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"So You Think You Can Dance" Notes

By admin Published: July 30, 2010

I mentioned a week ago that it looked as if Billy Bell got a free pass -- not having to dance even though he had been cleared by doctors to do so. Maybe some of his former fans felt the same way, since he and Jose Ruiz got sent home. (Or, as the bride has observed, the show may simply have not wanted to eliminate Lauren, since she was the last remaining woman.) The official word:

After last week’s dramatic judges’ save, two finalists – Billy Bell and Jose Ruiz – were eliminated tonight on SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE, revealing this season’s Top 4: Kent Boyd, Lauren Froderman, Robert Roldan and AdéChiké Torbert.

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Ellen Out at "American Idol"

By admin Published: July 29, 2010

[UPDATE: TMZ is reporting that Kara DioGuardi's contract is not being renewed, and that the show will go with three judges: Randy Jackson, Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez.]

Although she seemed to get more comfortable as the season went along, Ellen DeGeneres has decided to leave "American Idol." Sure, she had some rough spots, trying to be nice but not too much, trying to be funny but affectionately. She might have continued to get better. But she would have had to adjust again, assuming the show wanted to keep her, especially since it's hard to be the not-Simon when there's no Simon to be contrasted with.

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New "3O for 30" Lineup

By admin Published: July 29, 2010

I love this series of documentaries, and more are coming.

From ESPN: ESPN Films has announced the fall schedule for its critically acclaimed film series 30 for 30 Presented by Cadillac. The series’ remaining films will begin airing Tuesday, Aug. 24, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN/ESPN HD, and will be aired Tuesday nights throughout the fall. New films added to the lineup include Little Big Men (Al Szymanski and Peter Franchella), Unmatched (Directors: Lisa Lax and Nancy Stern Winters; Producer: Hannah Storm), Four Days in October (Major League Baseball Productions) and Pony Excess (Thaddeus D. Matula). These films join the previously announced Jordan Rides the Bus, One Night in Vegas, The House of Steinbrenner, Marion Jones: Press Pause, Steve Bartman: Catching Hell, Tim Richmond: To the Limit, Once Brothers, Into The Wind and The Best That Never Was.

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Movie Mash-Up Competition in Akron

By admin Published: July 29, 2010

The official word: Akron Film, producer of the Akron Film Festival, is pleased to announce its new 2010 filmmaking contest: Movie Mash-ups. Filmmaking teams from around the Northeast Ohio region will attend an orientation on August 8, 2010 at 1 p.m. in the Akron Art Museum’s Charles and Jane Lehner Auditorium where they will each draw two famous movie titles from a hat. They then have two weeks to shoot a five minute movie that combines elements of both films.

After watching the projects at a wrap-up event on August 26 at 7:00 p.m. at the Akron Art Museum, an independent panel of judges plus an audience vote will determine the winner, which will be announced later that evening. The winning team will receive $250, an assortment of items from local businesses, and their film will be screened again as part of the Akron Film Festival, taking place from September 23 to 26, 2010 at the Akron Art Museum.

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Strange Familiar Eliminated From "America's Got Talent"

By admin Published: July 28, 2010

The musicians -- with roots in Cuyahoga Falls and Walsh Jesuit High School -- did not get enough votes on the NBC show to advance to the next round. They had performed Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time" on Tuesday's show and they weren't very good. And the judges so observed. There were some positives on Wednesday's show. Piers said "I've absolutely loved your act" in the past. And Debra Romer, the singer who did advance from their group of three acts (and whose limitations Tuesday were at times covered by backup vocalsts), said Strange Familiar was one of the acts she was most afraid of being up against. But Piers also wondered if SF's Kira Leyden would do better as a solo act.

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The State of American Politics

By admin Published: July 28, 2010

The President of the United States visits "The View." Airing Thursday.

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HeldenFiles Live!

By jim Published: July 28, 2010

Included in this week's video: a few words about Larry McMurtry and his new book, "Hollywood"; the movie "Kick-Ass," coming to DVD and Blu-ray; a couple of movies you do not want to see, a reader question answered and more.

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New "V" on DVD/BD

By admin Published: July 28, 2010

From Warner: Are these alien visitors here to save us or hurt us? What are their intentions after arriving on Earth? What is the shocking truth behind the visitors – or V’s? The reimagining of the highly popular 1980s miniseries attempts to answer these questions as Warner Home Video (WHV) proudly releases V: The Complete First Season on DVD and Blu-ray™ on November 2, 2010, for $39.98/$49.99 SRP.

V: The Complete First Season tells the story of Earth’s first alien encounter. The visitors — human-like beings who know our languages and provide other-worldly gifts of technology and healing — arrive on massive motherships hovering over 29 major cities worldwide. Some consider them saviors in this post 9/11 world; others feel differently. A fledgling resistance is on the rise, determined to reveal the shocking truth. . . .

