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Showing posts from May, 2009

Link Tank: TV Blog Coalition Roundup for May 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 reviewed the full pilot episodes of such series as ABC's Eastwick , FOX's Human Target , and ABC's The Deep End . I also unveiled the new trailer for BBC America's Torchwood: Children of Earth , shared news about the casting of Karen Gillan as the new companion on Season Five of Doctor Who and BBC America snagging the five David Tennant Who specials and the launch date for supernatural drama Being Human , recounted news about John Lithgow joining the cast of Showtime's Dexter , offered up promos for CW's new fall series Melrose Place and Vampire Diaries , and was outraged over plans for a feature film relaunch of Buffy the Vampire Slayer without Joss or the cast of the series . Plus, I discussed the latest episode of ABC's The Unusuals (and shared why I'd be missin

Reminder: "Pushing Daisies" Returns with New Episodes Tomorrow

Just a quick reminder that Pushing Daisies returns tomorrow evening with a brand new episode. While Daisies is sadly dead (and even Ned can't bring it back to life with a touch), ABC will be airing the final three unaired episodes of Pushing Daisies Saturdays at 10 pm ET/PT beginning this weekend. I had the opportunity to see the final three installments of Bryan Fuller's masterpiece back in April and I loved every second of the three gorgeously crafted unaired episodes. (You can read my advance review of Daisies ' final three installments here .) It's with more than a little sadness that Daisies wraps its run but, given the series' own penchant for blending life with death, I urge you to approach these episodes with the excitement and zest that they deserve. (And be sure to come back here each Monday to discuss the latest installment.) So why not grab yourself a piece of pie (preferably with gruyere baked in the crust), get out the plastic wrap, and settle

Pilot Inspektor: An Advance Review of ABC's "The Deep End"

Every once in a while, a pilot comes along that has such a stellar cast that it's heartbreakingly depressing when the pilot itself isn't quite up to snuff. This development season that pilot would be ABC's The Deep End (formerly known as The Associates ... and before that Untitled Dave Hemingson Legal Dramedy), which has gathered together some fantastically diverse talent as Matt Long ( Jack & Bobby ), Tina Majorino ( Big Love ), Ben Lawson ( Neighbours ), Norbert Leo Butz ( Dan in Real Life ), Leah Pipes ( Life is Wild ), Billy Zane ( Samantha Who? ), Sherri Saum ( In Treatment ), Rachelle Lefevre ( Twilight, Swingtown ), and Clancy Brown ( Carnivale ). The Deep End , from writer/executive producer Dave Hemingson ( Kitchen Confidential ), follows the personal and professional goings on of a group of ambitious young law associates and their demanding bosses at a cutthroat Los Angeles law firm. The series, from 20th Century Fox Television, was originally developed as

Trailer Park: BBC One and BBC America Unveil New Trailer for "Torchwood: Children of Earth"

"A man who can't die has got nothing to fear." With less than two months to go until the debut of Season Three of Torchwood , BBC One and BBC America have released a world premiere of the new trailer for the third season of the Doctor Who spin-off, kicking off in July. The five-night event series--entitled Torchwood: Children of Earth --is written by Russell T. Davies, John Fay, and James Moran and directed by the incomparable Euros Lyn. Torchwood: Children of Earth stars John Barrowman, Eve Myles, and Garth David-Lloyd, and features guest stars such as Kai Owen, Tom Price, Peter Capaldi ( The Thick of It ), Lucy Cohu ( Meadowlands ), Susan Brown ( Dalziel and Pascoe ), Nick Briggs ( Doctor Who ), and Paul Copley ( The Lakes ). The full trailer for Torchwood: Children of Earth can be found below. Torchwood: Children of Earth will air on BBC One and BBC America this July.

Who is the New Companion: Karen Gillan Cast Opposite Matt Smith in Season Five of "Doctor Who"

The TARDIS is about to get another traveler. 21-year-old unknown Karen Gillan has been cast in Season Five of Doctor Who , where she will star alongside incoming series lead Matt Smith, who replaces David Tennant as the Doctor when Tennant departs the series later this year. Filming on Season Five of Doctor Who is set to begin this summer and the series is expected to debut on BBC One next spring. Gillan is no stranger to Doctor Who , however, and appeared early on in Season Four in the episode "The Fires of Pompeii," where she played a soothsayer on the much-beloved British series. She has previously also appeared in such programs as Rebus, Harley Street, The Kevin Bishop Show , and Stacked and can be seen opposite James Nesbitt in the upcoming feature film Outcast , written and directed by Colm McCarthy. "We saw some amazing actresses for this part, but when Karen came through the door the game was up. Funny, and clever, and gorgeous, and sexy. Or Scottish, which

