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"Mad Men": "My Old Kentucky Home"

By admin Published: August 31, 2009

The delicate, and sometimes brutal, dances among the characters were many on last night's "Mad Men." And my favorite may have been the nimble stepping by Joan Holloway ...

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"Glee" Soundtrack Coming Nov. 3

By admin Published: August 31, 2009

Song list, details after the jump. Very exciting.

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Disney Buys Marvel

By admin Published: August 31, 2009

The cross-promotional opportunities, as well as the potential character crossovers, are staggering -- and potentially hilarious. Full announcement after the jump.

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Complete "Futurama" DVD Box Coming

By admin Published: August 28, 2009

From the announcement:

Blast off into space with the ultimate out-of-this-world collection over a thousand years in the making when "Futurama" The Complete Collection 1999-2009 lands as a 19-disc set October 13th from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Join the Planet Express crew in their comical adventures across the universe with this intergalactic mind-blowing set, packaged together in a collectible Bender head, including a detachable rubber antenna. A must have for die hard "Futurama" fans, proven by the enormous popularity of limited edition copies sold during this year's Comic-Con, the set includes all 72 episodes from the hilarious animated cult series, as well as the four feature length adventures - Bender's Big Score, The Beast With A Billion Backs, Bender's Game and Into The Wild Green Yonder.

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ESPN Schedules First of "30 for 30" Movies

By admin Published: August 27, 2009

These are the movies ESPN has commissioned to mark its 30th anniversary.  Topics include Wayne Gretzky's trade to the Los Angeles Kings (Oct. 6, directed by Peter Berg of "Friday Night Lights"); the Colts' leaving Baltimore (directed by Baltimore bard Barry Levinson, Oct. 13), and the death of the USFL (Oct. 20, Mike Tollin). And these and other film subjects are sports/life touchstones for me. I still have my USFL Washington Federals mug somewhere (was a Joe Gilliam fan). The Colts' departure set the stage for the Browns' bailing, didn't it? I was in LA on business when Gretzky was traded, and a TV-critic colleague from Edmonton was dispatched to the airport to cover the Great One's arrival

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Summer Glau Joins "Dollhouse"

By admin Published: August 27, 2009

After seeing the mind-bending extra episode of "Dollhouse" on the first-season DVD, my interest in the show revived. Now, here's another reason: Summer Glau, who was so good on "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles," is joining the "Dollhouse" cast as a recurring character. From the Fox announcement:

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truTV Sets "Power, Privilege" Replay in Dunne's Honor

By admin Published: August 27, 2009

To mark the death of the writer Dominick Dunne (see previous post), truTV will run 13 hours of his show "Dominick Dunne's Power, Privilege & Justice" starting at 3 p.m. Friday. From the announcement:

 “Dominick Dunne has been a valued and beloved contributor to truTV through the long-running series Dominick Dunne’s Power, Privilege and Justice,” said Marc Juris, executive vice president and general manager of truTV/IN SESSION.  “He was a master storyteller who dug deeply into the legal details of notorious criminal cases, but always kept his eye on the human story behind the crimes.  We will miss him dearly.”

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Still More "Leverage," "Survivor" Cast

By admin Published: August 27, 2009

The caper series, which had a nice episode last night involving duelling scams, has been picked up for a third season. The word:

Television’s hottest team of con artists, grifters, hackers and thieves will be back again as TNT lines up a third season of its fast-paced drama series LEVERAGE, starring Academy Award® winner Timothy Hutton (Ordinary People), Gina Bellman (Coupling), Christian Kane (TNT’s Into the West), Beth Riesgraf (Alvin and the Chipmunks) and Aldis Hodge (Friday Night Lights).  The network has ordered 15 episodes of the series, which is currently in its second season, airing Wednesdays at 9 p.m. (ET/PT).  The show’s summer finale will air Wednesday, Sept. 9.  It will then return to complete the second season in winter, with the third season slated to air in summer 2010.

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Dominick Dunne, R.I.P.

By admin Published: August 26, 2009

The writer and social chronicler has died. One obit here. I read a lot of Dunne, both fiction and nonfiction, over the years. Saw his on-TV commentary from sundry trials; he was a central figure when you talk about OJ coverage. But his life was vastly more than that. Look for the documentary "Dominick Dunne: After the Party," on DVD, to see the range of his living.