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"Apocalypse Now" on Blu-ray!

By admin Published: July 28, 2010

From Lionsgate:
Often hailed as "one of the greatest of all films" (Chicago Sun-Times), the timeless cinematic masterpiece from Francis Ford Coppola Apocalypse Now arrives in stunning high definition for the first time when it premieres on Blu-ray Disc, Digital Download and On Demand this fall from Lionsgate. . . . This highly anticipated Blu-ray Disc premieres in 1080P High Definition Widescreen in two deluxe-edition releases: a 3-Disc Full Disclosure Edition and a 2-Film Set. Also for the first time, these movies will be presented for home entertainment audiences in their original theatrical aspect ratios (2.35:1)*. . . .
Both Blu-ray versions contain Apocalypse Now - The 1979 Cut and Apocalypse Now Redux with more than nine hours of bonus material including new interviews with on-screen and behind-the-scenes talent. The 3-Disc Full Disclosure Edition will include the acclaimed making-of feature documentary Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse - packaged with the original film for the first time - as well as even more brand new bonus features.

(Continues after the jump, where you will also find some more info about the aspect ratio)
In addition, this version features a 48-page collectible booklet with a special note from Francis Ford Coppola, never-before-seen archives from the set, behind the scenes photos and more! The Full Disclosure Edition will be packaged in a keepsake case featuring archival poster images designed by Japanese artist Eiko Ishioka.

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"Dora" Gets Ready for 10th Birthday

By admin Published: July 28, 2010

But 10 years merits just a 12-minute tribute? It's as if they're televising a DVD extra. From Nickelodeon:

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"Undercover Boss" Season 2 Companies

By admin Published: July 28, 2010

They will include NASCAR, DirecTV, Great Wolf Resorts and Chiquita. The official word:

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"Survivor" Creates Age Gap

By admin Published: July 28, 2010

From CBS:

The next edition of SURVIVOR will be a battle for the ages…literally. The 20 new castaways will be divided into two Tribes of 10: Young vs. Old. The Espada Tribe, made up of individuals over the age of 40, must prove they have the life experience and knowledge that will ultimately help them Outwit and Outlast their younger competitors. The La Flor Tribe, consisting of individuals 30 years of age and younger, will have to use their youth and vitality to Outplay and ultimately Outlast their elders. Who will prevail: youth or maturity?

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Good Morning

By admin Published: July 28, 2010

How's this for saying little and seeming to say a lot? From ABC:

Steve McPherson today submitted his resignation as President, ABC Entertainment Group, and the Company accepted. Mr. McPherson said, "I want to thank the wonderful team of individuals who have worked with me throughout my time here and wish them nothing but the best.” A replacement for Mr. McPherson will be announced shortly.

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Anime "Iron Man," "X-Men," "Wolverine," "Blade" Set

By admin Published: July 26, 2010

From G4: G4 will be the exclusive U.S. television home of four brand-new anime series featuring some of the most successful and iconic brands from the Marvel Universe. Produced by Madhouse for Marvel Entertainment and Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan (SPEJ), these four original series will feature iconic characters from "Iron Man," "X-MEN," "Wolverine" and "Blade" in an edgy new anime world. These series will premiere on the network in 2011. . . .

Each of the four new anime properties - "Iron Man," "X-MEN," "Wolverine" and "Blade" - will air as standalone series made up of twelve 30-minute episodes. Guided by multiple Eagle award winner Warren Ellis, the four shows will feature a matrix of interlinked storylines and shared guest characters that further enhance this intellectual roller coaster ride for G4 viewers.

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"Glee" Casting Note

By admin Published: July 26, 2010

From Fox: Newcomer Chord Overstreet (“iCarly”) joins the ranks at McKinley as a high school athlete who starts off as Finn’s protégé but becomes his competition. Overstreet has been cast in the recurring role of SAM, and will make his debut in the season premiere episode of GLEE airing Tuesday, Sept. 21 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.
As previously announced, other notable guest stars in the sophomore season include singing sensation Charice, who comes to McKinley as an exchange student and becomes a formidable rival to one of the glee club’s stars; and heartthrob John Stamos, who plays a dentist and potential love interest for EMMA PILLSBURY (Jayma Mays). (end announcement)

Don't know much about Overstreet, and his "iCarly" credit appears to be one episode. But I didn't know much about the original "Glee" students either before the show began.

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Cleveland Clinic A "Jeopardy!" Category

By admin Published: July 26, 2010

From the clinic:
On Friday, July 30, the quiz show “JEOPARDY!” will feature a category titled “Cleveland Clinic.”
The show’s Clue Crew, on-air talent who tape video clues from around the world, came to Cleveland Clinic in November to film clues.
The show initially contacted Cleveland Clinic to film medical clues, but later decided to dedicate an entire category to Cleveland Clinic.
The clues, which will all be video clues, are top secret. However, they focus on innovation, the history of Cleveland Clinic and medical technology.

