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Showing posts with the label Modern Family

The Daily Beast: "TV's Winners and Losers"

Where did the broadcasters go wrong this season, and what did they do right? Good question. Head over to The Daily Beast, where you can read my latest piece, "TV's Winners and Losers," as I break down the network's performance in the 2009-10 season and (via a nifty gallery) take a look at the season's winners--including Modern Family, Chuck, Vampire Diaries, Fringe, Bones, Parenthood, NCIS (and NCIS: Los Angeles), The Good Wife , and others--and the losers (such as FlashForward, Heroes, Melrose Place and medical dramas in general, as well as the draws. Where did your favorite series end up on the list? And what's your take on the 2009-10 season? Head to the comments section to discuss.

Quest for Perfection: Family Portrait on the Season Finale of Modern Family

There are very few series that I fall in love with at first sight but Steve Levitan and Christopher Lloyd's superb comedy Modern Family was one of them, delivering an astute and nuanced portrait of a thoroughly modern family in America. Throughout the twenty-odd episodes that followed, I quickly fell in love with the extended Dunphy-Pritchett clan, looking forward to each Wednesday evening, when I would get a chance to curl up on the couch and spend a half an hour with my favorite television family. The first season of ABC's deliciously hilarious comedy Modern Family comes to a close tonight with a fantastic episode ("Family Portrait"), written by Ilana Wernick and directed by Jason Winer, that displays the often complex bonds of family and how one's expectations of perfection don't always match up with reality. The main storyline revolves around Claire (Julie Bowen) as she attempts to create the perfect setting for a family portrait of the entire Dunphy-P

Channel Surfing: Team Darlton Talk Lost's "Across the Sea," NBC Likely to Axe Heroes, 24, Fringe Preview, and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. Hitfix's Alan Sepinwall has a fantastic (and lengthy) interview with Lost showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse about this week's divisive "Across the Sea" episode and the end of the series. "We told the story the way we wanted to. Like David Chase, we tried to make the show to entertain the audience. That was our primary goal," said Cuse about making the sixth and final season of Lost . "We kind of planned this episode to come at this period of time because we actually wanted to take a break after the deaths of these major characters. It felt like this was the perfect time to take a time out from the main narrative. And since this was the final big mythological episode that we were going to do, we felt like it was a good placement for it, and now we'll roll into the finale. We make no apologies. We planned this to be the way it is. Again, it is funny, because there are a lot of people wh

Channel Surfing: No Mr. Eko for Lost Finale, Lost Live in LA, Unhappy Ending for 24, Shawn Ryan Leaves Lie to Me, and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. Don't expect Mr. Eko to turn up among the passengers of Oceanic Flight 815 this season on Lost . Entertainment Weekly 's Lynette Rice is reporting that Adewale Akinnoye-Agbaje will not be returning to ABC's drama series Lost before it wraps up its epic run on May 23rd. "Though the producers wanted to find a reason to bring back the former tailie, EW has learned that a deal could not be reached in time," writes Rice. Akinnoye-Agbaje, who played Nigerian warlord-turned-pious-fake-priest Mr. Eko, had previously made it clear that he would be more than happy to return to Lost , which he departed during the series' third season. "I’m here for [the producers]," Akinnuoye-Agbaje said in an August 2009 interview. "Adewale is open for business. We have had talks about some things they might do for the final season and there are other dead folks coming back allegedly but at the moment it is still a ma

Family Affair: Master Chefs and Modern Family on Top Chef Masters

If you've ever been on a working television or film set, you know the mad rush that the lunch call is as the cast and crew head towards a makeshift dining room--usually set amid film equipment and discarded set pieces--to grab a brief respite before heading back into the madness. Caterers specialize in delivering fast, fresh, and tasty grub that's all ready to go when the crew is meant to go on break and it's a brutal business. So that rhythm and pacing would be the perfect challenge for the five new master chefs entering the Top Chef kitchen this week: Rick Tramonto, Maria Hines, Debbie Gold, Joey Adams, and Susur Lee, the latter of whom was named one of Food & Wine 's Ten Chefs of the Millennium. (No small matter, that.) On this week's episode of Top Chef Masters ("Cast and Crew Meal"), the master chefs were tasked with creating a perfectly styled fruit plate and preparing a cast and crew meal for the actors and staffers on ABC's comedy s

Channel Surfing: Michelle Forbes Gets Killing, Annie Wersching Talks 24 Consequences, Glee, Lost, Modern Family, and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. From maenad to murder victim's parent: Former True Blood series regular Michelle Forbes has joined the cast of AMC drama pilot The Killing , along with Brent Sexton ( In the Valley of Elah ), Eric Ladin ( Generation Kill ), and Jamie Anne Allman ( The Notebook ). They join the previously announced Billy Campbell in the drama pilot, from Veena Sud and Mikkel Bondesen, which revolves around the police investigation into the murder of a young girl. Forbes and Sexton will play Mitch and Stanley, the girl's parents. ( Hollywood Reporter 's The Live Feed ) If you haven't seen Monday's episode of 24 , stop reading.'s Natalie Abrams has an interview with 24 's Annie Wersching, who discusses the aftermath of this week's surprising twist and what's next for her. "In not knowing each other for that long, they are very similar and understood each other in a lot of ways," said Werschin

