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The Daily Beast: "TV Preview: Snap Judgments of 2012-13’s New Shows"

Will the 2012-13 television season be a success or a snooze? Over at The Daily Beast, Maria Elena Fernandez and I offer our first impressions of 30-plus network pilots—from The Following and Nashville to The Neighbors and Zero Hour (and everything in between)—coming to TV next season. Head over to The Daily Beast to read my latest feature, "TV Preview: Snap Judgments of 2012-13’s New Shows," in which we offer our dueling he said/she said perspectives on all of the available broadcast network pilots. While some of you may have jetted off on summer vacations in the last few weeks, we’ve spent the first part of the summer wading through pilots for more than 30 new scripted shows that likely will be on the air next TV season. (Sometimes networks change their minds, and, if we’re honest, there are a few shows we’d love to see disappear altogether.) It was a Herculean feat to make it through the pile of screeners this year—it was not overall the best pilot season—to offe

The Daily Beast: "Revenge: The 10 Most Memorable Twists in the Wicked First Season"

In its first season, ABC’s Revenge offered numerous twists and turns. With the first season ending tonight, I look at the show’s most memorable moments so far. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Revenge : The 10 Most Memorable Twists in the Wicked First Season," in which I offer up the most surprising, exciting, or upsetting moments in the wicked drama to date. The first season of ABC’s Revenge wraps up tonight, likely leading to a major cliffhanger that will propel the Mike Kelley-created drama into its second year of betrayals, bait-and-switches, and vengeance plots, as Emily Thorne (Emily Van Camp) continues her campaign of destruction against the mercenary and venal Grayson clan. Revenge itself can be looked at in several ways: a revenge fantasy for the 99 percent against the wealthy ruling class embodied by the morally corrupt Graysons, an ensemble drama set in the heightened reality of green-screen backdrops where the high cost of privile

The Daily Beast: "Bring on the New Shows!" (Upfronts 2012)

Over at The Daily Beast, we're keeping you up-to-date with all of the news, renewals, cancellations, and series orders coming out of this week's broadcast network upfronts. You can read our Network Scorecard , which keeps track of all of the renewals and cancelations as well as reactions to the scheduling changes and check out video promos for all of the networks' new shows. And you can read detailed descriptions--as well as insider information--about all of the new series heading to your television in the fall and spring. Jace Lacob and Maria Elena Fernandez take a look at what’s coming up and what’s coming back on TV this fall as television's network upfronts week comes to a close. The CW moved Supernatural to Wednesdays, ordered five new shows, renewed Hart of Dixie, and canceled Secret Circle and Ringer. CBS moved Two and a Half Men to Thursdays and The Mentalist to Sundays, while The Good Wife is staying put. ABC renewed Revenge (moving it to Sundays at 9 p.m.

The Daily Beast: "Dark Shadows for Dummies"

Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows doesn’t require a deep knowledge of the '60s gothic-horror TV show, but it helps—and my glossary and character gallery explain all! Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Dark Shadows for Dummies," in which I offer a fairly comprehensive glossary of characters, terms, and places from 45+ years of Dark Shadows continuity, several series, films, and a plethora of other materials. What is Parallel Time? Who is Angelique Bouchard? What is Widow's Hill? It's all in here. In the more than 45 years since Dark Shadows first premiered as an afternoon soap opera on ABC in June 1966, the series created by Dan Curtis has spawned numerous feature films, novels, television series, comic books, and even hit singles. Evolving from a standard soap opera into a supernatural horror-fest—overflowing with vampires, witches, ghosts, and H.P. Lovecraftian ancient beings (remember the Leviathans?)— Dark Shadows was a forerunner for m

The Daily Beast: "The 13 Best Drama Pilot Scripts of 2012"