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"Mad Men" Season 4 Premiere

By admin Published: July 25, 2010

After the jump, a spoiler-laden discussion of tonight's "Mad Men."

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"Chuck" Adds Linda Hamilton

By admin Published: July 24, 2010

From Warner Bros.: “Chuck” creators/executive producers Josh Schwartz and Chris Fedak thrilled fans at Comic Con: International: San Diego 2010 today with the announcement that sci-fi icon Linda Hamilton (the “Terminator” films) will join the series as a recurring guest star in season four, playing the role of Mary Bartowski, the long-missing mother of Chuck (series star Zachary Levi) and Ellie (series star Sarah Lancaster).

• “Chuck” fans have long wondered about the circumstances surrounding Chuck and Ellie’s mysterious mother, Mary Bartowski, who disappeared from her children’s lives when they were still young.

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Daniel Schorr, R.I.P.

By admin Published: July 23, 2010

The CBS newsman and NPR commentator was 93. A detailed, warts-noting obituary from the Los Angeles Times is here. NPR's announcement goes like this:

Veteran newsman Daniel Schorr, a pioneer of broadcast journalism who was part of Edward R. Murrow’s legendary CBS team, died peacefully this morning after a short illness at the age of 93, his family informed NPR. He was surrounded by his family. Since 1985, Schorr was a senior news analyst for NPR, interpreting national and international events in conversation and commentary on Weekend Edition and All Things Considered.

Scott Simon, host of Weekend Edition, which became Schorr’s broadcast home for the past quarter century, said of his passing: “I was privileged to know Dan Schorr for 25 years and cherish him as a fierce journalist, and a tender friend and father. We used to joke, ‘I’m not Dan’s son. But I play Dan’s son on the radio.’ Sharing the studio with him, and so many laughs and memories, has been the blessing of a lifetime.

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"So You Think You Can Dance" Notes

By admin Published: July 23, 2010

It looks as if the drama offstage at "SYTYCD" is getting more intense than what we see in performances. First, the show had to deal with yet another injury this week, which brings up a lot of questions about what the dancers are being asked to do. Things are bad enough that Nigel Lythgoe acknowledged on the air that the situation needs to be looked into. After all, this is not the same as "Dancing With the Stars" performers getting hurt; many of them have no dance training and so are at greater risk of injuring something, while the "SYTYCD" crowd has experience.

That said, even more curious on Thursday's show was the situation with Billy Bell. Nigel, who is an executive producer as well as a judge, is obviously a Billy fan, since he talked at such length on Wednesday's show about how Billy would have been great if he had not been hurt. But it was conceded on Thursday's show that Billy had been cleared by doctors to perform, and chose not to. Sounds like quitting to me. If I were a judge, I would have sent Billy home based on his refusal not to dance. (Strictly on performance and judges' comments, it has appeared that Jose is constantly on the brink of elimiination.) As Nigel pointed out on the air, Billy essentially gave himself a week's rest while the other dancers had to keep working.) But if Nigel was determined to keep Billy -- as it appeared based on his Wednesday comments -- would it have been fair to send someone else home? At least one judge must have made that point. So we end up with no one going, and a double-elimination next week. Most interesting.

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Odds & Ends

By admin Published: July 22, 2010

You can find my brief, and non-spoiler-y, look at the fourth season premiere of "Mad Men" here. I suspect I will file some longer thoughts for your reading after the episode airs.

My review of "Salt" is here.

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CBS Fall Premiere Dates

By admin Published: July 22, 2010

Wednesday, Sept. 15
8:00-9:00 PM SURVIVOR: NICARAGUA (21st Edition Premiere)

Monday, Sept. 20
8:00-8:30 PM HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER (6th Season Premiere)
8:30-9:00 PM RULES OF ENGAGEMENT (5th Season Premiere)
9:00-9:30 PM TWO AND A HALF MEN (8th Season Premiere)
9:30-10:00 PM MIKE & MOLLY (Series Debut)
10:00-11:00 PM HAWAII FIVE-0 (Series Debut)

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More "Wormhole"

By admin Published: July 22, 2010

From the morning e-mail: Science Channel Debbie Myers announced series renewal for the network’s hit summer series THROUGH THE WORMHOLE WITH MORGAN FREEMAN. The program made network history on its July 9 premiere posting the highest rating ever for a series launch on Science Channel. The season finale airs this coming Wednesday, July 28 at 10PM ET/PT on Science Channel. In the conclusion of season one, Freeman looks at dark matter and dark energy and how these mysterious forces seem to be pushing apart the very fabric of our cosmos.

