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Jeffrey Donovan To Direct "Burn Notice" Prequel

By admin Published: November 30, 2010

The announcement: Jeffrey Donovan is set to direct the upcoming BURN NOTICE MOVIE starring Bruce Campbell. Shooting will begin in January on location in Bogota, Columbia. The two-hour movie will air on USA Network in Spring 2011.

The prequel, set in late 2005, begins after a faction of Colombian rebels makes trouble for the locally stationed military platoon, with Lieutenant Commander Sam Axe (Campbell) being sent down to advise. As the mission unfolds, Sam begins to uncover the dark secrets of the area, learning the truth about sacrifice, deception, and ultimately what’s worth fighting for.

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"Mister Rogers," Carson "Tonight Show" Episodes Released

By admin Published: November 30, 2010

Before I get into the official word, this deal includes Carson telecasts which have been released in DVD boxes and which are edited down from the original programs (but still contain some very good moments). The draw here is that you can buy single shows instead of having to acquire the megaboxes. Not sure about the pricing of the DVDs. The Video on Demand downloads for each show are $1.99 per episode on Amazon.com, less if you buy a larger package.

The official word: CreateSpace, part of the Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) group of companies, The Fred Rogers Company, and Respond2 Entertainment today announced that they will release highly anticipated classic TV series content on DVD. The initial wave of shows from Fred Rogers, creator and host of the pioneering children’s TV series “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” and a broad array of individual episodes from “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” that spans four decades of the show, are newly available for sale on DVD exclusively via CreateSpace’s DVD on Demand technology. In addition, the titles will be offered for digital sale through Amazon Video On Demand.

The unique CreateSpace DVD on Demand platform allows networks, studios and marketers such as The Fred Rogers Company and Respond2 Entertainment to bring their TV content to a broad consumer base in a quick and cost-effective way since titles are manufactured only in direct response to customer demand. In addition, CreateSpace can distribute a wide range of content on-demand through Amazon.com and other channels, including Amazon Video On Demand.

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ABC (Finally) Sets (Late) Premiere for "Body of Proof"

By admin Published: November 30, 2010

The official word: “Body of Proof,” the new one-hour drama starring Dana Delany, will premiere TUESDAY, MARCH 29 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.

Dr. Megan Hunt (Dana Delany) is a brilliant neurosurgeon whose world is turned upside down when an accident puts an end to her time in the operating room. In her new career as a Medical Examiner, she is determined to solve the puzzle of who or what has killed the victims. Along the way, Megan finds that their lives and the lessons they hold can be applied to her own personal journey of redemption and forgiveness.

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WE Sets Date for Joan/Melissa Show

By admin Published: November 30, 2010


They're calling it a reality show. The description makes me think that's "reality." And considering what good will Joan has generated of late from her documentary and other work, I look at this bit of exploitation and wonder if Melissa needs a paycheck.

The official word: Imagine if your mother was Joan Rivers. Now, imagine if she moved across country and into your home - and life – unexpectedly. YOWZA! That’s the premise of WE tv’s new series, JOAN AND MELISSA: JOAN KNOWS BEST?, which showcases what happens when the country’s most outspoken, outrageous and opinionated mom moves in with her independent, ivy league-educated daughter Melissa Rivers. For the first time ever, the famous mother-daughter duo will let cameras inside their homes as they try to put their conflicting personalities aside for the good of the family. See if they make it, only on JOAN AND MELISSA: JOAN KNOWS BEST?, premiering on WE tv on Tuesday, January 25 at 9pm ET/PT. . . .

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"Lucky Lady" Coming to DVD

By admin Published: November 30, 2010

It's one of four new offerings due Feb. 1 from Shout! Factory, but I am singling it out because it was one of those famous can't-miss films that did. Consider the cast -- Gene Hackman, Burt Reynolds, Liza Minnelli, all major stars at the time -- with Stanley Donen directing. But it proved to be bloated and forced, held together mainly by the charm of the leads. I saw it in a theater in the '70s and am eager to see it again -- if only to look at where it went wrong. Now if we could just get "At Long Last Love" on an authorized DVD ...

The official word: On February 1, Shout! Factory brings to DVD four fast-paced combining action, adventure, suspense and a good dose of comedy. Make a toast to Liza Minnelli, Gene Hackman and Burt Reynolds as they star in Stanley Donen's prohibition comedy LUCKY LADY. Arm yourself for laughs as Charles Grodin marshals a group of amateurs (Candice Bergen, Trevor Howard and James Mason) to steal $12 billion in uncut diamonds from the most securely guarded fortress devised by man in 11 HARROWHOUSE. Saddle up for rip-roaring action comedy as Tom Berenger and William Katt star as Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid in Richard Lester's BUTCH & SUNDANCE: THE EARLY DAYS. And put on your snowshoes for some fast-paced action as Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sgt. Lee Marvin goes on a DEATH HUNT for Charles Bronson, a lone trapper accused of murder in the snow-capped mountains of the 1930s Yukon territory.

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TV Land Orders More Sitcom Pilots

By admin Published: November 30, 2010

The official word: TV Land announced today that it has given cast-contingent greenlights to two new pilots, “Happily Divorced” written by Fran Drescher (“The Nanny”) and Peter Marc Jacobson* (“The Nanny, “What I Like About You”), and “Rip City” written by Terri Minsky (“Less Than Perfect,” “Lizzie McGuire”) and executive produced by Michael Hanel (“Rita Rocks,” “Retired at 35”) and Mindy Schultheis (“Reba,” “Retired at 35”). These join the previously announced “Ex Men” on the network’s list of pilots.

These pilot orders represent TV Land’s push to continue to expand its role in the original sitcom landscape. The network’s first original sitcom, the critically acclaimed “Hot in Cleveland,” is cable’s #1 sitcom and during its first season, out-delivered big cable hits like “Mad Men,” “Real Housewives of New Jersey,” “Army Wives,” “Project Runway” and more. It returns for its second season on Wednesday, January 19, 2010 at 10 p.m. ET/PT and will be followed by the premiere of TV Land’s second original sitcom, “Retired at 35,” starring George Segal and Jessica Walter at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT.

