Friday, October 31, 2008

ROUNDUP: Jon Hamm, 'Privileged', 'Doctor Who' and more

Here's this week's most noteworthy television news, including casting, guest stars, episode orders, cancellations and everything else you can think of!

- Rumors have been swirling that Jon Hamm of "Mad Men" will be making a multi-episode appearance on "30 Rock." Though the deal isn't final, I'm banking that he'll appear on the comedy staple in one form or another. He will be playing Liz Lemon's neighbor and potential love interest. Squee!

- Numerous sources report that David Tennant, the British actor who has played the Doc on "Doctor Who" for the past few seasons, will leave his post after the four "Doctor Who" specials air next year. Thoughts on his departure?

- I've come across many different news items about Strike.TV, a website for Hollywood writers, directors and actors to put their stuff online without the hindrance of executive types. One of my personal favorites is Mindy Kaling's "House Poor."

- Fox has finally canceled "King of the Hill."

- CW wants a "Melrose Place" remake (the original was a spinoff of "Beverly Hills, 90210") and Jennie Garth doesn't want any part in it.

- BREAKING: ABC has picked up full season of "Samantha Who?" Now all that's left for them is to pick up "Pushing Daisies" ...

- Dave Franco, James' little brother, will join the cast of "Privileged" as Rose's love interest. Thing is, he wouldn't appear onscreen until 2009, which means the CW needs to get a move on and pick up the back nine.

- In other casting news on "Privileged," Megan's mom will be played by Sharon Lawrence. Her arc is expected to last two episodes and the first of which will air in January.

- The CW has upped episode orders for three of its shows: "Gossip Girl" will now air 25 episodes (instead of 24), "One Tree Hill" will air 24 and "90210" will also shoot 24.

- "Pushing Daisies" will not return until November 19 with special guest star Fred Willard.

- Some news on NBC series "Kings," which stars Sebastian Stan ("Gossip Girl," "The Covenant"), Ian McShane and Christopher Egan ("Vanished"), Macaulay Culkin joins an impressive guest star roster that includes Miguel Ferrer ("Crossing Jordan"), Leslie Bibb ("Popular") and Michael Stahl-David ("The Black Donnellys").

- Dominic Monaghan joins "Chuck" for a guest stint on the February 2 episode. He plays a British rock star targeted by some very evil men.

- "Brothers and Sisters" has cast relative unknown Luke Grimes for the coveted role of the real "bastard" child, Ryan Lafferty. Grimes is an up-and-coming actor who has apparently caught the attention of many higher-ups.

- Major "Gossip Girl" spoiler here: B*r* B*s* is the one who dies. Not all that surprising, hm?

- For all you Daniel Craig fans out there, Mary McNamara talks "Archangel," an older project Craig did that is finally surfacing on American television. Will you watch?

- Courteney Cox and Bill Lawrence (creator of "Scrubs") are teaming up to bring you "Cougar Town" on ABC.

- "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" scribes Patrick Walsh and Sonny Lee have sold a comedy pilot to Fox called "Broke Friends." Congrats guys!

Rumors that 'Pushing Daisies' has been axed are untrue

Apparently rumors have been swirling last night about the fate of one of the most beloved shows on television right now, "Pushing Daisies." However, what was rumored to be true has been proven to be just a small fib - for the time being.

We know that "Daisies" has been struggling ratings-wise to match up to its first season. But, if Wednesday's ratings (which jumped up close to a million viewers and was a season high) is any indication of good things to come, then our favorite piemaker is bound for greatness and well, baking those delicious-looking pies every week.

That's not to say those rumors weren't unfounded. As we all know, there is always an ounce of truth that fuels the fire and that's the case here. The current rumor was, according to E!'s Watch with Kristin, that episode 13 was to be treated as a series finale. Now here's where things get fishy. Since "Daisies" hasn't yet received a back-nine pick-up, production is essentially finished ... for the time being. The truth of the matter is, episodes 13 and 14 supposed to be a two-parter, but with the possibility that the show might not return after this season's 13th, the network wanted to make sure they covered all their bases (aka playing it safe).

So as of right now, "Daisies" is almost done with production (if not done), and all they're waiting for is the network to decide if they want to tack on the last nine episodes of the season. No decision will be made until after November 4 as the network wants to see how the show does post-election. Kristin Dos Santos found out that if episode 13 was the last episode of the series, much of the storylines would still be left hanging and as we all know, that's not the best way to please the 6 million loyal viewers each week.

Here's the motto for the day: Please watch next week's episode and the one after that, and the one after that. "Pushing Daisies" needs your help and it might not survive its sophomore season if ratings keep tumbling.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

'It's Always Sunny' writing partners sell Fox comedy pilot, 'Broke Friends'

As always, I am ten hours too late, but once I did check my email, "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" scribe Sonny Lee revealed that he and his writing partner, Patrick Walsh (who made his acting debut in last Thursday's episode), have sold a comedy pilot to the Fox network.

Congratulations to both Sonny and Patrick for a well-deserved new project! Just another one to add onto what I'm sure what will be a long list of impressive comedic work. Cheers.

Taken from Variety:
The other project, "Broke Friends," came to Fox after a competitive bidding situation with NBC. Patrick Walsh and Sonny Lee ("It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia") are writing, while [Luke] Greenfield will direct and exec produce.

"Broke Friends" centers on an innocent Midwestern kid who relocates to New York, where he moves in with two scam artists.

"It's an ensemble comedy about which road you take in life -- the long, hard-working grind to the top, or the hedonistic joyride at the bottom."

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Don Draper teaches us how to be him

"Don Draper's Guide to Picking Up Women" was by far the highlight of last night's "Saturday Night Live" (not counting Coldplay's FOUR songs!). Rewatch it here.

Friday, October 24, 2008

'Life' moves to Wednesday nights; 'Lipstick Jungle' gets demoted to Fridays

In the fall season's first shake-up, NBC has shifted its struggling crime procedural "Life" to the 9 p.m. timeslot on Wednesday nights. Preceding that will be newcomer "Knight Rider," which recently was given a full season order. "Law and Order," which will premiere November 5, will air at 10 p.m. when this scheduling change takes place.

