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Showing posts from August, 2010

The Daily Beast: Fire and Ice: Mad Men's Christina Hendricks and January Jones

As promised, the last Emmy-related piece of this year. While I've already discussed Modern Family and Glee , Friday Night Lights , and to a certain extent Lost , as well as rounded up my picks for who will win a gold statuette and who should have won , I can't imagine not discussing AMC's luminous period drama Mad Men . Over at The Daily Beast, my latest feature--which is curiously entitled " Mad Men 's Ice Queen" --takes a look at Mad Men 's Emmy nominated actresses January Jones and Christina Hendricks and explores how they fit into certain female iconic traditions and why our perceptions of their characters seem to spill over into their real lives. Just why is Betty Draper so misunderstood and disliked? Why does Jones seem so icy whereas Hendricks--a somewhat reluctant sex symbol--seems so vibrant and full of life? Can they escape our own perceptions of them? Head to the comments section to discuss. Season Four of Mad Men airs Sunday evenings at 1

Televisionary: En Vacances

Just a heads up that I'm officially on vacation and heading out of town, so thoughts on Sunday night's episodes of Mad Men and True Blood --along with Emmy reactions--will be delayed until I return. In a weird twist of fate, my birthday weekend just happens to coincide with Emmys weekend this year (normally the latter is in September, whereas my birthday, um, stays the same each year), so I'm skipping everything Emmy-related. No after-parties, no flashy suit, no overindulging at HBO's Pacific Design Center shindig or the the after-after-party at the Chateau for me this year. What I will be doing is taking a respite from work--and, scarily, from television--for a few days to recharge my mental batteries and soak up some much-needed relaxation. See you on the other side. Or as soon as I post a link to my last Emmy-related story for this year from over at The Daily Beast, that is.

The Daily Beast: "Give Friday Night Lights An Emmy Already"

Could Friday Night Lights finally win an Emmy Award? Or, more importantly, isn't about time that the Academy recognized the amazing quality of this fantastic series and its lead actors? That's the question that I'm asking in a new feature over at The Daily Beast entitled "Give Friday Night Lights An Emmy Already" where I talk to stars--and current Emmy underdogs--Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton. In the piece, which went live this morning, I talk to Chandler and Britton about their nominations, saying goodbye to one another, the end of Friday Night Lights , and what the fifth and final season of FNL holds for Coach Eric and Tami Taylor. Head to the comments section to discuss why you think this series has been criminally overlooked by the Television Academy and whether you think Chandler and Britton are more than deserving to take home a statuette or two this weekend at the Primetime Emmy Awards. Season Five of Friday Night Lights begins October 27th on D

Trailer Park: Sky1's An Idiot Abroad, Starring Karl Pilkington

Karl Pilkington traipsing around the world and checking out the Seven Wonders? Sign me up please! That's exactly the premise of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's new docuseries An Idiot Abroad , which will air this month on Sky1 in the UK and which will follow the notoriously round-headed Pilkington--the breakout star of HBO's The Ricky Gervais Show --as he makes his way around the globe to step outside his comfort zone and, well, maybe challenge himself. Here's how Sky1 is positioning the series: "Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant are outraged that Karl has written off the Seven Wonders claiming they’re all “a bit s**t” having never seen any of them with his own eyes. They’ve thrown down the gauntlet to send him around the globe to force him out of his comfort zone. Stephen wants the experience to broaden Karl’s mind and change his outlook on the world. Ricky wants Karl to hate every minute of it for his own amusement. Dispatched on what many would term a

Channel Surfing: Chuck Sets Mercenaries, Katee Sackhoff Back to Big Bang, Modern Family's Manny, Neil Gaiman's Doctor Who & More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. Chuck Versus the Mercenaries? Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that WWE champion wrestler Batista, Eric Roberts ( The Expendables ), and Joel David Moore ( Bones ) are set to appear in the fourth episode of Chuck 's fourth season this fall. The trio will guest star as "Casey's former Soldiers of Fortune buddies from the Clinton era" who have "gone rogue and are back to seek revenge on their ex-comrade." The episode is entitled "Chuck Versus the Coup D'Etat." Season Four of Chuck is slated to launch on September 30th. ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) While Maureen Ryan hasn't officially started at AOL Television (she doesn't until September 1st), that hasn't stopped her from landing an exclusive: namely that Katee Sackhoff will be returning to CBS' The Big Bang Theory this fall, where she will reprise her role as "Katee Sackhoff,

Trailer Park: Betty White on Community Teaser

"We'll just say Community is the new Glee ." With less than a month to go until the second season premiere of NBC's deliciously absurd comedy Community , NBC has released a teaser trailer for Season Two, which just so happens to feature Betty White seeming a but, uh, confused about what show she's slated to appear on. You can view the teaser in full below. Season Two of Community launches Thursday, September 23rd on NBC.