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FX Sets "Lights Out" Premiere, "Archer" Return in Jan.

By admin Published: November 30, 2010

As end of announcement also notes, "Justified" will be back in February, but no specific date yet. The official word: In January, FX will launch one new original drama series and one returning comedy series. The newest contender in FX’s stable of dramas, Lights Out, will make its debut on Tuesday, January 11 at 10 PM ET/PT. Later that month, the network will roll out the second season of its critically acclaimed animated comedy Archer on Thursday, January 27 at 10 PM ET/PT.

Lights Out, from Executive Producer/Showrunner Warren Leight (In Treatment, Law & Order Criminal Intent), stars Holt McCallany (CSI: Miami) as “Patrick ‘Lights’ Leary,” an aging former heavyweight boxing champion who struggles to find his identity and support his wife and three daughters after retiring from the ring. The financial downturn coupled with a series of failed investments leave him at a perilous crossroads – battling the urge to return to boxing or reluctantly accepting a job as a brutal and intimidating debt collector. Catherine McCormack (Braveheart) co-stars as “Theresa Leary,” Lights’ wife who is finishing her medical residency; Pablo Schreiber (The Wire) as “Johnny Leary,” Lights’ brother and business manager; and Stacy Keach (Fat City) as “Robert ‘Pops’ Leary,” Lights’ father and former trainer who runs the boxing gym owned by Lights.

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"American Masters" Profiles Jeff Bridges

By admin Published: November 30, 2010

I'll bet you can guess the title.

The official word: American Masters opens its 25th season with Jeff Bridges: The Dude Abides giving viewers an unexpected window into the life of the actor whose easy going style has endeared him to audiences for almost 40 years. The 90-minute film, airing nationally Wednesday, January 12 at 8 p.m. (ET) [Update -- This is a change from a previous announcement of a 9 p.m. showing] on PBS (check local listings), debuts less than a year after Bridges’ game-changing Best Actor Academy Award-winning role as Bad Blake in Crazy Heart. It also coincides with his return to the screen in Tron Legacy – reprising his role as Kevin Flynn from Tron (1982) – and as Rooster Cogburn in the remake of True Grit, directed by the Coen Brothers, reuniting him with The Big Lebowski (1998) writer-directors, where his iconic role as “the Dude” originated.

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Purge at CBS Morning Show

By admin Published: November 30, 2010

The current crew will remain at CBS News, the network says. But aside from Erica Hill, moving up to co-anchor of the "Early Show," only Harry Smith of the departing cast has an announced new role. From the announcement: "Harry Smith will shift his focus to hard news with an expanded role as primary substitute anchor on THE EVENING NEWS WITH KATIE COURIC, FACE THE NATION and SUNDAY MORNING, while continuing to report major stories for all CBS News broadcasts. CBS News is discussing prominent and ongoing roles for Maggie Rodriguez and Dave Price."

As for what the show will look like, here's the official word: Effective Jan. 3, Erica Hill and Chris Wragge will be the new co-anchors of CBS News' THE EARLY SHOW. Jeff Glor will serve as the broadcast's news anchor and Marysol Castro will join CBS News as the broadcast's weather anchor. The appointments were announced today by Sean McManus, President, CBS News and Sports, and David Friedman, executive producer of THE EARLY SHOW.

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Is Your Baby TV-Cute?

By admin Published: November 30, 2010

From Fox and "Raising Hope": FOX is giving tiny tykes the opportunity of a lifetime by hosting a casting “crawl” for the hit comedy series RAISING HOPE. The lucky little winner – 3 years old or younger – will receive a trip for four to Hollywood andthe ultimate baby book keepsake:a visit to the set of RAISING HOPE and the chance to hang out with the cast andcrew of the show. Interested parents should upload photos or videos of their adorable babies towww.facebook.com/raisinghope.

Members of the public will vote on their favorite entrant, and the winner will be chosen from the 25 entries with the most votes. Video submissions must be limited to 30 seconds, filmed in front of a plain backdrop and must not include any musical accompaniment. Additionally, the videos must showcase only the entrant’s child; no multi-person performances are permitted. The deadline for submissions is 6:00 PM PT on Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2010.Visit www.facebook.com/raisinghope for more information and additional rules.

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"Temptations" Miniseries Returns to DVD

By admin Published: November 30, 2010

The official word: Timed to their golden anniversary, this perennial fan favorite biopic of the famed vocal group THE TEMPTATIONS, arrives on DVD January 11 from RHI Entertainment and Vivendi Entertainment. Featuring a cameo appearance by legendary musical icon Smokey Robinson, the critically acclaimed miniseries event follows the band from their humble beginnings to their sensational climb to the top of the charts. Told from the perspective of Otis Williams, the last surviving member of the group, THE TEMPTATIONS traces the band's journey through five decades of successes and heartbreaks, triumphs and tragedies, to become the inspirational pioneers of music that continue to influence artists today.

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Mark Ballas Plays Cleveland

By admin Published: November 29, 2010

The official word on the musical performance by the "DWTS" star, in the Cambridge Room of the House of Blues Cleveland:
Mark Ballas
Tuesday, January 11. Doors open at 7 PM
Tickets: $15 in advance
Ages: All
On Sale Friday, December 3 @ 10 AM
A lifelong dancer and musician, Mark’s been a standout performer on America’s Number 1 TV show,
“Dancing With The Stars”, for seven seasons. At 12 years old, Mark began to write and perform his own
music, playing guitar, drums, and bass. With guitar influences ranging from Kurt Cobain, Paco de Lucia,
Gypsy Kings, John Mayer, and Eric Clapton, and musical influences such as Florence and the Machine and
Prince, Mark is carving out his own niche in the music world. His rhythmic style and soulful melodies always
leave you wanting more...and never disappoint. His debut solo CD, HurtLoveBox, will be featured
throughout North America in over 4000 WalMart stores, prominently displayed in the check out aisles.
Artist website: www.markballas.com

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Catching Up on TV: Some Folks I'm Enjoying

By admin Published: November 29, 2010

As we're heading into a rerun bump, it seems a good time to make note of some of the things that I have been liking about TV. Below, some of the actors who make me glad I'm watching. As they say on "DWTS," in no particular order . . .

after the jump . . .

