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Numnah!

By admin Published: May 30, 2008

I wound down tonight by watching the national spelling bee, and it was a pleasure. The winner: Sameer Mishra, below.


(Gannett News Service photo)

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"Lost": Here Am I, Your Special Island

By admin Published: May 29, 2008


More in a bit, after I fill out my application at Octagon Global Recruiting.

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Harvey Korman, R.I.P. (Expanded)

By admin Published: May 29, 2008


Harvey and Tim, in a 1978 photo. (From kima.com)

The veteran funnyman, famous for his work with Carol Burnett and with Tim Conway in the Burnett ensemble, has died. Obit here. Great team player, and he and Conway toured together long after the Burnett show ended. He'll be missed.

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More Re Akron News

By admin Published: May 29, 2008

You may have seen my story about two news operations moving into downtown Akron here. In addition, there's an official anouncement today, which I have posted after the jump.

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"Sex and the City": The Movie

By admin Published: May 29, 2008

My review is here. I saw it at a preview screening on Tuesday where women formed the overwhelming majority of the audience. In fact, I probably represented 5 to 10 percent of the testosterone in the theater. But even if it's a movie meant for women, I enjoyed it, probably more than I expected.

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"Mad Men" Sets Season 2 Date

By admin Published: May 29, 2008

It's back on July 27, with a season one marathon on July 20. Boilerplate after the jump.

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"The Closer," "Saving Grace" Return Dates

By admin Published: May 28, 2008

TNT said today that "The Closer" will be back on Monday, July 14, at 9 p.m., with a marathon o third-season episodes preceding. "Saving Grace" will begin its new season on July 14 at 10 p.m. As previously announced, "The Bill Engvall Show" will be back on TBS for its second season on June 12 at 9 p.m., followed by the second season of "My Boys" at 9:30 p.m.

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"Pushing Daisies" on DVD

By admin Published: May 28, 2008

I've been meaning to get this on the blog all day. Been one of those days. Anyway, the DVD will be out on Sept. 16 -- therefore around the time of the second season -- and will have the nine episodes seen to date. DVD and Blu-ray. Since I watched the ABC HD version, with its eye-popping color, I'm anticipating the Blu-ray. Boilerplate after the jump.

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TCM Sets Sydney Pollack Tribute

By admin Published: May 28, 2008

It's on June 2, with four films. TCM also has a telecast planned in July of an interview of Pollack by Elvis Mitchell. Full announcement after the jump.

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The Changing Media World

By admin Published: May 28, 2008

You may have heard the TV critics' mantra of "we watch so you don't have to." Here's a new electronic demonstration of that idea, via a TiVo press release:

TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO), the creator of and a leader in television services for digital video recorders (DVRs), today announced that it has partnered with the Chicago Tribune to deliver the recommendations of the newspaper's TV critic directly to subscribers' televisions while TiVo automatically records the recommended shows listed in the newspaper's TV grids. The concept is one of several new initiatives designed to explore new ways for the newspaper industry to adapt to the changing media landscape.
TiVo will bring added value to a coveted column in the iconic newspaper by enabling TiVo subscribers to obtain TV critic Maureen Ryan's programming suggestions right on their televisions, with a guarantee that the best in TV is automatically recorded and always on the TV when viewers tune in. In addition, TiVo subscribers will be able to download recurring, unique video commentaries recorded by Maureen Ryan right to their TV, making the Chicago Tribune's TV critic an on-air personality for the TiVo audience.
"From the days of the legendary Col. Robert McCormick on, the Chicago Tribune has had a legacy of significant innovation in both print and television. Our partnership with TiVo underscores a present and future tied to those values and the quest to experiment for the good of our consumers," said James Warren, Managing Editor/Features at the Tribune.
Tom Rogers, TiVo CEO and President, said, "This is another example of how TiVo continues to weave itself into the fabric of the media industry and helps solve strategic issues faced by traditional media companies. We applaud the Tribune management for their willingness to embrace TiVo's technology to help bring innovation to its newspaper model. It is a pleasure to be working with the one of the Nation's leading newspapers on such a revolutionary new concept. We have essentially used TiVo to build an interactive, technological bridge between television and print -- unlocking value for both mediums in the process."
Ads in the Tribune's Sunday product, The Guide: TV & Internet, as well as in its daily Tempo section will highlight the new capabilities available via TiVo and inform customers how they can sign up to receive TiVo and the TiVo service.
Ryan's authoritative and popular print and online column "The Watcher" has made her, according to the entertainment trade publication Variety, one of the TV industry's "favorite (or most feared)" newspaper TV critics.

