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Goodbye, May

By admin Published: May 31, 2009

I am hoping that June will bring a fresh head of steam. May ends with me feeling spent. Oh, I'm mustering some energy. Have watched in recent days the premiere "Hawthorne," three episodes of "Nurse Jackie," the season premiere of "The Closer," the pilot for "The Good Wife," and some odds and ends. But I still haven't taken the trouble to watch Jay Leno's "Tonight" farewell. I may do so before Monday's Conan debut, and bracket them together. But I've been rationalizing the delay with James Poniewozik's thought that it's not much of a farewell if you're back on TV three months later. When Johnny Carson left, it was basically goodbye.

But I think I am most glad to be done with May because it was one of those months where the Smart Money so often proved to be done. Repeatedly we were told about favorites who proved not to have won all the favor they needed. I can start, of course, with the Cavs: best regular-season record, LeBron James, sweeps in the first two rounds of the playoffs. I said their next series would be over in six games; I also said they would win it. Not quite. I leave it to others to analyze why. But no amount of commercials with puppets changed the final score.

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Weekend Notebook: Local Tidbits

By admin Published: May 30, 2009

Readers of the HeldenFiles print edition will recall a mention that low-power stations WAOH/WAX (also known as the CAT) are affiliating with the Retro TV Network, which carries vintage programs. They're not alone. Mike Tonges of low-powers WIVM/WIVN/WIVX says that those stations in Canton, New Philadelphia and Loudonville areas have also connected with RTN, and began carrying its programs on Friday afternoon.

This from Fox Business Network:
FOX Business Network (FBN) is declaring the week of June 1 “Red Ink Week,” dedicating a full five days to exploring the increase in government spending over the last 7-8 months and the long-term implications the recovery plans will have on the American taxpayer. The network’s resident ‘Red Fox’ Liz Claman will lead the charge, following the money trail and uncovering just how taxpayers in each state will be affected.

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You Know a Cultural Moment Has Passed ...

By admin Published: May 29, 2009

... when no one making a show notices a glaring errors in a remark about TV's past. Which was exactly what happened in a "sneak peek" of "What Not To Wear" which aired during the season premiere of "Jon & Kate Plus 8." (Yes, I'm a little late getting to it. Please forgive.) The bit was shot at the Southfork Ranch, a famous location in the TV series "Dallas." As hosts Stacy London and Clinton Kelly walked along, Kelly said, "This is where J.R. was shot, but remember -- that whole season was a dream."

First of all, when J.R. was shot at the end of the third season, he wasn't at Southfork; he was in his office. (I went back to the DVDs to double-check.) Second, that wasn't the dream season. The dream was the ninth season, when Bobby was supposedly dead, only to reappear in the shower in the season finale.

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"Fringe" on DVD/Blu-ray

By admin Published: May 29, 2009

It's due Sept. 8. Full announcement after the jump. I dropped out of the series early in its first season; too silly for my taste. Should I give it a second chance?

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Back on the Blog

By admin Published: May 29, 2009

I don't usually go so long between posts, especially in the middle of the week. And it's not as if I had nothing to talk about. I am, after all, the guy who Tweeted while wired up for a sleep test. I can point you to plenty of people who think I can't shut up. But somehow, for a couple of days, I just ran out of posting steam. I had other things to do -- some DVDs to watch, a wet basement to mop up, errands to run -- and just never had a compelling enough urge to sit down and post. Now the urge is returning. I have a few things to do this morning, but expect to be back online before the day is done.

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Seasons vary on cable TV

By Heldenfels Mailbag Published: May 28, 2009

If it's Thursday, this must be the mailbag.

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The HeldenFiles

By admin Published: May 27, 2009

What a Difference in a TV Week. This time a week ago, we were getting used to the idea of Shawn Johnson as Dancing With the Stars champion and about to see Kris Allen win American Idol.

