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Showing posts from January, 2010

Countdown to "Lost": What Will Happen This Season?

Just what will happen this season on Lost ? With the season premiere of the sixth and final season of Lost only a few scant days away now, I thought it would be a good time to find out just what your theories are about (A) what happened to the castaways after Juliet detonated Jughead, (B) what will happen this season, and (C) what you predict the ending of the series will be. I'd love to revisit these theories once Lost wraps up its run this May but, given that the first hour of Lost 's season premiere is set to be shown to fans in Hawaii this weekend, we could engage in one final round of spoiler-free speculation for Lost before information begins pouring in. So dig in: what do you think Team Darlton has in store for us this last season? What are your predictions about what will happen, who will die, who will end up together, and just what this all means? Discuss. (But, reminder: no spoilers! ) (Meanwhile, Part One of my interview with Lost showrunners Damon Lindelof a

Televisionary Exclusive: First Look at the Pilot Script for NBC's "Rex Is Not Your Lawyer"

One of the most eagerly anticipated (and constantly buzzed about) pilots of this current development season is NBC's legal dramedy, Rex Is Not Your Lawyer , which stars former Doctor Who star David Tennant as the titular non-attorney. Given Tennant's stature and his popularity coming off of Doctor Who , expectations are running high for Rex , which had been rumored to be under contention for a March launch on NBC... but is now said to be in the mix for a possible slot on the Peacock's fall schedule. (Or is, off the table, should you believe what an unnamed insider told Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello earlier this week, though that has been unconfirmed.) Regardless, I had the opportunity yesterday to sit down to read the pilot script for Rex Is Not Your Lawyer , written by David Lampson and Andrew Leeds, and was pleasantly surprised to encounter a quirky and compelling legal dramedy that juggled both a procedural element (the familiar case of the week) with

Gather Up the Dolls: The End of FOX's "Dollhouse"

I've had a very complicated relationship with Joss Whedon's Dollhouse , the metaphysical action series that wraps up its troubled run tonight on FOX with "Epitaph Two: The Return." While I felt that there were moments of genius among the forced procedural element, the convoluted storylines, and gaping plot holes, Dollhouse often just left me pounding my head against the wall in frustration at times. I never felt like Eliza Dushku's Echo became a gripping enough central character to anchor the series, which was always much more interesting when the focus shifted to that of Dollhouse's supporting players like Dichen Lachman, Enver Gjokaj, Olivia Williams, or Fran Kranz. (The latter of which grew on me exponentially as the series wore on.) But rather than shift into a full-blown ensemble, the action continually circled back to Dushku's Echo and Tahmoh Penikett's Paul Ballard, easily the two least interesting of the bunch. (Lachman's Priya/Sierra a

The Seahorse: Fathers and Sons on "Fringe"

I've said it before, but I'll say it again: won't somebody please give John Noble an Emmy nomination? Noble's work on Fringe as the addled Dr. Walter Bishop has been absolutely superlative these past two seasons. As the action mounts to next week's winter finale of Fringe , Noble has rendered Walter as a truly tragic figure, one whose seeming innocence and scientific curiosity belies a true pragmatist, a man willing to make the tough decisions that no one else wants to make. Never was this more true than in last night's compelling episode of Fringe ("The Bishop Revival"), which found the team dealing with a chemical weapon capable of targeting specific gene groups or individuals and unearthing a connection between the deadly technology and the Bishop family itself. Despite its format as a procedural series, Fringe has done a smashing job this season at keeping the character development moving along swiftly and wisely placing the emphasis on the r

First Look: Season Two of Showtime's "Nurse Jackie"

Edie Falco's Jackie Peyton returns this March with a second season of the Showtime dark comedy Nurse Jackie . The pay cabler released a two-and-a-half minute sizzle reel for the second season of Nurse Jackie , which kicks off on March 22nd. Having seen the first two episodes of Season Two of Nurse Jackie back in December, I can say that the season gets off to a great start as the writers not only deal with the cliffhanger ending of of the freshman season but also introduce some compelling new story strands to follow. Suffice it to say, I'm already counting down the days until Nurse Jackie returns to television. You can watch the Season Two trailer below. Season Two of Nurse Jackie begins March 22nd at 10 pm ET/PT on Showtime.

