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"Hatfields" Breaks Its Own Ratings Record

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 31, 2012

By the way, it will also be on DVD and Blu-ray on July 31.

The official ratings word: Night three of HISTORY’s HATFIELDS & MCCOYS surpasses night one delivering 14.3 million total viewers making it the new #1 entertainment telecast of all time on ad-supported cable. It also averages 6.3 million Adults 25-54 impressions making it the #1 entertainment telecast on ad supported cable in 14 years. All three parts of the hit, scripted event rank as the top three entertainment telecasts of all time in ad supported cable history among total viewers.

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Mixed Notes - May 31

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 31, 2012

Lots of bits and pieces, including this funny video...

This week's mailbag is here.

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"Titanic" Blu-ray (3D and 2D) Set for Sept. 14

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 31, 2012

Many extras. The official word:

The two billion-dollar box office phenomenon and winner of 11 Academy Awards®, TITANIC, makes its highly anticipated debut on Blu-ray 2D and 3D on September 14, 2012 from Paramount Home Media Distribution and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Available in high definition for the first time ever, James Cameron’s timeless and unforgettable tour de force will be presented in stunning 2D and 3D, providing a cinematic in-home experience of TITANIC like never before. Marking 101 years ago today that the RMS Titanic was launched into the Belfast Lough, film fans worldwide can now pre-order the epic love story on Blu-ray 2D or Blu-ray 3D™ with participating online retailers.

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"Walking Dead" Weekend Set

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 31, 2012

Includes two-season marathon, the black-and-white version of the pilot and peeks at the third season (which still does not have a premiere date)..

The official word: AMC announced today “The Walking Dead” Season 3 Preview Weekend on Saturday, July 7 and Sunday, July 8 beginning at 11:30am each day. Airing just one week before Comic-Con, the two-day programming event will feature a marathon of all 19 episodes from the series’ critically acclaimed first two seasons, culminating with a “Talking Dead” live primetime special on Sunday, July 8 at 9pm. The one-time-only airing of “Talking Dead,” hosted by Chris Hardwick (Nerdist), will be followed by the world television premiere of the black and white version of “The Walking Dead” pilot episode at 10pm. The special version of the series’ first episode was created specifically for fans of The Walking Dead, as it holds true to the original black and white comic book, written by Robert Kirkman.

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Kenny Vance/Planotones at Rock Hall

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 30, 2012

Talk about serendipity. I was talking about these guys on Facebook yesterday with my older son, per fake bands from the movies and TV -- and said fake bands that became real ones. Also, I saw "American Hot Wax" in a theater back in the day; at history,  it's bunk, but the music's good and Tim McIntyre gave a terrific performance. So now the Planotones are coming to Cleveland -- of course, when I have to be somewhere else. Anyway, the official word:

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will host a special event entitled Up Close & Personal with Kenny Vance & The Planotones on Thursday, June 7 at 7 p.m. at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in the Foster Theater. Vance will tell stories of his career and perform live with the Planotones. Kenny Vance and the Planotones started out as a fictional group in the movie American Hot Wax, but eventually took to the stage with a concert tour that has been going strong since 1992. Vance was also a founding member of the group Jay and the Americans and produced the first recordings by Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, who later formed Steely Dan.

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NBC Sets Justin Bieber Special 6/21

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 30, 2012

The official word: NBC today announced “Justin Bieber: All Around the World,” a one-hour special featuring award-winning and record-breaking artist, Justin Bieber, airing Thursday, June 21st from 8-9 pm ET. The superstar’s first-ever network special is a very unique one hour, combining documentary and music performances and follows his tour around the globe as he showcases his new album “Believe,” including #1 single “Boyfriend.”

"We're thrilled to air Justin Bieber's first network special," said Doug Vaughan, SVP of Special Programs and Late Night for NBC. “We'll have unprecedented access to Justin as our cameras film not only his performances, but his every move on this global tour --- giving our viewers an all access pass to his life over a 12-day period, something rarely seen on TV today.”

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Steve Martin TV Specials Coming to DVD

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 30, 2012

Exciting news. Like many, I first became really aware of Martin's skill through his comedy specials. And I saw him later when he was playing arenas -- Steve Goodman opened the show, and it included a showing of "The Absent-Minded Waiter."

The official word: Shout! Factory and SOFA Entertainment announced a forthcoming jewel box of Steve Martin’s long in-demand television specials and stand-up comedy performances produced in the late 1970s and early 1980s, including the 1976 television special On Location: Steve Martin, vintage NBC Specials Steve Martin: A Wild And Crazy Guy, Steve Martin: Comedy Is Not Pretty, All Commercials…A Steve Martin Special and Steve Martin’s Best Show Ever.

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"E.T." 30th Anniversary Blu-ray Plans

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 30, 2012

The official word: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Academy Award®-winning director Steven Spielberg’s magical adventure, celebrates its 30th Anniversary with its first-ever release on Blu-ray™ this October. Featuring an all-new, digitally remastered picture that delivers six times the resolution of DVD, as well as all-new 7.1 surround sound, the E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial Anniversary Edition Blu-ray™ Combo Pack includes the 1982 theatrical movie, an all-new interview with director Steven Spielberg, and “The E.T. Journals” featuring never-before-seen footage from the set of the film. The Blu-ray™ Combo Pack also includes UltraViolet™, a DVD and a Digital Copy of the film, offering fans a chance to relive the mystery, laughter and wonder of the iconic movie anytime, anywhere on the platform of their choice.

 

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"Hatfields/McCoys" Sets Ratings Record

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 29, 2012

The much promoted Kevin Costner miniseries drew 13.9 million viewers to its Monday premiere. You can read my review here.

The official word: The debut of the HISTORY’s HATFIELDS & MCCOYS, which premiered on Memorial Day and continues tonight and Wednesday (9-11pm ET/10c) becomes the #1 non-sports telecast in ad supported cable television history, with over 13.9 million total viewers, 5.8 million adults 25-54 and 4.8 million Adults 18-49 (based on Nielsen’s fast cable ratings). Over 17 million people watched both the premiere and encore telecast last night.

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"Sell This House: Extreme" Returns

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 29, 2012

For all of you who have been asking me whatever became of the show, it will be back July 7 at noon, with 11 new episodes. Here's the word:

A&E’s long running hit series “Sell This House: Extreme” is back and bigger than ever. Host Tanya Memme and construction expert Charlie Frattini join forces with new designer Daniel Kucan to create a triple tiered approach to extreme renovation and home staging in an effort to help desperate homeowners prepare their difficult- to-sell spaces for today’s tough real estate market.

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Anthony Bourdain Joining CNN

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 29, 2012

The official word: World-renowned chef, bestselling author and Emmy winning television personality Anthony Bourdain will join CNN as host of a new weekend program, creating a signature showcase for the network’s coverage of food and travel. The announcement was made by CNN Worldwide Executive Vice President and Managing Editor, Mark Whitaker.

 

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Mixed Notes -- May 29

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 29, 2012

The weekend was a busy one with family/household matters. No drama, but a lot of chores. And here and there was some TV watching, including "Mad Men" and the most recent Jesse Stone movie.

"Mad Men," which I finally watched Monday night, and which was a thing of great, sad beauty. Think just about the way it used hands: Joan's touching Don's face (and the way the context changed) and Don's holding Peggy's formally outstretched one; Joan's gesture is so intimate, Peggy's so deliberately not, and each affecting Don in a deeply emotional way.

