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Showing posts from December, 2006

Doomsday Comes for the Doctor and Rose on the Season Finale of "Doctor Who"

While I might be sunning myself (and catching up on some reading) here in tropical Hawaii, I thought I would be terribly remiss if I didn't at least say a few quick words about tonight's two-hour season finale of Doctor Who on Sci Fi. I had the opportunity to watch the two-hour finale ("Army of Ghosts"/"Doomsday") before I left Los Angeles and it was with a certain sadness that I bade farewell to the Doctor and Rose , especially as any announcement about the series' third season airing on US television has yet to be made. UK viewers, however, have the Doctor Who Christmas Special, "The Runaway Bride," co-starring the always hysterical Catherine Tate, to look forward to in just a few days. (Lucky bastards.) In any event, tonight's two-hour Doctor Who season finale wraps things up satisfactorily in more ways than one. That "storm" on the horizon that the Doctor mentioned at the end of last week's episode does indeed materia

What's on Tonight for December 21

What's On Tonight 8 pm: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (CBS); Identity (NBC); Smallville (CW); Ugly Betty (ABC); 'Til Death/The War at Home (FOX); Wicked Wicked Games (MyNet) 9 pm: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (CBS); The Office (NBC); Supernatural (CW); Grey's Anatomy (ABC); The O.C. (FOX); Watch Over Me (MyNet) 10 pm: Shark (CBS); My Name is Earl/Scrubs (NBC); Men in Trees (ABC) What I'll Be Watching 8 pm: French & Saunders Christmas Celebrity Special on BBC America. (11 pm ET) The comedy duo that originally dreamed up Absolutely Fabulous (that would be Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders) return for this Christmas special , which aired in the UK in 2005. Let's get celebritied up! 9-10 pm: The Office . It's a full hour of the best comedy on television: The Office . If you missed the third season Christmas special ("A Benihana Christmas"), written by the talented Jen Celotta, last week, here's your second chance to catch

Top TV Picks of 2006

As it's nearly the end of the calendar year (only a few more days to go, in fact) and since I'm leaving behind sunny-yet-chilly Los Angeles for the warmer, tropical climes of Hawaii tomorrow for a much-needed break, I figured now was as good a time as any to look back at some of the shows that that have entertained and inspired me over the past year. It's been a crazy year, with freshman series dropping like flies (and the season's only half over!) and serialized dramas--those supposed saviors to each and every network--more or less ending up the TV equivalent of three-day-old socks. So, what were the favorite series in the Televisionary household? Which left me wanting more... and which ones made me eager to change the channel? Find out below. Best Reality Series: The Amazing Race Project Runway Top Chef While there are a host of other reality-based programs that have captured my heart over the course of the past year ( Top Model, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservatio

'Twas the Night Before Christmas: A "24" Christmas

Calling Jack Bauer... Or perhaps this is more a job for Christmas operative Kris Kringle? While it doesn't top the hilarity (not to mention extreme cast dedication) of the Scrubs and Charlie Brown Christmas mash up , below is a rather charming little Christmas wish from FOX.com, which recasts Jack and Chloe of 24 with Santa Claus and an elf with the Christmas Toys Unit (heh, CTU) in a Christmas-themed spoof entitled 24th . Personally, I love that the creators behind this little viral used not only the iconic 24 font but also the definitive split-screen visuals that make the show the tense nail-biter that it is. Plus, how cute is it that Santa's little Christmas Eve mission is called 24th ? Now if only they could have gotten Mary Lyn Rajskub to play the elf... 24 's sixth season premieres in a two-night event starting Sunday, January 14th at 8 pm.

A Final Take on "5 Takes: USA"

Just a quick post this morning as I'm already feeling the effects of way too much holiday cheer, even though we're still a few days away from achieving maximum holiday impact... I couldn't let a more than a few days slide, however, without acknowledging the end of the third season of Travel Channel's reality series 5 Takes . While it's been a bit of a bumpy ride , 5 Takes: USA quickly corrected its problems halfway through production to turn out a final round of episodes that was on par with the previous season's highs. First of all, it seems as though my previous comments about what was lacking with the series this year clicked with the network as they made steps to correct the problems that hampered my enjoyment of the reality series' third season. My main point was that the travel journalists didn't seem to do a lot of, you know, interacting with locals to find the sort of off-the-beaten-path sights and attractions that are a hallmark of this type

"Boys" of Summer: TBS Orders Additional Episodes of Freshman Comedy

Looks like PJ will be hanging with her boys for some time to come. Basic cabler TBS has ordered nine additional episodes of its freshman comedy My Boys , the network's first original series. Series, from Sony Pictures Television and creator Betsy Thomas, will resume production after the New Year and the newly ordered episodes will air sometime during summer 2007. The back nine order bumps My Boys ' episode count to 22 episodes. News comes as the original 13-episode order for My Boys wraps next week, with TBS scheduling no less than five original episodes just after Christmas Day. The series' ninth and tenth episodes will air back-to-back on Tuesday, December 26th at 10 pm ET/PT, with episodes 11 and 12 popping up on December 27th from 10-11 pm ET/PT, and the final episode will air the following night (that would be December 28th) at 10 pm. For the uninitiated, My Boys follows the travails on tomboy PJ Franklin (Jordana Spiro), a sportswriter looking for romance, but s