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Franco, Hathaway To Host Oscars

By admin Published: November 29, 2010

I now expect some very funny bits. The official word: James Franco and Anne Hathaway will serve as co-hosts of the 83rd Academy Awards®, Oscars telecast producers Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer announced today. Both have previously appeared on the telecast but not in hosting capacities.

“James Franco and Anne Hathaway personify the next generation of Hollywood icons -- fresh, exciting and multi-talented. We hope to create an Oscars broadcast that will both showcase their incredible talents and entertain the world on February 27,” said Cohen and Mischer. “We are completely thrilled that James and Anne will be joining forces with our brilliant creative team to do just that.”

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Kingsbury Book-to-Film to DVD

By admin Published: November 29, 2010

The official word: Based on the novel by New York Times Bestselling author Karen Kingsbury, LIKE DANDELION DUST features a strong ensemble cast including Academy Award® winner Mira Sorvino (Mighty Aphrodite), Barry Pepper (Saving Private Ryan, *61) and Cole Hauser (2 Fast 2 Furious). Embrace LIKE DANDELION DUST on DVD January 25, 2011 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

LIKE DANDELION DUST is the first feature film created from a novel by Karen Kingsbury, America's #1 inspirational author. With more than 20 million copies of her 50-plus award-winning books in print, nine of which hit #1 on national best-selling lists, Karen's novels have long attracted film and television producers.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

By admin Published: November 25, 2010

I feel grateful for all my family and friends, both near and far, and to all of you who are kind enough to read my scribblings here, in the print Beacon Journal and elsewhere. I hope your day goes well, and the holiday season holds many blessings.

In today's Beacon Journal, there's a story about local "Biggest Loser" contestant Aaron Thompkins, who will be eating lots of vegetables today. You can find that here. And the mailbag is here.

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"Dancing with the Stars" Finale Video Chat

By jim Published: November 24, 2010

Jennifer, Kyle, Bristol, judges and a suggestion for next season...

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HeldenFiles Live!

By jim Published: November 24, 2010

"Dancing With the Stars" Final Notes

By admin Published: November 23, 2010

After the jump . . .

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Tuesday Notebook

By admin Published: November 23, 2010

The above is to start getting you in the holiday spirit. "Dancing With the Stars" and other topics after the jump.

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ABC Family Makes "Deathly Hallows" Deal

By admin Published: November 22, 2010

The official word: ABC Family has acquired the final two chapters of the “Harry Potter” film franchise in a deal with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution (WBDTD), it was announced today by Tom Zappala, Executive Vice President, Program Acquisitions & Scheduling, ABC Cable Networks Group. The acquisitions of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1” (released this weekend) and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2” (in theaters on July 15, 2011) gives ABC Family the first position window for basic cable for all eight “Harry Potter” films to date.

“Our viewers have come to know ABC Family as the television destination for the ‘Harry Potter’ films. They’re enormously beloved by our audience and the world over,” said Zappala. “We’re thrilled to extend our long-standing relationship with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution to include the final two installments.”

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Fox Details Mid-Season Plans

By admin Published: November 19, 2010

"American Idol" on Wednesday/Thursday, "Running Wilde" benched, more. The official word:

FOX is announcing premiere dates of new and returning series, as well as revisions to its 2010-2011 midseason schedule, including AMERICAN IDOL moving to Wednesdays and Thursdays and GLEE continuing to lead off FOX’s Tuesday night of comedies featuring RAISING HOPE and the debut of MIXED SIGNALS.

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"Spartacus" TV Prequel Trailer

By admin Published: November 19, 2010

It begins Jan. 21. The official word: Before Spartacus struck down his first opponent in the arena, there were many gladiators who passed through the gates onto the sand. “Spartacus: Gods of the Arena,” tells the story of the original Champion of the House of Batiatus: Gannicus (Dustin Clare) in a more ruthless time before Spartacus’ arrival where honor was just finding it’s way into the arena.

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Cleveland Cinemas Drop 3D Surcharge on Wednesdays

By admin Published: November 19, 2010

The official word: A new and exciting discount program is being introduced by Cleveland Cinemas on Wednesday, November 24th, 2010. 3D WEDNESDAYS will feature no 3D surcharge all day. The 3D surcharge will now be waived every Wednesday allowing patrons to see the latest digital 3D features at the same price as standard 2D films. (Current locations with digital 3D projection are Apollo Theatre, Capitol Theatre, Chagrin Cinemas, Plaza Cinemas at Chapel Hill, Shaker Square Cinemas & Tower City Cinemas.)

Other discount details after the jump.

Wednesdays also feature HAPPY HOUR pricing on beer and wine at the Capitol Theatre, Cedar Lee Theatre and Shaker Square Cinemas. Beer and wine are half-priced at these locations from 4:00 – 8:00 PM.

Cleveland Cinemas’ BARGAIN MONDAYS continue to be a popular way of making it more affordable to see films on the big screen. BARGAIN MONDAYS feature $5 admission for all films every Monday (3D features are subject to an additional surcharge) at all Cleveland Cinemas locations. This discount is now valid every Monday of the year including legal holidays. Additionally Cleveland Cinemas offers great Bargain Monday Concession specials which include a free fountain drink with every popcorn purchase, $1 off fountain drinks and candy plus discounted kiddie combo packs.

Cleveland Cinemas also continues to offer FREE POPCORN TUESDAYS. Customers receive one free 32oz popcorn with each paid admission on Tuesdays. Patrons may upsize their free popcorn to an 85oz size for just $1.

STUDENT DISCOUNT NIGHT is every Thursday at Cleveland Cinemas. Students presenting a valid school ID are admitted for the discounted admission rate of $6 ($3 at the Apollo Theatre, 3D features are subject to an additional surcharge).

