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TCM Sets Arthur Penn Double Feature

By admin Published: September 30, 2010

From Turner Classic Movies:

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will pay tribute this Saturday, Oct. 2, to acclaimed stage, television and film director Arthur Penn, who passed away Tuesday at the age of 88. At 6:15 p.m. (ET), the network is scheduling a special presentation of Penn’s French New Wave-style drama Mickey One (1965), starring Warren Beatty as a nightclub comic in trouble with the mob. At 8 p.m. (ET), as part of TCM’s previously scheduled The Essentials showcase, Robert Osborne and Alec Baldwin will host a presentation of Penn’s groundbreaking drama Bonnie and Clyde (1967), starring Beatty and Faye Dunaway as the legendary gangsters.

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Tony Curtis, R.I.P.

By admin Published: September 30, 2010


"Some Like It Hot." "The Sweet Smell of Success." "Spartacus." "The Defiant Ones." "The Great Imposter." Tony Curtis had plenty of bad moments in his career ("The Bad News Bears Go to Japan"!!) and in his personal life, but he left behind some fine performances and stellar films. I especially like him in "Sweet Smell," where he embodied moral flexibility and up-from-nothing ambition, and "Some Like It Hot," where he not only matches comic note for note with Jack Lemmon but is splendid in his faux-Cary-Grant scenes.

He could swagger and wink when the part called for it, but he also knew his way around a drama. Yes, the Bronx accent could seem odd -- check out his soldier in "Winchester '73" -- but it worked to his advantage in some roles, and he learned to put it aside in others. He had that knack for making the audience like him even when he was doing terrible things, and then making us like him even more if he turned back to the good. He's well represented in my movie library, and should have a place in yours.

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The HeldenFiles Live!

By admin Published: September 29, 2010

Talking about the Fox schedule changes, the "Boardwalk Empire" book, some DVDs of note.

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"Human Target" Rescheduled Again

By admin Published: September 29, 2010

This appears to be a function of the "Lone Star" cancellation and "Lie to Me" being added to the Monday schedule. (See previous post.) "Lie to Me" had been set for Wednesdays in November, so a slot opened up when it was pressed into the "Lone Star" gap. In any case, "Human Target" fans are going to have to wait some time.

The official word: Season Two of FOX’s hit series HUMAN TARGET will premiere Wednesday, Nov. 17 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

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GLAAD Sees More LGBT Characters in Prime Time

By admin Published: September 29, 2010

From the organization: The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) today released the 15th annual "Where We Are On TV" study, a comprehensive review of scripted LGBT primetime characters in the 2010-2011 television season. After more than doubling last year, the overall number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) characters on broadcast networks continues a steady rise, though broadcast networks still report no transgender or black LGBT characters.

The report shows that 23 LGBT characters will account for 3.9% of scripted series regulars in the 2010-2011 broadcast television schedule, up from 1.1% in 2007, 2.6% in 2008, and 3% in 2009. The number of scripted LGBT series regulars found on mainstream cable networks has rebounded after a two year decline, from 40 in 2007, 32 in 2008, 25 in 2009, to 35 in the upcoming season.

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Hello, "Lie to Me"; Goodbye, "Lone Star"

By admin Published: September 28, 2010

The new TV season has its first casualty, with "Lone Star" canned after two telecasts. I thought the pilot was intriguing, and recorded the second episode for viewing at some point, but it's done. "Lie to Me," not due to return until much later, now gets back on the schedule. No problem here. I like "Lie to Me," too.

The official word from Fox: LIE TO ME, the No. 1 broadcast drama of the summer, will now have its third season premiere Monday, Oct. 4 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

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"Dancing With the Stars" Results

By admin Published: September 28, 2010

Some brief notes after the jump.

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DirecTV Picks Up 3 Britcoms

By admin Published: September 28, 2010

The official word: DIRECTV, the world’s most popular video service, and BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, today announced a deal that will bring three heralded BBC comedies, No Heroics, How Not to Live Your Life and Mutual Friends, all of which have been nominated for a British Comedy Award, to DIRECTV’s The 101 Network.

Mutual Friends will premiere on The 101 Network Wednesday, November 3 at 10 p.m ET/PT, followed by No Heroics and How Not to Live Your Life on Thursday, November 4 at 9:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m ET/PT respectively. Mutual Friends is a six-part comedy series about the dilemma of choosing between family commitment and the impulse to be irresponsible, while exploring the trials and tribulations of modern relationships. No Heroics is a sitcom focused on the lives, loves and aspirations of four friends, who just happen to be unsuccessful, B-list superheroes. How Not to Live Your Life is a quirky comedy centered around the antics of a neurotic, single man with an over-active imagination, who desperately tries but fails to navigate the basics of life.

