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Showing posts from October, 2009

BBC America Announces US Airdate for "Doctor Who: The Waters of Mars"

Following up this morning's Doctor Who story , BBC America has announced that it will air Doctor Who: The Waters of Mars on Saturday, December 19th at 9 pm ET/PT. The news comes on the heels of BBC One's announcement that they will debut the David Tennant special, the first of three final Doctor Who installments featuring the Tenth Doctor, on Sunday, November 15th at 7 pm GMT, a full month ahead of the US transmission. Doctor Who: The Waters of Mars , written by Russell T. Davies and Phil Ford, will star David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor and Rome's Lindsay Duncan as Adelaide. The plot finds the Doctor arriving on Mars at the Bowie Base One where not everything is as it seems as the base falls under attack from a deadly water-based threat. ("Mars, 2059. Bowie Base one. Last recorded message: don't drink the water. Don't even touch it. Not one drop.") US airdates for the final two David Tennant Doctor Who specials will be made public in early December. As

Tricks and Treats: Quick Thoughts on NBC's Halloween-Themed Thursday Night Lineup

I've never been much of a Halloween guy. Some people love to dress up and head out to parties but I've always taken the view that Halloween is one of those holidays that you either believe in with all of your being or you can't quite wrap your head around. Last night, NBC's two-hour Thursday night comedy block all offered Halloween-themed diversions but happily each did so in their own inimitable way with Community focusing on a Mexican Day of the Dead after-school party, Parks and Recreation splitting its focus between Leslie stalking a notorious Halloween teen vandal and Ann throwing a costume party, The Office keeping it all confined to the cold open, and 30 Rock offering a celebration of "gay Halloween." I have to say that I thought that Community and Parks and Recreation were by far the funniest two entries in last night's comedy block, comprising a strong one-two punch of humor that seems to be gathering more confidence week to week. Last night

Weekend Telly Reminder: USA's "White Collar," PBS' "Place of Execution"

Just a quick reminder to be sure to take a break from your Halloween festivities to tune in to two of the weekend's best television offerings. Tonight, be sure to catch USA's crime procedural White Collar , which airs its second episode at 10 pm ET/PT. Neal and Peter infiltrate New York's Fashion Week to stop a criminal from selling security data that is stored on a piece of technology woven into the fabric of a runway dress. Given that White Collar is already one of the most gorgeously stylish series on television, the addition of a sartorial-themed plot can only be the icing on top. While not forgetting of course about HBO's comedy duo of Curb Your Enthusiasm and Bored to Death and CBS' The Amazing Race , be sure to tune into Part One of PBS' extraordinary mystery mini-series Place of Execution on Masterpiece Contemporary on Sunday evening. (Check your local listings for details.) You can read my advance review of the two-part mystery , which I called &quo

Channel Surfing: ABC Reveals First "Lost" Promo, BBC One Sets Airdate for "Doctor Who: Waters of Mars," Easton Ellis Spies "Follower" at HBO, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. ABC has released the first promo for Season Six of Lost , the series' final season. But, be warned, the fifteen-second clip doesn't contain any new footage, which many believe is proof positive that the network will be going out of their way to avoid revealing just what happened after Juliet detonated the hydrogen bomb at the end of last season. There's still no premiere date for Season Six of Lost , but it's expected to debut roughly around the end of January. ( Hollywood Reporter 's The Live Feed ) BBC One has announced today that it will air the latest David Tennant Doctor Who special, Doctor Who: The Waters of Mars , on Sunday, November 15th at 7 pm GMT. No word yet on when BBC America will schedule the special, which will feature Tennant in one of his last appearances before his final two-part story at the end of the year. As soon as BBC America announces their scheduling plans, I'll let you know. Novelis

"Helmets and Racism": The "True Blood" Writers Talk About HBO's Vampire Drama at the Paley Center

Season Three of True Blood might be a long ways off but I was able to get a taste of what we can look forward to in the meantime. I was lucky enough to be in attendance last night at the Paley Center's event Inside the Writers Room: True Blood , featuring True Blood writer/producers Alan Ball, Raelle Tucker, Alexander Woo, Bryan Buckner, and Nancy Oliver. Expertly moderated by Entertainment Weekly 's divine Alynda Wheat, the panel pulled back the curtain to reveal the creative process behind HBO's vampire drama, with the panelists teasing some information about the series' upcoming third season, which will launch sometime around June of next year and is currently being written. (They've so far broken about half of Season Three.) Asked what the major theme of Season Three of True Blood is, Ball joked that it was "helmets and racism," and admitted that they just tell HBO that it's about "identity." (Which it is, in actuality, as Ball told me

Whatever, Whatever: Meatless Meals Fail to Hit the Mark on "Top Chef"

