of year again when teens vote for their favorite stars in TV, movies, and sports. If you watched the Teen Choice Awards on Sunday night, you may have had a similar underwhelming reaction.

Usually, I enjoy the teen fest, but this year I felt like I was watching High School Musical Part 3. Yes, I am one of those people who doesn’t get the whole phenomenon. (Sorry, I tried.)

The reason why I usually like this awards show is that it gives an opportunity for my favorite shows, like Smallville, to get recognized. Plus, we get a few glimpses of some CW hotties. For instance, Jared Padalecki, from Supernatural, presented an award to, big surprise, High School Musical 2 for Choice TV Movie. I think I got two glances of Jared, before the HSM cast came up on stage.

Wait, was that Sanjaya in the audience? Yes, it was. He won the award for Choice TV Male Reality/Variety Star. What is wrong with the world?

I’d like to tell you if Zac Efron said anything interesting in his one of many speeches, but I couldn’t make out anything. The cameras scanned the audience of screaming fans, and poor Zac could barely get a word in. Calm down girls. Let the guy speak. I thought I was going to have to witness another Sanjaya-like fan meltdown.

On most awards shows, they cut out the categories that most would consider boring. But, as usual, they cut the categories that I wanted to see. I would have loved to see Smallville’s Allison Mack get her surfboard for Choice TV Sidekick (for the second year in a row, yay!) or Heroes win for Choice TV Breakout Show. Instead, we got to see Ryan Seacrest win for Choice Hissy Fit. *crickets*

I was happy that America Ferrera won for Choice TV Breakout Actress for my new TV addiction, Ugly Betty. She also presented an award with co-star Ashley Jensen, which was probably one of my favorite parts of the night. Well, that, and John Travolta accepting the surfboard for Hairspray. Gotta love the Travolta!

Those were my highlights (or lowlights) of the night. What was your favorite moment? Did you have a favorite award winner? Or was there someone you wanted to win but didn’t? Let me know in the comments. Also, if you’re curious, check out the complete list of this year’s winners. ’Til next week.

Commentary with a Co-Ed is a weekly column at Tube Talk new every Thursday.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Rescue Me questions and answers

Rescue Me fans, I’ve received your questions and concerns about the show.

Here’s the bad news: I don’t have answers for you; I’m as puzzled as you about where this season is headed.

Here’s the good news: I’ve seen tonight’s episode. The bad news is that it offers no further explanation for Tommy’s odd behavior. It does, as always, offer up some laughs and some good drama.

I’m a devoted fan of the show and haven’t missed an episode since its inception. (What can I say, I like crude, funny drama.) But even I’m having trouble understanding Tommy’s antics this season. And I’m not the only one, according to your e-mails.

It’s no secret that Tommy has been acting strange this year. He dangled baby Wyatt off a bride, jumped off of a roof to show Mike what suicide would look like, and wanders in and out of fires, without gear, constantly saving people with no regard for his own safety. He also got a dog, let go of his Escalade, moved into a roach-infested apartment, and essentially gave/sold Wyatt to crazy Sheila. Yes, he’s dysfunctional, but lately, his dreams, rants, and behaviors are more “dysfunctional” than ever.

I’ve received your e-mails and theories about what you think is happening. Some of you think Tommy is in a coma or quite possibly dead already and all of this is a dream.

I can’t debunk those theories. But, I’m not convinced.

Tonight, Tommy’s scary dreams continue. And this one is a doozie. I’d have the urge to hit the bottle if I were haunted with his dark and twisted thoughts, too. He also has a date with the chief’s daughter, plays some street hockey with the guys, and tries to do some decent parenting. Those aren’t the actions of a dead/comatose guy, right?

But, you’re right; some of the scenes don’t seem to make sense. I’m still perplexed as to why Tommy recently ripped of his shirt to sit at the lunch table with the rest of the guys. If anyone can explain to me why Tommy wanted to eat with his hands, while shirtless and ranting about racism, well, I’d be grateful. Was the scene simply to see a gratuitous shirtless Denis Leary, or was Tommy simply trying to keep his shirt clean from lunch?

I don’t know. I don’t have answers. But, I’ll keep watching with the hope that we’ll find out soon. Feel free to share your theories below for where you think the show is going.

Friday Night Lights guarantees you’ll love its DVDs

The season one DVDs for Friday Night Lights went on sale this week, in case you missed it. But there is a twist.

Someone at Friday Nigh Lights is so sure that you’ll love the DVDs that they are offering a money-back guarantee, if you don’t. Now that’s confidence.

The show is one of television’s best, so I have no doubt after you pop in the first few episodes, you’ll be sucked in like the rest of us. The good news is that Amazon is offering the DVD set for a steal, at $19.99. So, here’s a shameless plug: Go buy it, already, and then tune in to the show this fall when it returns to NBC on Friday, Oct. 5 at 9 p.m. ET.

Hey, I’m doing anything I can to keep quality dramas on the air, so we don’t get more shows like Kid Nation. Help me, won’t you?

Dancing With the Stars names largest cast ever

Photos: Cameron Mathison and Jane Seymour

Twelve celebrities, six women and six men, the most ever to compete on the ABC dance floor, have signed on for this season’s Dancing With the Stars. A daytime soap hunk, a racecar driver, a Spice Girl, a billionaire, a model, and a singer are among those hoping to take home the mirror-ball trophy.

The fun starts Sept. 24 on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.

Here’s the list of stars, along with their professional partners:

Cameron Mathison — He’s one of daytime’s hottest and busiest soap stars. He stars as Ryan on All My Children, hosts the SoapNet show I Wanna Be a Soap Star, and does other guest reporting for entertainment shows, even filling in for Regis on Regis and Kelly. Mathison has got the looks, but will he have the moves to stick with professional partner Edyta Sliwinska? She’s the only pro to appear in every season of the show, and frankly, I’m hoping this is her year. The gal has had George Hamilton, Vincent Pastore, and John Ratzenberger as partners, previously. Perhaps she and Mathison will have magic moves. If not, they’ll certainly look great together.

Jennie Garth — This beloved actress was spotted in the audience last season several times, supporting her former Beverly Hills 90210 costar Ian Ziering. This year, she’ll need some support of her own. I hope that means we’ll see some more 90210 folks in the audience this year. (Paging Luke Perry.) Garth is also known for her role on What I Like About You. Garth is dancing with DWTS newcomer Derek Hough, the brother of last year’s professional champion Julianne Hough.