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Earle Hagen, R.I.P.

By admin Published: May 27, 2008


(Photo from L.A. Times)

The veteran TV composer, whose work included the theme for "The Andy Griffith Show," has died. The Los Angeles Times obit is here. A report on an April ceremony honoring Hagen is here. Amazing career.

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Post-Holiday Notebook

By admin Published: May 27, 2008

Tonight I see the new "Sex and the City" movie. Some general thoughts about "SATC" are here.

Variety has a report on Media Rights Capital's plans for Sunday nights on The CW here. (Sorry, "Moonlight" fans.)

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Holiday Weekend

By admin Published: May 25, 2008

The bride and I went on a family visit yesterday, and are just back home. For those of you curious about HBO's "Recount" movie, you can find my review here. Current reading: "Mr. Gatling's Terrible Marvel: The Gun That Changed Everything and the Misunderstood Genius Who Invented It" by my friend (and award-winning journalist) Julia Keller. May have more to say later, after I cobble together a HeldenFiles for Monday.

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Friday Notebook: "Grey's Anatomy"

By admin Published: May 23, 2008

A good night for the Chief, and Bailey, and some others ...

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"Criminal Intent" Renewed

By admin Published: May 23, 2008

In addition to new episodes beginning in June, the show has been picked up for another season on USA Network -- and there will be replays on NBC at some point. Full announcement after the jump.

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NBC Sets Fall Premiere Dates

By admin Published: May 23, 2008

Here's the basic list, which includes "America's Toughest Jobs" moving from Summer 2009 to Fall 2008, apparently to give "Crusoe" some extra prep time.

New programs in UPPER CASE (with the exception of "ER")

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As the TV Season Winds Down ...

By admin Published: May 22, 2008

Well, tonight we had the season finale of "Grey's Anatomy." I'll post about it later but it may take some time, since I'll be using just one finger.
I'm KIDDING.
But this was a night of some note since I'm just about at the end of network season viewing. Maybe one show left in the DVR, and "Lost" next week. I'll still have movies, and there will be summer shows, and I'll be blogging about other topics as they arise. But in the vodcast below, when Malcolm and I sighed with relief, it wasn't just that "American Idol" was over. It was also that the DVRs will get to breathe a little, too.

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Thursday Notebook

By admin Published: May 22, 2008

This and that -- "Bones" and Jones, "Law & Order," the hamburgers of our youth -- after the jump. ...

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The "Idol" Win: Five Theories

By admin Published: May 21, 2008


(Photo from E!Online)

Well, by now you know this guy won. Let's talk about how ...

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"American Idol" Season Finale

By admin Published: May 21, 2008

Notes after the jump.

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Wednesday Notebook: "Reaper," "NCIS," "HIMYM," "Men," "House" -- And Yes, a Little More "American Idol"

By admin Published: May 21, 2008

Could we take a minute to talk about what a good actor Mark Harmon is?

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"Dancing With the Stars" Finale

By admin Published: May 20, 2008

Notes after the jump. ...

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"American Idol" Final Two

By admin Published: May 20, 2008

Well, we're starting with Michael "Let's Get Ready to Rumble" Buffer and the two Davids in boxing gear. So we can forget dignity...

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"Dancing With the Stars" Final 3

By admin Published: May 19, 2008

In progress notes after the jump. ....