“Morgan and I are thrilled that the work of Revelations Entertainment has been embraced by The Science Channel. We look forward to continuing our relationship with them and producing another successful season,” said Lori McCreary, Revelations’ CEO and Executive Producer of THROUGH THE WORMHOLE WITH MORGAN FREEMAN.

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CBS Turns View-ish With Daytime Hour

By admin Published: July 21, 2010

Filling the gap left by the demise of yet another daytime soap (with "As the World Turns" ending in the fall), here's where CBS is going:

CBS has ordered a new daytime talk show for fall 2010 featuring a panel of well-known news and entertainment personalities who will examine topical events and contemporary issues through the eyes of mothers. The daily, one-hour series will be co-hosted by Julie Chen, Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, Holly Robinson Peete, Leah Remini and Marissa Jaret Winokur.

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HeldenFiles Live!

By jim Published: July 21, 2010

"Mad Men" (and a related book), "Jersey Shore," "The Most Dangerous Man in America," a reader question answered, and even a little of the Jonas Brothers.

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"Caprica" Returns January '11

By admin Published: July 21, 2010

From the network: Syfy has announced the highly-anticipated return of critically-acclaimed series Caprica. The second half of season one premieres in January 2011 (date TBA), and kicks off with a thrilling pace as the citizens of Caprica deal with the chaotic aftermath of the mid-season finale’s harrowing events.

In season 1.5, the once idyllic world of Caprica – as well as life across the colonies – falls prey to an explosive chain reaction of consequences set off by the characters’ many questionable actions in the season’s first half. Tensions rise, power shifts and the line between reality and the virtual world becomes increasingly blurred as everyone struggles to learn – and conquer – the stakes in this volatile setting. As the season races towards its stunning conclusion, events of each episode lay the framework for the inevitable (and brutal) clash between the newly-created Cylon race and their human creators.

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"Airbender" TV Team Gets New Show

By admin Published: July 21, 2010

The official word: Nickelodeon, the number one producer of television animation in the world, has greenlit a new series from the creators of the hit animated TV show Avatar: The Last Airbender, it was announced today by Brown Johnson, President, Animation, Nickelodeon and MTVN Kids and Family Group. The new series The Legend of Korra (working title), from creators Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, will premiere on Nickelodeon in 2011, continuing the evolution of the animated franchise and its mythology. The original series was the inspiration for the Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies live-action epic adventure, The Last Airbender, which has already grossed more than $115 million at the box office to date.

“Mike and Bryan have imagined a compelling new story inspired by the Airbender mythology that they so brilliantly crafted when the TV series began,” Johnson said. “This new avatar is not only a girl, but also hot-headed, independent and ready to take on the world.”

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"Damages" Goes On -- As DirecTV Exclusive

By admin Published: July 19, 2010

The official word: DIRECTV and Sony Pictures Television will team up to bring the award-winning DAMAGES, starring Glenn Close and Rose Byrne, back with brand new episodes to be produced early next year and debuting exclusively on DIRECTV. Emmy winner Glenn Close, Emmy nominee Rose Byrne and other principal cast members will return for the new episodes.

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New "Celebrity Rehab" Cast

By admin Published: July 19, 2010

From the network: VH1 has once again partnered with Dr. Drew Pinsky for a fourth season of the hit reality series “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.” The series, consisting of eight one-hour episodes, is slated to premiere late 2010.

Similar to the first three cycles, the fourth season of “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew” will follow the real-life experiences of celebrity patients undergoing detoxification and treatment at the Pasadena Recovery Center. The show will include Jeremy London (“Party of Five,” “7th Heaven”), Rachel Uchitel (Infamous Party Planner*), Janice Dickinson (“The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency”), Leif Garrett (Musician), Frankie Lons (Keyshia Cole’s Mother), Jason Wahler (“The Hills”) and Jason Davis (Socialite).

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More of "Criminal Minds'" Penelope

By admin Published: July 19, 2010

From cost-conscious CBS:

Kirsten Vangsness, who stars as Penelope Garcia in the CBS drama CRIMINAL MINDS, will also join the midseason series CRIMINAL MINDS: SUSPECT BEHAVIOR as a series regular. Garcia, a computer wizard who helps research cases, will play the same role and support the "Suspect Behavior" BAU team headed up by Special Agent Sam Cooper, played by Academy Award-winner Forest Whitaker.

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Clevelander One of 15 Bloggers for Komen Event

By admin Published: July 19, 2010

From Energizer: Anyone who has participated in a test of endurance knows that the support and encouragement you get can put a bounce in your step and give you the inspiration to reach your goals. Energizer has found a way to turn up the volume on the celebration of this never-quit spirit by selecting bloggers across the nation to blog about their journey as they train and participate in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure®, an event where participants commit to walking 60 miles over the course of three days to raise funds for breast cancer research.