Wayne Newton — He’s the oldest contestant to take the dance floor this year, at age 65. But “Mr. Las Vegas” has a couple advantages. First, he’s paired with two-time pro champ Cheryl Burke, and second, he’s used to performing nightly. (On stage, people, on STAGE. I know where your mind is going.)

Jane Seymour — The former Bond babe and star of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman is an Emmy and Golden Globe winning actress. She’s taken on the frontier, as Dr. Quinn, and plenty of difficult issues in numerous television mini series, so why not the dance floor? Seymour is dancing with Tony Dovolani, who is returning for his fourth season.

Helio Castroneves — This racecar driver is a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner. He likes to go fast, apparently, which is a good thing, considering he’s partnered with last season’s professional winner, Julianne Hough, who is known for her quick and energetic choreography. I’ve never heard of this guy before, but with a name like Helio, he’s got to be cool.

Sabrina Bryan — She’s an actress and a recording artist in the all-girl singing group Cheetah Girls, from the Disney Channel original movie, The Cheetah Girls. She’s young, energetic, and beautiful. Bryan is partnered with newcomer Mark Ballas.

Mark Cuban — He’s a billionaire and the owner of the Dallas Mavericks. So, I’m not sure why Cuban signed on for weeks of torturous dance rehearsals and blistered feet, but perhaps he knows something we don’t: He’s a maverick on the dance floor. Cuban is dancing with adorable Kym Johnson, who is returning for her third season.

Melanie Brown — You know her as Scary Spice and as the mother of Eddie Murphy’s child. As a former girl-band member, she has some dance moves. But will they scare the competition? Brown is partnered with tough-guy Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who is returning for his fourth season.

Floyd Mayweather, Jr. — He’s a pro boxer who is undefeated in 38 pro fights and is the current WBC welterweight champion of the world. I’m scared for the judges already. The gloves could come off at some point because “Pretty Boy Floyd” is partnered with the sometimes hotheaded Karina Smirnoff, who is returning for her third season.

Josie Maran — She’s a model and an actress, having appeared in Van Helsing, The Aviator, Glamour and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Maran is partnered with another pretty face, season one champion, Alec Mazo.

Albert Reed — You’ve seen his face in national ad campaigns for Abercrombie & Fitch, Rayban, Reebok and other clothing lines. He’s also modeled for Chanel, Levis and Michael Kors. Reed is a former award-winning teen surfer, too. He’s hoping to hang a couple 10s in the competition, along with partner Anna Trebunskaya, who returns for her second season.

Marie Osmond — She’s a little bit country, if you remember her from the Donny & Marie Show. Since then, Osmond has performed on Broadway, starred in TV movies, written a best-selling book and created a successful collectible doll line. She’s also the co-founder and co-host of the Children's Miracle Network. She’s partnered with, (not brother Donny for once - but wouldn’t that have been cool?) Jonathan Roberts, who is returning for his fourth season.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

High School Musical, please explain

by Jennifer Squires Biller

Dear TV aficionados,

I’m willing to risk your mocking and hate mails to admit this one secret. I don’t understand the mass appeal of High School Musical. In short, I don’t get it.

Making this admission in a world where everyone else is singing the songs from High School Musical, having High School Musical theme parties, and lusting after the film’s star, Zac Efron, is a scary prospect. I feel like an outsider back in high school, watching all the cool kids, and I’m the only one who doesn’t get the joke.

Go ahead and fit me for geek glasses and a pocket protector, but I’m not afraid to stand up and ask the question: Has everyone gone mad?

I tried watching High School Musical, after my hip teenaged cousin, Sabra, told me it was Grease for today’s generation. A modern-day Grease? I was sold. Sabra loaned me her precious DVD copy, and armed with a bowl of hot, buttery popcorn and my laptop, I hit play.

From the initial karaoke bar scene, I was — to put it mildly — underwhelmed. I was expecting wildly entertaining songs that I couldn’t get out of my head, such as Summer Nights, You’re the One that I Want, and Look at me, I’m Sandra Dee. Um, that didn’t happen. Even the characters seemed cardboard, not full of life like Danny, Sandy, and Rizzo.

Apparently, the rest of the world knows something I don’t. There is no other explanation for the cult-like following for this franchise. A couple weeks ago, the Disney Channel aired the second installment of the movie, aptly titled High School Musical 2. It attracted a stunning 17.2 million viewers, making it the most-watched basic-cable broadcast ever.

Is the viewing public so desperate for a decent musical that they’ll tune in for anything that has singing and dancing?

I suspect the answer is simpler: I’m old. Yes, the frightening truth is that I probably just don’t get it because I’m past the age of wearing tube tops and baby-doll dresses. I’ve moved on to Spanx, and apparently my musical tastes have matured, too.

Still, I wrestle with the fact that I can’t seem to enjoy a show that the rest of the world worships. It keeps me up at night. So, someone, please explain the fascination with High School Musical. Otherwise, I think I’ll purchase a walker and head off to the nursing home.

Monday, August 27, 2007

First Look: Reaper

Photo: Courtesy of CW

One of the shows I’m most anxious to see this fall is Reaper on the CW. The title alone is enough to spark my interest.

The show is about Sam, a slacker who finds out on his 21st birthday that his parents sold his soul to the devil, prior to his birth. Now, of course, Satan has come to collect. Sam must work for the Devil, as Hell’s bounty hunter. With the aid of his goofball friends, he must track down evildoers and send them back to the fiery pits of Hell.

Sounds good, right? Don’t take my word for it. Check out the promo below, courtesy of the folks at the CW. The show stars Bret Harrison and Tyler Labine, who you’ll remember played loveable Dave on my beloved Invasion.

Reaper debuts on Sept. 25 at 9 p.m. ET on the CW. For more information, check out the official site.

Scott Baio to be a daddy

Scott Baio, who was a beloved ‘80s pop-culture idol from his years on Happy Days and Charles in Charge, is about to become a daddy.

In the season finale of Scott Baio is 45… and Single, Baio’s girlfriend dropped the bombshell that she’s pregnant, immediately after Baio popped the marriage question.

Those of you who’ve been watching Baio and his life coach deal with his relationship baggage are probably worried. I am, too. Baio has whined his way through weeks of “therapy” and picking out an engagement ring, so I can only imagine how he’ll deal with dirty diapers.

I smell a sequel in the making: Scott Baio is 45 ...and Facing Fatherhood or Scott Baio is 45 ... and Engaged. I’m sure Baio and his entourage are going to milk this baby thing for all it’s worth. (Pun intended.)

