Archive for ABC

Dancing with the Stars announces new celeb dancers

ABC announced the 13 new dancers – and yeah, yeah, I know it was leaked online last week, but I’m all about the official announcement.

When “Dancing with the Stars” returns on Sept. 22 with a three-night event, ABC wants you to know that it marks the largest cast ever, the oldest (the bawdy Cloris Leachman), two Olympic Gold medalists, a Grammy winner, an Oscar winner (again, Cloris) and a Super Bowl champ.

But they are forgetting the biggest hook of all: They’ve got Brooke Shields’ high school prom date. Yep. Ted McGinley not only rocked on “Revenge of the Nerds,” but he also escorted Ms. Shields to her high school prom. You heard it here first folks. Well, maybe not first…

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Ted McGinley with his wife Gigi Rice. McGinley
will be trying to boost his career with a turn on
ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.”

Any way, all four professional dancers who’ve previously tasted the thrill of victory return to compete against one another for bragging rights.

For the first time ever, all 13 teams must prepare two routines for the first week of competition, one of which they’ll perform on Monday night. The judges will score the performances on Monday while viewers cast their votes for their favorites. Only 12 will have the chance to showcase their second dance on Sept. 23.

On Tuesday’s show, one couple will be eliminated as the remaining contestants perform their second dance of the season. The judges will score the dances on Tuesday and viewers will once again cast their votes before a second duo is dismissed on Sept. 24.

Talk about a quick step.

As announced today on “Good Morning America,” in alphabetical order, the 13 stars making their ballroom dancing debut are:

LANCE BASS — Lance Bass has sold over 50 million records as a member of the phenomenally successful pop group *NSYNC. Lance has released his memoir, Out of Sync, for Simon Spotlight Entertainment. 2006 U.S. Youth Latin Champ and 2007 World Swing Dance Champ Lacey Schwimmer teams with Lance to make her series debut.

TONI BRAXTON – The winner of six Grammy Awards, Toni Braxton is a Billboard chart-topping singer and actress, selling over 40 million records worldwide. “Dancing with the Stars” marks her return to the spotlight after a six-month health hiatus. She teams up with Season One champion Alec Mazo, who returns for his fourth season.

BROOKE BURKE — A host, actress, entrepreneur and celebrity mom, Brooke Burke has truly done it all. She has graced numerous magazine covers, has her own top-selling swimsuit calendars and is regularly ranked in men’s magazines as one of the sexiest women in the world. Recognized worldwide as host of the travel series “Wild On!” Brooke teams with Derek Hough, who returns for his third season.

ROCCO DISPIRITO – The James Beard Award-winning celebrity chef and author Rocco DiSpirito opened the three-star Union Pacific in New York City in 1997. In 2003 he launched Rocco’s for the reality series “The Restaurant.” Rocco will next appear on the A&E series “Rocco Gets Real,” beginning in October, along with its companion cookbook, Rocco Gets Real: Cook at Home Every Day. He teams with Karina Smirnoff, who returns for her fifth season. Karina teamed with R&B singer Mario last season.

MAURICE GREENE – The winner of two gold medals in the 100m sprint and the 4x100m relay at the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics, track star Maurice Greene was dubbed the “World’s Fastest Man” during his career. In addition to being the former world record holder in the 100m sprint and winning multiple world championships, he also won silver and bronze medals at the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics. He is the current Indoor World Record holder in the 60m at 6.39 seconds. He teams up with two-time champion Cheryl Burke. Cheryl returns for her sixth season.

KIM KARDASHIAN — Actress, model and reality television star Kim Kardashian shot to the top of the tabloids with her E! reality series, “Keeping up with the Kardashians.” The series follows the exploits of Kim, her siblings, her mother, Kris, and her stepfather, Olympic Gold Medalist Bruce Jenner. Kardashian recently completed her first feature film, “Disaster Movie,” and will also be seen on The N’s series “Beyond the Break.” She teams up with defending champ Mark Ballas, who returns for his third season.