Tésa Nicolanti, author of the blog 2 Wired 2 Tired, has been selected as the Energizer Keep Going® Blogger for the Cleveland event, being held on July 30-Aug. 1. Nicolanti, whose determination and positive spirit shines through in her blog at www.2wired2tired.com, has already gotten started on both her blogging and her training.

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'72 Leonard Cohen Film Sets DVD Release

By admin Published: July 19, 2010

From MVD: Tony Palmer and MVD Visual are proud to announce the release of Leonard Cohen "Bird On A Wire" for US distribution on August 31.

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"Hot in Cleveland" Guest-Stars NE Ohio's Tim Conway

By admin Published: July 19, 2010

The network might have made note of Conway's growing up in Chagrin Falls and working in Cleveland TV early in his career, not to mention his connection with Ernie "Ghoulardi" Anderson. But no.

From TV Land: ... legendary comedic actor Tim Conway will appear in an upcoming episode of the critically-acclaimed hit TV Land sitcom, “Hot in Cleveland.” Also confirmed as guest stars in upcoming episodes are Dave Foley, Canadian comic actor, writer, director, producer and co-star of “The Kids in the Hall” and “NewsRadio,” Gary Anthony Williams from “Boston Legal” and 16-year-old Mark Indelicato, who played “Betty’s” fashion-obsessed nephew on ABC’s “Ugly Betty.”

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Catching Up: Fox Fall Premiere Dates

By admin Published: July 19, 2010

From the network:

Saturday, Sept. 11
8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT COPS (Season Premiere, 800th Episode)
8:30-9:00 PM ET/PT COPS (Encore Episode)
9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT AMERICA’S MOST WANTED (Season Premiere)

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Mansfield-Made Movie a Hot Topic Item

By admin Published: July 19, 2010

Midnight Syndicate Films has announced plans to release a special edition of The Dead Matter DVD that will include two bonus CDs by gothic Halloween music artists Midnight Syndicate. It will be available at all Hot Topic stores nationwide on July 30th. The specially-priced set will include The Dead Matter DVD, the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack CD by Midnight Syndicate, and a new Midnight Syndicate 13th Anniversary greatest hits CD entitled Halloween Music Collection. Midnight Syndicate Films has also released a new official trailer for The Dead Matter movie which can be viewed at the film’s revamped website, www.TheDeadMatter.com and YouTube.

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Clevelander in New "Project Runway" Cast

By admin Published: July 19, 2010


She's Valerie Mayen, formerly of Corpus Christi, TX. She has a Web site here. You can read Lifetime's take on her here and see a video with her:

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Catching Up: Kent Woman Finalist in Weather Channel Competition

By admin Published: July 19, 2010

Susan Adair did not win the top prize; a North Dakota man did. but let's at least give her some notice for making the top three. The Weather Channel announcement:

The Weather Channel® (TWC) announces three finalists for its “Ultimate Summer Beach Party” contest. Viewers can tune in Sunday, July 18, during “Weekend View” to find out who will be selected to host the biggest beach party on the block – no matter the location. Contest finalists include Susan Adair of Kent, OH, Steven Caldwell of Terre Haute, IN, and Steve Waldner of Fargo, ND.

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Catching Up: StarTrek.com Overhauled

By admin Published: July 19, 2010

Star Trek fans have reason to celebrate [July 15] with CBS Consumer Products’ official re-launch of StarTrek.com. Created for fans new and old, StarTrek.com features a complete redesign claiming its place as the only official online destination for all things Star Trek. The site will be the ultimate fan experience with exclusive content and the official Star Trek database.

The new site will engage users as never before offering an online community with Star Trek forums, photo galleries and the ability for members to achieve different status levels through their involvement. StarTrek.com will also be the premier destination for Star Trek-related news and content with streaming episodes in HD, insight and opinions about the Star Trek universe from special guest contributors and an online store.

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Catching Up: NBC Announces Fall Premiere Dates

By admin Published: July 19, 2010

From the network:

Following are the premiere dates for NBC's Fall 2010 primetime schedule (all times ET):

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Special "American Splendor" Screenings

By admin Published: July 19, 2010

More movie news: A couple of showings of "American Splendor," the Harvey Pekar biopic, have been set in honor of Pekar, who died a week ago. The official announcement from Cleveland Cinemas:

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Cinematheque Anniversary Films

By admin Published: July 19, 2010

The folks in Cleveland are marking their 25th anniversary as well as commemorarting the 24th anniversary of the Cleveland Institute of Art. From the announcement:

One part of the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque's current Silver Anniversary Celebration -- which runs from July 2010 (the 25th anniversary of the first Cinematheque film screening at CWRU) through August 2011 (the 25th anniversary of the first Cinematheque film screening at CIA) -- will be a year-long series entitled "The Silver (Anniversary) Screen." This series will consist of screenings of rare and special classic movies that the Cinematheque has never before shown.