Channel Surfing: Fox Snags Locke and Key, Trouble for Tilda, Torchwood Star Lands Three Inches, Temps, The Office, and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. Vulture's Josef Adalian is reporting that FOX is in talks with 20th Century Fox Television and Dreamworks to develop a series based on Joe Hill's comic book "Locke and Key," which revolves around "three kids who end up watching over a secret, spooky New England mansion filled with mystical doors that transport them to different worlds and give them special powers (like turning into a ghost)," according to Adalian. But FOX isn't turning to just anyone to adapt the series created by Hill (who happens to be the son of Stephen King): Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci ( Fringe, Hawaii Five-0 ) and Josh Friedman ( Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles ) as well as Steven Spielberg are attached as executive producers. ( Vulture , Hollywood Reporter ) Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that there's some major behind the scenes drama brewing at HBO's much anticipated dark comed

The Dead Walk: AMC Announces Halloween Launch Date for The Walking Dead

Be prepared to be scared. AMC has announced an official launch date for its upcoming zombie series The Walking Dead , which is based on Robert Kirkman's comic book series. The Walking Dead , which stars Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies, Laurie Holden, and Jeffrey DeMunn, will launch with a 90-minute series premiere on Sunday, October 31st at 10 pm ET/PT. The official trailer for The Walking Dead can be viewed below. "Stay focused." The full press release from AMC can be found below. AMC LAUNCHES NEWEST ORIGINAL DRAMA “THE WALKING DEAD” WITH A 90-MINUTE PREMIERE EPISODE ON HALLOWEEN NIGHT: SUNDAY, OCTOBER 31, 10PM Series Stars Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies, Laurie Holden, Jeffrey DeMunn and others Written, Directed and Executive-Produced by Frank Darabont, Executive Produced by Gale Anne Hurd New York, NY – August 2010 – AMC's newest original series, “The Walking Dead,” will premiere on Halloween night, Sunday, October

The Daily Beast: "Secrets of Lost Revealed on New DVD" (a.k.a. My Thoughts on "The New Man in Charge")

Today, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released both Lost: The Complete Collection and Lost: The Complete Sixth and Final Season on DVD and Blu-ray. The box sets contain the latest--and possibly last--in-canon adventures of the Lost cast via the twelve-minute epilogue entitled "The New Man in Charge," which stars Michael Emerson, Jorge Garcia, and... Well, that would be telling. Over at The Daily Beast, I discuss " Lost : The New Man in Charge" as well as my thoughts about the strength or weakness of the epilogue as a narrative outgrowth of the series in a piece entitled "Secrets of Lost Revealed on New DVD." Plus, I check in with fellow television critics and writers Maureen Ryan (now of AOL Television), Entertainment Weekly 's Jeff "Doc" Jensen, Time 's James Poniewozik, and New York Magazine 's Emily Nussbaum to see their reactions to the Lost epilogue, how it fits in with the contentious ending of the series itse

Blood Lust: Past Lives, Past Crimes on True Blood

The One True Death comes for us all in the end, human and vampire alike, and one has to hope that when the time comes you've accomplished what you've set out to do in the decades or centuries afforded to you. That's rarely ever the case. Certainly not for most humans, though Eric Northman confides in Sookie just what he'd regret most if he met his true end. Right before, that is, he has a monumental change of heart about just what matters most in this world. Is it a matter of love? Or a matter of saving one's own skin and their children's? What price does survival have? On this week's episode of True Blood ("I Smell a Rat"), written by Kate Barnow and Elisabeth R. Finch and directed by Michael Lehmann, much of the episode delved into the backstories of several characters, most notably Sookie, Sam, Tara, and Jason, while setting up some major consequences and twists in the final two episodes of the season. As such, "I Smell a Rat" wasn

A Doll's House: The Chrysanthemum and the Sword on Mad Men

"A man is shamed by being openly ridiculed and rejected." On this week's fantastic episode of Mad Men ("The Chrysanthemum and the Sword"), written by Erin Levy and directed by Lesli Linka Glatter, we see how symbolism is in the eye of the beholder: what one man sees as a vase of chrysanthemums is another man's symbol for death. What a mother sees as her daughter attempting to punish her is a cry for help. Or it's none of those things at all, but a burgeoning sexuality or effort to explore and to understand. Or it's just an attraction to The Man From U.N.C.L.E. . We can parse the meanings from others' behaviors but we always apply our own patina of understanding to the symbols we take in. Sally's behavior isn't of a wanton nature; she's not on a path of destruction, despite Betty's claims that her daughter is "fast" or is picking up things from Don's "whores." She's a normal girl dealing with norma

The Daily Beast: "2010 Emmys: Who Will Win This Year?"

With the 2010 Emmy Awards less than a week away, it's time to take a look at this year's front-runners and weigh the major races that are already underway. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "2010 Emmys: Who Will Win This Year?" in which I take a look (via a visual gallery) at who will win the top spots this year and who should be taking home those statuettes come August 29th. Do you agree with my assessments? Think Julianna Margulies is a lock? Or do you think that I'm wrong and Aaron Paul won't get overlooked for a Best Supporting Actor award? Head to the comments section to discuss and debate and post your take on the major categories. The 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards will air live coast to coast on Sunday, August 29th on NBC.