"Lipstick Jungle," which held the Wednesday at 10 p.m. timeslot, will move all the way to the end of the week, beginning October 31. This is a bad sign for the oft-struggling series, which centers on three women at the height of their careers in different aspects of the entertainment industry.

So while "Life" may be getting new - wait for it - life with its new, more competitive timeslot (though having it up against CBS juggernaut "Criminal Minds" might be a detriment), the Brooke Shields staple is slowly losing ground. Maybe Friday nights will become the new "girls night in"?

Take one: A few of my favorite things (of the moment)

While making my daily rounds on the blogs and websites, I came across Tim Goodman's favorite things post, and thought, "Maybe I should do that too." So here are some of the things (of the moment) that make me turn that frown upside down.

Favorite singer-songwriter: Jason Mraz, Adele.
Favorite band: MGMT, Keane, Snow Patrol.
Songs I can't stop listening to: "Kids" - MGMT, "Chasing Pavements" - Adele,"Human" - The Killers, "Don't Save Us From the Flames" - M83.
Albums I can't stop listening to: Perfect Symmetry - Keane, A Hundred Million Suns - Snow Patrol.
Network shows I adore to no end: "Privileged," "The Office," "30 Rock," "How I Met Your Mother," "House."
Cable shows I adore to no end: "True Blood," "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," "Psych," "Burn Notice," "My Boys."
'Brilliant-but-canceled' shows I believe could take "Knight Rider's" timeslot: "Wonderfalls," "The 4400," "Freaks and Geeks," "Undeclared," "My So-Called Life," "Jack & Bobby," "Firefly."
Favorite colors: Blue.
Favorite book I've just read: Sadly, I'm working on the seventh book of the Gossip Girl series. Does that count?
Favorite kinds of books: Fiction, pop culture.
Favorite authors: Nicholas Sparks (shut up), Chuck Klosterman, Stephen Chbosky, Caprice Crane.
Concerts in the queue: Sadly, none.
Favorite magazines: Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, Nylon.
Favorite comedians: Jon Stewart, Demetri Martin, Stephen Colbert (is he considered one?).
Favorite drinks: Mango magarita (yum), Pepsi.
Favorite sports: Baseball, college/professional football, swimming.
Favorite sport to watch: Tie between baseball and football.
Favorite cities I've been to: Paris, San Francisco, New York, Sydney.
Favorite candy: Sour patch watermelon.
Favorite food: Chinese, American.
Favorite thing in the whole world: My happiness (and sanity).

Entertainment Weekly gives 'Heroes' some pointers

There has been much talk about this week's issue of Entertainment Weekly, in which the cover story talks about five ways to make "Heroes" likable/watchable/bearable/(insert choice word here) again. Even if you're a huge fan of the show and are one of the few who thinks this season is the best the show has ever been (like my roommate), these five things might make it a tad bit enjoyable.

I should say that I lost interest in the show after the first season (I'd say even after the pilot). It doesn't suit my style and it doesn't cater to my belief that shows should center on some sort of realistic ground (otherwise known as some sort of believable reality). One of the problems I have with it (and this also pertains to "Lost," unfortunately) is the convoluted story-telling based solely on time travel/past/present/future/whatever that frustrates me to absolutely no end.

But if the creators and writers actually follow through with the suggestions this EW writer is suggesting (and I've read from E! Online's Watch with Kristin that changes have already been in the works), then it might not be as bad as people are making this year out to be.

Take a gander at the article, then put your thoughts here.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

One of TV's beloved shows might be inching closer to closing the book

According to some fast overnight ratings for last night's primetime schedule, ABC's "Pushing Daisies" is in danger of not returning after this season (if it even lasts that long).

The show has been on a consistent decline ever since it came back earlier this month after a nine-month break. The decision made by the network to push back "Daisies," along with "Dirty Sexy Money" and "Private Practice" might have been one major factor to low returns this season. Though "Practice" is safe for the season, "Money" is not. The 10 p.m. show has also been steadily declining in viewership and has lost its hold on its audience from the previous year.

It is common knowledge that ABC loves "Daisies," but having the network behind you 100% doesn't necessarily justify a show scraping by and consistently placing in last place (among the major broadcast networks) in its timeslot. There's only so much you can say week in and week out when NBC's "Knight Rider" (what?!) gets more viewers than a unique and original show like "Daisies."

So please be sure to watch "Daisies" when it airs next Wednesday. Although Nielsen ratings don't necessarily tell the full story and its numbers might not reflect who actually watches these shows, it's the only measuring tool we have for TV viewership - an unfortunate truth for an inconsistent TV landscape.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Shows you should be watching: 'Supernatural' and 'Privileged'

Maureen Ryan of the Chicago Tribune has a very good piece about two CW shows you all should be watching: "Supernatural" and "Privileged."

I haven't kept up with "Supernatural" after the first season, but I've heard positive reviews across the board, which says a lot for a fourth year show on a struggling network.

"Privileged," on the other hand, I am an advocate for and hope will get at least a full season pickup. The ratings for last night's episode were 36% lower than the previous week because of a lack of a stronger lead-in. ("90210" was a rerun.)

Please check out her piece and maybe you'll be swayed one way or the other.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

BoSox v. Tampa Bay in pivotal Game 7 of ALCS

I'm currently watching the BoSox playing against the Rays in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series. I'm rooting for the Sox! Who are you cheering for?

Sarah Palin stops by 'Saturday Night Live'

Did you catch Amy Poehler rapping during Weekend Update? Or Mark Wahlberg talking to a donkey and almost punching Andy Samberg's nose? How about when Alec Baldwin mistook Sarah Palin for Tina Fey? Or the memorable moment when Tina Fey and Sarah Palin crossed paths?

If you missed it, here are some of last night's highlights. (19-year-old Adele was beyond fantastic as the musical guest, by the way.)