Seriously, though, congratulations to Baio and his fiancée Renee on their upcoming new addition.

How bionic are you?

Photo credit: NBC, Bionic Woman

This is quite possibly the coolest marketing tool I’ve ever seen to promote a new show. The folks at NBC have created an online game where you can step into the bionic legs of Bionic Woman Jaime Sommers and test how well your systems are working.

I took the bionic test, and surprisingly, I scored a whopping 32 percent. I did poorly on the math section and my bionic eye doesn’t work at all when it comes to eye-hand coordination. But, it doesn’t matter. For a brief moment, I got to be Jaime Sommers.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I spent many childhood days pretending to be the Bionic Woman. I used to make that “nuh-nuh-nuh” sound when I ran and jumped. Unfortunately, my landings weren’t as smooth as her landings. (And my hair didn’t flow in the wind like her hair either, but that’s another story.)

Those of you who grew up watching the Bionic Woman, you’ll have some fun with this game. Those of you who are entirely new to the Bionic Woman series, you are in for a real treat, too. So, go test your bionic skills.

Bionic Woman premieres on NBC Sept. 26 at 9 p.m. ET.

Tube News

Dawson Leery is coming back to television, sort of. James Van Der Beek is set to guest star on this season of Ugly Betty, according to E! Also in talks to join the Beek in a guest-starring role, is Victoria Beckham, E! reports.

Those of you who’ve missed the excellent summer show Damages, on FX, you can catch the past episodes during a Labor Day Damages marathon. Tune in Sept. 3 from 3-8 p.m. ET for the marathon.

Wayne Newton is heading to Dancing With the Stars, according to People magazine. Newton has signed on to shake his booty for this season, the magazine is reporting. ABC has not yet officially released the cast names. That announcement will take place Aug. 29 on Good Morning America. The new season is scheduled to debut on Sept. 24.

Those of you waiting patiently for Dallas, the movie based on the television series, the good news is that John Travolta is still reportedly signed on to play J.R. The bad news is that now Dallas is being billed as a comedy. Director Betty Thomas, who did the tongue-in-cheek Brady Bunch movies, is in talks to take over the project, according to TV Guide. I think Travolta as J.R. is brilliant casting, but hello, Dallas is NOT a comedy. I wish the Hollywood folks would either do these ‘80s remakes correctly or leave them alone entirely. We don’t need another Dukes of Hazzard catastrophe.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Be the first to watch the new show K-Ville

A new drama is premiering this fall on FOX called K-Ville.

The show is a police drama set in New Orleans, two years after Katrina. The city is portrayed as still being in chaos, with cops struggling to keep crime in check and reclaim their city.

Anthony Anderson and Cole Hauser star.

I’ve seen the promo, and it was mesmerizing. If the show follows through and is this good, then FOX may have its next hit drama.

I’m off to watch the pilot, and you can, too. (Yes, it’s legal! FOX was kind enough to send me the footage.) Just click here to see the first episode. Thank you, FOX.

The show premieres Sept. 17 at 9 p.m. ET.

**This video is available only until Aug. 31.

Sneak peek at the new season of Prison Break

If the season finale of Prison Break left you counting the days until the premiere, I have good news.

FOX has sent me the first 17 minutes of the season premiere, and I’m the kind of gal who’s willing to share. Click here to see the two hottest siblings on TV fight for justice.

And to my friend Becky B., you’re welcome.

The show returns Sept. 17 at 8 p.m. ET.

**This video is available only until Aug. 31.

Win a trip to the MTV Video Music Awards

The folks over at MTV e-mailed me this exciting news: They are giving away a free trip to Las Vegas to the Video Music Awards.

The prize includes three nights at a swanky hotel. (They did not specify which swanky hotel, but does it really matter? It’s free people!)

The prize also includes spending money, access to the hottest VMA parties and events all weekend, and a shopping trip with celebrity stylist Angelique O’Neil to pick up a hot outfit to wear to the show.

For all the prize details and to register, click here.

Amy Winehouse is apparently scheduled to appear at the show, despite that whole rehab thing. So are Justin Timberlake, Foo Fighters, Kanye West and more.

If you don’t win, then tune in September 9 at 9 p.m. ET, with the rest of the world, to watch the show LIVE on MTV.

Get tickets to The Price is Right

Photo: Courtesy of CBS

The premiere date for the new season of The Price is Right, with new host Drew Carey, is scheduled for Monday, October 15 at 11 a.m. ET.

When you tune in, the host isn’t the only thing that’s going to be new. The set has been updated with a modern look, while still keeping the style that is recognizable to fans. (I hope they didn’t take away the 1970s look too much. It made me fondly nostalgic for my childhood summer vacations.)

To entice people to tune in, contestants are being given the chance to win “some of the most expensive cars ever given away on the game show” and trips to exotic locations, according to the press release CBS sent me.

Those of you wanting to “come on down” and see Carey in person, you can get tickets at this CBS Web site.

If any Tube Talk readers actually make it on the show, stop back and let us know all the juicy details.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Commentary with a Co-Ed: "Brothers and Sisters," It's New to Me

by Ashley Gouveia

For this week’s It’s New to Me, I’ve chosen a show that I’ve heard so much about but never watched an episode. I’m talking about ABC’s dysfunctional family drama Brothers and Sisters. I sat down with my box of Kleenex and prepared myself for a tear-jerking forty-something minutes. I know Sally Field stars in it, so I started getting flashbacks of Forrest Gump and knew I’d better be prepared.

The Walker clan seemed like a perfect American family. But, man, do they have problems. In the first episode, they weren’t aware of the secrets that Papa Walker kept from his wife and grown-up children. Sara, one of his daughters, only got an inkling of her father’s shady dealings, before he collapsed into the pool, after suffering a heart attack. I knew the father died in the first episode, so that wasn’t a shocker for me.

During the first thirty minutes, it felt a little slow. I think it might have been due to trying to keep up with all the new characters. However, it did speed up whenever Dave Annable came onscreen. I got to have the eye candy! It’s a key ingredient to any show I watch. What’s also a key factor is the likeability of the characters and their respective storylines. I have to be invested in the characters in order for me to continue to watch.

That only kicked in for me after the Sally Field/Calista Flockhart scene, where Nora (Field) confronted her daughter Kitty (that’s short for something, right?) on the reasons they haven’t spoken in three years. That’s when I grabbed for the Kleenex. Sally Field is amazing! I wished she had more time on screen in the episode. That’s the scene that got me sucked in wanting to find out what happens next.