First off, I am not a vegetarian. I've flirted with vegetarianism at certain points in my life (perhaps, most notably, a reaction to dining hall food at university), but I've been a blissfully happy carnivore for the majority of my life and I don't see that changing anytime soon. That said, vegetarians often get a raw deal in restaurants and sometimes have to deal with chefs that don't understand how to satiate someone's hunger without the inclusion of meat. But vegetarian cuisine can be just as nourishing, comforting, and filling as carnivorous dishes; it's just a matter of replacing protein with protein and making sure that the dish is more than a collection of cooked vegetable side dishes. Last night's episode of Top Chef ("Meat Natalie") found the cheftestants grappling with the unexpected. After arriving at Tom Colicchio's craftsteak in Las Vegas, they all made a very big assumption and believed that they would be creating steak-based dis

First Look: Day Eight of FOX's "24"

FOX has unveiled their first official promo for Day Eight of 24 , which launches in January. The 45-second promo clip for Day Eight, which can be viewed below, doesn't focus on the new characters played by Katee Sackhoff and Freddie Prinze Jr. next season, instead placing the emphasis squarely on Kiefer Sutherland's Jack Bauer and Elisha Cuthbert's Kim (sans cougar, natch). Will Jack ever get a chance to settle into the quiet comfort of grandparenthood and time with his family? Not this day, anyway, as Jack is once again called upon to save the nation. Are you excited about Day Eight? Curious about the new characters? And wondering whether Jack will make it through the season alive? Discuss. Day Eight of 24 is scheduled to launch on Monday, January 17th on FOX.

Channel Surfing: NBC Ups "Chuck" and Dumps "Trauma," "Lost," Syfy Orders US "Being Human," "Better Off Ted" in December, and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. Good news for Chuck fans: NBC has opted to order six additional episodes of Chuck , bringing the episodic total for Season Three to 19 installments. (Huzzah!) While NBC has yet to announce an official launch date for Chuck 's third season, the order of the additional episodes points to a potential January launch for the Warner Bros. Television-produced series, as does NBC's decision to cancel low-rated medical drama Trauma , which failed to garner a back nine pickup. Given the Peacock's cancellation of both Trauma and Southland , it now seems more likely that Chuck will return to the schedule before March. ( The Wrap's TVMoJoe , Hollywood Reporter , Variety ) E! Online's Jennifer Godwin gets Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof to answer a few choice questions about Season Six of Lost while at a signing for the hardcover collection of Lindelof's Wolverine Vs. Hulk . Asked about whether fan questions have helpe

Tears and Recriminations: The Ugly Truth (or Lack Thereof) on the "Flipping Out" Reunion

Cameras are funny things. They're meant to capture the reality of a moment but there's something inherently artificial about them being there in the first place. Reality television isn't exactly reality as it exists; it's an edited-together version of actual events, threaded together into a cohesive narrative for television. It gives us an image of reality but not the whole picture. The reason I'm bringing this up is that I'm still in shock about last night's dramatic and intensely stressful Flipping Out: Season Three Reunion on Bravo. While the reunion special brought up a number of intriguing (and in some cases hilarious) plot strands from the third season of Flipping Out including "rollover Number Two minutes," Roomba (dubbed a "big bitch" by Zoila), the poisoned bacon, and the status of Valley Oak, the main set piece in the episode was a confrontation between Jeff Lewis and his former business partner Ryan Brown. It was, shall we sa

Spreading Hope: ABC Releases Longer "V" Music-Set Promo But Skywriting Plan Downed

With less than a week to go until the series premiere of ABC's reimagination of cult classic sci-fi series V , the network has released a longer version of its "We Will Be Victorious" promo, which is set to the song "Uprising" by Muse. While a 45-second promo featuring the song was released about a month back (and can be viewed below), Entertainment Weekly' s Michael Ausiello has an exclusive look at a longer "Victorious" promo that clocks in at just under two minutes. (It can be viewed here .) Meanwhile, ABC has scrapped plans for a viral publicity campaign that would have seen giant, crimson-hued Vs appear over 26 major American landmarks to promote the November 3rd launch of V , according to Hollywood Reporter 's The Live Feed . An ABC spokesperson tells THR 's James Hibberd that they have decided to spend the funds in other ways, following a Washington Post column in which Lisa de Moraes calculated the amount of pollution that would h

Channel Surfing: "Dollhouse" Remains on Fridays in January, NBC Keeping "Trauma" Alive for Another Three Weeks, Kudrow Set for "Cougar Town," and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. Good news for Dollhouse fans. After double-booking Dollhouse episodes on Friday nights in December, FOX has indicated that it will continue to air the remainder of the second season of Dollhouse , with the series returning to its regular timeslot of Friday evenings at 9 pm ET/PT beginning January 8th. Meanwhile, 'Til Death will move to Sundays at 7 pm beginning January 10th while Brothers will wrap its run on December 27th. ( Futon Critic ) NBC has announced that it will keep underperforming medical drama Trauma in the Monday night timeslot for the next three weeks. No decision has yet been made about the ultimate fate of the medical series, which failed to garner a back nine pickup along with fellow freshman series Community and Mercy . ( Hollywood Reporter 's The Live Feed ) Lisa Kudrow will guest star on an upcoming episode of ABC's Cougar Town , which will reunite her with her former Friends co-star Courteney

What Are You Still Watching This Fall? (And What Have You Given Up On?)

