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Showing posts from December, 2007

Televisionary Named "Must Click" TV Website by Entertainment Weekly

It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy to be recognized. In a fantastic surprise just in time for Christmas, Televisionary was recently named one of ten "Must Click" television websites by Entertainment Weekly in their Best of 2007 issue, on newsstands now. Given the fact that I grew up reading Entertainment Weekly (I still have the very first issue, with its lowercase "e" in the title, somewhere at my parents' house), it's an honor to be hand-picked by the magazine for such a distinction, joined by nine fellow TV-oriented websites like Television Without Pity, The Futon Critic, TVgasm, and Brilliant But Cancelled. To Entertainment Weekly , the many enthusiastic readers who sent me emails after spotting the mention, and the regular visitors to this site, I thank you for your continued support. I only hope that 2008, which marks the second anniversary of this little blog, brings much impassioned discussion, friendly dialogues, and a swift resolution to the cur

Checking in with the Gang from "Chuck": The Full Story

Okay, I've been naughty. I've been besieged by emails from many of you, gentle readers, wondering what happened last week with the day I spent with the cast from NBC's action comedy Chuck : Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, and Adam Baldwin . (Before you ask, yes, Strahovski does know about the existence of the Yvonne-centric website , thanks to her costars.) I've been on enough photo shoots in my day to know that there's bound to be a lot of sitting and waiting between shots and setups (hell, if you've been to press junkets, you should be used to the endless waiting), but thanks to the good folks at Warner Bros. Television who organized the day and to the charming stars of Chuck who were more than happy to spend their Sunday shooting an assortment of promos and chatting with this jaded TV writer, I'd do it all over again. These guys are all extremely talented, generous, and kind-hearted and have amazing stores of energy. Zach Levi in partic

Top TV Picks of 2007

As it's nearly the end of the calendar year (only a few more days to go, in fact), 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, between the thrilling highs of some new scripted programming (like Pushing Daisies , Chuck , and Dirty Sexy Money ), some near-misses (one-hour Office installments), and the now super-extended WGA strike wreaking havoc with network schedules. 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 Despite nearly not making it onto CBS' fall schedule at all, The Amazing Race has proven itself still consistently one of the very best reality television series around, offering a race around the world that tests the strength of its relationships as it pushes its teams

Link Tank: TV Blog Coalition Roundup for December 21-23

Televisionary is proud to be a member of the TV Blog Coalition. At the end of each week, we'll feature a roundup of content from our sister sites for your delectation. This week, I was absolutely blown away by the sheer genius of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's series-ender special of Extras , enraptured by the Easter Egg-replete extended trailer for Season Four of Lost , and offered my picks for the best TV of 2007 . I also finally got my notes together and published my interviews with Chuck 's Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, and Adam Baldwin , bemoaned the cancellation (however long coming) for USA's The 4400 , especially while NBC's Bionic Woman seemed to still be kicking , and was gripped once again by this week's fantastic episode of Life on Mars . Elsewhere in the sophisticated TV-obsessed section of the blogosphere, members of the TV Blog Coalition were discussing the following items... BuzzSugar : This week, we got pumped about new previews for Lo

Former "Office" Mate Aims for "Saint" Status

Those of you missing The Office 's Roy since he, you know, threw a glass against a wall and then tried to beat up one Jim Halpert after learning he put the moves on fiancee Pam, will be happy to know that actor David Denman is heading back to television. Denman, last seen in a guest role on Grey's Anatomy and in indie metaphysical thriller The Nines , has signed on to star in FOX comedy pilot Saint of Circumstance . Project revolves about a man in the clutches of a midlife crisis who quits his dead-end job in an office in order to become a night shift paramedic. Saint of Circumstance 's pilot, from ABC Studios, is written by Adam Braff. Negotiations are currently under way with Zack Braff to direct and executive produce the pilot. There has been no start date announced for the pilot project, which will shoot after the end of the writers strike, in order to assure Braff will be freed up from Scrubs in order to direct. Stay tuned. What's On Tonight 8 pm: A Home for the

Ball of Light Flickers Out: USA Cancels "The 4400" and "The Dead Zone"

Following a post made yesterday by The 4400 creator Scott Peters on a USA message board, the cabler has confirmed that it has officially canceled sci-fi dramas The 4400 and The Dead Zone . The move comes after months of speculation about the fates of both long-lived series; the season finale of The 4400 wrapped up several seasons' worth of storylines while leaving its plot somewhat open-ended. However, this writer clearly felt that USA had seen the writing on the wall (along with the giant mural of Jordan Collier) and was putting the genre series out to pasture. "We wish we could keep all our great shows alive forever," said USA's Jeff Wachtel, EVP of original programming. "But we feel we need to give some of our new shows a platform to grow, and it's with great sadness that we say goodbye to two shows that had a great run and helped create the resurgence of original programming on our network and on all of cable." The Dead Zone , which wrapped its s

Sam Finds Himself Caught Between the Facts and His Gut on "Life on Mars"

While the ongoing dispute between the WGA and the AMPTP might have derailed our favorite series for now, there is one bright spot on the television landscape and that's BBC America's brilliant time-travel/cop drama Life on Mars . While this week's episode, the second season's third, doesn't answer any more questions about the mysterious phone call Sam made last week (and its implications about his "assignment" in 1973), it did forward the story of Sam's possibly recovery from his coma in 2006 and give us an episode based around the constant pull between facts and instinct. The basic thrust of the episode revolved around a car bomb outside a school that the IRA was allegedly behind. Sam knew that it couldn't have been the IRA--they weren't planting explosives on British mainland soil until the 1990s--but his hunches were discounted by the rest of the team as he couldn't prove any of the facts. He also managed to get colleague Ray Carling nea