CLORIS LEACHMAN – Actress Cloris Leachman’s storied career has been recognized with nine Emmys, a Golden Globe and an Academy Award. Cloris has starred in a wide range of theater, television and motion picture projects, creating such indelible characters as Phyllis in the TV series “Phyllis” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” Frau Blucher in “Young Frankenstein,” Nurse Diesel in “High Anxiety” and Ruth Popper in “The Last Picture Show” (for which she won an Oscar). In 2008 she has already completed three new films, “The Women,” “American Cowslip” and “New York I Love You.” She teams with World Latin Champion and Mark’s father, Corky Ballas, who makes his series debut.

CODY LINLEY — Cody Linley will be the youngest contestant ever to compete on “Dancing with the Stars.” He is best known for his role as Jake Ryan on “Hannah Montana.” He teams with two-time “Dancing with the Stars” champ Julianne Hough, who returns for her fourth season.

SUSAN LUCCI — As the most famous face in daytime television history, Susan Lucci plays “woman you love to hate,” Erica Kane, on ABC’s “All My Children.” She celebrates her 10,000th episode this November. She teams with Tony Dovolani, who returns for his sixth season.

MISTY MAY-TREANOR — Beach Volleyball champion Misty May-Treanor and partner Kerri Walsh captured their second Olympic gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics and became the first team ever to repeat as back-to-back champs. She now joins a new teammate, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who returns for his fifth season.

TED MCGINLEY — Actor Ted McGinley’s extensive television credits include “Married…with Children,” “Hope & Faith,” “Happy Days.” Newcomer Inna Brayer will be paired with Ted. Inna is the current U.S. Amateur 10 Dance Champion.

JEFFREY ROSS — Comedian Jeffrey Ross, a.k.a. the “Roastmaster General,” was crowned by New York Magazine as “The Meanest Man in Comedy.” He teams with Edyta Sliwinska, who is the only pro to compete in all seven seasons of “Dancing with the Stars.”

WARREN SAPP – Recently retired defensive tackle and Superbowl Champion Warren Sapp played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Oakland Raiders during his 13-year career. Warren is teamed with Kym Johnson, who returns for her fifth season.

Hosted by Tom Bergeron (“America’s Funniest Home Videos”) and Samantha Harris (“E! Entertainment”), the celebrities will perform choreographed dance routines which will be judged by renowned Ballroom judge Len Goodman and dancer/choreographers Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba.

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“Grey’s Anatomy” : Freedom for Cristina/Sandra Oh

Nobody puts Cristina Yang in the corner – at least not for very long.

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Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) finally gets her surgical groove back, with the help of Sparkle Pager, on the season finale of ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy.”

“I’m happy we’re wrapping up the relationship with Erica Hahn,” says Sandra Oh. “I know the fans were frustrated with the way Cristina was, but I think they’ll be fine with the way everything works out.”

I knew I wasn’t the only one who was disappointed in the early stages this season on “Grey’s Anatomy.” . Cristina’s depression after getting dumped at the altar by her prince-not-so-charming-after-all was hard enough, but to watch her flush that strong sense of who she was right down the tube was physically painful.

Preston Burke scooted out of that relationship like a wilting weasel, leaving Cristina to pick up the pieces.

We all know why, of course.

Actor Isaiah Washington had opted to write his own script when it came to relationships with cast members like T.R. Knight. Washington’s inflammatory remarks about sexual orientation were completely out of line.

But why should Sandra Oh pay the price? Last season, she did a mesmerizing job of showcasing Cristina in a life-changing evolution as she allowed herself to find love and vulnerability. She should have won the Emmy for it.

This season was difficult for everyone because of the WGA strike, but the whole storyline of how Christina became Hahn’s whipping girl was soul sucking.

Which brings us to this season’s finale “Freedom.”

Thankfully, we got at least five new episodes to tide us over until the fall and I like the direction.

Well, most of it anyway.

I’m not sure about the instant lesbian situation between Hahn and Callie, which took on an entirely too creepy tone when the writers chose to have horn dog Mark Sloan turn into a matchmaker between the two.

But having George retake the exam so he can move on with his career was a nice touch. Time to show why George may just be the best doc of the bunch.