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Some Inspirational Messages for the Cavs

By admin Published: May 25, 2009

If there was ever a time for the Cavs to watch "Glee," this is it. ...

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Sunday Notebook

By admin Published: May 24, 2009

A chat with Linda Bloodworth-Thomason in conjunction with the DVD release of "Designing Women" is here. It also includes DVD notes on a revised version of the Al Pacino film "Revolution," a reissue of the Hugh Laurie "Jeeves and Wooster" and a couple of Warner Bros. cartoon sets.

My overview of the fall TV season is here.

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Lythgoe Apologizes

By admin Published: May 23, 2009

This came from GLAAD today:

On May 22, GLAAD released a Call to Action in response to remarks made the night before by judge Nigel Lythgoe on the popular reality competition show So You Think You Can Dance. Today, GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano and Senior Director of Media Programs Rashad Robinson spoke with Mr. Lythgoe. He expressed his apology over his misuse of words and released this official statement:

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"SYTYCD" Under Fire

By admin Published: May 22, 2009

Last night, I was watching some of "So You Think You Can Dance" with the bride -- she's a devote fan. And when Nigel Lythgoe made some weird remarks about two men dancing together, I said that GLAAD was probably going to go after him. Sure enough, in today's e-mail:

On the May 21 season premiere of Fox’s popular reality competition show So You Think You Can Dance, aspiring competitors Misha Belfer and Mitchel Kibel performed a samba for the judges at the program’s Denver auditions. Though the judges did offer some praise to the men, judge Nigel Lythgoe -- in his on-air and online criticisms of their performance -- made snide, and ultimately homophobic, comments about the routine that have led to calls for an apology to both the dancers and to the LGBT community.

During the telecast, Lythgoe said: “I think you probably alienate a lot of our audience. I mean, we’ve always had the guys dance together on the show, but I’ve -- they’ve never really done it in each other’s arms before.” Shortly thereafter, he added, “Do you know what? I’d like to see you both dancing with a girl.”

Lythgoe later wrote on Twitter: “The same sex ballroom guys did remind me of 'Blades of Glory.' However, I'm not a fan of 'Brokeback' Ballroom.”

"It's unacceptable for this kind of blatant homophobia to occur" said GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano. "Fox Entertainment and Nigel Lythgoe owe Misha, Mitchel and the whole LGBT community an apology."

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Friday Morning Notebook

By admin Published: May 22, 2009

Andy Borowitz and Olivia Gentile talk about writing, politics and other things here.

Since a couple of people have mentioned that they recorded "Glee" but missed the last part because of an "American Idol" overrun, the episode is available online at Hulu.com and Fox.com. You can also learn more about the show here.

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The CW Fall 2009 Plan

By admin Published: May 21, 2009

The Heldenfiles: Let's hear it for baseball!

By admin Published: May 21, 2009

I have complained for years about playoff baseball airing only at night, and often late into the night, when a new, young generation of fans has been sent off to sleep-land before the ninth inning.

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Case of the lost program

By admin Published: May 21, 2009

If it's Thursday, this must be the mailbag.

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The Fixing "Idol" Memo 2009

By admin Published: May 21, 2009

Dear "American Idol":
Lots of people are saying this morning that "America got it wrong" in naming Kris Allen the winner of your annual competition. I don't agree. I think America did fine. But you, "Idol," made some bonehead moves, which I will explain after the jump. ...

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"American Idol" Finale

By admin Published: May 20, 2009

Notes as the show proceeds, with digressions to basketball. The result is near the bottom of the post, with a few comments. The bracketed material was added after the telecast, when I went back to look at some things. And, at the end, the first official act of post-win commerce.

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Wednesday Notebook

By admin Published: May 20, 2009

If you haven't seen "Glee" yet and are just hearing good things about it (I like it a lot), the pilot is available for viewing on Hulu.com. If you have seen it, do you share my enthusiasm?