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Ellie Greenwich, R.I.P.

By admin Published: August 26, 2009

The songwriter and singer has died. Obit here. Look at her credits. She's all over my music collection, and has a place in any decent accumulation of '60s pop. She's mentioned in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tributes to The Ronettes
and Gene Pitney. Here's Greenwich as singer, with nice photo array:

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"Bones' " Eric Millegan Coming to Cuyahoga Falls

By admin Published: August 26, 2009

Millegan, who has played Zack Addy on the show, will be at the Blockbuster Video store on Graham Road on Sept. 3 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. to meet folks, sign autographs, pose for photos and, I would think, discuss Gormagon.

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"Idol" Conversation: Scott MacIntyre

By admin Published: August 26, 2009

Fifth and last of the chats I had with "American Idol" performers when the tour came to Cleveland on Sunday. See previous posts for Adam Lambert, Michael Sarver, Allison Iraheta and Anoop Desai, as well as an overview of the press event.

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"Idol" Conversation: Adam Lambert

By admin Published: August 25, 2009

Fourth of the 5 chats I had with "American Idol" performers when the tour came to Cleveland on Sunday.

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"Idol" Conversations: Michael Sarver

By admin Published: August 25, 2009

Third of the five chats I had with "American Idol" performers when the tour came to Cleveland on Sunday. Sarver talks about being pegged as a country singer, how he has grown because of "Idol," and missing LSU news.

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"Mad Men": "Love Among the Ruins"

By admin Published: August 25, 2009

I know I am getting to this late. My DVR did not catch it on Sunday night, so I recorded the Monday replay and watched it this AM. And I have thoughts. Oh, I have thoughts.

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"The Shield" Complete Series DVD Coming, New Bonuses

By admin Published: August 24, 2009

Here's the official word:

The Shield: The Complete Series Collection, the Emmy®-winning, groundbreaking series that turned the conventional cop drama upside down, debuts in a 28-Disc DVD Gift Set November 3 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The entire 88 episodes of the gritty series will be presented in a collectible 34-page bound anthology book filled with photos, quotes, and a special letter from creator Shawn Ryan, plus two all-new featurettes -- a documentary about the Los Angeles Rampart division police scandal that served as the inspiration for the series and a behind-the-scenes set tour of the “The Barn,” the location where the series was shot. The Shield: The Complete Series Collection will be available for $159.95 SLP.

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"Idol" Conversations: Allison Iraheta

By admin Published: August 24, 2009

Second in my series of chats with "Idol" performers during their tour's stop in Cleveland on Sunday.
I'm not big on hair and wardrobe questions -- but I did note that Anoop Desai was wearing a polo shirt that was a North Carolina blue, and that Allison still has that huge, leonine mane of dark red hair, with purple highlights. It looks as if she is sticking with it for now, but she did mention offhandedly that she'd like to dye it jet black, or black with some deep blue in it. Notes from our chat follow the jump.

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"Idol" Conversations: Anoop Desai

By admin Published: August 24, 2009

I haven't come up with a great plan for the notes from my chats with five "American Idol" stars on Sunday (discussed in a previous posts), so I'm just going to offer notes from the different talks, organized by performer, and in the order I talked to them. Don't expect big scoops. First up: 'Noop. See after the jump.

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MTV Sets American "Skins"

By admin Published: August 24, 2009

Feels wrong: A rawly real show about adolescent life getting an MTV treatment. But here's the word:

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"DWTS" Pairs

By admin Published: August 24, 2009

This info has been appearing piecemeal for several days but here's the complete rundown from ABC:

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Some Time Among the "Idols"

By admin Published: August 23, 2009

The "American Idol" tour came through Cleveland today, and I ambled up to the press event this afternoon. A few notes about how it worked, and what came of it, after the jump.

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Saturday Morning Happy Feet

By admin Published: August 22, 2009

This one makes me laugh and still sing along, preferably really loud. (Sorry, other drivers.)

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More Notes: "Say Anything" Anniversary Edition, "Community" Stuff

By admin Published: August 21, 2009

"Say Anything" is memorable, I think, even for people who have not seen it, because the boom box scene has been so often invoked. (If memory serves, "Drop Dead Diva" did an homage to it not long ago.) Details of the new release, due Nov. 3, are after the jump. The release is also of interest because it gives priority to the Blu-ray version, with the DVD almost an afterthought. That's the way marketers want consumers to tilt.

