Archive for October, 2006

“O.C.” how much you know

Sure, you think you know all there is to know about “The O.C.,” but we’re going to separate the core from the posers. Get these questions right, and you’ll be entered into a contest to win a special “O.C.” book bag with flashy comic-book character buttons from Seth’s “The Atomic County.”

Send the answers to syoung@angnewspapers.com before 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8 and we’ll do a random drawing from everyone who sends in the correct answers on Nov. 9.

1. What is Seth Cohen’s middle name?

2. Adam Brody played the love interest of which character on “Gilmore
Girls”?

3. What was Kaitlin’s pony’s name?

4. What did the poor pony suffer from?

5. What nickname did Summer call Kaitlin?

6. What band performs the show’s theme song and what is the title?

7. Who caused the car accident resulting in Marissa’s death?

8. Alan Dale, who played Kirsten’s dad and Julie’s husband, plays sinister
dads in what two top-10 network TV shows currently on the air?

9. What actress plays The Nana?

10. A super star’s son played the star of the fictional show, ‘The Valley,’
featured on “The O.C.” Who is he and what is his dad’s name?

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Spontaneous country music lovers wanted

Win tickets to the Country Music Awards this Friday.

Yeah, yeah. We know it’s short notice. But, for those of you who are all doing things at the spur of the moment, here’s the moment and the spur to go along with it.

Answer these three trivia questions correctly and you’ll be included
in a random drawing for VIP tickets to the Country Music Awards held
Friday, Nov. 3 in Nashville.

You’ll have to provide your own transportation and lodging, but the tickets are valued at $350 a piece. If you don’t win, or can’t go, you can watch the CMA Awards at 8 p.m. Monday on ABC-Channel 7.

1. Who was Kenny Chesney married to for about half a minute?

2. What two Dolly Parton songs earned Oscar nominations?

3. What country singer currently stars in the movie “Flicka”?

Send your answers, along with your name, address and phone number to
syoung@angnewspapers.com. The drawing will be held at 3 p.m. Oct.
31, and tickets will be shipped overnight to the winners.

Good luck!

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Man from “Mars”

Jason Dohring, who plays bad boy Logan Echolls on “Veronica Mars” says he loves co-star Kristen Bell, who plays the title role.

But only in a platonic way.

Jason, 24, has been married for two years to Lauren. But he says that Kristen, “like the misses,” is someone that you just keep liking more every day.”

Ryan Hansen, who plays my friend Dick Casablancas, is also married and Kristen is in a committed relationship,” Jason says. “So we don’t sleep around much on the set.”

That might rule out the cast from being featured on a tabloid cover – or not.

“It was so safe before bloggers,” Jason says playfully. “Now, you could be YouTubed (relieving yourself) on the side of the road. You can’t do anything about it, so hopefully people show enough of the good stuff about you so that when something bad pops up, it doesn’t seem so bad.”

Jason says he doesn’t have a Web site together yet, but he’s working on it.

“I’d love to go shoot some video with my friends and put that on the site,” Jason says. “Hey, I could YouTube me first.”
Jason Dohring

When Lauren came to sit with us, Jason decided to take the digital recorder and play reporter:

J: So, how old are you?

L: 25

J: How did you meet Jason?

L: We met in high school.

J: I was the Man in high school!

L: He was a nice guy and we were friends for a couple of years before dating.

J: I was a freakin? catch…OK, I paid her to go out with me. We got together up in Northern California. We sat on the dock at Clear Lake and talked for seven hours. We got married 50 feet from there, at sunset with our families and friends.

J: So how do you like Logan Echolls sleeping with all those girls?

L: Not so much.

So how is it being married?

“At the end of the day, it’s great to have someone who is your good friend, to talk to and being able to be around someone you can be yourself with makes for a long-lasting relationship,” Jason says. “It’s just so comfortable.”

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The “Amazing” Cho Brothers

Erwin and Godwin Cho of “The Amazing Race” just proved tonight that nice guys don’t always finish last.

The Bay Area racers made sure that Kentucky couple Dave and Mary didn’t get eliminated by helping them get the fast-forward. The couple came in last the week before and had a severe penalty if they did not finish first.

In order to let Dave and Mary get the fast-forward, Erwin had to conquer his severe fear of heights. And you never saw any human scamper up a ladder as quickly as he did.

This latest sacrifice should prove that the Cho Brothers are No. 1 – even if they don’t win the race.

