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Showing posts from July, 2006

The Gold Standard: "Entourage" Returns to Its Roots

There's a new talent agency player in this town, as Miller-Gold (no, it's not a beer) opened its doors last night. Well, on Entourage anyway, which last night seemed to return to the pleasurably scathing Hollywood satire it once was. The fictional agency, formed out of a partnership between Ari Gold and Barbara Miller (the silky-voiced Beverly D'Angelo), announced its intent to go independent, following a meeting of talent agency toppers that Ari likened to a "meeting of the five families." (I was rolling on the floor with laughter at the very bitter slap in the face afforded to, um, small fry agency APA, Agency for the Performing Arts.) With Ari's drive and ambition and Barbara's financing, it seems like Miller-Gold is poised to give ICM, CAA, William Morris et al a run for their money. Fitting too then that things seem to be falling into place for the other members of this Hollywood entourage. Turtle's music managing career is ready to take off, w

From Across the Pond: "Peep Show"

Every once in a while a show comes along that makes you feel vaguely uncomfortable to be a human being. In a good way, that is. That is the joy of watching this series, from the twisted minds of The Thick of It 's Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain. Peep Show is a deliriously sordid Britcom where you can't help but squirm as you watch sad sacks Mark (David Mitchell) and Jeremy ( The Smoking Room 's Robert Webb) go about their pathetic ways. While the delightfully creepy theme song may have become a little more upbeat in the series' second season, Mark and Jeremy's outlook hasn't; they're just as messed up as they were last season. Mark and Jeremy are the "El Dude Brothers," two completely dysfunctional roommates who have lived together since university and who are destined to spend their lives together in a state of fitful co-dependence. Mark, a loan manager, is the more "grounded" of the two, though by grounded I mean less likely to engage i

Casting Couch: "Office" Overflow; Mitchell Latest "Lost" Girl

The Office is getting a few new workers. The Hollywood Reporter has announced that three actors have joined the expansive cast of NBC's The Office next season. Charles Esten ( Whose Line Is It Anyway? ) will reprise his role of Josh Porter, last seen in the "Valentine's Day" episode last season; his character is the regional manager of Dunder-Mifflin's Stamford branch. Meanwhile, Rashida Jones ( Boston Public ) and Steve Carell's former Daily Show compatriot Ed Helms have joined the cast. Both will play employees of Dunder-Mifflin, with Jones landing a "potential recurring role" on the series. While Helms and Jones (coincidentally Office co-star John Krasinski's girlfriend) were said to be playing workers in the Scranton office in The Hollywood Reporter , it seems more than likely that they will instead be corporate drones of the paper manufacturer's Stamford branch. (In fact, it seems a dead certainty, given the appearance of Josh Por

Rodrigo Santoro to Get "Lost"

Brazilian actor Rodrigo Santoro is set to join the cast of ABC's not-so-deserted island drama Lost when the series returns this fall for its third season, according to a press release filed by network ABC. Best known to U.S. audiences for his role in Richard Curtis' feature film Love Actually , Santoro also appeared in the feature film Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle and appeared opposite Nicole Kidman in the Baz Luhrmann-directed commercials for Channel. No information was immediately released about Santoro's character, though I would imagine he will be playing one of the mysterious Others, whom the show will focus on next season. (Either that or one of Penelope Widmore's employees.) Stayed tuned for more information.

Televisionary Scoop: First Images From Bravo's "Top Chef 2"

Unpack your knifes, it's time for another season of backstabbing culinary challenge series Top Chef , Well, almost time, anyway. I don't know about you, but I've been jonesing for another Top Chef fix ever since the first season of Bravo's culinary challenge wrapped a few weeks back. Sure, we've been following the behind-the-scenes shenanigans with the show (android Katie Lee Joel out, Padma Lakshmi in) and we know that the sophomore season will take place in Los Angeles this time around, but what's in store for Top Chef 2 ? Fret not, fearless foodies! (I saw Stan Lee down at Comic Con, so forgive the exclamatory address.) Televisionary knows how much you love your Bravo reality shows and we've got a sneak peek at some images from the second season of Top Chef , courtesy of top secret Televisionary operative "Ted Kord," including the first photo of new host Padma Lakshmi in action (above, looking rather, um, model-esque). The scene: Californi

BBC Three Ignites "Torchwood"