Friday, October 17, 2008

BREAKING: Fox picks up second season for low-rated 'Terminator'

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fox has ordered the back nine for "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles," which means the show - which has struggled to maintain a respectable viewership each week - will last at least until April/May 2009.

To give you a frame of reference, the most recent episode had only 5.7 million viewers. Thoughts on the full season pickup? I think it's a good move on the network's part, only because there isn't much to back it up if they gave the show the boot.

'Princess of Nebraska' debuts on YouTube tonight

Even though I'm not a film junkie, I've been getting emails about this from different organizations, outlets, etc. so I figure this is worthy of a post.

Wayne Wang's "Princess of Nebraska" will be debuting exclusively on YouTube's Screening Room tonight at 9 p.m. Pacific, so if you're curious or the trailer (see below) interests you, mark that on your iPhones or e-calendars.

"Princess of Nebraska" Sasha (Ling Li) is a foreign exchange student who finds herself pregnant. She's the new generation of China, unmoored to traditions and history. As she says, "In America I learned a new phrase, 'moving on.' Tomorrow I can start a new page." She travels from Nebraska to San Francisco to get an abortion, but in her exploration of the city in the next 24 hours she learns that turning a new page doesn't necessarily mean turning your back on the past.

It was only a matter of time when filmmakers were going to catch on to this online phenomenon called YouTube.

ROUNDUP: "HIMYM," "Prison Break," Tuesday nights and more

In what I hope to be a daily rundown of TV (and some film) news, critiques and raves from the past few days, here is today's (more) in-depth, blog-worthy collection.

- Tim Goodman critiques a weakened Tuesday night lineup from the five broadcast networks, and not surprisingly, I have to side with his analysis.

- A "major character" gets the big axe on "Gossip Girl." I use quotations because do you really think they'd kill off Nate or Vanessa (as rigid as she might be)? And is Bart Bass really considered that much of a factor? Seriously.

- Starz' small screen adaptation of the 2006 Oscar winner, "Crash," well, crashes - and badly.

- James Poniewozik of Time makes an interesting comparison between Monday's "How I Met Your Mother" episode and its change-centric anti-sitcom premise.

- "Crusoe," which premieres tonight on NBC, is a combination of "Lost" and "Pirates of the Caribbean." What?

- David Kelley ("The Practice," "Ally McBeal") is set to develop a new dramedy for NBC centered on a father-daughter lawyer team. Sounds like a time warp.

- "American Idol" champ David Cook will perform as "Saturday Night Live's" musical guest on November 1. Let's hope the host is light years beyond in talent to offset this unfortunate imbalance.

- Dwight gives birth to a watermelon. No, I'm not kidding.

- The trailer for the Daniel Craig film (and vying for a couple of Oscars), "Defiance," looks action-packed, emotional and gripping. The A-list cast includes Liev Schreiber and Jamie Bell. Other trailers include Swedish horror flick, "Let the Right One In" and "The Haunting in Connecticut."

- Emmy winner Zeljko Ivanek ("Damages") will have a 10-episode arc on "Heroes." Maybe this'll turn the tide for the struggling third year series.

- Someone who we saw from day one of "Prison Break" will die, but it won't be Michael. Thank god. Guesses as to who bites the dust?

- You can purchase Charlie's ("It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia") infamous Green Man costume here.

- "Juno" scribe, Diablo Cody, is penning a new Showtime half-hour comedy starring Toni Collette called "The United States of Tara." Preview it here.

Quick Takes:
- "Mad Men" gets a third season order from AMC.
- Jenny and Nate have a brief romance in upcoming episodes of "Gossip Girl."
- Jessica Walter ("Arrested Development") has been demoted to recurring status on "90210."
- The fourth freshman series to get a full season is "The Mentalist." Not shocked at all. (The first three were "90210," "Fringe" and "True Blood." "True Blood" had already filmed all its episodes for the first season prior to the pilot airdate, but HBO ordered a second season quickly thereafter so it qualifies.)
- The final episodes of Sci Fi's "Battlestar Galactica" (no!) will start airing January 16.
- ABC orders four more scripts for "Eli Stone" before it premiered Tuesday night, which brings its current total to 17 episodes.
- Sarah Palin will appear on "Saturday Night Live" tomorrow.

'Pushing Daisies' gains half a million viewers

A little late, I know, but I am happy to announce that Wednesday's episode of "Pushing Daisies" gained 500,000 viewers from last week to push its rating up 12%. And, according to EW's PopWatch, it barely lost any viewers during the whole hour!

Let's keep this up guys!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sneak peek of tonight's 'Life on Mars' episode

I hope you all watched and enjoyed last week's premiere of "Life on Mars." Here's a sneak peek of tonight's new episode.

Is anyone else loving Gretchen Mol?!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New 'It's Always Sunny' viral video featuring Sweet Dee and Artemis

I recently went to the "Boldly Going Nowhere" production offices on the Fox lot in Century City to interview "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" writers Sonny Lee and Patrick Walsh. The full transcript of that interview will be up once I send it into Give Me My Remote.

However, to keep you guys up to speed, Sonny just sent over a link to a new YouTube video starring Sweet Dee and Artemis. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

More than a month into the season, TV schedule gets makeover

Before September rolled around, I was adamant on trying to watch as much television as possible. A couple weeks in, however, I found myself falling behind and struggling just to keep up with my rather ambituous schedule I set out to follow. This meant that I was forced to make drastic cuts, some due to the fact that I just can't keep up with the show anymore for expositional reasons and some due to lack of time and interest.

I've been following a couple critics and bloggers for the past few weeks and it seems as though they're having the same trouble. This fall season has to be one of the least anticipated seasons of the contemporary period, and that says quite a lot about how much the writers' strike affected the development and production of future series.