“As people struggle to make ends meet in these tough economic times, we want to make sure that our patrons have an affordable entertainment option,” says Jonathan Forman, President of Cleveland Cinemas. “By expanding discounts to each weekday, even more people will be able to take advantage these great deals.”

Cleveland Cinemas locations: Apollo Theatre (19 E. College St., Oberlin), Capitol Theatre (1390 W 65th St., Cleveland), Cedar Lee Theatre (2163 Lee Rd., Cleveland Hts.), Chagrin Cinemas (8200 E. Washington St., Chagrin Falls), Plaza Cinemas at Chapel Hill (500 Howe Ave., Cuyahoga Falls), Shaker Square Cinemas (13116 Shaker Square, Cleveland), Solon Cinemas (6185 Enterprise Pkwy., Solon) and Tower City Cinemas (230 W. Huron Rd., Cleveland).

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Scarborough Gets Olbermann Hook

By admin Published: November 19, 2010

Statement from Phil Griffin, President of MSNBC:

This morning Joe Scarborough informed me that he made eight contributions of $500 each to local candidates in Florida between 2004-08. In my conversation with Joe two weeks ago, he did not recall these contributions. Since he did not seek or receive prior approval for these contributions, Joe understands that I will be suspending him for violating our policy. He will be immediately suspended for two days without pay and will return to the air on Wednesday, November 24th. As Joe recognizes, it is critical that we enforce our standards and policies.

Statement from Joe Scarborough:

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Drew Carey Sets GSN Series

By admin Published: November 18, 2010

Update: As I mentioned here yesterday, I talked to Drew about this show. Story with his comments is here.

The official word: GSN (Game Show Network) announced today that the network has reached an agreement with comedy and game show star Drew Carey to create and host an original, primetime daily strip show for GSN. The new series is produced by Carey and Joe Roth, and will premiere in Spring 2011. The 40-episode show, as yet untitled, will feature a dynamic cast of Carey’s talented actor-comedian friends, along with occasional surprise guest stars, who will create a lively, unpredictable and hilarious half-hour of improvised sketch comedy, complete with audience participation. The show will be shot in January and February at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, in front of live audiences.

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Thursday Notebook

By admin Published: November 18, 2010

You can find my review of the new Harry Potter movie here.

One thing I neglected to mention is that I did think at times about what this might have been if Warner Bros. had gone ahead with plans to show it in 3D. I don't think the movie needs it but there are some stunts here and there which look as if they were done with a 3D image in mind.

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Fox Sports Makes Deal for Big Ten Football Championship Games

By admin Published: November 17, 2010

The official word: The Big Ten Conference has reached a media agreement with FOX Sports to serve as the official broadcast partner of the 2011-16 Big Ten Football Championship Games. The inaugural Big Ten Football Championship Game will be played in prime time on December 3, 2011, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, with the winner earning the Big Ten Championship and a chance to play in the Rose Bowl Game or Bowl Championship Series National Championship Game.

FOX Sports, the nation’s top-rated network for sports for 13 consecutive years, is well-known for its coverage of some of the biggest sporting events in the country, including the Super Bowl, World Series and Daytona 500. The network also served as the official television home of the Bowl Championship Series for the 2006-09 seasons and has broadcast the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic since 1999. The network will promote the Big Ten Football Championship Game as one of the premium sporting events in the country on all of its platforms, including FOXSports.com, FOX Sports Radio and during its coverage of major fall sports events, including the National Football League and Major League Baseball postseason.

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"Dancing With the Stars" Video Chat

By jim Published: November 17, 2010

You know what the main topic is ...

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HeldenFiles Live!

By jim Published: November 17, 2010

John Lennon, "Avatar" on Blu-ray, some books, more . . .

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"Dancing With the Stars" Notes: Don't Spare the Judges

By admin Published: November 16, 2010

My comments, after the jump.

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"Psych" Sets "Twin Peaks" Homage

By admin Published: November 16, 2010

Akron's Ray Wise, who played Leland Palmer, is among the "Peaks" alums appearing. The official word:

Fans will be treated to a “Twin Peaks”-inspired episode of PSYCH scheduled to premiere on Wednesday, December 1 at 10/9c. Entitled “Dual Spires,” the episode celebrates the 20th anniversary of the cult favorite with guest star casting that includes Sherilyn Fenn, Sheryl Lee, Dana Ashbrook, Ray Wise, Robyn Lively, Lenny Von Dohlen and Catherine Coulson. Series Star James Roday serves as co-writer along with Bill Callahan.

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"Salt" DVD/BD Release Set

By admin Published: November 15, 2010

The official word: Academy Award® winner Angelina Jolie (Best Supporting Actress, Girl, Interrupted, 1999) stars as a CIA agent on the run after a defector accuses her of being a Russian spy in the international box-office action-packed event SALT. The Deluxe Unrated Edition Blu-ray™ and DVD, debuting on December 21 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, will include three versions of the film including the original theatrical film plus two additional unrated extended cuts not seen in theaters with two alternate endings. A Theatrical Edition DVD will also be available. Extensive bonus materials include filmmaker commentary and multiple featurettes that take viewers behind-the-scenes on the adrenaline-pumping thrill ride of the year. SALT will be available on Deluxe Unrated Edition Blu-ray™ for $34.95 SRP, Deluxe Unrated Edition DVD for $28.96 SRP and Theatrical Edition DVD for $28.96 SRP. . . .

DVD and Blu-ray Bonus Features Include:
§ Filmmaker Commentary
“The Ultimate Female Action Hero”
§ “Spy Disguise: The Looks of Evelyn Salt”
§ Radio Interview with Director Phillip Noyce

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"Justified" DVD/BD Release Set

By admin Published: November 15, 2010

The official word: Justice will be served on January 25th when Justified: The Complete First Season arrives on Blu-ray and DVD from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Timothy Olyphant (TV’s “Damages” and “Deadwood”) stars as U.S Marshal Raylan Givens in the Sony Pictures Television/FX Productions series.. . . . All 13 episodes are included in the three disc set, offered both on Blu-ray® and DVD, which boasts exclusive bonus features including five all-new featurettes, a sneak peek of Season Two, the music video for the Emmy® nominated theme song, “Long Hard Times to Come” and cast & crew commentaries on four episodes featuring Timothy Olyphant, Natalie Zea, executive producer Graham Yost and more. Justified: The Complete First Season will be available on Blu-ray for $49.95 SLP and on DVD for $39.95 SLP. . . .