And it was high time Meredith moved on towards being an adult. The final moments in the two-hour season ender when she vents a bit towards Derek before the two get swept up in the legendary romance was delicious.

But no good can come of the final moment when Derek decides he has to clear the air with Rose before he and Meredith can begin their new life together. Death, destruction and ooh-so-many-bad vibes on that one.

Bring it on.

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Happy Birthday, Ugly Betty

Oh, joy. “Ugly Betty” is back tonight, and everyone’s celebrating.

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America Ferrera and Eric Mabius celebrated their birthdays on the set of “Ugly Betty” on April 18 with their fellow cast members and production crew. ©(ABC/CRAIG SJODIN

Last Friday really was America Ferrera’s birthday, with Eric Mabius’ b-day on April 22, so it’s only fitting that tonight’s episode is about Betty’s 24th birthday.

Betty’s plans to spend a romantic evening with Henry are sidelined when his Baby Mama Charlie (Jayma Mays) pops back into their lives. Gio (Freddy Rodriguez) comes to the rescue, and for the first time I thought, Betty, drop Charlie and go with Gio.

For “Project Runway” fans, you should note that one of the blouses designed by “Project Runway” winner Christian Siriano designed a blouse worn in the May 1 episode, which features Siriano. The blouse will be given to Clothes Off Our Backs to auction off for charity.

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“High School Musical: Summer Session” auditions

OK all you wannabe Disney stars, we’ve finally got news on the open casting calls for the new realty show “HSM: Summer Session.”

The West Coast auditions will be taking place on Sunday, April 27 at the Long Beach Arena in Long Beach, CA. The East Coast casting call will be held on Wednesday, May 7, at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. The exact location is the Champion Stadium at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex.

Both of these open auditions will form part of the early episodes of the series. Anyone between the ages of 16 and 22 is welcome to give it a shot at the open calls (if you are under 18, you must bring your parent or legal guardian) and can download an application and view eligibility requirements here.

The series debuts at 8 p.m. Sunday, July 20 on ABC, and runs Sundays and Mondays for three weeks, then continues Mondays through mid-September. The producers welcome anyone and everyone aged 16-22 who has dreamed of being center stage.

The finalists will ultimately participate in a summer music program to hone their skills, and one talented newcomer will receive the opportunity to become part of the “High School Musical” family.

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Picture you here with “High School Musical” stars Corbin Bleu(Chad Danforth), Ashley Tisdale (Sharpay Evans), Monique Coleman (Taylor McKessie), Vanessa Hudgens (Gabriella Montez), Lucas Grabeel (Ryan Evans) and Zac Efron (Troy Bolton).

If you are interested in work as an extra on the next “High School Musical,” I found this site which gives information on various Disney auditions.

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Complete Nielsen Rankings: March 31-April 6, 2008

Yeah, no one is surprised to see “American Idol” dominating again. But who would have thought “CSI” would sneak into No. 3 ahead of “Dancing with the Stars”?

Where does your favorite show rank this week?

1 AMERICAN IDOL-TUESDAY 26120 9.1
2 AMERICAN IDOL-WEDNESDAY 24840 8.7
3 CSI 20580 7.2
4 DANCING WITH THE STARS 20560 7.2
5 DANCING W/STARS RESULTS 17280 6.0
6 CSI: MIAMI 15650 5.5
7 WITHOUT A TRACE 15200 5.3
8 TWO AND A HALF MEN 14500 5.1
9 CBS NCAA BSKBL CHAMP SA-2 14440 5.0
10 CSI: MIAMI – TUESDAY SP 14230 5.0
11 SURVIVOR: MICRONESIA 12870 4.5
12 CSI: NY 12850 4.5
13 CRIMINAL MINDS 12810 4.5
14 OLD CHRISTINE 12570 4.4
15 COLD CASE 11930 4.2
Read the rest of this entry »

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ABC Picks up Nine Returning Shows

As regular blog readers already know, ABC is bringing back “Pushing Daisies,” but no more new episodes until this fall, and “Desperate Housewives,” which will be rushing back into production to bring you a few more episodes this May and June.