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A Few Thoughts about "Indiana Jones 4"

By admin Published: May 19, 2008

I will be writing a full review for posting at Ohio.com Wednesday. Right now, I'm sorting out ideas, so what follows the jump is more in the way of notes, and basically spoiler-free. But there they are.

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Monday Morning Notebook

By admin Published: May 19, 2008

Sunday's Beacon Journal had my rumination on the return of Indiana Jones, but it was late going online. You can find most of it here. Because of design issues, as of Monday morning, that piece is missing the first two paragraphs, which go like this:

When "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" lands on movie screens just after midnight on Thursday, it will begin testing moviegoers' fondness for the big-screen icon -- especially whether younger film generations have embraced the whip-totiing adventurer.

I am more than ready for this movie. I saw the first three in theaters, and have them on DVD. I've gone back to the DVDs to prepare for "Crystal Skull." But I'm also 56 years old.

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In Case You're Looking ...

By admin Published: May 18, 2008

In my look at the coming TV season in today's Beacon Journal, I said you could find the individual broadcast-network announcements in this blog. To save you the trouble of scrolling back through previous posts, I've put them in the PAGES section over on the right side of this page.

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Happy Birthday, Big Joe Turner

By admin Published: May 18, 2008

Turner - "Shake Rattle & Roll," "Flip Flop & Fly," "Honey Hush," "Roll 'Em Pete" and more -- was born on May 18, 1911. He died in 1985. Here's a memory.

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"CSI": Goodbye, Warrick

By admin Published: May 16, 2008

Not the best farewell ...

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Friday Notebook (Continued): "My Name Is Earl"

By admin Published: May 16, 2008

Considering what "The Office" did last night, and what "30 Rock" did a week ago, I didn't expect "My Name Is Earl" to match those comedic highs. But it still offered a very respectable hour, even if it contained a basic disappointment. ...

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"CSI" Moves On

By admin Published: May 16, 2008

From the morning e-mail:

Lauren Lee Smith joins the cast of CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION next season as a series regular.

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Friday Notebook: "The Office," "Grey's Anatomy"

By admin Published: May 16, 2008


Come on. Admit it. Just looking at this picture is making you laugh again ...

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Lovin' the Feel of the Wheel

By admin Published: May 15, 2008

Just caught up to this new Flight of the Conchords video. ...

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American Idol Vodcast!

By jim Published: May 15, 2008

Fox Schedule for Fall 2008/Winter 2009

By admin Published: May 15, 2008

The boilerplate is after the jump. As has been in the news, no "Back to You," even though it was a show that had improved over the season. No "New Amsterdam." interesting though it was. And so on...

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Fox Sets Date for "24" Transition TV-Movie

By admin Published: May 15, 2008

The movie, setting up events for the seventh season in '09, will air Nov. 23. Details after the jump.

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As For "Top Model" ...

By admin Published: May 14, 2008

"America's Next Top Model" is more the bride's show than mine, but I watch along with her a fair amount of each season, and I was definitely pushing this year for Whitney (below) ...

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"American Idol": Three Into Two Won't Go

By admin Published: May 14, 2008

In-progress notes after the jump.

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"Dancing With the Stars" Podcast

By admin Published: May 14, 2008

With some musical accompaniment ...

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CBS Fall 2008 Schedule

By admin Published: May 14, 2008

Some interesting juggling -- "Without a Trace" moves again, "The Unit" is back but on Sundays, new comedy block on Wednesdays. "Rules of Engagement" goes to midseason. Full announcement after the jump.

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Wednesday Notebook: "Reaper," "Bones," "HIMYM," "Two and a Half Men," "My Name Is Earl"

By admin Published: May 14, 2008

"American Idol" and "Dancing With the Stars" have been addressed in previous posts. Notes on these other shows after the jump. ...

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"Dancing With the Stars" Results

By admin Published: May 13, 2008

In-progress notes apres the jump.

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"American Idol" Top Three

By admin Published: May 13, 2008

In-progress notes from tonight. ABC and CW fall lineups in previous posts.