NBC Nabs Mysteries "Monk" and "Psych," Puts Stake in "The Watch"

NBC has announced that it will repurpose USA dramedys Monk and Psych , bringing them to network television next year following a run on their cable home. "These two tremendously popular USA series are a great fit with NBC's current programming strategy and brand," said NBC Entertainment Co-Chairman Ben Silverman. "This is another example of how the NBC Universal family is finding terrific synergies as we share our creative assets." New episodes of Psych and Monk will air on USA in January and will then be broadcast on Sunday nights on NBC starting in March. (No timeslot for either has yet been announced.) "The USA audience has embraced Monk and Psych from the get-go, making them two of the biggest hits in cable history," said Bonnie Hammer, president of USA and SCI-FI. "We're thrilled to share them with NBC viewers who may be missing a couple of the best shows on television." Ahem. Yes, it's a canny diversion to inject some much-

"Lost": The Return

Anxious to catch another glimpse at the fourth season of Lost ? ABC has released an alternate and extended version of the Lost theatrical trailer which made the rounds last week. The 1:47-length trailer, viewable at TV Week , includes dialogue and several tantalizing scenes that weren't in that original teaser, including: a confrontation between Jack and the castaways' purported savior, who might not really be there to rescue them after all; a shot of what appears to be Christian Shephard (!) sitting in a chair, possibly seen through a window by Hurley; Hurley jumping into the ocean and expressing his hopes for freedom once they get off of the island (from, I assume, the cursed numbers); Jack and Kate hiding in the rain-soaked jungle; Locke telling everyone that if they want to live, they have to follow him; Sun anxious to have her baby in a hospital; Locke shooting Ben (?); a Dharma brand containing a Hydra; the revelation of a traitor; and a telling scene between Kate and S

"Bionic Woman" Still Kicking?

Is there still life left in that bionic body? TV Guide claims that NBC hasn't canceled freshman drama Bionic Woman , despite all signs to the contrary. Series, which hasn't completed its 13-episode initial order, was scheduled to relaunch in January with a two-parter that would rejigger the creaky series, plagued by creative problems and behind-the-scenes departures of several executive producers, including James Morgan and pilot director Michael Dinner. However, production on the beleaguered drama--which stars Michelle Ryan as bionically enhanced Jaime Sommers--was curtailed in the wake of the WGA Strike and currently has no completed scripts to produce. An unnamed NBC Universal spokesperson was quick with a statement to the effect that Bionic Woman hasn't been canned: " Bionic Woman has not been canceled. Production was shut down due to the WGA strike. In addition, we have not completed the initial 13-episode order, which will be the first order of business when

Penguin or Flying Fish: The "Extras" Series Finale

I don't know about you, but I was unable to fall asleep last night as the series finale of Extras , Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's brilliant rumination on the fickle hand of fame, fortune, and success kept me thinking all night long. Living in Los Angeles and working in the industry, it's hard to escape the constant whiff of desperation that permeates this town. It's only fitting that the dark Extras , Gervais and Merchant's follow-up to the groundbreaking comedy The Office , would end on such a depressing note. It is, after all, the only way that the story of actor/writer Andy Millman (Ricky Gervais), dim-witted hanger-on Maggie (Ashley Jensen), and pathetic agent Darren Lamb (Stephen Merchant) can end: with more than a few cringe-inducing laughs, some raw emotion, and the potential for redemption. Over the course of twelve episodes and last night's feature-sized Extras: The Extra Special Series Finale , Gervais and Co. have given us an insightful look at

Showtime Nabs "Secret Diary of a Call Girl," NBC Launches "Quarterlife"

Missing Billie Piper since she left Doctor Who ? Look no further than Showtime then to assuage that itch. Pay cabler Showtime has acquired 20 half-hour episodes of Piper's ITV2 series, Secret Diary of a Call Girl , based on the real-life sexual exploits of an undisclosed sex worker who published her diaries in 2005. Piper will play a legal secretary named Hannah who transforms herself into a high-class hooker named Belle de Jour each night. Showtime will launch Secret Diary of Call Girl this summer, airing the first eight episodes. Season Two of the series goes into production in the UK early next year; Showtime will slate those twelve episodes at a later date. Showtime topper Bob Greenblatt told Variety that he believes Diary of a Call Gir l is the perfect companion for the network's other series such as Dexter, Weeds, The Tudors , and Californication . "It has a great sensiblity to it," Greenblatt said of Call Girl . "It's more emotional than you think i

Link Tank: TV Blog Coalition Roundup for December 14-16

Televisionary is proud to be a member of the TV Blog Coalition. At the end of each week, we'll feature a roundup of content from our sister sites for your delectation. This week, I was beyond thrilled to see Damages , Pushing Daisies , Big Love , and 30 Rock among the nominees for this year's Golden Globes , intrigued by the news that Will Arnett would be providing the voice of KITT in NBC's new Knight Rider backdoor pilot, and heartbroken while watching the last filmed episode of Pushing Daisies . I also teased you all with a brief post about the day I spent with the cast of Chuck , offered up my undying love for Season Two of Life on Mars with an advance review, possibly infuriated you with my dislike for this week's subpar episode of 30 Rock , and imparted info on the possible end of NBC's Journeyman and the return of ABC's Lost . Elsewhere in the sophisticated TV-obsessed section of the blogosphere, members of the TV Blog Coalition were discussing the f