The splendid TV writer, who worked on the upcoming "Treme," has died. Obit is here. David's always entertaining and provocative blog is here. My friend Alan Sepinwall, who knew David well, has a tribute here which made me tear up.
I did not know David well, but we had met, and traded notes now and then online. I much admired "Kingpin," a series David created and NBC aired, which should have had a longer run. I have posted my 2003 column about it, which included an interview with Mills, after the jump. I also want to make note of a letter I received from David in 2002, after I wrote a column on TV show characters using porn*. The letter shows David's passionate approach to issues and his unwillingness to fall for conventional wisdom. From the letter:To read more or comment...
At my request, Fox News sent along this statement involving James Todd Smith, better known as LL Cool J:
Real American Stories features uplifting tales about overcoming adversity and we believe Mr. Smith’s interview fit that criteria. However, as it appears that Mr. Smith does not want to be associated with a program that could serve as an inspiration to others, we are cutting his interview from the special and wish him the best with his fledgling acting career.To read more or comment...
Also, per the Peabodys: In Treatment, HBO’s mesmerizing therapy-session drama; The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, HBO’s charming series about a female private eye in Botswana; and Endgame, a PBS/Masterpiece film about secret negotiations that facilitated the end of apartheid in South Africa." And more. Full announcement after the jump.
To read more or comment...
I went to a screening of "Clash of the Titans" tonight (silly but better than I expected) so my "American Idol" notes will have to wait. I did get home in time to see the results on "Dancing With the Stars." Notes about that after the jump.
Also, my latest video is here. I rant about Katherine Heigl, praise "In Plain Sight," offer musical bits from Fear of Strangers and the Blind Boys of Alabama, talk Abbott & Costello and "Fantastic Mr. Fox" on DVD, and show off a "Glee" T-shirt. Enjoy. Tell your friends.To read more or comment...
From the network: MLB Network today announced that Chris Rose has joined its roster of on-air talent as a studio host. Rose, who will continue his work for FOX Sports, will make his MLB Network debut on MLB Tonight Friday, April 2 at 9:00 p.m. ET and also be part of MLB Network’s 14 hours of live coverage starting at 12:00 p.m. ET on Opening Day, Monday, April 5. Rose joins hosts Bob Costas, Greg Amsinger, Matt Vasgersian and Matt Yallof at MLB Network.
“Chris’s knowledge of baseball from his recent work with FOX during the regular season and World Series will enhance our coverage of the game,” said Tony Petitti, President and CEO of MLB Network. “Chris has a variety of on-air hosting and reporting experience and we’re excited to welcome him to MLB Network as we begin our second season on the air.”To read more or comment...
From the movie channel:
Since the 1960s, Motown has been keeping American grooving with some of the hottest songs on the radio, featuring such stars as Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, The Temptations and Marvin Gaye. Turner Classic Movies proudly celebrates Motown’s 50th anniversary with an all-night movie marathon slated for Wednesday, April 14, beginning at 8 p.m. (ET), exactly 50 years to the day that Berry Gordy Jr. officially incorporated the company.To read more or comment...
Victoria Regan, general manager of the Cleveland-based ABC affiliate, has departed the station. A rep for the station's owner said the station and Regan "mutually agreed to part ways." Which I view skeptically, considering she had only been on the job for two years. No replacement hired yet.
Regan joined Channel 5 in May 2008 from WPBF, the ABC affiliate in West Palm Beach, Fla., where she had been general manager since 1997. In that capacity, she competed against a station owned by the E.W. Scripps Co., which also owns Channel 5.To read more or comment...
America’s favorite summer series, SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE, returns for its seventh season with some exciting new twists, including 10 finalists competing, only one dancer eliminated per week and the return of dancers from previous seasons.
This year, the competition is the toughest it has ever been as the judges will pick only 10 dancers (five guys and five girls) – from the thousands that auditioned – to compete for the title of America’s Favorite Dancer. During the performance rounds, one finalist will go home weekly. Additionally, the competitors will be partnered each week with a different SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE All-Star dancer – former SYTYCD finalists who are skilled in various styles of dance, including ballroom, hip-hop, jazz and contemporary. The All-Star Partners will be announced shortly.
Be sure to tune in to the two-hour Season Seven premiere Thursday, May 27 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.
Includes new seasons of "Secret Life of an American Teenager" and "Make It or Break It" in June, and new series, one of them a Melissa Joan Hart-Joey Lawrence collaboration. Also, "Huge," about a weight-loss camp, with big-screen "Hairspray" star Nikki Blonsky, with producing help from my college friend, and fine writer, Winnie Holzman ("My So-Called Life").
Detailed announcement after the jump.
To read more or comment...
A few things from the e-mail, after the jump: "24's" current season will be its last (and I'm amazed it lasted this long), Chloe Sevigny backpedals from calling the fourth season of "Big Love" awful, "Dhani Tackles the Globe" launches Season 2 on April 19.