On Tuesday, ABC Entertainment announced pickups for nine of its most popular shows, returning broadcast television’s most successful fall series. “Men in Trees” and “October Road” were among the shows not mentioned and may be “on the bubble” for renewal.

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“Desperate Housewives” stars Eva Longoria as Gabrielle Solis, Felicity Huffman as Lynette Scavo, Marcia Cross as Bree Van De Kamp, Teri Hatcher as Susan Mayer, and Nicollette Sheridan as Edie Britt. (ABC/ANDREW ECCLES)

ABC Entertainment ordered episodes of “Brothers & Sisters,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Dirty Sexy Money,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Lost,” “Private Practice,” “Pushing Daisies,” “Samantha Who?” and “Ugly Betty.”

“Big Shots,” the show starring Bay Area’s own Christopher Titus, has not yet gotten a pick-up and one is not expected. When Titus performed at Tommy T’s in Pleasanton for a New Year’s Eve show, he was hopeful the show would return, but indications from the network suggest otherwise.

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“Big Shots” Christopher Titus and Michael Vartan, Photo: ADAM TAYLOR/ABC

Other ABC shows that aren’t expected to make an appearance on the new fall schedule are “Cavemen” and “Carpoolers.” And if ABC asks me, and I’m sure they won’t, I’d put that awful “Cashmere Mafia” on the endangered list too.

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“Lost” back, and it’s fantastic

I couldn’t wait to watch the first episode of “Lost” - and when you are a TV critic, that means you get the DVD screener before it airs.

Now, ABC offers critics an even faster way to see the show, via the not-for-public-viewing Web site. And I can tell you, this first episode doesn’t disappoint. It’s non-stop action from start to finish, leaving you aching for more.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen our “Lost” pals, and ABC has whipped up a great 8 minute and 15 second recap.

We should have gotten a full ride of all 16 episodes, but darn that strike (yes, we are still behind you), we’ll only be getting eight episodes and perhaps not getting the next ones until almost summer time if then.

“Lost” is a series that ends after 48 episodes. Fans expected 16 episodes a year until 2010, when the series would finish. If the strike ends by mid-February, there’s still a chance that “Lost” could produce the other eight episodes in time to finish airing in May.

After watching “The Beginning of the End,” I’m back on board the “Lost” train. The producers now have an end game and the energy level is back with the actors and the writing.

There’s a list of things ABC doesn’t want us to reveal to viewers, so I’ll just say that we get to jump into the future where some of the castaways have left the island – and are conflicted about it. And we see some of the things that happened on the island.

Oh, and one person comes back from the dead.

We can also tell you that Locke wants the survivors to stay on the island after Charlie’s last message saying that they aren’t from Penny’s boat, while Jack says it’s time to get off the island.

Who will stay and who will go?

Photobucketm>In the season premiere episode, “The Beginning of the End,” feeling that their rescue is close at hand, the survivors don’t know whether to believe Charlie’s final message that the people claiming to liberate them are not who they seem to be. (ABC/MARIO PEREZ) EMILIE de RAVIN

Damon Lindelof always said that “Lost” was about redemption. Perhaps some left the islad a bit too early to be redeemed.

Come back here after the show airs on Thursday and, as Heidi Klum says, we’ll have a little chat.

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“Lost” Airlines Flights begin today

Those wacky “Lost” publicists are back at it again, sending out press releases for phony companies associated with the ABC series.

On Friday, they sent out a press release saying today Oceanic Airlines is back in business. If only the TV networks were back in business and the Writers strike was over. But that’s just my own personal New Year’s wish.

Instead we get funky press releases like this one:

December 28, 2007

OCEANIC AIRLINES ANNOUNCES ITS RETURN TO THE AIRWAYS
“TAKING YOU PLACES YOU NEVER IMAGINED”

Flights Begin December 31 To Nine Markets

Oceanic Airlines announced today their return to the airways. Beginning December 31, operations and flights to nine markets will resume, “Taking You Places You Never Imagined.” Destinations include:

Los Angeles, CA
Tustin, CA
Ames, IA
Miami, FL
New York, NY
Portland, OR
Knoxville, TN
Seoul, South Korea
Sydney, Australia

“We are very eager to resume flying and apologize for any inconvenience our temporary closure may have caused our loyal customers,” said Michael Orteig, President, Oceanic Airlines. “Oceanic Airlines is proud to be a top tier flight provider and looks forward to providing travelers with many more years of unparalleled service.”