With the broadcast networks about to unveil their new lineups, I pick my favorite drama pilot scripts—from psychological thriller Mastermind to period drama Ralph Lamb . Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "The 13 Best Drama Pilot Scripts of 2012," in which I offer my takes on the best and brightest offerings at CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox, and the CW when it comes to their drama pilot scripts. At the network upfronts the week of May 14—when broadcasters unveil their fall schedules along with new programming and glad-hand with advertisers amid a series of presentations and parties—broadcasters will reveal the shows that might end up on your TiVo’s Season Pass in the fall. This year, nearly 90 pilots are battling for slots on the schedules of CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox, and the CW, all of which are desperate to replace aging hits and find those few breakout shows. This year’s crop is especially heavy on the supernatural, imported formats (especially from Israel),

The Daily Beast: "Fall TV Report Card: The Winners and Losers"

With the 2011-12 television season in full swing and the cancellation orders stacking up, Jace Lacob rounds up the season’s winners ( Revenge ! Homeland !), losers ( Man Up! Whitney! ), and draws. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest story, "Fall TV Report Card: The Winners and Losers," in which I offer up not a critic's list, or a Best of 2011 TV list, but a business story selecting the winners and losers (as well as draws) for the first half of the 2011-12 television season. (Those selections are in the gallery.) With the 2011-12 television season well underway, it’s become increasingly clear that this isn’t the best fall the broadcasters have ever had. Back in May, when the networks touted their new offerings to advertisers, it appeared they were trying to take some risks with their programming. But the opposite is true: most of those shows featured what the networks hoped were built-in audiences for retro brand settings ( Pan Am ! The Playboy Club !)

The Daily Beast: "The Fall TV Season Begins!"

Time to head back to the couch, America. The fall TV season is here and all of your favorite shows—from The Walking Dead and The Good Wife to Dexter and Boardwalk Empire —and a slew of new ones are soon heading to a TV set near you. Will you find Ringer to be the second coming of Sarah Michelle Gellar… or is it the second coming of Silk Stalkings ? Time will tell, but at least your TV favorites are back with brand new seasons, and lots of plot twists. To refresh your memory after the long summer, over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, entitled "The Fall TV Season Begins!," in which Maria Elena Fernandez and I round up a guide to the good and bad times of last season--or in this case, 23 cliffhangers--and offer a peek into what’s coming next this fall.

The Daily Beast: "Desperate Times for TV Networks"

The fall of 2004 kicked off a television season that brought us some of the biggest hits of the last decade, launching Lost, Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy , and House . Seven years later, those supernovas are either burning out or dead altogether, victims of audience fatigue or oversight, as their once-huge numbers dwindled year after year. ABC announced on Sunday that Desperate Housewives will end its run in May—-the demise of the once powerful drama signals a death knell for serialized storytelling at the broadcast networks. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Desperate Times for TV Networks," in which I examine the death of massively popular scripted TV, with the announcement that long-running drama Desperate Housewives is to end. Have the days of 2004-05 season--and those massive ratings--gone for good? Does Terra Nova have a chance in hell? Head to the comments section to discuss and debate.

The Daily Beast: "TV Preview: Snap Judgments of 2011-2012's New Shows"

Will the 2011-12 television season be a winner or another dud? Over at The Daily Beast, my fellow Daily Beast staffer Maria Elena Fernandez and I offer our first impressions of more than 30 network pilots--from Awake and Ringer to Alcatraz and Work It --coming to TV next season. You can check out our he said/she said-style thoughts in my latest feature, entitled "TV Preview: Snap Judgments of 2011-2012's New Shows." Which fall or midseason show are you most excited about? And which are you most dreading? Head to the comments section to discuss, and see whether you agree with our first impression take on more than 30 broadcast network pilots. Did your potential favorite make the must-see list?

The Daily Beast: "2010-11 TV's Winners and Losers"

The dust has settled on the TV season— American Idol and The Good Wife are in, The Event and $#*! My Dad Says are out. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, entitled "2010-11 TV's Winners and Losers," in which I rate the hits and the flops of the 2010-11 season and take a look at the broadcasters' position going into and coming out of the 2010-11 television season. Brief caveat: please do remember (because I inevitably will receive something to this effect in the comments section), this isn't a critical evaluation. While certainly some shows I love (cough, The Good Wife , cough) did end up in the winners' column , this is more a look at how individual shows and networks fared in terms of series launches, ratings retention, and (to a smaller extent) critically.