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Hello Sunday

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 27, 2012

I may later write a post about, well, things I have been meaning to write about, like the "Glee" season finale or the sheer lunacy that is "Scandal" (which, every time it tries to be political, just makes me want to go back to vintage "West Wing"). But right now I am just taking care of family business and trying to enjoy the long weekend.

I do have a video column in today's Beacon Journal and on Ohio.com here. Topics include "Maverick" and the very disturbing "We Need To Talk About Kevin." I was also going to include "Man on a Ledge," but it proved far too silly for extended consideration. The early absurdity was fast-paced enough that I was willing to take the ride, but by the end there were way too many "Oh, come on," moments -- not to mention yet another uninteresting performance by Sam Worthington.

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Video: 'Idol' chatter

By Ohio.com Published: May 24, 2012

It just doesn't matter that Phil won America's favorite talent contest say Malcom X Abram and Rich Heldenfels

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Mixed Notes -- May 24

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 24, 2012

Some links for your amusement --

This week's malbag is here.

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"Hunger Games" DVD/Blu-ray Info

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 24, 2012

The official word: Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games juggernaut will arrive on home entertainment at 12:01 A.M. on Saturday, August 18, as the first film in Lionsgate’s (NYSE: LGF) The Hunger Games franchise, which has already grossed nearly $400 million at the North American box office and is approaching $650 million at the worldwide box office, debuts on 2-disc DVD (plus digital copy), 2-disc Blu-Ray (plus digital copy), VOD and digital download with three hours of previously unavailable bonus materials in the biggest home entertainment launch in Lionsgate’s history, the Company announced today.

 

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"American Idol" Results: The Curse Goes On

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 23, 2012

Another season, another cute-white-guy win. Phil-Phil tops Jessica Sanchez, and while there will be cries to fix the show, it got the result it wanted. A week ago, Jimmy Iovine handed Phillip a Bob Seger song that proved to the audience that PP was not only able to sing a melody (however infrequently) but able to be the cute, bland, tuneful white guy that the show's voting audience so often loves. As a result, he was able to knock the far more dramatic and compelling Joshua Ledet out of the finals.

Then, last night, the show continued to confine Jessica in a straitjacket of just-sing-pretty songs (admittedly, one -- but only one -- of her own choosing) while giving Phillip a closing song that played specifically to his strengths, allowing the judges to say that he had not been kicked around the block vocally by Jessica. So he wins. It may be a win utterly lacking in musical cred, but it is one in which "Idol" gives its voting audience what it wants, however much that disenfranchises other segments of the potential voting and viewing audience.

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Video: 'Dancing with the Stars' recap

By Ohio.com Published: May 23, 2012

Dancing with joy, features writer Lynne Sherwin and pop culture writer Rich Heldenfels celebrate the win of Donald Driver in America's favorite dance competition.

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Mixed Notes - May 23

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 23, 2012

I took at look at this trailer for the new version of "The Great Gatsby," directed by Baz Luhrmann, and found it wrong in so many wavs, from the excess of some scenes to the thuggy look given Leo's Gatsby. Is it that "Gatsby" simply can't be adapted or that the people who try have no sense of what the book is? The Redford version was sluggish (although I liked Bruce Dern's performance) and the TV production unwilling to see the world Nick saw. Of course, the trailer here may be misleading, as trailers so often are. But it does not make me optimistic.

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More Notes: Lithgow to Akron, Palin Reality Show Scheduled, Situation Speaks

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 22, 2012

Akron's own John Lithgow will be back in town on Feb. 7 to deliver a University of Akron Myers Lecture in EJ Thomas Hall. Awaiting more details.

"Bristol Palin: Life's Tripp," the new reality series, will premiere June 19 on Lifetime. From the official announcement:

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Mixed Notes - May 22

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 22, 2012

I was on the road Sunday and Monday for some family matters, and ran into some technical difficulties as well when I tried to post from the road.  So let's do some catching up.

"Dancing With the Stars" was a joke on Monday night, with the judges tossing out 10s like they were candy -- and Len still managing to disrespect Donald Driver. I don't know what this mad love for Jenkins is all about, but the show overall was a cynical attempt to pander to the audience (see how great everyone is!) while leaving the final result in voters' hands by keeping the scores close. At least I won't have to sit through tons of padding on the way to the result tonight. I will be at a "Men in Black 3" screening and check the DVR when I return.

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Video: 'Idol' Chatter

By Ohio.com Published: May 18, 2012

The season's end is near for America's favorite talent show and pop culture writer Rich Heldenfels and pop music writer Malcom X Abram can't wait.

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"Chernobyl Diaries" Local Screening Campaign Continues

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 17, 2012

The word:

QUARANTINE YOUR CITY NOW! Request a screening in your city for CHERNOBYL
DIARIES!
http://apps.warnerbros.com/chernobyldiaries/quarantine/us/#

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"Army Wives" Plans Break, Sets Return

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 17, 2012

The official word: After this Sunday’s intense cliffhanger episode of Lifetime’s hit drama Army Wives, the series will begin a five week break and return with even more drama and all-new episodes on Sunday, June 24, in a new time period at 10:00pm ET/PT. Army Wives, which recently shot its 100th episode, will immediately follow Lifetime’s critically-acclaimed comedic drama Drop Dead Diva.

 Television icon Susan Lucci returns to Army Wives as guest star this Sunday, when Claudia Joy (Kim Delaney) prepares for her kidney transplant, putting the tribe, Michael (Brian McNamara), her family and Fort Marshall on edge as she braces for the high-risk procedure and the fight of her life.

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USA Network Looks Ahead

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 17, 2012

The network made three announcements today about programs in development, one each for comedy, drama and reality. I have included each below.

The comedy release:

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Music Losses: Donna Summer, Chuck Brown

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 17, 2012

TMZ is reporting that Donna Summer has died. I was not a fan of her early work but came to enjoy "Bad Girls," "Hot Stuff" and "She Works Hard for the Money." My fave is "Hot Stuff," which you can give a listen here:

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Oscar-Nominated Foreign Films on Area Screens

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 17, 2012

John Ewing at the Cleveland Cinematheque noted that all five of the most recent Oscar nominees for best foreign-language film will be in theaters in the weeks ahead. To wit:

Joseph Cedar’s FOOTNOTE (Israel) continues its run at the Cedar Lee.

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This Week's "Dancing With the Stars" Chat

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 17, 2012

The CW New Schedule Plans

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 17, 2012

"Sex and the City" prequel, Green Arrow drama, more. The official word: The CW Network presented its 2012-13 broadcast schedule today to advertisers, affiliates and national media at the New York City Center in New York City. Hip-hop star Flo Rida opened the show with a medley of his top hits, featuring the world premiere of his newest song, “Let it Roll (Good Times).”

“One of our biggest priorities this year at The CW was adding more original programming, and we’ve added 50 original hours to our schedule in 2012,” said Mark Pedowitz, President, The CW. “With dynamic new dramas for the fall and midseason, and our first-ever summer schedule leading into our October fall launch, this is poised to be a transformative season for The CW.

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CBS Announces Fall Plans

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 16, 2012

The official word: CBS announced today its new 2012-2013 primetime schedule, ordering four new series and making four key time period moves to further enhance television’s top-rated schedule. CBS will finish the season as America’s most-watched network for the ninth time in the past 10 years, leading in viewers by the widest margin of any network in 23 years.

The new series include ELEMENTARY, a contemporary take on the legendary detective Sherlock Holmes in New York City, starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu; VEGAS, a drama inspired by a real-life sheriff and his battle with a powerful mobster for control of Las Vegas in the 1960s, starring Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis; MADE IN JERSEY, starring Janet Montgomery as a smart first-year lawyer with working-class roots practicing at a prestigious Manhattan law firm; and PARTNERS, a comedy about two very different life-long best friends and business partners and their significant others, starring David Krumholtz and Michael Urie.