Kitty’s relationship with her mother and Justin’s storyline are probably the most interesting to me. I know that Emily VanCamp eventually joins the cast, and I am a huge fan from her Everwood days. Actually, this show kind of reminds me of Everwood in some ways. That’s a reason to tune in every week.

What do you think? Do you think I should keep on watching or find something else? B&S fans, what’s your favorite aspect of the show?

Let me know of any show that you think could be ‘new to me.’ I appreciate all the comments from last week. I am now officially hooked on Ugly Betty. Keep them coming! Until next week.

Commentary with a Co-Ed is a weekly column at Tube Talk new every Thursday.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Tube News

Britney Spears’ ex, Kevin Federline, is scheduled to guest star on One Tree Hill this season. It’s not clear if producers are purposely trying to get people to stop watching or not.

Jennifer Garner is heading to Broadway this fall to star in Cyrano de Bergerac, according to Variety. Garner will star as Roxanne, to Kevin Kline’s Cyrano. Rescue Me hottie Daniel Sunjata will star as the “dumb-but-hot object of Roxane’s affection.” The play opens Nov. 1 and ends Dec. 23 at the Richard Rodgers Theater. In what can only be explained as a strange coincidence, the producer’s name is Susan Bristow.

Veronica Mars' fans, TV Guide’s Michael Ausiello has a fantastic new interview up with Kristen Bell. And if you check out his chat, he includes Bell’s comments about the Veronica Mars movie. No, I can’t let it go.

The adorable Smurfs that I spent my childhood Saturday mornings with are finally coming to DVD. Mark your calendars for Dec. 4. Mom, I think you know what I’ll be asking for this Christmas.

A new game show, Temptation, combines two of my favorite things: pop culture and shopping and is debuting in syndication on Sept. 10 (check local listings.) If you can look at a list of celebrities and choose which ones were arrested in 2006, then this is the game for you. A special primetime launch on MyNetworkTV is scheduled for Sept. 5.

The folks at TV.com surveyed more than 4,000 fans for a back-to-school related article to find out which TV high school they’d like to attend. The winner was Sunndydale High School (Buffy the Vampire Slayer.) Um, did these folks ever see an episode of Buffy? That high school was plagued with vampires, demons and evil principals. Sunnydale narrowly beat out Tree Hill High (One Tree Hill) and Smallville High (Smallville.)

Is Emmy host Ryan Seacrest America’s Idol?

If you haven’t heard, Ryan Seacrest, of American Idol fame, has been tapped to host the primetime Emmys. Sept. 16 at 8 p.m. on FOX.

Pardon me for a moment while I digest the news….


Did Seacrest transition from TV host to comedian while I wasn’t looking? Did the Emmy folks borrow some of Paula Abdul’s painkiller drugs and in a mind-altering state decide that Seacrest is a funny guy?

Don’t get me wrong. I like Ryan Seacrest. I watch Idol only sporadically, but I have seen his impressive work on E! on the red carpet. He’s a good interviewer, with a comfortable camaraderie with the actors. He’s also great on the radio.

But this is the Emmys, people. There’s a reason a comedian usually hosts; the show is duller than an episode of King of Queens. The Emmys must bring the comedy; otherwise, we couldn’t possibly stand to sit through the 10-hour event of trophy giving and endless “thank you” lists.

Conan O’Brien and Ellen DeGeneres both made us laugh as former Emmy hosts. Will Seacrest? Perhaps he could borrow Billy Crystal’s Oscar shtick and work up some skits where he inserts himself in scenes in popular shows. That could be funny.

I’m sure FOX signed Seacrest, hoping he would help score Emmy ratings gold. It’s no secret that he’s quite popular with the millions of American Idol fans.

Seacrest has apparently become the golden boy, or America’s idol, when it comes to hosting duties. He filled in for Dick Clark a couple years ago on New Years Eve for the ball drop, and he’s currently scheduled to host the Super Bowl.

Who wants to break the news to Simon?

Sneak peek at Survivor

Survivor fans, CBS released information on its new 16 castaways for Survivor: China, premiering Thursday, Sept. 20.

This year, a gravedigger, a professional wrestler, a chicken farmer and a flight attendant are among those stranded in China trying to outwit and outlast the other participants.

Here’s the blurb from the press release:

SURVIVOR: CHINA will feature a cast of 16 Americans who will begin the series amid the bustle of downtown Shanghai before moving to HuangPu Mountain’s Mi Tuo Temple for a Buddhist ceremony where they will be instructed to leave all of their worldly possessions behind. The castaways will then be marooned with the clothes on their back at two separate islands on Zhelin Lake (translation: the Land of 1,000 Lakes) located in the Jiangxi Province. They will split into two tribes, Fei Long (translation: Flying Dragon) and Zhan Hu (translation: Fighting Tiger), and will each be given a copy of Sun Tzu's The Art of War for tribe motivation and assistance throughout the game.

SURVIVOR: CHINA will once again afford each tribe the opportunity to obtain a Hidden Immunity Idolwhich may save someone from elimination at a future Tribal Council. This time, two Hidden Immunity Idols will be in plain sight (one at each camp), although the castaways will not realize this at the start of the game. Each week, the winning tribe of the Reward Challenge will be allowed to kidnap someone from the losing tribe. The person who is kidnapped will receive a note from host Jeff Probst before departing for the enemy camp and will be instructed to give it to one member of the enemy tribe (the kidnapped victim will decide who receives it) in private. The clue will inform this person of the Hidden Immunity Idol located somewhere at their camp. This person must then decide if they wish to share the information with their tribe or keep it to themselves. The kidnapped victim will return to their original tribe at the following Immunity Challenge.

Here is a list of the participants: James Clement, 30; Gravedigger from Lafayette, Louisiana • Dave Cruser, 37; Former model from Simi Valley, California • Jaime Dugan, 22; Student from Columbia, South Carolina • Todd Herzog, 22; Flight attendant from Pleasant Grove, Utah • Erik Huffman, 26; Musician from Nashville • Amanda Kimmel, 23; Hiking guide from Los Angeles • Peih-Gee Law, 29; Jeweler from Marina Del Rey, California • Sherea Lloyd, 26; Elementary school teacher from Atlanta • Denise Martin, 40; School lunch lady from Douglas, Massachusetts • Ashley Massaro, 28; Professional WWE wrestler from East Northport, New York • Chicken Morris, 47; Chicken farmer from Marion, Virginia • Leslie Nease, 38; Christian radio talk show host from Tega Cay, South Carolina • Aaron Reisberger, 32; Surfing instructor from Venice, California • Courtney Yates, 26; Waitress from New York City • Frosti Zernow, 20; Parkour athlete/student from Chicago.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Interview with Flash Gordon’s Eric Johnson

by Jennifer Squires Biller

The day the new show Flash Gordon premiered, I spoke to “Flash” himself, actor Eric Johnson, by phone. He was - to quote him - “like a kid at Christmas,” waiting for the debut and for fan reaction to the pilot.

