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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Idol Chatter: American Idol auditions - Omaha and Miami

by Becky Tennant and Bethany O'Neil

Week three of American Idol began in Omaha, Nebraska, and then moved on to Miami, Florida.

As we settled down for yet another week of endless auditions and wackos, we were pleasantly surprised that FINALLY they showed more than a handful of the "yes" votes. Of course, there was the usual barrage of weirdos, although, there didn't seem to be as much of a focus on them this week. It seemed like the Idol producers finally decided to focus more on the talent chosen to go through to Hollywood.

Several top picks from Omaha were Jason Rich; once he remembered his lyrics, his great voice came through. And David Cook, he showed us that a rocker dude can, once again, win the judges over. Rachel Wicker, Samantha Sidley, Elizabeth Eckert, and Denise Jackson were also top choices from Omaha, along with 13 others that were chosen for Hollywood.

For the "no" crowd, we were treated to Sarah Whitaker, the Goth wrestler, who almost took our boy Ryan Seacrest out. Hands off girlfriend. And we can't forget to mention Chris Bernheisel. While he lacked the talent needed for a singing competition, his over abundance of happiness endeared him to the judges. Look for him again on the season finale, covering the red carpet for his hometowns local FOX affiliate.

When we tuned in to Wednesdays show, we were sure that Miami would be a show full of delusional people and crazies trying to get their 15 minutes of fame. And yes there were a few, but once again, we were also surprised at the talented people Idol chose to show as well.

Robbie Carrico and the Venezuelan-lover Ghaleb were the only two guys that they really focused on that were good. And we agree with Simon and Randy, Ghaleb and Paula looked good together! If the show doesn't work out for him, maybe he and Paula can work something out.

Several ladies won an opportunity to show their stuff in Hollywood. Brittney Wescott and her friend, Corliss Smith, were larger than life and showed us that they both have a little bit of jazz and a little bit of soul mixed in with lots of love. Not to mention, they have awesome personalities, which is always a plus.

Suzanne Toon, Ramiele Malubay, Syesha Mercado, and Natasia Blach were also chosen. All together, 17 were chosen from Miami to move on to the next round.

Next week folks, we are off to Atlanta, Georgia. Will we find the next American Idol there? Stick with us. We’ll be in Hollywood before you know it.

Lost parody

To celebrate the return of Lost tonight, I have a treat for you. Check out this parody created with the Lost action figures. It’s hilarious.

Thanks to the Fine Brothers for sending this my way.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Lost returns this week with treats

After nine long months (ironically, the time it takes to gestate a baby,) Lost returns on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET to kick off season four of the thrilling drama.

Tonight at 9 p.m. ET, ABC is giving Lost fans a treat by re-airing the season three finale, but this time with on-screen facts on the lower third of the screen that offer clues about the show.

I’m hoping we'll finally get a clue about the polar bear, the statue with the big toes, and why Kate never seems to get a tan.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Sneak peek at Tuesday’s House

It’s like water in a drought. That’s what it feels like when our favorite shows return with new episodes, during this time of reality horror shows and reruns.

On Tuesday, everyone’s favorite curmudgeon, Dr. House, returns to FOX to solve his latest case.

For those of you who can’t wait until Tuesday night, please enjoy these clips from the show, courtesy of the nice folks at FOX.

Those of you who don’t want to be spoiled, tune in at 9 p.m. ET.





Sunday, January 27, 2008

SAG Award Winners: The Office wins for TV comedy!

The SAG Awards were Sunday night and one of my favorite TV comedies, The Office, claimed the prize for Comedy Series Cast. The best part was that the producers played one of the best and funniest Office clips ever, in which the entire Office staff is discussing the proper use of the word “whomever.” (Don't pretend like you know when to use it correctly either.) That scene alone should have earned them the prize. Congrats to the cast!

Here’s a complete list of SAG Award winners.

Actor in a movie or miniseries: Kevin Kline, "As You Like It."
Actress in a movie or miniseries: Queen Latifah, "Life Support."
Actor in a drama series: James Gandolfini, "The Sopranos."
Actress in a drama series: Edie Falco, "The Sopranos."
Actor in a comedy series: Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock."
Actress in a comedy series: Tina Fey, "30 Rock."
Drama series cast: "The Sopranos."
Comedy series cast: "The Office."
Stunt ensemble: "24."

Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, "There Will Be Blood."
Actress: Julie Christie, "Away From Her."
Supporting actor: Javier Bardem, "No Country for Old Men."
Supporting actress: Ruby Dee, "American Gangster."
Cast: "No Country for Old Men."
Stunt ensemble: "The Bourne Ultimatum."

Friday, January 25, 2008

Commentary with a Co-ed: Moonlight finale

by Ashley Gouveia

Forgive me, while I shed some tears. Last Friday night looked like it was the last episode of Moonlight for the foreseeable future. It’s incredibly sad that just when it got even more exciting, it has to take a hiatus. But in this mid-strike world, I’ve learned to deal with it. So, in the meantime, let me dispense my thoughts on the season finale.

It was great hearing “Your Guardian Angel” by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus when Beth was thinking about how Josh was killed. Such an amazing song! Kudos to the person who selects the music. They have picked some great ones that fit the scenes perfectly, especially in this episode. Poor Josh, he never really had a chance. He was always going to be the odd man out in that triangle. I’m glad to see his character wasn’t forgotten after just one week. Or that he wasn’t a cheating loser like Beth suspected.

We got to see where Coraline ran off to when she disappeared from the hospital and who helped her escape. Who did she call? Andy McPhee! (Cue remix of Ghostbusters theme with Paula Cole’s “I Don’t Want to Wait.”) She played Cynthia, Coraline’s mysterious vampy friend. Speaking of mysterious new faces, Coraline’s people kept popping up all over the place in this episode. One-eyed Lance turned out not only to be a blood relative of Louis XIV, but her brother! Yeah, didn’t see either one of those coming.

I liked how we got to see more of Coraline’s past. Now we have to see more of Mick’s, before he joined the Beach Boys cover band. I know he wanted the cure for vampirism, but I wasn’t expecting him to jump right in like he did. He hates being a vampire, but I wonder if he’s going to enjoy not being capable to protect those close to him. Any guesses on who the “him” is that Coraline was carted off to see?

David Blue, aka Cliff on Ugly Betty, made another guest appearance as the vamp with the techno skills. I hope that character sticks around for the next batch of episodes. His comedy with Mick is really refreshing. Where’s Josef? I need more Jason Dohring on my screen. One of my favorite episodes was the one where we got to see Josef’s girlfriend who’s in the coma. I’d love to see that storyline explored further.

What happens next with Mick and Beth? That is the question that left us hanging in the final moments. I can’t wait for the show to return! What did you all think of last Friday’s episode? Was there anything you wished had happened but didn’t? Let me know in the comments. For now, goodnight Moonlight.

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

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Idol Chatter: American Idol auditions

by Becky Tennant and Bethany O'Neil

Week two of the American Idol auditions had us heading out West to San Diego, California, and down to South Charleston, South Carolina. Last week, we had a big laugh with the debut of Renaldo, but the talent was somewhat lackluster. Would this week be any different?

The week over all wasn't overly exciting, but it wasn't a total flop either.

Of course you had your share of the wacky. For example in San Diego, we got to meet contestant 8000, Alberto Hurtado, who was Idol's biggest "fan." Alberto wrote his own song "Live", but Simon wasn't feeling his vibe and compared him to "a storm cloud on a sunny day." Can we get some happy pills for this guy? Even if he did have a good singing voice (which he didn't), his fingernails were enough to scare us away...YIKES!

And of course we had our share of people who suffer from talent disillusionment. From San Diego, we had Sarah Long who was compared to William Hung. Then there was Monique Gibson and Christopher Baker, who just weren't good, plain and simple. And we can't forget Valerie Reyes, who tried to duplicate Mariah Carey, and her quote "Oh my God, now I am going to be on the rejects now that I think of it, so not cool!"

These auditions make us wonder why people, time after time, keep on trying to imitate Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. They know that 90 percent of the time it ends up in disaster, and that the judges will bash them. So why do they keep on, year after year, doing this? We just wonder what those two diva's think, every time someone butchers one of their songs. Lets hope they don't watch.

In South Carolina, the disillusion continued. Aretha Codner in her blue dress, needed to find a minimizer bra before Simon and Randy's eyes popped out of their heads. She just couldn't believe that they didn't like her voice, "because (she) was good."