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Catching Up: Brian Wilson Plays Gershwin

By admin Published: July 19, 2010

I am back from vacation and am going to clear out some email announcements in a series of posts, starting with this:

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"Inception"

By admin Published: July 16, 2010

Although I have been on vacation this week, I went to a screening of "Inception" because -- well, I wanted to. Writer-director Christopher Nolan made "The Dark Knight," one of my favorite movies in recent years, and "Memento," which I had mixed feelings about when I first saw it but which has stuck in my head. I did not know a lot about "Inception," aside from the impressive-seeming cast and the cool poster/trailer images, but there was enough going on there to make me want to see it.

And what did I see? A movie that at points should have you going, "This is so COOL." Which is a rich homage to Hitchcock, at least to that part of Hitchcock where perception and identity are tangled up ("Psycho," "Vertigo," "North by Northwest," "Frenzy" -- and now I am making myself want to spend the weekend watching Hitchcock) -- if, that is, Hitchcock had decided to make "The Matrix." It continues Leonardo DiCaprio's seeming fascination as well with perception and identity ("Shutter Island," "The Departed" and more). But it is also a movie which stumbles at key points, and where Nolan falls so in love with his multiple, overlapping dreamscapes that he loses the wisdom to scale back, so that the movie is far less satisfying at the end than it is at points along the way. . . .

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Tiding Over (Updated)

By admin Published: July 14, 2010

I have been off from work this week to concentrate on research and writing for my grad-school thesis (working title: "Mark Twain and Henry James: Bridging the Great Divide"). I will post in the next day or two about "The Killer Inside Me," which I saw recently and which opens locally Friday. (Update: The local premiere has been postponed to a date TBD. May write something for here anyway, but not sure when.) For now, for your amusement, a Funny or Die video with a considerable cast. Warning: Contains some adult content, and a "Caddyshack" homage.

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A Musical/Geographical Reminder

By admin Published: July 10, 2010

Now more than ever:

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Coming to Blu-ray: "Time Bandits," "Mona Lisa," "Long Good Friday," "Withnail and I"

By admin Published: July 9, 2010


Some good, good movies here including two fine Bob Hoskins films: On August 24, Image Entertainment celebrates the three-decade plus legacy of HandMade Films with the Blu-ray™ debut of four classics from their incomparable library: Time Bandits, The Long Good Friday, Mona Lisa and Withnail and I. These titles exemplify British drama and humor at their finest: illuminating the human condition with sympathy, intelligence…and time travel! Featuring such stars as Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren, Robbie Coltrane, Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Michael Palin, Sir Ralph Richardson, Richard Grant and more, they sparkle with talent and flair. SRP is $17.97 for each title. In addition, the titles are also available via digital download exclusively on iTunes starting July 20th.

After the jump are the final, updated Blu-ray™ tech specs/bonus features. They're light on extras, but that's a terrific Blu-ray price.

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"NCIS: Los Angeles" DVD/Blu-ray Plans

By admin Published: July 9, 2010

The official word: “This season’s biggest newcomer” (TV Guide.com) makes its electrifying DVD and Blu-ray debut when NCIS: LOS ANGELES – THE FIRST SEASON arrives on DVD August 31 from CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Entertainment.

The action-packed spinoff was the #1 new scripted series of the season and the #2 scripted drama on television, behind only the original “NCIS.”* NCIS: LOS ANGELES also ranked as CBS’s most-watched series debut in five years and averaged over 16.6 million viewers per week.* The freshman season is loaded with special features including interviews with cast and crew members, a featurette on how and why the show was created, an insider’s look into the show’s Ops Center and what goes into creating the sensational visuals, an in-depth breakdown of the dangerous stunts and a set tour with the production designer.

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"Grease": The Game

By admin Published: July 9, 2010

I am not sure if this makes more or less sense than "The Bachelor" game. But here it is:

If you're excited about this summer's upcoming "GREASE" Sing-A-Long events being held around the country by Paramount Pictures, we wanted to let you know that Greased Lightnin' is going to strike twice this summer with Grease: The Game!

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"Avatar" With New Footage Coming in August

By admin Published: July 9, 2010

Am waiting for a list of local theaters carrying it. From today's e-mail:
Twentieth Century Fox and James Cameron today announced that AVATAR: SPECIAL EDITION will be released in theaters August 27, in a limited engagement and exclusively in Digital 3D and IMAX 3D.