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TNT, TBS, truTV Plans

By admin Published: May 20, 2009

Includes summer, fall and stuff in development. Boilerplate after the jump.

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CBS Fall Schedule

By admin Published: May 20, 2009

Full announcement after the jump. It did pick up "Medium," will hold "Rules of Engagement" for midseason, dropped "The Unit" and "Without a Trace," and added four series, including the "NCIS" spinoff.

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"Dancing With the Stars" Finale

By admin Published: May 19, 2009

It's about 75 minutes into the two-hour telecast, following reappearances by losing contestants, Lady Gaga performing, Jeffrey Ross's roasting and other bits. And now we're about to get something that matters. .... (Spoiler alert: The final result is at the end of this post, after the jump.)

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"American Idol" Final 2 Performance

By admin Published: May 19, 2009

Live posts of the show while in progress, after the jump.

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NBC Fall/Winter Schedules

By admin Published: May 19, 2009

Full announcement after the jump; "Chuck" back at midseason (with lots of references to Subway sandwiches*), "Law & Order" in the fall.

*See release at the end of the network announcement.

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ABC Fall Schedule

By admin Published: May 19, 2009

Lots of changes, lots of new shows. Complete announcement after the jump. If you're looking for hints about the casts of returning shows, there don't appear to be any; "Grey's Anatomy" still lists Heigl and Knight, and "Lost" lists Elizabeth Mitchell even though she is also listed for the new version of "V."

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Fox Fall Schedule

By admin Published: May 18, 2009

All the boilerplate, after the jump.

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Kornheiser Out, Gruden In, at Monday Night Football

By admin Published: May 18, 2009

Here's the top of ESPN's announcement: Former Super Bowl-winning head coach [and Sandusky native] Jon Gruden is joining ESPN’s Monday Night Football. The dynamic, outspoken and often fiery Gruden will join commentators Mike Tirico and Ron Jaworski in the booth when sports television’s signature series kicks off its 40th season this fall. Gruden will also contribute analysis throughout the year on ESPN Radio and other platforms, in addition to being a part of ESPN’s 2010 Pro Bowl telecast and Super Bowl and NFL Draft coverage.

Gruden replaces Tony Kornheiser, who has decided to step down after three years in the Monday Night Football booth.

Announcement continues after the jump.

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'True Blood' has some teeth

By admin Published: May 18, 2009

It's a busy time for Sookie Stackhouse. Dead and Gone, the latest of Charlaine Harris' books about the woman living in a world of Southern vampires, landed in stores recently.

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"Survivor" Season Finale

By admin Published: May 17, 2009

After watching Thursday's show, I said: 'Of those left, I would be happy if either Taj or J.T. won. Taj is the most likable of the candidates, and J.T. has played the game really well (aside from the Stephen blindside this week). Stephen's been a smart player, too, only I've found him too nervous and even mean-spirited at times; I don't think he would have gotten this far without J.T. And Erinn is another Amber -- tagging along with the smarter players."

So ...

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"Saturday Night Live" Season Finale

By admin Published: May 17, 2009

First, the latest in a series of explanations about some different posts on here. Both the "True Blood" post (actually my DVD column for the week) and the Ted Henry are links to stories I wrote for the print Beacon Journal and carried on Ohio.com. Click on the header to link to the story.

As for "SNL," it didn't rank with Justin Timberlake (as host and/or as frequent guest) or Jon Hamm. While Will Ferrell can be funny, he misjudges at times (the ABA movie, for one thing, and the trailers for "Land of the Lost" are horrible). ...

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Anchor Ted Henry prepares to sign off

By admin Published: May 17, 2009

Theodore Charles Henry Jr. will say goodbye to local viewers on Wednesday, as the Canton native steps down as news anchor of WEWS (Channel 5).

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Weekend Notebook: "Grey's Anatomy" in the Land of Spoilers

By admin Published: May 16, 2009


A few notes after the jump ...