Have spent the last couple of evenings catching up on viewing: two "Losts" (so I am caught up), a "Parenthood" (still two behind), a "Good Wife" (even), some of the comedies. If I can work it in around my reading of "Israel Potter" and "The Encantadas," and some family business, I hope to post some longer notes later. In short, I am very pleased with "Lost" at this point, ready for more "Parenthood," still smiling at "Modern Family" and laughing at "Community," and (although I haven't finished Thursday's telecast yet) concerned about the sour tone that has been creeping into "The Office." And, looking ahead, I have seen two new episode of "Bones," which returns this coming Thursday, and enjoyed them both. And I am not displeased with what's coming on "Criminal Intent" when it returns Tuesday. So plenty to talk about later.
The official word:
Akron, Ohio – March 26, 2010 – If you’ve been waiting for your big break or you simply want to be part of a phenomenal community project, we have some exciting news. On April 3, actor, director and producer Corbin Bernsen and his team will hold local auditions for parts in his upcoming film, 25 Hill, which will be shot primarily at Derby Downs in Akron. Because this truly community project was inspired and funded in great part by the Greater Akron area, a handful of roles have been reserved for local residents.
WHO: All Northeast Ohio residents
WHAT: Open auditions for 25 Hill, the Soap Box Derby movie written, produced and directed by Bernsen
WHERE: Derby Downs, 789 Derby Downs Drive, Akron
WHEN: Saturday, April 3 from 9 a.m. until noon
THE DETAILS: No need to bring headshots or resumes. We’ll take your photo and give you a form to fill out so we can contact you at a later date. Previous acting experience is welcomed but not necessary. Filming takes place in April, June and July.
THE MOVIE: 25 Hill, centers on an 11-year-old boy named Trey whose dreams of Derby victory fade when his father is killed fighting in Afghanistan. But Trey begins to rebuild those dreams with the help of a reluctant hero, a one-time derby champ, who is contending with his own terrible heartbreak. A deep friendship is forged and wounds are healed in the dim light of a backyard garage, but the duos hopes are threatened when the Derby’s demise appears imminent.
From Fox Home Video, the movie for which Jeff Bridges won his Oscar arrives April 20. Says the distributor: The Crazy Heart Blu-ray includes deleted scenes, alternate music cuts and commentary from Bridges, Gyllenhaal and Duvall. The standard DVD features deleted scenes. The Blu-ray Disc with Digital Copy will be available for the suggested retail price of $39.99 U.S. / $49.99 Canada and the standard DVD will be available for the suggested retail price of $29.98 U.S. / $43.48 Canada. More specifics after the jump.
To read more or comment...
The actor has died, at the age of 79, reportedly from injuries in a fall. He was a cool dude on TV, starting famously with "I Spy," a show that was famous mainly for the banter between Culp and co-star Bill Cosby (shown above). But Culp always had a little bit of an edge to his charm, which made him suitable for villainous roles -- and made even his good-guy moments a little more interesting than they might have been in the hands of smoother performer. That edge, too, fully blossomed on "The Greatest American Hero," the always-on-the-verge-of-rage FBI agent working with the titular hero, played by William Katt. More splendid banter there.To read more or comment...
The MTV series, which inspired countless hours of self-important drivel from annoying people, is about to have its final season. From the network:
Over the past 4 years “The Hills” revolutionized reality television and became a pop culture phenomenon. MTV will now redefine how the reality drama all ends in Season 6. The last 12 episodes EVER of “The Hills” will conclude like no other show before. How will it end? What will be revealed? Who will return? How will they say goodbye? The drama begins on Tuesday, April 27th as “The Hills: Final Season” premieres at 10pm ET/PT followed by “The City” at 10:30pm ET/PT on MTV.To read more or comment...
The very first gay-themed film DVD collection from a major motion picture studio, The Cinema Pride Collection debuts only at Amazon.com on June 8 from Twentieth Century Fox and MGM Home Entertainment. Distinctively packaged with vibrant artwork, the set includes ten movies spanning over 40 years and includes The Children’s Hour, La Cage Aux Folles, My Beautiful Laundrette, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert: The Extra Frills Edition, The Birdcage, Bent, The Object of My Affection, Boys Don’t Cry, Kissing Jessica Stein and Imagine Me & You.To read more or comment...
Fox Home Entertainment has announced more MGM titles availabele through a DVD-on-demand service. Like Warner Archives, it has you order a film from the list, then makes a DVD copy for you -- appealing directly to fans of individual productions and avoiding a fight for crowded store-shelf space It's a good idea and these projects include quite a few titles that I gety letters about.
After the jump is the announcement and the list of new titles, which also include Lindsay Wagner's "Two Worlds of Jennie Logan," the great political film "The Best Man" and more.To read more or comment...
The Jim Henson project has a cult following whose members have contacted me from time to time. So here:
Get ready for tail-wagging, tongue-flapping fun this summer as Lionsgate Home Entertainment releases Jim Henson's Dog City: The Movie, available for the first time ever on DVD and as a digital download! As the winner of the Primetime Emmy® Award for Outstanding Directing in a Variety or Music Program in 1989, this hilarious Henson comedy classic arrives in stores with a devoted fan base. Adults who were fans of The Jim Henson Company's productions in their youth can share Jim Henson's Dog City: The Movie with their children, as the movie features both edgy humor and puppet fun brought to life as only The Jim Henson Company can. The film was so successful that it inspired a "Dog City" animated series that aired on FOX in the early 1990s. The DVD contains special features that include original movie concept art, a behind-the-scenes image gallery, and two animated episodes from the "Dog City" series.To read more or comment...