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"Sound of Music" Sing-Along Showings Set

By admin Published: September 28, 2010

There will be local showings. The official word:

For the first time since 1973, “The Sound of Music” twirls back into theaters nationwide in stunning high definition to commemorate the beloved musical’s 45th anniversary. This special event will be presented in nearly 500 select movie theaters for a two-night-only engagement on Tuesday, October 19 and Tuesday, October 26 at 6:30 p.m. local time. The Sound of Music Sing-Along Event includes the sing-along version of the fully restored feature with classic songs that have delighted fans for decades, such as “Do-Re-Mi,” “My Favorite Things,” “The Sound of Music,” “Edelweiss,” and “Climb Ev’ry Mountain.”

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(Lots of) Stuff I Have Been Watching

By admin Published: September 28, 2010

Notes on "Dancing With the Stars," "House," "HIMYM," "Two and a Half Men," "Mike & Molly," "Hawaii Five-O," "The Amazing Race," "Saturday Night Live" and more, after the jump.

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TV Tuesday

By admin Published: September 28, 2010

The big looking-forward-to-it on TV tonight is, of course, "The Good Wife" season premiere. CBS has promoted it relentlessly but I have not seen a preview. So we'll discuss later.

Also tonight is the premiere of "No Ordinary Family," which I rather like. After the jump I have posted my Beacon Journal column about it.

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Josh Cribbs on "The League"

By admin Published: September 27, 2010

The official word:
One of the National Football League's elite athletes will debut his comedic timing and acting abilities in an episode of FX's "The League" airing September 30 at 10:30PM EST/PST. The edgy comedy, centered on a fictional fantasy football league, will feature Josh Cribbs as himself the upcoming episode.

Cleveland Browns Pro Bowler Josh Cribbs likened the experience to preparing for a football game and studying film. "I prepared for my role by watching episodes from the first season and memorizing my script, but when I stepped on the set, it was like seeing a blitz for the first time. The actors were so talented and funny, so a lot of my lines were improvised."

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Sunday Notebook

By admin Published: September 26, 2010

Another big night for new TV, including season premieres "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," "Desperate Housewives," "Brothers and Sisters"; "The Amazing Race," "Undercover Boss"; Fox's animated shows, and "Dexter." Also, of course, more new "Mad Men," which I have been watching and loving even if I have not been posting much. And the second installment of "Boardwalk Empire," which I recommend. Would say more, but life has been busy.

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Zucker Out at NBC

By admin Published: September 24, 2010

Jeff Zucker, who almost single-handedly ran NBC into the ground, is leaving the network. From NYTimes.com:

Jeff Zucker, the chief executive of NBC Universal, told thecompany's employees in an e-mail Friday morning that he will step down from his position upon the completion of thetakeover of NBC by Comcast.

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New-TV Friday

By admin Published: September 24, 2010

Tonight brings the premiere of "Blue Bloods" on CBS along with the season premieres of "Medium," "CSI:NY" (with new cast member Sela Ward), "Dateline," "The Good Guys," "Smallville" and "Supernatural." The premiere of "School Pride," at one point announced for tonight, will be on Oct. 15.

I have seen "Blue Bloods" and "CSI:NY." I also took a look at the second episode of "Outlaw," which premiered last week. Notes after the jump.

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Lifetime Renews "Army Wives," "Drop Dead Diva"

By admin Published: September 23, 2010

It's been an uncomfortably long wait for "Army Wives" fans (who include The Bride), especially after a season finale which was cliffhanger-free. But the news has come, and it is good for it and "Diva." From the official word:

Lifetime Television has renewed its hit scripted series Army Wives and Drop Dead Diva for their fifth and third seasons, respectively, to premiere in 2011, during which 13 all-new episodes of each program will air on the network. The announcement was made today by Nancy Dubuc, President and General Manager of Lifetime Networks and HISTORY.

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"Survivor" Notes

By admin Published: September 23, 2010

I know, Jimmy Johnson is in the middle of the picture. But the strategizing player to watch this week was Kent State grad Jill, on the left, who made a bold and potentially dangerous move. More about that, cartoon characters and Shannon's stupidity, after the jump.