DVD Special Features Include:
· Cast and Crew commentaries featuring Timothy Olyphant, Natalie Zea, and executive producer Graham Yost.
· What Would Elmore Do?
· The Story of Justified
· Justified: Meet the Characters
· “Long Hard Times to Come” music video Shooting for Kentucky
· The Marshals
· Season 2: A Look Back
· The Story of Justified

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NBC Shakes Up Schedule At Mid-Season

By admin Published: November 15, 2010

Includes an all-comedy night on Thursday. The official word: November 15, 2010 – NBC today made several mid-season schedule announcements, including the premiere dates for four new series – the dramas “The Cape” and “Harry’s Law,” the comedy “Perfect Couples” and the alternative series “America’s Next Great Restaurant.” The lineup also includes series time period changes for “Law & Order: Los Angeles,” “Chase,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “Parenthood.”

Additionally, returning series “Parks and Recreation,” “The Biggest Loser: Couples,” “Who Do You Think You Are?,” “Minute to Win It,” “The Marriage Ref” and “The Celebrity Apprentice” resume on the schedule while other moves maximize the amount of original, non-repeat programming on the network.

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Monday Notebook

By admin Published: November 15, 2010

Was MIA from the blog over the weekend because other interests took up a lot of time. Spent a great deal of Saturday trying to hammer out a first draft of a term paper for my linguistics class. Sunday included some other studies, chores and the MAC soccer championship, won by Akron over Western Michigan 4-0. It was scoreless at the half but you could sense that things were going to change because the WM coach was -- as he had been at a regular-season UA/WM tilt -- whining and obnoxious to the officials (one of whom was blatantly pro-WM to begin with) and even buttonholing Akron coach Caleb Porter. The result: Akron scored early in the second half, rang up three goals in total in about 10 minutes and cruised to a 4-0 win. Next: the NCAAs.

Attendance was surprisingly low for an Akron soccer game but it had some serious competition: the Browns-Jets game on TV. In fact, the game was rolling into overtime as the soccer game began. I followed the game on my phone while watching soccer, and some of the people near me asked for updates. When the charge in my phone started to run low, I borrowed the bride's to keep track. Nonstop excitement, even if it ended with a Browns loss.

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Stow Man Wins $100K on "Millionaire"

By admin Published: November 12, 2010

The official word from the show: Chris Clem, a stand-up comic from Stow, OH walked away with $100,000 in winnings after making it all the way up to the $250,000 question on Friday’s episode of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire!”

Chris started as a contestant on Thursday’s show, where he made it up to the seventh question. He continued as a holdover contestant on Friday’s show, where he started by looking at his eighth question with an accumulated Millionaire Bank of $33,500 and no lifelines left. Once he answered the tenth question, he was into round #2 of the game and only had four questions left to answer before winning $1-million.

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"Unstoppable"

By admin Published: November 12, 2010

At the end of a recent screening of "Unstoppable," another critic and I looked at each other with weariness. "Well," the other critic said, "that was mediocre!" And I did not disagree.

So I'm surprised right now that the movie has gotten an 89 percent positive rating over on Rotten Tomatoes. . . .

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Complete "Dark Skies" Coming to DVD on Jan. 18

By admin Published: November 11, 2010

The official word: An idealistic Congressional aide discovers evidence of aliens living among us. When he stumbles into the government’s longtime cover-up, his life changes forever. In the landmark television series Dark Skies, freedom fighter John Loengard declares that “history as we know it is a lie,” and sets out to find the truth before it’s too late. He and girlfriend Kim Sayers embark on a cross-country crusade, attempting to derail plans by the sinister alien “Hive.” Majestic-12, a covert government agency assigned to secretly fight the aliens, monitors Loengard; and Capt. Frank Bach is ready to silence him---or quietly aid his quest. Call it alternative history or call it the unthinkable truth. Either way, call it… Dark Skies.

Created by Bryce Zabel and Brent V. Friedman, Dark Skies, a brilliantly intense sci-fi drama, explored the thrilling intersection of history and mystery, politics and paranoia. Starring Eric Close (Without a Trace), Megan Ward (General Hospital, Boomtown) and the late J.T. Walsh (The Negotiator, Pleasantville), the series, set in the turbulent 1960s, won devoted fans throughout its 1996-97 run on NBC. Besides its fresh focus on the debate over UFOs, the show also incorporated historic figures’ participation into its plots: Bobby Kennedy, Jack Ruby, Timothy Leary, J. Edgar Hoover and other famous names helped to advance the story.

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AMC Cancels "Rubicon"

By admin Published: November 11, 2010

The official statement:

"'Rubicon' gave us an opportunity to tell a rich and compelling story,
and we're proud of the series. This was not an easy decision, but we
are grateful to have had the opportunity to work with such a
phenomenally talented and dedicated team."

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"Hot in Cleveland" Announces More Guest Stars

By admin Published: November 11, 2010

The official word: Celebrated actors Bonnie Franklin (“One Day At A Time”), Melanie Griffith (“Working Girl,” “Something Wild”), Illeana Douglas (“To Die For,” ”Ugly Betty”), Wayne Knight (“Seinfeld, “3rd Rock From The Sun”), John Schneider (“Dukes of Hazzard”), Sherri Shepherd (“The View, “30 Rock”), David Starzyk (“Desperate Housewives,” “The Young and The Restless”) and Jack Wagner (“Melrose Place,” “General Hospital”) will all guest star on the second season of TV Land’s hit original sitcom “Hot in Cleveland,” which returns on January 19, 2010 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. They join previously announced guest star Mary Tyler Moore – who will appear on the season premiere – on the list of celebrities appearing this season. “Hot in Cleveland” stars acclaimed actresses Valerie Bertinelli (“One Day at a Time”), Jane Leeves (“Frasier”), Wendie Malick (“Just Shoot Me”) and recent multiple Emmy® Award-winner, Betty White (“The Golden Girls”).