WKSU presents one of the stars of public broadcasting live on-stage at Blossom Music Center on Saturday, June 19 at 5:45 p.m. Since Garrison Keillor’s first broadcast of “A Prairie Home Companion” in 1974, the show and its creator have become nearly synonymous with public radio. A modern interpretation of an old-style radio variety show, “A Prairie Home Companion” brings together comedy sketches, musical performances and Keillor’s beloved weekly monologue centered on the fictional small town of Lake Wobegon, Minnesota. This is the fifth time WKSU has presented “A Prairie Home Companion” at Blossom.
From Fox: Miley Cyrus will appear as a guest mentor on AMERICAN IDOL and help the Top 11 finalists – Didi Benami, Crystal Bowersox, Lee Dewyze, Andrew Garcia, Casey James, Aaron Kelly, Michael Lynche, Siobhan Magnus, Paige Miles, Katie Stevens and Tim Urban – prepare for their performances on a Billboard No.1 Hits-themed show airing Tuesday, March 23 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX.
Tune in to the results show the following night, Wednesday, March 24 (9:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed), to see Cyrus perform her hit “When I Look At You,” watch Joe Jonas and Demi Lovato sing “Make A Wave,” and find out who receives enough votes to stay in the competition and who is sent home.To read more or comment...
Presented by The University of Akron’s Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell Photography Lecture Series, renowned photographer Todd Hido will discuss his work during a free lecture at the Akron Art Museum on Thursday, April 1 at 6:30 pm.To read more or comment...
The actor known for playing both Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone has died. Obit here. I am old enough to have been one of the original "Davy Crockett" kids; I also watched Parker from Disney adventures like "Old Yeller" and "The Great Locomotive Chase," with scenes from the latter still embedded in my memory. Parker always seemed to play decent men, and inspired those of us who watched him to do likewise. What was it Davy said? Be sure you're right, then go ahead. Still words to live by.To read more or comment...
After an HBO executive said at an Atlanta event that "The Pacific" would be on DVD for Father's Day, the news flew around the blogosphere. After all, the terrific miniseries would make a good Father's Day gift. Unfortunately, the news is not true, as this statement from HBO Video declares more than emphatically:
The misinformation about the HBO miniseries, The Pacific being released on Father's Day is incorrect. HBO Home Entertainment has not yet announced an exact DVD release date for The Pacific, however, the miniseries will not be available on DVD any earlier than the second half of the year.To read more or comment...
Today's mailbag is here. Questions and answers about Sandy Dennis in Akron, Kate Snow, "Dirty Sexy Money" spoiler, "Army Wives' " return, and whether McLean Stevenson and Adlai Stevenson were related.
"American Idol" next week will have a "teen idol" theme. Which at first makes me think that we'll get lots of covers of songs by former "American Idol" winners. But it's an insanely broad category -- the just-covered Rolling Stones were teen idols, after all, and so was Frank Sinatra. Beatles. Jacksons. Osmonds. Fabian. Elvis.To read more or comment...
I leave it to you whether that is good news. Announcement after the jump. Here are the basics:
Prospective executives who feel they have the skills and drive to become “The Apprentice” can apply by either attending one of the program’s nation-wide open calls (dates and locations to be announced) or by emailing email@example.com. Applicants are encouraged to explain why they should be the next “Apprentice” and include information regarding how the recession has impacted their lives. Also required is a recent photo as well as name, location and occupation history.To read more or comment...
In celebration of the sixth and final season for “Lost,” ABC will produce music videos that will offer fans a musical look inside of specific characters from the island. Each week an individual music video will be released that will include footage from this season and can be seen at ABC.com. Videos that will be set to different recording artists will include the characters of Ben, Sawyer, Richard Alpert, Sun & Jin, Desmond, Hurley, Kate, Jack, Sayid and Locke.To read more or comment...
Scheduled performers at the South African show include Alicia Keys, Amadou & Mariam, Angelique Kidjo, Black Eyed Peas, BLK JKS, John Legend, Juanes, Shakira, The Parlotones, Tinariwen, Vieux Farka Touré and Vusi Mahlasela. No U.S. broadcaster yet. Announcement is after the jump.
A friend from South Africa told me concerts there "can be even more chaotic than our football matches. And we are KNOWN for our chaotic football matches." More comments after the announcement.To read more or comment...
Kent State's Eric Chine remains a contender on Fox Reality's "Seducing Cindy" and will appear at another viewing party, for the show's finale, Saturday in Kent. From the announcement:
Eric Chine started out as one of 24 eligible bachelors competing for super model and internet sensation Cindy Margolis’ heart on the Fox Reality Channel’s first original series, “Seducing Cindy”. The Austintown native, and recent Kent State graduate is now one of three remaining with the final episode airing this Saturday night at 9:00 pm.To read more or comment...