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The Peacock Network Gets Plucked

Too many TV choices?

NBC may have found a way for you to cut back on your must-see TV. On Thursday, the once-mighty peacock network announced it would be backing off of scripted series programming in the 8 p.m. hour time slot next fall.

And who can blame them given the fact that Americans flock to such cheaply made shows as “American Idol,” “Survivor,” “Dancing with the Stars” and “Wife Swap”

These days, an hour-long drama costs between $2.5 and $3.5 million per episode to make. A reality show goes for about a million bucks an episode, and has the same or better chance of grabbing viewers than NBC’s fall ratings flops “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” “Kidnapped” and “Friday Night Lights.”

Every one of those series earned lavish reviews from critics, but viewers were less enthralled. And NBC fared even less well with its comedies, “30 Rock” and “Twenty Good Years.”

The problem may be an isolated one, however. There’s plenty of thriving scripted shows in that 8 p.m. slot, including Fox’s “House,” CBS’ “NCIS” and even the new fall hits, ABC’s “Ugly Betty” and CBS’ “Jericho.”

The fault of the 8 p.m failure may fall more on the fact that NBC hasn’t been able to generate much in that slot except for “My Name is Earl” and “The Office” for several years.

The peacock fell off its No. 1 perch to become a fourth-place runner. In NBC’s powerhouse years, they had such hits as “Friends,” “Frasier” and “Seinfeld.” During those lucrative years, insiders referred to the network as Never Been Cockier, and executives began making some programming mistakes.

Jeff Zucker, former entertainment president and now the chief executive of the NBC Universal television Group, could never get a break-out hit from the cozy slots between shows like “Friends” and “Seinfeld.”

And during that time, NBC didn’t even seem to be trying, instead letting such place-holder shows as “Veronica’s Closet” and “Caroline in the City” ride the lucrative coattails of what was known as the NBC Thursday night stronghold.

It’s interesting that the man behind those decisions – Zucker – is now at the helm of this new plan to save the company.

The 8 p.m. programming decision is the one spot viewers will immediately notice in the wake of NBC Universal’s restructuring plan announced on Thursday. Company spokespeople say the overhaul will save $750 million in the next two years.

The impact on viewers reaches even further, however, as NBC’s surrender of the 8 p.m. timeslot means fewer shows ordered for next season. NBC could probably keep proven shows in the 9 and 10 p.m. hours, therefore buying fewer series and saving more money.

In the past few years, all of the networks have waved the white flag when it comes to Saturday night programming and have filled the time either with unscripted programming or reruns.

It wasn’t that long ago that Saturday night was a time viewers sat with their families to watch such shows as “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman,” “JAG,” “Sisters,” “Touched by an Angel” and even “The Love Boat.”

But as viewing habits changed, the networks discovered they could not lure viewers to that night, which has the fewest number of viewers of any day of the week.

Of course, it could be argued that as quality slipped on Saturday night, so too did viewer levels.

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Sorkin’s re-crack on “Studio 60”

Not one to let a good line go to waste on just a room full of TV critics, Aaron Sorkin decided to use a comment he made at the Television Critics Association press tour last July in tonight’s episode.

When presenting “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” to critics, you know what Sorkin was told: Do not talk about drugs. Do not talk about drugs. And finally, do not talk about drugs.

Because, as anyone who cares to know already knows, Sorkin got in a bit of a mess a couple of years ago when he was caught with drugs at the Burbank airport.

When asked last July how he felt about reality programming, Sorkin said “I do think that television is a terribly influential part of this country and that when things that are very mean-spirited and voyeuristic go on TV, I think it’s bad crack in the school yard.”

The bad crack line was used word-for-word by Jordan McDeer tonight when describing why the network executive refused to buy a reality program that tries to break up a happy couple.

Of course, last summer Sorkin would have done anything to take that line back.

Including bribing critics.

“Seriously, I will go person to person, giving each $100 if we can just get the crack quote out of the papers tomorrow,” he sort of pleaded.

Apparently after thinking it over, Sorkin decided it wasn’t such a bad line after all.

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“Heroes” penned by Bryan Fuller

OK, so this may sound way too geeky for you, but I couldn’t believe it when I read that tonight’s tight episode was written by Bryan Fuller.

You know Bryan, right?

Besides being a fantastic person, he also is the creative genius behind Showtime’s “Dead Like Me” and the too-good-for-Fox series “Wonderfalls.”

