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Showing posts with the label Ashes to Ashes

Channel Surfing: Judy Greer Finds Mad Love, David Strathairn Circles Alphas, Gossip Girl, True Blood Twist, and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. Judy Greer ( Miss/Guided ) is heading to CBS. The actress--whose voice appeared this season on FX's animated comedy Archer --has signed on to star in CBS ensemble comedy Mad Love , which has been picked up for thirteen episodes and will launch in midseason. Greer replaces Lizzy Caplan, who had only signed on to appear as a guest star in the pilot, and will star opposite Sarah Chalke (who herself replaced Minka Kelly), Jason Biggs, and Tyler Labine (who replaced Dan Fogler). Project, from writer/executive producer Matt Tarses, revolves around a group of Manhattan friends looking for love. ( Variety , Deadline ) Deadline's Nellie Andreeva is reporting that David Strathairn ( Matadors ) is in talks to topline Syfy's action-adventure pilot Alphas , which revolves around a team of people with extraordinary abilities. Strathairn would play the "the overseer/team leader/prescribing doctor and all around mother hen to the tea

Channel Surfing: Dexter Lures Miller, Jordana Spiro Out at Love Bites, Greenblatt Exits Showtime, Gene Hunt, and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. Showtime's Dexter is on a casting role. Variety 's Stuart Levine is reporting that Jonny Lee Miller ( Eli Stone ) is the latest to board the serial killer drama, signing on to appear in a multiple-episode story arc on Season Five of Dexter . Miller will play "a mysterious man who ends up tangled in a storyline with Julia Stiles, who is beginning her first season on the skein." ( Variety ) Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Jordana Spiro has exited NBC's midseason romantic anthology series Love Bites . Spiro's participation in the series was always in second position to her role on TBS comedy My Boys , which returns for its fourth season next month. "Although the odds appear slim that TBS will renew the show for a fifth season (season 4 premieres July 25), it was a risk NBC apparently wasn’t willing to take," writes Ausiello. "It’s unclear if her role will be recast.

Dreams End: Heaven's High on the Series Finale of Ashes to Ashes

"A word in your shell-like, pal." With those final words, BBC One's extraordinary drama series Ashes to Ashes faded into the ether, offering a stunning series finale that was equal parts mythology and mystery, grounded in an emotional context for each of the characters that had me shamelessly weeping on the sofa by the end. For those of us who have been following the struggles of many of these characters since they first appeared on the scene in Ashes 's predecessor, Life on Mars , anticipation was running high that the end to the series would not only provide some vital answers to come of the central mysteries of these two series--such as the identity of Gene Hunt and the nature of this world--but also provide a sense of closure that befitted the legacy of Life on Mars and offered a catharsis of sorts to the viewers. It managed to accomplish just that and so much more, offering a series finale that I loved every second of and never wanted to end. Throughout its rem

Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Things Fall Apart on Ashes to Ashes

Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand. Just what is Yeats' rough beast that slouches towards Bethlehem to be born, within the context of Ashes to Ashes ? Is it the mysterious DCI Gene Hunt, whose presence within the world of Ashes and Life on Mars seems to be one of the few constants? Or is it his nemesis, Discipline and Complaints Officer Jim Keats, Gene's dark reflection and a man of enigma himself? Once again, Alex Drake finds herself caught between wanting to trust Gene and her own suspicions about what happened to Sam Tyler. Despite the fact that she wants to make a major leap of faith and believe Gene when he spins he

A Pebble on the Beach: Revisting Last Year's Review for Season Two of BBC America's Ashes to Ashes

BBC America was originally meant to air Season Two of genre-busting drama series Ashes to Ashes last May, following their run of the first season of the Life on Mars sequel series starring Keely Hawes, Philip Glenister, Dean Andrews, Marshall Lancaster, and Montserrat Lombard. Unfortunately, things didn't quite turn out that way. A year later, BBC America is finally bringing Season Two of Ashes to Ashes to American shores, with the first episode slated to air tonight at 10 pm ET/PT. (It's also the perfect jumping-on point for viewers who may not have seen the first season.) Thanks to a region-free DVD player and a friend in the UK, I've been writing up episodes of Ashes 's phenomenally mind-bending third season on a weekly basis over the last few weeks (the series is set to end its three-season run next week in the UK), but I wanted to resurrect my review of the first two episodes of Season Two of Ashes to Ashes , which I wrote last May and which I heaped much praise