Channel Surfing: Helfer, Hogan, Sheppard in "Warehouse 13," "Mad Men" Clashes with AMC Over Ad Break, "Cranford" Returns this Christmas, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. Battlestar Galactica 's Tricia Helfer, Michael Hogan, and Mark Sheppard have signed on to guest star in Syfy's upcoming series Warehouse 13 , which launches July 7th. Helfer will play a Chicago-based FBI agent on the drama series, while Hogan has been cast as the father of Joanne Kelly's Myka, with her mother played by Hogan's real-life wife Susan Hogan. Finally, Sheppard will appear as an "enigmatic figure who represents the organization that controls the Warehouse." ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) Nikki Finke is reporting that cabler AMC has told producers of drama series Mad Men that they will have to shave off roughly two additional minutes of content per episode next season in order to insert more commercial ads, a decision which has angered some staffers on the drama series. "That might not sound like such a big deal, but it's galling given how well the show has done, how care

Tape Delays, Man Crushes, and Octogenarian Crime Sprees: I'm Already Missing "The Unusuals"

I'm really going to miss The Unusuals . I might be one of the very few people watching this quirky ABC cop dramedy but I have to say that I've enjoyed every single minute of this series from creator Noah Hawley and I think it's a shame that ABC canceled The Unusuals so quickly. This week's episode ("The Tape Delay"), written by Treena Hancock and Melissa R. Byer, found Walsh and Shraeger organizing a protection detail on a wealthy businessman who had faced a series of mysterious threats, while Banks and Delahoy were on the trail of a octogenarian (guest star Shelley Berman) on a crime spree, Beaumont and Cole tried to get a confession out of a criminal through some elaborate means, Alvarez fixated on his man-crush on Walsh, Beaumont seethed at Walsh for a dream she had, and Delahoy faced some rather unusual (heh) symptoms stemming from his secret brain tumor. In other words, just another day for the cops at Manhattan's second precinct. Throughout its

Channel Surfing: BBC America Snags Five "Doctor Who" Specials, Freddie Prinze Jr. on "24," Whedon Wants Summer Glau on "Dollhouse," and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. BBC America has acquired the US premiere rights to five Doctor Who specials, featuring David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor, and plans to air "The Next Doctor," the 2008 Christmas Special, on June 27th at 9 pm ET/PT. The first of this year's specials, entitled "Planet of the Dead," will follow in July with the three others airing in late 2009 and early 2010. “The outstanding quality of the Doctor Who scripts from Russell T. Davies and the on-screen dynamic that David Tennant brings to the role are a magic combination for our viewers," said BBC Worldwide America president Garth Ancier. "Russell’s spin-off series Torchwood is already our highest rated show on the channel and I know the fans will follow these new specials with equal passion and support. We’re thrilled to bring this iconic show to BBC America, home of the best British sci-fi programming on television." Meanwhile, Doctor Who spin-

Serial Boxes: John Lithgow to Play Killer on Season Four of Showtime's "Dexter"

In a rather surprising twist, John Lithgow ( Confessions of a Shopaholic ) has been cast in Season Four of Showtime drama Dexter . Lithgow will appear in all twelve episodes of Dexter 's fourth season, which launches September 27th, and will play serial killer Walter Simmons, known by his sobriquet The Trinity Killer, one of America's deadliest murderers who kills in threes and masquerades as an "unassuming mild-mannered suburbanite." Having relocated to Miami, Simmons will cross paths with Michael C. Hall's Dexter Morgan as Dexter assists F.B.I. Special Agent Frank Lundy (Keith Carradine) investigate the three-decades long crime spree of The Trinity Killer. (Lithgow is no stranger to playing characters with psychotic tendencies; remember his turn as multiple characters in the 1992 Brian De Palma film Raising Cain ?) The full press release from Showtime, announcing John Lithgow's casting, can be found below. JOHN LITHGOW TAKES ON A KILLER ROLE AWARD-WI

Pilot Inspektor: An Advance Review of FOX's "Human Target"