Other hopefuls, whose parents have been lying to them, were Crystal Ortiz and Randy Stark. Interesting note about these two: they actually met on an Idol message board and found love....awww. And of course who could forget Joshua Boson and his rant about how Idol was fake and rigged, and how HE was going to be the next World Idol? Yeah, sure, we’ll see about that.

On the brighter side of things, there were a few positives this week. There actually is some talent in these two states. Some.

One hopeful from San Diego was Carly Smithson. Carly, who hales from Ireland, was actually picked to go to Hollywood two years ago, but had some problems with her visa and was disqualified. She is one to keep your eyes on. We predict that she will be in not only the top 24 but the top 12.

And along with Carly will be David Archuleta. He has a great voice for a 16-year-old and is cute too. The under eighteen crowd will be voting for him, along with their mothers. So, he too, has an excellent chance of gaining a spot in the top 24.

In Charleston, there wasn't a definite top 24 pick, but there were a couple that stood out.

Brother and sister Michelle and Jeffrey Lampkins both got a golden ticket. They were bringing the "Owww factor" with a snap thrown in, regardless of what the judges thought. But they were good. And Amy Flynn got a golden ticket, though she was spanked a bit by the judges for being a bit too confident. It’s hard to say if she will make it past the first few days of Hollywood, though.

We can't close South Carolina out without mentioning the birth of a baby. Contestant Oliver Highman was first in line to audition of day one, but his pregnant wife went into labor and he had to rush her to the hospital. By chance, he was able to make it in to audition at the end of day two with his newborn daughter in tow. We were beginning to think that we were going to have a repeat of last year, when Phil Stacy's wife gave birth, but sadly no. Oliver just didn't have the right stuff. Of course, it could have been because he was up all night or maybe his story was just better than his singing. We don't know. But it was a nice thing to see regardless. That was our soft, gushy, feely moment of the week.

Overall, 30 were picked from San Diego and only 23 from Charleston. Not a good representation of the south.

Next week, we travel to Omaha, Nebraska. Maybe Middle America is where our Idol is hiding. Only time will tell, and thankfully, we only have a few more weeks until we get to Hollywood!

One last note: rest in peace Heath.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Let’s Talk TV: The Week in Review

Never in all of my TV-viewing life would I have predicted that Friday night would be the best night for TV viewing. But it’s true. Friday is the new Thursday.

With shows such as Friday Night Lights, Las Vegas, Moonlight, Psych, and Monk, there is a show for pretty much every TV taste. Here’s my take on some of the shows I checked out the past week.

Friday Night Lights
Tim loves Lyla! I should have seen it coming, but I didn’t. His crank call to her radio show was the equivalent of pulling the little girl’s ponytail in grade school to get her attention. But what about Jason? It seems his role gets smaller and smaller by the week. Tim isn’t the only feeling lonely. Poor Matt saw his ladylove and hired nurse head out of the country. Who is going to take care of Grandma now? I worry about these things. Not to mention, I keep waiting for that scary drug dealer to realize that Tim stole his cash. That is not going to end well for Tim. (I was completely shocked to see Tim resort to stealing, since he wrote his father off in a previous episode for stealing, an act he did not condone.) The story that really warmed my heart was Santiago trying to break away from his old life. When he took on those thugs to get Buddy’s watch back that they’d stolen, my heart grew three sizes. This is the best show on television right now, hands down. It never disappoints. It has so many intense story arcs, yet they all hold my interest. From Tami and Eric trying to leave their new daughter at daycare, to Smash facing racism about his interracial romance, not a minute ticks by when I feel like fast-forwarding. In fact, the show leaves me satisfied and surprised every week that so many story arcs are played out so well. I have only one question: Where is Tyra? The girl has been missing for the past two weeks?

Boston Legal
Denny Crane was back in the courtroom, despite his Mad Cow disease. (Or senility, as it’s known in the non-Denny Crane world.) I was holding my breath for most of the episode, waiting for Denny to throw out one of his nonsensical one-liners or anger the judge with his sexist comments to the point he’d be jailed for contempt. But Denny kept it together, trying to prove he could still be effective, and surprisingly, got his client off. I enjoyed Denny in the courtroom. It was nice to see him doing something besides sexually harassing his employees or bonding with Alan. It was also a nice change to see someone other than uber-liberal Alan Shore arguing a closing. I even got a little weepy, after the trial, when Denny excused himself for a quiet moment and broke down. Most often, Boston Legal is a comedy. But when it hits dramatic moments like that one, it’s understandable why the show was nominated for an Emmy.

Las Vegas
I think Polly may be my new favorite character. In fact, she may be the funniest supporting actress on television. Her stint in traffic school with Sam and Mitch was the highlight of this week’s episode. How Polly gets her hysterical one-liners past the network police is beyond me. Plus, she’s taught me more about bikini waxing and “backdoor bleaching” than I ever wanted to know. The Piper/Cooper story was fantastic, too. Mike had me convinced that Piper was Cooper’s daughter. She does share the same irresistible dimples as Tom Selleck. I think a Mike and Piper hook up is inevitable, and I can’t wait. The Danny/Delinda pregnancy story is getting tiresome. I shudder to think what will happen when she actually gives birth.

One Tree Hill
Dan was in the house! Well, technically, he was in the big house rocking some serious facial hair. But still, after last week’s episode that was completely devoid all the Tree Hill adults I’d come to love, I was happy to see Dan again. Now, if Deb and Karen would just check in. Peyton’s new music label may be in trouble. K-Fed, really? P Sawyer is losing her touch already. And how about the shocker that Daphne Zuniga’s character is actually Brooke’s mother? I so didn’t see that coming. Oh, and a here’s some advice for “Lucas’ Lindsey”: I wouldn’t get too comfortable in Tree Hill. With Peyton and Brooke back in town, it won’t be long before Lucas is revisiting his old territory soon. Kudos to Nate for shaving his Jesus beard. Now, if he would just cut that hair, I’d be a happy woman. It’s never a good think when your wife’s hair is shorter than yours.

Scott Baio is 46… and Pregnant
If Scott Baio wanted to convince the world he is a giant tool, mission accomplished. Each episode, Baio comes off as more arrogant and selfish than the one before. His pregnant fiancĂ©e is dealing with hormones, her changing body, and the stress of carrying a baby, while Baio exiles himself to a different wing of the house to whine about losing himself, while flipping through his vintage Playboys to look at his ex-girlfriends. I’m done with this show. Grow up Chachi! Someone needs to call the Fonz to shake some sense into this immature brat.

OK, what’s up with all the grisly? Yes, I know this is a show about vampires, but decapitating people and holding their heads up for viewing, twice no less, was a little much. The show was too gruesome for me this week. I was happy to see Coraline back, but sadly, it looks like she’s gone again. Beth was still mourning Josh, and Mick was enjoying being human for the first time in decades. Of course, it was only temporary. I just have one request for the Moonlight folks: We need more Josef in this show!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Commentary with a Co-ed: Hooked on The Sarah Connor Chronicles

by Ashley Gouveia

I feel like I first heard about The Sarah Connor Chronicles so long ago and now I finally got to see it. I’m not a huge fan of the Terminator films. I couldn’t really tell you much about them, except for throwing out some catchy catchphrases and a flashback to the ride in Disneyland. But I’ve got to say that I loved it. It was fresh, exciting, and the two leading ladies kick butt!

Cameron, played by Summer Glau, is my favorite character. Granted, she’s a terminator/cyborg but she’s tough. Plus, she’s from the future! That’s another element that particularly peaked my interest in the show. Time travel is always interesting to me. When it’s done correctly it can take a show into a whole new direction that’s intriguing to the viewers. The time travel scene from the year 1999 to 2007 was great. I truly felt like I was watching a movie. Cameron also got to say the cool ‘come with me if you want to live’ line. How cool is that?

One reason I wanted to give this show a chance was because of Thomas Dekker, who played Zach on Heroes. I actually liked his character on that show. (Hey, he was better than West.) I wanted to see how he would handle a more important and main role. I’m happy to report that he passed with flying Terminator heads! That scene where he tells his mother that he can’t be the leader that he’s expected to be was heartbreaking. Dekker sold the ‘boy with the weight of the world on his shoulders’ brilliantly.

Not only do we have a tough cyborg girl, but we also get Sarah Connor herself. She had to be tough, if she wanted to protect her son from certain death. It’s been a while since we have had two leading women who are strong and can clearly take care of themselves on television. Even against psychotic killer robots.