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TNT/TBS Program Plans

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 16, 2012

The official word: Two of cable's most successful brands are once again paving the way to the future with a bold, industry-leading strategy. According to the vision laid out by executives during the annual Upfront presentation today in New York, TBS and TNT will undertake a major transformation over the next two years, evolving from linear television networks into branded video destinations.

 

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PBS Announces New Programming

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 15, 2012

The official word: The runaway British hit CALL THE MIDWIFE, a new drama that depicts midwifery in 1950s London, kicks off the PBS 2012 fall season with a six-part Sunday-night run that begins September 30.

A production of BBC Worldwide and Neal Street Productions, MIDWIFE further strengthens PBS’ hold on quality Sunday night programs and launches a fall full of drama — both fictional and real — anchored by Ken Burns’s new documentary THE DUST BOWL, PBS ELECTION 2012 coverage of the presidential campaign including FRONTLINE’s award-winning “The Choice,” and the season two return of MASTERPIECE CLASSIC “Upstairs Downstairs.”

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Rock Hall Sets Grateful Dead Exhibit Tie-Ins

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 15, 2012

Or should that be tie-dye-ins? Anyway, the official word:

In conjunction with its newest exhibit, Grateful Dead: The Long, Strange Trip powered by McIntosh, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum has announced a range of free public programs that explore the significance and legacy of the Grateful Dead, including interviews with Hall of Fame Inductees Donna Godchaux and Tom Constanten, films, and special lectures. The Grateful Dead were the most important band of the psychedelic era and among the most groundbreaking acts in rock and roll history. They broke all the rules while slowly and steadily building a career that carried them from the ballrooms of San Francisco in the Sixties to arenas and stadiums all over the country in the decades that followed. The Grateful Dead and their followers did much to keep the spirit of the Sixties alive in modern times.

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Syfy News, Including Returns of "Warehouse 13," "Alphas"

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 15, 2012

Those series will be back July 23. The full, official word:

Featuring a record number of primetime original programming hours, Syfy’s hot Summer 2012 will be highlighted by the premiere of the new unscripted series School Sprits (from executive producer Mark Burnett), Insane or Inspired? and Paranormal Highway (working title) starring Jack Osbourne; new seasons of hits Warehouse 13, Face Off, Alphas, Destination Truth and Haunted Collector, along with the eagerly anticipated Saturday Original Movies Jersey Shore Shark Attack and Bigfoot, plus the series finale of the beloved Eureka.

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New "Blue Lagoon" Movie in June

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 15, 2012

I have no explanation why. Maybe a new generaiton needs its own version of  "softcore cinema for the heavy-petting set"  (Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide).  The official word: 

Lifetime premieres the Original Movie Blue Lagoon: The Awakening, starring Denise Richards and up-and-coming actors, Brenton Thwaites (Home and Away) and Indiana Evans (Home and Away) in the provocative story of teens who fall in love while marooned on a tropical island, Saturday, June 16 at 8:00pm ET/PT. The two-hour film, a modern-day retelling of the classic coming of age love story, also features an appearance by Christopher Atkins (The Blue Lagoon).

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ABC New Season Plans

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 15, 2012

The official word: ABC continues to set the industry standard for creative ingenuity, strong viewer retention and ratings success in primetime, delivering the No. 1 comedy (“Modern Family”), No. 1 drama (“Grey’s Anatomy”) and No. 1 freshman drama (“Once Upon a Time”) this season in the key Adult 18-49 demographic. Building on its momentum from the 2011-2012 season, Paul Lee, president, ABC Entertainment Group, will share ABC’s plans for next season and present the network’s 2012-2013 Fall schedule before the advertising and media communities this afternoon at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall.

New series for the 2012-13 season are “666 Park Avenue,” “The Family Tools,” “How to Live with your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life),” “Last Resort,” “Malibu Country,” “Mistresses,” “Nashville,” “The Neighbors,” “Red Widow” and “Zero Hour.”

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Fox Finally Confirms Britney, Lovato as "X Factor" Judges

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 14, 2012

The official word:

Multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning worldwide pop icon Britney Spears and singer, songwriter and actress Demi Lovato will join L.A. Reid and Simon Cowell as judges on THE X FACTOR, the hit singing competition series returning this fall on FOX.

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Fox New Season Announcement

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 14, 2012

The official word: Peter Rice, Chairman, Entertainment, Fox Networks Group; and Kevin Reilly, President, Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company, today unveiled the FOX primetime schedule for the 2012-2013 television season to the national advertising community during its annual Programming Presentation at the Beacon Theatre.

“Television continues to be the most vibrant, emotionally rich platform in the world,” said Rice. “FOX has been the No. 1 network for eight seasons by delivering groundbreaking, engaging and culturally relevant shows that connect with our audience, not only on-air, but wherever they are in the digital or social space.”

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Mixed Notes - May 14

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 14, 2012

Some thoughts about "Smash," "Mad Men" and "Survivor." Also, this is the week when the broadcast networks announce their fall lineups, and I will be posting those announcements as they are made. You can see NBC's below, and Fox's is due this morning. Many of the details have already come out (as you can see, for example, on TV Tattle) but the boilerplate gives a fuller idea of what each network is thinking. 

As for recent and upcoming viewing, "Smash" concludes its first season tonight, and it's been a roller coaster. As I have said before, I have liked the show-biz stuff and am far less impressed by the personal stories. Tonight tries to deal with both and -- without getting too spoiler-y -- I wonder if it has built a box for itself that will be very difficult to break out of in the second season. I will be back when the second season begins, but will be very wary of what direction the show takes. And may post more about the finale after you all have had a chance to see it.

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NBC New Season Announcement

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 13, 2012

The official word: NBC announced today an ambitious new primetime lineup for the 2012-13 primetime season that combines one of the top-quality returning lineups on television with a new fall edition of the red-hot musical competition "The Voice" and a crop of six new scripted series in the fall and four at mid-season.

Highlights of the new schedule include an expansion of comedy to Tuesday and Friday nights for a total of five full hours of primetime comedy; the first fall cycle of the hit competition "The Voice" and compelling new dramas from J.J. Abrams and Dick Wolf on Monday and Wednesday nights, respectively.

The season's new fall comedies are "Go On," "The New Normal," "Animal Practice" and "Guys with Kids."  Other mid-season comedies include "Save Me," "1600 Penn" and "Next Caller." 

The new fall dramas are "Revolution" and "Chicago Fire," while "Do No Harm," "Infamous" and "Hannibal" also will join the lineup in mid-season.

In addition, new alternative series include "Stars Earn Stripes," "Howie Mandel's White Elephant," "Ready for Love," and "Surprise with Jenny McCarthy."

NBC's returning shows are highlighted by "The Voice," which returns on Mondays (8-10 p.m. ET) and includes an additional weekly hour on Tuesdays (8-9 p.m. ET).

Other returning scripted series are "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," "The Office," "30 Rock," "Community," "Parenthood," "Parks and Recreation," "Whitney" and "Up All Night."  The alternative series returning are "The Celebrity Apprentice," "Fashion Star," "The Biggest Loser" and "Betty White's Off Their Rockers." Also renewed are "Dateline NBC" and "Rock Center with Brian Williams."  "Smash" and "Grimm" were given pickups earlier in the season.

The announcements were made by Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment.

