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Showing posts from July, 2007

Casting Couch: "Dirty Sexy Money" Snares Underwood

ABC's new drama Dirty Sexy Money certainly doesn't have a shortage of morally ambiguous characters but the cast just got two additions that will stir up some major trouble when the series launches this fall. Blair Underwood has joined the cast of the ABCTV-produced series in a recurring role, where he'll play a super-wealthy nemesis to Donald Sutherland's rich-as-Midas pater familias Tripp Darling. He recently appeared on CBS' Old Christine , where he will continue his role when the midseason comedy returns in 2008. Meanwhile, also joining cast of Dirty Sexy Money is Tamara Feldman ( Boston Legal ), who will play the former best friend of the youngest Darling spawn, who returns to Manhattan and the Darlings' lives to cause a scandal that involves the family.

Naughty Girls and Good Girls on "Big Love"

Oh. My. God. Seriously. Did anyone see THAT coming? I'm talking about last night's episode of Big Love ("Kingdom Come") and if you've read this far already, I'm just going to come out and say it. The seriously maniacal Greenes ambushed Old Roman and shot him--not once!--but three times in the middle of a crowded street. My jaw seriously hit the floor. Could the series' writers really have killed off the butterscotch-sundae-and-7UP-loving Roman just like that? And what does that mean for the series and its main characters, the plucky Henrickson clan, if their nemesis Roman is taken out of the picture? Is it a case of be careful what you wish for, as the only one who would succeed Roman if the prophet, er, ascended is Alby ? But before we get to that, a few other things. Was anyone else slightly perturbed by the fact that the "previously on" scenes lasted a few four minutes before the episode even began? I know that a lot has happened this sea

Televisionary Update: Jace Recovers From Comic-Con 2007

Hello, readers. I'm taking the day off today from my writing duties at Televisionary, following a jam-packed three days at Comic-Con in which I poured my heart out for you, my gentle readers. Below you'll find a whole slew of Comic-Con related material, including exclusive interviews with Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller and the cast of Pushing Daisies . What else do I have you? Well, there's also reports on panels for ABC's Lost , NBC's Chuck, FOX's 24 , USA's The 4400 , and Sci Fi's Eureka and Women of Battlestar Galactica , and information gleaned from the Futurama panel (new movies!) and the Joss Whedon panel ( Ripper is a go!), so browse and comment away to your heart's delight. Me, I think I need a day to sleep off my con experiences and finish writing up my notes from a few more panels I covered. Either that or a very, very large Coffee Bean tea latte. Shut Your Pie Hole: Televisionary Sits Down with "Pushing Daisies"

Fighting the Numbers (and the Odds): USA's "The 4400" Panel

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I'm never quite sure why The 4400 , a smart, slick series with sci fi appeal, somehow always gets overlooked , sitting there in the shadow of its sister network's series Battlestar Galactica . So I was happy to see that the cast and crew of The 4400 --including Jeffrey Combs, Jenni Baird, Conchita Campbell, Megalyn Echikunwoke, supervising produce Craig Sweeney, and executive producer Ira Steven Behr--returned to Comic-Con again this year to drum up some support for the series. Let's get the big news out of the way. Two former cast members are due to return to The 4400 this season; of all the casting changes over the past few seasons, I've noticed the loss of these two most acutely. (Stop reading right now if you're spoiler-adverse!) Returnee #1: it's going to happen in Episode Nine and it's none other than Mahershalalhashbaz Ali, a.k.a. the telekinetic Richard Tyler, who has a reunion of sorts with his

Shut Your Pie Hole: Televisionary Sits Down with "Pushing Daisies" Creator Bryan Fuller

Can I just say how huge a fan I am of writer/producer Bryan Fuller? After all, he's the creative genius behind such groundbreaking and original series as Dead Like Me and Wonderfalls. Next season, he's giving the American public a chance to fall in love with the breathtaking, resplendent, and whimsical drama series Pushing Daisies , which ABC describes as a "forensic fairy tale." Following my Q&A sessions with Pushing Daisies ' adorable and talented cast, I rendezvoused with creator Bryan Fuller in an extremely rickety private room, perched high atop the Warner Bros. Television booth, minutes after the mass hysteria that was the cast signing. I was armed with a few questions and intended to catch up with Fuller, a quick witted writer whom I consider to be the next Joss Whedon. (Yes, there, I've just said it.) High praise indeed, but if you've seen the gorgeous and touching pilot for Pushing Daisies , you know exactly what I mean. Q: How is Pushin

Digging Up Dirt: Televisionary Sits Down with the Cast of "Pushing Daisies"