The beginning and ending voiceovers given by Sarah are a great part of this series. I hope they don’t get rid of them. It’s fantastic how well they tie in to the actual themes of the episode. I think you all know I’m a sucker for a good voiceover. The pilot episode was one of the best I’ve seen in a long time. So, what did you, my fellow viewers at home think of The Sarah Connor Chronicles? I’m hooked!

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

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Idol Chatter: American Idol auditions

by Becky Tennant and Bethany O'Neil

Editor’s note: Hey Tubers, please welcome back my crack team of American Idol addicts/writers, Becky and Bethany. They watch all those embarrassing hours of Idol auditions, so you don’t have to. Tune in each week to get their take on the show, now aptly titled “Idol Chatter with Becky and Bethany.” Ladies…

It is 2008, and that means another season of American Idol. We are back again this year to offer up our crazy opinions and insights into this show that has become part of American pop culture. We aren't too proud to admit that we live vicariously through the contestants and three judges, Simon, Paula, and Randy, for a few months out of the year. Each week we will give our opinions, yes they are OUR opinions, and predictions about what season number seven will have in store for us. This week’s blog will be a little longer than most, since it is the season premiere, so please hang with us and enjoy our Idol Chatter....

We begin the New Year and new season with a different insight on Simon Cowell. Becky had an opportunity to be part of an interview with the cranky Brit himself and found out that Simon actually does have a nice, gentlemanly side to him. He was very polite, and there was no trace of Mr. Cranky Pants. Amazing. Yes, we know! And if you actually watched the season premiere, you, too, were also witness to a much more sensitive Simon.

There were times when it seemed he was going to become physically ill, while some of the contestants auditioned, such as when "Udi" sang. Simon stated that he was "slightly disturbing." Other "disturbing" moments for Simon - and for us - were during Christina Tolisano's and Alexis Cohen's auditions. Just looking at Simon's face, you knew that he really didn't know what to say to these ladies! And of course the moment when Douglas Davidson began singing "Livin on a Prayer," we knew that Simon would be brutally honest with him. But so far he hasn't gone beyond calling someone "demonic." That’s progress. Of course, it is early on, so we’ll see if this changes. Our prediction though for this season, is that Simon's softer side will prevail.

During the interview, Simon talked about how it is "torture" for him to sit through some of the auditions, but he also stated that this year there are definitely better singers than the previous years. He is predicting that there is a superstar among the group. Let's hope so. The last couple years have been mediocre, compared to the Kelly and Carrie years.

As a whole, all three judges seemed to be in great spirits, and Paula looked fantastic. Let's hope that this season she will stay coherent and look as put together as she did on Wednesday night. They all got along well too, the usual bantering that goes on was still there, but it seemed like it was all in good fun, instead of the actual sparring that was in full force during previous seasons.

The first week of auditions was surprisingly OK, there weren't too many "WOW" contestants that really bowled us over though. You would think that with the thousands of people auditioning there would be somebody, but it is early, so we’ll cross our fingers.

During the Philadelphia auditions, Angela Martin, from Chicago, became a favorite, and her story about her daughter didn't hurt her chances either. Kristy Lee Cook, Beth Stalker, and Brooke White, AKA Mary Poppins, were also stand-outs among the contestants. Overall, 29 people got the golden ticket to Hollywood.

Promising hopefuls from the evening in Dallas were; Kady Malloy, whose rendition of "Unchained Melody" prompted Simon to state that she was, “so far, the best contestant." Kayla Hatfield also received a pass to the next round, but we were less that thrilled with her performance. Her personality and "story" gave her the extra points she needed to win over the hearts of the judges. But will it work on them in Hollywood? We don't think so.

Brandon Green, who has a gross habit of peeling his fingernails and saving them, got the pass, as well as, Zpia Easley, (awesome hairdo and vocals,) Alaina Whitaker, Colton Swon, Nina "mini-dress" Shaw, Kyle "future Mr. President to you" Ensley, and the cutest farm boy we have seen in a long time, Drew Poppelreiter. Hopefully, he will be able to burst out and blow us all away, because he is good. And we are going on the record as saying "his tractor isn't the only sexy thing about him!"

From Dallas, only 24 were given passes to Hollywood. Not a good number, considering this is season one winner and superstar Kelly Clarkson's stomping grounds.

Both Philadelphia and Dallas offered up an array of weirdos vying to get the judges attention and to annoy Simon. As we mentioned earlier, Alexis Cohen and Christina Tolisano were a handful. They really had delusions of grandeur. Alexis, the sparkly wanna-be-veterinarian was flat out strange, definitely not victorious. Then, with Christina, the Star Wars super fan and Princess Lea look a like, you have one wacky mix. Come on girls. Someone should have warned them that they couldn’t sing. And who knows what was going on with Douglas Davidson? That was just really hard to watch. He kept on going and going and going. Finally, security escorted him out. Let's hope that he bypassed home and headed straight for a little R&R at the local hospital. Hard to watch, yes, but, we know, it is good TV.

We are, of course, saving the best for last. We can't end this week’s wrap-up, without mentioning the silver-and-white swan of the evening, Renaldo Lapuz. Renaldo brought life back into American Idol. (Set aside the fact that he reminds us of one of the hosts from the Japanese show Most Extreme Elimination Challenge.) The guy came out there in a most impressive white-and-silver feathered outfit, with Simon's name printed on his hat, and brought brotherliness to the show. It was truly touching to watch him serenade Simon with his song about being brothers and love. And the best part about it was when Paula, Randy, and Ryan all got up too sing and dance along. It was one of the funniest, weirdest, and most touching moments in “Idol” audition history in our opinions. Let's just pause for a moment and remember the warm, fuzzy feeling we got from Renaldo and his song, and of course when they zoomed in on Simon's face at the end......priceless.

Next week we are off to San Diego, where we are almost positive that there will be more losers than winners. The next few weeks will definitely drag on. The audition process is our least-liked part of the show. We want a singing competition! By the way, did we mention how hot Ryan Seacrest is looking this season? A little meat on a man’s bones sure makes a difference...WOW!

Will we find a superstar amongst these chosen few, or will we find anther lukewarm performer? Who knows, but in the meantime visions of Renaldo, on You Tube, and his heartfelt song to Simon will keep us entertained until we get to the top 24. We will be back next week with more Idol Chatter.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Interview with Moonlight’s Sophia Myles

by Jennifer Squires Biller

I just got off the phone with Sophia Myles, or as you know her, Beth, the vampire-friendly reporter on the CBS hit drama Moonlight.

She was delightful and downright giddy at the success of the show, as she chatted with a few reporters during the conference call.

I tried several times to get Myles to spill some details about this Friday’s episode, that shows Coraline in the promos (yay!) but Myles was as tight lipped as a vampire sucking blood. She didn’t want to spoil us.

Myles has a lengthy resume that includes film and television roles in Tristan and Isolde, Underworld, Extras, Doctor Who and many more.

For those of you who don’t know, Myles is from across the pond and has a lovely British accent. In short, she sounds very different from the Beth we’ve come to know. Here’s a rundown of what Myles had to say. (Just picture her answers with a British accent and it’s all the more entertaining.)

Jennifer: What can you tell us about this Friday’s episode?
Sophia: The last two are so powerful. Talk about leaving you hanging. I don’t want to spoil it. We need to do more. (Editor’s note: Friday’s episode is the last new one to air due to the writers’ strike.)

Jennifer: The last time Beth saw Coraline things did not end well. Will we get to see any resolution from the stabbing scene?
Sophia: It’s complicated. But it’s great that it’s so complicated. I love Shannyn Sossamon dearly. I want to see her at work. That’s all I’m going to say.

Jennifer: I think many of the fans of the show are shocked that you have a British accent; you do the American one so well. Do you work with a vocal coach?
Sophia: When I first landed here I worked with someone. I’d played American before so (I had some experience with the American accent.) I’m living here, and I’m hearing it all the time, so it’s got easier. I was very jet lagged in the first episode so I can hear it (in it.)

Jennifer: Where would you like the series to go?
Sophia: I feel like I’m on the roller coaster that I didn’t really look at before I got on it. I don’t want it to stop just yet. Who knows? It could go any which way.

Q: Will we ever your English accent coming out of Beth’s mouth on the show?
Sophia: I don’t know unless they make me into an evil version of myself or something. I prefer playing the bad guy. I loved playing the bad vampire when I did Underworld.