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Friday Notebook

By admin Published: August 21, 2009

Last night I went to an Akron screening of "More Than a Game," the documentary about the St. Vincent-St. Mary HS basketball team that won the USA Today national title in 2003; about its coach, Dru Joyce II, and about the young men on that team, among them one LeBron James. Fine film, one that could easily have been six films, it has so many personal stories to tell. Today I talked with filmmaker Kris Belman, as well as James and Joyce; I expect to be writing stories from those conversations when we get closer to the movie's being in local theaters, on Oct. 2. But it made for a pretty fascinating early-morning.

Although I managed to write my DVD column after the interviews, my head is still kind of full from the talking. Still, there are some other topics worth noting here, such as some local screenings of the latest Ken Burns documentary, Frank Caliendo's new gig and "Fear Itself" news. See after the jump.

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Rock Hall Performances on DVD, Including '95 Cleveland Concert

By admin Published: August 20, 2009

I'd buy it. Here's the announcement:

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"Easy Rider" Anniversary Blu-ray Edition Set

By admin Published: August 20, 2009

Coming Oct. 13, it marks the 40th anniversary. Yet another movie I saw in theaters whose age is marked in decades. Full announcement after the jump.

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More Thursday Notes: "Warehouse 13" Renewed, Emmys Contest, "Unit" DVD

By admin Published: August 20, 2009

Syfy has renewed "Warehouse 13," co-starring North Canton's Eddie McClintock, for a second 13-episode run. That and more after the jump.

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Thursday Notebook

By admin Published: August 20, 2009

My review of "Inglourious Basterds" is here.

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Don Hewitt, R.I.P. (Updated)

By admin Published: August 19, 2009

From CBS:

60 MINUTES will devote its entire hour this week to the news magazine’s creator and former executive producer, Don Hewitt, who passed away today at the age of 86. The special 60 MINUTES program will be broadcast Sunday, Aug. 23 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

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Wednesday Notebook

By admin Published: August 19, 2009

Northeast Ohio's own Patricia Heaton heated up the Internet after an appearance on "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire" where her math skills proved to be, uh, limited. Here's the clip:

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Tuesday Notebook

By admin Published: August 18, 2009

I'm a Weather Channel fan, on TV and online. A true believer in Local on the 8s, which is often the first (and sometimes only) TV viewing I do in the early morning. But that's becoming less and less of a habit because it now involves "Wake Up With Al."

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Start Wiring Your Chair: William Castle Collection on DVD

By admin Published: August 17, 2009

Eight movies by the thriller director and promoter, plus a documentary. Five discs, about $80, and being released on Oct. 20, just in time for Halloween. Full announcement after the jump.

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Macy Gray Goes "Dancing"

By admin Published: August 17, 2009

Canton's Ms. Gray own is among the 16 contestants on the next season of "Dancing With the Stars," which begins Sept. 21.

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The Return of "Mad Men"

By admin Published: August 17, 2009

After the jump, thoughts about last night's third-season premiere of "Mad Men," and why it all fit so well into London Fog.

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Sunday Notebook

By admin Published: August 16, 2009

My DVD column is here. The "Hannah Montana" movie, as well as documentaries "Tyson," "The Garden" and "Audience of One," plus a compelling independent film, "The Poker House," directed and co-written by Lori Petty.

I am hoping to post some bonus DVD material here by Tuesday, when the newest releases come out, about some of the titles that did not make it into my column.

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"Mad Men" E-Cards

By admin Published: August 14, 2009

I have a column for Sunday's Beacon Journal about the glories of "Mad Men" -- and its small audience, and why that's a headache for people like the makers of the Emmy telecast. But "Mad Men" has unquestionably come up with a lot of different marketing connections. Including this one, "available only at Eightoclock.com":

The first-ever MAD MEN eCards are launching on August 14 – on the heels of AMC’s “MAD MEN YOURSELF” avatar creation program, the viral victory that yielded over 500,000 downloads in the first two weeks. MAD MEN eCards can be found on eightoclock.com just in time for the hotly anticipated premiere on Sunday August 16, and will be “live” throughout the season on AMC. Both online efforts are sponsored by Eight O’Clock Coffee, the top rated 150-year-old coffee brand that was as popular in the 1960s MAD MEN time period as it is today.

