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From Across the Pond: "Hyperdrive" Hilariously Blasts into Outer Space

There are some people who can't get enough of Star Trek in all its many incarnations. I am not one of those people. Sure, I am madly obsessed with Battlestar Galactica (which, BTW, returns to Sci Fi with brand new episodes on Sunday), but the notion of the space opera leaves a lot to be desired for me. Which means that I came to the BBC comedy Hyperdrive , with no preconceived notions, other than having watched far too many episodes of Red Dwarf in my day. Before going any further, I must say that despite the deep space setting of Hyperdrive (which begins tonight on BBC America), you must put the setting out of your mind completely. Because Hyperdrive is as much like Star Trek or even Red Dwarf as it is The Office . What's that, you say? How could a space-set comedy series possibly be like The Office ? I'm glad you asked. Hyperdrive is at its heart a hilarious workplace comedy that just so happens to be set in the wildly bureaucratic future of 2151 aboard the HMS

Shave and a Haircut: Cliff Sent Packing on "Top Chef"

Call it a hunch, but I had a feeling that was going to happen. Reality series are extremely strict about the "no touching" rule and as soon as I saw the (protracted) footage of Cliff manhandling Marcel, I knew it was over for Cliff. If there's one thing reality producers don't like, it's lawsuits and Cliff clearly violated the terms of his contract with Top Chef . It's sad that he made it this far and threw it all away over an inanely juvenile prank to shave Marcel's head. Despite how I might feel about Marcel (and clearly the others, with the exception of Elia, feel the same way), I can't imagine being put into his position. At least Cliff had the sense to apologize in the end for the attack and the severity of the (ouch) rug-burn. I think it would have been all the more upsetting and foolhardy had I felt as if Cliff had a shot at making it to the finale in Hawaii. But after seeing his performance last night during the Elimination Challenge, I alrea

Take a Memo, Pam: NBC Gives "The Office" An Early Season Renewal

Today brings more fantastic news for fans of NBC's comedy The Office . (Well, even better than the fact that Joss Whedon and J.J. Abrams are directing upcoming installments, that is.) NBC announced at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour that it has granted The Office a (very) early full season pickup for the 2007-2008 season, along with fellow NBC series My Name is Earl , Heroes , and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. The news hardly comes as a surprise in light of the phenomenal growth that The Office has (and continues to make) in the ratings and is at least a little bit of good news after the show's recent snub at the Golden Globes on Monday. Plus, network sources tell me that the episode count for Season Four of The Office will be higher than the traditional 22. Consider that reason to rejoice, Scrantonites.

Watch "Nobody's Watching" on NBC... in March!

Nobody's Watching is coming to NBC... sort of. I just got another email from Derrick Keith, half of the dynamic duo of Derrick and Will, better known as those wacky Emmy-crashing Nobody's Watching guys: "Guess what? NBC picked up a half hour LIVE special of Nobody's Watching to air in March, and if it does decently we go straight to series. Anyway, we'll be at the NBC TCA party tonight, so we'll try to find ya!" While it's not quite the news I was hoping for (i.e., an official pickup from Kevin Reilly, Jeff Zucker, and the network gods at NBC), I'm thrilled to learn that Nobody's Watching is FINALLY going to make it on the air in some form. Meanwhile, I'll be getting every one of you readers out there to tune in to ensure that Nobody's Watching will get a series pickup on NBC. Nobody's Watching . NBC. March. You heard it here first. Stay tuned for more details.

Casting Couch: Tim Gunn to Make it Work on "Ugly Betty"

Project Runway host/mentor Tim Gunn might not be confirmed for the next season of the sartorial challenge series, but he is due to pop up in an unlikely place: Mode magazine. ABC has announced that Gunn will guest star on Golden Globe-winning comedy Ugly Betty during February sweeps in not one, but two (yes, two!) episodes. Gunn will play a Fashion TV correspondent covering a grand scandale that breaks during the Mode Fashion Week runway show, beginning February 1st. The February 1st installment of Ugly Betty that introduces Gunn's character will also guest star American Idol 's Katharine McPhee, playing herself. Or better still, herself as a celebrity guest at said Mode runway show. Also said to return in that February 1st episode: Christopher Gorham, who plays Henry, the object of Betty's affections. Will Betty be forced to choose between Henry and Walter? It is February sweeps, after all, but if Gunn can teach Betty one thing, it's to come to a decision and, w

CBS Unveils "Amazing Race: All Stars" Teams

Colin and Christie won't be getting a second chance to run the Race , after all. CBS has revealed the identities of all 11 teams on The Amazing Race: All Star Edition , scheduled to launch on February 18th at 8 pm ET/PT. As expected, the list of players on this installment of The Amazing Race includes reality fame hounds Rob and Amber (their fourth time on a CBS reality series), favorites Charla and Mirna (Season 4) and Drew and Kevin (Season 1) and last season's Team Kentucky (David and Mary, how we've missed ye!) and the Beauty Queens (Dustin and Kandice). Here's the full list of players, arranged by Season, for your amusement: Season 1: Team Guido (Joe and Bill); Drew and Kevin Season 2: Team Cha Cha Cha (Oswald and Danny); John and Jill Season 3: Teri and Ian Season 4: Charla and Mirna Season 7: Uchenna and Joyce; Rob and Amber Season 9: Eric and Danielle (and, no, they didn't run the Race together, rather it's Eric from the Frat Boys and Danielle fro

"Top Chef" Contestants No Fans of Padma Lakshmi

Looks like we're not the only ones who aren't fans of Padma Lakshmi. New York Magazine recently spoke to some of the remaining contestants on Bravo's cutthroat culinary series Top Chef about their opinions of the denim vest-clad Padma, a.k.a. Mrs. Salman Rushdie, who acts as the show's main host/product placement shill: Asked if he trusted Lakshmi’s culinary taste, Ilan Hall, a line cook at Casa Mono, asked a Bravo flack, “Um, are we allowed to say disparaging things about Padma?” No. “She’s beautiful,” Hall offered. “Mostly, she just explained things, and she did a good job at that.” As for Padma's, um, ensembles of leather or denim vests and midriff-baring shirts, the fiery tempered Cliff Crooks had the following to say: “Some of the things she wore, I wouldn’t suggest anyone wear around a working kitchen. Either she’d be a fire hazard or she’d get hurt.” While no one could be worse than former Top Chef host/automaton Katie Lee Joel , I'm surprised that t