Just to give you all an idea to the dramatic changes to my schedule (prior to September 1), here is what it was before the fall officially began:

8 p.m.: "Chuck" (NBC), "Gossip Girl" (CW), "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" (Fox)
8:30 p.m.: "How I Met Your Mother" (CBS)
9 p.m.: "Prison Break" (Fox), "Heroes" (NBC)
9:30 p.m.: "Samantha Who?" (ABC)
10 p.m.: "CSI: Miami" (CBS), "My Own Worst Enemy" (NBC)

8 p.m.: "House" (Fox)
9 p.m.: "Privileged" (CW), "The Mentalist" (CBS), "Fringe" (Fox)
10 p.m.: "Eli Stone" (ABC)

8 p.m.: "Pushing Daisies" (ABC), "Bones" (Fox)
9 p.m.: "Private Practice" (ABC)
10 p.m.: "Dirty Sexy Money" (ABC), "Lipstick Jungle" (NBC), "CSI: NY" (CBS)

8 p.m.: "Ugly Betty" (ABC)
9 p.m.: "The Office" (NBC)
9:30 p.m.: "30 Rock" (NBC)
10 p.m.: "Life on Mars" (ABC), "Eleventh Hour" (CBS), "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" (FX)

9 p.m.: "The Ex List" (CBS)

8 p.m.: "The Amaazing Race" (CBS)
9 p.m.: "True Blood" (HBO)
10 p.m.: "Brothers & Sisters" (ABC), "Californication" (Showtime)

Clearly, I was way in over my head. Now, my schedule looks more like this (blue = DVR, black = watching live, red = on the cusp of giving up; shows that are completely off the list have been dumped):

8 p.m.: "Chuck" (NBC), "Gossip Girl" (CW)
8:30 p.m.: "How I Met Your Mother" (CBS)
9 p.m.: "Prison Break" (Fox)
9:30 p.m.: "Samantha Who?" (ABC)
10 p.m.: "My Own Worst Enemy" (NBC)

8 p.m.: "House" (Fox)
9 p.m.: "Privileged" (CW), "Fringe" (Fox)
10 p.m.: "Eli Stone" (ABC)

8 p.m.: "Pushing Daisies" (ABC), "Bones" (Fox)
9 p.m.: "Private Practice" (ABC)
10 p.m.: "Lipstick Jungle" (NBC), "CSI: NY" (CBS)

8 p.m.: "Ugly Betty" (ABC)
9 p.m.: "The Office" (NBC)
9:30 p.m.: "30 Rock" (NBC)/"SNL Weekend Update" (NBC)
10 p.m.: "Life on Mars" (ABC), "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" (FX)

9 p.m.: "The Ex List" (CBS)

8 p.m.: "The Amazing Race" (CBS)
9 p.m.: "True Blood" (HBO)
10 p.m.: "Brothers & Sisters" (ABC), "Californication" (Showtime)

This schedule doesn't even include midseason premieres or returnees, such as USA's "Burn Notice" or "Psych," both of which I follow like a desperate little lemming. Even though I've cut my schedule substantially and am on the fence about a couple shows, I'm still incredibly behind on my TV. Oh, the life of a TV blogger ...

If there are some returning/new/future shows that you think I should cover more or start watching or keep an eye out for, please let me know. I am always open to suggestions, but knowing that I only have so many hours in the day and the fact that I have other obligations (work and school), it might be a teensy bit difficult to add but you never know! Pitch me your show and I'll certainly think about it!

Last night's 'HIMYM' reveals flurries of new speculation

Over at the TV Addict, there is some ideas floating around about what we saw when the show fast-forwarded one year to 2009, when the gang of five sat in their booth of their favorite bar.

Robin and Barney looked a little chummy, while Lily didn't take a sip of her beer. The crew went up post-bar to the apartment upstairs, which begs the question: Are Robin and Ted living together? Remember the episode with the goat last season when future Ted accidentally mixed up his 30th birthday with his 31st? Hm ...

Head on over to the TV Addict and judge for yourself. What are your thoughts as to what the gang is up to in 2009?

Monday, October 13, 2008

ROUNDUP: '24,' 'My Own Worst Enemy,' 'Kath & Kim,' Mark Wahlberg and more

Here is a roundup of some of the week's notable TV headlines:

- "24: Redemption," airing Sunday, November 23, saves the children.

- Mark Wahlberg hated "Saturday Night Live's" spoof.

- Mixed-to-positive reviews are coming in for tonight's premiere of "My Own Worst Enemy," starring Christian Slater.

- "Kath & Kim" is "dumb and dull."

- CW ups "Gossip Girl" season order to 24 episodes.

- Zachary Levi gets dunked on "Ellen."

- Watch the series premiere of "Life on Mars" here.

- Tim Goodman of the San Francisco Chronicle says there's not a lot of quality TV to watch.

Learn 'The Office' slang with Addictionary has a new "Office" feature that might add some more hours to your daily procrastination. "The Office" Addictionary's most popular words include "Big Tuna," "Pam Pong," "Scrantonicity" and "progidal." Visitors can also add words and definitions to the addictionary, so go on and start wasting those minutes!

Watch the series premiere of 'Life on Mars'

ABC was nice enough to send over a widget player that allows you to view "Life on Mars" on the site. If you haven't seen it already, I urge you to try and catch it here. It's a wonderfully unique show and the pilot certainly keeps you on your toes.

Friday, October 10, 2008

(OT) Final 'Twilight' trailer reveals everything and leaves nothing

I know this isn't quite television, but after viewing the final "Twilight" trailer that was released a few days ago, I must say that I was disappointed with what I saw. A trailer is supposed to engage an audience and persuade them to go out and see that movie because of the two and a half minutes they just saw, not give you the entire plot (and resolution).

I will say that "Twilight" is different, in the sense that everyone pretty much knows what happens at the end of the first book, but that still doesn't justify the need to show the climax of the book/film (the fight scene in the dance studio between Bella, Edward and James). With that being said, I will probably go see it when it comes out on November 21, but only because I'm a curious fellow.

Are you guys going to watch it when it comes out? Any thoughts on the final trailer, maybe even the music?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

USA Network renews 'Burn Notice,' 'Psych'

NBC Universal's cable hotshot USA Network has given full, 16-episode orders to "Burn Notice" and "Psych."