About Oceanic Airlines
In business for over 25 years, Oceanic Airlines is a major airline carrier and offers the highest caliber of service for international and domestic flights. Destinations include Los Angeles, London, Sydney and South Korea.

###

Oceanic Airlines Contact:
Georgia Cavanagh (818) 460-5520

If you call, Georgia tells you to leave a message. Let me know if they get back to you. Also, you get an address to go to the Oceanic Airlines site There’s not much there, but then that would also be the same for the series.

Viewers were promised 16 episodes this season, with no interruption. Only eight were completed with a quasi-cliff hanger at the end that insiders say will make viewers more angry than enticed. Because of the strike, there simply aren’t any more episodes shot.

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Ben, don’t make Danielle mad. You know you don’t like it when Danielle gets angry…(ABC/MARIO PEREZ) MICHAEL EMERSON, MIRA FURLAN in the Jan. 31 season premiere of “Lost”.

But you can spend the better part of the day getting caught up with previews, recaps, webisodes and even full episodes on the official “Lost” Web site. The hilarious video recap is worth the trip to the site.

The show swaps to Thursday nights beginning Jan. 31 with an episode titled “Beginning of the End.”

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On the season premiere of “Lost” at 9 p.m. Jan. 31 on ABC, everyone looks happy except Claire (Emilie de Ravin). (ABC/MARIO PEREZ)

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Desperate Housewives Fantasy League

According to my “DH” producer pal, who should be downing egg nog and taking advantage of the mistletoe, Mary Alice says in the teaser that “one of the women will lose a husband, and they all will lose a friend.”

We already know, or think we know, that the husband refers to the obviously dead Victor. Could the friend be Ida? I’m not so sure I’d call her a friend to the Wisteria women. Let’s try someone more imaginative. I don’t want to lose Tom, but he would certainly fall into both those categories.

And thanks blog reader Rene for commenting on the sad demise of a main character: The ugly, noisy fountain.

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Could Carlos (Ricardo Antonio Chavira) fill the bill as the “husband and friend” on “Desperate Housewives”? We already know the fate of Victor (John Slattery), who was no friend to anyone on Wisteria Lane. (photo Danny Feld/ABC)

Talk among yourselves while I check on those Christmas cookies.

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Fantasy TV League: Desperate Housewives

OK, I’m sensing a need for some picket fence chat time. We know there’s only one episode of “Desperate Housewives” in the can, and that one according to an inside source, will answer most of the cliff-hanger questions when it airs on Jan. 6 on ABC.

But after that, we’re going to have to face the fact that there won’t be an end of the strike before January and we’ll all be facing a very bleak winter without new episodes of DH.

So what’s a fan to do?

Let’s hark back to the baseball strike of who-gives-a-crap, when baseball fans were forced to live without the game. They decided to start fantasy baseball leagues. Playing off the notion, I say we form a fantasy TV League for Desperate Housewives.

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Tom, say you aren’t gone! We’d be “Desperate Housewives” indeed if that’s true.

We’ll all put in our thoughts as to what we think happened. Did Tom and the kids perish? Did Ida go to the cat house in the sky? What about Carlos? I think that Victor biffed it, primarily because he got that new gig on AMC’s hit series “Mad Men” playing the head of a New York ad agency.
Oh, and I base it on the fact that he got staked like a vampire.

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Looks like Victor’s bit the big one on “Desperate Housewives”

OK, let the fantasy begin. Who do you want to be gone? Who do you want to see back? And better still, how would you like to see the season continue?

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Well, at least the hideous fountain is now a moot point on Wisteria Lane as Bob (Tuc Watkins) surveys the post-tornado damage.
Photos by ABC/CRAIG SJODIN

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