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CW Announces Schedule

By admin Published: May 13, 2008

"Reaper" returns mid-season! Full announcement after the jump.

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ABC Fall Schedule Announcement

By admin Published: May 13, 2008

Full announcement after the jump. Haven't had a chance to look over the details yet.

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"Dancing With the Stars" Semifinals (Four Contestants)

By admin Published: May 12, 2008

It's been a day off for the most part, and I've occupied myself in family business and books (a couple of Kathy Reichs's Temperance Brennan novels). Am trying to get back into viewing, with some in-progress notes about "Dancing With the Stars" after the jump.

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"Survivor" Season Finale

By admin Published: May 11, 2008

Notes here and there as the final four battle. ...

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Catching Up: The "CSI" Writing Crossover

By admin Published: May 10, 2008

I posted before about the "Two and a Half Men" episode written by folks from "CSI." I've now caught up to the "CSI" written by the big guys from "Two and a Half Men," and the "CSI" came out better.

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Saturday Morning, Saturday Morning ...

By admin Published: May 10, 2008

I'm working a metro shift today. Yesterday the bride was the birthday girl and as part of the celebration we went to the Indians-Blue Jays game. Indians won, Sabathia pitched well and, while it was chilly, it wasn't nearly as cold as it had been the last time we went to a game. Good time. Anyway, not sure when I will catch up on all the leftover viewing from last week. But I am wondering if the "American Idol" producers are considering some little tricks to make it harder for David Archuleta to win. There's yet another story about his father being a pain and the kid hasn't even won yet.

Enjoy the day.

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More Thursday: "Grey's Anatomy," "The Office"

By admin Published: May 9, 2008

A lot of stuff on Thursday. Pre-posted on "30 Rock," below, and got to "Survivor," also below. Not sure when I will get to "Lost" or "CSI" or "Earl." Did manage to see these two. One stumbled, one was steady. And the loser is ...

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"Survivor": Fool's Parade

By admin Published: May 8, 2008

After the jury vote was revealed on tonight's "Survivor," James gleefully declared that his reign as dumbest contestant ever is over. And he's right ...

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New "American Idol" Podcast!

By jim Published: May 8, 2008

This one's a lulu. Regular watchers know that I've had some fits while Malcolm has stayed cool. This time, not so much. (Thursday evening: I've switched to the YouTube version, which seems to be working better than the one posted here earlier.)

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"Speed Racer"

By admin Published: May 8, 2008

If you missed my review over at Ohio.com, here's a link. I went into the movie with high expectations, mainly because the effects look so good in the trailer. But, as I said in the review, when you get past the effects, the movie's not very good. Just my opinion, as one of the Ohio.com commenters said. But reviews are always just my opinion.

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Thursday Morning Music

By admin Published: May 8, 2008

One morning in college I was lying around, listening to WMMR on the radio and this song came on. It was a lovely, odd version of "Bluebird." I sat up in bed and told myself I had to have the record. It was by Bonnie Raitt, and it was the beginning of many years of enjoying her songs. Not all of them, but enough that I have carried her with me from LPs to tapes to CD to mp3. Here's a nice photo montage to her version of Randy Newman's "Guilty."

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"30 Rock" Tonight

By admin Published: May 8, 2008

I have watched tonight's season finale twice, and I'm thinking of suing Tina Fey. The whiplash I have from so many hilariously neck-snapping lines and jokes is pretty painful. ...

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"American Idol" Results Wednesday

By admin Published: May 7, 2008

UPDATE: Next week is a three-song night, with each contestant performing a judges’ choice, producers’ choice and finalist’s choice.


I won't dread telling you who's out. After the jump.

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More "Breaking Bad"

By admin Published: May 7, 2008

AMC has ordered a second season. Highlights from the announcement after the jump.

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Scripted Catch-Ups: "Reaper" Tuesday, "House" Monday, "NCIS" Tuesday

By admin Published: May 7, 2008


I've got a fever, and the only cure is more Kober...

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Still Obsessing Over "Idol" Tuesday ...