From Warner Home Video:
On June 15, 2010, Warner Home Video will kick off Cartoon Network’s “Hall of Fame” series with the DVD release of everyone’s favorite narcissistic mama’s boy, Johnny Bravo, in Cartoon Network Hall of Fame Johnny Bravo: Season One. The long-awaited two-disc set contains all 13 original season one episodes, plus bonus features that include the series documentary, Bringing Up Bravo, audio commentary with the series creator Van Partible, the voice behind Johnny Bravo, Jeff Bennett, and series writer/illustrator, Seth McFarlane. Cartoon Network Hall of Fame Johnny Bravo: Season One is priced to own for $24.98 SRP.To read more or comment...
Carey, long a booster of his home city, has worked on a series addressing Cleveland's problems with the libertarian Reason Foundation, for whom he has done other issues videos. The announcement and links to the videos are after the jump. The link on the second video, about education, was not working just before I posted this, but I am trying to get a new link.
Cleveland was one of America’s 10 largest cities in 1950. By the 2000 Census it wasn’t in the top 30. And from 2000 to 2007 only New Orleans - devastated by Hurricane Katrina - lost more of its population. Today, the remaining residents face unemployment rates from 10 to 12 percent across the Cleveland area. Comedian Drew Carey, host of The Price Is Right, has seen enough and wants to revitalize his hometown. “I would like everybody in Cleveland to have rich kids’ syndrome, where they feel guilty that they had all of these opportunities,” Carey says.
To help create those opportunities and set the stage for a Cleveland renaissance, Carey and Reason Foundation found policies and ideas that have already been tested and proven in other cities. Reason Saves Cleveland With Drew Carey offers the city a path to fix its public schools the way inner-city Oakland did; to generate infrastructure revenue and reduce the cost of government through public-private partnerships like Indianapolis and Chicago; and to attract skilled workers, entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies like Houston, one of the country’s fastest growing cities.
Reason Saves Cleveland With Drew Carey will release videos and solutions all this week at http://reason.tv/cleveland. Here is an overview of each episode in the series:
The Decline of a Once-Great City
Episode 1, Released March 15
In the opening video, Carey describes his love for Cleveland, its history, its woes and why he launched this project: “As you know, I’m from Cleveland, Ohio. I love Cleveland, Ohio. I based my whole career on being from Cleveland, Ohio. And you also might know that Cleveland, Ohio, is going through some tough times right now. The economy is in trouble, the schools are in trouble, and people have been leaving the city in droves for a long, long time. And it is not just Cleveland. It’s a lot of cities in the country that are having the same problems. I went to the folks at the Reason Foundation and I said is there any way we could come up with some ideas to help save Cleveland. And we looked at some best practices of cities across the country and we wanted to know if we applied them to Cleveland, would it do any good? The series is called Reason Saves Cleveland. I hope you like it.”
The video can be viewed online at http://reason.tv/video/show/1040 and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=096pjEOrdK4.
Fix the Schools
Episode 2, Released March 15
The Cleveland Municipal School District spends over $14,000 per student. Yet, only 54 percent of students graduate from high school and the district is failing to meet 27 out of 30 Ohio performance standards.
“Your choice is go to a Catholic school or get the hell out of town and raise your kids somewhere else. That’s not much of a choice at all,” Carey says in the Reason.tv video. “It would be best for the parents and families to have a choice to send their kids where they want. Make the schools compete against each other.”
Reason Foundation’s new policy brief, Ten Ideas to Fix Cleveland’s Schools, calls for turning all failing schools into charter schools, giving principals complete control over school budgets and “backpack” funding that follows kids to the school of their parents’ choice. The complete policy brief is online at: http://reason.org/news/show/fix-cleveland-schools.
The video is online here: http://reason.tv/video/show/1041.
Episode 3, March 16
With all of its problems should Cleveland’s government be running shopping markets and golf courses? “No, of course not,” Carey says.
A Reason Foundation policy brief accompanying this video calls for privatizing 10 government-run services and facilities in Cleveland, including:
*Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport. Several U.S. airports, including Chicago’s Midway, are examining this option. Heathrow and Gatwick in London, Rome, Sydney, Melbourne and Frankfurt are some of the major private airports in the world.
*Downtown parking meters and garages. Chicago received a $1.1 billion upfront payment from a private company who leased the city’s garages and meters for 75 years.
*Garbage and Solid Waste Services. Over half of all US cities have already privatized all or some of their solid waste services.
The policy brief, Ten Privatization Opportunities for Cleveland, is here: http://reason.org/news/show/cleveland-ten-privatization.
Improve the Business Climate
Episode 4, March 17
Take Cleveland’s municipal income tax, add a lot of burdensome regulations and red tape and you’ve found why so few businesses set up shop in Cleveland and why so many are leaving town.
This video compares Cleveland and Houston. The latter is one of the fastest growing cities in America and home to 29 Fortune 500 companies (second only to New York City). Houston is thriving without any state or local income taxes and very few zoning rules or restrictions.
“It’s a bottom line thing for businesses. They want lower taxes and less red tape. Simple as that.” Carey states in the Reason.tv video. “My only experience in running a city is Sim City, the computer game. I know that when you raise taxes, all the Sims leave the city. ”
Encourage Bottom-up Redevelopment
Episode 5, March 18
While the city crumbled, Cleveland taxpayers were paying huge amounts to subsidize stadiums. The next big taxpayer-funded boondoggle is the new convention center. “I didn’t know Cleveland was such a bustling convention city,” Carey points out. “Take that Vegas!”