Both series will return in 2009 for the second halves of their respective seasons; however, "Psych" will air a special Christmas-themed episode in late November. The new seasons ("Burn Notice's" third season and "Psych's" fourth) will most likely begin airing during the summer.

Hooray for USA!

'Daisies,' 'Practice,' 'Money' losing viewers

According to The Hollywood Reporter's Live Feed, the Wednesday ABC 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. hours are steadily decreasing, and it was no different last night.

While I loyally stayed put at 8 p.m. to watch "Pushing Daisies," I must admit that it was difficult for me to want to watch the "Grey's Anatomy" spin-off or "Dirty Sexy Money" right after.

Even though "Daisies" reached a series low last night with only 5.6 million viewers, it was only down a tenth, while "Private Practice" (7.3 million, also a series low; down 24% from the previous week) and "Money" (5.9 million, series low; down 17%) were down a lot more. So maybe that's the only good news that can be gathered from the bad.

Please get your friends and family to start watching "Pushing Daisies" next week at the very least!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

'Privileged' gains traction (and viewers)

Great news for the often-struggling CW network: "Privileged" just might be the underdog of the year.

I have always sang the praises of the 9 p.m. show, ever since it premiered more than a month ago after the terrible revival series, "90210." "Privileged" is gaining traction, as evident with the impressive 22% increase with 2.3 million viewers after last night's broadcast compared to its previous week. (Yesterday's "90210" dropped slightly with 3.1 million.) It has to be one of the best scripted series of the freshman class this year, yet it hardly gets any press or exposure.

Barring anything crazy happening or the world ending, I foresee that this Tuesday night show will stay put for a while.

Reminder to tune in to 'Pushing Daisies' at 8 p.m.

"Pushing Daisies," a critical darling, needs all the help it can get. If you haven't been watching, please tune in tonight at 8 p.m.!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

'How I Met Your Mother' gets more viewers than 'Heroes'

Here are the numbers on some notable shows from last night:

"How I Met Your Mother" (CBS) - 9 million viewers; up 9% from previous week.
"Chuck" (NBC) - 5.8 million; down 15% [series low].
"Heroes" (NBC) - 8.2 million; down 11% [series low].
"Prison Break" (FOX) - 5.8 million; up slightly.
"Worst Week" (CBS) - 8.9 million; up 3%.

Now I can understand the huge dips in viewership for the hard-to-follow and often convoluted storylines that plague "Heroes," but what's up with the steady declines of "Chuck"? I'm a bit confused myself.

Sarah Jessica Parker commits to next post-'Sex and the City' project

Sarah Jessica Parker is helming a HBO comedy pilot called "Washingtonienne" that was just recently cast. Rachael Taylor, Amanda Walsh and Bitsie Tulloch ("quarterlife") are the three female leads.

The show, according to The Hollywood Reporter, is this:

"Based on the semi-autobiographical book by Jessica Cutler about the sexploits of a low-level female congressional staffer with powerful men on Capitol Hill. "Washingtonienne" revolves around the professional and personal lives of three smart, sophisticated 28-year-old girls working on the Hill.

At the center is Jackie (Taylor), a recent transplant from New York who has decided to pursue a career as a speechwriter but first must work her way up from the intern desk.

Her mentor in the ways of Washington is her old college friend April (Tulloch), who has been on the Hill since graduation and lives a prematurely middle-age lifestyle with a boyfriend who seems more in love with his flashy senator boss than with her.

And finally there's Laura (Walsh), a small-town girl whose workaholic ways often come at the expense of a social life and who is constantly defending her Republican views to her liberal friends."

Based on synopsis alone, it sounds sort of interesting, but another version of "Lipstick Jungle" or "Sex and the City." Thoughts?

'My Boys' comes back in 2009 for its third season

TBS' buddy comedy, "My Boys," which stars Jordana Spiro, has been renewed for a third season. The cable network that also airs "The Bill Engvall Show" and Tyler Perry's "House of Payne" has ordered nine episodes that will air sometime next year.

I'm a fan of this show. Are you?

'It's Always Sunny' takes over YouTube with Dee's PatheticGirl43

Remember that video Charlie discovered of Dee airing out her confessions during the premiere of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"? Well, life is imitating art! PatheticGirl43 has become a YouTube sensation.

Here's the first of three video diaries:

'Jack & Bobby' makes a triumphant return, sort of

I'm a little miffed right now. I just made a big post about "Jack and Bobby's" return on but Blogger decided to act up and delete my post. (And it was a damn good one too!)

Basically, to make this short and sweet, I loved this show like no other. It didn't cave in to the demands of the lazy, impatient, brainless viewer. It kept true to its intentions and provided profoundly written storylines and characters we could all relate to. The show required the viewers to think, to engage with the stories they were telling.

Even though it's been a few years since it last aired on the WB (yes, it was that long ago), I urge you all to watch the complete season online when you get the chance. I promise that you will like it.

Monday, October 6, 2008

'Castle' teaser out months before scheduled 2009 premiere

Nathan Fillion. That name should say it all. I haven't seen the video below yet but my roommate who just saw it said it looked like a good show. Take a peek and judge for yourself!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Friday, October 3, 2008

ABC's 'Life on Mars' makes its debut in less than one week

I apologize in advance if I'm bombarding you with updates. Since I've been slacking all week, a bunch of notable TV news has crept up and because I'm a procrastinator, Fridays always seem to be the day I post 'em all up whilst at work. Oops.

Finally more information has been made available for ABC's new drama "Life on Mars," starring Jason O'Mara. (Since I'm lazy and don't want to upload the videos they sent to me, I'm embedding the YouTube videos.) Even after watching these videos, I'm still unsure of how the show will be received. Unfortunately, based on what's happened in the past, the shows that creep up on you almost always have a dim future ahead of them.

For everything you need to know about the show, take a look at this helpful four-minute rundown.

Sneak peek #1: Sam Tyler (O'Mara) gets stuck in 1973.

Sneak peek #2 (sort of).