"We've taken a few first steps toward a turnaround over this past season and now we're seeing a real opportunity to accelerate that process," said Greenblatt.  "We've got a lineup of new shows that will really get people to sit up and take notice.  And with the Olympics coming this summer and two nights of ‘The Voice' in the fall, we've also got the tools we need to give our shows the kind of launch they deserve."

Embeddable clips from the new NBC shows are available at: http://www.nbc.com/new-shows/

For artwork and press information, please visit the NBC Universal Media Village website at: http://www.nbcumv.com/mediavillage/.

Please like us on http://www.facebook.com/nbc, and follow us at http://twitter.com/nbc and #NBC.

NBC FALL 2012-13 SCHEDULE
*New programs in UPPER CASE; all times ET)

MONDAY
8-10 p.m. – "The Voice"
10-11 p.m. – "REVOLUTION"

TUESDAY
8-9 p.m. –"The Voice"
9-9:30 p.m. – "GO ON"
9:30-10 p.m. – "THE NEW NORMAL"
10-11 p.m. – "Parenthood"

WEDNESDAY
8-8:30 p.m. – "ANIMAL PRACTICE"
8:30-9 p.m. – "GUYS WITH KIDS"
9-10 p.m. – "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"
10-11 p.m. – "CHICAGO FIRE"

THURSDAY
8-8:30 p.m. – "30 Rock"
8:30-9 p.m. – "Up All Night"
9-9:30 p.m. – "The Office"
9:30-10 p.m. – "Parks and Recreation"
10-11 p.m. – "Rock Center with Brian Williams"

FRIDAY
8-8:30 p.m. – "Whitney"
8:30-9 p.m. – "Community"
9-10 p.m. – "Grimm"
10-11 p.m. – "Dateline NBC"

SATURDAY
Encore programming

SUNDAY (Fall 2012)
7- 8:15 p.m. -- "Football Night in America"
8:15-11:30 p.m. -- "NBC Sunday Night Football"

SUNDAY (Post-football/Winter 2013)
7-8 p.m. – "Dateline NBC"
8-9 p.m. – "Fashion Star"
9-10 p.m. – "The Celebrity Apprentice"
10-11 p.m. – "DO NO HARM"


2012-13 NEW SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

(Please note: All of the new show websites, video clips and embeddable videos will be active shortly).

New Comedies

"Go On" -- Misery loves company. Unless you're sportscaster Ryan King (Matthew Perry, "Friends," "Mr. Sunshine") who thinks misery should just be left alone. After taking some time off, Ryan – who recently lost his wife in a car accident – is now ready to get back to work. And while he seems like his same old charming, cocky self, his boss won't set him back on the air until he seeks counseling. So, Ryan reluctantly joins a support group with one goal in mind: get in, get out and get back on the radio as quickly as possible. Played by the fast-talking, sarcastic, and charismatic Perry, Ryan gives grief a real run for its money. Within one day of group therapy, he hijacks the meeting and suddenly the downtrodden are cajoled into playing a game of "who's got the best sob story?" And in no time all of them are battling it out, trying to one-up each other's despair. Now, this is fun! Ryan's total lack of interest in healing might be just what this group needs – and maybe, exactly what he needs to move on with his life. Also starring are Tony winner Laura Benanti ("The Playboy Club"), Julie White ("Transformers"), Suzy Nakamura ("Dodgeball"), Khary Payton ("General Hospital") and Allison Miller ("Terra Nova").  From the Emmy-winning writer and executive producer Scott Silveri ("Perfect Couples," "Friends") comes a new series that proves grief can be good.  Todd Holland ("Malcolm in the Middle") and Karey Burke ("Free Agents," "Miss/Guided") also serve as executive producers.  The pilot was directed by Holland. "Go On" is a production of Universal Television, Dark Toy Entertainment and Silver & Gold Productions.

For embeddable clips from "Go On," please visit NBC.com's official show site:  www.nbc.com/go-on/.  For artwork and press information, please visit the NBC Universal Media Village website at http://www.nbcumv.com/mediavillage/. Please like us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/NBCGoOn and follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/NBCGo_On

"The New Normal" -- These days, families come in all forms – single dads, double moms, sperm donors, egg donors, one-night-stand donors… It's 2012 and anything goes. Bryan (Andrew Rannells, "Girls," "The Book of Mormon") and David (Justin Bartha, "The Hangover") are a Beverly Hills couple and they have it all. Well, almost. With successful careers and a committed and loving partnership, the one thing missing is a baby. And just when they think the stars will never align, enter Goldie (Georgia King, "One Day"), an extraordinary young woman with a checkered past. A Midwestern waitress and single mother looking to escape her dead-end life and small-minded grandmother (Ellen Barkin, "Ocean's Thirteen"), Goldie decides to change everything and move to L.A. with her precocious 8-year-old daughter.  Desperate and broke – but also fertile – Goldie quickly becomes the guys' surrogate and quite possibly the girl of their dreams.  Surrogate mother, surrogate family. "The New Normal" is produced by 20th Century Fox Television and Ryan Murphy Productions.  Murphy serves as creator/executive producer and director along with executive producer/creator/writer Ali Adler ("Glee," "Chuck") and executive producer Dante Di Loreto ("Glee," "American Horror Story").

For embeddable clips from "The New Normal," please visit NBC.com's official show site:  www.nbc.com/the-new-normal/. For artwork and press information, please visit the NBC Universal Media Village website at http://www.nbcumv.com/mediavillage/.  Please like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/NBCTheNewNormal and follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/NBCTheNewNormal

"Animal Practice" -- Meet Dr. George Coleman (Justin Kirk, "Weeds"), a top-dog New York veterinarian. With an unorthodox style of operating, George's success comes from his undeniable gift with animals of all kinds. That is, all but the human kind. Dorothy Crane once held the key to George's heart, but today she also holds the key to the family business as she takes over Crane Animal Hospital.  Not only is she George's new boss, but her romantic history with him and her lack of experience with animals is seriously cramping his style.  Dorothy is whip-smart and ambitious, and she's going to make George pay for the past.  Needless to say, he's determined not to make any changes in his (animal) kingdom -- which includes poker games with a resident capuchin monkey.  Also starring are Tyler Labine ("Reaper," "Sons of Tucson") as Dr. Doug Jackson, a vet who's great with animals but hapless in matters of the heart, Bobby Lee ("Harold & Kumar") as Dr. Yamamoto, and newcomer Betsy Sodaro as Angela.  "Animal Practice" is a production of Universal Television and American Work Inc.  The executive producers are Scot Armstrong ("The Hangover Part II," "Old School") and Ravi Nandan ("Best Friends Forever") of American Work Inc. ("Best Friends Forever") along with Emmy Award winners Joe & Anthony Russo ("Community," "Arrested Development").  "Animal Practice" was written by Brian Gatewood and Alessandro Tanaka ("The Sitter"), who also serve as executive producers.  Gail Lerner ("Happy Endings") also is an executive producer.  Directed by the Emmy-winning Russo brothers, "Animal Practice" is a comedy where the animals are running the asylum.