Q: Discuss the chemistry between you and Alex.
Sophia: It’s absolutely luck. It’s like the gift you wish for. If there was a formula you could produce, then every show would be a hit show. I’ve had a lot of costars and leading men, but it’s like normal life. Some people you click with, and some you don’t. We make the other one better. It’s like playing a really good game of tennis everyday. Out of character, Alex and Sophia, our relationship is based on humor, and we laugh our asses off. If you filmed us off screen it would make an even better show than Moonlight. It’s hilarious.

Q: Do you prefer movie roles over TV roles?
Sophia: I never really picked a job based (on that.) It’s about the script or the story. Episodic TV (in America) is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. You guys work hard.

Q: What are your favorite American TV dramas?
Sophia: I’ve been so busy working on the show that I haven’t watched much and now that the writers are on strike there’s nothing on. I do need to get caught up on DVD.

Q: Did Beth really want Mick to turn Josh into a vampire after he died?
Sophia: There was so much unfinished business because she’s been having an emotional affair with Mick. I just think she didn’t want him to die in that moment. I think if she thought about it, turning him would have been a mistake, but she just didn’t want him to go in that moment. Getting involved with a vampire. You’re taking on a lot! (laughter)

Q: Did you research vampires for the part?
Sophia: I’ve been learning as I go along. I’m not the world’s biggest vampire fan; I can take them or leave them. I’ve learned about the mythology, as I’ve been doing the show. I play Beth as somebody who doesn’t know anything about it because she doesn’t really know much about them. Can they have sex? I think I ask all the normal questions that people ask. (laughter)

Q: Is there a master plan for where the show is going or do you know (where the character is going?)
Sophia: That’s what’s fascinating about this show. It’s been an organic process. It’s literally evolved day in and day out. It’s quite scary doing it that way. Week to week, no one knows what the hell is going on. But it works.

Q: What are you doing in the interim (during the downtime due to the writer’s strike.)
Sophia: I spent Christmas here (in L.A.) A puppy (Jackson) was given to me by someone and there’s a six-month law before he can travel (overseas.) Southern California is beautiful in the winter. I just stayed here with Jackson. I went to the beach on Christmas Day. It was wonderful.

Q: Did you have any prior interest in the occult (before Moonlight?)
Sophia: No. To me, with Moonlight, I’m more interested in the immortality theme.

Q: Do you have a favorite cuisine you’ve discovered here?
Sophia: You can’t get good Mexican food anywhere in London. I love that about LA. Great Mexican food. And the SKOR chocolate bars are lovely. We cannot get them in London. The food is great.

Q: Will they get to see the show in the UK?
Sophia: Yes, it’s going to the UK on February 18. I’m excited for England that they’re going to see us. There’s something about Moonlight. People just love it. It’s such great escapism.

Here are some other random quotes. (I couldn’t type quite quickly enough to catch the questions.)

Sophia: I love being part of the show. It’s such an adventure. I’m getting really frustrated; I want this writers strike to finish.

Sophia: For me, being part of this show has been incredible. I never knew what I was getting involved in. It’s evolved. They offered me this job. I had 24 hours. I left London and came here. It just started to evolve. Alex and I have such a rapport together. The “McBeth” thing, as the fans like to call it, just developed, as we’ve gone along.

(On her character)
Sophia: I feel like I really get her now. I love it when they write humor into it for the two of us because Alex and I love comedy. I don’t like it when they give me a gun. It makes me very uncomfortable.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

American Idol Rewind: Carrie Underwood’s audition

In honor of all the horrible singing you’re witnessing tonight on American Idol, I proudly present a look back at the incredible Carrie Underwood’s American Idol audition.

It’s funny to see where she started and where she is now.

I so need the name of her stylist. That is one rockin’ Hollywood makeover! Enjoy.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Golden Globe Winners 2008

TV Drama Series
Big Love
Grey's Anatomy
The Tudors

TV Drama Series Actress
Patricia Arquette, Medium
WINNER Glenn Close, Damages
Minnie Driver, The Riches
Edie Falco, The Sopranos
Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters
Holly Hunter, Saving Grace
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer

TV Drama Series Actor
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
WINNER Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Hugh Laurie, House
Jonathan Rhys Meyers, The Tudors
Bill Paxton, Big Love

TV Comedy Series
30 Rock
Pushing Daisies

TV Comedy Series Actress
Christina Applegate, Samantha Who?
America Ferrera, Ugly Betty
WINNER Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Anna Friel, Pushing Daisies
Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds

TV Comedy Series Actor
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Steve Carell, The Office
WINNER David Duchovny, Californication
Ricky Gervais, Extras
Lee Pace, Pushing Daisies

Best Motion Picture Drama
American Gangster
WINNER Atonement
Eastern Promises
The Great Debaters
Michael Clayton
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

Best Motion Picture Comedy or Musical
Across the Universe
Charlie Wilson's War
WINNER Sweeney Todd

Best Actress in a Movie Drama
Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth: The Golden Age
WINNER Julie Christie, Away From Her
Jodie Foster, The Brave One
Angelina Jolie, A Mighty Heart
Keira Knightley, Atonement

Best Actor in a Movie Drama
George Clooney, Michael Clayton
WINNER Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
James McAvoy, Atonement
Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises
Denzel Washington, American Gangster

Best Actress in a Movie Comedy or Musical
Amy Adams, Enchanted
Nikki Blonsky, Hairspray
Helena Bonham Carter, Sweeney Todd
WINNER Marion Cotillard, La Vie En Rose
Ellen Page, Juno

Best Actor in a Movie Comedy or Musical
WINNER Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd
Ryan Gosling, Lars and the Real Girl
Tom Hanks, Charlie Wilson's War
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Savages
John C. Reilly, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

Best Supporting Actress
WINNER Cate Blanchett, I'm Not There

Julia Roberts, Charlie Wilson's War
Saoirse Ronan, Atonement
Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone
Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton

Best Supporting Actor
Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
WINNER Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Charlie Wilson's War
John Travolta, Hairspray
Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton

Best Director
Tim Burton, Sweeney Todd
Ethan Cohen and Joel Cohen, No Country for Old Men
WINNER Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Ridley Scott, American Gangster
Joe Wright, Atonement

Best Animated Film
Bee Movie
WINNER Ratatouille
The Simpsons Movie

Best Foreign Language Film
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Romania)
WINNER The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (France and U.S.)
The Kite Runner (U.S.)
Lust, Caution (Taiwan)

Michael Muhney on CSI: Miami Monday

Sheriff Lamb lovers, I have some news for you.

Actor Michael Muhney - who will always be Sheriff Lamb from Veronica Mars to me – will guest star on CSI: Miami Monday night.

Tune in and find out if he’s a killer or not!
CSI: Miami airs at 10 p.m. ET on CBS.

Charisma Carpenter makes BIG splash on Big Shots

I’m rarely surprised these days when it comes to television. But this week’s episode of Big Shots shocked me to the point where I had to rewind several scenes.

And believe me, that’s a good thing.

Since the inception of Big Shots, we’ve all heard Brody go on and on about his pushy, overbearing wife, Janelle, who keeps him on such a tight leash, he can barely go to the bathroom. Episode after episode, he whined about this heinous woman who emasculates him, and I asked myself why he stayed with such a spoiled, selfish woman.

So, it didn’t exactly shock me when Brody began flirting with a stunning new character with a flat tire, who he stopped to help. (Hello Charisma Carpenter!) He talked about his empty marriage. She talked about her empty relationship and how she felt alone all the time. She offered a hotel romp. He said no; he couldn’t cheat on his wife. (That was until his wife called later complaining that the teak wood in her latest project was actually walnut or some other wood that apparently was not to her liking.)

Cut to Brody and Charisma in bed after the deed. He says he wants his wife back, and she kisses him. Later, the two met and discussed their “best anniversary” ever.


That’s right. Flat-tire girl was actually Janelle. Brilliant!

No wonder Brody put up with all her craziness.

TV viewers love Charisma, and it’s great to see her doing her thing again. Plus, this episode gave Brody more depth than he had all season and finally an interesting storyline. More please, Rob Thomas!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Las Vegas cast to get keys to the city

UPDATED: January 11 with photos from the event.

If you live in Las Vegas and are a fan of the TV show Las Vegas, you might catch a glimpse of the NBC stars tonight.

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar B. Goodman is presenting the keys to the city to the cast and the executive producers of the NBC show Las Vegas in a ceremony at the Palms tonight.