I really wanted to like FOX's new procedural drama Human Target , which launches on the network next year, but found myself wondering about what the series could have been rather than what it actually is. Based on a DC comic by Len Wein and Carmen Infantino (and later redeveloped into a Vertigo title by Peter Milligan), Human Target tells the story of Christopher Chance ( Fringe 's Mark Valley), a man who protects those in danger by becoming a literal human shield, a moving target capable of drawing the fire of those out to imperil his well-paying clients. Chance is assisted in these high-stakes missions by his best friend and business manager Winston ( Pushing Daisies ' Chi McBride) and a tech-savvy nutcase named Guerrero ( Watchmen 's Jackie Earle Haley) whose allegiances seem as fluid as quicksilver. But rather than just watch his clients from afar, Chance forces his way into their lives, posing as someone who has access to their every move. In the pilot episode

Trailer Park: CW Unveils Promos for "Melrose Place" and "Vampire Diaries"

A few days after the CW unveiled its fall primetime schedule , the netlet has release new teaser trailers for its upcoming series Melrose Place and Vampire Diaries . The thirty-second spot for Melrose Place features swooping camera movements through the iconic apartment complex and voiceover from the characters about their dreams, fears, and dilemmas, before then showcases a series of quick-cut scenes from the pilot episode. Melrose Place will air Tuesdays at 9 pm ET/PT. The promo for the Kevin Williamson-executive produced supernatural series Vampire Diaries , meanwhile, puts the action squarely on the relationship between teenager Elena (Nina Dobrev) and vampire Stefan (Paul Wesley), culminating in the first encounter between the two star-crossed lovers. Vampire Diaries will air Thursdays at 8 pm ET/PT. The new promos for Melrose Place and Vampire Diaries can be found below. Melrose Place: Vampire Diaries: Melrose Place and Vampire Diaries will launch this fall on

It's So Hard to Be Good: An Advance Review of ABC's "The Goode Family"

It's no surprise that ABC is dumping its new animated comedy The Goode Family in the hinterlands of summer. I had the opportunity a few weeks ago to watch the first episode of this new series (which launches tonight) from creators Mike Judge ( King of the Hill ), John Altschuler, and Dave Krinsky, about a family of vegan do-gooders who are determined to leave the Earth a better place than they found it. The good-intentioned family consists of father Gerald (Mike Judge), a college administrator, mother Helen (Nancy Carell), a community activist, sarcastic teenage daughter Bliss (Linda Cardellini), and adopted teenage son Ubuntu (Dave Herman), whom the Goodes believed was black when they adopted him from Africa. Now sixteen, he is still oblivious to the fact that he's actually white (he puts down African-American as his ethnicity on his driver's license form). And, oh, even the family's dog Che is a vegan, though the canine harbors an insatiable hunger for the neighbor

Talk Back: FOX's "Mental"

You had the chance to read my advance review of the pilot episode of Mental , but I am curious to know what you thought of the pilot yourselves. Did you fall for the charms of Dr. Jack Gallagher (Chris Vance) in this new medical drama series as he treats his patients with some rather unorthodox approaches? Did you think it was a little too similar to House territory? Were you taken in by the series' cast, including Jacqueline McKenzie, Annabella Sciorra, Derek Webster, Marisa Ramierez, and Nicholas Gonzalez? Or were you bored silly? And most importantly: will you watch the series again next week? Talk back here. Mental airs Tuesday nights at 9 pm ET/PT on FOX.

Channel Surfing: Westfeldt and Boyd Clock in for "24," Grillo-Marxuach Bound for "Day One," "Doctor Who" Feature in Development, "Buffy," and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. Jennifer Westfeldt ( Grey's Anatomy ) and John Boyd ( The Notorious Bettie Page ) have been cast in Day Eight of FOX drama series 24 . Westfeldt will recur as journalist Meredith Reed, an ambitious writer who has ties to Middle East leader Arman Hashemi (Anil Kapoor), who arrives in the U.S. on a peacemaking mission. Boyd, meanwhile, will be a series regular and will play CTU analyst Jonah Schwartz. ( Hollywood Reporter ) The Middleman creator Javier Grillo-Marxuach has joined the writing staff of NBC's upcoming sci-fi series Day One, where he will serve as writer/co-executive producer. Also joining the writing staff, according to series creator Jesse Alexander (who broke the news via Twitter): Kings ' Erik Oleson, and Angela Kang. ( io9 ) BBC Films has confirmed that a big screen version of Doctor Who is being developed and that development of a script is currently underway. It's unclear whether inbound showru

BBC America Unveils Launch Date for Supernatural Drama "Being Human"