For embeddable clips from "Animal Practice," please visit NBC.com's official show site:  www.nbc.com/animal-practice/. For artwork and press information, please visit the NBC Universal Media Village website at http://www.nbcumv.com/mediavillage/. 
Please like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AnimalPractice and follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/AnimalPractice

"Guys with Kids" -- From Emmy winner and executive producer Jimmy Fallon comes a new comedy about three thirty-something dads trying to hold on to their youth, while holding onto their new babies' hands.  Easy, right?  Thankfully, Chris (Jesse Bradford, "The West Wing"), Nick (Zach Cregger, "Friends with Benefits") and Gary (Anthony Anderson, "Law & Order") have each other to help navigate their survival as new dads, while still trying desperately to remain dudes. Balancing work or staying at home, painfully married or happily divorced, they know that taking care of the little ones while maintaining a social life is a daily challenge. Whether it's hosing the little squirt down in the kitchen sink or hitting the bar strapped with a baby björn, these guys are on a roller-coaster adventure – parenting like you (and they) have never seen before.  Also starring are Jamie Lynn Sigler ("The Sopranos") and Tempestt Bledsoe ("The Cosby Show").  Someone once said it is much easier to become a father than to be one. These three guys are about to find out just how true that is. "Guys with Kids" is produced by Universal Television and Holiday Road.  Fallon ("Late Night with Jimmy Fallon") serves as executive producer/creator along with executive producer/creator/writer Charlie Grandy (NBC's "The Office") and executive producer/creator Amy Ozols ("Late Night with Jimmy Fallon") as well as executive producers Rick Wiener and Kenny Schwartz ("Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place," "American Dad").   Emmy-nominated director Scott Ellis ("Modern Family," "30 Rock") is the director.

For embeddable clips from "Guys with Kids," please visit NBC.com's official show site:  www.nbc.com/guys-with-kids/.  For artwork and press information, please visit the NBC Universal Media Village website at http://www.nbcumv.com/mediavillage/.
Please like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GuyswithKids and follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/NBCGuysWithKids.

"Save Me" -- Welcome to the Midwestern suburbs, where exciting things never happen. Well, almost never.  After a near-death experience (choking on a hero sandwich), Beth (Emmy nominee Anne Heche, "Hung") is revived only to realize she now has a direct line to God. Of course, her husband Tom (Michael Landes, "Final Destination 2") is skeptical and dismissive – and his mistress (Alexandra Breckenridge, "American Horror Story") is stunned to learn that her lover's wife is now a prophet!  But when inexplicable things begin to happen, everyone's beliefs are tested. Beth starts to say and do things that shock her family and entrance her friends, but she isn't going to be your typical "fire and brimstone" prophet. Let's just say, if God had a desperate housewife as His mouthpiece, Beth would be it!  She is the absolute last person on Earth who would be chosen. Then again, they say He works in mysterious ways. And this one is a real mystery! Heather Burns ("Bored to Death") and Madison Davenport ("Shameless") also star.  "Save Me" is produced by Sony Pictures Television and Original Film. Novelist John Scott Shepherd ("Henry's List of Wrongs," "The Days") is executive producer/creator along with executive producer/director Scott Winant ("Breaking Bad," "True Blood," "Californication") and executive producers Neal H. Moritz ("The Big C," "Prison Break," "Fast Five"), Vivian Cannon ("The Big C") and Alexa Junge ("Friends," "Sex and the City").

For embeddable clips from "Save Me," please visit NBC.com's official show site: www.nbc.com/save-me/.  For artwork and press information, please visit the NBC Universal Media Village website at http://www.nbcumv.com/mediavillage/.  Please like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/NBCSaveMe  and follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/SaveMe

"1600 Penn" -- The Gilchrists are just the average American family dealing with all the everyday issues – like a grown kid who's forced to move back home, children who are smarter than their teachers and a stepmom (Jenna Elfman, "Dharma and Greg") desperately trying to win over the kids. They're loving, fun and a little crazy. In other words, just like everybody else. With one exception: they live in a very special house. The White House! Whether it's entertaining foreign dignitaries, sneaking away for a night out, dealing with middle school crushes or putting out fires – figuratively and sometimes literally – there's never a dull moment in the Gilchrist White House. For example, the First Son (Josh Gad, star of Broadway sensation "The Book of Mormon") is one of the administration's biggest liabilities, but also the glue that holds this family together. The President (Bill Pullman, "Independence Day," "While You Were Sleeping") knows too well that the only thing harder than being Head of State is being head of the family. Also starring are Martha MacIsaac ("Superbad"), Andre Holland ("Friends with Benefits"), Amara Miller ("The Descendants") and Benjamin Stockham ("Sons of Tucson").  "Modern Family" meets "The West Wing" in this election-year comedy from Emmy-winning executive producer/director Jason Winer ("Modern Family"). The executive producers are Winer, Gad and Jon Lovett (former White House speechwriter).  Winer also directed the pilot.  "1600 Penn" is produced by 20th Century Fox.

For embeddable clips from "1600 Penn," please visit NBC.com's official show site:  www.nbc.com/1600-penn/.  For artwork and press information, please visit the NBC Universal Media Village website at http://www.nbcumv.com/mediavillage/. 
Please like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/1600Penn and follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/NBC1600Penn.

"Next Caller" -- What happens when a foulmouthed satellite radio DJ – played by the multi-platinum selling artist and outrageously charming Dane Cook ("My Best Friend's Girl") – is forced to share the mic with a chipper NPR feminist?  It's anyone's call in this sharp new comedy from producer Stephen Falk ("Weeds") and Emmy-winning director Marc Buckland ("Grimm," "My Name Is Earl"). It's her first day in New York City, and 26-year-old Stella Hoobler (Collette Wolfe, "Young Adult") is ready to take on the world.  After a stint on public radio, she's been hired to co-host the no-holds-barred show "Booty Calls with Cam Dunne." Smart, spunky and passionate, Stella is determined to elevate the show beyond its boy's-club-locker-room humor into a respected debate about men, women and the state of human relationships. But there's a problem: Cam!  She's going to find out the hard way that he's got no intention of sharing the spotlight, especially with someone like her. It's going to be a tense fight, but with the station's one rule being "make some noise," Cam and Stella could be a winning combination – as long as they don't knock each other out on their way to success.  Jeffrey Tambor ("Arrested Development"), Joy Osmanski ("True Jackson, VP") and Wolé Parks ("Premium Rush") also star.  The series is created and executive-produced by Stephen Falk ("Weeds") and directed by Emmy Award-winning director Marc Buckland ("Grimm," "My Name Is Earl"), who also serves as executive producer on the pilot.  "Next Caller" is produced by Lionsgate Television and Universal Television.

For embeddable clips from "Next Caller," please visit NBC.com's official show site:  www.nbc.com/next-caller/. For artwork and press information, please visit the NBC Universal Media Village website at http://www.nbcumv.com/mediavillage/.  Please like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/NextCaller and follow us on Twitter  https://twitter.com/NBCNextCaller


New Dramas

"Revolution" -- Our entire way of life depends on electricity. So what would happen if it just stopped working? Well, one day, like a switch turned off, the world is suddenly thrust back into the dark ages. Planes fall from the sky, hospitals shut down, and communication is impossible. And without any modern technology, who can tell us why?  Now, 15 years later, life is back to what it once was long before the industrial revolution: families living in quiet cul-de-sacs, and when the sun goes down lanterns and candles are lit. Life is slower and sweeter. Or is it?  On the fringes of small farming communities, danger lurks. And a young woman's life is dramatically changed when a local militia arrives and kills her father, who mysteriously – and unbeknownst to her – had something to do with the blackout. This brutal encounter sets her and two unlikely companions off on a daring coming-of-age journey to find answers about the past in the hopes of reclaiming the future.  From director Jon Favreau ("Iron Man," "Iron Man 2") and the fertile imaginations of J.J. Abrams ("Lost," "Person of Interest") and Eric Kripke ("Supernatural"), comes a surprising "what if" action-adventure series, where an unlikely hero will lead the world out of the dark. Literally. The series stars Billy Burke ("The Twilight Saga"), Tracy Spiridakos ("Being Human"), Anna Lise Phillips ("Terra Nova"), Zak Orth ("Romeo + Juliet"), Graham Rogers ("Memphis Beat"), J.D. Pardo ("A Cinderella Story"),  Giancarlo Esposito ("Breaking Bad"), David Lyons ("The Cape"), Maria Howell ("The Blind Side"), Tim Guinee ("Iron Man") and Andrea Roth ("Rescue Me").  Kripke, Abrams, Favreau and Bryan Burk ("Lost," "Star Trek") serve as executive producers.  "Revolution" is produced by Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Bad Robot Productions, Kripke Enterprises and Warner Bros. Television.  The pilot was directed by Favreau.