Josh Duhamel, Molly Simms, Vanessa Marcil, James Lesure, and Camille Gauty are walking the red carpet from 6-7 p.m., followed by the ceremony at the Palms.

For any Tube Talk readers attending, I expect a full report. And pictures of Josh Duhamel, of course!

UPDATE: Thanks to kind Tube Talk reader Kim, here are some photos of the cast from last night's event. Check out Josh Duhamel's t-shirt, featuring a photo of James, with hair. Too funny.

Win a walk-on role on One Tree Hill

Have you dreamed of hanging out in Tree Hill with Lucas, Petyon, and Nate? You may get the chance.

The folks at the CW and Macys are running a contest that offers a lucky One Tree Hill fan the chance to appear in an episode, to hang out with the cast, watch the show in production, and attend a charity event.

To enter, submit an audition tape explaining why you should be chosen or attend one of the seven casting calls. For complete details and rules, visit the CW site here.

The casting calls have a special treat. Cast members will be on hand to sign autographs. Here’s a rundown of who will be where. Fort times and complete details on the locations and times, click here. The contest ends February 4. Good luck!

Macy’s Herald Square - New York City (cast members Sophia Bush and Daphne Zuniga)*
Macy’s Aventura - Aventura, FL (cast member Hilarie Burton)
Macy’s Union Square - San Francisco, CA (cast member James Lafferty)
Macy’s Lenox Square - Atlanta, GA (cast member Antwon Tanner)
Macy’s State Street - Chicago, IL (cast member Lee Norris)
Macy’s Downtown Seattle - Seattle, WA (cast member Bethany Joy Galeotti)
Macy’s Easton Town Center - Columbus, OH (series creator Mark Schwahn and cast member Michaela McManus)

Commentary with a Co-ed: One Tree Hill delivered

by Ashley Gouveia

One Tree Hill is finally back (yay!) with its season five flash-forward. Tuesday night we all got to see where Lucas, Nathan, Brooke, Peyton, Haley and the rest of the gang ended up after college.

Can I just say that I am so glad Mark Schwann, the creator of OTH, decided to skip the college years? I think it’s a lot more interesting to have the flashbacks of the four years and concentrate more on the scary time that is life after college. Plus, the actors can now play closer to their actual age.

The two-hour premiere started off with a good ol’ Lucas Scott voiceover. Then we see a much scruffier Chad Michael Murray standing at the River Court. Me like! Lucas is not the only one with a new look. Nathan is sporting a new longer ‘do and facial hair. Not a favorite look for my Nate, but maybe it will grow on me. Ms. Brooke Davis, now the head of her own fashion company in L.A., is doing pretty darn well for her twenty-one year old self. But she’s learning that money doesn’t buy happiness. But it sure does help, doesn’t it?

Peyton was working her way up at a music label. But since she was still only an assistant to an assistant, she decided to quit and pursue her dream of signing new talent back in Tree Hill. I’m glad she did, because her storyline in L.A. was kind of boring me. At least back home she can mingle with old friends and angst over Lucas. Not that she wasn’t doing that in L.A. already. I’m thinking she should have taken a trip down to a place called October Road and visit another former flame. Jake come back!

Lucas was having serious writer’s block after completing his first novel. Hey, it happens. I was pretty surprised by how Nathan got himself in a wheelchair. My first thought was that he injured himself playing basketball, much like Dan did. But a bar brawl caused him to lose his dream of playing in the NBA. Haley started teaching at the high school and is trying to be good mom to their son, Jamie, while Nathan is drinking himself into depression. I have to give props to the boy who plays little Jamie Scott. He stole every scene he was in. The kid is adorable! He broke my heart in the scene with Nathan trying to walk. He had some of the best lines, too. I agree kid, Grover is way better than Elmo!

I can’t talk about the premiere without mentioning the music, because it’s such an important part of this show. It had some great stuff like, ‘Light up the Sky’ by Yellowcard. My favorite song had to be ‘The Freshman’ by The Verve Pipe that played during Nathan’s scene when he got up from the wheelchair. Not only was that my favorite song, it was also my favorite scene.

These two hours of One Tree Hill were such a welcomed treat during a dry spell of new, scripted TV. I’m anxious to see what else is going to be revealed about the last four years. Do you like the flash-forward idea? What was your favorite scene? ‘Til next week.

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

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Congratulations Moonlight!

One of my favorite new shows of the fall, Moonlight, just snagged the People’s Choice Award for favorite new drama. Way to go, Tubers!

You listened to all my nagging... um, polite suggestions. More than 10 million of you voted for Moonlight, according to show star Alex O’Loughlin, in his taped acceptance speech last night.

For those of you who haven’t seen this engrossing drama, click here to see what you’ve been missing, as well as some upcoming scenes from this Friday’s episode.

Here’s the official description from CBS:

Josh's fate is in Mick and Beth's hands when he is kidnapped by a vindictive drug lord. But when the rescue takes a turn for the worse, Beth asks Mick to do the impossible, on MOONLIGHT, Friday, Jan. 11.

Why do I think this isn’t gong to end well for poor Josh?

Moonlight airs on CBS at 9 p.m. ET.

Congratulations to Samatha Who?, also, which snagged the People’s Choice Award for favorite new comedy, as well as House and Two and a Half Men, which took the awards for favorite drama and favorite comedy, respectively.

Tube Talk site redesign

In case you hadn’t noticed, things look a little different around here. We’re working on a brand new site design that will make reading Tube Talk easier for you.

The new site has drop-down menus for the interviews, show titles, news, weekly columns, and your favorite celebrities, to make it easier for you to find exactly what you want to read.

It’s a work in progress, so bear with us the next several days, as we add back our links and other information and work out any bugs.

I hope you enjoy the new design!

“Tube Talk Girl”

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Interview with Psych’s James Roday and Dule Hill

Psych fans, the wait is over. The show returns this Friday at 10 p.m. on USA.

To celebrate the occasion, I chatted with the show’s stars, James Roday and Dule Hill, yesterday, as part of a conference call with several journalists throughout the country.

Here is the fun interview, full of “juicy” delicious show details. And yes, that is a reference to the ongoing pineapple joke on the show that the boys finally explain.
They also discuss all those ‘80s references you love, the romance of Shawn and Juliet, and the chemistry or “bromance” of Shawn and Gus. Please note that the transcript, provided by NBC, has been edited in places for clarity and length.

I’ve seen this Friday’s episode, and it’s good stuff, Tubers. Kerry Washington guest stars as Gus’ wife. Yes, I said wife. It’s as good as you’re imagining.

For those of you who’ve written asking, the show will begin airing this season’s episodes on NBC in March. No date has been released yet for the debut. I’ll let you know, as soon as I get the 411.
Without further adieu, the boys of Psych.

Jennifer Biller: Hey guys, love the show. It’s so funny.

Dule Hill: Thank you.

James Roday: Thanks!

Jennifer Biller: My readers love all the ‘80s references. (The recent Short Circuit one had me rolling,) and they want to know if those moments are scripted or ad-libbed?

Dule Hill: I think it’s a mixture of both. I mean, I think they write some stuff and then other stuff will come up later, mostly between Roday and any other ‘80s freak that we have on the show. That’s where it’ll come from most of the time.

James Roday: Yeah. I mean, we’ve sort of created a landscape for this show that is very sort of ‘80s friendly, from the way we talk and the music that we add, to the guest actors that we bring on. So, anytime something even sort of makes sense, we’re certainly encouraged to give it a shot. So, there’s tons more that you’ve actually never seen because we spew them out at an alarming rate.

Jennifer Biller: Please put them on the DVD. I think they would love that.

James Roday: You got it.

Jennifer Biller: Dule, will we get to see any of your incredible dancing skills in future episodes?

Dule Hill: I think we’re moving closer to it. I think it will happen at some point. It’s what I would like to do.

Jennifer Biller: Fantastic. James, the relationship with your father (on the show), Corbin Bernsen is one of my favorite parts of the show. Will we get to see more details, perhaps, about why their relationship is what it is?

James Roday: Yes. There’s some stuff coming up that I think - that’ll shed some light on that, and then there’s a big bopper of a cliffhanger that you can look forward to at the end of the sixth episode. So yeah, we’re definitely doing some of that stuff.

Q: So what’s up with the pineapple rubbing joke?

Dule Hill: That actually started from the pilot, because in the pilot episode in my apartment when Shawn came to wake me up and I went back to my room I guess to get ready, there just by chance was a pineapple on top of a refrigerator on the set. And Roday, doing what he does, just kind of took the pineapple and asked me if I wanted him to cut it up. And ever since then…

James Roday: It really has gotten bigger than I think any of us ever imagined that it would.