Bonnie Franklin’s appearance on “Hot in Cleveland” reunites her on-screen with Bertinelli after 26 years. The two starred together as mother daughter on the celebrated sitcom “One Day At A Time” from 1975 to 1984.

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Something Else I Am Thinking About

By admin Published: November 11, 2010

I love John Wayne and Kim Darby in the previous movie, and Charles Portis's book. But goodness, this looks cool.

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Looking Ahead: TCM Sets "31 Days" Lineup, Trivia Theme

By admin Published: November 11, 2010

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will offer trivia-tied lineups during the 2011 "31 Days of Oscar" telecasts, with categories like movies that won Best Picture but no other Oscars; actresses nominated for playing Oscar nominees; Best Picture nominees that were remakes, actors who directed themselves in Oscar-nominated roles, and more. The complete list as it now stands is after the jump.

Also, says TCM: The 2011 edition will feature several high-profile films making their debuts on TCM, including three Best Picture winners: Cavalcade (1933), Amadeus (1984) and Forrest Gump (1994). The month also includes the TCM debuts of the blockbusters Pretty Woman (1990) and Thelma & Louise (1991), as well as outstanding dramas like Hugh Hudson’s Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984), Hector Babenco’s Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985), Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing (1989) and Michael Mann’s Ali (2001).

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"Simpsons" Eyes 500th Episode

By admin Published: November 11, 2010

Yes, you saw that number correctly. So says an e-mail from New York magazine's Vulture. The text:

Vulture has learned that Fox has renewed The Simpsons for a 23rd season of animated adventures, taking it through its landmark 500th episode (specifically, it takes the show up to episode 515). Word of the show's continued production comes as The Simpsons is having a particularly buzzworthy season, what with that recent Banksy open, a Mark Zuckerberg cameo, and an upcoming Katy Perry segment with the Muppets. Longtime Simpsons show-runner Al Jean, while psyched about the renewal, said he can't claim to be the most excited one about the good news: "The happiest of all was the unicorn who pokes in all our DVDs," Jean told us. "He's getting extra hay out of this."

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Dino de Laurentiis, R.I.P.

By admin Published: November 11, 2010

The movie producer, famous for films great and awful, has died. A clear-eyed obituary is here.

He was certainly old school in his promotion of his movies. I remember a colleague at a small Virginia newspaper interviewing him for his disastrous remake of "King Kong" (the one with Jeff Bridges, and which almost killed Jessica Lange's movie career just as it began). She came away from the interview mimicking the producer's repeated insistence that "You will love my Kong."

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Thursday Notebook (Updated)

By admin Published: November 11, 2010

From the folks at "Millionaire": Chris Clem, a stand-up comic from Stow, OH will be a contestant on “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” on THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 11 and FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 12. Hosted by the Emmy Award-winning Meredith Vieira, Millionaire can be seen in the Cleveland area on CBS19 (WOIO), weekdays at 9:30am.

The Hollywood Reporter is following some off-camera drama at "The Biggest Loser." From its report: Crew members and their IATSE supporters are demanding a union contract for the reality show. Wages and working conditions are not the issue, sources told THR; pension and health benefits are. Loser, now in its 10th season, is a show about nutrition and fitness. Erin Barrow, the show's wardrobe supervisor, commented that "on a show that's about health, to not offer a health plan flies in the face of what (the show) is doing."

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Fox Business Signs Lou Dobbs

By admin Published: November 10, 2010

The official word: FOX Business Network (FBN) has signed a multi-year deal with former CNN anchor Lou Dobbs, announced Kevin Magee, Executive Vice President for the network. Dobbs will develop and host a new daily program premiering in the first quarter of 2011. He will also make appearances across a variety of FBN programs to provide analysis and commentary on business news of the day.

In making the announcement Magee said, “FOX Business has always been about putting the smartest, most interesting people on television and the addition of Lou Dobbs will serve to strengthen the best lineup in business news. Teaming Lou with Managing Editor Neil Cavuto will make FBN a tough network to beat.”

Dobbs added, “I'm excited and feel privileged to join the great team that Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes and Neil Cavuto have created, and I can't wait to make whatever contribution I can to FOX Business."

Prior to FBN, Dobbs served as an anchor, managing editor and executive vice president for CNN, hosting various programs including Moneyline, which premiered in 1980 and was later renamed Lou Dobbs Tonight. Dobbs is also a radio talk show host and will continue to host his nationally syndicated radio programs and financial reports.

Throughout his career, he has been recognized with multiple honors including an Emmy award for Lifetime Achievement, a George Foster Peabody Award for his coverage of the 1987 stock market crash, and the Luminary Award by the Business Journalism Review. In addition, Talkers magazine listed him as one of the top ten most important radio talk show hosts in America.

FOX Business Network (FBN) is a financial news channel delivering real-time information across all platforms that impact both Main Street and Wall Street. Headquartered in New York—the business capital of the world—FBN launched in October 2007 under the leadership of FOX News Chairman & CEO Roger Ailes and is now available in more than 50 million homes in major markets across the United States. Owned by News Corp, the network has bureaus in Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, DC and London. On the web at www.foxbusiness.com

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HeldenFiles Live!

By jim Published: November 10, 2010

Talking Conan, Michael J. Fox, "Six Million Dollar Man" DVD box, "Best Worst Movie," Sam Kinison, and a big package for a review DVD. With music from Prince.

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This Week's "Dancing With the Stars" Video Chat

By jim Published: November 10, 2010

Lynne Sherwin and I discuss the instant dance, Maks vs. Carrie Ann, where the remaining contenders stand -- and, of course, Bristol.

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"Dancing With the Stars" Notes

By admin Published: November 9, 2010

After the jump, why things on the show are getting a little scary ...

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Gene Shalit Stepping Down

By admin Published: November 9, 2010

The official word: “Today” Arts Editor and Critic, Gene Shalit will be leaving the program after more than 40 great years. On Thursday, November 11, “Today” will celebrate his incredible tenure and salute his work over the decades.

