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Showing posts from August, 2008

Link Tank: TV Blog Coalition Roundup for Aug. 29-31

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 took an early look at the first three episodes of the new season of Gossip Girl , discussed the latest brilliant episode of Mad Men , and offered up which new and returning series I'll be watching this fall . Elsewhere in the sophisticated TV-obsessed section of the blogosphere, members of the TV Blog Coalition were discussing the following items... Buzz chatted with 90210 's Shenae Grimes about the responsibilities of being "The new Brenda." ( BuzzSugar ) Marcia returned from the Edinburgh TV Festival with tales of Heroes and Doctor Who , straight from the showrunners' mouths. Also, new site design! ( Pop Vultures ) Rae's spent the summer with her nose buried in a book and it's finally paying off for us with her review of the Burn Notice novel "The Fix." ( RTVW

What I'm Watching This Fall

Ah, autumn. With it comes the end of horrific LA heatwaves, comfy sweaters, and the advent of the fall season, with its new series and returning favorites? Is there really any better time of year? It's with that thought that I take a look at what I'll be watching this fall. While I can't guarantee that I'll stick around for more than a few (or even one additional) episode of many of these series, below are the new and returning shows that have at least piqued my interest, based on their pilots. And for more on my thoughts about returning series, check out the September 14th issue of USA Weekend , where I'm interviewed by E's Kristin Dos Santos about my top picks for returning series this fall. monday 8 pm: Chuck (NBC) As if there were any doubt in your mind, I am already salivating with anticipation for the return of action comedy Chuck to the airwaves. Season Two brings all sorts of changes for the Nerd Herd employee/reluctant spy Chuck Bartowski and a host o

Channel Surfing: Michael Phelps, Duchovny's "Californication" Problem, Pilot Casting, "Red Dwarf," and More

Good morning and welcome to your Friday television briefing. The weekend is just within our grasps now, so just a few more hours to go. I spent last night watching some pilots for ABC's recently announced series orders --including the Nathan Fillion-starring Castle and ensemble cop dramedy The Unusuals --so look for thoughts on those and more in the next few days. Truth is sometimes just as strange as fiction: David Duchovny, who plays sex addict Hank Moody on Showtime's Californication , has entered a rehab facility to treat... sexual addiction. ( People ) Shawn Hatosy ( Public Enemies ) has been cast in NBC's drama pilot LAPD opposite The OC 's Benjamin McKenzie; he'll play Sammy, a newly married cop who is already having marriage problems. Elsewhere, Kristin Bauer ( True Blood ) has been added to the growing cast of HBO's one-hour comedy pilot Hung , opposite Thomas Jane and Jane Adams. ( Hollywood Reporter ) In other casting news, Olympian Michael Phelps w

Car Trouble: Contestants Recycle Spare Parts on "Project Runway"

If there are two things that you can always depend on with Bravo's Project Runway , it's that there's bound to be drama (and tears) and that eventually there will be a challenge that is much more about product placement than actually tasking with designers with creating breathtaking work. Last season has it's Hershey's candy-inspired challenge; this season has the Saturn. Yes, I know that product integration (or to quote the esteemed Jack Donaghy, "product intergortion") is here to stay and a vital part of bringing advertisers' messages to the audience in the age of fast-forward-capable TiVos and generic DVRs, but I hate when it's so blatantly obvious as it was during last night's episode of Project Runway ("Fashion That Drives You"). (For another example of OTT product integration, check out Vitamin Water's presence in the first three episodes of next season's Gossip Girl .) In any event, there were a few designers who did r

Channel Surfing: NBC Orders More "Chuck," New Comedy Pilot from Creators of "Back to You," Roerig Joins "Friday Night Lights," and More

Good morning and welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. Thanks to all for the birthday wishes both via email and Facebook (I had a wonderful birthday dinner at Comme Ca and saw Ali Larter and Amy Smart); it was definitely a birthday to remember. NBC has gone ahead and ordered the back nine episodes of action-comedy series Chuck a month before the start of its sophomore season. As all Chuck fans know, the first season of the genre-busting series was cut short by the writers strike last season and the Peacock only aired 13 episodes. Series co-creator Josh Schwartz called the news "unexpected" and went to say, "It's an incredible show of faith by NBC and so amazingly nice to get based on the work alone." I couldn't have put it better myself and am pleased as punch that Chuck will get to air 22 episodes this year. Happy days! Chuck returns to the airwaves September 29th. ( Variety ) The Peacock also ordered a fourth season of reality competit

Talk Back: BBC America's "Gavin & Stacey"