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Dow's Last Report on "48 Hours Mystery" Saturday

By admin Published: September 23, 2010

From CBS: When 48 HOURS MYSTERY Correspondent Harold Dow died suddenly last month, he was completing more than a year’s work on the intricate tale of Rodney Alcala. On Saturday, Sept. 25 (10:00-11:00 PM ET/PT), 48 HOURS MYSTERY will pay tribute to Dow when it broadcasts his final story, “The Killing Game,” as its season premiere on the CBS Television Network. Featuring Dow’s exclusive interviews with Alcala’s ex-girlfriend, girls Alcala had approached, investigators, and victims’ family members, the season premiere will be presented by Harold’s nephew, Jay Dow, a correspondent for WCBS in New York and a contributor for CBS News.

Continues after the jump.
Rodney Alcala committed his first known crime in Sept. 1968, when Los Angeles Police Officer Chris Camacho was dispatched to a house where police suspected a little girl had been abducted. Inside, Camacho found 8-year-old Tali Shapiro battered, bleeding and barely alive with her throat constricted by a 10 pound steel bar. But while Camacho saved Tali’s life, Rodney Alcala, the monster who was later proven to be responsible, slipped out the back door. The 25-year-old UCLA graduate and photographer eluded the authorities for three years. Finally, after the FBI put him on its Most Wanted List, he was found working as a counselor at a New Hampshire girls’ camp under the alias “John Burger.” He pleaded guilty in 1972 to a lesser charge of child molestation in the Shapiro case and was released after just 34 months. The now registered sex offender had no trouble charming his way back into the swing of things, attending school, working as a photographer and even appearing on the television show “The Dating Game.”

Years later, in the spring of 1979, 12-year-old Robin Samsoe and her friend, Bridget Wilvurt, were approached by a photographer on the beach who wanted to take Robin’s picture. “He honed in on us, like a shark in the water, honing in on a seal,” Bridget says in an exclusive interview with 48 HOURS MYSTERY. The girls managed to walk away, but later that afternoon Robin disappeared. Twelve days later her remains were discovered in a remote location more than 40 miles from where she was last seen. The pressure was on to find the killer.

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New TV: Big Thursday

By admin Published: September 23, 2010

Tonight includes new-series premieres on CBS ("Bleep* My Dad Says"), NBC ("Outsourced") and ABC ("My Generation") along with season premieres on Fox ("Bones," "Fringe"), NBC ("Community," "30 Rock," "The Office"), CBS ("Big Bang Theory," "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "The Mentalist") and ABC ("Grey's Anatomy," "Private Practice"). Short take: Stick with your returning favorite.

Notes on "Big Bang," "Bleep," "Bones," "Community," "My Generation" and "Outsourced," all of which I have seen, after the jump. along with a reminder of how much I like "Modern Family."

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"Sesame Street" Drops Katy Perry Video

By admin Published: September 23, 2010

The video, shown below, apparently raised concerns because of Perry's cleavage:

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HeldenFiles Live!

By jim Published: September 23, 2010

Talking about the new OMD, "Castle" books, the book "Tawdry Knickers," Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, and Will Schuester Hair Gel.

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Dancing with the Stars recap

By jim Published: September 22, 2010

It's Official: Lopez, Tyler Join "Idol"; Show Still Produced Ineptly

By admin Published: September 22, 2010

I sat in on the online stream of the announcement of the judges (Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler, Randy Jackson). It was slow getting up video, even slower with audio, which didn't come on until Lopez, the last of the three announced, was winding up her remarks. Set your DVRs for extra-long now.

The official word, from Fox:

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Notes on New-TV Wednesday

By admin Published: September 22, 2010

Tonight brings the series premieres of "The Defenders" on CBS, "Undercovers" on NBC and "Better With You" and "The Whole Truth" on ABC.

Also, the season premieres of "The Middle," "Modern Family" and "Cougar Town"; "Law & Order: SVU" (two hours); "Hell's Kitchen" and "Criminal Minds."

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If You Want To SEE Today's "American Idol" Announcement ...

By admin Published: September 22, 2010

It will be online. Says the show:

AMERICAN IDOL will offer fans a look at the AMERICAN IDOL Season 10 Team Reveal and Press Conference with a special live webcast powered by . .. Wednesday, Sept. 22 (approximately 10:00 AM PT live/1:00 PM ET live), online at www.americanidol.com.

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The Official Word on "Criminal Intent"

By admin Published: September 21, 2010

From USA Network:
Vincent D’Onofrio, who portrayed Detective Robert Goren on Dick Wolf’s hit USA Network series LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT for eight seasons, will return for the tenth and final season, it was announced today by Jeff Wachtel, president original programming, USA & co-head original content Universal Cable Productions. USA Network will air eight all new episodes beginning in 2011.

In addition, Universal Cable Productions has made a pilot commitment for a new project with Wolf Films.

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"Dancing With the Stars" Results

By admin Published: September 21, 2010

Spoilers after the jump.