The Daily Beast: "The Death of Will-They-or-Won't-They"

In recent years, it’s been a given that romantic pairs on television had to be subjected to the will-they or-won't-they dilemma—where couples as clearly in love as Ross-and-Rachel, Sam-and-Diane, or Jim-and-Pam were prevented from jumping into bed together for years, as the writers forced them through increasingly tight narrative hoops. These days, though, it seems like more and more TV couples just will. As writer-producers have sought to surprise the audience, they’re puncturing romantic tropes in the process. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "The Death of Will-They-or-Won't-They," for which I talk to Community ’s Dan Harmon, Parks and Recreation ’s Mike Schur and Greg Daniels, and Bones ’ Hart Hanson about how TV is throwing off that age-old will-they-or-won’t-they paradigm in the post-Jim-and-Pam era.

The Daily Beast: "Upfronts 2011 Full Report"

Television's upfronts week came to a close Thursday with the CW, which will bring Sarah Michelle Gellar back to TV with the thriller Ringer . On Wednesday, CBS presented J.J. Abrams' Person of Interest and five others, showed off new Two and a Half Men star Ashton Kutcher, and moved The Good Wife to Sundays. ABC, meanwhile, unveiled its schedule Tuesday; Fox and NBC did their dance for advertisers on Monday. Watch trailers of the networks' new shows, including ABC's Charlie's Angels reboot, Fox's supernatural drama Alcatraz , and troubled NBC's The Playboy Club . Over at The Daily Beast, we're keeping track of every renewal and cancellation (and which shows are still in limbo) and well as keeping an eye on the bigger picture issues facing the broadcasters this May. Plus, we've got the lowdown--in-depth breakdowns as well as information you can't find anywhere else--on the 44 (and counting) new series heading to the networks next season.

The Daily Beast: "The 8 Best Pilot Scripts of 2011"

The network upfronts—when the broadcasters unveil their fall schedules, tout their new programming, and bring out stars to shake hands with advertisers—are the week of May 16, but it’s never too soon to take a look at which shows you might become addicted to next season. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, entitled "The 8 Best Pilot Scripts of 2011," in which I pick my favorite scripts--from the period dramas Playboy and Pan Am to the Sarah Michelle Gellar-starring noir thriller Ringer and Kyle Killen's mind-bending drama REM . What shows are you rooting for? Which will make the cut as the networks unveil their fall schedules in the coming weeks? Head to the comments section to discuss...

There's Always Music in the Air: This Weekend's Twin Peaks Event

Just a few words about what was an amazing and surreal experience this weekend. There is a place in downtown Los Angeles that's a bit of a local institution: Clifton's, a nearly 100-year old cafeteria where nearly the entire three-story interior is decorated like a forest. Trees sprout up from inside the main dining hall, the walls are painted to resemble a forest, and there are nooks and crannies designed to look like mountains. In other words, it's the perfect place for a Twin Peaks gathering. Saturday saw the launch of the Twin Peaks at 20 exhibition and reception, which featured artwork (paintings, photography, sculpture, metalwork, and much more) based on Twin Peaks and its characters as part of the 20-year celebration of the show's launch . Photography by Richard Beymer (Ben Horne!) sat alongside haunting boxes made by Grace Zabriskie (Sarah Palmer!) and works by co-creator David Lynch. Cherry pie and doughnuts were served, along some of Lynch's damn f

Soul-Searching: Alien Invasion Drama V Returns for Its Second Season

When we last saw the scaly-skinned aliens and human resistance fighters on ABC's invasion drama V , the Visitors' high commander Anna (Morena Baccarin) had unleashed a swath of red across the planet, offering a cliffhanger ending that placed every character in jeopardy. Just what was this so-called Red Sky? What did it symbolize? And had Anna's master plan for the human race finally come to fruition? When we pick up with V , which returns tonight after a lengthy hiatus with the apocalytpic "Red Rain," we're given some of the answers to those questions and a hell of a lot more over the next three episodes, which were provided to press for review. In fact, answers seem to be the name of the game, as showrunner Scott Rosenbaum has made it his mission to remove the cloak of mystery from around several long-gestating plots. Before these three episodes are over, viewers will learn just what the red sky phenomenon was all about, will get a glimpse at a Visitor san