Based on what you've seen above, are you going to tune in on Thursday at 10 p.m.? It's going to cause problems with my viewing of FX's "It's Always Sunny," but I am willing to give it a chance - if only because the concept is more interesting than say "Boston Legal" or any of the "Law and Orders" out there. Just sayin'.

CW orders pre-Robin series, 'The Graysons'

Oh CW. You take one step forward with "Gossip Girl" and Privileged," but take five steps back when you order a pilot of a pre-"Batman series centered on Dick Grayson before he becomes the Batman's partner-in-crime. Network, what are you thinking?! Or are you even thinking at all?

According to Variety, "The Graysons" will be similar in style and tone to another superhero show "Smallville." It will be produced by the same guys from "Smallville" and McG ("The O.C.," "Terminator: Salvation").

Is this potential "Smallville" replacement going to alter Dick Grayson's origins? It's pretty clear how he came to be Robin. Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch comments on why "The Graysons" is the worst idea of the week. I'll go even as far as to say, year. Here is their take on it:

1) Dick Grayson's origin story goes like this: He was a kid when his circus-acrobat parents died in an "accident" engineered by very bad men. He's taken in by Bruce Wayne, who channels the kid's fury into fighting crime, and gives him a girl's/bird's name to do it. Not a whole lot there to base a TV show around, unless you monkey with his origin to a point where it's unrecognizable. Which is exactly what they're doing. According to the Variety piece, The Graysons "will be set in modern times, young DJ will face challenges involving first loves, young rivals and his family as he grows up." Ecch.

2) They're changing his name to D.J. Grayson. Look, I get that you don't want your hero to be called "Dick" all the time. But what's wrong with "Richard'? Every time I hear "D.J." I think its going to be followed by "and the Bear."

3) Of all the DC Comics properties to make a TV show out of, this is the wrong one to choose. Hell, even if you wanted to make a Batman-related show, to capitalize on The Dark Knight's success, there are far better choices. Here's one, of the top of my very large head: Gotham Central, a police procedural that shows how the cops deal with all the stuff Batman doesn't have time for. You never once have to show Batman, it's not his show. So, no tights. But you still have access to the entire Batman rogues gallery. You do that one right, it's like Law and Order...but 23 percent more awesome.

4) See No. 2. Blurg.

Um, tell me about it.

CW's 'Privileged' is all 'sizzle'

Reading reviews of television shows or movies I've seen is always fun because half the time I'm in complete agreement with the reviewer's analysis and the half, I don't see eye to eye with the reviewer. That is the case with The Hollywood Reporter's review of the CW's Tuesday post-"90210" hour, "Privileged." (It should be noted that I interned there for three months this summer.)

It explores the lives of rich people in a way that makes reality seem exactly like a cartoon. But for those who like a little realism with their comedy, it doesn't fly too terribly high.

I disagree. Yes, it might follow the typical CW formula of the cute teen/young adult dramedy with each episode being message-themed in some way, but "Privileged" offers a lot more than just a pretty leading lady navigating her way through the trials of life (and class society) as a strong, mid-twenties woman. (I will give the reviewer credit for picking up on the show's vibe, however, that is part of its appeal. You have to remember, the target audience for the CW is entirely different than that of ABC or Fox.)

The comedy is realistic; every situation that the characters are in (with the exception of one or two) feels sincere and genuine. Most importantly, you believe Megan's (brilliantly played by JoAnna Garcia) dilemma and hardships. Every conflict she encounters, whether it be romantic, familial or work-related is fully realized in each episode and no stone goes unturned. I can't think of any situation the characters have been exposed to that neither feels realistic nor cartoonish.

The opener, written by executive producer Rina Mimoun, sets the table for the stranger-in-a-strange-land, fish-out-of-water conceit capably but without a whole lot of cleverness.

I do agree with the reviewer in that the concept isn't exactly the most original, but sometimes it's not about how innovative you can get with your show synopsis (like "Fringe"), but how you interpret that formula and execute it onscreen. Rina Mimoun ("Gilmore Girls") does effectively tie in the "Gilmore Girls"-esque quality into "Privileged," and unlike what this reviewer says, that style of writing and dialogue works to the benefit of a simple, straightforward show such as this.

People don't really speak with the freewheeling rat-a-tat-tat confidence that they do here, and aside from Garcia none are interesting enough to much care about, much less relate to.

People don't normally talk like they did on "Gilmore Girls" but clearly, enough liked it enough to keep it on the air for almost a decade.

Rose (Lucy Kate Hale) is strong and likable, as well as the more innocent of the two sisters. Charlie (Michael Cassidy), Megan's best friend, is a welcomed addition as someone she confides in who isn't in Palm Beach's high society. The show is perfectly cast and all the characters are interesting in their own ways and in varying degrees.

This isn't a promising sign for a series just leaving the starting gate.

While its ratings are modest (less than 2 million viewers each week), television bloggers have been singing its praises like Zap2it, Give Me My Remote and even Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch.

Mac and Charlie die in 'It's Always Sunny'

Cross-posted at Give Me My Remote.

Ready for some Philly fun? Thought so – but before we get into the crazy happenings of our five favorite Pennsylvania do-gooders, if you haven’t been visiting “Sunny’s” supplemental blog, Paddy’s Pub, please drop everything you’re doing right this second and head on over for a gander! (You must be 21 to enter…or you can lie - a fake ID really holds up well online). It’s constantly updated with chapters from Dennis’ erotic memoir, mailbags with the cast and behind-the-scenes production notes.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, here’s a rundown of what went down in tonight’s hour long where Mac and Charlie both die … sort of.

So we know from the second season that Mac’s dad is in jail and that he’s a big, scary guy with tattoos and the whole shebang. Well, after Charlie – as he usually does – is caught saying some not so nice things about Mac and Charlie’s butts in Mr. Mac, Mac’s dad is granted parole and released from jail. In an effort to be free and safe of the threat of Mr. Mac (I’ll just refer to him as such as we never find out his name), Mac and Charlie get the incredible idea to somehow fake kill themselves, only it takes Charlie a little longer to figure that out – as always. At one point, he has the idea – among many others – to kill Mac via a knife jab in the neck. Effective? Not so much.