“Spending billions on big-ticket redevelopment has utterly failed to revitalize the city’s economy,” says Gillespie. “It’s time for Cleveland to realize that bottom-up projects driven by the actual residents and private-sector investors are the best was to build a vibrant city for the long haul.”
“We can all make our own decisions. We all want to live our own kind of life,” Carey declares. “We don’t need a centralized government tell us what to do all the time and tell us, you know, what color to paint our house and what we can put where. We’ll decide on our own. We’ll work it out with our neighbors on our own.”
Bring Back the People
Episode 6, March 19
Cleveland has lost more than half its population since the 1950s. Yet the city still boasts affordable neighborhoods, a rich history, and diverse ethnic and cultural scenes. This video shows there is still hope for Cleveland to once again become a destination where people flock to pursue the American Dream.
Reason.tv is an online community showcasing the best libertarian videos on the Internet. Reason.tv gives you the opportunity to create videos, share videos and suggest topics for Drew Carey Project documentaries. For more information, please visit www.reason.tv or http://www.youtube.com/reasontv.
About Reason Foundation
Reason Foundation is a nonprofit think tank dedicated to advancing free minds and free markets. Reason Foundation produces respected public policy research on a variety of issues and publishes the critically-acclaimed monthly magazine, Reason, and its website www.reason.com. For more information, please visit www.reason.org.
Announcement below. But shouldn't that be the "entire surviving cast of "Raymond"? And aren't they missing some Angels and Glee-sters?
TV Land announced today that legendary comedians Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner; the cast of “Everybody Loves Raymond” including Ray Romano, Brad Garrett, Patricia Heaton, Doris Roberts, Madylin Sweeten, Sawyer Sweeten and Sullivan Sweeten; “Charlie’s Angels” stars Cheryl Ladd, Jaclyn Smith and “Glee” cast members Jane Lynch, Dianna Agron, Jayma Mays, Jessalyn Gilsig and Kevin McHale are among the honorees at this year’s “8th Annual TV Land Awards” with more talent to be announced soon. The gala is scheduled to be taped on Saturday, April 17 on the historic Stage 15 on the Sony Lot in Culver City. The show premieres on Sunday, April 25 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.
The entire cast of “Everybody Loves Raymond” will reunite for the first time since the death of fellow cast member Peter Boyle to receive the Impact Award at this year’s show. “Everybody Loves Raymond” ran on CBS for nine successful seasons and joins the TV Land line-up on March 18. This year’s Future Classic Award will be bestowed upon Fox’s runaway hit, “Glee.” Previous future classic recipients include “Desperate Housewives” and “Arrested Development.” Mel Brooks (“Blazing Saddles”) and Carl Reiner (“The Dick Van Dyke Show” and “Ocean’s Eleven”) - the Renaissance Men of Comedy who started out on “Your Show of Shows” - will each receive the Legend Award. This marks the first time that this award will be given to two recipients. Stars of the 1970’s TV phenomenon “Charlie’s Angels” will be on hand to receive the Pop Culture Award and to pay tribute to their cast member Farrah Fawcett, who passed away of cancer in June 2009.
Now in its eighth year, the “TV Land Awards” pays tribute to classic and contemporary luminaries of television, music and movies. The ninety-minute telecast will feature exhilarating musical performances and will reunite some of the most iconic celebrity TV casts.
For some reason this just made me laugh. From Animal Planet:
Building on the success of the network’s rebrand and content transformation, Animal Planet has announced a new show with Mike Tyson, currently known as TAKING ON TYSON, where the former heavyweight champion of the world will take audiences inside the intensely competitive and bizarrely fascinating world of pigeon racing. Slated to film this spring in New York City and debut in early 2011, the show will give audiences an insider’s look at pigeon rearing and racing, a sport that is far from the mainstream. The novice pigeon racer Tyson goes toe-to-toe against several individuals in hopes of being crowned a champ all over again. Tyson has a deep passion for the birds and raised pigeons all his life. In fact his first-ever fight as a child was in defense of his birds. But this show will follow his first foray into racing them competitively. So for the first time in years, Tyson enters a sport as an underdog.To read more or comment...
In a previous post I included a link to my column about "The Pacific," which I hope you gave a chance. And will continue to give a chance, since it's a cumulative show, gaining force the more you watch. I, meanwhile, took a break from some other tasks to catch "The Green Zone" with the bride at a matinee on Saturday. There was a small, somewhat older crowd in the theater, but the big draw at the multiplex was "Alice in Wonderland." You could chalk that up to kids going to a matinee but the weekend box-office returns found "Alice" still strong and "Green Zone" opening poorly. . . .
To read more or comment...
My review of "The Pacific," which starts tonight on HBO, is here. I very much recommend it.
Other new potential viewing tonight includes "Minute To Win It" and "Celebrity Apprentice," both on NBC, and "Sons of Tucson" on Fox. I recommend none of them.To read more or comment...
Notes on last night's telecast, after the jump.