Dule Hill: Well the improv that Roday did, it stayed with us.

James Roday: And ironically, it was in and out of that pilot like three or four times. Like it got cut and then it got put back in. It got cut; it got put back in. I mean, it barely survived. And now it’s like a staple of what we do - very amusing.

Q: I understand you also have had a bunch of jokes about Chad Michael Murray. What’s up with that?

James Roday: You know, I’ve never actually met Chad Michael Murray…

Dule Hill: Neither have I.

James Roday: I don’t really have anything against him. To me, he puts out an image and he sort of puts himself out there in a way that’s very easy to make fun of. And, you know what? It’s an easy target, I admit it. But we have fun doing it, that’s all I can say.

Dule Hill: It’s just childish games that we play.

Q: On the show you sort of have these pretty keen observational skills. As a result of the show, have your observational skills gotten better, outside of filming, just everyday life?

Dule Hill: Well let me answer that one.

James Roday: Yeah. Go, Dule.
Dule Hill: I can answer for him and say no. There’s been many times that Roday has driven me to work in the morning, and his skills have not gotten better because there’s many times I’ve had to call out and be like, “There’s a red light right there. You better watch out for that cop over there. So…

James Roday: Yeah. You know what? I think I thought that they we were going to. I just thought there would be like a natural byproduct of… doing the show, but it didn’t really - it hasn’t worked out like that.

Q: I was really glad to hear that you guys are going to get a run on NBC. I was wondering what your reaction was to that and what you think it might mean for the regular show?

James Roday: Well, Dule and I together paid the WGA upwards of $150,000 not to resolve their issues so that we could get a run on NBC. That was the first thing we did. (Awkward pause) That’s a joke. That’s not true.

Dule Hill: Yeah, he is joking. It’s true.

James Roday: But it is, you know, it’s one of those little pieces of silver lining that can happen from a work stoppage, which is strange and unpredictable. I’m totally excited about it. And the fact that we will hopefully be exposed to a larger audience is exactly what this show needs. We have some very, very loyal fans but I feel like it’s a tight little group and we’d love to see that group get bigger.

Q: (For Dule) Are there any of Gus’s talents that you share in your life – the super smeller, for example or the exceptional spelling, or the extensive knowledge of pharmaceuticals??

Dule Hill: I think I have all of those abilities when I have a laptop in front of me. So, I can spell great when I have spell check, and I know any pharmaceutical thing you want to know, as long as I have Google right next to me.

James Roday: I can definitely vouch for his ability to say big words. He’s a master of that.

Q: Super smeller? Have you got a super smeller?

Dule Hill: No, I don’t think so. I don’t have the smelling capabilities of Burton Guster.

Q: In preparing for the role, did you hang with any real psychics and sort of get, you know, tips from them as to how to, you know, how to act on the show?

Dule Hill: Well being that my character is not a psychic…I did not.

James Roday: Way back before we shot the pilot, I did a little bit of research and I met with a few psychics, you know, just to sort of get an idea of like what happens to them, physically, when they have episodes that I could sort of have a reference point of where to go, if there was anything cool that I could feel. I made sure that I told them I was playing a real psychic so that they didn’t get offended. Nobody called me out on it. So that might say something about the level of their authenticity. But since then, I’ve sort of been flying by the seat of my pants. I’ll be honest with you. I sort of store that away and then let it go.

Q: How did you get Kerry Washington for “There’s Something About Mira?” And can the fans look forward to any Shawn/Juliet interaction the next episodes?

Dule Hill: Okay. Well for Kerry, she’s a friend of mine that I’ve known for years back, from back in New York. And when the role came up, I thought that would be a fun role for her to do. I thought she would enjoy it. And I called her and asked her to come bless us with her talent and she said, “Sure.”

James Roday: Shawn and Juliet - I think it’s possible that we created - I think we created some anticipation with that last moment in the first half of the season that we might not be able to deliver on. So don’t get too excited because, you know, I think there’s still plenty of sexual tension there. But I would be lying if I said we’d take another step in that direction.

Q: You guys have obviously very good chemistry on this show. What is the secret to that?

James Roday: The secret to good chemistry… I’ve had not great chemistry with other actors on other shows, so I think you just have to get lucky initially. You just sort of have to mesh with somebody, so that you’re not having to work at it. And then if you get lucky, then my guess would be that this secret of maintaining good chemistry is just not getting laded.

Dule Hill: That’s what Roday likes to call LL.

James Roday: Yeah.

Q: Dule, getting back to Kerry Washington, what can you tell us about that backstory, as far as Gus being married?

Dule Hill: It was a time where I guess Gus was tired of always living by the rules and decided to take a walk on the wild side, for one night, until he woke up the next morning and realized what he had done. And then kind of pulled himself back in - reigned himself back in.

Q: What’s your favorite episode so far for each of you?

Dule Hill: For me it would be “American Duos.” I just really loved dressing up as Michael Jackson. That was just a childhood dream come

James Roday: I think very selfishly, and perhaps unselfishly, I would go with “Scary Sherry” Season one. (Editor’s note: the episode he wrote) Just because it was actually quite moving to watch everybody come together and bust their butts to make that episode happen for the show, but also for me because it was sort of a departure from what we had done up to that point. And everybody really rallied. And it was a great experience. I was very thankful. That will always have a soft spot for me.

Q: James, I know you’ve written some episodes of the show. Do you have plans to do more of that in the future? And what’s that like writing for a show that you star in?

James Roday: Yeah, I think I will keep doing it. I have a good time with it. It was weird - the first time out it was weird, just because there were so many dynamics at play. You know, I didn’t know exactly how everybody was going to take, you know, my doing my first episode. But everybody was so awesome. My fellow cast mates were great. The crew was so supportive. As soon as I knew that everything was going to be cool, then it just became really fun. And now I like doing it, and I’ll probably do a couple a season.

Q: James, on this Psych Season One DVD set, there’s film of your audition, as I’m sure you know. And it seems like you got Shawn Spencer right from the get-go. Is that the way it was for you? You read the script and you just got the guy immediately?

James Roday: Well, I certainly got what my take on the guy was going to be. You know, there was a really good chance that everybody else involved weren’t going to be on the same page. But, that’s definitely the dice that you roll. But, for me it was worth, you know, going for it and letting them know if you give me this role, you’re going to get something in this arena, so you need to be okay with that. Otherwise, this is not a good match. And, it turned out that it was cool. But it could have gone the other way, and then you’d be watching some other dude.

Q: How has the success of this show changed your life in ways large and small, and ways good and bad, if at all?

James Roday: Well for me, it’s been all good. I enjoy working, so first, it’s nice to have a job and know that you still have a job. That just sort of lends itself to a happier lifestyle, I think, regardless of what you do for a living. And then being approached by fans - our fans are so great because every time I get stopped by somebody, it’s always really specific to the show, and they’re really enthusiastic about the show. And they just want to talk about the show or tell me how much they love the show, you know, as opposed to random people stopping you and saying, “Don’t I recognize you from somewhere?” We have the greatest fans, so we’re constantly being motivated to keep doing good work, because they’re out there in all shapes and sizes, and all different ages. In the matter of one day in a mall, I’ll be stopped by 12-year-old girls and a 58-year-old man. And it’s amazing to me the net that we’ve sort of cast with this show. That’s really motivating. That really makes me feel like we’re doing something that has some value, and it makes me want to keep doing it, and do it even better. So it’s been a very, very positive experience for me.

Q: Dule, did you get Gus immediately or were you having to try and figure out how to bounce him off of James, or what? How did that work out for you?

Dule Hill: I think for me, the process was a little more - well, for both of us really, but the process is evolving. I think I had an idea of who Gus is. And look at the pilot and look at him now, I think you’ll see a growth in the character.

Q: He’s goofier now.

Dule Hill: Because I actually walked in the room and said okay, this is exactly who he is. I guess I was trying to figure out all the aspects of him. And I still am. I’m still trying to, evolve the character and find out different things about him. So no, I didn’t get him right away. (Unintelligible).

Q: Dule. You were great on West Wing and you’re even more amazing on Psych, so do you prefer drama to comedy? And how hard was it for you to make that change into the new show?