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Notes on New-TV Tuesday

By admin Published: September 21, 2010

Tonight brings the season premieres of "NCIS," "NCIS: Los Angeles,"The Biggest Loser" and -- of the most significance for me -- "Glee," along with the series premieres of "Raising Hope," "Running Wilde," "Detroit 1-8-7." Also: the first results show for "Dancing With the Stars" and the season finale of "Warehouse 13." Notes follow the jump about "Glee," "Raising Hope," "Running Wilde," "Detroit 1-8-7," "DWTS" and "Warehouse 13."

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Hello, New-Season Monday: Viewing Notes

By admin Published: September 20, 2010

Tonight the TV season kicks in. Premieres of "Chase," "The Event," "Mike & Molly," "Lone Star," "Hawaii Five-0" along with the season premieres of "How I Met Your Mother," "Rules of Engagement," "Two and a Half Men," "House," "Dancing With the Stars," "Chuck" and "Castle." Yow. Notes on some of the things I have seen, including the five new series and the season premieres of "House" and "HIMYM," after the jump. Three of them had me thinking about "Lost," not always to their benefit.

New shows:
"Chase" (NBC) certainly has energy, but you would expect that from a show with a name like this. What it doesn't have is any attempt at depth or character. It's simply what its title says: federal marshals chasing bad guys. It gave me no one to care about, no reason to come back for a second week. Not recommended.

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Some Things I've Been Listening To

By admin Published: September 17, 2010

I heard Peter Gammons tout Grace Potter & The Nocturnals on Jim Rome's show. A touting well deserved, as this live peformance of the song "Medicine" -- from their new self-titled CD --indicates:

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Stewart, Colbert Rallies Announcement

By admin Published: September 17, 2010

Stewart's Rally To Restore Sanity

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Stuff I've Been Watching

By admin Published: September 17, 2010

As I have said in various fall-season discussions, I've got something like 12 hours of returning shows I want to watch, along with new series I am interested in. Next week will put the DVRs in overdrive (although I have been working my way through some previews and hope to post some notes along the way). But even this week has had a lot to talk about, including: season finales of "The Closer," "Rizzoli & Isles," "Covert Affairs"; the season premieres of "Parenthood" and "Survivor" and "Mad Men," which I haven't discussed for a couple of episodes.

Notes on everything except "Mad Men" follow the jump.

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TNT Renews "Memphis Beat"

By admin Published: September 17, 2010

I didn't much care for the show, but others apparently did. The official word:

TNT is ordering a second helping of its hit series MEMPHIS BEAT, starring Jason Lee (My Name Is Earl) and Alfre Woodard (Three Rivers). TNT has ordered 10 episodes for the second season of the series, which also stars DJ Qualls (Hustle & Flow). The show is slated to return in 2011.

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Edwin Newman, R.I.P.

By admin Published: September 15, 2010

The newsman died Aug. 13 but the death has just been announced. An obituary is here. Another is here.

I was an avid reader of Newman's books on language early in my career, and still have my paperback of "Strictly Speaking." After the jump, a story I wrote about Newman in 1996, when he was hosting a TV version of Weekly World News. Yes, you read that right.

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"Food Feuds" Sets Skyway/Swenson's TV Date

By admin Published: September 15, 2010

According to a Food Network rep, the burger-battle segment will be in the Nov. 25 telecast. As I mentioned in a previous post, the Barberton chicken face-off, between Belgrade Gardens and Hopocan Gardens, will be on Nov. 4.

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New TV: "Outlaw"

By admin Published: September 15, 2010

The series starring Jimmy Smits gets a special showing of the pilot tonight, when it can have an "America's Got Talent" finale as a lead-in. ("Parenthood" was given the same boost last night.) The pilot will then be repeated on Friday, in the series' customary time slot. I have posted my review from Sunday's Beacon Journal below, but I want to expand on a point it makes.

That is, television is very much a character-driven medium. Even a plot-heavy show like "Lost" depended tremendously on our attachment to the characters or to the actors who play them. One reason I want to see more of "Detroit 1-8-7," another series with some evident flaws, is Michael Imperioli's character and performance are good. I'll watch "Raising Hope" more because of Martha Plimpton's character, and "Hawaii Five-O" because Scott Caan is a charismatic Danno -- far more interesting than Alex O'Loughlin's McGarrett.

That should explain why my review of "Outlaw" is kinder than some others you will see. (Example: This from my friend Maureen Ryan of AOL TV.) But Ryan acknowledged the power of stars and characters over some viewers when she posted on Facebook: "Finishing up my list of Outlaw's Crimes Against Television. Posts Weds. My mom gets so mad when I rip on Jimmy Smits shows. Sorry mom."