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Aerosmith Cancels Tour

By admin Published: August 14, 2009

The announcement, which includes the Blossom date on Sept. 10:

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"Saving Grace" To Wrap in 2010, "Harper's Island" to DVD

By admin Published: August 14, 2009

Here's TNT's announcement re "Grace":

TNT will conclude the fascinating journey of Oklahoma City Police Det. Grace Hanadarko in 2010, when the network’s groundbreaking original series SAVING GRACE will come to an end. SAVING GRACE will wrap up with a nine-episode run planned for next summer. The provocative drama stars Oscar® winner Holly Hunter (The Piano), who this year received the second of two consecutive Emmy® nominations for her no-holds-barred performance. Hunter also serves as executive producer of SAVING GRACE, along with show creator Nancy Miller (Any Day Now), Gary A. Randall (Any Day Now, Leaving L.A.) and Artie Mandelberg (Leaving L.A., Mr. & Mrs. Smith). For its current summer run, which ends Tuesday, Aug. 18, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT), the show has averaged more than 3.5 million viewers and ranks first in its time period among viewers, households, adults 25-54 and women 25-54.

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Thursday Notebook

By admin Published: August 13, 2009

Legendary guitarist Les Paul has died. He was 94. And a genius, of course, both in his technological innovations and his playing. I've been listening some lately to Paul's recorded collaborations with Chet Atkins, and they're often amazing, especially in the way Paul's virtuosity and daring seem to push Atkins to greater boldness. (Atkins was a pretty serious picker, of course, but he could be understated.) Not that Atkins was unique in feeling a need to do better because of Paul. Generations of guitarists did.

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Thursday Links

By admin Published: August 13, 2009

Today's mailbag, with questions about "Slowly I turned" and "Kings" among other topics, is here.

It was a good week for me at the movies. Positive review of "District 9" is here. Equally positive review of "In the Loop" is here.

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DVD News: "Where the Day Takes You," "Patty Duke," "Mister Ed"

By admin Published: August 12, 2009

1992's "Where the Day Takes You" is something of a cult film for its grim subject matter (runaways) and a cast including Will Smith, Alyssa Milano and others. Sony put it out on DVD in 2003, but it has been out of print more recently. Anchor Bay is releasing it on Oct. 13.

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Tuesday Notebook

By admin Published: August 11, 2009

After the jump, some notes on health care, Ted Kennedy, "The Closer," stoner jokes and things on my bookshelf.

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TNT Renews "HawthoRNe," "DOOL" Eps Online, Octo-Mom Special

By admin Published: August 10, 2009

TNT has renewed the Jada Pinkett Smith drama, "HawthoRNe" for a second season. And NBC is putting episodes of "Days of Our Lives" online for people who miss them on the air. Fox, meanwhile, has scheduled a special on the Octo-Mom.
All announcements are after the jump.

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Monday Notebook

By admin Published: August 10, 2009

Items from my e-mail re "Torhchwood," "Doctor Who," "King of the Hill," "Bonanza" and "One Step Beyond" on DVD and new stamps commemorating TV classics. After the jump.

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Sunday Notebook

By admin Published: August 9, 2009

We're hiding from the 90-plus degree heat right now (golf on TV), although we did make it out to church -- and have survived a brief power failure at home.

From today's Beacon Journal: Another chat with Yvette Nicole Brown, whom you have seen in many commercials and small movie roles, and who is in the cast of the NBC sitcom "Community."

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John Hughes: Another View

By admin Published: August 7, 2009

As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm a little out of the target demographic for the teen dramas written and directed by John Hughes, who died Thursday. That didn't keep me from having an opinion about his work, of course. But I also asked Lynne Sherwin, one of my editors and true child of Hughes movies (she's 41), for her thoughts. You can find them after the jump.

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"Ally McBeal" on DVD (At Last)

By admin Published: August 7, 2009

I'm not jumping up and down about this, because I wasn't a fan of the show. But I have heard from enough folks wanting this on DVD to be happy for them.

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John Hughes, R.I.P.

By admin Published: August 6, 2009

The writer-director famous for "Sixteen Candles" and other films of adolescence has died. Another obit is here.

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Budd Schulberg, R.I.P.