I hope you took my advice and tuned in last night for the launch of BBC America's latest Britcom import, Gavin & Stacey , from the fertile minds of Ruth Jones and James Corden, who co-star in this witty and wicked comedy about love at first, er, meeting. (You can read my original review of Gavin & Stacey here .) For those of you who did, I am curious to see what you thought of Gavin & Stacey's first episode, of the way that Corden and Jones infused the series with both a romantic streak as well as a caustic sense of humor in a way that no American television series has come close to reaching. Were you as utterly charmed and captivated by this sweet and hilarious romantic comedy? Did you swoon when Gavin and Stacey finally met... and Smithy and Nessa, er, made use of the en-suite facilities at the hotel? And were you as taken with the eccentricities of Gavin and Stacey's respective families, especially Uncle Bryn (Rob Brydon) and Pamela (Alison Steadman)? Who w

Channel Surfing: "Survivor: Gabon" Cast Revealed, More "Chuck" Guest Stars, "Fringe," "Doctor Who" Rumor, and More

Good morning and welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. It's my birthday today (yesterday was my brother's and--before you ask--no, we're not twins) so between work, dinner, and present-opening, I still hope to find the time to watch tonight's Project Runway . When there's a will, there's a way as they say. Season 18 of venerable reality franchise Survivor is about to launch on CBS in just a few weeks. But if you're curious as to who the eighteen men and women are who are competing for the million-dollar prize on Survivor: Gabon , look no further. They include a pin-up girl/actress, a fashion photographer/Cartier salesman (seriously, you can't make this stuff up), a professional gamer, a retired nurse, a personal trainer, and many others. ( Entertainment Weekly ) Creator Craig Wright talks about what went wrong with Season One of ABC soap Dirty Sexy Money , including "experimenting" with tone shifts between installments, and wh

Production Begins on "Torchwood: Children of Earth"

Production has begun in Cardiff on Season Three of Torchwood , which is set to return in 2009 with a limited series event entitled Torchwood: Children of Earth . In the UK, BBC One will air the five-part season across a single week, while BBC America have not yet indicated what their scheduling of Torchwood: Children of Earth will be. Season Three will follow Torchwood as they "battle for the future of the human race against the fiercest force they have encountered." "The new series of Torchwood is hugely bold and promises to be bigger and better than ever – the audience is in for an amazing ride," said series creator/executive producer Russell T. Davies. "This series is one big serial and the most ambitious story we've ever made, and we've got plenty of surprises in store." Returning to Torchwood for Season Three are John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness, Eve Myles as Gwen Cooper, Gareth David-Lloyd as Ianto Jones, Kai Owen as Rhys Williams,

Red, White, and Blue (Bloods): A Look at the First Three Episodes of Season Two of "Gossip Girl"

Just when September is right upon us (and with it the return of shorter evenings, the school year, close-toed shoes, and all sorts of responsibilities), the CW is bringing you a bit of an antidote to the end-of-summer blues in the form of Season Two of its guilty pleasure Gossip Girl . I teased you last week with a few tidbits about what the first three fabulous episodes of Gossip Girl have to offer but I'm happy to say that these initial sophomore installments have more pleasure than guilt to offer and are a welcome return to the cattiness and depravity we've come to know and love. While the CW is being especially stern with journos reviewing these opening installments of Gossip Girl about revealing certain elements of the storyline (or I should say, one plot twist which I called during the opening scenes), I will say that there's a host of sinfully tantalizing shenanigans going on when Gossip Girl returns, including some unexpected dalliances out in the Hamptons, where

Channel Surfing: "Lost" Resurrects a Dead Character; Some Life Still Left in Rob Thomas' "Good Behavior," and More

Good morning and welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. Everyone wanted to talk about yesterday's announcement that ABC had picked up five series (three dramas and two half-hour comedies) and had seemingly passed over Rob Thomas' Good Behavior (based on the Kiwi series Outrageous Fortune ). But there's still hope for the Catherine O'Hara-led dramedy. ABC says that it hasn't yet made a decision on Good Behavior, half-hour comedy Never Better (starring Damon Wayans), or the untitled legal drama from David Hemingson (the script of which I quite enjoyed)... and it still has yet to screen Prince of Motor City and Captain Cook's Extraordinary Atlas . Keep your fingers crossed, Rob Thomas fans. ( Variety ) SPOILER ALERT! Lost will resurrect--for one episode, anyway--one of its dead characters, likely as a flashback, vision, or ghostly apparition. And, no, it's not Artz. ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) Why does Battlestar Galactica