Channel Surfing: Maria Bello Finds "Emergency Sex" for HBO, NBC Gets "The Cape" and "Outsourced," Leno on Oprah, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. Maria Bello, Simon Beaufoy, and Russell Crowe have teamed up to develop HBO drama project Emergency Sex , based on Kenneth Cain, Heidi Postlewait and Andrew Thomson's nonfiction book "Emergency Sex and Other Desperate Measures: A True Story From Hell on Earth," about "the larger-than-life exploits of expatriate nongovernment-organization workers who find their sanity tested in the face of atrocities, loneliness and primal desires." Bello ( A History of Violence ) will star in the project, which is being adapted by Simon Beaufoy ( Slumdog Millionaire ), who will executive produce with Bellow, Russell Crowe, and John Carrabino. ( Hollywood Reporter ) NBC has handed out pilot orders to two projects, both hailing from Universal Media Studios. One-hour drama The Cape , from writer Thomas Wheeler ( Empire ) and BermanBraun, revolves around an ex-cop in Los Angeles who is framed and sets out to become a masked vigil

The Daily Beast: "Lost, For the Last Time"

Dying with anticipation for the start of the sixth and final season of Lost ? You're not alone. While the ABC drama series doesn't kick off until Tuesday, you can head over to The Daily Beast now and read my latest piece, " Lost , For the Last Time," Part One of an interview with Lost showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, in which the duo discuss Season Six of Lost , the series' influence on television programming, its legacy, and why viewers shouldn't expect to see every mystery get answered this season. Part Two of my interview will run on Tuesday, the day that Lost returns for its sixth and final season. Lost returns February 2nd with a one-hour special at 8 pm ET/PT followed by the two-hour season premiere at 9 pm ET/PT on ABC.

Channel Surfing: Theron and Fincher Team Up for HBO's "Mind Hunter," Jennifer Lopez Finds "Mother," ABC Axes "Ugly Betty," and More

Welcome to your (delayed) Thursday morning television briefing. Charlize Theron ( The Road ) has teamed up with auteur David Fincher ( Zodiac ) to develop HBO drama series, Mind Hunter , based on John Douglas and Mark Olshaker's nonfiction book "Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit," about the profiling of serial killers and rapists. Scott Buck ( Dexter ) will write the pilot, which will be produced by Theron, Fincher, Erwin and Buck and is set up at Fox21. ( Variety ) Jennifer Lopez is set to guest star on CBS' How I Met Your Mother in an episode slated to air in March. Lopez will play Anita Appleby, described as "a no-nonsense author of self-help books that teach women how to train men into relationship machines through the power of denial," who makes it her mission to train Barney. ( Hollywood Reporter ) ABC has officially cancelled Ugly Betty after four seasons. The dramedy, which stars America Ferrera, will wrap up its run this

Brace for Impact: ABC Cancels "Ugly Betty"

Looks like it's curtains for Betty Suarez. ABC today announced that this will be the final season of Ugly Betty and that the series will wrap up its run this spring. The series had been placed on life support on Friday nights this season before being given a last chance with a Wednesday night 10 pm ET/PT timeslot as part of the network's comedy block. "We’ve mutually come to the difficult decision to make this Ugly Betty ’s final season, and are announcing now as we want to allow the show ample time to write a satisfying conclusion," said ABC in a prepared statement. "We are extremely proud of this groundbreaking series, and felt it was important to give the fans a proper farewell." What do you think of the news? Was it time to bid Betty farewell? Is it good that the producers will have time to wrap up the series' storylines before a final episode? Discuss.

When I Am Through With You: "Damages" Theme Song Heads to iTunes

Nearly three years later, one of the most enduring and popular posts here at Televisionary is an August 2007 post about the theme song for Damages , the VLA's "When I Am Through With You." In an age where many series--both comedies and dramas--have either eliminated opening title sequences or reduced them to a few quick chords, Damages ' breathless credits not only capture the brutal wit of the series but also create a vivid atmosphere of ruthlessness and vengeance. Besides for some stunning visuals, this is achieved masterfully through the use of the VLA's song ("When I Am Through With You"), which continues to win fans over. (Fans who then come here to determine just who sings this incredibly evocative song.) Good news then for fans of the VLA and Damages . An email from the band's Jason Rabe has alerted me to the fact that the theme song is now available for purchase on iTunes and can be found here . If you're lucky, Patty Hewes will sen

Rabbit, Rabbit: Seasonal Ingredients and an Upset Badger on "Last Restaurant Standing"

I'm still scratching my head over the format changes that happened between the second and third seasons of BBC America's Last Restaurant Standing (which airs in the UK as The Restaurant ). I'm especially heartbroken that the series' producers opted to get rid of the intense and drama-laden Challenge in every other episode. Forcing the three lowest-performing couples to fight for the chance to remain in the competition, the Challenge element offered further opportunities to see these couples' strengths and weaknesses on display as well as see how they coped with added pressure and were able to adapt to constantly changing scenarios. Losing this competition element means that Last Restaurant Standing has effectively been cut down in size (there are only a handful of episodes this season) and we're already now down to the final four couples. Which is shocking in and of itself as I don't feel like I know any of them particularly well. At this point in other