Dule Hill: I like balancing it out personally. I mean, after doing seven years of the drama, to be able to do some comedy with expressions… I was tired of - not really tired of, but I didn’t want to go and do another show where I had to dig deep and, you know, deal with a lot of my personal issues of bringing stuff out. Making the transition wasn’t that hard to me because most of the time I’m more of a lighthearted kind of person anyway. I like to crack jokes and have a good time. And this show is a blast. I mean, working with this cast is amazing. So from day one I knew I was going to have a good time. From the cast itself to Steve, you know, writing the episodes and all that, I’ve had a blast. So it was very easy.

Q: On the Psych Outs (that air at the end of the shows) you guys have a lot of fun doing a little bit of improv, and I’m sure you guys do a ton on the show throughout. So does the script change a lot because you guys are kind of adding your own stuff? And who is more into doing the improv?

Dule Hill: Oh, Roday is definitely more the improver. I kind of feed off of Roday. It’s the kind of thing where I keep a ship going in the right direction, that way Roday can do all of his - everything he does, you know what I mean?

James Roday: Yeah. We have a pretty good deal with our writers. I mean, they sort of get what we do on the show and appreciate it. And we sort of set boundaries, and they know that as long as we tell their story and make sure that we hit all the major points. And they give us a lot of room to sort of have fun, keep things fresh, and make it our own. You know, it’s definitely trial by fire. It’s not like all of my improvisation is gold. But I would say 90% of it is.

Q: Did you say that you two guys commute to work together?

Dule Hill: Sometimes we have, yeah, because in Vancouver, when my wife needs the car I will call Roday and say hey, can you give me a ride

Q: (Following up) I just find that unusual. I mean, Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd never drove to work together. I think it’s interesting that you guys do. Does it create a different kind of situation? You guys get to talk together on the way to work and the way home from work, and stuff like that?

Dule Hill: Yeah. I believe, sometimes it allows us to catch up on what’s going on, just talk about different issues that may be going on with the show and, like, come up with a game plan of how we are going to navigate certain orders. And sometimes it’s just a matter of, you know, I get to sleep while he’s driving.

Q: When James was talking about how fans react to him, what have you noticed is the difference? I mean, you had such a different set of fans for “West Wing” than you do for “Psych.” What’s the difference in - from those two shows, the likelihood that people will recognize you and come up and talk to you?

Dule Hill: I think Roday hit it on the nose when he said you can be walking down the street or walk through a mall somewhere, or an airport, and there’ll be a 12-year-old girl. And ten feet later, it’ll be a 58-year-old man. That didn’t really happen too much on West Wing. There definitely weren’t a lot of children watching or even teens watching West Wing that often. So I think it’s just the variety of the audience, what I see the difference is.

Q: How many episodes are in this second part (of the season that begin airing on Friday?) And were they all written and filmed? Do you have them all written - all the ones written that you’d planned on written before the strike?

Dule Hill: Yeah. I believe there were six. Roday?

James Roday: Yeah, there’s six left and they’re all finished and have been for awhile.

Q: Dule. You’re talking about the evolution of Gus, and it’s clear his one-night walk on the wild side is certainly one evolution. When you first saw him and saw how straight arrow he was at first, was that one of your hopes - that this guy would gradually start to wave off and do some interesting things?

Dule Hill: Definitely. And I think the (writers) were on the same page initially also that where the character was written in the pilot, isn’t necessarily where he was going to stay, because he was, from the pilot episode, definitely very straight-laced. I think we’ve kind of not necessarily loosened him up some, but at least it’s started to allow him to have more fun, more fun in who is. And I think you’ll continue to see it go that way.

Q: Dule, I was wondering when you first started portraying Gus, how much of Charlie did you bring over from the West Wing, do you think?

Dule Hill: None. Yeah, I don’t think I brought any of Charlie over there. Because they were different. Gus didn’t have all the history that Charlie had in terms of his mom being killed and working with this co-worker who died in a car accident. I mean, Charlie had a lot of baggage. No, I didn’t bring anything over because it was just two different shows - two different shows, two different characters. And being - one being a comedy and one being a drama - definitely helped draw the line how I would approach things with Shawn was completely different than how I would approach things with President Bartlet or any of the other characters on that show.

James Roday: Not that Shawn doesn’t have the gravitas of President Bartlet. He does, it’s just a different approach, is all. So from the beginning, that takes it in two completely different directions.

Q: Did you have any input into the animated thing - The Big Adventures of Little Shawn and Gus?

James Roday: I didn’t man. We were just as surprised as you guys were when we heard they were doing that. But they’re funny little looking dudes, man. Running around, having adventures, you know, animated and what not. They just - they’re sort of like - they’re in their own little world over there in marketing and with Web site stuff. And they keep us on our toes. We get surprised a lot by them actually.

Q: Have you guys seen them all (The Big Adventures of Little Shawn and Gus?)

Dule Hill: I have not seen any of them. Nope, I actually forgot about it until we came - until I started to see it come back up.

Q: Is there a point anywhere down the line where Shawn will be discovered to be a complete fake, or will you guys bring in more people into your inner circle so they’ll know that this is real?

James Roday: I think the answer to that question lies almost exclusively in how long the show runs. I think we’ll try to get away with not doing that for as long as possible. And so we’re all sort of sitting at the table going, you know, we’ve clearly hit a wall. It’s time to either shut it down, bring someone into the inner circle, you know, show that he’s a fake or bring a child onto the show because that’s what happens when you hit walls. One of those four things has to occur. I think we’ve sort of found the formula that works for our show and now that we know what it is, I mean, me personally, I’d like to spend at least another full season just having fun with it, now that we don’t have to worry about what it is anymore - you know, doing as much silly stuff as we can come up with. We’ll take a look at it again after Season Three, you know, see what needs to be done. I mean, I would much rather learn more about the characters. I mean, from their lives and sort of start questioning in that direction, than do something like plot-driven. So we’ll see.

Q: Can you talk some more about what we’ll be seeing in the second half of the season from the show - what adventures you and Gus are up to?

Dule Hill: It’s always so hard when you’ve filmed them like six months ago. Well, you know, we had an episode where obviously I get married or have been married, and my ex-wife comes back in the picture. Then we have the episode where we become fashion models, which was written by Roday and Steve Franks

James Roday: There’s a couple episodes that involve us and like people over 60 that kind of blend together for me. It’s sort of like Psych meets Cocoon Part 1 and Psych meets Cocoon Part 2. And then there’s a big finale that involves a mummy.

Q: It seems like Lassiter has mellowed, like in the first season he was just more determined to prove that Shawn was a phony, and he hasn’t seemed to be doing that. What’s going on with Lassiter?

James Roday: I think we went down a more sort of character driven path with him the last season and a half or so. We’ve sort of peeled back a couple of his layers, and I think that was really good for the show because, while you’ll never lose him as, you know, the coyote to Shawn’s roadrunner, and while that’s important to have in place, you want to get to know him as more than that. And I think Season One, we really sort of just jammed it down viewers’ throats (that) hey, this guy is really, really wired tightly and he can’t stand Shawn Spencer. And it’s like all right, we got that. We get that he’s going to be in the foil. What else do you got? And so we sort of tried to peel back a few layers of Lassiter’s character. And now that you’ve sort of seen some more colors from him, I think we can go back to having him be more of an ass, and it’s okay because he’s not just that anymore.

Q: If you could change anything about what’s been going on, on the show up until now, what would it be? Anything?

Dule Hill: I probably would have Gus get more love interests, which I think he will see happen. You know what I mean, because why not?

James Roday: That’s a tough one. We’ve been pretty damn lucky with this show. But, I guess if I had to pick something I would just say that we would have started pushing the boundaries of what we can do on this show a little earlier, because I feel like we are starting to do that now. I was itching to start doing crazy stuff, like Episode Three. But it’s a process and we’re getting there.

Q: Back when you guys did the promotional campaign with Monk, it made me want to see if there could be like a Psych/Monk crossover. Is that at all a possibility that you guys might think about?

Dule Hill: I think it’s possible That’d have to go to the-powers-that-be to kind of work it out, I think. I would love to do it and be sure that Tony would be interested in doing it. It’d be fun. I would love to see how the three characters would interact with each other.

James Roday: Yeah. We’ve had a lot of fun with Tony the few times we’ve got to hang with him. The clock’s ticking, though. I mean, if we’re going to do that, I think we need to do it pretty quick. So, you know, float that out there. Go tell everybody that you want to see it happen.

Q: I’m sure you guys are aware of all the fan fictions that have surfaced about the show over the past. Do you guys read any of that and does it affect the writing of the show?

