Archive for Hot Shows

Lostie returns

“Lost” producer Damon Lindelof will be making a major announcement at ComicCon tomorrow in San Diego.

At the end of last season’s “Lost,” we discovered that everything we’ve been watching up until this point was all in the past.

We were tipped to this early when we saw an episode with Jack watching the 2004 World Series game won by the Boston Red Sox that Ben, the leader of the Others, showed him during his during his confinement.

While we’d love to know if this season will be told in flashback or flash forward, ABC says the announcement is that Harold Perrineau, who played dad Michael Dawson, will be returning this season which starts in early 2008.

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UPDATE: At ComicCon, Harold told fans that he thinks he’s the one in the coffin shown in the season ender.

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And the winner is…

Here’s what it’s like to present a Television Critics Association Award:

You go up on the stage where the Golden Globes are presented, looking out at an audience that includes “Sopranos’’ creator David Chase with Edie Falco and Lorraine Bracco, Alec Baldwin of “30 Rock,’’ Matt Dallas of “Kyle XY,’’ “Heroes’’ creator Tim Kring with Adrian Pasdar, Masi Oka, “The Office” producer Greg Daniels and castmembers and Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton of “Friday Night Lights.’’

And you pray you don’t black out.

Makes you understand yet again just how good these people in the room are at what they do.

Alec won the award for individual achievement in comedy and rocked the room. He told the story about how he tried to get a role on “The Sopranos.’’

In New York, he was going to a meeting with “a famous socialite’’ to raise some money for some foundation. But he went to the wrong place, and had to bolt down Park Avenue, he’s drenched in sweat. So he excuses himself to use the men’s room and takes his shirt off, and dries his shirt in the men’s room of the Four Season’s Restaurant.

And David Chase walks in and says, “Alec Baldwin?’’

He didn’t get a role on the show.

Of course, when Chase took the stage to accept the award for Outstanding Achievement in Drama, he says that in response to Alec, “When I walked into the (restroom), I thought `Holy (Shucks), that was Alec Baldwin the famous movie star. I didn’t even notice he didn’t have a shirt on.’’

When he came up again for the Heritage Award, Chase remarked that when you are in New Jersey, you can be sitting in a restaurant and have everything stop.

“It’s not that big of a deal,’’ he deadpans.

He then mentioned that he was awed by other nominees, which included “M*A*S*H,’ `Roots,’ `Mary Tyler Moore Show’ and “Sesame Street.’’

“But I thought we had a pretty good shot when I didn’t see any Muppets in the audience,’’ Chase says.

Then he said a TV critic told him it would be good to actually explain the ending of “The Sopranos.’’

“I wasn’t going to get into it, but when I was going to Stanford, at 23, I went to see the `Planet of the Apes’ with my wife,’’ Chase says. “At the end I said, `Wow. So they had a Statue of Liberty too.’ So that’s what you are up against.’’

For a better insight, check out the season one finale.

“The Office’’ producer Greg Daniels says he spent the whole day reading “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

“I’m on page 450, and it’s good,’’ Daniels says. “If we adapt it for American audiences, it could be really successful.’’

He then introduced the cast that showed up for the awards – and said how he would cast them as “Harry Potter’’ characters.

Brian Baumgartner as Hagrid; Mindy Kaling as Pavarti, or Luna; Angela Kinsey as Delores Umbridge; Kate Flannery as Aunt Petunia; Oscar Nunez as Viktor Krum; Leslie David Baker as Mr. Dursley and Creed Bratton as Lucius Malfoy.

“Is this too nerdy for everyone?,’’ Greg asked.

Not for this crowd.

2007 TCA Award recipients are as follows:

PROGRAM OF THE YEAR: “Heroes” (NBC)

OUTSTANDING NEW PROGRAM: “Friday Night Lights” (NBC)

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMA: “The Sopranos” (HBO)

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY: “The Office” (NBC)

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN NEWS & INFORMATION: “Planet Earth” (Discovery)

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN CHILDREN’S PROGRAMMING: “Kyle XY” (ABC Family)

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN MOVIES, MINI-SERIES & SPECIALS: “Planet Earth” (Discovery)

INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY: Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock” (NBC)

INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMA: Michael C. Hall, “Dexter” (Showtime)

HERITAGE AWARD: “The Sopranos” (HBO)

CAREER ACHIEVEMENT: Mary Tyler Moore

Oh, and I’m now the newly elected secretary of the Television Critics Association. Go TCA.