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HeldenFiles Live!

By admin Published: September 14, 2010

A "House" cane, notes on returning shows I plan to watch, "Glee" on DVD, more. And a weird camera angle which made me think of Count Floyd -- or that I just have gigantic hands.

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TCM's Osborne, Ann Rutherford Visit Kent

By admin Published: September 13, 2010


The official word: Classic movie fans and supporters of the Kent State University Museum will have the rare opportunity to personally meet Robert Osborne, the host of Turner Classic Movies, and Ann Rutherford, who played Scarlett O’Hara’s younger sister Carreen in “Gone with the Wind” on Saturday, Sept. 25, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the museum.

The two celebrities, who are attending the museum’s 25th anniversary gala that evening as special guests, will be available to talk with fans and sign autographs to support the museum and its highly anticipated original exhibition Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage and Screen. Attendees of the private 25 Years of Dazzle gala will preview the exhibition before its Oct. 2 opening.

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"Food Feuds" Premieres Oct. 14; Barberton chicken Nov. 4

By admin Published: September 13, 2010

You may have been following Lisa Abraham's reporting on the local tapings of segments for this Food Network competition. which premieres Oct. 14 following a "sneak peek" on Oct. 10. The burger battle is here. The Barberton chicken faceoff is here.

The Barberton segment is set for Nov. 4. I am trying to get a date for the burger duel.

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Phoenix Revisits Letterman

By admin Published: September 13, 2010

You must have seen his previous appearance, pictured above. If not, CBS is replaying it before his return.

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Glass Harp Reunion; Raspberries' Wally Bryson To Sit In -- Maybe (Updated)

By admin Published: September 13, 2010

UPDATE: After receiving the official word posted below, I received a follow-up note saying it's not official that Bryson will play with Glass Harp. Doesn't mean he won't play. Or that he will. Just that it's no longer official, and therefore in the realm of maybe.

The official word: Glass Harp, the legendary 1970s progressive-rock band will reunite for a fund-raising concert for the Cleveland Heights-based education organization Roots of American Music (ROAM). Guitarist Phil Keaggy, Bassist Dan Pecchio and drummer John Sferra will perform Saturday, October 9, at the Beachland Ballroom (15711 Waterloo Rd., Cleveland), as part of ROAM’s annual Benefit for Education, which will also include a silent auction of many music-related items, and a dinner in the adjoining Beachland Tavern for VIP ticket holders.

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A Busy Sunday

By admin Published: September 12, 2010

From today's Beacon Journal, on Ohio.com:


An overview of the fall broadcast TV season
. Short descriptions of new shows are here. Dates for returning shows are here.

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Max Weinberg Coming to Kent Stage

By admin Published: September 11, 2010

The drummer, noted for his work with Bruce Springsteen and for Conan O'Brien, arrives Nov. 4 at 8 p.m.

Tickets on-sale now at www.kentstage.org
$40.00 Gold Circle and $30.00 Reserved

The Kent Stage is located at 175 East Main Street in downtown Kent, Ohio. There is FREE parking behind the theater and on all city streets after 6PM. Tickets are available 24-hours a day at www.kentstage.org or call 1-800-595-4849. After initial on-line sales, Woodsy's Music and Spin-More Records go on sale. If not sold-out, tickets also be available at the door. Doors open one hour before concert. If you have any questions please email us at wrfaa@yahoo.com or tom@kentstage.org or call 330-677-5005.

As for Max, his official word goes like this:

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"106 & Park" 10th Anniversary Plans

By admin Published: September 10, 2010


The official anniversary is Saturday, a date with more somber connations, so BET will mark it with specials in October.

From the network: This Fall marks the 10-year anniversary of BET Network’s wildly-successful music countdown show, 106 & PARK. Since 2000, 106 & PARK has provided audiences and fans across the country with celebrity interviews, the hottest music videos, the biggest names in film and television and performances by the best entertainers in the business. Hosted by Terrence and Rocsi, 106 & PARK has become THE destination for today’s brightest stars including Jay Z, Diddy, Rihanna, Denzel Washington, Madonna, Beyonce, Chris Brown, Queen Latifah, Will Ferrell, Lady Gaga, Halle Berry, Kanye West, Justin Timberlake, Lebron James, Whitney Houston, 50 Cent, Sienna Miller, Will Smith, Drake, Katie Holmes, Trey Songz, Kirk Franklin, Snoop Dogg, Jennifer Lopez and many, many others.