BBC Three has announced that it will make Doctor Who spinoff Torchwood the "centerpiece" of its fall schedule, launching the "sci fi crime thriller" series in October. No plans are currently in place to import the series Stateside, though our neighbors to the north will be able to catch Torchwood on CBC. Spinning off of one of Doctor Who 's most memorable characters, Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), Torchwood will be set in present day Cardiff (that's Wales to you lot) and will surround a group of covert criminal investigators called the Torchwood Institute, an organization commissioned by Queen Victoria and tasked with investigating alien technology. The team will be headquartered at The Hub, located beneath Cardiff Bay, the site of the TARDIS' landing in "Boom Town" and the location of the rift discussed in "The Unquiet Dead." Created by current Doctor Who writer/producer Russell T. Davies, Torchwood stars John Barrowman as b

From Across the Pond: "Life on Mars"

No, this isn't another declaration of my love for Veronica Mars . (Though there's nothing wrong with spreading the love of Mars .) Rather, I'm referring to the Stateside premiere of the trippy crime drama Life on Mars , which launched its first season last night on BBC America. While it's nominally a mystery series, Life on Mars is far from being your standard crime procedural. Instead, it's a deft blend of police procedural, pitch black humor, and crime drama, with a sci-fi twist. In 2006, Detective Chief Inspector Sam Tyler ( State of Play 's John Simm) is on the hunt for a man he believes is a serial killer targeting young women, keeping them alive for 24 hours, and then strangling them. Tyler thinks he's caught his man when he brings in ginger-haired Colin Raimes ( Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 's Sam Hazeldine), a troubled schizophrenic, but when his social worker has an airtight alibi for him, Tyler's back at square one. However, Tyler

TV (Not) on DVD Update: MTV's "The State"

Yet another television program thus far criminally not available on DVD might just be coming to DVD or iTunes: MTV's cult classic The State . The news coming out of San Diego's Comic Con this past weekend pegs a release for The State later this year, either on DVD, on iTunes, or both. Created by Thomas Lennon and Ben Garrant, best known for Comedy Central's Reno 911! , sketch comedy series The State ran on MTV between 1993 and 1995 and quickly garnered a cult following. ComingSoon.Net met up with Lennon and Garrant at Comic Con and they had the following to say about the possibility of a DVD release of the show: " The State at long last actually is coming out either on DVD or iTunes," Lennon told [ComingSoon.Net]. "They just rescored and we're all doing ADR," Garrant continued. "The thing that was preventing it was the music clearances," Lennon explained, "because at the time, MTV had a deal that anything with a video you could

"Mars" Attacks at Comic Con

One of the highlights of my trip to Comic Con had to be the Veronica Mars panel on Saturday afternoon. It's no secret that Veronica Mars is easily one of my favorite series on television and that the day the execs decided to grant the noir drama a reprieve was one of the happiest of my life. (Now if we could only get them to commit to 22 episodes.) In attendance: Kristen Bell, creator Rob Thomas, a tardy Francis Capra (he was stuck in traffic), Jason Dohring, Michael Muhney, Enrico Colantoni, and Ryan Hansen. The crowd went wild as a clip package -- the same one presented to the CW programming execs -- was played that brilliantly summed up the show as a cross between a stylish noir drama and a snarky well-written drama. But the surprises were yet to come... Who knew that Rob Thomas always had Cassidy Casablancas in mind as the killer , way back when he brought him onto the show for the last three episodes of the first season? Or that he felt he "sold out a little bit"

Watch "Nobody's Watching" on... NBC?!?

I guess someone was watching after all. In a stunning move, Variety is reporting today that botched WB pilot and You Tube favorite Nobody's Watching has been picked up by NBC. Kevin Reilly is expected to announce today that the Peacock network has ordered six scripts, following a meeting with series creators Bill Lawrence, Neil Goldman, and Garrett Donovan. Additionally, NBC will also produce a series of viral videos for Nobody's Watching , which could hit the web as early as September. The news comes a month after a video of the 2005 pilot for Nobody's Watching showed up on You Tube.com, launching a storm of media coverage. (It also doesn't hurt that NBC recently signed a "programming alliance" deal with You Tube.) The network is negotiating with most of the pilot's stars to return, including series leads Paul Campbell ( Battlestar Galactica ) and Tarran Killiam. Should the show be ordered to series, it would carry a very insubstantial price tag pe