From Across the Pond: "French & Saunders Christmas Celebrity Special"

If you've never experienced the comedic duo of French & Saunders (that would be Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders, naturally), you are seriously missing out. After all, it was on their show that they first premiered a little sketch about insufferable fashion victim Edina and her buttoned-up daughter Saffron that would eventually go on to become international comedy smash hit Absolutely Fabulous . (While French originated the role of Saffy on French & Saunders , Julia Sawalha played her on the series.) Both of these comedians are talented in their own right and have gone on to various series of their own. Saunders wrote and starred in Ab Fab (and the upcoming Clatterford , which airs in the UK under the name Jam & Jerusalem ); French starred as Geraldine Granger in the much beloved series The Vicar of Dibley (itself getting the Stateside makeover treatment this pilot season as comedy The Minister of Divine for FOX). Both have had numerous side projects and yet have

Permanent Break for "Day Break" While "Show Me the Money" Shown the Door

This is one bad day Taye Diggs' character won't wake up to discover hasn't happened yet. ABC has pulled struggling drama Day Break from its schedule, effective immediately. Drama, which was filling in for sibling Lost during its 13-week imposed hiatus , was expected to depart from ABC's lineup at the end of December, but after severely dismal ratings this week, Day Break was given the chop late on Friday. Day Break 's current timeslot will be filled with repeats of comedies. Given that ABC doesn't have that many comedies on the air at the moment, I'd imagine they would be of the According to Jim or George Lopez variety. (No word on what will happen to those playfully coy Lost Moments that have been popping up during Day Break ; the last one was quite a shocker in fact.) Beginning in early January, the slot will be taken over by the launch of new midseason comedies Knights of Prosperity and In Case of Emergency . But it's not the only announce

Polls Are Nearly Closed: Be Sure to Vote for Televisionary for Best Culture Blog

Wahoo! Voting is almost over for the race for Best Culture Blog for the 2006 Weblog Awards. Follow the link at the right (or, hell, the left) to click through to the virtual voting booth and be sure to tick the box next to Televisionary! (Or click right here .) You can vote once a day, per computer, from now until 11:59 pm tonight! So get out there and spread the word!

"Domo Arigato, Mr. Scott-o": Dunder-Mifflin Celebrates with an Extended "Office" Christmas Party

Aren't office Christmas parties usually the same? You start off not wanting to go, wind up having some fun, and end up staying way too long? I was hoping that the Christmas episode ("A Benihana Christmas") of The Office , written by Jen Celotta and directed by Harold Ramis, wouldn't feel that way, but I did feel that it dragged on a little too long and would have been a lot better (not to mention tighter) at a super-sized 40 minute length than the one-hour episode it was stretched into. I'm not sure why the network decided to increase the length of the episode the way it did, but I wish they hadn't been quite so overzealous, because a compacted version of "A Benihana Christmas" may have become one of my favorite episodes. Which isn't to say that I didn't have fun, because I did. There's a lot going on here and the central storylines were hilarious and managed to come together in expected ways. Brief recap: Michael gets dumped by girlfr

"Veronica Mars" Finally Turns Up at iTunes

Mars attacks... iTunes! Has anyone else noticed that CW drama (and Televisionary obsession) Veronica Mars suddenly (and inexplicably, given all this time) has, as of Wednesday, turned up on the iTunes Store? While there's no sign of previous seasons (yet, anyway), the nine episodes that have aired to date of Veronica Mars ' third season have turned up under the CW network's banner on the iTunes site. As per the standard download price, fans can download individual episodes of Veronica for $1.99 a pop or opt for the Season Pass option, being offered at $34.99. Considering that cult shows live or die by the strength of their online fan base (some hint that it was brisk iTunes sales that showed NBC the potential of The Office during Season Two), it's only smart to offer Veronica Mars for download, especially given the show's Internet-savvy target demo. It's a long, cold wait until new episodes of Veronica Mars start airing next year on the CW, so I might j

Casting Couch: Fillion Shifts into "Drive"

That noise you hear? It's the collective sound of Firefly fans gasping for air as Captain Tightpants himself reunites with Firefly executive producer (and Joss Whedon collaborator) Tim Minear. FOX has announced that Nathan Fillion has been cast as the lead in the midseason drama Drive , about an illegal underground race across America (think The Amazing Race on crack and throw in some violence and you get the idea). He'll play Alex Tully, a landscaper who is coerced into joining the race in order to track down his wife, who has been kidnapped by a mysterious syndicate. Fillion replaces Ivan Sergei, who played Alex in the original pilot and who will next appear in the pilot for USA's dramedy To Love and Die in L.A . According to Fillion, he was originally approached by Minear to participate in the pilot but had to turn it down thanks to scheduling issues (he was filming feature White Noise 2 ), but the two former co-workers met up at a summer barbeque and Minear again