Channel Surfing: Michael Trucco to "Castle," More "Doctor Who" on Tap, Nestor Carbonell Talks "Lost," Skeet Ulrich Returns to CBS, "24," and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Battlestar Galactica 's Michael Trucco--next seen on ABC's V this spring--hs signed on for a multiple-episode story arc on ABC's Castle. Trucco will play a new love interest for Stana Katic's Beckett in the final four episodes of this season and is described as a "charismatic cop in the homicide division." Ausiello also indicates that, if the character clicks with the audience, he could return next season. ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) BBC has ordered a sixth season of sci-fi series Doctor Who , which will once again feature Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor. The broadcaster confirmed that Smith will return for Season Six of Doctor Who and that a Christmas special, written by new head writer/executive producer Steven Moffat, is on tap for this winter. ( Broadcast )'s Natalie Abrams talks with Lost 's Nes

Facing Fears: An Advance Review of Tonight's "Modern Family"

What are you terrified of? is it spiders? Heights? Rollercoasters? What is the one thing that gets your heart beating? It's the question at the very center of tonight's sensational episode of Modern Family ("Fears"), written by Steven Levitan and directed by Reginald Hudlin, which revolves around the very diverse fears of the extended Pritchett clan as they each grapple with something holding them back. I had the opportunity to watch "Fears" last weekend in at the packed Saban Theatre before Modern Family 's panel at the 2010 William S. Paley Television Festival and have to say that it might just be the series' best installment to date, overflowing with humor, heart, and an exploration of the very universal fears we all have. Narratively, "Fears" might just be the most ambitious episode of Modern Family we've seen so far, offering several plot strands that include Phil and Luke exploring the crawl space underneath the house, Manny

Channel Surfing: Dustin Hoffman Gambles on "Luck" for HBO, Julie Benz Suits Up for Superhero Pilot, "Modern Family" Vacation, "FlashForward," and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. Dustin Hoffman ( Last Chance Harvey ) will star in HBO's David Milch and Michael Mann-executive produced drama pilot Luck , which is set in the world of horseracing. Hoffman, will play the lead, Chester "Ace" Bernstein, described as "a man in his late 60s just released from four years in prison who's autodidactic, intelligent, and deeply involved in gambling." Hoffman is the latest cast addition to the high-profile drama pilot, following the attachments of Dennis Farina and John Ortiz last week. Project, being eyed for a potential January launch on the pay cabler, is written by David Milch and will be directed by Michael Mann, both of whom executive produce alongside Carolyn Strauss. ( Variety ) Dexter 's Julie Benz has signed on to star opposite Michael Chiklis in ABC superhero drama pilot No Ordinary Family , about a family that find themselves developing new abilities. In the project, written by G

Paley Festival: "Modern Family" Cast and Crew Faces Fears, Offers Laughs

I've been raving about Modern Family since I first saw the pilot episode last May, but there's something to be said about watching a truly great comedy with a crowd. Especially when that crowd is 1,600 in number. Friday night's Modern Family panel, part of the 2010 Paley Festival and the annual television festival's opening event, offered one hell of an evening, due to the genial charms of the ABC comedy series' cast, co-creator Steve Levitan, and director Jason Winer. Throw in the advance screening of an upcoming episode, this Wednesday's "Fears," (perhaps one of the most hysterical and amazing installments of the series to date) and even Clive Bixby would be proud of this evening. Joining moderator Billy Bush on stage were cast members Eric Stonestreet, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ed O'Neill, Sofia Vergara, Ty Burrell, and Julie Bowen, as well as director Jason Winer and co-creator Steve Levitan. (Sadly, no Christopher Lloyd--who pled a fear of c

Channel Surfing: Justin Kirk Gets "Modern Family," "Top Chef Masters," Leslie Hope Returns to "The Mentalist," and More

Welcome to your Wednesday television briefing. TV Guide Magazine 's Will Keck is reporting that Weeds ' Justin Kirk has landed a guest starring role on ABC's Modern Family but says that there is potential that he could recur later this season or next. Kirk will play Lee Keizler, the "gung-ho and athletic boss" of Jesse Tyler Ferguson's Mitchell, who quits his stressful law job to become legal counsel for clothing line owned by Kirk's Lee. ( TV Guide Magazine ) Bravo has unveiled the 22 master chefs who will be competing for the top prize on Season Two of Top Chef Masters , which is set to premiere on Wednesday, April 7th. Those chefs include: Jody Adams, Govind Armstrong, Graham Elliot Bowles, Jimmy Bradley, David Burkey, Wylie Dufresne, Susan Feniger, Debbie Gold, Carmen Gonzalez, Maria Hines, Susur Lee, Ludo Lefebvre, Tony Mantuano, Rick Moonen, Mark Peel, Monica Pope, Thierry Rautureau, Marcus Samuelsson, Ana Sortun, Rick Tramonto, Jerry Traunfeld,

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