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"America's Got Talent" Tour Set

By admin Published: September 10, 2010

There's a Columbus date (schedule is after the jump) but nothing in NE Ohio so far.

The official word: Following weeks of heavy competition and breathtaking performances on NBC’s #1 hit television show America’s Got Talent, the Top 10 performers from this season’s cast will embark on the first ever nationwide tour, America’s Got Talent Live. This all-star roster of the country’s most dynamic entertainers, one of whom will soon be crowned as this season’s winner, will join tour host Jerry Springer throughout 25 cities beginning October 1st at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland, CA. Tickets to this premiere event, presented by AEG Live, are on sale now and can be purchased via http://agt.aeglive.com/.

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Thursday Notebook

By admin Published: September 9, 2010

Odds and ends from the e-mail...

Cleveland's Hal Holbrook -- fine actor, great gentleman -- will recur on "The Event," NBC's heavily promoted new series. Says NBC: "Holbrook will play Dempsey, a businessman with shadowy intentions, who will be revealed as an antagonist to President Martinez (Blair Underwood) beginning with his first scheduled appearance on October 11."

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Syfy Moves Up "Caprica" Return

By admin Published: September 9, 2010

From the network:

The highly anticipated return of Syfy’s critically-acclaimed series Caprica will come even sooner than anticipated. The second half of season one will now premiere on Tuesday, October 5, 2010 at 10:00PM ET/PT, the channel announced today. Fans will no longer have to wait until January to watch the series exciting kick-off, as the citizens of Caprica deal with the chaotic aftermath of the mid-season finale’s harrowing events.

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TNT Orders "Dallas" Pilot

By admin Published: September 8, 2010

The official word: TNT and TBS are going into production on four series pilots, including projects from such successful producers and writers as Dean Devlin (TNT’s Leverage and The Librarian movie trilogy); Marco Schnabel (TNT’s The Librarian movie trilogy); Kenneth Biller and Mike Sussman (Star Trek: Voyager); Allan Loeb (The Switch, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps); and Cynthia Cidre (The Mambo Kings, A Killing in a Small Town).

TNT has lined up pilots for a pair of unique crime procedural pilots, PERCEPTION (working title) and an untitled Allan Loeb project. The network is also moving forward on a pilot for DALLAS, an updated version of the classic TV series. Meanwhile, TBS has a pilot in the works for BRAIN TRUST (working title), a comedic detective series.

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Piers Morgan Gets Larry King's Time Slot

By admin Published: September 8, 2010

Best known for "America's Got Talent" and "Celebrity Apprentice," Morgan has long been on the speculative short list of King's successors.

Here's a little sidelight, though. Back in 2008, when Morgan won "Celebrity Apprentice," Caitlin Johnson wrote for Todayshow.com that Morgan was not a genuine celebrity: "Morgan won’t connect with the American viewing public. After a few weeks, he will go back to merely being the cranky British judge on 'America’s Got Talent.' Or maybe there is room in our silly American hearts for another Simon Cowell."

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"Grindhouse" on Blu-ray

By admin Published: September 8, 2010

You may remember the movie, meant to be an homage to exploitation films, consisting of a double feature of "Planet Terror" (directed by Robert Rodriguez) and "Death Proof" (from Quentin Tarantino); the movie also included a trailer which was the first screen appearance of "Machete," now a hit feature film. . . .

Continues after the jump.

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Amy Poehler To Host "SNL" Season Premiere

By admin Published: September 7, 2010

The official word from NBC also includes the announcement of new cast members, but not a list of returning ones.

From NBC: NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” kicks off its 36th season on September 25 with Amy Poehler returning to studio 8H and musical guest Katy Perry. Making their debut on the SNL stage, Vanessa Bayer, Paul Brittain, Taran Killam, and Jay Pharoah will join the cast as featured players. . . .

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"Survivor" III and IV Coming to DVD

By admin Published: September 7, 2010

Reality shows have not for the most part done well on DVD, and the release of "Survivor" sets has been erratic at best. So it makes sense to offer two new sets (Africa and Marquesas; Ethan and Vecepia) from early seasons in an on-demand package. The official word:

“The tribe has spoken!” CreateSpace, part of the Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) group of companies, and CBS Home Entertainment today announced the DVD release of the third and fourth seasons of reality show phenomenon “Survivor,” exclusively via CreateSpace’s DVD on Demand technology. Fans have long been requesting these titles, and now both “Survivor III: Africa” and “Survivor IV: Marquesas” are coming to DVD on September 28, 2010 with all of the original series’ episodes, as well as gripping bonus features including complete exit interviews and never before aired behind-the-scenes footage. Both DVD releases are now available for pre-order on Amazon.com, one of CreateSpace’s distribution channels available to its members (SRP $34.95 each).

