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(Sour) Cherry Surprise: Several Chefs Fail to Show Their Craft on This Week's "Top Chef"

I have no love lost for Jill, who couldn't even properly defend herself or her dish at judging table, yet I have to say: Ariane should have gone home. I'm speaking, of course, about last night's episode of Top Chef ("Show Your Craft"), which had the cheftestants preparing their own hot dogs as part of the Quickfire Challenge and then devising a New American lunch menu for Tom Colicchio's flagship restaurant Craft in New York. (FYI, the Los Angeles outpost is one of my favorite restaurants, full stop.) While the chefs clearly brought the razzle dazzle last week and managed to impress Tom with their creativity and flair, this week was an entirely different story as the chefs' overall performance was really pretty shabby, if I'm being honest. Yes, they had a lot of pressure placed on them by having to work in Tom's kitchen at Craft and the expectations were high (not to mention that NYC chefs who failed to get on Top Chef aren't the kindest of

Channel Surfing: "Runway" Suits, Dawson Talks "One Tree Hill," Michael Landes, Ben Silverman, and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. I'm now way behind on last night's telly offerings as Wednesday appears to have become overfilled with series but I made a special point to not only watch Pushing Daisies but to watch it live... just in case the numbers actually do matter. James Van Der Beek speaks about his return to his old Dawson's Creek stomping ground in Wilmington, North Carolina, where he's filming three episodes of the CW's One Tree Hill , where he will play a feature film director who is interested in adapting Lucas' novel into a film. "I thought it was a real fun character," said Van Der Beek about his Tree character. "I'm excited to work with my friends and to play a little bit." ( Associated Press ) One reason to celebrate: Pushing Daisies beat out NBC's Knight Rider in the key adults 18-49 demo for the very first time last night. Huzzah! ( Futon Critic ) Lifetime has filed a countersuit in a Ma

The (Not-So) Distant Future: "Flight of the Conchords" Returns to HBO

January brings us new beginnings, fresh starts, and the return of some of our favorite television series, sadly off the air for reasons as numerous as the writers strike, truncated seasons, and the vagaries of cable network scheduling. But in less than two months, we can look forward to the return of such series as Lost , Big Love , Damages , and HBO's inimitably zany comedy Flight of the Conchords . While I miss each and every one of those dramas something crazy, I have to say that I am just itching with anticipation to catch up with Bret and Jemaine, Murray and Mel, and, well, the music. Check out the promo for Season Two of Flight of the Conchords , lifting off on January 18th on HBO, after the jump. Just the sight of Bret firing off that gun like he's in a 1970s cop show makes my heart soar with glee. (I think I've watched the promo now about five times.) Flight of the Conchords ' second season begins January 18th on HBO.

Hone Your Craft: A Sneak Peek at Tonight's "Top Chef"

I don't know about you but I cannot wait for tonight's episode of Top Chef on Bravo. No other reality competition series gets my blood pumping (or my mouth watering) as much as Top Chef does and, after only just one episode, I'm already ravenously waiting for each week's fix to my craving. Are you just as addicted to the culinary competition as I am? If so, you'll be happy to get not one, not two, but three sneak peeks at tonight's episode of Top Chef ("Show Your Craft"), in which the contestants are tasked with tackling the humble NYC staple the hot dog in the Quickfire Challenge and then must prepare and serve lunch at judge Tom Colicchio's flagship restaurant Craft. Preview clips can be found after the jump. "Nervous Ariane": "$100 Million Dish": "The Toughest Crowd": Catch the latest episode tonight at 10 pm ET/PT on Bravo.

Channel Surfing: Rashida Jones Joins Untitled Greg Daniels Comedy, Heaton Heads to "The Middle," No Brain Tumor for Izzie, and More

Welcome to your Wednesday morning television briefing. I'm still a little tired after staying up to watch Fringe last night after attending the Los Angeles premiere of Doubt , starring Meryl Streep, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams. (Verdict? A good film but not a great one.) NBC has confirmed a long-standing rumor and announced that Rashida Jones ( The Office ) has been cast in the untitled Amy Poehler workplace comedy project from Greg Daniels and Michael Schur that isn't a spin-off to The Office . Jones will play Ann Logan, a nurse whose boyfriend has suffered a strange injury that leads her to the characters played by Poehler and Aziz Ansari. Do they work in a specialized medical clinic? A psychiatrist's office? Witch doctor's emporium? That remains to be seen but I am happy that Jones and Poehler will appear together in this project. I've missed Jones, especially since her last Office visit. The series is expected to be ready by late spring but may not

Fruit Punch Drunk: The Fat Lady Sings for Chuck and Jill on "Chuck"

I'm not entirely sure how NBC's Chuck became such a contentious, controversial series, but after my write-up of last week's episode ("Chuck Versus the Ex") garnered some vociferous responses on both sides (those who loved the episode versus, well, those who didn't), I wanted to be sure to see what everyone thought of this week's episode ("Chuck Versus the Fat Lady"), the second in a three-part storyline that featured the return of Chuck's ex-girlfriend Jill. (You can read my advance review of the entire three-episode story arc here .) While Chuck and Jill grew closer--despite the disapproving glare of Casey and the more-than-slightly jealous shifty glances of Sarah--astute audiences were, of course, waiting for the other shoe to drop. And drop it did in last night's episode in which the team goes on the hunt for a computer file containing the identities of every single Fulcrum agent within the CIA, Chuck betrays Casey and Sarah to sav

TV on DVD: "Doctor Who: The Complete Fourth Series"

I'll admit it. Initially, I was a little concerned with the idea of comedian Catherine Tate's Donna Noble joining the Doctor for the entirety of the series' fourth season... but Tate's winning performance as spunky and headstrong Donna quickly won me over and, if I'm being honest, I have to say that Donna is perhaps my favorite companion now. While Tate's turn in Season Three's "The Runaway Bride" pegged Donna as a comedic foil for the Doctor, Season Four quickly gives her some much needed character development and transforms the uppity Cockney girl into a tragic figure of pathos. (If that's not a head-turning surprise, I don't know what is.) If you missed Doctor Who 's superlative fourth season (or want the opportunity to relive it all over again, from "Voyage of the Damned" to "Journey's End), fret not as BBC Video releases Doctor Who: The Complete Fourth Series on DVD today in a glorious six-disc set. (Also avai