“Today” Executive Producer Jim Bell said: “Gene is not just a ‘Today’ show treasure but a television legend and an American icon. We salute him for his unprecedented 40-year run on a single television program, a feat unlikely to ever be matched.” (end announcement)

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"Hornet's Nest" DVD/BD Set; Also Complete "Girl" Trilogy

By admin Published: November 9, 2010

The official word: The phenomenon of the internationally celebrated works of Stieg Larsson continues this January with the release of The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest to the home entertainment market on January 25th. Directed by Daniel Alfredson, the film stars the inimitable Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist, both of whom reprise their roles from the previous two films adapted from Larsson’s best-selling Millennium Trilogy. . . .

Also coming to the home entertainment market is Stieg Larsson’s Dragon Tattoo Trilogy, a boxed set of all three films in Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy—The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest. The collection will include nearly two hours of new bonus feature, including a documentary detailing the remarkable reign of the Larsson’s novels and the movies they have inspired, and all-new interviews with the series’ creators and stars.!

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"Clean House" Preps Niecy Nash Farewell

By admin Published: November 9, 2010

The offical word: It’s been 7 years, 9 seasons and 175 cluttered homes since Niecy Nash first began her role as host on the Daytime Emmy-Award winning STYLE make-over series, CLEAN HOUSE. Now, as her final episode approaches, STYLE prepares to say farewell to Ms. Nash and all of her incredible mayhem and foolishness. Starting Wednesday, November 10, the first of Niecy’s final four episodes will premiere. And on December 1, STYLE will honor Niecy by airing a CLEAN HOUSE marathon culminating in her “grand finale” as host of the hit series.

In an effort to send Niecy off in “STYLE” the network is asking her fans to submit their farewell wishes to the “Clean House” diva via www.mystyle.com/cleanhouse, Twitter @mystyle or facebook.com/cleanhouse. Select messages to Niecy will appear during her final episode on Wednesday, December 1st. Mystyle.com will also feature videos of Niecy’s most memorable CLEAN HOUSE moments. Additionally, audiences should tune in throughout the entire farewell to foolishness countdown, including Niecy’s final four episodes and the CLEAN HOUSE marathon, for clues as to which household-name celebrity will be joining the CLEAN HOUSE crew in early 2011.

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People's Choice Awards Nominations

By admin Published: November 9, 2010

The full list is after the jump. From CBS: Winners will be revealed during the live broadcast of the PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARDS 2011 at the Nokia Theater, L.A. Live on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011 (9:00-11:00 PM, live ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network. Tickets to the awards show are now available for fans to purchase through Ticketmaster. Voting begins today at www.PeoplesChoice.com for the finalists in all 44 categories and will end on Dec. 7, 2010, except for “Favorite New TV Drama” and “Favorite New TV Comedy,” which will remain open for voting until the night of show.

The list of potential nominees for PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS 2011 was determined by national ratings averages, box-office grosses, music sales, input from our media partners and E-Score Celebrity. This process generated the top 12 candidates per category. Fans were then asked to visit www.PeoplesChoice.com to vote on their favorites and generate the final list of nominees for the PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS 2011. Fans had the option to write in their favorites not included among the provided candidates. All new shows currently on air are eligible in the categories of “Favorite New TV Drama” and “Favorite New TV Comedy.” The top five will be announced Dec. 8, 2010.

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"Walking Dead" Gets Second Season

By admin Published: November 8, 2010

More zombie splatter! The official word:
AMC announced today the renewal of “The Walking Dead” for a 13-episode second season. Since debuting Sunday, October 31, “The Walking Dead” has broken ratings records, with the series reaching more Adults 18-49 than any other show in the history of cable television.

Today’s announcement also includes Fox International Channels’ (FIC) global renewal for a second season, following record-breaking premiere ratings in 120 countries in Europe, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East. “The Walking Dead” was the highest-rated original series premiere ever to air on FIC simultaneously worldwide.

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NBC Renews "Days of Our Lives" for 2 Seasons

By admin Published: November 8, 2010

With soaps looking ever more endangered, here's good news for fans of one show. The official word: NBC has picked up its daytime drama “Days of our Lives” – which is celebrating its 45th season today on NBC -- for two more years through the 2012-13 season. The announcement was made today by Jeff Gaspin, Chairman, NBC Universal Television Entertainment.

“‘Days of our Lives’ remains vitally creative through the years as it continues to draw new generations of viewers, especially among its loyal female audience” said Gaspin. “NBC salutes the series on its 45th anniversary and we look forward with great anticipation to working with the production team for the years to come.”

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Monday Notebook

By admin Published: November 8, 2010

For your amusement, a clip. Think George C. Scott as Eric Mangini, Bill Belichick as Rommel:

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Nielsen: HDTV Homes Plentiful, HD Viewing Not So Much

By admin Published: November 8, 2010

From Nielsen: Now in 56 percent of U.S. households, High Definition television is one of the most quickly adopted consumer entertainment technologies of the past 20 years, but true HD viewing is still far eclipsed by viewing of standard definition television.

Only 13 percent of total day viewing on cable and 19 percent of viewing on broadcast television is “true HD” viewing, which requires an HD television and HD tuner that are tuned to an HD channel. In other words, despite the billions of dollars that Americans have spent buying high definition TVs, more than 80 percent of television viewing is still a standard definition experience. The reasons for this are various:

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"Dirty Jobs" Moving to Sunday Nights

By admin Published: November 8, 2010

The popular Mike Rowe series will then serve as lead-in to new series "Brew Masters." The official word:

Host and creator of DIRTY JOBS WITH MIKE ROWE, Mike Rowe is taking his show from Tuesdays to Sundays beginning November 21st at 9PM ET/PT. In the Sunday, November 21 episode, Mike makes yarn out of fleece at a woolen mill, and conducts what may be his dirtiest job yet – hair removal technician, waxing show producer Dave Barsky’s nose and chest hair! Future Sunday premieres have Mike working alongside a horse tester, bug detective, and a multitude of hard-working men and women who make civilized life possible for the rest of us.