This version of Cameron’s history-making and groundbreaking epic will include more than eight minutes of new footage. Since – and largely as of result of -- AVATAR’s release last December, the number of available digital 3D screens has exploded, and moviegoers who missed experiencing the film in 3D will now have that opportunity.

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"SYTYCD" Offers Still More Proof That Life Is Unfair

By admin Published: July 9, 2010


Not that we need any more evidence in Northeast Ohio, but "So You Think You Can Dance" last night offered a bummer with the elimination of Alex Wong due to a lacerated Achilles tendon. Wong was looking as if he could win it all before he was hurt, easily crossing dance genres and charming the judges and the audience. Oh, well.

The boilerplate from Fox:

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Akron, Cleveland Performers Among "America's Got Talent" Top 48

By admin Published: July 8, 2010

They are AscenDance (Akron) and NU Covenant (Cleveland). Here's the NBC announcement and full list:

NBC’s hit summer series “America’s Got Talent” has selected the Top 48 acts that will vie for the $1 million prize when the live performance episodes begin Tuesday, July 13 (9-11 p.m. ET).
America now votes for their favorite acts via phone and online at http://www.nbc.com/americas-got-talent/.
The Top 48 contestants are:

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In Defense of "Married ... With Children"

By admin Published: July 8, 2010

As I mentioned in a previous post, the Emmy oversights for Ed O'Neill and Katey Sagal may be traceable to the TV industry's ongoing disdain for "Married ... With Children," the Fox sitcom in which they both starred. Sure, the show was a farce, but it was often a very good farce. It offered a bracing alternative to the likes of "The Cosby Show," the dominant sitcom at the time. After the jump, my respectful 1997 consideration of the show after Fox announced its cancellation.

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ABC Sets Fall Premiere Dates

By admin Published: July 8, 2010

From the network:

Monday, September 20
8:00-10:00 p.m. “Dancing with the Stars”
10:00-11:00 p.m. “Castle”

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Probably Not the Best Time for This . . .

By admin Published: July 8, 2010

I mean, would anyone right now want to woo grumpy Jake? Or newly broken-up Jillian? But here's the latest word on "The Bachelor: The Videogame":

The Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise is HOT right now! Ali is getting ready to give out her final rose on The Bachelorette. Will she find everlasting love? And Jake and Vienna have shockingly broken up after their whirlwind romance on last season’s The Bachelor. Fans can now vie for their affection firsthand, as Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has just announced that Jake Pavelka and Ali Fedotowsky will be featured characters in The Bachelor: The Videogame, available Tuesday, July 13 on Wii and Nintendo DS.

In The Bachelor: The Videogame, players can compete for the love of Jake, Ali, or one of the other five Bachelors or Bachelorettes featured, all based on real-life Bachelors and Bachelorettes from the TV series. Players can choose from a selection of avatars that best suits their personality. In single player mode, the game is structured like the TV show. It is comprised of multiple “episodes” where the player goes head-to-head against the game characters for time alone with the Bachelor or Bachelorette. The Wii version offers multiplayer mode for a fun party game enabling players to compete against their “frenemies.” But watch out! Opponents can sabotage others’ dates and prevent them from receiving a rose!

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Emmy Thoughts

By admin Published: July 8, 2010

You've seen the lists. You should also take a look at Alan Sepinwall's column here. Not only is Alan a friend (and a smart TV critic) but he offers a good overview with Emmys pluses and minuses, as well as speaking passionately for the "Sons of Anarchy" crowd -- since I don't watch the show often enough to comment.

As for my personal reactions, glad to see recognition for "Glee," "Friday Night Lights," "Mad Men," "Modern Family" and "The Pacific."

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Emmy Nominations -- Additional Information

By admin Published: July 8, 2010

Other data provided by the TV Academy, such as nomination totals and winner records, after the jump.

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Emmy Nominations

By admin Published: July 8, 2010

Complete list after the jump. Thoughts later.

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"Hot in Cleveland" Gets Second Season

By admin Published: July 7, 2010

The announcement:

Fans of Hot in Cleveland, rejoice: TV Land's first original sitcom has been greenlit for a second season. The network will start production of 20 new episodes in October, with a launch tentatively scheduled for January 2011.

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"Prime Suspect" in One Box Set

By admin Published: July 7, 2010

Her Fabulousness, Helen Mirren, did memorable roles before "Prime Suspect" and won an Oscar after. But it's still one of the great, extended moments in her career.

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"So You Think You Can Dance" Adds Live Online Replays

By admin Published: July 7, 2010

From Fox: Can’t get enough of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE? Want to rewatch your favorite dancer’s performance? For the first time ever, FOX will stream full episodes of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE at www.fox.com/dance. Beginning today, fans will be able to catch performance shows the Monday following the live broadcast while results shows will be available the Tuesday after they air at www.fox.com/dance.