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Masi Oka’s My Hero

When last we saw our “Heroes,’’ it looked as if the Petrelli brothers had been blasted out of a job, but Adrian Pasdar says he’s looking forward to the next season and, although Milo Ventimiglia wasn’t at the NBC party at the Beverly Hilton on Tuesday night due to another commitment, we were assured that the cast would be back.

Masi Oka, who stuck around through the entire party then for the little post-party bash at Trader Vic’s afterwards, says next season will offer up two timelines in which he portrays Hiro in both the present and 400 years ago in Japan.

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MASI OKA – NBC Photo Chris Haston

“We’ve been shooting a lot in Japan, and I learned how to ride a horse there and discovered it’s not that easy to do. I was sore for about two days after the first day of shooting,’’ Oka says. “I’ve been out of the country a lot because of it, so I haven’t been up to the Bay Area for a while.’’

In addition to his work on “Heroes,’’ he still works as a Research and Development Technical Director, writing programs that create special effects for Industrial Light & Magic in Marin.

“I haven’t been able to write any programs lately because of the show and (the movie) `Get Smart,’ ‘’ says Oka. “But I still want to. I enjoy doing that when I have any spare time.’’

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Silvio, What Happened?

In our never-ending search for the meaning of “The Sopranos” finale, we hear from Steven Van Zandt.

He came before the critics here in Beverly Hills to promote the VH1 Classic series “Seven Ages of Rock” about the emergence of rock music as a global force told through seven generations of rockers. For non-TV types, you might know Little Stevie through the E Street Band, who backed up a singer named Bruce Springsteen.

But no matter. What did he think of the ending of “The Sopranos”?

“Right from the beginning, (creator) David Chase broke every rule in the book, and everybody loved him for it. Literally he just refused, all along, to sort of compromise and play that sort of Hollywood-imposed game of fraudulent closure,” Steve says. “ He’s like, ‘Life doesn’t work that way. It doesn’t get wrapped up every 30 minutes or every 60 minutes, and we’re not going to play that game. This is my last show on TV. I’m going out without compromising.’ He kept it that way right to the end. I thought it was a brilliant ending myself.”

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Isaiah Out

It looks as if Isaiah Washington’s inability to keep his mouth closed has cost him his “Grey’s Anatomy” gig.

TV Guide’s Michael Ausiello is reporting that Washington’s contract with “Grey’s” has not been renewed.

It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that Washington’s inappropriate remarks towards his co-star T.K. Knight, who plays the lovable George on the show, were the catalyst to his plight.

Washington used an offensive sexual orientation word to refer to Knight. Knight later came out as being gay.

Washington, who apparently doesn’t learn from his mistakes, repeated the slur again backstage at the Golden Globes during press interviews.

When last we saw his character Dr. Burke, he had left Christina (Sandra Oh) at the altar and cleared out of his apartment.

That’s probably the last we’ll ever see of Dr. Burke.

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The “Jericho” letter

Way to use that online clout.

Here’s the letter sent out by CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler on giving “Jericho” a second chance:

To the Fans of Jericho:

Wow!

Over the past few weeks you have put forth an impressive and probably unprecedented display of passion in support of a prime time television series. You got our attention; your emails and collective voice have been heard.

As a result, CBS has ordered seven episodes of “Jericho” for mid-season next year. In success, there is the potential for more. But, for there to be more “Jericho,” we will need more viewers.

A loyal and passionate community has clearly formed around the show. But that community needs to grow. It needs to grow on the CBS Television Network, as well as on the many digital platforms where we make the show available.

We will count on you to rally around the show, to recruit new viewers with the same grass-roots energy, intensity and volume you have displayed in recent weeks.