After some hard thinking, Mac and Charlie settle on the ultimate fake death plan: Leave Charlie’s teeth all around Dee’s ’97 Dodge Neon. Throw videotape out of car window of last words. Drive car towards brick wall. Jump out of car three feet before car hits said wall. Have car blow up in a blaze of glory. Did that happen? Not so much. After Charlie decides to be the loyal watcher from afar, Mac drives straight into the wall and dings himself quite a bit, after which the “dead” duo saunters over to a local Philly pawn shop to find something to blow up the car and Mac, spotting a gangly white wedding dress, is determined to get his hands on it. Charlie, now the sane one (now isn’t that a scary thought), tries to get Mac to part with the wedding dress, but at least now we know Mac is a closet bride, or bridesmaid at the very least.

One “old” grenade later, the car blows up slightly, much to the disappointment of the two. In a fit of confusion or insanity, asks, “Where’s the bride?” while donning his new purchase. Back at Paddy’s, Dee and Frank discover a very large hole between two bathroom stalls in the men’s bathroom to which Dennis explains is a Glory Hole (for people to do their personal business … ahem, with another person). Let’s just say Frank and Dennis make a small visit over to an elite anonymous sex party (where everyone wears masks and ends up being middle-aged, overweight men) and see that that’s not quite what they bargained for post-Glory Hole discovery. Dennis says it best when he made the observation that it was more a “half-naked buffet party.”

After Dee finds Mac and Charlie’s videotape, it begins to set in that they might really be gone and because they’re so incredibly selfless, Mac and Charlie crawl through the vents above the bar to see how their friends and families cope. It takes only a couple of hours for Dennis to get over Mac and Charlie’s faux deaths, and he takes out a personal ad looking for new roommates to try that “Three’s Company” thing. A shady-looking European guy answers the call, and at first Dennis thinks he’s found the one after two hot women grace their presence, but once he finds out that the weird European guy sets up a makeshift sex date in the bathroom for Dennis and Frank, things go a bit haywire. Oh and Dee (after she tries to get in on the whole faking your own death thing), Mac and Charlie reveal that they aren’t really dead – but everyone already knew that, so much for a shocking surprise dudes and dudette.

While I became a huge fan after listening in on Glenn Howerton, Charlie Day and Rob McElhenney talk about “It’s Always Sunny” at this year’s Comic-Con, this two-parter cemented my love for their absolutely wrong moral compass and illogical resolutions to outrageous problems to begin with. Only on this show is it acceptable and funny for something like the shadow of a penis encroaching towards someone’s head (you’ll know what I’m talking about if you’ve seen the episode) or have people attending their own funerals through vents.

What were your favorite parts of the episodes? If you had to fake your own deaths, what would the circumstances have to be?

Memorable Lines
- Mac: “We’re going to have enough to buy that (pointing to a gun) and the wedding dress right?”

- Frank: “Do you want to bang on an empty stomach?”
Dennis: “Good point.”

- Charlie (to Mac): “This would be better with beans.”

- Charlie (to Dee): “What’s your bean situation? Got some beans on you?”

Quick Takes
- Dennis and Frank go to the elite sex society party wearing black capes and ridiculous Halloween masks, to which Frank says the password to get in, which turns out to be ORGY. Obvious much?

- While Dee tries the public transportation in Philly, she gets puked on by a guy who breathes right into her face. I have to say that moment was completely unexpected for me as a viewer, and because of that, I commend the writers/cast/crew/whoever thought that one up. It was completely disgusting, but so funny at the same time.

- Who knew Charlie wanted to be cremated and then put into everyone’s tea so they’d be drinking him?

- The funeral at the Pub with Mac and Charlie’s mothers as the only other visitors besides Dennis, Dee and Frank – and Mac’s mom was falling asleep with a cig in her mouth. Priceless!
- Dennis and Frank almost do it in the bathroom (via the Glory Hole)!

- Who’s been keeping count of how many teeth Charlie has lost this episode? I think he’s lost at least eight or nine. Anyone want to give a definitive count?

- Was I the only one sort of creeped out by what Frank could’ve been doing to that Charlie mannequin? I shudder at the possibilities.

VP debate between Biden, Palin better than scripted television

Updated at 2:14 p.m.

Like 38 million other people, I sat down last night to watch the anticipated Vice Presidential Debates between Senator Joe Biden of Delaware (Dem.) and Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska (Rep.). I've already made up my mind on who won that debate, but even if you're still unsure about who took home the gold, at least we can all agree it certainly was entertaining.

Here are just some of the highlights from the debate.

Joe Biden shoots down Sarah Palin's description that Presidential hopeful John McCain is a "maverick." End of the debate.

The VP candidates talk about their respective health care plans.

Palin gets the U.S. Commanding Officer's name wrong. Turns out the guy she named was in the Civil War.

Palin: "White flag of surrender." Probably one of her best highlight from the debate. Oh so quotable, ahem, "Saturday Night Live."

Nielsen line shows Biden wins big on topic of war.

If you haven't watched the debate, don't worry. CSPAN has graciously uploaded the full 92-minute (oh no, they went over by 120 seconds!) VP debate on YouTube.

Top 10 biggest fall gainers (and losers)

The Hollywood Reporter's Live Feed has put out an interesting fact sheet of this season's top 10 television series gainers and losers. Unfortunately, several critically-acclaimed shows are on the latter. Let's hope that it was just an abherration.

Please remember that some of these shows who might have gained the most viewers are still well below acceptable broadcast viewership standards.