Spark It Up: "Weeds" Premiere Party Offers Clues to Life in Agrestic

Fans of Weeds are in for a few surprises when the series launches its second season on Showtime next month. I attended the Weeds Season Two premiere last night at the Egyptian in Hollywood and the audience -- a mix of celebrities, cast members, and execs from Showtime and studio Lionsgate Television -- was able to catch a sneak peek at the first two episodes of next season. And let me just say, if you thought that season finale cliffhanger ending with Nancy (Mary Louise Parker) discovering that her newest beau Peter (Martin Donovan) was a DEA agent after sleeping with him was a doozy, you're in for a real treat. Before the main event, Showtime president Bob Greenblatt screened the trailer for Showtime's upcoming series The Tudors , a revisionist take on the Tudor dynasty starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Sam Neill, and Jeremy Northam, among others. It's sort of a soap operatic version of history but without any of the flair or panache of HBO's Rome . The first half of

Channel Surfing: 7.19.06

Covering "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" Season Eight Entertainment Weekly 's PopWatch column managed to score a first look at an image that many Buffy fans have been waiting an eternity for. Dark Horse Comics has released the cover image of the new Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic book, which will envision what might have been had there been an eighth season of the supernatural drama. Like the series, which slayed its last vampire in 2003, the comic book will be written by Buffy mastermind Joss Whedon. Joss currently writes a little comic you may have heard of -- Astonishing X-Men -- and previously wrote a fantastic (if terminally delayed) Buffy comic spin-off called Fray and a three-issue mini-series that bridged the gap between his Firefly series and the Serenity feature. Pencils will be provided by Georges Jeanty, though I have to agree with Blog@ Newsarama and say that the cover art looks suspiciously like the work of the talented Jo Chen (just check out the c

Boston Rob to Tackle... Bigfoot

Will Boston Rob try to pull one over on Bigfoot? Sci-Fi has issued a press release today for its new documentary series Sci Fi Investigates , which will explore mysteries of the paranormal. The six-hour weekly series is being produced in a partnership between Sci-Fi and NBC News Productions and will feature experts and, um, Rob Mariano, a.k.a. "Boston Rob" of Survivor and Amazing Race fame (or infamy, depending on your point of view). Um, I don't really know what to say in response to this news. To that end, I've included the salient points from the series' official press release below: "SCI FI CHANNEL ANNOUNCES SLATE OF CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS TO BE EXPLORED ON SCI FI INVESTIGATES Experts Join "Boston Rob" Mariano on 'SCI FI Investigates' Team PASADENA, Calif. -- July 13, 2006 -- SCI FI Investigates is a new SCI FI Channel series that explores the sweeping and eclectic mysteries and legends that pervade our world. Produced in a partners

My Name is Earl: The Comic Book?

With Comic Con just around the corner, expect a lot of announcements surrounding some familiar television, feature, and comic book properties. (I'll be there on Saturday, so if you see someone wandering around aimlessly, with a press pass, that's me.) One such announcement is that the adventures of Earl Hickey and the entire Camden County gang will be translated from the small screen to a new licensed comic book property, to be published this winter by Oni Press. Like the NBC series, My Name is Earl (the comic) will follow the story of Earl Hickey, a reformed criminal who sets out to right the wrongs he committed in his life of petty crime in order to gain karmic redemption, after hearing Carlson Daly mention the term. Along for the ride is My Name is Earl staffer Hunter Covington. According to Oni publisher Joe Nozemack, “When we first started talking to Fox about doing EARL comics, Hunter is one of the first names that came up. Hunter is the script coordinator for the sh

Sci-Fi's Latest Drama Offers All the "Eureka" of a New Discovery

A bucolic Pacific Northwest town, hidden away from the world. Scientists tampering with the space-time continuum. And a gleefully dysfunctional father/daughter relationship. Mix those disparate plots together, add a dash of madcap science fiction and you've sort of got a handle on Eureka , which premieres tonight. If you were to imagine more Northern Exposure than Stargate Atlantis , you might approximate the feel of this new sci-fi drama series, on, well Sci-Fi. I was very pleasantly surprised by Eureka , and the fact that this series is a departure for the cable network, given that the sci-fi elements are much more toned down here than in their other series. Eureka is first and foremost a drama and a rather wacky one at that. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Eureka is both that scientist's beloved cry of discovery as well as the name of a small town hidden in the Pacific Northwest. A town created by the United States government to house the most brilliant brains of t

Television Critics Question the "Gilmore Girls" and "Veronica Mars"