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Weekend Notebook: "CSI," "Bones," "Survivor," "Lie to Me," "Parks & Recreation"

By admin Published: May 16, 2009

Catching up on last week's shows, and still hoping to get to "Grey's Anatomy" before I trip over even more spoilers. ...

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The HeldenFiles: Should that be a Kent-ney?

By admin Published: May 15, 2009

Should That Be a Kent-Ney? The season finale of 30 Rock found Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) trying to get a kidney for his father (Alan Alda) through an all-star musical performance. The music video, He Needs a Kidney, is now available on iTunes for 99 cents, with all proceeds going to the National Kidney Foundation.

NOTE TO READERS: My office has arranged a new whizbang in which anything I write for the Akron Beacon Journal, including the Wednesday/Saturday HeldenFiles tidbits and a recent interview with E. Lynn Harris, below, will now be linked here. The paragaph above contains the first few lines. If you click on the header, it takes you to the full story on Ohio.com. Regulars know that I often post links to Ohio.com on my own, but this saves me a step. We'll see how it goes. Some bugs to be worked out.

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"Dancing With the Stars" Finale Details

By admin Published: May 15, 2009

I've posted the full release after the jump, but here's the key competitive stuff:

"Each couple will take a turn in a section of the song before stepping aside for the next team to showcase their routine -- giving judges and viewers a chance to compare the couples alongside each other. In addition, Shawn, Gilles and Melissa will show us what they’ve got in the ever popular Freestyle routine – a fan favorite.

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"The Office": Company Picnic

By admin Published: May 15, 2009

Funny is good. But sweet and wistful can be nice, too.

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Friday Notebook: "30 Rock"

By admin Published: May 15, 2009

"A guy crying about a chicken and a baby? I thought this was a comedy show." -- Alan Alda on "30 Rock"

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Kris's Next Song?

By admin Published: May 14, 2009

Idolator.com suggested that Kris Allen give a try to this Fountains of Wayne ditty:

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"Lost" Season Finale

By admin Published: May 14, 2009

While "Lost" has had an erratic history in terms of quality, it has those moments when our long history with its characters creates moments of such powerful emotional force that the series once again makes the argument for being one of the best shows in TV history. Last night had more than one such moment. ...

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"American Idol": Now We Are Two

By admin Published: May 14, 2009

I'm not sure "American Idol" has any lines left to cross in terms of promoting one contestant over another, but Katy Perry wearing a cape with Adam Lambert's name on the back may be one. Still, we are set for what could be a really interesting final two. More notes, and the Fox results press release, after the jump.

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Singer busy in England

By admin Published: May 14, 2009

If it's Thursday, this must be the mailbag

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"Lie to Me" Renewed; Shawn Ryan Joins

By admin Published: May 13, 2009

Here's the word from Fox:

FOX has renewed LIE TO ME – one of the season’s top new series among Adults 18-49 – for a second season, it was announced today by Kevin Reilly, President, Entertainment for Fox Broadcasting Company. In addition, Shawn Ryan, creator and executive producer of “The Shield,” joins the series as an executive producer and show-runner.

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The Heldenfiles: Gary Unsettled?

By admin Published: May 13, 2009

Gary Unsettled? The Hollywood Reporter says producers Ed Yeager and Ric Swartzlander have left CBS comedy Gary Unmarried. Creative differences are blamed.

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Best-selling author won't shy away from questions

By admin Published: May 13, 2009

When E. Lynn Harris speaks in Akron on Wednesday night, he probably will discuss his career as a writer, which began with his self-publication of Invisible Life in 1991. (Click on header for complete story.)

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"Dancing With the Stars" Top 4 Results

By admin Published: May 12, 2009

"DWTS" managed to run for 50 of its 62 minutes without offering a single result, filling with things like "you pick the pro" for next season, a contest which interests me in only one way: Will a professional chosen by the voting public go into the competition with a built-in voter base? But when the results finally came, it was nothing as stunning as last week...