Floating Among the Stars: Metal Boxes on Ashes to Ashes

"My name is Sam Tyler. I had an accident and I woke up in 1973. Am I mad, in a coma, or back in time? Whatever's happened, it's like I've landed on a different planet. Now, maybe if I can work out the reason, I can get home." Those were the words spoken by John Simm's Sam Tyler at the start of every episode of Life on Mars , summing up the series' central conceit: the investigation of what had happened to Sam Tyler. His anachronistic presence in 1973 might have been the result of madness, coma, or time-travel... or something altogether different. While Life on Mars wrapped up after two seasons, the mystery surrounding Sam Tyler--and Philip Glenister's DCI Gent Hunt--has continued to swirl tantalizingly around Mars ' sequel, Ashes to Ashes , which delivered another knock out installment as it continues to head towards its own conclusion as DI Alex Drake (Keeley Hawes) looks for a way to return to her own world while looking to solve the mystery of

Dead Man's Jacket: The Pipes Are Calling on Ashes to Ashes

I received quite a few emails and Twitter replies asking me where my weekly write-ups of BBC One's Ashes to Ashes had gone. After a one-week break, I'm happy to say that they're back and I'll be covering the last two installments of Ashes --the series' fourth and fifth episodes--in this write-up. The fourth episode continued the pattern established earlier this season, with each of Ashes to Ashes 's supporting cast getting a character-centric episode. With both Shaz and Ray getting their individual episodes (representing courage and heart, respectively), Chris Skelton finally got his installment with Episode Four, as he fell for a female undercover police officer who wasn't quite exactly what she appeared to be. While the team attempted to protect Officer Louise Gardner (Zoe Telford) from the villainous Stafford gang, the true war that was being waged was the invisible one between DCI Gene Hunt and Discipline and Complaints Officer Jim Keats as the latter c

Channel Surfing: AMC Sets Mad Men Return Date, Scott Porter Returns to FNL, Laurence Fishburne Staying Put at CSI, Lost, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. Mark your calendars, Mad Men fans: Season Four of the period drama is set to launch on Sunday, July 25th at 10 pm ET/PT while new drama Rubicon will launch with two back-to-back episodes on Sunday, August 1st at 8 pm before it moves into its regular 9 pm timeslot the following week. "Sunday nights are where you find the best of premium television so it should be no surprise that AMC -- the home of premium television on basic cable -- is stacking our original dramas there as well," said Charlie Collier, president of AMC, in a statement. "We welcome back Mad Men and look forward to introducing Rubicon all on Sunday nights this summer." Rubicon stars James Badge Dale ( The Pacific ), Dallas Roberts ( Walk the Line ), Jessica Collins ( The Nine ), Christopher Evan Welch ( Vicky Cristina Barcelona ), Lauren Hodges ( Law & Order ) with Arliss Howard ( The Sandlot ) and Miranda Richardson ( Sleepy Hollow ). (via

Stars in Their Eyes: The Darkness Closes In on Ashes to Ashes

Looks like Ray finally got his heart. In the shared stories of Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes , DI Ray Carling (Dean Andrews) has been a stalwart member of Gene Hunt's team but never the focus of any particular storyline. That decision has granted Ray the illusion of being what he appears on the surface: a misogynistic lackey who is all too willing to follow Gene's instructions and make trouble for Sam Tyler or Alex Drake. But this week's fantastic episode of BBC One's Ashes to Ashes , written by Julie Rutterford and directed by Alrick Riley, shaded in Ray's backstory, rendering a tragic air to his character that was both emotionally wrenching and wholly unexpected. Thoughout the five seasons that comprise Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes , Ray hasn't been the type of character who openly discusses his feelings or his past, yet this week's installment featured a major moment of catharsis for Ray as well as a scene that offered a surprising act of tendernes

The Girl with the Mousy Hair: The Lovely Shaz on Ashes to Ashes

"It's a god-awful small affair/To the girl with the mousy hair." David Bowie's seminal song "Life on Mars" may have provided the musical hook to 1970s set metaphysical cop drama Life on Mars but its presence had until this point been limited to that series and not crossing over into sequel spinoff Ashes to Ashes . Until now, that is. The song--along with Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl"--offered two of many memorable moments in the latest fantastic installment of Matthew Graham and Ashley Pharoah's Ashes to Ashes , a mind-bending installment that offered some additional clues to the identity of Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister) and his war with Jim Keats (Daniel Mays) as well as the circumstances surrounding the death of Life on Mars ' Sam Tyler (John Simm) and the presence of Alex (Keeley Hawes) in this strange world. While retaining its aura of dread, this week's episode of Ashes to Ashes focused not only on a case involving a serial kille