Yesterday's Television Critics Association event in Pasadena featured the first press session with the newly minted netlet, The CW (a phoenix rising from the ashes of the WB and UPN). And, while the network and president Dawn Ostroff trotted out all of the network's returning and new series, most critics' attention was sharply drawn to two of the network's returning series, Gilmore Girls and Veronica Mars . Let's talk about Veronica Mars first as the news shared there excited me far more than anything teased at the Gilmore Girls panel. The most important announcement: Mac is back. Actress Tina Majorino, who plays Veronica's computer geek gal pal, has been locked as a series regular for next season. But don't expect the duo to be roomies. Among other characters making an appearance next season will be Stosh Piznarski, a roommate for Wallace (Percy Daggs III), and an as-yet-unnamed roomie for Mac. Creator Rob Thomas said of Mac's roommate, "She

Dining with Disaster: An Insider's Perspective on the Chaos in "Hell's Kitchen"

Dining in Hell's Kitchen often seems to be an exercise in futility and a Herculean test of patience. So when I learned that two Televisionary operatives would be dining there, I did the only humane thing and told them to be sure to eat ahead of time. Did my associates ever get their food? Were they lambasted by tantrum-prone chef Gordon Ramsay? When I realized that the Hell's Kitchen episode they participated in was scheduled to air tonight on FOX, I got the scoop from "Ruth" and "Gael" (names have been changed to protect the hungry) on just how hot it got in Hell's Kitchen . Ruth and Gael happened to arrive at eatery Hell's Kitchen on Valentine's Day, traditionally one of the busiest (and most lucrative) restaurant nights of the year. Would it be romance and champagne in the Kitchen? Or heartbreak and empty stomachs? From the start, it was obvious that things were a mess. That night, the two teams had devised separate menus and it was up t

TV (Not) on DVD Update: "Jonathan Creek"

Fans of British mystery series Jonathan Creek can finally retire their homemade VHS collections. Since my initial post on which television series were sadly passed over for DVD treatment (" TV (Not) on DVD "), one of my picks will in fact finally make the leap to digital. TVShowsonDVD is reporting that the first season of BBC mystery series (and Televisionary fave) Jonathan Creek , starring Alan Davies and Caroline Quentin, will be released Stateside on October 24th. The two-disc set will feature the two-hour pilot ("The Wrestler's Tomb," which co-starred a pre- Buffy Anthony Stewart Head as stage magician Adam Klaus) and the four episodes that comprise Season One ("Jack in the Box," "The Constituted Corpse," "No Trace of Tracy," and "The House of Monkeys"). The suggested retail price is $34.98. Pre-order your copy today at Amazon before Jonathan Creek: Season One , er, disappears into thin air.

Detour for "Amazing Race" Leads It to New Night and Time

Everything about the next installment of The Amazing Race is brand new. Or, at the very least, that's how CBS would like to paint it. What is new about The Amazing Race 10 is a new night and timeslot (Sundays at 8 pm ET/PT, which I am really growing to like the more I think about it) and some new exotic destinations for the teams to get lost in, including China, Mongolia, Vietnam, Kuwait, and Madagascar. Teams will depart from Seattle and travel westward for the first time in the series' history. (Fortunately, one thing that isn't new about the series is its host. Uber-host Phil Keoghan will return for the tenth installment of The Amazing Race .) According to the show's producers, the teams themselves will be more diverse than in previous installments of the Race . "This cast is as different as it's ever been," executive producer Bertram van Munster told the Television Critics Association's summer meeting. "It's meltdown city on this tr

Bourdain Has "No Reservations" About War-Torn Beirut

Anthony Bourdain: War Correspondent? The New York Post 's Page Six has an interview today with Anthony Bourdain, the famed Les Halles chef and host of the Travel Channel's No Reservations (a fave here at Televisionary HQ), who appears to have gotten himself and his crew stranded while filming an upcoming episode of the series. According to Page Six : "Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain was stranded in war-ravaged Beirut yesterday after Israeli forces bombed the city's international airport and blockaded all of Lebanon's ports. [...] After the thunderous assault on the city in response to Islamic extremist group Hezbollah's capture of two Israeli soldiers, Bourdain and his crew holed up at the Moevenpick Hotel while they waited for evacuation instructions from the State Department. 'Our network, our friends and our families just want us out of here as soon as possible,' Bourdain told Page Six yesterday afternoon, as Israeli shells exploded in the dista