At this time, I cannot tell you the specific date or time period that “Jericho” will return to our schedule. However, in the interim, we are working on several initiatives to help introduce the show to new audiences. This includes re-broadcasting “Jericho” on CBS this summer, streaming episodes and clips from these episodes across the CBS Audience Network (online), releasing the first season DVD on September 25 and continuing the story of Jericho in the digital world until the new episodes return. We will let you know specifics when we have them so you can pass them on.

On behalf of everyone at CBS, thank you for expressing your support of “Jericho” in such an extraordinary manner. Your protest was creative, sustained and very thoughtful and respectful in tone. You made a difference.

Sincerely,

Nina Tassler

President, CBS Entertainment

P.S. Please stop sending us nuts

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“Galactica” ends run

Say it ain’t so.

This season we’ve lost “Veronica Mars,” >“Gilmore Girls,” “Jericho” and now “Battlestar Galactica.”

At least we get some closure with “Galactica,” which will be 22 episodes next season to wrap things up. It’s what the “Lost” creators hope to do with their series: Let it go while they are still proud of the work.

Executive producers Ronald D. Moore and David Eick have decided that season 4 of Battlestar Galactica, SCI FI Channel’s Peabody Award-winning original series, will be its last.

“This show was always meant to have a beginning, a middle and finally, an end. Over the course of the last year, the story and the characters have been moving strongly toward that end and we’ve decided to listen to those internal voices and conclude the show on our own terms,” stated Eick and Moore. “On a personal level, it’s been a creative privilege and an honor for all of us who work on the show and we know we’ll be lucky to ever see its like again. And while we know our fans will be saddened to know the end is coming, they should brace themselves for a wild ride getting there – we’re going out with a bang.”

Sci Fi Channel vp Mark Stern says the network respects the producers’ decision to end the series.

“We are proud to have been the home of this groundbreaking show. We have always known that Ron and David had a plan for ‘Galactica’ and trust that fans can look forward to a truly amazing final season.”

Production on the final 22 hours of season 4 is currently underway in Vancouver. An extended two-hour episode, “Razor,” will premiere in November 2007, setting the stage for the rest of the season to commence in 2008.

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Fox 2007-2008

OK, so that isn’t the flashiest headline, but that’s what the network gets for being the last one to present its fall schedule in what has turned into a very long week.

The only 2006-2007 series that made the final cut was the boring Brad Garrett show “’ Til Death.” Go figure. Hey, as long as Fox still has “Bones,” “House,” “American Idol” and “The Simpsons,” I’ll still be watching.

In the fall, the network will be bringing out two new dramas – “K-Ville” and “New Amsterdam” – one new comedy, “Back to You” and three reality shows – Gordon Ramsey’s “Kitchen Nightmares,” American Idol producers do “The Search for the Next Great American Band” and check out the country music hopefuls on “Nashville.”

After the holidays, the schedule gets juggled and we’ll see two new dramas, “Canterbury’s Law” and “The Sarah Connor Chronicles” and a new comedy, “The Return of Jezebel James.”

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K-VILLE
Pictured L-R: Maximiliano Hernandez, John Carroll Lynch, Anthony Anderson, Cole Hauser, Blake Shields and Tawny Cypress. CR: Rebecca Brenneman/FOX

Two years after Katrina, cops Marlin (Anthony Anderson) a brash veteran and his new partner Trevor (Cole Hauser), a former soldier who served in Afghanistan before joing the department, are committed rebuilding the city.

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NEW AMSTERDAM
Nicolaj Coster Waldau

Director Lasse Hallstrom (“My Life as a Dog”) comes to TV for the first time as the producer of this drama about an immortal (Nikolaj Coster Waldau) whoworks as a New York homicide detective while trying to find the true love which will break his curse and allow him to age gracefully.

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BACK TO YOU

In the 1990s, Chuck (Kelsey Grammer) and Kelly (Patricia Heaton) were the beloved news anchors. Then Chuck took a better job, leaving Kelly in the dust. But after a fall from grace, Chuck’s back in Pittsburgh toiling away with Kelly once again.

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CANTERBURY’S LAW
Pictured L-R: Jocko Sims, Linus Roache, Julianna Margulies, Trieste Dunn and Ben Shenkman. ©2007 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: FOX/KC Bailey

Denis Leary is one of the producers behind this drama starring Julianna Margulies and Linus Roache as lawyers who try to get on with their lives after their young son’s disappearance. The two move to Rhode Island to try to patch up their troubled relationship.