Update: Here's the teaser for next week's episode: "When the castaways discover that two people will be sent packing in a rare double elimination, everyone scrambles to save their own skin, and one castaway surprises everyone and risks it all at Tribal Council, on SURVIVOR: HEROES VS. VILLAINS, airing on a special night, Wednesday, March 24 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network."To read more or comment...
From the network:
Tonight, AMERICAN IDOL revealed this season’s Top 12 finalists (Didi Benami, Crystal Bowersox, Lacey Brown, Lee Dewyze, Andrew Garcia, Casey James, Aaron Kelly, Michael Lynche, Siobhan Magnus, Paige Miles, Katie Stevens and Tim Urban) as Katelyn Epperly, Todrick Hall, Alex Lambert and Lilly Scott were eliminated from the competition after receiving the fewest of America’s votes. The AMERICAN IDOL journey has ended for Epperly, 19, from West Des Moines, IA, who sang “I Feel The Earth Move”; Hall, 24, from Arlington, TX, who sang “Somebody To Love”; Lambert, 19, from North Richland Hills, TX, who sang “Trouble”; and Scott, 20, from Denver, CO, who sang “I Fall To Pieces.”To read more or comment...
Six will be available on Monday through Amazon.com. They include "Winning Time: Reggie Miller Vs. the New York Knicks," which premieres Sunday on ESPN, and five earlier productions: "Kings Ransom," "Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL?,": "Muhammad and Larry," "Without Bias" and "The Legend of Jimmy the Greek." Still more are available for preorder. I haven't seen all of these, but what I have seen I have liked.
ESPN promises: "Each of the new DVDs is packed with exciting bonus features, including extended interviews, deleted scenes and more."To read more or comment...
You may have read about the kidney problems for Grizz Chapman, who plays Grizz on "30 Rock," or you may have wondered why he has not looked very well in more recent episodes. He has kidney disease and awaits a transplant. But he is also trying to do good work. From NBC:
“Grizz” Chapman is used to playing a supporting role, in his earlier life as a celebrity bodyguard and in his current role as part of Tracy Morgan’s entourage on the Emmy award-winning NBC hit show, “30 Rock.” But Chapman is taking the lead in the fight against kidney disease in his new role as spokesperson for the National Kidney Foundation.
The alarm was sounded for the hypertensive father of an 18-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son, when he began spilling protein into his urine a little over two years ago. It wasn’t long before he spiraled from there to congestive heart failure and kidney failure.
Now Chapman plans to spread the word about the need for early detection for kidney disease and the critical national shortage of donor organs. Chapman, who shoots “30 Rock” while undergoing dialysis treatment for kidney failure three times a week, has a powerful message for the public. He will urge everyone to “take care of your health even when you feel good. Especially, keep your blood pressure under control and pay attention to your urine. If it’s foamy, that’s not a good sign and you need to check out your kidneys.”
Says Chapman, “I should have been more conscious of my health, but since I felt fine, I did nothing. I am honored to be teaming up with the National Kidney Foundation to spread the word about risk factors and bring awareness to others about this silent epidemic.”
Chapman is currently on the transplant waiting list and is hoping for a kidney donor soon. He will serve as Honorary Chairman of the Kidney Walk for the National Kidney Foundation Serving Greater New York and participate in advocacy, education, patient support and fund raising activities.
The fans win! More than 490,000 Facebookers asked for this. From NBC:
Legendary and multiple Emmy Award winner Betty White will take her long-anticipated turn at hosting NBC's "Saturday Night Live" on May 8. White will make her first appearance in Studio 8H.To read more or comment...
Here's the announcement:
TLC’s hit series LITTLE PEOPLE, BIG WORLD continues its fifth season with 20 all-new episodes. From a family trip to Europe to the biggest pumpkin season ever, the Roloff family is back with new adventures starting with back-to-back premieres on Monday, April 5 at 8 & 8:30pm ET/PT. The spring season includes the series’ milestone 200th episode.To read more or comment...
The press release is after the jump. (I love that Joan has her pen necklace). One note: That price of $74.95 is for EACH doll. But a Barbie rep told me that's not out of line with other Barbie collectibles, which range from $50 to $130.To read more or comment...
From the morning mail:
Five authorized 'Kukla, Fran and Ollie' titles are the first of 39 DVD's to be
released by producer Martin Tahse, known for his 26 award-winning
After School Specials. In the late 70's, Tahse worked with Burr
Tillstrom, manipulator and voice of all the puppets, and Fran Allison.
He produced 13 of 39 'Kukla, Fran and Ollie' shows in color. His is
the only color library in existence.
The actor, who seemed ready for major stardom with the movie "Lucas," has died, according to several reports. I can't say I was surprised to see the headlines, since Haim's problems have been extensive and well documented, and his career had descended into the weird self-exploitation of the "Two Coreys" with his friend Corey Feldman.
But a lack of surprise is not the same as a lack of sadness, because Haim onscreen so often seemed to invite our sympathy and affection -- "Lucas," "The Lost Boys," whatever, here was a kid you wanted to tell that things were going to be all right. That kind of connection with an audience is a gift. And even if he was not able to turn that gift into a happy life -- even if the vulnerability he conveyed was rooted in the demons which have apparently, finally, led to his death -- then I still wish we could take him aside, talk to him softly, tell him he will find his way out of this mess. That people care about him, and that's something to live for. Of course, people must have told him that more than once. In the end it made no difference. Nor will it make much difference for thousands of others as off course as Haim was. But we still need to connect. Even when people have given up on themselves, that's no reason for us to give up on them.To read more or comment...