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MSNBC Statement Re Olbermann's Return

By admin Published: November 8, 2010

From Phil Griffin, President of MSNBC:

After several days of deliberation and discussion, I have determined that suspending Keith through and including Monday night's program is an appropriate punishment for his violation of our policy. We look forward to having him back on the air Tuesday night.

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"Twilight: Eclipse" DVD/BD Details; Arriving Dec. 4

By admin Published: November 8, 2010

Clearing some things out of the e-mailbox. Here's the official word on this anticipated DVD and Blu-ray:

One of the most talked about films of 2010, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, will be released on a Two-Disc Special Edition DVD, Single Disc Blu-ray, Single Disc DVD, and Blu-ray/DVD Combo on December 4, 2010 – a Saturday street date that will allow fans across the nation to celebrate at retailer’s midnight release parties before taking home the film at 12:01 am.

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Back From the Road

By admin Published: November 6, 2010

Friday morning I headed to Chicago for the Midwest Modern Language Association conference. Took part in a panel on Melville and Terror this morning, then drove back. I was not online during my absence, not least because the hotel was charging $15 for an Internet connection. Did see some interesting sights, including an enormous line of people, standing in the cold on a Saturday morning, to audition for "America's Got Talent." Stories to tell, probably Sunday.

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Conan Talks to Playboy

By admin Published: November 4, 2010

The interview is in the mag's December issue, available Nov. 12; Conan's TBS show stars Monday (Nov. 8). Quotes provided by Playboy include the following (and I think with that first quote, they meant "impassioned").

On his impassionate parting Tonight Show speech, and whether he is bitter after the whole experience: “I wanted to end on an optimistic note. I thought it could end up being the most important moment of my television career. It still could be…I have had too many good things happen in my career to end on any kind of bitter note. I’m just saying this to you; we’re alone in this office, and I don’t have to say this: I am an incredibly fortunate person…And as crazy as this sounds, my career with NBC was overwhelmingly positive until this…The entertainment business has an amazing way of turning really lucky people into bitter, angry, rage-filled, jealous, resentful wretches who can’t believe they got screwed. Some things have worked out great for me, some things haven’t. You keep going…Doing those last Tonight Shows was a high. A lot of people tuned in, and I was really proud of what I was able to make in that situation. So this was good, this was bad, this was ugly, this was beautiful, this was f*cked-up, this was sublime. It was cherry, it was vanilla, it was frogurt, it was mocha chocolate chip.”

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A Further Look at Sean Young

By admin Published: November 4, 2010

The former Clevelander is going to be on "Skating With the Stars," and I have been mildly surprised by the occasional "Who?" that has greeted my dropping her name. Her bio is in the "Skating" post below. A revealing Entertainment Weekly profile can be found here. And after the jump is a story I wrote about her in 2003.

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Portia de Rossi Talks Anorexia in Book, People Magazine

By admin Published: November 4, 2010

People has excerpts from de Rossi's book in its new issue, arriving tomorrow. Here's the magazine's announcement and highlights: In her brutally honest memoir, Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain, actress Portia de Rossi reveals in an exclusive excerpt in this week’s issue of PEOPLE the harrowing details about her battle with anorexia and bulimia, the years she spent starving herself, and how the love of talk show host Ellen DeGeneres helped save her life.

It’s emotional for de Rossi, 37, to remember her battle with these eating disorders – a struggle that intensified after she won a role on the hit TV series Ally McBeal in 1998. It was a dream come true, but one that, in her mind, required her to be someone she was not: sexy, thin and straight. She felt pressure to hide the fact that she was gay. The stress had begun taking a toll even before she set foot on-set.

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"Skating With the Stars" Announcement

By admin Published: November 2, 2010

I am pretty much avoiding election news; we know there's a big wave coming, and I can wait until tomorrow to see how big. So, as an alternative, here's the "SWTS" news from ABC, complete with a local angle -- Sean Young. The official word:

An amazing cast of stars -- including a Grammy®-nominated rock star, a bona fide “Housewife,” a daytime diva, an Olympic champion skier, a super-suave actor and an actress who has graced some of the most unforgettable films – will compete each week on a spectacular ice rink in the sensational two-hour series premiere of “Skating with the Stars,” MONDAY, NOVEMBER 22 (9:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.

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MTM Reunites With Betty White for "Hot in Cleveland"

By admin Published: November 2, 2010

From TV Land: TV Land announced today that beloved and acclaimed Emmy® award-winning actress and Oscar nominee Mary Tyler Moore (“The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “The Dick Van Dyke Show”) will guest star on the second season premiere of TV Land’s hit sitcom “Hot in Cleveland” on Wednesday, January 19th at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Moore will join the sensational veteran cast of Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick and Betty White. “Hot In Cleveland” is written by Emmy® Award-winning Suzanne Martin (“Frasier,” “Ellen”) and produced by Emmy® Award-winner Sean Hayes (“Will & Grace”) and Todd Milliner of Hazy Mills Productions. The premiere episode will be taped at CBS Radford, the same studio where “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” was taped over three decades ago.

Moore’s guest appearance will be the first time in 33 years that she and Betty White have acted on screen together since the groundbreaking hit “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” went off the air. Moore’s role in the sitcom will involve White’s character Elka, who in the season one cliffhanger, was arrested.

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Your Reminder

By admin Published: November 2, 2010

This is two years old but still worth seeing ...

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"Random Acts of Culture" in Akron, Other Cities (Second Update)

By admin Published: November 2, 2010

UPDATE 2: My Beacon Journal story on this is here.

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R.I.P., Ginny Sack

By admin Published: November 1, 2010

Denise Borino-Quinn, the actress who played Johnny Sacramoni's wife Ginny on "The Sopranos," has died of liver cancer. (The picture shows her with Vincent Curatola, who played Johnny.) An obituary is here. I liked Ginny, both because of the vulnerability Borino-Quinn brought to the role and because -- even though Johnny was so often a jerk -- she let us see that he had a good side, however limited it might be; his love for Ginny was unshakable.

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