By admin Published: May 7, 2008

This morning I was contending that Castro's "I Shot the Sheriff" is the worst final-four performance ever. My buddy Sepinwall contends that the worst is this:

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"American Idol" Song Data

By admin Published: May 6, 2008


Creedence yes, Ike & Tina no.

I had some trouble getting onto the Rock Hall Web site earlier, but I wanted to check whether tonight's contestants stuck to the hall's "500 songs that shaped rock and roll" list that the hall thought was the basis of tonight's song selection. Now that I've checked, the answer is basically yes, although there were some nuanced differences.

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"Dancing With the Stars" Results

By admin Published: May 6, 2008

I've recorded the first hour of the 100th-show celebration but am skipping it tonight to focus on results in the second hour. Notes after the jump. ...

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"American Idol" Final Four: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Night

By admin Published: May 6, 2008

Notes after the jump. ...

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The Places Readers Take Me

By admin Published: May 6, 2008

As you may know, I do a weekly entertainment mailbag column as well as daily Pop Quiz questions for the Beacon Journal. A reader asked if there was a DVD of Sammy Davis Jr. doing "Mr. Bojangles, and I found one. But I also went looking on YouTube (in case the reader just wanted to see it again) and found this:

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More Monday Catch-Up: "How I Met Your Mother"

By admin Published: May 6, 2008


Shake shake shake, shake shake shake ...

This was one of those episodes where you realize how much the cast does to sell the material.

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"Two and a Half Men" Crossover

By admin Published: May 6, 2008


(It took me a few minutes to realize that's Jamie Rose of "Falcon Crest" fame with Charlie Sheen. She's looking well.)

I expected a better episode (with spoilers) ...

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Busy Monday Night

By admin Published: May 5, 2008

Had an out-of-the-house commitment, so I'll save most of my Monday viewing notes for tomorrow. Well, most of them. Watched "Dancing With the Stars" and was stunned (again) by judges' comments and scores. The free pass one contestant got -- oh, my goodness. .... Yes, I think I will rant some now. ...

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Another "Dark Knight" Trailer

By admin Published: May 5, 2008

"Iron Man" lived up to expectations. I remain optimistic about "Indiana Jones." And every time I see more of "The Dark Knight," including above, I build up more hope. But I'm a fool for trailers.

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Marvel Sets "Iron Man 2"

By admin Published: May 5, 2008

Amazing what a $100 million opening weekend can hasten. From the company's announcement today:

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Weekend Notebook

By admin Published: May 4, 2008

Bits of this and that, after the jump. ...

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"Dancing With the Stars" Podcast

By admin Published: May 2, 2008

A little late, I know. It was recorded on Wednesday. Circumstances beyond my control. And there won't be an "American Idol" podcast this week, as I was fighting off some illness.

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Start Compiling Your Celeb List Now

By admin Published: May 2, 2008

Surely you have some people you want to see body-slammed. And "Celebrity Championship Wrestling" will offer a chance. And it sounds just a tad more risky than that celebrity-card-tricks show. Full release after the jump.

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Friday Morning Notebook

By admin Published: May 2, 2008

(Some of you may have noticed this post previously marked for Thursday morning. I was just in a fog earlier. It is beginning to lift.)

A few thoughts on summer movies I want to see are here.

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"The Office"/"30 Rock"

By admin Published: May 2, 2008

Of anger management, sweeps and sandwiches, after the jump ...

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"Survivor"

By admin Published: May 1, 2008

Jeff Probst said it best ...

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What Does That Rock Hall Theme on "American Idol" Mean?

By admin Published: May 1, 2008

Here's the explanation from the Rock Hall itself:

Next week's edition of American Idol will feature a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-themed show. The Museum's story and mission will be highlighted throughout the shows and the final four singers will sing songs from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's list of 500 Songs that Shaped Rock Music.

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Thursday Morning Notebook

By admin Published: May 1, 2008

You can find my review of "Iron Man" here.

Next week's "American Idol" brings one of those categories that should make it easy for everyone:

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