Blogging while watching, after the jump. Will say this in summary: The smart singers have defined themselves and are performing in accord with that definition. And the show ran overtime AGAIN.
Looks like Lilly to close. In judges intro, Ellen is on Simon's lap, nuzzling him and trying to combat the rumors they don't like each other.To read more or comment...
From the network: FOX’s summer is scorching hot with the series preview and premiere of THE GOOD GUYS (previously announced as CODE 58), the kick-off of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE’s seventh season, the summer premiere of LIE TO ME, the seventh course of culinary competition HELL’S KITCHEN, all-new installments of mysterious drama PAST LIFE plus all-new episodes of GLEE, COPS, AMERICA’S MOST WANTED and ANIMATION DOMINATION.
"Past Life" is dead, so this is a burn-off. "Lie to Me" seemed more secure when it got a back nine order and a promise of a late spring return. A June start seems more like burn-off. But series producer Shawn Ryan isn't saying that on Twitter; he's linking instead to this not-pessimistic story.To read more or comment...
Academy Award-winning actor Robert De Niro is attached to play legendary coach Vince Lombardi in the theatrical motion picture LOMBARDI being developed by ESPN Films, Andell Entertainment and the NFL. Additionally, Academy Award-winning screenwriter Eric Roth (Forrest Gump, The Good Shepherd) has come on board the project which will chronicle Lombardi during the years he transformed the Green Bay Packers from the worst team in the National Football League into five-time NFL champions.To read more or comment...
CBS has ordered a second cycle of the hit reality series, UNDERCOVER BOSS, for the 2010/11 broadcast season.
UNDERCOVER BOSS, which follows high-level chief executives as they slip anonymously into the rank and file of their companies, is the number one new series of the 2009-2010 season, averaging 18.74 million viewers, 8.0/17 in adults 25-54 and 7.1/17 in adults 18-49.To read more or comment...
I spent much of Monday in a post-Oscar, sleep-deprived haze. Managed to be more or less coherent on Channel 5 (at least, I think I was). Spent a good bit of the afternoon watching episodes of "Justified," the new FX series with Timothy Olyphant, which I like very much. Then Melville in the early evening -- discussion of "Benito Cereno" -- and staying awake long enough to watch "House" (complete with Henry James reference) and Sunday's "Amazing Race" (still not an exciting season). This morning, I caught up with my CBS comedies -- Jennifer Lopez suitably steamy on "HIMYM," but they wrote a better character for Carrie Underwood in a previous ep; "Two and a Half Men" is killing me with the Chelsea plot but am laughing a lot at Stacy Keach/John Amos; "Big Bang Theory" OK.
Online video coming later today. Still sorting out topics.To read more or comment...
More colorful anecdotes killing me on deadline. Forest Whitaker on Bullock (whom he directed); Michael Sheen on Mirren; Peter Sarsgaard for Carey Mulligan; Oprah for Gabourey Sidibe, who is wiping away tears; Stanley Tucci for Streep.
Sean Penn to present. Bullock for the win.To read more or comment...
Co-stars of the nominees talk about them. We may run longer than last year's 3:23 ... Jeff Bridges' is by Michelle Pfeiffer, who did not appear in "Crazy Heart"; Clooney and Firth get tributes from co-stars in their current movies. Morgan Freeman gets Tim Robbins, from "Shawshank." But Robbins has a good story. Colin Farrell talks up Jeremy Renner, with whom he worked in "SWAT." Of course, Farrell could also have paid tribute to Bridges, since he's in "Crazy Heart."
Kate Winslet to give the award. Bridges gets the win. Boisterous reaction. He's past due, but this year it should have gone to Renner. Still, how many winners this year would refer to acting as a "groovy profession"?To read more or comment...
Back from early filing. Overheard some tech awards being given. Now listening to James Taylor sing "In My Life" to the roll call of show biz folk who died since the last ceremony.
Finally getting a good look at Jennifer Lopez's dress. Will Billy Barty emerge from under it?To read more or comment...
Recap of honorary-award recipients, with Lauren Bacall and Roger Corman introduced from the stage. Only they're in the audience, and it takes the crowd a moment to turn from the stage to the honorees.
Robin Williams presents best supporting actress: Mo'Nique, so not a surprise but she deserves it. Straightforward acceptance speech, but she seems angry about something.To read more or comment...
Ben Stiller should just be on awards shows. OK, I liked "Tropic Thunder." But he's so much a top sketch-comedy guy, and shows like this are made for short, memorable moments.
Makeup winner: "Star Trek." At least none of the winners hijacked the microphone from another.To read more or comment...
Tina Fey and Robert Downey Jr. with the writing awards. (Yay, nice and early.) Funny that they put the camera on Robin Williams while Tina complains about improvising.
Original screenplay: "The Hurt Locker," Mark Boal. Well deserved.To read more or comment...