As it turns out, Flash Gordon was a smashing success and gave the SciFi channel its best-rated series premiere of 2007, earning 2.1 million viewers, according to Nielsen ratings.

Some of you know Johnson only as television’s newest superhero Flash Gordon. Others remember him from his role as Whitney Fordman on Smallville. Whether you’re familiar with Johnson’s work or new to this fresh face, you don’t want to miss the following mind-blowing, gut-busting interview. (Yes, I have a passion for hyperbole, but it’s good. I promise.)

In addition to chatting about Flash, I got Johnson to share his thoughts on his Smallville exit, divulge his hair-care secret, discuss what it was like playing a young version of Brad Pitt in the film Legends of the Fall and, of course, reveal his favorite TV shows.

He also told me whether he can sing the infamous Flash Gordon Queen song, and I know you’re dying to know that piece of juicy scoop. Plus, I’m pretty sure Johnson coined a new term: “flashtastic.” So, without further adieu, tubers, please read this exclusive Tube Talk interview with Flash “ahhh-haaaa” Gordon.

Jennifer: Most little boys grow up playing superheroes. You actually get to do it now as an adult — minus the tights. So, what’s it like playing a bonafide super hero?

Eric: (Laughing) The thing I really like about Flash Gordon is that he doesn’t actually have a super power. He’s just a regular guy in some pretty extraordinary circumstances. For me, the fun part is that when he puts himself up against an adversary, he’s just going in as any other man would. When he gets knocked down, he’s hurt just like anybody else. It adds a humanity to the role. That’s what I really love about this. It’s a complete riot every day at work.

Jennifer: If viewers aren’t familiar with the Flash Gordon story, will they still be able to tune in and enjoy the show?
Absolutely. What the show does is it slowly starts educating the audience. It’s not like we jump in in the middle of the story. Where the story is picking up is really the making of a hero. It’s not that Flash is a superhero, as he was in the comic books, because he hasn’t had the opportunity to do that yet. So, it’s very much the creation of this hero. He’s getting educated along with the audience.

Jennifer: On Smallville you played a supporting character, as opposed to Flash Gordon, where you are the title character. How are you handling the stress?Should I send Prozac?
Eric: (Laughing) It’s funny. Making a TV show is such a collaborative process. There are so many people that go into shooting an individual shot, let alone an episode. It really is an ensemble project. We have an incredible cast. I don’t feel any added pressure. It’s an honor and responsibility to go in and do my best every day and not phone it in, so to speak. And also and with the fan base that Flash Gordon already has, there’s a responsibility that you have to the people to do the best that you can. They truly care about this character. Other than just that sense of responsibility, it really is an honor. There is very little individual pressure. It’s a team effort.

Jennifer: I watched the Comic Con panel that you guys did, and you discussed that you do some of your own stunts on the show. Are you working out more? You were always athletic in your Smallville role as quarterback, but this seems to present a whole new set of challenges.
Eric: Before we got started with the show, I was working out more than I ever had in my life, doing the six meals a day and really pushing hard. It’s about a 15-hour day for me, door to door, at work so it’s leaving very little time for working out. But, we’re managing to sneak some in there as we go along through the year. The workday is pretty hectic, but at least, thankfully, I can sneak at least some stretching in there in the middle of it.

Jennifer: So I can put the rumor out that we’re going to get a buff Eric Johnson for Flash Gordon?
(Laughing) Yes, you’re gonna get a buffer Eric Johnson. And hopefully he can keep it up for the whole season.

Jennifer: Flash Gordon has been around since the 1930s. What can you tell us about your version of Flash?
Eric: Like anything that is 75-years-old, to make it useful in the modern day, you have to do some updates, and that’s what we’ve done. We’ve updated a lot of the technology that was being used from the original; things that have become obsolete are gone by the wayside. That’s the biggest change. There will be fans of Flash Gordon that are going to miss the spaceship and things like that, but what I think is the most important thing is the overall arc and the heart of this story and that is taken directly from the original source, which is Alex Raymond’s comic strip. We’re doing everything we can to update this for a new audience and still be in keeping with the original spirit of the comic strip.

Jennifer: Tell us about the style of the show. Does it have the cool special effects of Smallville or the dry humor of Battlestar Galactica? Is it adventure-comedy, or completely unlike anything we’ve seen?
It’s unique in the fact that it’s treading a fine line between the drama and the humor and going back and forth. The stakes that we’re dealing with are very real, and people’s lives are at stake. At the same time, there are these bizarre moments that we poignantly address in the show. It doesn’t take itself too seriously at times and has a self-deprecating sense of humor, which makes it very original, plus having all the action and stunts and adventure of what a comic book show should.

Jennifer: So we’re going to get some laughs from the show?
Eric: You are absolutely gonna get some laughs. That’s the biggest thing that the audience will be surprised with. It’s funny, and it’s supposed to be.

Jennifer: Are people tormenting you with that infamous Queen song about Flash Gordon? (“Flash ---ahhhh haaaa” Savior of the Universe...
Eric: (Laughing) I get asked to sing it a lot, which I will not torture anyone with. It was funny; we had a director who liked to play music in between takes, and when we would do an action sequence he would play the 1991 remix version of that Queen song. Karen Cliché, who plays Baylin, and Gina Holden, who plays Dale, and I were running around listening to the 1991 remix song.

Jennifer: That’s funny. I hope that makes it on the blooper reel.
I hope so, too. It’s pretty funny.

Jennifer: Every superhero has a love interest. What can you tell us about your relationship with Dale?
Eric: Dale and Flash were high school sweethearts, and she went off to college, and Flash stayed home. When she returns, she comes back with a fiancée. So, things get a little rocky. Things are not as easy for Flash, as he may have liked them to be. We meet some other ladies along the way, too. Including Baylin, the alien bounty hunter, and Aura, who is very sexy and spoiled.