Day Two of Comic-Con is finally at a close and, while I am ready to collapse from the sheer breakneck pace of today's events, there's so much to recount, not the least of which was the face time I got with the cast of ABC's new fall series Pushing Daisies . It was with great excitement that I sat down with the gorgeous cast of Pushing Daisies , which longtime readers of this site will recall I pegged as my favorite new fall series back in May when I first reviewed the pilot . Like the whimsical nature of the series, from the fertile mind of Bryan Fuller ( Heroes , Wonderfalls , Dead Like Me ), the cast proved to be absolutely charming. Joining me for a series of one-on-one interviews, following the pilot screening and panel, were series regulars Lee Pace, Anna Friel, Chi McBride, and Kristin Chenoweth. First up: series lead Lee Pace ( Won derfalls ). Pace plays the pie maker Ned, gifted (or cursed) with the ability to bring people back from the dead who re-discovers his c

Joss Whedon Confirms "Ripper" Happening

Better sharpen those stakes. In a surprise Comic-Con announcement, Joss Whedon has confirmed that the long-gestating Buffy the Vampire Slayer spin-off, entitled Ripper , finally looks like it's going forward. Whedon says that he's thisclose to signing a deal with the BBC to finance a 90-minute telepic that will star Buffy 's Anthony Stewart Head as former Watcher Rupert Giles as he combats the things that go bump in the night sans Slayer. The deal hasn't been signed yet, so anything can happen, but Whedon was quick to say that no US distribution has been decided. Meaning that it's still a bit soon to circle a launch date on your calendar or break open the bubbly. Meanwhile, Whedon has launched a non -Buffy -related online comic called Sugar Shock with Dark Horse (the publishers of the Buffy Season Eight comic). It's free, it's online, and it might just tide you over until Ripper ... or the next issue of the Buffy comic.

"Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History": The Women of "Battlestar Galactica"

I wasn't sure how many spoilers would really come out at the Comic-Con Battlestar Galactica panel. After all, I like to keep my love for BSG very much spoiler free. That said, there were a few reveals that were announced at what became the "Women of Battlestar Galactica " Panel, moderated by Entertainment Weekly 's Marc Bernardin, himself an avid BSG watcher. Assembled for the event were Mary McDonnell, Katee Sackhoff, Tricia Helfer, and Battlestar creators Ronald D. Moore and David Eick. Joining them after a kick-ass montage of the female stars of BSG saying "frak" an awful lot was surprise guest Lucy Lawless. Hmmm, now what could Lawless be doing there since her character--D'Anna--was put into, er, cold storage last season? Brace yourselves, Xena fans, Lawless has announced that she is returning to Battlestar Galactica for the fourth season! Lawless will return for a story arc of about two to three episodes in length during Season Four. Look

"Futurama" Returns with New DVD Movies and Episodes

Bender's back, baby! Futurama creators Matt Groening and David X. Cohen made the announcement at the series' Comic-Con panel to much cheering and hollering. And a nifty pocket-sized comic filled to the brim with meta references (their Box Network primetime episodes have been canceled) that was read aloud by the cast. Like I said, nifty. Futurama will be returning with a feature-length direct-to-DVD high definition film, due to be released on November 27th. The title? Bender's Big Score . The plot? Something to do with a sinister coven of nudist aliens who gain the secret to time travel thanks to a birthmark on Fry's, er, posterior and "an alien controls Bender with cosmic repercussions." That film will be followed by three additional direct-to-DVD Futurama films. The four films will then be chopped up into sixteen episodes (and slightly reconfigured for commercial breaks), which will then be aired on Comedy Central sometime in 2008. Now would be the tim

Counting Down with "24" at Comic-Con

I've been very upfront about my feelings about 24 's Day Six. So I was curious to see how the producers of 24 would address the, er, creative inconsistencies of the series' sixth season. It was with a little trepidation that I arrived at the 24 panel at Comic-Con. No cast on hand (sorry, Chloe fans!) but the series' producers turned out in droves for this panel, including John Cassar, Evan Katz, David Fury, and Manny Coto. What tidbits did the producers offer for Day Seven? -No CTU. However when Season Seven starts, CTU has been disbanded by the government. Jack will be hauled before Senate committee to face crimes and dragged/pushed into something HUGE. -The writers have been locked in a room for the last three months figuring out a course for Season Seven and confirmed the rumors that the writers went down a particular creative road (Africa), stopped, and then started over from scratch. They said that Season Seven is going places series hasn't gone before.