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"American Idol" Top 3 Performances

By admin Published: May 12, 2009

Two songs per singer tonight, one chosen by the judges, one chosen by the contestants. In theory, this is a night where everyone gets to look good. In theory. ...

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"One Tree Hill" Stars Exit?

By admin Published: May 12, 2009

That's the word from EW.com and Michael Ausiello:

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"Dollhouse" DVD/Blu-ray Plans

By admin Published: May 12, 2009

The announcement is after the jump...

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"Breakfast With Blassie" on DVD

By admin Published: May 12, 2009

Complexities about the DVD release of the Andy Kaufman film, after the jump.

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"How I Met Your Mother": Waste of Space

By admin Published: May 12, 2009

I'm going to try not to talk too long about last nght's "HIMYM," since I have two columns to write at work and am trying to keep up with a couple of FB threads ("Star Trek" and Cavs-vs-Boston-or-Orlando). But the show was aw- -- wait for it -- ...

ful. There are other shows with problems, too, including "Two and a Half Men" which really needs to do something about Charlie's girlfriend in the season finale. Maybe not something involving a killer dummy, but SOMETHING. And I am already going on too long.

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"NewsHour" Announces Changes, Return to Two Anchors, New Name

By admin Published: May 12, 2009

Effective in September, it will be "PBS NewsHour." And here's the anchor note:

The daily PBS NewsHour broadcast will move to a dual anchor format, with Jim Lehrer regularly joined by NewsHour senior correspondents Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff and Jeffrey Brown in the studio. Senior correspondents Ray Suarez and Margaret Warner will primarily focus on “out of studio” reporting. The objective of the dual anchor format is to better engage NewsHour viewers and strengthen their connection to the program. By sending senior correspondents out of the studio, the program seeks to make better use of their reporting talents and add texture to the broadcast.

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"Dancing With the Stars": Un-Tying

By admin Published: May 11, 2009

"DWTS" was down to four couples onight, and three impressed ...

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Monday Notebook

By admin Published: May 11, 2009

Notes on recent events, and on watching "Lost," "Grey's Anatomy," "Private Practice," "The Office" and such, after the jump.

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'Galaxy Quest' redux a joy

By admin Published: May 11, 2009

The news has been full of the big-screen Star Trek (which is quite good), and the DVD shelves have been keeping pace.

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Doris Day biography has pain, heartache

By admin Published: May 11, 2009

David Kaufman has no trouble remembering his first encounter with Doris Day. He was 6 years old and his parents took him to see The Man Who Knew Too Much, with Day, at Cleveland's old Colony Theater (now Shaker Square Cinemas).

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Sunday Notebook

By admin Published: May 10, 2009

Another great result with Justin Timberlake on "Saturday Night Live" last night. Yes, he is overusing some bits -- "Plasticville" comes to mind -- and some are trying to compete with the legendary ("Mother Lovers" was funny, but not on the level of the "Box" song). The opening monologue was Steve Martin as much as JT. And there were flat points when he wasn't onstage, starting with the Geithner open. But it still feels as if the show saves its best work for JT: Cornelius Timberlake, above; the Target lady actually made less annoying; the "Star Trek" guys ("conveniently" followed by a "Star Trek" commercial). I laughed often, and hard.

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Beam aboard: 'Star Trek' is a real blast

By admin Published: May 7, 2009

Let's keep it simple: The new, big-screen Star Trek is the best movie in the long series of films, and a distinguished, enthralling addition to the encyclopedic mass of Star Trek lore.

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In Case You Missed It ...