Channel Surfing: Julianne Moore in Demand, Whedon Talks "Dr. Horrible," Flockhart to Cut Back on "Brothers," "House" Spinoff Possible, and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. Could Julianne Moore become the lead of the US adaptation of crime series Prime Suspect ? If NBC gets their way, she very well could be. Moore is being pursued by NBC for the remake of the Helen Mirren-starring British series as well as ABC to star in another remake: this time Scoundrels , based on Kiwi series Outrageous Fortune . Moore has some competition for the Prime Suspect gig as Maria Bello has also been approached about starring in the remake as well as starring in Jerry Bruckheimer-produced drama pilot Chase , which has offers out to Bello, Tea Leoni, and Christina Applegate. Other in-demand stars this pilot season: Matt Dillon, Jason Isaacs, Michael Chiklis, and Josh Lucas. ( Hollywood Reporter ) E! Online's Megan Masters has an interview with Joss Whedon, in which the Dr. Horrible creator talks about the possibility of a sequel, directing FOX's Glee , Neil Patrick Harris, and more. "We very much want to

Up in the Air: Another First Class Episode of NBC's "Chuck"

Is it just me or is Chuck getting even better each week? This week's fantastic installment of Chuck ("Chuck Versus First Class"), written by co-creator Chris Fedak, found our typically hapless spy on his very first solo mission, which just so happened to involve swordplay at 35,000 feet, a very large Ring operative (guest star Steve Austin) with a penchant for gut punches, and a gorgeous traveling companion, Hannah (Kristin Kreuk). It also found Brandon Routh's Shaw stepping up to become the leader of our little band of Los Angeles operatives and making some decisions that fly in the face of Casey and Sarah's logic, while also rendering himself even more of a tragic figure than we had previously thought. Meanwhile, Casey helped Morgan deal with "insurgents" at the Buy More. In other words: an absolutely fantastic installment that advanced the overarching plot, offered the series' trademark blend of comedy and action, and introduced and deepened

Confessions and Secrets: Lying in the Gutters on the Season Premiere of FX's "Damages"

Everything is disposable. That applies, apparently, to mobile phones, $3,000 Chanel handbags, and indeed corpses; everything eventually ends up in the trash to be picked over by modern society's answer to the Victorian rag and bone man: the destitute scavengers of Manhattan, picking through the trash and collecting the refuse into the reusable, the resellable, and the useful. The lawyers of FX's Damages are no strangers to digging through the trash but last night's third season premiere ("Your Secrets Are Safe"), written by Glenn Kessler, Daniel Zelman, and Todd A. Kessler and directed by Todd A. Kessler, took this to a whole new level, rendering Season Three's financial scandal storyline into a class-oriented drama that fused together Charles Dickens and David Lynch. (Think of it as "Bleak House" or "Little Dorrit" by way of Mulholland Drive .) You had the chance to read my advance review of the first two episodes of Season Three of Da

Talk Back: BBC America's "The Inbetweeners"

I've been raving about British comedy The Inbetweeners, created by Iain Morris and Damon Beesley, for almost a year. (You can read my review of the first three episodes here and my review of the first two seasons here .) I spent last night at a little gathering in West Hollywood hosted by Iain Morris and his lovely fiancee (congratulations, you two!) for The Inbetweeners ' US launch on BBC America last night. Despite having seen the first two episodes about three times already, my wife and I--and the entire party--were rolling on the floor with hysterics as Iain gleefully shouted out the bleeped-out words that had been censored from the American broadcast. (And, believe me, there were many.) Now that the first two episodes have finally aired Stateside as of last night, I'm curious to know what you thought of the series. Did you find it painfully funny? Did you laugh and cringe in equal measure? Did you feel relieved that you're no longer in your teens? What did you t

Channel Surfing: Forest Whitaker Circling "Criminal Minds," Macaulay Culkin Could Find "Big Love," "Damages" Twist, "Mad Men," "Fringe," and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Forest Whitaker ( The Shield ) is nearing a deal to come aboard CBS' in-development spin-off of Criminal Minds as the series lead. The spinoff would air as a backdoor pilot as an episode of Criminal Minds this spring. "Whitaker would play Cooper, the new team’s fiercely loyal and intensely private leader," writes Ausiello. "A former star profiler in the BAU, Coop’s been off the grid for the last eight years — leaving only a trail of rumors in his wake." ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) TV Guide Magazine 's Will Keck is reporting that Macaulay Culkin could be destined for a role on HBO's Big Love next season, should the drama be renewed by the pay cabler. Culkin, who is friends with Golden Globe winner Chloe Sevigny, visited the set recently and spent time with co-creator Will Scheffer. "He watches the show and we can

Mr. Henrickson Goes to Washington: The Politics of Relationships on "Big Love"

At its core, HBO's family drama Big Love has been about the often complex and always complicated interpersonal relationships that we encounter in our lives: the bonds between family, spouses, lovers, the pangs of unrequited love, the enmity between rivals. In other words: the series is a microcosm through which we can explore our own relationships, a rubric for understanding the Gordian knot of love and hate between ourselves and others and, often, the conflicting natures within our very being. This week's episode of Big Love ("Strange Bedfellows"), written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and directed by Adam Davidson, found the Henricksons separated in more ways than one. While Bill headed to Washington D.C. with Nicki and Cara Lynn, Barb and Sarah's efforts to spend some time together resulted in a car accident involving a young woman on the reservation and Margene gave into temptation, a subconscious action that will likely have lasting repercussions for several