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THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES
Pictured L-R: Thomas Dekker, Lena Heady, Richard T. Jones and Summer Glau. ©2007 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Joe Viles/FOX

Just when you thought you knew everything you ever wanted about “The Terminator” character, here’s a series to tell you even more. Lena Headey stars, with Thomas Dekker as her 15-year-old son John as they try to stay one step ahead of those sent back from the future to destroy them.

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THE RETURN OF JEZEBEL JAMES

Parker Posey and Lauren Ambrose star as estranged sisters who are trying to patch things up. The show comes from “Gilmore Girls” creator Amy Sherman-Palladino, so we’re willing to give it a try.

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THE RULES FOR STARTING OVER
Pictured clockwise from L: Johnny Sneed, Craig Bierko, Shaun Majumder and Rashida Jones. Cr: Michael Desmond/FOX

From the Farrelly brothers comes this comedy about a group of newly single friends learning the painful lessons of starting over in their 30s. Craig Bierko, Rashida Jones, Johnny Sneed and Shaun Majumder star.
Fox 2007-2008 Primetime Schedule:
Fall/Spring

Monday

8 p.m. “Prison Break”
9 p.m. “K-VILLE”/“24”

Tuesday
8 p.m. “NEW AMSTERDAM”/“American Idol”
9 p.m. “House”

Wednesday

8 p.m. “BACK TO YOU”
8:30 p.m. “ ‘Til Death”/“THE RETURN OF JEZEBEL JAMES”
9 p.m. “Bones”/“American Idol”

Thursday

8 p.m. “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?”
9 p.m. “KITCHEN NIGHTMARES”/“CANTERBURY’S LAW”

Friday

8 p.m. “THE SEARCH FOR THE NEXT GREAT AMERICA”/“Bones”
9 p.m. “NASHVILLE”/“NEW AMSTERDAM”

Saturday
8 p.m. “Cops”
9 p.m. “America’s Most Wanted”

Sunday

8 p.m. “The Simpsons”
8:30 p.m. “King of the Hill”
9 p.m. “Family Guy”/“THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES”
9:30 p.m. “American Dad”

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Pass on the Pussycats, but love the rest

I’m not a fan of the “Pussycat Dolls,” so I could have done without watching them prance around like the girls at the Bada-Bing! today during the CW’s live streaming of their presentation of new fall series.

But I’m pretty excited about the rest of the line-up.

“Aliens in America” was laugh-out-loud funny, about a geeky high school boy with strange parents who decide to take in a hot foreign exchange student to beef up his popularity. Instead, they get a Pakistani Muslim, which opens the series up to some seriously hilarious situations.

The other CW show that looks promising is “Life is Wild,” a family drama set in Africa and centering on a blended family and veterinarian dad.

Hey, it’s got great scenery, animals and good drama. I’m there.

“Gossip Girls” from the best-selling books and from our old “The O.C.” pal Josh Schwartz looks good, and so does “Reaper,” about a 21-year-old guy who discovers his parents sold his soul to the devil and now he’s a bounty hunter for Satan. It’s from Kevin Smith (“Clerks”), so it’s got plenty of laughs in it.

The CW also offers up “CW Now,” blending news and entertainment and “Online Nation,” which features the hottest Web sites,

For those out there still watching “One Tree Hill,” it comes back as a midseason show.

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ALIENS IN AMERICA
Dan Byrd as Justin, Adhir Kalyan as Raja star. Photo: Trae Patton/ The CW

Justin is a senstive 16-year-old trying to make it in high school with the help of his well-meaning mom Franny (amy Pietz) and dad Gary (Patrick Breen) and his popular sister Claire (Lindsey Shaw), who is sweetly unaware of how pretty she is. Franny decides to up Justin’s popularity by signing up for a hot foreign exchange student who will help Justin fit in. Instead, she gets Raja, a 16-year-old Pakistani Muslim.