Year in TV: The 10 Best (and 5 Worst) TV Shows of 2010

It's that time of year when we bid farewell to the last twelve months and start looking toward the future, but it's also a chance to reflect, to catalogue, and to reminisce as well. My selections for the Ten Best (and, cough, five worst) TV shows of 2010 have now gone live over at The Daily Beast . The series selected represent the very best that television had to offer the past twelve months and include such shows as Mad Men, Community, Terriers, Parks and Recreation, The Good Wife, Fringe, Justified, Boardwalk Empire, Friday Night Lights , and Modern Family. It wasn't easy to whittle down the competition to just ten shows as, despite the overall drain in creativity this calendar year, there were quite a lot of fantastic series. (In fact, one of the very best of the year didn't even air on American television at all: Season Three of BBC One's Ashes to Ashes --including its breathtaking and gut-wrenching series finale --would have made this list if it had been o

The Daily Beast: "Twin Peaks' Strange Reunion"

"She's dead. Wrapped in plastic." Twenty years ago today (yes, precisely to the day), Laura Palmer's killer was unmasked for Agent Dale Cooper and Sheriff Truman on ABC's seminal series Twin Peaks . Tonight, many of the original cast members of the haunting and harrowing series will reunite on-screen for the first time in two decades on USA's Psych , which airs its Twin Peaks homage episode, "Dual Spires," tonight at 10 pm ET/PT. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, entitled " Twin Peaks ' Strange Reunion," in which I explore the enduring legacy of Twin Peaks and speak with the series' co-creator Mark Frost and Laura Palmer herself, Sheryl Lee, about the groundbreaking drama series and where things went wrong, and speak with Psych 's star James Roday (who penned tonight's "Dual Spires" episode) about his Twin Peaks obsession (one that rivals my own). All this plus, a damn fine gallery fe

The Daily Beast: "Twitter's TV War"

Twitter should be a tool for audiences to interact with the talent behind their favorite shows—instead, anonymous users heap abuse onto writer-producers for ruining "their" shows. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Twitter's TV War," in which I speak to Community 's Dan Harmon, Bones ' Hart Hanson, and Grey Anatomy 's Shonda Rhimes about the complicated relationship between access, privacy, and angry fans on the social networking platform. I'm curious to know what your take is and whether you side with showrunners or fans. What happens when the dialogue turns ugly? Head to the comments section to discuss.

The Daily Beast: "Is J.J. Abrams Too Big for TV?"

Sci-fi auteur Abrams' latest TV show, Undercovers , has gotten the axe at NBC. Over at The Daily Beast, I take look at what went wrong and why TV needs a fully-committed, not watered down, Abrams in my latest feature, "Is J.J. Abrams Too Big for TV?" Do you agree with my assessment? Did you try to watch Undercovers ? Do you miss the days of Lost, Alias , and Felicity ? Should Abrams be more committed to these television endeavors even as his feature film career skyrockets? Or is it a case of over-committing, audience expectations, or creative partnerships? Head to the comments section to discuss.

The Daily Beast: "Grey's Anatomy's 7th Year Surge" (Interview with Shonda Rhimes)

Over at The Daily Beast, Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice creator Shonda Rhimes opens up about polarizing storylines, repetitive questions from fans on Twitter, and Grey’s creative renaissance in its seventh season. You can read my latest feature, entitled " Grey's Anatomy 's 7th Year Surge," in which I talk to Rhimes about Grey’s Anatomy , Private Practice , and Off the Map (launching January 12th), polarizing storylines, incessant fan questions, Twitter, potential endings, and more. Have you found yourself sucked in once more to Grey's ? Have you noticed a sudden creative resurgence or is it just as good as it always has been? Can there be a Grey's Anatomy without Ellen Pompeo? Head to the comments section to discuss. Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 pm ET/PT on ABC.