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''Lost'': Marking Time Already?

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 29, 2005

This is my half of several conversations this morning:

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''Oscar winner Geena Davis''

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 27, 2005

For about the hundredth time today I heard one of those ''Commander in Chief'' promos referring to star Geena Davis's Academy Award. And for about the hundredth time I wondered if that should make any difference in your decision to watch the show.

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Cleveland Beats Boston!

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 27, 2005

Right now, on my TV set, Tony Pena is rounding the bases off a wet Jacobs Field, his arms raised high, and the Indians have beaten the Red Sox in the first game of their American League Division series.

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''Desperate Housewives''/'The West Wing"

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 27, 2005

I was thinking a lot about sprawl on Sunday night. "The West Wing'' was dealing with it. So was ''Desperate Housewives.'' Both were struggling.

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A Nice Way To Start the Day

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 27, 2005

When I wandered through the newsroom this morning, several people went out of their way to say how much they liked ''No Direction Home,'' the Bob Dylan documentary that continues on PBS tonight. Yes, they are all about my age and so have a sense of Dylan at his most iconic. Still, it was a good thing to hear. I have been writing about the program for months, and very positively. Since I first saw it with colleagues whose reactions were mixed, I worried more than once that I was too happy about the show. But, judging from the reaction this morning, maybe not.

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Did TV Save Texas?

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 26, 2005

It sure gets a vote here. Yes, Rita did not prove to be Katrina II as some early reports feared. But even if the hurricane had hit harder, the preparation for it seemed to be significantly better than it was for Katrina.

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Monday Morning Mail

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 26, 2005

In Saturday's Beacon Journal I had a story about ''Extreme Makeover: Home Edition'' shooting part of Sunday's telecast -- ''The Rodriguez Family'' -- in Akron. (You can find the story here.) I singled out Yanke Bionics, which was the reason the show came to Akron, and mentioned a couple of local dance instructors who took part, because they had done something I (rightly) suspected would be part of a key moment in the show. But I did not feel the need to mention every company that participated.

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The Music of Vincent Chase (Sort Of)

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 23, 2005

As a big fan of both HBO's ''Entourage'' and public radio's ''World Cafe'' (See www.worldcafe.org ), I got a double dose of fun this morning while driving to work and listening to ''Cafe'' on WAPS (91.3-FM).

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Like The First Autumn Leaves, A TV Show Falls...

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 22, 2005

At the end of a new Fox press release was the most important line: ''Head Cases,'' it said, ''has had its last air date.''

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''Dancing'': Please, No Re-Rematch

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 22, 2005

I can easily imagine ABC executives sitting around a few days ago and envisioning A Ball To Settle It All. Now that's theoretically possible, since Kelly Monaco won the original ''Dancing With the Stars'' and John O'Hurley won this week's dance-off.

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''Survivor: Guatemala": The Muddy Empire

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 22, 2005

I was feeling pretty good about this season's ''Survivor,'' not least because Stephenie was back; her grittiness on the last ''Survivor'' made her one of my favorite contestants ever.

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''Gilmore Girls''

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 22, 2005

I finally caught up with Tuesday's telecast. My DVR is backed up with stuff, and the weekend is looking chore-laden, so I'm grabbing time where I can. Watched most of ''GG'' before ''Lost,'' then the remaining minutes after. A few thoughts:

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''Threshold''

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 22, 2005

I finally grabbed enough time to get through ''Threshold'' (although there are newer shows backed up in my DVR, thanks to the fall season). Didn't like the second hour as much as the first. Executive producer Brannon Braga has said that he wants the show to be scary, but sometimes the horror-movie cliches seem to pile on too high -- notably the heroine-fleeing-in-a-nightgown business.

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''Lost''

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 21, 2005

I thought the season premiere of ''Veronica Mars'' (which hasn't aired yet) was pretty mind-blowing. But ''Lost'' was up there, too, in tonight's telecast. (No, I didn't get to see it ahead of time. I was watching it in real time, like all of you.)

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Keeping Up With ''L&O''

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 20, 2005

I know ''Law & Order'' (the original series) has made a lot of cast changes over the years. Still, you'd think the folks at NBC could keep up.

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About ''How I Met Your Mother''

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 20, 2005

As I said in a column about the CBS sitcom, there's a twist at the end of the first episode -- and now you all have had a chance to see it. (If it's still sitting unwatched in your recorder, stop reading here.)

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Why I Didn't Review ''Threshold''

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 19, 2005

A review tape of ''Ghost Whisperer'' arrived today, all set for review before its premiere on Friday. The only problem is, the tape has a lovely crack in the spine.

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Sometimes It's Not As Complicated As You Think

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 19, 2005

Late Sunday afternoon, I was working in the basement, with a radio nearby carrying the Browns game. Of course, I wanted to take a look at it on TV, too, from time to time, so I lumbered up to the TV room to find -- nothing.

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Skipping Emmy

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 19, 2005

One of the quirks of my job is that -- unlike many TV critics -- I don't have to watch and review the Emmys. That's fine with me. I can check out the final list of winners and losers and deal with them all in a single round of teeth-gnashing.