By admin Published: May 7, 2009

An ABC Jukebox

By admin Published: May 7, 2009

This is a kind of nifty gadget, which I have been playing at my desk this afternoon while doing other things:

Beginning today, in response to viewers’ love for not only their favorite ABC shows, but also the music in them, ABC Entertainment launches the ABC Music Lounge on ABC.com, providing users with an interactive online music experience that is uniquely ABC. Reflective of the network’s commitment to using digital platforms to deepen its relationship with viewers, the ABC Music Lounge showcases everything about the music and artists featured on ABC’s popular primetime schedule, offering a deep catalog of music-related content.

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Thursday Notebook

By admin Published: May 7, 2009

In the cone of silence re "Lost" so far...

A local man had a hand in "Star Trek." Story here.

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'Dexter' to return to Showtime in fall

By admin Published: May 7, 2009

If it's Thursday, this must be the mailbag

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Beam aboard - 'Star Trek' is a real blast

By admin Published: May 7, 2009

Let's keep it simple: The new, big-screen Star Trek is the best movie in the long series of films, and a distinguished, enthralling addition to the encyclopedic mass of Star Trek lore.

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Kent artist is all ears for 'Star Trek'

By admin Published: May 7, 2009

If you should run into Scott Gamble of Kent, tell him you like his ears. It's not a comment about the appearance of the 46-year-old Cuyahoga Falls native. It's praise for his craft as a makeup effects technician.

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"American Idol" Results

By admin Published: May 6, 2009

Connie Culp, Face Transplant Woman, on "GMA"

By admin Published: May 6, 2009

Here's the announcement:

Tune in to ABC News' "Good Morning America," Friday, May 8, for Diane Sawyer's exclusive interview with Connie Culp. In an emotional and inspirational interview, Culp reveals the events leading-up to a moment of violence that destroyed her face and changed her life forever. Culp talks with Sawyer about the donor, the man who shot her, the decision to undergo the transplant surgery, as well as her journey of recovery and aspirations for the future.

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Picture of the Day

By admin Published: May 6, 2009

"Reaper": Send in the Stripper Clowns

By admin Published: May 6, 2009

I loved the moment when Sock and Ben exulted over the idea of stripper clowns -- and offer another perspective on that topic here. ...

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Wednesday Notebook

By admin Published: May 6, 2009

The Heldenfiles - Glee-ful Ohio

By admin Published: May 6, 2009

Glee-Ful Ohio. You may have seen promotional spots for Glee, a Fox musical-comedy series getting a special preview on May 19 before joining Fox's lineup in the fall.

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"Dancing With the Stars" Results

By admin Published: May 5, 2009

I don't get many things right, but I was pretty close to this one. After the jump. ...

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"American Idol": That '70s Show

By admin Published: May 5, 2009

They called it rock & roll night, then rock night, and brought in Slash. But a show that makes a lot of noise about being contemporary overlooked three decades of music to get to tonight's selections. The newest song was Styx's "Renegade," which hit the Billboard charts in 1979. "Dream On" and "Slow Ride" date to '76. "Come Together" is originally from 1969, but Aerosmith's cover is '78 (and, with "Dream On," that makes two songs tonight with Aerosmith connections. It's Bryan Adams all over again.) "Whole Lotta Love" charted in '70. And while "Cry Baby" goes back to '63 if you remember Garnett Mimms -- which "Idol" doesn't -- the show invoked Janis Joplin, so we're looking at '70.

Of course, this may also explain Kara's hair, which from the front kept making me think of Grace Jones.

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CBS Comedies: "Big Bang Theory," "HIMYM," "Men"

By admin Published: May 5, 2009

Between "Big Bang Theory," "Amazing Race" and "Two and a Half Men," it's been a big week for bathrooms on CBS. ...

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"Dancing With the Stars" Performances

By admin Published: May 5, 2009

Well, we had Melissa popping out of her costume Monday night, Ty indicating that a little hip-swaying leads to benefits at home, a Gilles/Cheryl performance that was very hot, an awesome turn from Shawn -- and I speed-watched the whole thing this morning -- and still, at the end I was ticked off.