UPDATED: ABC Orders "Castle," "Cupid," and "The Unusuals" to Series, Plus Two Comedies

In a flurry of ordering activity, ABC has granted series orders to no less than five projects today. The Alphabet handed out series orders to procedural mystery series Castle , Rob Thomas' update of romantic dramedy Cupid , and cop drama The Unusuals . Castle , which stars Nathan Fillion ( Firefly ), is about a womanizing horror novelist who assists the New York Police Department with crime-solving. Project, from ABC Studios, was written by Andrew Marlowe and is executive produced by Marlowe, Laurie Zaks, and Armyan Bernstein. Pilot was directed by Rob S. Bowman ( The X-Files ) and also stars Stana Katic ( 24 ), Monet Mazur ( The House Bunny ), Molly Quinn ( Walk Hard ), Ruben Santiago-Hudson ( Law & Order ), and Susan Sullivan ( The Nine ). (Yes, it is Captain Tightpants himself. I wasn't crazy about the pilot script but think that Fillion will bring a certain je ne sais quoi to the role. And rest assured, I am trying to get my hands on the completed pilot.) Rob Thomas

Forget-Me-Not: Don, Peggy, and Remembrances of Things Past on "Mad Men"

Oh. My. God. Seriously, who else gasped aloud last night during this week's episode of Mad Men ("The New Girl")? There was not only one hell of a fantastic reveal but an even bigger and better payoff to the last season and a half of storylines involving Don Draper and one Peggy Olsen. Throughout Mad Men 's first season, Don and Peggy were beautifully set up as mirror images of one another: social climbers and dreamers who had no compunction about reinventing themselves into the image of the people they wanted to be and sweeping the detritus of their lives under the rug. Peggy has an affair with a married man, gets pregnant, and births her baby boy... before landing in a hospital after suffering what seems to be a fairly substantial break with reality. Donald Draper leaves behind his tortured farmland childhood and assumes another man's identity with as much ease as someone else might don a suit. In last night's gorgeously scripted episode, we finally get a gl

Channel Surfing: "Doctor Who" Feature Possible, J.J. Abrams Talks "Fringe," Rainn Wilson, and More

Good morning and welcome to your Monday television briefing. Steven Moffat, who has taken over the reins at Doctor Who from Russell T. Davies , has said that he wouldn't rule out a feature film spin-off of Doctor Who so long as it didn't interfere with production on the series itself. "It would be good to see it in the cinema so long as it was great and fantastic," said Moffat, speaking at the Edinburgh International Television Festival. "But a film is on [for] 90 minutes and that is not as important as the series. But so long as it doesn't get in the way of the show we could do it. If it got in the way of the show that would be appalling." The series itself has already had two feature spin-offs in the 1960s: Doctor Who and the Daleks and Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 AD , both of which starred Peter Cushing as the Doctor. ( The Guardian 's Organ Grinder ) There's a fantastic interview with J.J. Abrams about his new FOX drama Fringe and about

Link Tank: TV Blog Coalition Roundup for Aug. 22-24

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 reviewed Season One of the adorable, charming, and wickedly funny British comedy Gavin & Stacey , which launches on Tuesday evening on BBC America. I also revealed a little bit more about Top Model 's first trans contestant Isis , discussed the possibility of a Veronica Mars feature film , talked up the latest episode of Mad Men , and gave the dates for the Paley Center's annual Premiere Week Screening series , among other things. Elsewhere in the sophisticated TV-obsessed section of the blogosphere, members of the TV Blog Coalition were discussing the following items... Buzz got a great interview out of the young actor Tristan Wilds on moving from The Wire 's Baltimore to 90210 's, well, 90210. ( BuzzSugar ) This week, Sandie took at first look at NBC's new show, My Own Worst

From Across the Pond: BBC America's "Gavin & Stacey"

Every now and then a series comes along that's just so charming, just so perfectly witty and adorable, that you just know that the poor sod who tries to adapt it for American television is going to have a proper mess on his hands. The latest British series to be developed as a US series is, of course, Gavin & Stacey , which has a script order at NBC. But rather than wait to see what will likely be a massively sub-par retread of this fantastic concept, why not tune in to see the British original version of Gavin & Stacey , which kicks off Tuesday night on BBC America. Written by co-stars Ruth Jones and James Corden, Gavin & Stacey tells the story of, well, Gavin and Stacey, a pair of star-crossed would-be lovers who connect over the telephone at work and finally work up the nerve to see each other in person to see if it's actually a match made in heaven... Gavin (Mathew Horne) is an Essex boy (think New Jersey) who loves beer, footie, and hanging out with his best m