For embeddable clips from "Revolution," please visit NBC.com's official show site:  www.nbc.com/revolution/.  For artwork and press information, please visit the NBC Universal Media Village website at http://www.nbcumv.com/mediavillage/.  Please like us on Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/Revolution and follow us on Twitter  https://twitter.com/NBCRevolution

"Chicago Fire" -- No job is more stressful, dangerous or exhilarating than those of the Firefighters, Rescue Squad and Paramedics of Chicago Firehouse 51. These are America's everyday heroes -- the courageous men and women who forge headfirst into danger when everyone else is running the other way. But the enormous responsibilities of the job also take a personal toll. Big reputations and hefty egos, coupled with the pressure to perform and make split-second decisions, are bound to put squad members at odds. When a tragedy claims one of their own, there's plenty of guilt and blame to go around. In the middle of a divorce, Lt. Matthew Casey (Jesse Spencer, "House M.D.") tries to go about business as usual but can't help butting heads with the brash Lt. Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney, "The Vampire Diaries") of the Rescue Squad – and each blames the other for their fallen team member.  When it's "go-time" though, they put aside their differences and put everything on the line for each other. "Chicago Fire" is a look inside one of America's noblest professions. Also starring are Eamonn Walker ("The Messenger"), Charlie Barnett, ("Law & Order: SVU"), David Eigenberg ("Sex and the City"), Monica Raymund ("The Good Wife"), Lauren German ("Hawaii Five-O"), Teri Reeves ("Three Rivers") and Merle Dandridge ("Sons of Anarchy").  "Chicago Fire" is produced by Universal Television and Wolf Films.  Emmy Award-winning creator/ producer Dick Wolf ("Law & Order" brand), Derek Haas ("3:10 to Yuma"), Michael Brandt ("3:10 to Yuma"), Peter Jankowski ("Law & Order" brand) and Danielle Gelber serve as executive producers.  Haas and Brandt wrote the pilot, which was directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff ("Homeland"). From renowned Emmy-winning producer Dick Wolf and the writing team behind "3:10 to Yuma" comes an edge-of-your-seat view of a dirty job that often means the difference between life and death.

For embeddable clips from "Chicago Fire," please visit NBC.com's official show site:  www.nbc.com/chicago-fire/ For artwork and press information, please visit the NBC Universal Media Village website at http://www.nbcumv.com/mediavillage/
Please like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NBCChicagoFire and follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/NBCChicagoFire

"Do No Harm" -- Dr. Jason Cole (Steven Pasquale, "Rescue Me") is a highly respected neurosurgeon who has it all – a lucrative career, confident charm, the gift of compassion. But he also has a deep, dark secret. One morning when he wakes up disoriented in a wrecked hotel room amidst several near-naked women he's never seen before, he knows one thing: it's happening again. Every night at the same hour, something inside Jason changes, leaving him almost unrecognizable – seductive, devious, borderline sociopathic. This new man is his dangerous alternate personality who goes by the name of ‘Ian Price.' For years he's battled Ian, keeping him in check with a powerful experimental sedative.  But now his – their – body has developed a resistance to the serum, setting Ian free once again. And to make matters worse, after being suppressed for so long, Ian's hell-bent on taking revenge on his oppressor. With everyone Jason cares about at risk – patients, friends, coworkers and even the woman he loves – he's got to stop Ian once and for all. Will they find some common ground, or will they bring each other down? Hell hath no fury like an alter ego scorned. Also starring are Alana De La Garza ("Law & Order"), Mousa Kraish ("Superbad"), Michael Esper ("A Beautiful Mind"), Ruta Gedmintas ("The Borgias") and Phylicia Rashad ("The Cosby Show").  "Do No Harm" is produced by Universal Television and Traugott Company.  The executive producer/writer is David Schulner ("Desperate Housewives," "The Event").  Peter Traugott ("Ringer") and Rachel Kaplan ("Ringer") also are executive producers.  Michael Mayer (NBC's "Smash") is the co-executive producer and director.  

For embeddable clips from "Do No Harm," please visit NBC.com's official show site:  www.nbc.com/do-no-harm/ For artwork and press information, please visit the NBC Universal Media Village website at http://www.nbcumv.com/mediavillage/ Please like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NBCDoNoHarm and follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/NBCDoNoHarm

"Infamous" -- When wealthy socialite and notorious party girl Vivian Bowers is found dead of an overdose, no one is really surprised.  The heiress to the Bowers pharmaceutical empire has been tabloid fodder for years: wild, pretty, privileged… and now dead at the age of 32.  But for FBI agent Will Moreno (Laz Alonso, "Avatar"), things don't add up with this suspicious dynasty.  Convinced that the troubled girl's death was a homicide, he has a clever plan to get to the truth.  Her name is Detective Joanna Locasto (Meagan Good, "Think Like a Man").  Twenty years ago she was Vivian's best friend and practically grew up inside the Bowers' home.  And when she appears at Vivian's funeral, the family re-embraces her and no one is the wiser.  Joanna quickly begins to uncover dark secrets and clues about why Vivian's life was very much in danger.  At the same time, she rekindles an old romantic relationship and rediscovers the allure of the luxurious lifestyle she once knew.  She's about to see once again just how the other half lives... and dies.  Also starring are Victor Garber ("Alias"), Tate Donovan ("Damages"), Katherine La Nasa ("Alfie") and Ella Rae Peck ("Gossip Girl").  "Infamous" comes from executive producer/writer Liz Heldens ("Friday Night Lights") and director Peter Horton ("Grey's Anatomy," "Dirty Sexy Money").  Gail Berman, Lloyd Braun and Gene Stein are also executive producers.  The series is from Universal Television and BermanBraun.  