James Roday: Fan fiction - what is that exactly?

(Follow up) : Oh…a lot of the fans on the Internet will write their own extensions to the stories, alternate plots, typically love affairs between Shawn and Gus… That kind of thing.

Dule Hill: I think the first part of the question, saying that you are aware of it - that was the part that was off because I was not aware of it. I’m not (unintelligible)…

James Roday: That’s great, though.

Dule Hill: I think it’s great, yeah. So I guess that kind of answers your question because… Maybe some of the writers might know. Tell them to keep on doing it. We may need ideas very soon.

James Roday: Yeah, we might be running cold before we think we are.

Q: Did you guys ever kick around the idea of having a reoccurring villain, other than Lassiter, who is more of like you said “the foil” - but more of a darker villain, if you will?

James Roday: I think just recently we have. I mean, the idea of doing stuff that’s not as episodic. It’s not as sort of standalone has been a tough - sort of a tough bubble to burst, so far. But now that we’re going into a third season and, you know, our numbers have sort of held steady, it’s definitely like the obvious question; Can we start doing stuff like that? Can we do story points that last for longer than an episodes, characters that come back? We are planning on bringing a couple people back in the third season, which will be our first official recurring characters from past episodes. Neither of them were villainous. But, you know, we’re definitely taking steps in that direction. I think it would be fun. I think something like that would only add, you know, a layer to the show that we don’t already have. So I’m certainly for it, just a lot of other people have to be convinced before something like that can happen.

Q: Do you want to talk about what you’re doing now and where you’re going, and what’s happening in your career?

Dule Hill: Well right now I’m sitting in my pajamas having a cup of tea. That’s what I’m doing right now. I’m on break. I’m really enjoying my break after the last year of doing a play last year. This year really felt that I needed a rest. I just came back from Jamaica, spending two weeks out there, and I’m going back there again in about a week to hang out again. I’m just taking it easy right now.

James Roday: Well I wasn’t performing in the play, but I just finished producing a play here in Los Angeles that just about killed me. If you know anything about producing theater in Los Angeles, it’s one of the most thankless, and arguably, stupid things that you can do. But I did it and I’m really glad I did it. And I’m exhausted, and I’m definitely going to take some time off now, and maybe do a little traveling, clear the head, get the juices flowing again. You know, hopefully it won’t be too much longer before we can start thinking about Psych.

Las Vegas’ Danny hot for Fergie

Those of you who watched Las Vegas on Friday night were treated to a cute inside joke.

As Montecito president Danny McCoy walked into a teenager’s room to negotiate a horse deal, a Fergie song played in the background. Fergie posters plastered the walls and her face was featured in a slide show on the kid’s computer.

As McCoy took in all the Fergilicious adoration, he slyly commented with a grin, “Fergie fan, huh? Me, too. What a coincidence.”

I couldn’t help but laugh out loud as Josh Duhamel delivered the line. If you don’t know, (and I’m not sure how that’s possible unless you avoid all celebrity news) Duhamel is engaged to the pop singer. The two met on Las Vegas a few years ago, when Fergie was performing with The Black Eyed Peas.

OK, my job is done here: Strange moment on Las Vegas explained.

One Tree Hill returns tonight

New scripted television is back. Can I get a “Woo-Hoo?”

The new season of One Tree Hill kicks off tonight with a two-hour special premiere.

The show is sparing us “One Tree Hill the College Years” (thank you) and fast-forwarding the gang several years into the future. Did Brooke become a successful designer? Did Nathan make it to the NBA? Did Lucas get his novel published? I can’t wait to find out.

Actor Chad Michael Murray, who plays Lucas, said this season is his favorite so far. I’m inclined to agree, and I haven’t seen one minute of the show yet. It will be nice to see actors playing their own age, instead of trying to convince us their in high school, while acting out stories about pep rallies and basketball games.

Catch One Tree Hill tonight on the CW at 8 p.m. ET as the show kicks off its fifth season. See you there!

Golden Globes officially canceled

There won’t be a red carpet or a three-hour telecast with cheesy jokes or musical numbers. The Golden Globes award show has officially been canceled.

Instead, a one-hour news conference will be shown live on NBC at 9 p.m. Sunday night to announce the winners.

"We are all very disappointed that our traditional awards ceremony will not take place this year and that millions of viewers worldwide will be deprived of seeing many of their favorite stars celebrating 2007's outstanding achievements in motion pictures and television," said Jorge Camara, president of The Hollywood Foreign Press Association. "We take some comfort, however, in knowing that this year's Golden Globe Award recipients will be announced on the date originally scheduled."

I think the format change could be dangerous for future Globe shows. Cutting down the long drawn-out show to simply announce the winners could be a hit with viewers.

Monday, January 07, 2008

January TV dates

It’s a wasteland out there. The New Year is not starting out with a bang when it comes to the future of television, thanks to the ongoing writers’ strike.

There are some bright spots in what looks to be a long cold winter. (No, I’m not talking about American Gladiators.) New episodes of Psych, One Tree Hill and Monk are on the horizon. And Lost isn’t far behind. And that much talked about episode of Big Shots, featuring Charsima Carpenter, is scheduled for this Thursday, January 10. So, don’t despair.

Here’s a rundown of January’s TV dates. Please note these are subject to change, as the networks seem to continuously juggle their schedules. New shows are listed in red. My picks are in blue.

JANUARY 7 - Monday
8 pm - American Gladiators (NBC) – Time Period Premiere
8pm - Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann (ABC) – Series Premiere
10 pm – Medium (NBC) - Season Premiere
10 pm - October Road (ABC)

JANUARY 8 - Tuesday
8 pm - One Tree Hill (CW) – Season Premiere
9:30 pm - Carpoolers (ABC)
10 pm - Boston Legal (ABC)

JANUARY 9 - Wednesday
8 pm - Deal or No Deal (NBC)
9 pm - Law & Order: Criminal Intent (NBC)
9 pm - Criminal Minds (CBS)
10 pm - Law & Order (NBC) – Time Period Premiere
10 pm - CSI: NY (CBS)

JANUARY 10 - Thursday
8 pm – Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? (FOX)
8 pm - My Name Is Earl (NBC)
8 pm - Ugly Betty (ABC)
8:30 pm - 30 Rock (NBC)
9 pm – Don’t Forget The Lyrics (FOX)
9 pm - CSI (CBS)
9 pm - Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)
10 pm - Big Shots (ABC)
10 pm - Without A Trace (CBS)

JANUARY 11 - Friday
8 pm - Ghost Whisperer (CBS)
9 pm – Moonlight (CBS)
9 pm – Monk (USA)
10 pm - Numb3rs (CBS)
10 pm - Psych (USA)

JANUARY 13 - Sunday
8 pm – Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (FOX) – Series Premiere
8 pm - The 65th Annual Golden Globe Awards (NBC)
9 pm – Comanche Moon: Part One (CBS)
10 pm - Brothers & Sisters (ABC)
10 pm – Scott Baio is 46…and Single

JANUARY 14 - Monday
8 pm – Prison Break (FOX)
8 pm - Kyle XY (ABC Family)
9 pm – Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (FOX) – Time Period Premiere
9:30 pm - Notes from the Underbelly (ABC)
10 pm - CSI: Miami (CBS)

JANUARY 15 - Tuesday
8 pm – American Idol (FOX) - Season Premiere
8 pm - NCIS (CBS)
9 pm – Comanche Moon: Part Two (CBS)

JANUARY 16 - Wednesday
8 pm – American Idol (FOX) - Season Premiere Part Two
9 pm – Comanche Moon: Part Three (CBS)
10 pm - Nip/Tuck (FX)

JANUARY 21 - Monday
9 pm - Wildfire (ABC Family)

JANUARY 22 - Tuesday
8 pm – American Idol (FOX) - Time Period Premiere

JANUARY 23 - Wednesday
9 pm – The Moment of Truth (FOX) - Series Premiere

JANUARY 24 - Thursday
9:30 pm - Scrubs (NBC)

JANUARY 28 - Monday
8 pm – How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
9 pm – Two and a Half Men (CBS)
9:30 pm - In Treatment (HBO) – Series Premiere

JANUARY 29 - Sunday
9 pm – House (FOX)

JANUARY 31 - Thursday
8 pm - Smallville (CW)
9 pm - Lost (ABC) – Season Premiere
9 pm - Supernatural (CW)
10 pm - Eli Stone (ABC) – Series Premiere

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