Archive for Networks

“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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“The Unit” back on CBS, “Shark” “Moonlight” gone

It’s true. As producer Shawn Ryan predicted, CBS took it’s own sweet time deciding on picking up the show, but “The Unit” will be back on board at 10 p.m. Sundays this fall.

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Max Martini, Dennis Haysbert, and Scott Foley star in “The Unit” on CBS. Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS ©2007 Broadcasting Inc.

Sadly, both “Shark” and “Moonlight” didn’t make the final cut.

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Vampire Mick had a brief time in the sun before CBS canceled “Moonlight.” Mick (Alex O’Loughlin) enjoys what time he has left as a human with Beth (Sophia Myles), on “Moonlight” at 9 p.m. Friday April 25 on CBS. Photo: Adam Taylor/CBS

Forgive me, but a flare-up of the herniated disk in my neck means I’m poaching liberally from the CBS press release. So here goes:

CBS announced today its 2008-2009 Fall Primetime Lineup, featuring five new series — two comedies and three dramas — and the launch of a new comedy block on Wednesdays.

The new series include:

ELEVENTH HOUR, a dramatic thriller from producer Jerry Bruckheimer about a special advisor to the government who investigates scientific crises and oddities.

THE MENTALIST, starring Simon Baker as a former celebrity psychic-turned- detective who uses his gifted skills of observation and expertise at “reading” people to solve crimes

THE EX LIST, a sexy comedic drama about a 30-something woman who searches her past relationships to find her future husband

PROJECT GARY, a comedy starring Jay Mohr and Paula Marshall as dueling ex-spouses and parents trying to move forward with new relationships

WORST WEEK a comedy based on a British series about a good guy who is always trying to do the right thing, yet something always goes wrong — especially when he’s around his girlfriend’s parents.

The freshman series will join 18 returning programs on the current CBS lineup.

CBS will return network television’s Number One drama franchise — CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION; CSI: MIAMI, CSI: NY — the Number One comedy, TWO AND A HALF MEN; the Number One news magazine, 60 MINUTES; and two franchise reality series —SURVIVOR and the five-time Emmy Award-winning THE AMAZING RACE.

Also returning are: THE BIG BANG THEORY, HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, NCIS, WITHOUT A TRACE, THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE, CRIMINAL MINDS, GHOST WHISPERER, NUMB3RS, COLD CASE, THE UNIT, 48 HOURS MYSTERY and CRIMETIME SATURDAY.
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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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CBS Announces May Sweep plans

Don’t get me wrong. I have every faith in the writers of “CSI” and “Two and a Half Men,” but swapping writers for a May sweep stunt has me a little concerned.

Grissom (William Petersen) always had a little raunchy Charlie in him, but can Charlie and Alan really figure out a whodunit when they can’t even find their way through a stunted life? Should be interesting when we tun in on May 5 for “Two and a Half Men” to discover CSI investigating a murder at Charlie Harper’s Malibu home.

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A CSI team investigates a mysterious death at Charlie’s (Charlie Sheen) and Alan’s (Jon Cryer) house on “Two and a Half Men” at 9 p.m. May 5 on CBS. Conchata Ferrell stars as Berta. Photo: Greg Gayne/Warner Bros.

And on the May 10 episode of “CSI,” Grissom and the team solve the mysterious death of a diva sitcom star.

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Grissom (William Petersen, right) and David Phillips (David Berman, left) become involved in the world of Hollywood comedy when a diva sitcom star (Katey Sagal, on floor) meets an untimely demise with a rubber chicken while filming her show in Las Vegas, on “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” at 9 p.m. May 8 on CBS. Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS

The following are CBS’s May sweep season highlights and finales. Read the rest of this entry »

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Moonlight’s Back- Mick’s Mortal

When last we saw the lovely Mick, he had become mortal and no longer feared the garlic.

Yep, our favorite (current) TV vamp can look at himself in the mirror and drink orange juice instead of a real Bloody Mary. But just how long will this last?

Oh, you know the answer. Really. You can’t have a vampire show with a used-to-be.

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What’s this? Mick hanging out in the sun and eating a picnic lunch?
Mick (Alex O’Loughlin) enjoys what time he has left as a human with Beth (Sophia Myles), on “Moonlight” at 9 p.m. Friday April 25 on CBS. Photo: Adam Taylor/CBS

The episode is campy and over-the-top, so what wasn’t to love about it? We even get a vampire smack-down going at the end. If you want some backstage info, check out this CBS video:

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Robin Sparkles is back on “How I Met Your Mother”

Last week I had to call a CBS publicist about another show and discovered she was hanging out at the beach – with the cast of “How I Met Your Mother” taping a music video featuring Robin Sparkles.

Check out legen-wait-for-it-dary IGN TV writer Eric Goldman for a great article on the taping.Looks like we have something fun in store on Monday when Robin Sparkles returns. And her old boyfriend is played by Mr. Dawson’s Creek himself, James van der Beek.

If you don’t who Robin Sparkles is, she’s Robin’s (Cobie Smulders) alter ego from her Debbie Gibson youth, when Robin had a brief career as a poppy Canadian mall singer. Here’s the original video:

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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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Howie Mandel makes a good deal with NBC

Let’s face it, without Howie Mandel, “Deal or No Deal” is just a lot of models with suitcases.

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“Deal or No Deal” host Howie Mandel with Briefcase Models
and Storm Troopers — NBC Photo: Adam Taylor

What makes the show is Howie’s sense of humor and timing, which should serve him well in his new unscripted comedy series “Howie Do It” (that’s the working title, but we kind of like it.)

“I can’t tell you how excited I am to be in business with NBC once again,” said Mandel. “Working with them on ‘Deal or No Deal’ continues to be a phenomenal experience.”

Let’s not forget that Howie first wowed us as a doctor on the Emmy Award-winning “St. Elsewhere.” Howie begin his career on a dare when he came down to Los Angeles from Canada with some friends in 1979.

He was at the Comedy Store on amateur night and was coaxed by his friends to get up and try his luck. A producer who was in the audience hired him to appear on a comedy game show called “Make me Laugh.” Howie then started appearing on talk shows and eventually landed a gig as Diana Ross’ opening act.

That led to his role as Dr. Wayne Fiscus for six seasons on the NBC drama “St. Elsewhere.” If you haven’t seen the show, check it out for free on Hulu.

Howie’s got a great Web site, with video blogs.

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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
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NBC New Schedule Family Friendly? I don’t think so…

NBC’s new schedule family-friendly in the first hour? Are you joking me?

The Parents Television Council issued a press release on Friday commending NBC for announcing its commitment to the “Family Hour,” an hour of television from 8 to 9 p.m.

Obviously, the PTC simply read a press release about NBC’s fall strategy and failed to actually look at what the network was scheduling in that hour. In fact, “My Name is Earl” has been singled out by the PTC for raunchy content.

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With a picture like this, need we say more about “My Name is Earl” perhaps not fitting the family-friendly label? (l-r) John Farley as Annie, Jason Lee as Earl — NBC Photo: Justin Lubin
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