Jennifer: You have a long list of acting credits, including guest roles on Criminal Minds, Ghost Whisperer, The Unit and The Dead Zone. Do you have a favorite role?
This one is taking the cake. I’ve been so lucky to play a variety of things and have worked with hundreds of talented people, but I really have to say that this part and this show is really something special. The enthusiasm that is behind us at work, and the crew as well, we really have a good time. We have a lot of fun making this show. We work really hard to do the best job that we can. It really is a team atmosphere. That is really special, plus, the fact that the show is an action/adventure with some comedy. It’s like the ultimate actor dream for me to get to do all of three of those in one show.

Jennifer: I checked out your profile on IMDB and I was shocked to see that you played the young Brad Pitt role in Legends of the Fall. What was it like working on that film?
I was about 14-years-old and had done a few film roles, but that was the first big feature that I had ever stepped foot on. I was a wide-eyed kid at that point. I just loved every moment of it. I was just looking around saying, “If I could do this for a living, if I could make movies and TV shows for a living, that would be the coolest thing in the world.” Those three weeks I spent running around in the Rocky Mountains and playing with a 1,400-pound grizzly bear…what 14-year-old boy would not be over the moon and completely hooked on the process? Every career day at school was spent with me thinking about being an actor and working toward that.

Jennifer: By the way, there is a whole discussion on the IMDB message board about how you look like Brad Pitt and/or River Phoenix.) It’s quite a debate.
Really? (laughing) That’s hilarious!

Jennifer: I read that Flash is being filmed in Vancouver. What’s it like being back there again after Smallville? Do you keep in touch with any of your former cast mates?
Vancouver, first of all, is a beautiful city. I love living there. We’re kind of out of the Hollywood system so we can focus on the work and not have to worry about too many red-carpet things and stuff like that. The Sci-Fi genre shoots a ton of shows in Vancouver, so there’s this fraternity of shows out there that are all shooting at the same time. I think I’m gonna have to make a pit stop and say hello to the folks at Smallville. They were very good to me for many years, and it would be nice to go over and say, “Hi.”

Jennifer: Many fans of Smallville were ticked when your character was killed in action. (Including me.) Were you pleased with how they handled Whitney’s exit? Many of your fans are secretly hoping Whitney will come back from the dead and save Lana Lang from evil Lex Luthor.
(Laughing.) Oh, that’s funny. (The exit) was great. That sequence that Whitney got to go out on was a pretty incredible day, with the explosions and the helicopters. It was an intense full day of action and drama. I think that Whitney, who was the all-American boy, went out as a hero. I think that’s a good way to go out.

Jennifer: What were you like in high school? Onscreen, you’ve played the quarterback, the all-American boy, and now you’re a superhero. Were you the prom king or the quarterback in real life?
No I was a goof. I attempted sports and even made some of the teams, but it wasn’t due to my prowess. It was due to the fact that I was at a small school. I really was the dork and the outspoken goof in the corner. That’s what I was in high school. I fantasized about being the quarterback, but I didn’t quite have the aptitude.

Jennifer: I have to ask this question, as Tube Talk is a TV-based site. What are your favorite shows on television?
Eric: There’s not a lot of time for TV, but thanks to inventions like TiVo, it’s helping me out here. I get home fairly late from work, and I’m usually able to catch a South Park rerun and, of course, Colbert Report is a personal favorite of mine. And I get addicted to Discovery Channel. I watch a lot of Discovery Channel.

Jennifer: The Deadliest Catch, right?
Eric: (Excited) Deadliest Catch! Deadliest Catch is an awesome show!

Jennifer: It’s like TV crack isn’t it?
Eric: Yes! (laughing) I watched a lot of TV as a kid. The one thing I always watch are animal documentaries, too. I get sucked in. That whole series Planet Earth was phenomenal. As soon as it came out on DVD, we bought that.

Jennifer: What is your dream role?
Eric: Wow…umm…I love playing the cowboy. I love doing westerns and being up on a horse. That to me is amazing, getting to ride around on a horse all day and being outside. I love shooting outside and being in far-reaching places. The whole western genre is a favorite of mine. That’s the ultimate.
Jennifer: Maybe you can talk them into doing a western arc on Flash.
Eric: (Giggling) Yeah, Flash on a horse on Mongo. That would be hilarious.

Jennifer: Finally, my totally shallow question of the day: Eric, you may have the best head of hair on primetime. Seriously, you could rival McDreamy with those locks. Do you have any hair-care secrets to share?
Eric: (Laughing) My hair is in the care (stops for more laughter) of the talented people at the show. They’re the ones who take care of me and assure that it’s looking “Flashtastic.” I have them to thank for it. One of their big tips for me is, “Don’t wash your hair when you go home tonight,” so maybe (my hair care secret is) dirty hair.”

Jennifer: Is there anything I haven’t asked about Flash Gordon that you would like people to know?
I’d like people to know, who are fans of the original stuff, that that’s what we’re going for. It’s important to us to continue what has been great about Flash Gordon all these years, and that’s a great story with a great hero. It’s a lot of fun. I hope they enjoy it.

A special thanks to Eric Johnson for taking time to chat with me. Catch Flash Gordon on Friday nights on the SciFi channel at 9 p.m. ET. The premiere episode was released on DVD August 14th.

Kristen Bell headed for Heroes

Veronica Mars star Kristen Bell has been cast in a “multi-episode arc” in the NBC show Heroes, TV Guide is reporting.

Bell will play Elle, a woman with ties to Peter, H.R.G. and Claire. Her first appearance is slated for October.

Bell recently reportedly turned down an offer from the ABC show Lost, due to scheduling conflicts. Heroes creator Tim Kring said that he was able to get Bell when she had a break in her schedule.

I’m happy that Bell will be back on my screen, regardless of how short her story arc may be. That said, I wish it were on a different show. My love for Heroes waned in the latter part of last season. The show seemed so scattered, with too many characters and story arcs.

Bell is my own personal TV hero, and, frankly, I’d watch her on anything.

Do we really need a fourth hour of the Today show?

Your mornings are about to get a little more personality. Next month, the Today show will expand to four hours each day, instead of the three it currently airs.

My first question is, why? Do we really need a fourth hour of the Today show? What could possibly be left to talk about after three hours? Even Al Roker isn’t that chatty.

Matt, Meredith and Al won’t be hosting the final hour. That honor goes to co-hosts Ann Curry, Natalie Morales and Hoda Kotb, with a guest cast that includes David Gregory, Giada De Laurentiis and Tiki Barber, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

OK, now we’re talking. Tiki Barber could actually get me to tune in. He’s full of personality and would be a fun, nice fit.