This week, the Top 8 (Billy Bell, Kent Boyd, Lauren Froderman, Ashley Galvan, Robert Roldan, Jose Ruiz, Adéchiké Torbert and Alex Wong) will take the stage once again on a two-hour performance show tonight, Wednesday, July 7 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed), on FOX. Tune in tomorrow evening, Thursday, July 8 (9:00-10:00 PM ET live/ PT tape-delayed), to find out which dancer will be sent home next and to see performances by pop singer Natasha Bedingfield and the cast of Broadway’s Tony Award-winning smash hit “In The Heights.”

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"Degrassi" Goes Telenovela

By admin Published: July 7, 2010

From TeenNick:

Degrassi, the smash-hit teen series, will break new creative ground in its landmark 10th season on TeenNick this summer as it’s presented in a prime-time telenovela-style format for the first time in the show’s history. Following a new original two-hour TV movie titled “The Heat is On” airing Monday, July 19 (9 pm ET), Degrassi will premiere in a prime-time serialized format for six straight weeks (Mondays-Thursdays at 9 pm ET) through August 26. Additionally, TeenNick will air a weekly two-hour encore of the week’s past episodes each Friday night (9-11 pm ET).

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"American Idol" Tour: Were They Crazy?

By admin Published: July 7, 2010

As has been reported, the latest "American Idol" tour has had to cancel dates, including the one in Cleveland, with ticket sales lagging. Of course, part of that is the bad economy but part of it also has to be blamed on the show's incredible hubris.

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"Evil Dead" Coming to Blu-ray

By admin Published: July 7, 2010

I met Sam Raimi about 15 years ago, when he was working on "American Gothic," and one of the first things I told him was that "Evil Dead" had scared the daylights out of me. Will it be even scarier in high-definition?

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5 Things I Want To See in the LeBron Special Thursday

By admin Published: July 7, 2010

1. Six general managers lined up in front of LeBron, who stands beside a silver tray with one rose on it.

2. Sound bites of the GMs insisting that they have pursued this courtship "for the right reasons."

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"You Don't Know Jack" DVD

By admin Published: July 6, 2010

From HBO: Angel of mercy…or murderous “Doctor Death?” Decide for yourself when the critically acclaimed HBO original film You Don’t Know Jack premieres on DVD October 26, 2010 for the suggested price of $26.98. Directed by Academy Award winner Barry Levinson (Rain Man) and starring Academy Award and Emmy winner Al Pacino (Scent of a Woman) as Dr. Jack Kevorkian, You Don’t Know Jack is the story of one man’s obsession with challenging the rules by which we live and die.

Continues after the jump:

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Leon Russell-Elton John "Union" Release Set

By admin Published: July 6, 2010

From the morning e-mail: Decca Records is pleased to announce the release of the highly anticipated collaboration between two musical legends, Elton John and Leon Russell with The Union available October 19 in the U.S. (To be released October 25 in the U.K. on Mercury Records.) This album marks the first time these iconic artists have worked together since 1970.

Produced by Oscar and multiple-Grammy winning producer T Bone Burnett, who took home numerous awards in 2009 for his production work on Raising Sand with Robert Plant and Alison Krause, The Union features songs written by John and his lifelong lyricist Bernie Taupin, as well as in combination with the extraordinary talents of Russell and Burnett.

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Sunday Notebook

By admin Published: July 4, 2010

I hope you are all having a splendid 4th of July. Lots of sunshine and warmth here. Let me offer one of my favorite songs of America, one that seems ever more apt in hard times:

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NBC Bumps "Love Bites," Moves Up "Apprentice"

By admin Published: July 1, 2010

From the network:

NBC will debut the newly revised edition of its previously announced “The Apprentice” series on Thursdays (10-11 p.m. ET) beginning this Fall.

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Worth Viewing

By admin Published: July 1, 2010

"Millionaire" Auditions in Cleveland

By admin Published: July 1, 2010

From the show: “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” with Emmy Award-winning host Meredith Vieira will once again team with Netflix, the company that makes movie enjoyment easy, to find contestants in Cleveland, OH for the upcoming ninth season of the hit game show, which will premiere in September. Locally, Millionaire can be seen in Cleveland on CBS19 (WOIO), weekdays at 9:30am.

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Cinematheque Adds Romero Film

By admin Published: July 1, 2010

From the film folks:

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"Dark Blue" Season 1 Via Disc-on-Demand

By admin Published: July 1, 2010

From Warner Home Entertainment:

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"Best Restroom" Finalists Announced

By admin Published: July 1, 2010

From Cincinnati-based Cintas, a release that makes me laugh -- and ask what on earth is an "electronic seat cover"? The announcement:

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