By admin Published: August 6, 2009

Budd Schulberg, the acclaimed screenwriter, has also died. (Apparently the news broke yesterday, but I just caught up to it this evening.) This one stings, and is a bit complicated. I'll explain after the jump.

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Thursday Notebook

By admin Published: August 6, 2009

Today's mailbag is here. Topics include art films in Akron, "Castle," the origin story of "Royal Pains" and who sang "Over the Rainbow" on "The Philanthropist."

My review of "Julie & Julia" is here. It looks as if my star rating didn't make it to the online version, but I gave this a split decision -- 3 1/2 stars for the "Julia" sections, 2 for the "Julie" parts.

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Katy Perry, Patricia Heaton, Snoop Among "Millionaire" Celebs; Air Dates Set

By admin Published: August 5, 2009

The prime-time celeb editions of "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire" will include NE Ohio's Patricia Heaton, Katy Perry, Rachael Ray, Snoop Dogg, Steve Nash and others during its run of new  telecasts. Cleveland's George Stephanopoulos will be one of the experts (for Vanessa Williams). Full list, announcement of air dates after the jump.

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"At the Movies" Changing Hosts

By admin Published: August 5, 2009

ABC News is reporting that the two Bens -- Lyons and Mankiewicz -- are out and A.O. Scott and Michael Phillips are in. Story here. Lyons in particular had a reputation as a lightweight -- having declared "I Am Legend" is one of the greatest movies ever made. And when anyone can blog his or her thoughts about movies (cough, cough), the new hosts give the show a seriousness that should make the discussion more interesting.

Should, I said. No guarantees.

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"Friday Night Lights" Returns in October

By admin Published: August 5, 2009

If you have DirecTV, that is.

When NBC announced its 2009-10 plans in May, it said that "FNL" would be back on its air in Summer 2010. Apparently that was reaffirmed today on the TV critics' press tour, which I have been following via the blogs, FB posts and Tweets of my colleagues attending.

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If Paula Is Gone, Who Should Replace Her?

By admin Published: August 5, 2009

I say "if" because the latest news could just be part of the Abdul-"Idol" negotiations. (See the post below.) But let's assume she is, indeed, gone. The show could go ahead with three judges, getting back to its pre-Kara format, and saving both air time and money in the process. But none of the remaining three -- Simon, Kara, Randy -- has that special gift for nurturing-in-the-form-of-nonspecific-fawning that Paula had. She was also lone among the judges in having had hit records as a lead performer. (I know, I know, Randy played with Journey. Not as the leader.) So the show may be looking for someone at the very least as a guest/recurring judge.

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Abdul Out at "Idol

By admin Published: August 5, 2009

Potential replacements will be asked to show how sincerely they can say, "First of all, you look wonderful tonight" and "You are a bright, shining, cosmic celestial star, high in the firma-ne-uh-ment -- what do you mean, you haven't sung yet?"

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Tuesday Notebook

By admin Published: August 4, 2009

After the jump: The Cleveland Press Club's Journalism Hall of Fame inductees, some new DVDs of classic TV cartoon shows, and Tony Dungy on the big screen.

The official word on the Hall of Fame:

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"Ladies' Detective Agency" to DVD

By admin Published: August 3, 2009

The lovely, thoughtful series starring Jill Scott arrives Sept. 8. Cost will be $59.99. But, considering the locations, I would love to see all its beauty on Blu-ray.

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Yes, Another "Cutting Edge" Movie

By admin Published: August 3, 2009

This will be the fourth, with another casting change from the previous films. First, the announcement:

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New "Deal"

By admin Published: August 3, 2009

CBS will bring "Let's Make a Deal" back to its daytime lineup in October, with Wayne Brady hosting.

The last revival I made note of was in 2003, with Billy Bush. Monty Hall, the one true host of the program, was an executive producer of that version and I interviewed him at the time. He was 81 and sounded as if he could have easily hosted the show again.

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Sunday Notebook

By admin Published: August 2, 2009

I have a few thoughts about movies involving cooks and cooking, related to "Julie & Julia," which premieres Friday. I'll have a review of the movie later this week. Needless to say, the topic of my column could have included a lot of other things; there were scenes that I ended up cutting from my draft, and movies I didn't get to see enough of to include. Your comments and thoughts about the movies in the column, and ones I did not mention, are welcome here.

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