Back in 2000, the Today show changed from its two-hour format to a three-hour format, with the final hour focusing on less news-related topics, such as cooking, health and fitness, fashion and finances. The fourth hour will look somewhat like the third hour, executive producer Jim Bell said.

As you know, a talk show is only as good as its hosts. The Today show has always had a strong co-hosting cast, and I think they’ll certainly be able to have a successful fourth hour. The reason is simple: the Today show is already a proven commodity and the timeslot competition isn’t that tough. In the 10 a.m. hour in my local area, viewers have the option of The 700 Club, The People’s Court, Montel Williams, and Martha on the networks. It’s not exactly riveting programing.

So, yes, I guess we really could use a fourth hour of the Today show. One can never have too many recipes and health tips, especially if Tiki Barber delivers them.

Friday, August 17, 2007

TV shows now featured in music videos

ABC is finally getting hip to what the crazy kids on You Tube have been doing for two seasons: taking clips from their favorite TV shows and setting them to their favorite songs. In short, they’ve been producing their own fan music videos.

Now, ABC is doing the same. This season, ABC is producing 11 music videos to promote several of its shows, according to Billboard.com. The videos will be available at ABC.com and other video outlets such as iTunes.

The Desperate Housewives are providing the action in Sean Kingston’s hit song Beautiful Girls video. Check it out here.

Ugly Betty and her gang are starring in Betty Girl, a takeoff of pop singer Mika’s Big Girl.

Using videos and music to promote television shows is a brilliant idea. ABC tried it out last year with Grey’s Anatomy, to outstanding results. The Grey’s Anatomy Chasing Cars video made it all the way to the iTunes' top 10 list. The video originally aired during the closing moments of the Grey's season finale.

The only potentially troublesome area of this new idea is that the networks aren’t paying the artists for the song licensing or their already existing video footage. Apparently, since the videos are considered promotionally beneficial for the artist, the artists aren’t requiring payment. I’m wondering how long that will last.

Ironically, some networks bristle when footage of their shows are uploaded to You Tube and remove it promptly, despite that those clips are promoting their own shows. Yes, I can smell the hypocrisy.

Regardless of the behind-the-scenes business negotiations, the end result is satisfying for TV fans. We get to see some of our favorite TV shows accompany some great music.

For those of you who still have no idea what I’m talking about, click here to watch the Chasing Cars Grey’s Anatomy video or just hit play below.

It’s good. But so are some of the fabulous fan-created music videos I’ve seen at You Tube. Some of the best are from Tube Talk’s resident guest columnist Ashley (Commentary With a Co-Ed.) You can watch one of my favorites of her creations by clicking here or hitting play below.

Grey's Anatomy video

Ashley's Smallville video

Meet Supergirl and other Smallville scoop

Photo: Courtesy of CW. Do not copy.

You’ve heard the buzz. Supergirl is coming to Smallville. And here’s her photo. Nice, huh?

They must have incredible “superior” genes on Krypton. That’s all I’m saying.

In other Smallville scoop, despite the explosion last season, Kristin Kreuk isn’t done yet, according to TV Guide’s Michael Ausiello. (Hey, don’t kill the messenger. I want Lana gone, too.)

The good news is that Ausiello would not reveal how long she’ll be “sticking around” or how she’ll be brought back. I vote for one episode and, hopefully, as a ghost. Then, she can join Pa Kent in the ever after.

For those of you suffering from Smallville withdrawals, check out these videos from Comic Con. In the first one, Supergirl discusses her character. In the second, Justin Hartley and Erica Durance discuss their love scenes.

James Marsters to guest on Without A Trace

Fellow Buffy fans, when I hear of former Buffy stars’ projects I have to let you know about it.

Spike, um James Marsters, has landed a guest star gig on Without A Trace.

According to Marsters Web site, he’ll play “Detective Mars” from Washington D.C., who investigates a human trafficking ring.

Rumors are swirling that Marsters could become a series regular.

I hate it when actors I love join shows I’ve never watched. Without A Trace is not my type of show. I’m not usually a fan of procedural crime dramas. While I'm thrilled that Marsters has landed a new job, I don’t think even Spike could get me to add this one to my DVR.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Commentary with a Co-Ed: It's new to me

Ugly Betty: It's new to me
by Ashley Gouveia

This week, I’ve started a new feature that I like to call: It’s New to Me.

During the fall and spring months, I’ve missed TV shows that most people would break their TiVo for, if it overlooked their favorite tube hour. So I’m taking the summer months to catch up with what I, regrettably, never had time for in the regular season. Also, all you Tube Talk readers can help me decide if I should continue to tune in or just save the time slot for something else.

First up, my ugly confession: I didn’t watch Ugly Betty this season. I know what you’re thinking: “Have you been living under a rock?” No. I really haven’t. The Thursday-night time slot was the deal breaker. I, being the only person in the universe who doesn’t have a DVR or TiVo, had to cut it from my primetime schedule. But, I finally watched the first episode.

When I initially heard about Ugly Betty, I thought the concept of the show sounded promising: an ordinary girl from Queens, NY, who steps into the superficial world of high fashion. America Ferrera is an amazing actress, so I knew she could pull it off. Plus, hello, Eric Mabius. Enough said. I knew I was most likely missing out on a really good hour of TV.

My first reaction after watching the pilot episode was empathy. My heart goes out to Betty. We’ve all got a little bit of Betty in us. (OK, so I don’t own a poncho, but I know I’ve had those ‘foot in mouth’ moments like Betty did when she met that jerk photographer.) All those things that her boss, Daniel, made her do were so awful that I’m surprised she lasted as long as she did before she called it quits. That scene where she put on the outfit at the photo shoot, when all the others laughed at her, was heartbreaking.

Daniel revealed that he, indeed, had a conscience after all and told the photographer to stop. But Betty had had enough and wasn’t going to take it anymore. Go Betty! Of course, Daniel came groveling and begged her to come back. Thankfully, she did. We got to see a little more of Daniel’s nice side, too. I’ve noticed that Daniel pretends to be an intimidating guy, but he’s just as insecure as Betty when he’s around his father.

The music adds a lot to the show. KT Tunstall playing in the end was the perfect song choice. Our heroine, Betty, was walking away, thinking she was on top of the world and tripped right in front of her boss. But, she just picked herself up, smiled, and kept on walking. Good for her!

So, what do you think? Should I stick with the show? Betty fans, what is the pivotal episode that would convince me to watch the entire season? I’d love to know what you think about the show. Also, if there is any other show you can think of that may be "new to me" let me know. Until next time!