"Chuck" Bowls Over Fans at Comic-Con

It was serious pandemonium as fans, who had waited in line for hours, finally got a chance to see the main event they had been waiting for. There were cheers, whoops of victory, and quite possibly a swooning, teary female fan or two among the throngs of people jostling for seats. No, I'm not talking about the arrival of a rock star or celebrity. No, the thing that had electrified and enraptured the hundreds of people gathered at Comic-Con on Friday was the pilot for NBC's new fall drama Chuck . (I reviewed the pilot episode back in May in a review that can be found here .) Watching a pilot has never been a bigger joy than it was with Chuck , not unsurprisingly the sleeper hit of Comic-Con. After all, Chuck--from creators Josh Schartz and Chris Fedak--has got a geek-friendly formula that blends workplace comedy, heartfelt romance, quarter-life crisis, and, well, action. I've been a fan of the show since I read the pilot script early this year and every cut of the pilot th

Storylines Kept Firmly Under Wraps at Sci Fi's "Eureka" Panel

People really seem to love Eureka . And I mean REALLY love it. There's a lot of love emanating from the several thousand people who lined up to see the cast of Eureka --including Colin Ferguson, Salli Richardson, Ed Quinn, Joe Morton, and Jordan Hinson--and showrunner Jamie Paglia deliver on update on just what exactly the audience can expect to find in Season Two of the grounded sci fi series. Salli Richardson was immediately pelted with a key question: will her character end up with Carter or Stark? Richardson hedged her bets (much to the crowd's chagrin) by saying, "This is Eureka and we're progressive... so I'm doing them both." As for what else we can expect for Season Two, showrunner and executive producer Jamie Paglia said it will be based more about the characters and their interactions, while still maintaining a standalone quality (i.e., mystery of the week). There will be ongoing storylines for all of the characters and Paglia promises that Eureka

Bunny #15 and Other Gleanings from the "Lost" Panel at Comic-Con

I have to say that I wasn't all that impressed with the announcements that Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse--armed with bells to keep one another from spilling too much--made at the Lost panel at Comic-Con yesterday. Besides, the big Lost news--that Harold Perrineau's Michael would be returning next season as a series regular --was spoiled the day before at ABC's TCA panel by none other than the network president himself. So what else was apparently gleaned from the Lost panel at Comic-Con yesterday? Not all that much, to be honest. Season Four will NOT be taking place in the present day (2007/08) or the future, but will instead take place during the same timeline the series has always existed in, albeit with flashbacks and flash-forwards next season. Damon claims that they wanted to use the flash-forward device earlier on in Season Three but, until they received an end date from the network, decided to hold off. Getting off the island isn't the ultimate endgame f

Casting Couch: Estes Hooks Up with "Women's Murder Club"

Ah, remember the days of Silk Stalkings ? Rob Estes has signed on to co-star on ABC's drama Women's Murder Club , based on the series of books from James Patterson. Series, which revolves around the crime-fighting heroics of homicide detective Lindsay Boxer (Angie Harmon) and her three friends, all who have unique investigative skills that they bring to the mix. On Women's Murder Club , Estes will play the ex-husband of Harmon's character, an ambitious police lieutenant with whom she has--wait for it--unresolved feelings. (Gee, you didn't see that one coming, now did you?) The role, which was quite small in the original pilot episode, has now been expanded for Estes. As for Estes, who has such credits as Melrose Place, The Evidence, Gilmore Girls, and the aforementioned Silk Stalkings to his name, he most recently appeared on CSI: Miami in a recurring role. In other casting news, Edward Herrmann has joined the cast of Grey's Anatomy in a multiple episode

Rob Thomas Departs "Miss/Guided"

Looks like the prom has been cancelled. That's right. Only a few weeks after Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas joined the staff of ABC's midseason comedy Miss/Guided , the showrunner has departed the series . The reason behind the split is said to be a shift in tone as the series, created by former Office staff writer Caroline Williams, moves towards a more overtly comedic tone. Thomas will be replaced by That '70s Show producer Mark Hudis, who takes over as executive producer and showrunner on Miss/Guided . His other credits include NBC's never-aired The Singles Table and Cybill . It's no loss to me as I thought the pilot for Miss/Guided was pretty dreadful, despite the presence of the luminescent Judy Greer, and I didn't ever think Rob would be a good fit for this unfunny series. Let's just hope he finds a new position more deserving of his wit and skills.

