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Pub Grub: The Master Chefs Have to Remake Homey Classics on Top Chef Masters

Ah, pub food. For all of its humble origins, British pub food is exactly what I crave on a long, cold night, conjuring up an image of a roaring fireplace and a nice pint of lager. It's earthy, homey, stick-to-your ribs sort of food and it's just as often terrible when it's made without care or love. But in the right hands and in the right kitchen, it's just the thing to banish the mid-winter blues. On this week's episode of Top Chef Masters ("Pub Food"), six master chefs from Season One--Jonathan Waxman, Ludo Lefebvre, Mark Peel, Rick Moonen, Wylie Dufresne, and Graham Elliot Bowles--returned with a second shot at glory as they reunited in the Top Chef kitchen to compete for charity, a spot in the next round of competition, and a chance to redeem themselves. But in order to do so they'd not only have to craft a dish best paired with a specific Stoli-based cocktail (and serve it to--of all people--cast members from Bravo's Real Housewives of Or

The Daily Beast: "Is the Party Over?"

Is Party Down over before it's even had a chance to grab a larger audience and cross over into the mainstream? That's the question I ask in my latest feature for The Daily Beast, entitled "Is the Party Over?" I speak with co-creator John Enbom, star Adam Scott (who will soon be seen in his new gig on NBC's Parks and Recreation ), and former Starz development executive Bill Hamm, who was let go from his position just days after speaking with me. With the cast being snapped up by other networks and no Season Three renewal in sight, one can't help but wonder if Starz has squandered Party Down 's significant potential. But the fact remains: if you want more Party Down , subscribe to Starz, buy the DVD, and get as many people to watch Season Two--beginning tomorrow--as possible. Party Down returns for its second season tomorrow night at 10 pm ET/PT on Starz.

Channel Surfing: No Torchwood for FOX, Mireille Enos Gets Killing for AMC, Gervais and Merchant Find Life's Too Short, and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. Hollywood Reporter 's James Hibberd is reporting that FOX and BBC Worldwide Productions have mutually agreed not to proceed on the US version of Torchwood that was in development at the network. However, it still appears that the project is alive and will be shopped to other networks. "BBC Worldwide Productions and the FOX Broadcasting Company have mutually agreed not to progress together with a 13-episode serialized Torchwood format," said BBC Worldwide in a statement. "We are currently in discussion with several interested networks." Furthermore, BBC Worldwide's Jane Tranter said that they are forging ahead with the development of the project: "It's very much ongoing and very much alive," she told Hibberd, but reiterated that the company is not planning an American version of Doctor Who . [Editor: Whew, though I can't imagine Torchwood without John Barrowman, either.] ( Hollywood R

It's a New Dawn, A New Day: An Advance Review of Next Week's Chuck

Time to crank up the Nina Simone: Chuck returns on Monday and it's all about feeling good. When we last saw Chuck Bartowski and Sarah Walker, they had finally gotten the chance to achieve the happiness they've been denied for so long, winding up in bed together and focusing on themselves and their burgeoning relationship rather than getting sucked back into the spy life by another mission from General Beckman. That ending was meant to serve originally as the finale for Chuck 's third season but, fortunately for us, that's not quite how things turned out as Chuck got another six episodes and we got six more weeks to spend with our favorite spies. Monday night brings a brand-new Chuck episode ("Chuck Versus the Honeymooners"), written by Lauren LeFranc and Rafe Judkins (with a story by Ali Adler) and directed by Robert Duncan McNeill, which I had the chance to watch ahead of time and which I'll say is a thing of beauty. So, what did I think of Monda

We're Done Going Back: Shifting Sides on Lost

Do our actions or our intentions define us? Once someone has given themselves over completely to the dark side, is it possible for them to cross back over? Do we each have the potential, inside ourselves, for redemption? This are some of the questions raised by this week's episode of Lost ("The Last Recruit"), written by Paul Zbyszewski and Graham Roland and directed by Stephen Semel, which showed yet another restructuring of the tenuous alliances maintained by the castaways as the battle for the island--and possibly the world at large--begins once more. Since the beginning of its run, Lost has always circled around the notion of belonging as various factions within the group sprung up over time, typically around the division between Jack and Locke, the ultimate man of science/man of faith dichotomy. In recent weeks, Jack has displayed a major departure from his scientific leanings, approaching the island and his purpose with the sort of singular grace and faith that

Drops of Blood: HBO Launches True Blood Mini-Episodes in May

True Blood might not return until June but HBO is making sure that the hungry have more than a few drops of blood in the meantime. The pay cabler yesterday announced that it will launch six True Blood mini-episodes beginning May 2nd. Furthermore, these short-run installments are not based on footage from last year's Season Two but are in fact brand-new and written by series creator/executive producer Alan Ball himself. A trailer for the mini-episodes can be found below and, honestly, I can say that it's more than stirred my appetite. If that's not enough, you can also sink your teeth intothe five teasers that HBO has so far released for the third season of True Blood , coming June 13th. True Blood Teaser #1 True Blood Teaser #2 True Blood Teaser #3 True Blood Teaser #4 True Blood Teaser #5 Season Three of True Blood launches Sunday, June 13th at 9 pm ET/PT on HBO.

Los Angeles Times: "V: Electric Blue, or the Politics of Tragedy"

Looking to discuss last night's episode of ABC's V ? Head over to the Los Angeles Times/Show Tracker site, where you can read my take on last night's episode ("We Can't Win"), entitled " V : Electric Blue, or the Politics of Tragedy." I'm curious to know what you thought of the episode. Head to the comments section to discuss. Next week on V ("Heretic’s Fork"), Erica, Father Jack and Hobbes realize that the Vistors know the names and addresses of The Fifth Column members and must take drastic measures to protect them; Ryan finally reveals to Val that he is a Visitor; Chad, with the camera rolling for "Prime Focus," begins the process aboard the Mothership's Medical Bay to have his aneurysm removed.