Commentary with a Co-Ed is a weekly column at Tube Talk new every Thursday.

Tube News

House real-life sweethearts Jesse Spencer and Jennifer Morrison have called off their engagement, after eight months, according to E!Online. I just know House is behind this.

Kathie Lee Gifford is returning to Live with Regis and Kelly to celebrate the show’s 20 years on the air. The anniversary celebration is a two-week event beginning Sept. 3. Admit it, you’re looking forward to hearing about Cody and Cassidy’s teenaged foibles.

If you want to see photos of Price is Right host Drew Carey’s injured arm, then ET has them. But, use caution, the photos are nasty. Who knew the grocery game could be so brutal? Carey inured himself on set during a rehearsal.

Dancing With the Stars will have another athlete in the cast this year. Boxer “Pretty Boy" Floyd Mayweather Jr. will compete for the mirror-ball trophy, according to E!Online. Len and Bruno, you have been warned.

Veronica Mars star Kristen Bell has heard the rumors of a Veronica Mars movie, but it hasn’t been discussed with her, according to the MTV Movies Blog. Um, Rob Thomas, what are you waiting for?

The Nine pulled again

At this point, I’m starting to feel like Charlie Brown kicking a football. Just when I’m sure I can count on it to be there, Lucy (aka the ABC network) pulls it out from under me.

If you haven’t heard, ABC has yanked the remaining episodes of The Nine from the summer schedule, after they aired only two of them.

The network had previously announced it would air the remaining episodes of the series, so fans could get some closure. But apparently, the two episodes did not score at all with viewers.

My blogger pal Dan (the TV Addict) had asked fans to boycott the return of The Nine to send the network a message that yanking serial dramas before the story is resolved is unacceptable to TV fans, even if the unaired episodes are aired. Considering the abysmal ratings for the show the last two weeks, either Dan has more power than I ever imagined, or you just didn’t care about what happened inside that bank.

UPDATE: ABC is now airing the final four episodes online at its Web site.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

NBC previews its new fall schedule

NBC is doing everything right this summer when it comes to marketing its new fall shows.

I’m not just saying that because NBC was the first network to send me all their fall pilots. (Well, OK, that was a good move NBC.) Seriously, though, the network is launching a primetime preview special, so fans can get an early look at NBC’s newest shows, too.

Heroes star Greg Grunberg is hosting the special preview that is currently available at NBC.com and at You Tube, courtesy of the network.

For those of you who prefer watching television on the television, instead of the computer, the show will air on NBC Saturday, Sept. 8, at 8:30 p.m. EST.

The special also gives viewers an early look at Heroes, Friday Night Lights, The Office and more.

I’m currently making may way through the stack of NBC’s new fall shows Bionic Woman, Chuck, Life and Journeyman, and I’ll be sure to tell you which ones you shouldn’t miss and when they’ll air.

To see a sneak peek, hit play below for part one of the special.

John Schneider goes for a Nip/Tuck

Former Smallville and Dukes of Hazzard star John Schneider is scheduled to guest on an episode of Nip/Tuck this season, according to TV Guide’s Michael Ausiello.
Schneider will play the head of an adult video company who previously worked with ex-porn star Kimber. I’m pretty sure Pa Kent wouldn’t approve.

In other Nip/Tuck scoop, Ausiello is reporting that Julia will switch teams this year. (No, not sports teams.) Julia apparently enters into a lesbian affair with guest star Portia de Rossi’s character.

Poor Sean. This is going to deplete what little self-confidence he had left. First Julia had an affair with the “little person” and now this.

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Office and Jericho fan conventions

Get out your Dwight Schrute glasses and your Jericho nuts. The fans of two popular shows are planning conventions.

The Office convention is scheduled for Oct. 26,27,28 in Scranton, Pa. All of the stars have been invited, but none have announced yet if they’ll attend, according to the convention Web site.

Meanwhile, Jericho fans are planning their event for Sept. 14,15,16 in Oakley, Kansas.

Veronica Mars won’t get Lost

Veronica Mars star Kristen Bell won’t be heading to Lost this fall, despite an offer from the show, TV Guide reported.

Last week, rumors were swirling that Bell would take on the role of Charlotte, a precocious, loquacious young woman.

Bell’s representative gave no reason for her turning down the Lost gig, but TV Guide is implying that she didn’t want to move to Hawaii and that she may be booking a Broadway show later this year.

If Bell goes to the Great White Way, I’ll be the first to book a ticket to New York City. And no, it’s not because I’m hoping Logan Echolls will be in the audience.

Drew Carey injured on The Price is Right

Drew Carey, the new host of The Price is Right, injured his arm during rehearsal, according to TMZ. Carey apparently caught his arm in a moving part of the grocery game, TMZ reported.

No, I'm not joking. I couldn’t make up entertainment news this good.

Carey was taken to the hospital for precaution and later released. He was given a “soft” cast to wear, whatever that is.

I shudder to think what will happen when Carey faces down the big spinning wheel.

Friday, August 10, 2007

TV addicts are liberals

Love TV? Then, you’re probably a liberal, according to a recent study from the Culture and Media Institute.

Viewers who watch more than four hours of TV a night are considered “heavy” TV viewers, in the study. When asked their opinions on topics such as abortion, retirement benefits, religion, and government, the “heavy” TV viewers skewed toward liberal responses. In other words, they were more likely to be pro-choice, back a government-based health system, and not attend church weekly.

In contrast, those who watch one hour per night or less of television, gave drastically more conservative responses to the aforementioned questions. The “light” TV viewers also were more likely to volunteer for causes and give to charity. (Well, sure, with all that free time spent not watching TV, they have to do something with their time.)

More than 2,000 Americans aged 18 and above were polled in the study.

I’m not surprised that TV addicts tend to have liberal political ideals and values. Just spend a day reading TV-related blogs and Web sites, and it’s clear that the writers on many popular sites endorse gay marriage, abortion and Bush bashing.

The real onus of this study for me is similar to the chicken-and-the-egg conundrum. Do hours and hours in front of the television lead to liberal values because the shows we watch espouse liberal ideals, or are TV addicts already liberal-minded thinkers before they settle down in front of the tube?

Do liberally geared shows such as Will and Grace, The West Wing, and Boston Legal change the way we view homosexuality and the government, respectively? Or are only liberals tuning in to those shows to reinforce their beliefs?

Now that’s a study I'd really like to read.

Copyright 2007 Tube Talk