Channel Surfing: NBC Dumps Parks and Rec Repeats, Smallville Return, Creative Arts Emmy Winners, Grey's Closure and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. Good news for Community ; bad news for Parks and Recreation . The Futon Critic is reporting that NBC has opted to forgo repeats of Season Two of Parks and Recreation for the remainder of the summer, instead using the Thursday 9:30 pm timeslot for a second round of Community repeats. [Editor: While I applaud NBC for recognizing the potential of Dan Harmon's Community , I wish it weren't at the expense of Parks and Rec , which won't even return for its third season until "midseason."] Planned repeats for August 26th and September 2nd will instead be filled by Community episodes... which means that the airwaves will be Pawnee-free until the series returns at a to-be-determined point later in the season. ( Futon Critic ) SPOILER! Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that John Glover will return to the CW's Smallville to reprise his role as Lionel Luthor in a multiple-episode story arc

Hulu Headaches: Modern Family Co-Creator Steve Levitan Discusses Flawed Ratings System's Improper Counting

Just two weeks after making statements at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour about his desire that ABC remove his show from Hulu and ABC.com, Modern Family 's co-creator Steve Levitan again fired back at digital platforms earlier this week, following the announcement of a potential IPO for Hulu. "Some estimate Hulu IPO could bring in $2Bil," wrote Levitan on Twitter . "What will the content providers get? Zero. What is Hulu without content? An empty jukebox." Levitan's frustration is palpable, particularly when you consider that Hulu and other online platforms like the network's own ABC.com could be siphoning away viewers from the linear broadcast. While that's to be expected in an age of heavy DVR users, time-shifting, and an array of potential platforms from which to consume programming, it fails to address one major issue, said Levitan: these viewers aren't necessarily being counted when looking at the overall ratings for a

Sip of Blood: Three Clips From This Sunday's Episode of True Blood

Can't wait until Sunday's episode of HBO's seductive and bloody vampire drama True Blood ? You've come to the right place as we've got three sneak peeks of this week's episode, entitled "I Smell A Rat." Here's how HBO describes this week's episode: A reluctant Bill warns Sookie about the dangers she will face; Jesus is intrigued by the mysterious qualities of V; Samʼs recent fit of rage triggers dark memories; Eric takes precautions and fulfills a wish; Arlene turns to Holly for help with a pressing problem; Jason deals with the unexpected, both with Tara and Crystal; Jessica is torn between Tommy and Hoyt; after communing with Talbot, Russell promises to extract vengeance on his enemies. But if that's not enough detail for you, you can check out the three clips below, which depict Tara helping Jason clean up Franklin's remains, Pam questioning Eric, and Jessica confronting Arlene. And who's that familiar face on TV? Hmmm... Sink

Channel Surfing: USA Renews Covert Affairs, Lost Star Could Be Rockford, Lie to Me Grabs Gunn, Cannavale to Blue Bloods, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. Good news for Annie Walker fans: USA has officially ordered a second season of espionage drama Cover Affairs . No word was given on an episodic order nor when Season Two of the Universal Cable Production-based series would launch, though the first season of the CIA drama is currently in full swing on the cabler. Series, which is shot on location in Toronto, is currently the highest rated cable series on Tuesdays in the 10 pm hour. (via press release) Longtime followers on Twitter will remember that I pushed Josh Holloway for the role of Jim Rockford in NBC's resurrected The Rockford Files back in the spring when I read the pilot script. Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is now pushing Holloway as well and reports that the former Lost star has been "mentioned in connection to the project, but [an unnamed] insider stresses that there are no serious talks going on at this time." So it's not like an offer

The Daily Beast: "Why Modern Family Should Win an Emmy Over Glee"

While several of the categories in this year's Primetime Emmy Awards look to be fierce, one of the most hotly anticipated is the Best Comedy category, which will see fellow freshman series Modern Family and Glee compete for the top prize. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Why Modern Family Should Win an Emmy Over Glee ," in which I discuss, well, just that, taking a look at whether Glee should be competing in the category, whether it's even a comedy, and whether the FOX musical-comedy stands a chance at winning the Emmy later this month. I also speak to Modern Family co-creator Steve Levitan about the comedy series and whether he's written an acceptance speech or not. (Hint: he hasn't.) Which show are you rooting for? And what's your take on Glee 's status as a comedy? Discuss.

Channel Surfing: Syfy Renews Eureka, Lone Star Lands Chad Faust, Teri Polo to Law & Order: Los Angeles, True Blood, and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. It's official: Syfy has renewed drama Eureka for a fifth season. The news of the renewal--no surprise given the ratings and the creative resurgence of the series this summer--was announced by Mark Stern, EVP of Original Programming for Syfy and Co-Head of Content for Universal Cable Productions, which produces the series. “ Eureka remains a steadfast performer for Syfy with its superb cast and perfect blend of drama, comedy and eye candy,” said Stern in an official statement. "Given what Jaime, Bruce and their entire team have done collectively to reinvent the show this year, we can't wait to see what's in store for season 5." (via press release) Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Chad Faust ( The 4400 ) has been cast in a recurring role on FOX's upcoming drama series Lone Star , where he will play Harrison, the ex-husband of Adrianne Palicki's Cat. Ausiello, per unname