Mamma Mia: Product Placement and Seasonal Seppuku on "Top Chef"

Was it just me or was that a particularly enjoyable episode of Bravo's Top Chef ? I wasn't sure how they'd manage to top last week's satisfying elimination of Frank (thank god he's gone), but the producers managed to do just that this week, with a twist ending that I didn't really see coming and a fantastic elimination challenge that really pushed the chefs to work together and produce tasty, beautiful food for 200 guests at a holiday party. (I still wonder what these guest thought at attending a party during what Padma kept referring to the "party season" in the middle of a hot--and extended--LA summer.) The one low point in the entire episode was the Quickfire Challenge, which forced chefs to create a cocktail using Baileys Irish Creme and pair it with a tasty bite. While the brief seemed (notice I used the word seemed) to call for a savory amuse bouche, most chefs went the obvious route and created dessert pairings. The whole thing was basically a

Golden Globe Nominations Revealed: Love for "Big Love," "The Office," "Lost," and "24"

I woke up early this morning in order to catch the Golden Globe nominations (which are announced at 5 am here on the West Coast). Well, okay, I overslept a little bit but 5 am is pretty darn early for me! Read on to get my thoughts on the major category nominations and click here to get the full list of both feature film and television nominees. BEST TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA 24 (FOX) - Imagine Television and 20th Century Fox Television i.a.w. Real Time Prods. BIG LOVE (HBO) - Anima Sola and Playtone Prods. i.a.w. HBO Entertainment GREY’S ANATOMY (ABC) - Touchstone Television HEROES (NBC) - NBC Universal Television Studios i.a.w. Tailwind Prods. LOST (ABC) - Touchstone Television As expected, drama bigwigs 24, Lost , Grey's Anatomy , and Heroes are duking it out with newcomer Big Love (easily one of my favorite new series of the year), which I'm pleased as punch to see nominated in this category. Not everyone loves the polygamists in HBO's gripping drama, but we here

"Gilmore Girls" Creator Amy Sherman-Palladino Returns to Comedic Roots with "Jezebel James"

While there are a number of pilot and series orders worthy of keeping one's eye on during this busy pilot season-- The Sarah Connor Chronicles , The Canyons , and The Bionic Woman being the first three to come to mind--every now and then there's a certain project that comes along that you can't help but root for, especially when it comes from the fertile minds of one of your favorite television creators. Especially when said creator has let you down a wee bit by leaving the series that made them a mythic name around the Televisionary household after sort of sinking the show a bit. If you couldn't guess who I was talking about just from that sentence above (or if you don't bother reading the title, I suppose), here goes. Fox has ordered a multi-camera pilot from Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino with the working title of The Return of Jezebel James . First of all, I'm extremely curious to see how Sherman-Palladino will handle a traditional half-hou

TNT Full of "Grace," Opts Not to Save "Saved"

TNT has ordered two pilots to series while cancelling another series (sorry, Tom Everett Scott, fans). The cabler has ordered series for drama pilots Heartland and Grace . Heartland stars Everwood's Treat Williams as a surgeon in the world of heart transplant surgery (heh, hence the nifty title) and co-stars Firefly 's own Inara, Morena Baccarin. Series is said to be a possible companion for the network's hit police drama, The Closer , starring Kyra Sedgwick. Grace stars Holly Hunter as an alcoholic cop in Oklahoma City who, following a car accident (brought on by her drinking) is visited by an angel in the guise of a homeless man and offer a chance to redeem herself. It co-stars recent Veronica Mars guest star Laura San Giacomo, Leon Rippy, and Bokeem Woodbine. Meanwhile, TNT has opted not to order a second season of drama Saved . Series, created by David Manson, starred Tom Everett Scott as a Portland, Oregon paramedic with a bit of a gambling addiction. TNT aired

Checking Out "The Lost Room"

Ah, Sci Fi. We've had a rather tortured run, you and I. You make me blissfully happy with Battlestar Galactica and UK imports like the newest incarnation of Doctor Who (even if you did keep us guessing there for a little while if you would acquire the series), but lately your epic mini-series have been, well, less than epic. ( Earthsea , anyone?) So I was really, really looking forward to The Lost Room , which featured possibly one of the most original setups on television and a great cast. For those of you who missed last night's premiere installment ("The Key and the Clock"), don't worry as Sci Fi will basically be showing this mini around the clock. (No pun intended, seriously.) But if you're worried about tuning in tonight for the second of three segments, here's the lowdown. Detective Joe Miller (Peter Krause) is your average cop going through a nasty divorce and custody battle with his ex-wife over their adorable little daughter Anna (Elle Fanning