For embeddable clips from "Infamous," please visit NBC.com's official show site:  www.nbc.com/infamous/.  For artwork and press information, please visit the NBC Universal Media Village website at http://www.nbcumv.com/mediavillage/.
Please like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Infamous and follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/NBCInfamous

"Hannibal" -- One of the most fascinating literary characters comes to life on television for the first time: psychiatrist-turned-serial-killer, Dr. Hannibal Lecter.  In this new drama from Bryan Fuller ("Pushing Daisies," "Heroes"), based on the characters from Thomas Harris' classic novels, we see where this incredible story began. Will Graham (Hugh Dancy, "The Big C") is a gifted criminal profiler who is on the hunt for a serial killer with the FBI. Graham's unique way of thinking gives him the astonishing ability to empathize with anyone – even psychopaths. He seems to know what makes them tick. But when the mind of the twisted killer he's pursuing is too complicated for even Will to comprehend, he enlists the help of Dr. Lecter, one of the premier psychiatric minds in the country. Armed with the uncanny expertise of the brilliant doctor, Will and Hannibal (known as a serial killer only to the audience) form a brilliant partnership and it seems there's no villain they can't catch. If Will only knew…  Fuller is writer and executive producer.  Martha De Laurentis ("Red Dragon," "Hannibal"), Sara Colleton ("Dexter"), Jesse Alexander ("Lost", "Heroes"), and Katie O'Connell also serve as executive producers.  David Slade is the director/executive producer for the series pilot.  "Hannibal" is produced by Gaumont International Television.
For embeddable clips from "Hannibal," please visit NBC.com's official show site:  www.nbc.com/hannibal/.  For artwork and press information, please visit the NBC Universal Media Village website at http://www.nbcumv.com/mediavillage/.
Please like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NBCHannibal and follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/NBCHannibal


New Alternative Shows

"Stars Earn Stripes" – The TV cop who wants to prove he can handle a gun in real life.  The athlete making the transition from field to battlefield.  The performer who wants to show how well she can perform under a different kind of pressure.  In this fierce, entertaining and emotionally charged new competition honoring America's armed forces, nine celebrities will gather at a secret training facility where they will be challenged to execute complicated missions inspired by real military exercises. From helicopter drops into treacherous locations to long range weapons fire, these stars will be tested physically, mentally and emotionally – and emerge in awe of the men and women who do such tasks on behalf of our country every day.  From executive producers Dick Wolf ("Law & Order," "Law & Order: SVU"), Mark Burnett ("The Voice," "Survivor") and David A. Hurwitz ("Fear Factor"), this extraordinary show will donate money raised through the competition to veterans' charities.  Committed to hiring recent vets onto the crew, "Stars Earn Stripes" hopes to inspire other employers throughout the country to make similar commitments to our returning heroes, not to mention proving how impossible their service missions really are.  The series is a production of Universal Television, One Three Television, LLC, Wolf Reality, LLC and Bill's Market & Television Productions.

For information on "Stars Earn Stripes," please visit NBC.com's official show site:  www.nbc.com/stars-earn-stripes/.  For artwork and press information, please visit the NBC Universal Media Village website at http://www.nbcumv.com/mediavillage/.  Please like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/StarsEarnStripes and follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/NBCStarsStripes

"Howie Mandel's White Elephant" -- From Howie Mandel ("America's Got Talent") comes an exciting new game show based on one of the most wildly popular holiday party games in America. A contestant selects a box from a studio full of unmarked packages containing millions of dollars in prizes, showing what's inside to the others. Then, the next player is faced with a potentially life-changing dilemma: do they steal a prize that has already been revealed, or do they take a chance with another unopened box, hoping what's inside is worth more? But that's just the beginning. When there are only two contestants left, Howie will reveal what's inside the boxes and give the players a choice: share… or steal. If both players choose to share, they will each keep the prizes they have won in the prior rounds. If one player shares and the other steals, the player that chose to steal will go home with all the prizes. But if both choose to steal, they both go home with nothing! The stakes are insanely high as each contestant grapples with the choice of a lifetime… and the white elephant in the room.  "Howie Mandel's White Elephant" is from Universal Television and Alevy Productions.  Mandel and Mike Marks are the executive producers.

For information on "Howie Mandel's White Elephant," please visit NBC.com's official show site:  www.nbc.com/howie-mandels-white-elephant/. For artwork and press information, please visit the NBC Universal Media Village website at http://www.nbcumv.com/mediavillage/. Please like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/NBCWhiteElephant and follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/WhiteElephant

"Ready for Love" -- What does it take to find your soul mate? Well, producer Eva Longoria ("Desperate Housewives") is inviting every eligible woman in America to participate in an innovative and dramatic new dating competition to find out how easy it can be. She has hand-selected three impossibly handsome grooms and enlisted the three best Matchmakers in the world to find them life partners. Let the dating begin! The show kicks off with mass auditions screened by the Matchmakers, and then launches into a romantic journey that will combine the best elements of in-studio competition and story-based reality. Each week, the contestants will be whittled down until the dramatic finale, when the three "grooms" and final three "brides" decide if they'll get engaged, married or simply live happily ever after… because they're all Ready for Love! Bill Rancic ("Giuliana and Bill") and Giuliana DePandi-Rancic ("Giuliana and Bill," "Fashion Police") are the hosts.  "Ready for Love" is produced by Renegade 83, UnbeliEVAble Entertainment and Universal Television. Longoria, Jason Ehrlich ("The Bachelor," "The Bachelorette"), Greg Goldman ("Secret Millionaire," "Don't Forget the Lyrics!"), David Garfinkle ("Blind Date," "The 5th Wheel")  and Jay Renfroe ("Blind Date," "The 5th Wheel") serve as executive producers. 

For embeddable clips from "Ready for Love," please visit NBC.com's official show site:  http://www.nbc.com/ready-for-love/.  For artwork and press information, please visit the NBC Universal Media Village website at http://www.nbcumv.com/mediavillage/.  Please like us on Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/NBCReadyforLove and follow us on Twitter  http://twitter.com/readyforlove.


"Surprise With Jenny McCarthy" – Actress, comedienne and best-selling author Jenny McCarthy hosts "Surprise With Jenny McCarthy," a unique variety show that will treat the audience to a funny, irreverent and heart-warming television experience that centers around giving people surprises of a lifetime. "Surprise With Jenny McCarthy" will spotlight multiple surprises within the one-hour episode -- from dramatic reunions to surprise announcements to good-natured pranks with fantastic feel-good twists.  And, whether the surprise is an emotional roller coaster, a heartfelt thank-you, a hero's reward or a slightly devilish prank with a happy ending, viewers get a chance to know the true stories of the people involved, which makes the payoffs all the more meaningful.  As ringleader, cheerleader, head instigator and mistress of ceremonies, McCarthy helps pull off all kinds of incredible surprises on people from all walks of life.  Funny, touching, engaging, exciting and always unpredictable, "Surprise With Jenny McCarthy" will keep viewers laughing, crying and on the edge of their seats. Arthur Smith ("Hell's Kitchen," "Kitchen Nightmares") and Paul Buccieri are executive producers of the presentation from A. Smith & Co. and ITV Studios.

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Shiny Happy People

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 12, 2012

Colin Ferguson, right, visits "The Price Is Right" hosted by Drew Carey. Ferguson, now host of CBS's "Late Late Show," played Mr. Wick on "The Drew Carey Show." On "Price," he will help give away a car and a trip to his native Scotland. Ferguson will devote the "Late Late Show" to a recent Scotland trip Monday through Friday nights.

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Mixed Notes - May 12

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 12, 2012

Coming in tomorrow's Beacon Journal, and available online now:

My story about a new documentary looks at Johnny Carson, who left "The Tonight Show" 20 years ago.

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This Week's "American Idol" Chat

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 12, 2012

Goodbye, Hollie, and a shout-out to "Meatballs."

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Video: Heldenfels on 'Dark Shadows,' 'Exotic Marigold'

By Ohio.com Published: May 11, 2012

This week, Beacon Journal popular culture writer Rich Heldenfels talks about the latest Johnny Depp/Tim Burton collaboration, Dark Shadows, and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

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Whitney's Family & Lifetime Exploit Her Passing

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 11, 2012

The official word:

Lifetime has picked up The Houston Family Chronicles (working title), an all-new docu-series that will follow the lives of the late Whitney Houston’s family, led by Pat Houston, Whitney’s sister-in-law and manager, and including Pat’s daughter Rayah, Whitney’s brother Gary, daughter Bobbi Kristina and mother, Grammy® Award-winning singer Cissy Houston.