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REAPER
Nikki Reed as Andi, Bret Harrison as Sam, Tyler Labine as Sock, Ray Wise as the devil. Photo: Michael Courtney/The CW

For the first 20 years of his life, Sam’s parents always let him get by with everything while keeping the pressure on his younger brother Keith (Kyle Switzer) to over-achieve. Turns out that mom (Allison Hossack) and dad (Andrew Airlie) made a mistake and sold his soul to the devil (Ray Wise). Now Satan wants him, and Sam’s new job is being his bounty hunter for souls who escaped hell.

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LIFE IS WILD
Pictured: (Front row) K’Sun Ray as Chase Clark, Judith Hoag as Jo Weller-Clark, Brett Cullen as Danny Clarke, Mary Mouser as Mia Weller. (Back Row) Andrew St. John as Jesse Weller, Leah Pipes as Katie Clarke, David Butler as Art. Photo: David Bloomer/The CW

Veterinarian Danny (Brett Cullen) feels as if his blended family is falling apart, so he brings his wife Jo (Judith Hoag), his teen daughter Katie (Leah Pipes), 11-year-old son Chase (K’sun Ray), Jo’s teen son Jesse (Andrew St. John) and her 7-year-old daughter Mia (Mary Matilyn Mouser) to a lodge in Africa for a year. The lodge is owned by Danny’s deceased wife’s father Art (David Butler).

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GOSSIP GIRL
Pictured: (Back Row) Penn Badgley as Dan, Ed Westwick as Chuck, Taylor Momsen as Jenny. (Middle Row) Leighton Meester as Blair, Chace Crawford as Nate. (Front Row) Blake Lively as Serena. Credit: The CW / Timothy White

No one knows the identity of Gossip Girl, who blogs all about the priviledged prep shcool on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. She’s the one who lets everyone know that Serena (Blake Lively) is back in town. Her former best friend Blair (Leighton Meester) isn’t happy Serena’s back. Oh, the drama…

Here’s the new lineup:

Monday
8 p.m. “Everybody Hates Chris”
8:30 p.m. “ALIENS IN AMERICA”
9 p.m. “Girlfriends”
9:30 p.m. “The Game”

Tuesday
8 p.m. “Beauty and the Geek”
9 p.m. “REAPER”

Wednesday
8 p.m. “America’s Next Top Model”
9 p.m. “GOSSIP GIRL”

Thursday
8 p.m. “Smallville”
9 p.m. “Supernatural”

Friday
8 p.m. “Friday Night Smackdown!”

Sunday
7 p.m. “CW NOW”
7:30 p.m. “ONLINE NATION”
8 p.m. “LIFE IS WILD”
9 p.m. “America’s Next Top Model (encore)”

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Melinda, You’re Still Our No. 1

In the end, Melinda Doolittle’s superior singing abilities were no match for Jordin Sparks’ adorability factor or Blake Lewis’ showmanship in the “American Idol” competition.

Doolittle consistently came through on the vocals, but never quite captured the hearts of “American Idol” voters the way Sparks and Lewis did. Sparks’ vocals kept getting better and better each week, but what keeps her in the game _ and makes her the favorite to win the whole thing _ is that she simply looks and acts like a young teen idol.

From the beginning, the women kept outshining their male counterparts in the competition until Lewis started bringing on his A game. While Doolittle depended on her pipes to get her through, Lewis kept putting his own spin on each song. Last night, he really pull out all beats for a stellar night. He stole the show with “This Love” and brought it home with “When I Get You Alone.”

Simon Cowell chided Sparks for choosing the old tune “I Who Have Nothing,” but it was Doolittle who came off looking old fashioned with the pop tune-turned-ad “I’m A Woman” and wearing a dated pants suit.

Doolittle should be quickly snatched up by a record label, so we won’t shed any tears for her. And we look forward to the Lewis-Sparks showdown next week.

American Idol is down to two contestants? Will it be the very sweet Jordin Sparks or beat-boxer Blake Lewis? I give my take, along with Mercury News news reporter Sandra Gonzales and Contra Costa Times TV critic Chuck Barney.

We discuss Melinda Doolittle leaving the show, the judges, the fans, and give their own predictions for the winner. Mercury News music writer Marian Liu moderates.
Here is the link:
http://www.mercextra.com/listen/index.php?id=355

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