Digital cabler BBC America has announced a launch date for supernatural drama series Being Human . The six-episode series, which stars Russell Tovey ( Doctor Who ), Lenora Crichlow ( Sugar Rush ), and Aidan Turner ( The Clinic ), will kick off on Saturday, July 25th at 9 pm ET/PT. BBC America won't be airing the original pilot episode for Being Human , which aired last year on BBC Three and--other than Tovey--featured an entirely different cast including Guy Flanagan, Andrea Riseborough, and Adrian Lester. While the pilot is considered canon, it wasn't included on the recent Region 2 DVD release for Being Human and isn't necessary viewing in order to understand--or enjoy--the series itself. The full press release from BBC America and the original trailer for Being Human from BBC Three can be found below. SOME ROOMATES ARE SCARIER THAN OTHERS –The U.S. premiere of co-production, Being Human– Mixing the mythic with the commonplace, the farcical with the horrific and t

Pilot Inspektor: An Advance Review of ABC's "Eastwick"

ABC's newest drama series Eastwick , which launches this fall, is the type of series where people are meant to be "serious" because they wear glasses. Giving a new meaning to telegraphing rather than letting the plot unfold on its own, Eastwick --based on the 1987 feature film The Witches of Eastwick --tells the story of three women who are strangers to one another in the idyllic New England town of Eastwick. Each making a wish on a coin that seemingly magically appears in their presence, they unwittingly open the door to the return of an enigmatic figure into their midst. A figure whose arrival presages darkness, evil, and wanton destruction, along with sex, sex, sex. But before that, there's the drinking of martinis, the discussion of menfolk, and some female bonding, making Eastwick something more akin to Lipstick Jungle with magical powers. Rebecca Romijn ( Ugly Betty ) plays freethinking artist and single mother Roxie Torcoletti, a woman who is prone to jum

Sun Eggs and George Takei: The Horrors of the Stennheiser-Pong Wedding Reception on the Season Finale of Starz's "Party Down"

Was it just me or was Friday evening's season finale of Party Down ("Stennheiser-Pong Wedding Reception") absolutely hysterical and poignant in equal measure? Throughout its first season, Party Down --which will return for a second season sometime in 2010--has proven itself to be a cutting social satire of the wannabe Hollywood set as it explores the morals and motivations of a group of cater-waiters hoping to move up a rung on the ladder of fame and fortune. In episodes scripted by co-creator/executive producer John Enbom , this has typically taken a dark turn and Friday night's episode ("Stennheiser-Pong Wedding Reception"), which guest starred the always delightful Kristen Bell ( Veronica Mars ) as Ron's catering nemesis Uda Bengt, was no exception, offering an installment that not only shocked and saddened but also made me giddy with excitement. While Party Down attempted to cater a gay wedding this week, they discovered that they weren't the

(Should Be) Committed: An Advance Review of FOX's New Medical Drama "Mental"

Dr. Jack Gallagher (Chris Vance) is willing to do anything and everything to help his patients? How do we know this? Well, in the opening minutes of FOX's new mundane medical drama Mental , which launches tonight, we see Jack strip down to his birthday suit in order to connect with a naked patient suffering a break from reality. Yes, it's his first day as Director of Psychiatric Services at Wharton Memorial Hospital but, damn it, Jack is unorthodox and, let's just say it, committed . Jack treats every patient like a puzzle that must be solved and he has a gift of getting into people's heads in order to understand them as human beings and then effectively treat the illness and not its symptoms. His nude display does him no favors with the rest of the hospital's staff, including his former lover and hospital administrator Nora Skoff (Annabella Sciorra), uptight Veronica Hayden-Jones ( The 4400 's Jacqueline McKenzie) who was passed over for Jack's position,

Channel Surfing: "Buffy" Feature Sans Whedon, Tennant to Appear on "Sarah Jane Adventures," Sarah Chalke Uncertain about "Scrubs" Return, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. Could Buffy be heading back to the big screen... sans Joss Whedon, Sarah Michelle Gellar, or any of the supporting talents that made the franchise a success? Sadly, yes, in what appears to be shaping up as one of the worst ideas of the year. Executive producers Fran and Kaz Kuzui, along with Vertigo Entertainment's Roy Lee and Doug Davison are said to be developing a reboot of the Buffy franchise. (Fran Rubel Kuzui directed the original Buffy feature.) However, said project would not involve characters like Willow, Xander, Angel, or Spike (or, indeed any of the above elements) and would instead focus on a new slayer and would kick off a new franchise. The producers are currently meeting with writers and have not reached out to Joss Whedon about any involvement with the project. ( Hollywood Reporter ) David Tennant will star opposite Elisabeth Sladen in two upcoming episodes of Doctor Who spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures &