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Channel Surfing: 8.14.06

AMC to Get "Mad"

Cabler AMC has greenlit its first original one-hour drama, Mad Men, about the professional and personal lives of Madison Avenue advertising execs in the early 1960s, ordering 13 episodes from executive producer/writer Matthew Weiner (The Sopranos) and studio Lionsgate (Weeds).

According to an article in Variety, production begins in April in New York City. Series will star Jon Hamm (We Were Soldiers), January Jones (American Wedding), Elisabeth Moss (The West Wing), Vincent Kartheiser (Angel), Christina Hendricks (Kevin Hill), and John Slattery (K Street).

"Mad Men centers on thirty-something Don Draper, creative director for the Sterling Cooper ad agency, which hawks everything from cigarettes to political candidates. Pilot episode centers on Don's fight to keep a major tobacco account from leaving the agency while juggling his increasingly complicated romantic life."

Weiner wrote the script when he was on staff on the CBS sitcom Becker and the script made its way to David Chase, who hired Weiner on The Sopranos on the strength of the spec. (See, kids, there is hope out there for your spec scripts.) His other credits include Andy Richter Controls the Universe and The Naked Truth.

Mad Men is expected to premiere on AMC in June 2007.

Fox Scores "Dirt" on FX

Pro basketball player Rick Fox has landed a multi-episode arc on FX's upcoming tabloid drama series Dirt, where he'll play... a star basketball player.

However, Fox won't be playing himself on the series, which stars Courtney Cox as the editor of a tabloid mag. Instead, he'll be playing a pro ball player experiencing marital problems. Fox recently appeared on UPN's Love, Inc. and in several installments of HBO's Oz; on the feature side he appeared in Spike Lee's He Got Game and Mini's First Time.

FX ordered 13 episodes of Dirt, which is slated to go into production next month; cabler is looking at an early 2007 premiere.

"Simpsons" Not Welcome in China

Homer just can't get a break.

China has banned animated series The Simpsons from its airwaves in an effort to promote Chinese animation.

According to a report filed by the Associated Press, Chinese regulators have barred foreign cartoons from television during the 5-8 pm period, in order to bolster struggling animation houses in the Republic. Those timeslots are currently occupied by non-Chinese animated series including The Simpsons, Mickey Mouse, and Japanese sensation Pokemon.

Much of this change stems from "a recent study that found that 80 percent of Chinese children surveyed liked foreign cartoons and disliked domestic animation."

I don't know about you, but I smell an upcoming Simpsons episode dealing with all of this...

What's On Tonight

8 pm: Two and a Half Men/How I Met Your Mother (CBS); Psych (NBC); 7th Heaven (WB); Wife Swap (ABC); Hell's Kitchen (FOX; 8-10 pm); One on One/All of Us (UPN)

9 pm: Two and a Half Men/The New Adventures of Old Christine (CBS); Treasure Hunters (NBC); 7th Heaven (WB); Wife Swap (ABC); Girlfriends/Half and Half (UPN)

10 pm: CSI: Miami (CBS); Medium (NBC); Supernanny (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

8 pm: Hell's Kitchen.

It's the season finale of the FOX culinary competition show and it's actually down to Heather and Virginia, one of whom will actually win their very own restaurant at the Red Rocks Resort in Las Vegas. Which one will command their teams of axed would-be chefs to victory? It's no secret that I've been rooting for Heather since the very beginning. So, come on, girl and bring home the win.

10 pm: Life on Mars on BBC America.

It's the fourth episode of this brilliant (and British) mind-bending mystery series that stars State of Play's John Simm as Detective Sam Tyler, a modern-day copper who wakes up in 1973. On tonight's episode, Sam takes on a local gangster when he attempts to crackdown on police corruption. Well, better a gangster than that creepy little girl who lives in the telly. She gives me the willies.

10 pm: Weeds on Showtime.

The second season of Showtime's suburban pot dramedy starts tonight. On tonight's premiere episode ("Corn Snake"), Nancy discovers her new beau is a DEA agent (uh oh), Celia runs for city council against Doug, and Andy has to impress a rabbinical school admissions officer.

11 pm: Lovespring International on Lifetime.

The improvised comedy returns with a brand new episode tonight. On tonight's installment ("The Portrait and the Painter"), receptionist Tiffany (Jennifer Elise Cox) creates absolutely chaos at the Lovespring offices when she falls under the suspicion that her ex-boyfriend is having an affair with Victoria (Jane Lynch). And after seeing The 40-Year-Old Virgin, could you blame him?


Anonymous said…
Rick Fox - yikes. I hope he doesn't have to talk a lot. The man can play basketball. The man cannot act. But he is nice to look at.
Anonymous said…
Exqueeze me???

AMC's first original series?

No remembering of REMEMBER WENN?
Or or THE LOT?

Oh, that was when AMC showed good movies, without commercials. Never mind....
Jace Lacob said…
"Remember WENN" and "The Lot" were half-hours. No one said that "Mad Men" was AMC's first original series. It is the cabler's first "original one hour drama."
Mark McCormick said…
I think Mad Men is the best thing on TV right now. The details are spot-on, the production values high, the psychological landscape believable. I love it.

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