Oh, “Wonderfalls,” we hardly got to know you before Fox ripped you from the air. Thank god for DVDs. The truly nerdy will remember Bryan from his time on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and “Star Trek: Voyager.”

Anyway, Bryan’s episode tonight was one of the best yet, filled with ominious overtones and some cool revenge.

And how much did we love Hiro (Masi Oka) popping on board the subway with Peter (Milo Ventimiglia), speaking perfect English and saying that he was from the future?

Did you hear Peter when he finally realized what his power was?

Love it.

“Heroes” just keeps getting better and better.

And we look forward to even more Bryan episodes.

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Runway gives way to chef

“Project Runway” ends for the season, but “Top Chef” is ready to heat things up.

But first, a little “Runway” chatter.

Last night, Laura tattled on Jeffery for using people to do his sewing for him. Jeffery said only that he had some people do some pleating for him. Which, is legal, as long as he has the receipts for it. (The were given $8,000 to do their collections and have to provide receipts for every penny paid out.)

We think everything will turn out for Jeffery, but who knows? Did he collapse into Uli’s arms (as seen in the previews for Wednesday’s finale) because he was relieved or grief-stricken?

And just how grossed out were we all when Laura’s son offered our dear Tim turtle poop? We were not amused.

Anyway, Nick Verreos, of ‘Project Runway’s‘ second season, designed a limited edition apron to celebrate the third season finale of Bravo’s ‘Project Runway’ (10 p.m.) and the second season premiere of ‘Top Chef’ (11 p.m.), both airing back-to-back on Bravo Wednesday, October 18.

‘Top Chef’ moves to its regular 10:00 p.m. timeslot on Wednesday, October 25.

“I love the show and thought this would be a fun ‘challenge,’ even though I don’t even cook–I order out! I could just see my friends saying, ‘When are YOU going to ever use this apron?’ Well, whenever I get on the phone to order out,” Nick says. “I wanted to design a unique apron that wasn’t your mother’s old apron, so no silly sayings like ‘Blame the Cook,’ or cheesy food graphics like a turkey or fruit. I wanted it to be the hip apron. The end result was this white apron with colorful graphic suspended knives and the word ‘Chop!’

The limited edition Apron will be available on BravoTV.com for $40.00 starting October 18.

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Will Smith: Deja Med

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have a pilot deal with CBS for a project the Hollywood Reporter describes as “the medical adventures of the CDC doctors who fight the diseases and viruses that threaten people worldwide.”

We describe it as a failed 2004-2005 NBC series, “Medical Investigation.”

That series, starring Neal McDonough, Kelli Williams and Christopher Gorham, centered on the cases of an elite government investigation unit specializing in sudden, mysterious and dangerous medical outbreaks.

Now, we understand that there’s plenty of doctor, lawyer and police-centered dramas on the air that could sound similar on paper. But this one seems just a tad too close for comfort.

Besides, viewers already passed on this the last time around. But if CBS can get Will and Jada to star, the network just might have something here to draw viewers.
Will and Jada Pinkett Smith

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“Lost” new season

Last night was really strange, because I just finished watching “America’s Next Top Model” and switched over to “Lost.”

Except I didn’t think it was “Lost.”

It looked more like “Desperate Housewives.” I actually thought I was watching the wrong channel for a few moments, so I was kind of out of it at the beginning.

But it seemed to confirm that there was some sort of atmospheric disruption just before the plane crashed down.

I think the plane did breech some sort of electro-magnetic field. Remember the field went down when Desmond didn’t punch in the numbers?
What happens now with no one punching in numbers?

I have to say it feels a little odd being with The Others. It was creepy to watch Kate have to shower and slip into a sun dress before meeting with Henry Gale/Ben on the beach.

But did you notice the glass dome the camera lingered on? It covered Kate’s breakfast. Come on, how many meals come in a glass cover???

Ok, maybe that’s a reach.

And what’s up with the zoo? And the kid in the zoo? And Sawyer (and now Kate) in the zoo?

Anyway, I’m not sure I want to be away from the core Lost group for as long. I’m only mildly interested in the Others. Some people think that The Others are the children of the original Dharma people, because those people would be much older than the people we are seeing on the island.

Then we have Jack obsessing on his former wife’s boyfriend. The producers have mentioned several times that his identity might be an important story point. But is it?

Jack sure seems to think so. But I got SICK of hearing Jack go on and on about it last night.

And there were too many darn commercials!

Any thoughts?

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