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TBS Picks Up "Cougar Town"

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 10, 2012

The series has aired on ABC. The official word:

Cougar Town, the acclaimed sitcom starring Golden Globe® nominee Courteney Cox, is moving to TBS. The top-rated network has ordered a fourth season of Cougar Town, to begin airing in early 2013. In addition, TBS has garnered the encore rights to Cougar Town's first three seasons of 61 episodes that originally aired on ABC.

"Cougar Town is a smart, whimsical sitcom that draws its humor from likable, relatable characters" said Michael Wright, president, head of programming for TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). "We are thrilled to have Cougar Town moving to the TBS neighborhood as the network continues to expand its slate of original comedy series."

In Cougar Town, Cox stars as Jules Cobb, a recently divorced mom struggling with the challenges and pitfalls that come with a new chapter in her life. Jules spends much of her time enjoying wine with her group of friends known as the "cul de sac crew." They include her under-achieving ex-husband, Bobby (Brian Van Holt); next-door neighbor and confidante Ellie (Christa Miller); Ellie's loveably average husband, Andy (Ian Gomez); Jules' fiancé and neighbor, Grayson (Josh Hopkins); and Jules' feisty protégé, Laurie (Busy Philipps). Meanwhile, Jules' college-student son, Travis (Dan Byrd), often proves himself more adult than anyone in the group.

Cougar Town was co-created by executive producer/writer/director Bill Lawrence (Scrubs, Spin City) and executive producer/writer Kevin Biegel (Scrubs). Courteney Cox and David Arquette also serve as executive producers. Cougar Town is produced by ABC Studios.

Cougar Town is the latest project to join TBS's ever-growing slate of original series. The lineup also includes the May 24 debut of the new buddy comedy series Men at Work, starring Danny Masterson, James Lesure, Michael Cassidy, Adam Busch and Meredith Hagner. In July, TBS will launch Sullivan & Son, a new sitcom starring comedian Steve Byrne and executive-produced by Vince Vaughn, Peter Billingsley and Rob Long. This year will also include the debut of Wedding Band, a new scripted comedy series starring Brian Austin Green, Harold Perrineau, Peter Cambor, Derek Miller, Melora Hardin, Jenny Wade and Kathryn Fiore. TBS will set out to crown the ultimate nerd in the reality-competition series King of the Nerds (working title), hosted by Robert Carradine and Curtis Armstrong.
 

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Mixed Notes

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 10, 2012

Lots of stuff in today's Beacon Journal and on Ohio.com including:

A look at the origins of "Dark Shadows.":

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Video: This week's 'Dancing with the Stars' recap

By Ohio.com Published: May 9, 2012

Former dance instructor and features editor Lynne Sherwin and pop culture writer Rich Heldenfels keep in step with America's favorite dance competition.

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Mixed Notes

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 8, 2012

I have been out of town for a few days on family business. Entertainment did not stop in my absence. "The Avengers," which I liked set box office records. The great writer Maurice Sendak, whose books were commonplace in my children's shelves, died. Lifetime renewed "The Client List," alas. "The Artist"  will be back in theaters this weekend. And
 the publicity machines sent along various other items, some of which I am including below. All statements are official words from the foiks makng the announcements.

From TNT: TNT has greenlit Monday Mornings, a powerful new series from award-winning producer David E. Kelley (Ally McBeal, Chicago Hope) and practicing neurosurgeon and CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, M.D., on whose book the series is based. The medical drama stars Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction), Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2, TNT's The Company), Jamie Bamber (Battlestar Galactica), Jennifer Finnigan (Better with You), Bill Irwin (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation), Keong Sim (Glee), Sarayu Rao (Lions for Lambs), and Emily Swallow (TNT's Southland).

Monday Mornings (formerly known as Chelsea General) is produced by TNT Originals and David E. Kelley Productions. Kelley and Gupta both serve as executive producers. Kelley penned the pilot episode, which was directed and executive-produced by Bill D'Elia (Boston Legal, The West Wing). TNT has ordered a 10-episode first season of Monday Mornings, which is set to premiere in summer 2013. TNT has teamed up with Turner Broadcasting System International, Inc. to produce this global series. The show, which will air on TNT and Turner networks around the world, will be distributed by TBS International outside of the United States and Canada.

Monday Mornings is a superb drama brought to life with passion by a gifted ensemble cast and some of the best creative minds working in television today," said Michael Wright, president, head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). "David, Sanjay and their team have given us an outstanding addition to TNT’s stable of high-profile dramas, and we’re very proud to have it on the network."

Set at the fictional Chelsea General Hospital in Portland, Ore., Monday Mornings follows the lives of doctors as they push the limits of their abilities and confront their personal and professional failings. The title refers to the hospital’s weekly morbidity and mortality conference, when doctors gather with their peers for a confidential review of complications and errors in patient care.

Leading the staff at Chelsea General are Dr. Harding Hooten (Molina), the steely-eyed chief of surgery, and Dr. Jorge "El Gato" Villanueva (Rhames), the hospital's trauma chief. Their cadre of medical talent includes hotshot neurosurgeons Dr. Tyler Wilson (Bamber) and Dr. Tina Ridgeway (Finnigan); the abrasive Dr. Buck Tierney (Irwin); the socially challenged Dr. Sung Park (Sim); the petite-but-formidable Dr. Sydney Napur (Rao); and inquisitive resident Dr. Michelle Robidaux (Swallow).

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Talking "American Idol"

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 5, 2012

This Week's Movie Chat

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 4, 2012

Looking at some moviegoing options other than "The Avengers."

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Mixed Notes - May 3

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 3, 2012

I saw "The Avengers" Thursday and you can read my review here. It may sound more critical than the star rating (3 1/2 out of 4) indicates, but there were several ideas at work. On the one hand, I felt quite content at movie's end and had found the long action segment exhilarating. On the other hand, especially with popcorn movies like this, there are usually flaws -- and we should not pretend the movie is flawless just because we enjoyed it. In addition, some of the early critical enthusiasm has felt over-the-top, or indicative of short critical memories. So I spent a good bit of space on the flaws even as I admitted that I had a good time.

Today's mailbag is here.

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"Bully" Director in Cleveland Saturday

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 2, 2012

The official word:

BULLY director Lee Hirsch will be hosting post-screening Q&A’s on Saturday, May 5th following the 4:40 PM and 9:20 PM showings of his film at the Cedar Lee Theatre (2163 Lee Rd., Cleveland Hts.).

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"Jeff, Who Lives at Home," to DVD/BD on June 19.

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 1, 2012

The official word: Two brothers with very different ways of looking at the world come together to help each other find their way in the “whimsical comedy” (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times) JEFF, WHO LIVES AT HOME, debuting on Blu-ray and DVD (both with UltraViolet™) June 19, 2012 from Paramount Home Media Distribution. The film will also be available On Demand and for Digital Download on June 15, 2012. Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) as the hapless title character, Ed Helms (The Hangover 1 & 2) as his slightly more accomplished brother and Academy Award® winner Susan Sarandon as their long-suffering mother are “beyond wonderful” (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone) in this quirky and hilarious comedy from Mark and Jay Duplass (Cyrus).

 

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"Bridesmaids," "Hunger Games" Top MTV Movie Nominees

By Rich Heldenfels Published: May 1, 2012

The official word (minus some boilerplate):

The nominees are in for the “2012 MTV Movie Awards,” with The Hunger Games and Bridesmaids neck-in-neck with eight nominations each, including the categories “MOVIE OF THE YEAR,” “BEST CAST” and “BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE.”

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