With the fall season now officially a few weeks old, I thought it was time to check the pulse of the television landscape a bit. I'm extremely curious to know what new and returning series everyone is watching. Have you fallen for ABC's Modern Family ? In love with NBC's Community ? Dying to see ABC's V ? Surprised by how much you're enjoying CBS' The Good Wife ? Laughing your head off over NBC's reinvigorated Parks and Recreation ? Singing your heart out to FOX's Glee ? I want to know. Conversely, which new or returning television series have you given up on? Have you moved out of Melrose Place ? Been traumatized by NBC's Trauma ? Frustrated by FlashForward ? Already forgotten about The Forgotten ? I'd be interested to know either way which series are at the top of your must-view list and which ones have been deleted from your season pass. And, most importantly, why. Talk back here.

Finding Alison: An Advance Review of "Place of Execution" on PBS' "Masterpiece Contemporary"

Every now and then a mini-series comes along that just sucks you in by the sheer force of its spellbinding story. Such is the case with the sensational British mini-series Place of Execution , airing Stateside in a two-episode format that begins this Sunday as part of PBS' Masterpiece Contemporary . From its haunting opening minutes to the truly and horrifically shocking final scenes, Place of Execution is a thriller which will remain with you long after the closing credits have rolled. Anchored by three incredible performances, Place of Execution --written by Patrick Harbison and Val McDermid (and based on the latter's novel) and directed by Daniel Percival--takes place both in the present-day as well as in 1963 rural England as two very different investigators explore the disappearance of a 13-year-old girl who vanished without a trace one winter afternoon in 1963. Told in two overlapping and interlocking plots, the story telescopes outwards from that fateful day to ensnare

Channel Surfing: "Bones" Flashback in the Cards for 100th Episode, Maggie Grace Finds "Lost" Again, Ricky Gervais to Host the Golden Globes, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Bones ' 100th episode will in fact be a flashback episode to reveal the first time that Emily Deschanel's Temperance Brennan and David Boreanaz's Seeley Booth worked together. "We’ll be there for the first time those two personalities clashed, Bones executive producer Stephen Nathan told Ausiello. "Events will conspire to make them come out of the case hating each other and vowing that they will never work together again... We’ll also see the introduction of Angela and the genesis of her friendship with Brennan." ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) Maggie Grace is confirmed to be returning for Lost 's sixth and final season, according to TV Guide Magazine . She'll return to Oahu next month to reprise her role as Shannon Rutherford, who was last seen on the series in 2005. "Producers had invited Maggie back earlier, but t

Los Angeles Times: From The Others to the Visitors: Elizabeth Mitchell talks about battling the otherworldly on her new ABC series 'V'

Those of you looking for some more information about ABC's upcoming reimagining of the 1980s sci-fi mini-series V , should head over to the Los Angeles Times to read my lengthy interview with the series' lead Elizabeth Mitchell, entitled "From The Others to the Visitors: Elizabeth Mitchell talks about battling the otherworldly on her new ABC series 'V'." In this exclusive interview, I talk to the lovely and articulate Elizabeth Mitchell about her time as Juliet on ABC's Lost , her character FBI Agent Erica Evans on V , Erica's relationship with Joel Gretsch's Father Jack, what's coming up on the sci-fi series, and much more. If that weren't enough, V -related goodness for you, here's a link to my original advance review of the pilot episode from May , and you'll find a video of the first nine minutes of the V series premiere below. V premieres Tuesday, November 3rd at 8 pm ET/PT on ABC.

Freudian Slip: Confronting Hard Truths on "Mad Men"

"And who are you supposed to be?" Rarely ever has a question been asked that has carried more weight than that one. On this week's stunning episode of Mad Men ("The Gypsy and The Hobo"), written by Marti Noxon & Cathryn Humphris and Matthew Weiner and directed by Jennifer Getzinger, the truth about Don's secret past finally comes tumbling out as he was forced to confess his true identity to Betty. It was only a matter of time before Matt Weiner decided that Betty ought to know just who she has been married to all of these years. After nearly three seasons, Don has managed to pull the wool over Betty's eyes about his affairs, his indiscretions both romantic and professional, and about his past. But Freud once said that there is no such thing as a mistake. Did Don want to be found out? Is that why, as Betty surmises, he left that key in his bathrobe pocket and kept those photographs, dog tags, and legal documents in their house? Or was it just an over