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Kazan Documentary, Box Set Coming

By admin Published: September 7, 2010

Elia Kazan, the often brilliant but controversial director, will get a couple of major showcases. The official word:

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and THIRTEEN’s “American Masters” series today announced that they have acquired A Letter to Elia, Martin Scorsese’s new documentary exploring the life and talent of Oscar-winning director Elia Kazan. The film, co-directed by Scorsese and Kent Jones, made its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival and its North American premiere at the Telluride Film Festival. It is also an official selection of the New York Film Festival where it will screen alongside Kazan’s America, America on September 27th. . . .

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Stephanopoulos To Interview President Obama in Cleveland

By admin Published: September 7, 2010

From ABC: This week as President Barack Obama unveils new initiatives to rebuild the economy and create jobs, “Good Morning America” co-anchor George Stephanopoulos will conduct an exclusive interview with the President in Cleveland, Ohio. The interview will be featured on “Good Morning America” on THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 9. Viewers can submit questions for Mr. Obama here.

Stephanopoulos, by the way, is a former Clevelander. The president is due in town on Wednesday.

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HeldenFiles Live!

By admin Published: September 7, 2010

A "Bozo" book, fond memories of vinyl records, some plugs -- and, however poorly I may use them, Shakespearean finger puppets.

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Complete "Larry Sanders Show" To DVD

By admin Published: September 7, 2010

It has been three years since the release of the first season of "The Larry Sanders Show," the great comedy starring Garry Shandling, and of a best-of compilation. So it's about time that the complete series was released. The details from Shout! Factory:

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Ready for "Storm Riders"?

By admin Published: September 7, 2010

From the Weather Channel: The Weather Channel (TWC) presents the season one debut of “Storm Riders,” premiering Saturday, Sept. 11, at 8 p.m. ET. This thrilling storm-chasing series will take viewers on the road with two young maverick scientists Juston and Simon on their quest for tornadoes and hurricanes. Produced by Peacock Productions, “Storm Riders” is a raw, behind-the-scenes series that follows meteorologists Juston and Simon on their journey across state lines, battling heavy rain, hail and dangerous lightning along the way. Armed with nothing more than meteorology degrees, maps and smartphones, Simon and Juston must rely on their smarts and gut instincts to get them to the center of the storm.

Storm chasing is not a hobby but a way of life for Simon and Juston as they hit the road, driving an average of 2,400 miles a week, racing into the dangers of a storm and dodging other chaser vehicles for hours on end on very little sleep. Simon has chased storms for more than a decade and has witnessed hundreds of tornadoes, intercepting the eyes of three major hurricanes, including Hurricane Katrina. Juston has been chasing storms for more than 5 years and still revels in taking on Mother Nature’s fury and predicting where the next storm will develop.

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"Steven Seagal Lawman" Sets Second Season

By admin Published: September 7, 2010

From A&E:

Hit Real-Life series “Steven Seagal Lawman” returns to A&E for a second season, chronicling martial arts expert and international film star Steven Seagal’s extraordinary life in law enforcement, premiering Wednesday, October 6th at 10PM ET/PT with back-to-back episodes.

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Phil Harris's Sons Expand "Deadliest Catch" Roles

By admin Published: September 7, 2010

From Discovery:

Discovery Channel President and General Manager Clark Bunting announced that Josh and Jake Harris, the sons of Captain Phil Harris, will expand their participation in DEADLIEST CATCH. The Harris's had fished with their father as deckhands on F/V Cornelia Marie and been featured on DEADLIEST CATCH during the past several seasons of the series. With this new agreement, Josh and Jake Harris will continue their involvement in the series and ultimately, increase their experience on the sea with the hopes of becoming captains.

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Haggard, McCartney, Oprah Among Kennedy Center Honorees

By admin Published: September 7, 2010

The official word from CBS: Singer and songwriter Merle Haggard; composer and lyricist Jerry Herman; dancer, choreographer and director Bill T. Jones; songwriter and musician Paul McCartney; and producer, television host and actress Oprah Winfrey will receive honors for 2010, on THE 33RD ANNUAL KENNEDY CENTER HONORS to be broadcast Tuesday, Dec. 28 (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. The special has been broadcast on CBS each year since its debut.

Continues after the jump.

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ABC News President Westin Resigning

By admin Published: September 6, 2010

Lots of changes at the network these days. Washington Post story is here. And here's David Westin's memo to staff:

A month ago I told Bob Iger and Anne Sweeney that the time has come for me to step down as President of ABC News. Leading you has been a great privilege and a solemn responsibility -- a responsibility that I tried to fulfill for over thirteen years by doing what I believed was best for this important news organization. I will root for your continued success long after I am gone.