Watch What Happens When Bravo Schedules a Pointless "Top Chef" Reunion

Was I the only one bored and a little annoyed by last night's reunion episode of Top Chef ("Watch What Happens")? I'm not sure why Bravo decided (A) to interrupt the flow of episodes halfway or so through the current season and (B) why you would schedule a look back at the first 2 1/2 seasons rather than after the third season concluded. In any case, Bravo rounded up Top Chef 's judges and several contestants from all three seasons for what they intended to be a wink, wink, nudge, nudge trip down memory lane and an update on what previous winners Harold and Ilan are up to. So what did I learn whilst watching this strictly promotional episode of the culinary challenge? Sit back and let's review. Bravo's Andy Cohen has got to be one of the most irritating people around right now. I can't put my finger on what it is about him but I simply cannot stand him. Perhaps it's his fawning over the show's contestants or the fact that this executive has

Facing Your Demons: "Lost" Castaway Found Next Season

Yes, you read that correctly. While the actual announcement is due to be made by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse tomorrow at Comic-Con, ABC president Steve McPherson let it slip today that a certain Lost castaway would be returning next season earlier today. Oh, come on. It's not really that difficult to figure out. Which castaway memorably left the series' storyline under mysterious circumstances? And it doesn't take a Dharma-trained genius to figure out whose CBS pilot ( Demons ) wasn't ordered to series. Yes, folks, we're talking about Harold Perrineau, whose character (that would be Michael) left Lost at the end of the second season when Ben released him and Walt with instructions on how to leave the island. That is, after Michael betrayed his friends for said freedom. With the Losties off the island (as seen at the end of Season Three), it was only a matter of time before Jack and other castaways were, um, reunited with the series' Judas back on the

Talk Back: FX's "Damages"

Very curious to see what you all thought of last night's premiere of Damages on FX. You can read my original review of Damages ' pilot episode from back in June here , but I'm curious to know what you, my faithful readers, thought of the legal thriller's first installment. Do you agree that Damages can be described as The Firm meets Murder One ? Were you riveted by Glenn Close's performance as the so-determined-she's-deranged Patty Hewes? Did you believe Rose Byrne's Ellen was as ambitious as everyone makes her out to be? And what, pray tell, did you all think of that gasp out loud ending? Talk back here.

Casting Couch: Burrows Makes It "Legal," While Rapaport Bunks With "Earl"

A quick post today as I am off in a few minutes (yes, bright and early!) for a Producers Guild breakfast for The Office , with executive producer Greg Daniels and producer Kent Zbornak talking about how they transformed this unlikely hit into a network defining comedy. (I can't wait, though I do have to get packed for Comic-Con before long!) Putting that aside for now, let's turn our attention to some casting notices buzzing about town. Saffron Burrows has been upgraded to series regular on ABC's legal drama Boston Legal . She'll play Lorraine Weller, a sexy litigator (is there any other kind on television?) and former lover of Alan Shore (James Spader). Suffice it to say that things are more or less unresolved between them. Burrows, who was originally hired to do a multi-episode arc on the series, was upped to regular status three weeks into production on Boston Legal 's fourth season. She is best known for her feature work in such films as Circle of Friends , W

HBO Says I Do to Another Season of "Big Love"

The pay cabler may have moved Big Love to Monday nights this season, but that doesn't mean there isn't more than enough love for the drama to go around. HBO has renewed Big Love for a third season, which will launch in 2008. Series, which stars Bill Paxton, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloe Sevigny, and Ginnifer Goodwin as a polygamist family hiding out in the suburbs of Utah, will begin filming in November. Writing on the third season begins this month, to ensure that Season Three of Big Love is completed and ready to air in case of a labor stoppage in June. Meanwhile, it's possible that Big Love could move back to Sunday nights, at least once John From Cincinnati completes its run; series was originally intended to air on Sunday nights at 8 pm, but HBO shunted the series to Mondays at the last second. Given the creative strength of this season, I'm just happy that HBO has decided to look at the overall viewers for each of Big Love 's episodes over the course of s

What Color is Your Hat?: Good Guys and Bad Guys on "Big Love"

Now that you've read the news about Big Love 's third season renewal (above), let's get talking about last night's episode ("Good Guys and Bad Guys"), which was probably the weakest episode we've had for a while. I say that with the utmost love as even a weak episode of Big Love is a vast improvement on most things currently on the airwaves. While it lacked some of the dramatic punch of recent installments, it still kept me on the edge of my seat (or at least the Barb storyline did, anyway) and filled in some of Margene's backstory . Barb. I was pretty surprised--and rather unnerved--that Barb would go to the Juniper Creek compound by herself, even though Joey begged her to retrieve Wanda from the mental hospital (or "booby hatch" as Lois calls it) and take her home. I don't like the idea of her being there in the first place, much less without Bill or Nicki for protection. Same goes for standing up to that evil bully Frank (apparentl