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Return of ''Green Screen''

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 16, 2005

Here's an e-mail to delight fans of Drew Carey's forays into improv:

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Yes, He Said It...

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 15, 2005

This e-mail arrived today:

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''Sixties'' Song Shortage

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 14, 2005

On Sept. 20, Paramount/PBS Home Video will release a DVD of a new documentary, ''The Sixties: The Years That Shaped A Generation.'' That's more than a week before the program airs, on Sept. 29.

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Picking DVDs

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 14, 2005

I've been writing regularly about TV shows on DVD for almost three years now, and I've had to change my approach in that time. In the beginning, I tried to review every DVD set of a TV show that crossed my desk. But, as you all know, the number of shows on DVD has increased exponentially, and it became impossible to watch at least some of everything while still doing the other parts of my job. So I have had to hope that the weekly list accompanying my column gives a thorough idea of what's out there, while the column itself could be more selective.

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Teacher II

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 14, 2005

In an earlier posting, I mentioned a ranking of TV teachers (and added a few I thought should have been included). Well, there's another one coming to prime time this season, as this NBC announcement shows:

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Reality TV/Reality Watchers

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 14, 2005

''Who won the first 'Amazing Race'?'' my wife asked the other day.

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Go Out -- AND Watch TV

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 14, 2005

As I've mentioned here a couple of times, I originally saw ''No Direction Home,'' a new documentary about Bob Dylan, in a theater, in one 3 1/2-hour sitting. Well, you can wait until Sept. 20 and buy the DVD of the program, or until Sept. 26-27 to see it on PBS, or ...

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Give Me a Good Game

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 13, 2005

Saturday's big project was putting up a storm door. Since we had never done it before, it took a lot longer than we hoped -- and about six hands total. But we got it done. I can show you every little thing that's wrong with it, but it's done. And the next time I have to put up a door -- which could be very soon -- I'll know a lot more than I did with this one.

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Missing Eileen McShea?

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 9, 2005

Channel 3 didn't think she was good enough to keep as a weather forecaster, but apparently thinks she is good enough to chat on the air in the morning. Here's the announcement:

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''The Cut'' Winner

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 8, 2005

Since the show has bounced around the schedule, here's the winner, as announced by CBS:

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What Was PBS Afraid Of?

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 7, 2005

Regular readers of this blog may recall my description of a screening of ''Bob Dylan: No Direction Home,'' Martin Scorsese's documentary about Dylan's early years. If not, you can find it in the posting ''Some Direction.'' (I tried to create a direct link but can't get it to work.)

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''Veronica Mars'' (Updated)

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 7, 2005

A copy of the season premiere (airing Sept. 28) has arrived, along with a letter asking ''that you please not reveal the identity of who is behind the door, who is having an affair, who is dating whom (or not) ... or the shocking ending.''

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Goodbye, Bob

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 6, 2005

Bob Denver has died at the age of 70. For most TV viewers, he was Gilligan on ''Gilligan's Island.'' But I'll remember him more fondly as the great Maynard G. Krebs, the beatnik goof-off who was the best friend of Dobie Gillis on ''The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.'' Even if Denver had never done ''Gilligan's,'' I would be feeling a little sadder today because Maynard was gone.

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Changing TV Times

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 6, 2005

(I know, I've been posting a bunch today. Shows what a long weekend hiatus can lead to.)

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''Emmy Idol'': A Show Within a Show

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 6, 2005

The Emmy Awards are now officially irrelevant. How else to explain a competition within the awards show? Here's the word from CBS (and I'm all ready to hear von Stade do those swoopy ''Star Trek'' notes):

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For Jillian Barberie Fans

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 6, 2005

You know you're out there. You're the ones who bombarded me with e-mails after Barberie left ''Good Day Live.'' Well, her newest gig is in prime time. How long it lasts will depend on how well she ice-skates. Here's the word from Fox:

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''Entourage,'' ''The Comeback''

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 6, 2005

As I said in a column that ran Saturday in the Beacon Journal, I very much like HBO's ''Entourage'' and don't care for ''The Comeback'' on the same network. The comedies' season-ending episodes on Sunday didn't change my mind. But it was curious to see each show's central character wind up in the same place.

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Writing Katrina

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 5, 2005

I got an e-mail from a reader the other day eager to hear my thoughts about Geraldo Rivera's recent actions on Fox News. Unfortunately, while I have read about the thing the reader referred to, I did not see it.

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Katrina special (updated)

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 2, 2005

Update: PBS is also joining in the telecast.

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Michael Moore checks in

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 2, 2005

Michael Moore, the TV and movie maker, has sent out copies of an open letter to President Bush. Here's the text.

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Notebook

By RD Heldenfels Published: September 1, 2005

I spent the first hours of my birthday on Wednesday in our basement, keeping water at bay. (Thanks to towels and a shop vacuum, things weren't too bad.) Later in the day, my wife and i had to deal with a couple of unexpected roof leaks. That involved moving a bunch of items in the guest room, checking the crawl space and some other hustling. But, again, it wasn't too bad. Certainly not when there were flood warnings in the region, growing tallies of the rainfall -- and TV news channels full of pictures of the horrors in the South.

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