I should take a minute to mention where I have a rooting interest tonight:
Best picture -- "The Hurt Locker," but would be happy for "Up in the Air." And would take "Precious" or "Up" over "Avatar." Like you, I have read the speculation that "Inglourious Basterds" will ride preferential voting into the best-picture Oscar, and I keep running into people who love it, including my tax preparer, but a win would be wrong.To read more or comment...
Seacrest with Kathryn Bigelow. He is a tiny, tiny man. Brings up no scandals, but does bring up James Cameron. Of course, he also brought up Bigelow to Cameron.
Seacrest is wrong about many things -- including a couple in his interview with Stanley Tucci -- but he's right in liking "Big Night." Put in your Netflix queue now.To read more or comment...
Well, here we are. I have finally overcome some technical difficulties to get going, but was scribbling about E! coverage while snarling at my computer system.
Among the scribbles: Ryan Seacrest brushing off the mayor of Los Angeles when he began a mini-speech; Zoe Saldana correcting Seacrest about the way motion capture works; Seacrest talking about Sandra Bullock with Ryan Reynolds, and Seacrest saying Bullock is "a chick that's half, like, a dude" (it was a compliment, and Reynolds managed to take it that way); James Cameron's wife, Suzy Amis Cameron, looking skeletal -- kind of like an "Avatar" creature. ....To read more or comment...
Tonight I will be live-blogging the Oscars starting around 7 Eastern, during some of the pre-show coverage, and through the awards ceremony itself. Will also be filing for the print Beacon Journal. A look at the potential for surprises in tonight's awards, and some of the history that could be made, is here. I'll also be filing for Monday's Beacon Journal. And look for me Monday on WEWS (Channel 5)'s morning show, talking Oscars. I'll be there at 5 a.m., so forgive any inadvertent yawns.
Also, this week's DVD column is here.To read more or comment...
Here's the announcement about Lithgow, who spent part of his youth in Akron:
Great Lakes Theater Festival (GLTF) acting company alumnus - two-time Tony award-winner, four-time Emmy award-winner and recent Golden Globe award recipient - John Lithgow will return to Cleveland for a one-performance-only event, entitled STORIES BY HEART on Sunday, May 23, 2010 (2:00 p.m.) at the Hanna Theatre, PlayhouseSquare. All proceeds from the performance will benefit Great Lakes Theater Festival.To read more or comment...
From the network:
MTV Spring Break 2010 kicks off March 20, 2010 with sun-drenched programming and musical performances from artists infiltrating screens on MTV, MTV2, mtvU and MTV.com. La fiesta will feature the hottest artists, the hottest MTV stars from another sandy shore, and even some hot competitions with a special Spring Break edition of The Real World / Road Rules Challenge and the second mtvU Spring Break USA Rock, Paper, Scissors ChAMPionships. That’s right, hot, hot, and HOT. (It is Mexico, after all…)To read more or comment...
After the jump, I ponder why John Krasinski is being turned into Jack Lemmon.
To read more or comment...
It's a good enough show, you might watch without an extra incentive. But Fox still thinks some viewers need a push. From today's e-mail:
Viewers can get a second opinion on the hit series HOUSE with exclusive new content incorporated into encore airings starting tonight, Friday, March 5 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT), on FOX. The never-before-seen material includes cast members’ revealing their behind-the-scenes insight on the episode’s production process, as well as their unique perspective as both an actor in – and a viewer of – the episode. Participating cast members include series stars Hugh Laurie, Lisa Edelstein, Robert Sean Leonard, Omar Epps, Jesse Spencer, Olivia Wilde and Peter Jacobson. Each cast member will be featured over the course of the encore schedule through Friday, May 21.To read more or comment...
I know, I am late getting to this, and the results show is just a couple of hours away. So, after the jump, I am going to check out the performances but skip the judges' comments, and offer my reactions. Then I'll live-post during the results show tonight.
To read more or comment...
Because of my schedule, which last night included a screening of "Alice in Wonderland" and today involved writing the review, and a TV column, and an article updating the attempts to make a Soap Box Derby, AND a class tonight, I have not yet seen the Top 10 Men's performances. So I am going to do this as "Idol" intended before Crystal Bowersox took ill (and no explanation of how at the top of the show, with other reports indicating she battles diabetes). Which means hearing the women singers now, and the men later.
And on to the jump, where I will write as I watch, but with some fast-forwarding ...To read more or comment...
The landmark documentary, from the late Henry Hampton, arrives in April. It is a great history of the Civil Rights movement in the '50s and '60s, full of evocative archival footage. I have carried around old tapes of it for years; there is also a fine sequel. I look forward to seeing it again. Full announcement after the jump.
To read more or comment...
The full ABC news after the jump. If you don't want to read how great ABC thinks everyone is, the list is Buzz Aldrin, Pamela Anderson, Erin Andrews, Shannen Doherty, Kate Gosselin, Evan Lysacek, Niecy Nash, Chad Ochocinco, Jake Pavelka (yes, the idiot "Bachelor'), Nicole Scherzinger and Aiden Turner.
Here are the pairings:To read more or comment...
- 2013 (374)
- 2012 (637)
- 2011 (597)
- 2010 (817)
- 2009 (725)
- 2008 (758)
- 2007 (603)
- 2006 (596)
- 2005 (262)