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Best "Star Trek" Movie Ever

By admin Published: May 4, 2009

I have had "Star Trek" on the brain since Saturday morning, when I previewed the new film. As I noted here already, it sent me to my DVDs of the original series; in addition, last night the bride and I rewatched "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," which had great influence on the new film. And I am just in heaven. (For a wry view of who else is in heaven, see here.)

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More "Fringe"

By admin Published: May 4, 2009

FOX has renewed FRINGE, the No. 1 new series among Adults 18-49, with a full second season, it was announced today by Kevin Reilly, President, Entertainment for Fox Broadcasting Company.

“FRINGE proved to be a notable addition to our schedule all season and it really has fans buzzing as it builds to a fantastic season finale,” said Reilly. “J.J. and the whole Bad Robot team have been phenomenal partners, and we look forward to years of making great television with them.”

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NBC: More on Fall Plans

By admin Published: May 4, 2009

The release is here and after the jump. This is a partial announcement, indicating some of what NBC will be putting on but now where it will put shows (aside from the Leno 10 p.m. bloc). The detailed schedule, with more pickups and time periods, will be presented on May 19.

Returning series confirmed in today's announcement are "Heroes," "Southland," "Parks and Recreation" and six new episodes of "Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday." Previously announced pickups include "The Office," "30 Rock," "The Biggest Loser," "The Celebrity Apprentice," "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," "Friday Night Lights," and new alternative series "The Marriage Ref," "Breakthrough With Tony Robbins" and "Who Do You Think You Are?" Addendum: Reports like this one say "Life" is canceled and "SVU" will go on even if Meloni and Hargitay don't make new deals.

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"Amazing Race": Four Bottles

By admin Published: May 4, 2009

It's official: I want Tammy/Victor to win. Jaime/Cara are too horrible, and Margie/Luke too obnoxious and annoying. ...

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Brief Notes

By admin Published: May 3, 2009

Subject for further consideration: The role of taxis and toilets in "The Amazing Race," and why it's better to go on yourself than to end up in fourth place behind a pair of obnoxious xenophobes.

Subject for further elaboration: Why the new "Star Trek" is the best "Trek" movie ever, and why it has had me going back to look at old "TOS" episodes as well as "The Wrath of Khan."

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"The Office": It's the Ensemble, Stupid

By admin Published: May 1, 2009

"The Office" showed its skill in a couple of ways in the "Casual Friday" episode last night. ....

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"Bones": You're Animals!

By admin Published: May 1, 2009

I've expressed my enjoyment of "Bones" before, and I don't miss an episode even if I am lax about writing about them. It's at once a geek-science show, a romantic comedy and an ensemble comedy drawing on the eccentricities of its many characters for entertainment. Bones and Booth may be in the middle, but I keep watching in part because I like so many of the other characters, too.

The show can also throw in demented flourishes, and last night included several in an extended nod to "Animal House." As I noted on Twitter and FB last night, the episode -- set at a local college -- had characters with names like Greg Harmalard, Dean Vernon Warner and Robert Hooper, all variations on the names of "Animal House" characters. But there was more -- an "Otter" mascot, for example, the dean having a sexually reckless wife and several scenes involving the building of a parade float. I kept waiting for Stephen Bishop to drop by.

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"30 Rock": Doin' the Twist

By admin Published: May 1, 2009

One of the little gags in last night's "30 Rock" involved characters saying "twist" when the plot took a surprise (or at least sitcom-surprise) turn. But the biggest twist may have been how uneasily real it got in the confrontation between Jack and his mother Colleen. ...

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Thursday Catch-Up: "Grey's Anatomy"

By admin Published: May 1, 2009

Before I get into a serious discussion of last night's episode, I have one of those too-much-viewing digressions to ask about. Did Izzie's mom, played by Sharon Lawrence, remind anyone else of Tammy Tambo (Wendy Schaal), Shelly's mom on "Northern Exposure"? No? Then let's move on. ...

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