Top 10 Gainers (so far)
1. CW SUPERNATURAL 1.2 to 1.7 = 42%
2. CBS CRIMINAL MINDS 3.5 to 4.7 = 34%
3. CBS HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER 3.3 to 4.0 = 21%
4. CBS CSI: MIAMI 4.6 to 5.2 = 13%
5. CBS NCIS 3.2 to 3.6 = 13%
6. CBS TWO AND A HALF MEN 4.8 to 5.3 = 10%
7. CBS CSI: NY 3.7 to 4.0 = 8%
8. CW GOSSIP GIRL 1.6 to 1.7 = 6%
9. CW ONE TREE HILL 1.6 to 1.7 = 6%
10. FOX AMERICAN DAD 3.1 to 3.2 = 3%

Top 10 Losers (so far)
1. ABC PUSHING DAISIES 4.4 to 2.0 = -55%
2. FOX TERMINATOR 4.2 to 2.4 = -43%
3. FOX DON'T FORGET THE LYRICS 2.9 to 1.7 = -41%
4. CBS WITHOUT A TRACE 4.7 to 2.8 = -40%
5. CBS OLD CHRISTINE 3.2 to 2.1 = -34%
6. ABC DIRTY SEXY MONEY 3.6 to 2.4 = -33%
7. CW AMERICA'S TOP MODEL 2.5 to 1.7 = -32%
8. FOX SMARTER THAN 5TH GRADER 2.5 to 1.7 = -32%
9. NBC HEROES 7.3 to 5.0 = -32%
10. NBC MY NAME IS EARL 3.8 to 2.7 = -29%

Thursday, October 2, 2008

New Inside the Tube coming soon

Though I started this blog as a supplement to my weekly column in the USC Daily Trojan, I have gotten hooked on the idea of possibly pursuing this as my side project for the rest of my television-watching days (which won't end for awhile, I can guarantee you that).

I've been looking around for hosting sites and plans and have settled on where I want to go. It's just a matter of when it's most logical for me to start putting things together and working on the new design and such. If any of you are good with WordPress or any other blogging mechanism, please leave a comment, find me on Twitter or send an e-mail. I would really appreciate your expertise.

I love Blogspot, but it's too restricting. Plus, search optimization is low. I'll let you all know what's going on with the new site and hopefully I'll debut it in the coming months.

ABC's Wednesday premiere night returns with dramatic declines

This is not a good sign.

According to The Hollywood Reporter's Live Feed, last night's premieres of "Pushing Daisies," "Private Practice" and "Dirty Sexy Money" were down substantially from last year.

"Daisies" was down a whopping 55% with 6.3 million viewers, "Practice" was down 38% with 8 million viewers and "Money" was down 31% with 7.1 million viewers.

Despite great reviews, "Daisies" - which was arguably the breakout hit of last year - suffered the most, placing fourth in the 8 p.m. time slot for the night.

If this is a sign of coming times, I urge you to please start watching these shows (if anything, at least "Daisies") live.

'Pushing Daisies' buzzes with a Bee Man, Lil' Gum Shoe and lots of mite(s)

Wasn't tonight's season premiere of "Pushing Daisies" just fantastic? I forgot how much I missed this show. Even the guest stars ("Wonderfalls'" Diana Scarwid and "The O.C.'s" Autumn Reeser) were magnificent in their minor supporting roles. Since I have to get up early (in less than eight hours), I'll post up a formal review some time on Thursday. I might also do some mad YouTube searching for some of the episode's highlights.

Have a good night!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

'Fringe' gets full season order from Fox

It's official, Joshua Jackson and company will be gracing the small screen for the rest of the television season! "Fringe" is the second official full-season order, behind CW's expected back-nine order of its "Beverly Hills, 90210" remake, "90210."

Who wants to bet that "Privileged" will get a full season too? Come on, you know you want to ...

Back from a mini-break on Wednesday night

I apologize for slacking a little for the past few days. I've been pretty busy writing my column for the newspaper and working on little television blurbs here and there, but I promise I'll be back and in full force tomorrow night in time for the "Pushing Daisies" premiere!

I also have some "Grey's Anatomy" goodies that'll take me lifetime and a half to upload, but I promise all you diehard "Grey's" fans, that you won't be sorry. Also, the sneak peek of "Dirty Sexy Money" will be up (hopefully) before the premiere tomorrow, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Just so you guys will believe that I have been keeping tabs on some shows that just premiered and ones I've been watching, here are some of my quick takes:

- Sunday's "Brothers & Sisters" third season premiere started off the same, but who doesn't like watching sparring siblings try to keep secrets hidden, fighting over the family business and mucking their relationships up? My favorite TV couple, Scotty and Kevin, almost surpasses the adorableness of Jim and Pam from "The Office" with their quick-witted banter. (I did say almost right?) [First Impression: 7/10]

- Is it just me or is "Chuck" just getting better and better as the episodes (and seasons) continue? Monday's premiere was full of what we all love - Chuck getting into a mound of crap, Chuck and Sarah moving two millimeters closer to being more than just co-workers, Chuck and Morgan planning out an elaborate Call of Duty battle plan and Chuck saving the day ... as Charles Carmichael, which actually worked. Take note my amateur spy friends, take note. [First Impression: 8/10]

- I had to watch Monday's "Gossip Girl" episode because of "How I Met Your Mother" (sorry "GG" fans!), but I did manage to watch most of it this afternoon. In my mind, "Gossip Girl" can do no wrong and it proved that with this Fashion Week-centric ep. It was entertaining, funny and complete with quotable one-liners. Who doesn't love that? But, where was Nate and Vanessa? [First Impression: 7.5/10]

- Tonight's episode of "Privileged" ("Fringe" will be viewed tomorrow afternoon) was so damn adorable, I don't even know what to do with myself. The characters are perfectly cast and the dialogue is neither stupid nor overwhelming to the viewer. Though previous episodes certainly paved the way for a possible love triangle between Megan, her best friend Charlie (so adorable) and hot, wealthy neighbor Will, this only cemented that fact - only now, it's more of a ... love rhombus? [First Impression: 8.5/10]

- I missed the first 20 minutes of "House" because I was at dinner at Philippe's with my roommate but I can already tell this episode is filled with sarcastic zings from the limping doc himself and comparable comebacks from his private investigator slash new best friend. [First Impression: 9/10]

On a lighter note, "How I Met Your Mother" was great. Who knew Reeg could act so well? (Kidding, sort of.)