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How's Your Labor Day Weekend?

By admin Published: September 6, 2010

Ours was taken up with a family visit -- Target Demo and her gentleman friend -- and activities surrounding same.

Braving the Hartville flea market on Saturday -- one of its biggest days of the year, but we got very lucky with parking -- and lunch at Hartville Kitchen. U of Akron football game Saturday evening. Not a thrill; an ugly, ugly loss. And ot remotely a sell-out. To be sure, it was a holiday weekend, so students were away, and no one seriously expected Akron to beat Syracuse. Still, it was the home opener. We'll see how things look next time around, when it's a regular weekend and a supposedly easy opponent.

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"Babies" DVD/BD Details

By admin Published: September 3, 2010

From Universal: Experience joy at its purest in Babies, a life-affirming celebration of wonder and innocence. Directed by award-winning filmmaker Thomas Balmès, Babies travels the globe following four newborns simultaneously from different corners of the world – Ponijao from Namibia, Bayarjargal from Mongolia, Mari from Tokyo, and Hattie from San Francisco. . . .

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Alloy Orchestra Plays Along With "Metropolis"

By admin Published: September 2, 2010

From Cleveland Cinematheque: The Alloy Orchestra is a three-man, Boston band whom Roger Ebert has called "the best in the world at accompanying silent films." This internationally-known trio returns to Cleveland on Thursday, September 23, to accompany a newly restored version of Fritz Lang's 1927 silent sci-fi spectacle Metropolis in a special Cleveland Cinematheque show at the Capitol Theatre (1390 W. 65th St.) starting at 7:00 pm.

The Complete Metropolis, as this new restoration is called, is 25 minutes -- and 25% -- longer than all previous restorations of Lang's futuristic German classic. . . .

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Jeff Daniels Making Music at Kent Stage

By admin Published: September 2, 2010

And, before you think otherwise, this is indeed Jeff Daniels, not that other music-making-actor, Jeff Bridges. The basic info:

Wednesday, October 13 @ The Kent Stage
175 E Main, Kent, OH 44240
http://www.kentstage.org
Show Time: 8 p.m.
Tickets: $25 / All Ages

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Akron Art Museum Sets Rock Photog Exhibit (Updated)

By admin Published: September 2, 2010

The official word begins below. I asked if this touring exhibit will include work by local rock-photo legends Janet Macoska and George Shuba, or not-local-but-great Martin Benjamin (whose photo of Sam & Dave is one of my cherished possessions). Here's the answer I got:

The Who Shot Rock & Roll exhibition that was curated by the Brooklyn Museum does not include those mentioned photographers. However, we will show 2 of Janet Macoska’s photographs in our Corbin Gallery separate from the Brooklyn Museum show. Also, we are working with Scene Magazine on a NE Ohio-specific exhibition that will run Nov 6-Dec 6 at the We Gallery and will include photographs of Ken Blaze, Jay Brown, Bob Ferrell, Neal Hamilton, Janet Macoska, Keith Marlowe, Karen Novak, Anastasia Pantsios, Stephanie Saniga, George Shuba and Linda Woods.

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Jane Lynch Visits "iCarly"

By admin Published: September 2, 2010

The Emmy winner, best known for "Glee," seems to be one of those performers who does not turn down work. (As I noted recently, neither does Fred Willard, like Lynch a member of the Christopher Guest stock company.) And an upcoming gig is on Nickelodeon's "iCarly," as Sam's mom, Pam. The official word:

iCarly fans will finally be able to put a face to the much talked-about name when Emmy Award-winning actress Jane Lynch (Glee) guest-stars as Pam Puckett, Sam’s never-before-seen, eccentric mother, in “iSam’s Mom,” premiering Saturday, Sept. 11, at 8 p.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon. When tempers boil over during an argument between Sam and Pam, Sam unexpectedly moves in with Carly and Spencer. She quickly overstays her welcome and it’s up to Carly to figure out how to bring the feisty mother-daughter duo back together. Nickelodeon’s iCarly ranks as the number-one live-action series on television with kids 2-11 and is the network’s top show among kids 6-11 and tweens 9-14 year-to-date.

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"Life Unexpected," "One Tree Hill" Set October Crossover

By admin Published: September 2, 2010

Bay Village's Kate Voegele is part of it. From The CW:

Grammy Award-winner Sarah McLachlan performs her new single “Forgiveness” in the “Life Unexpected” crossover episode with “One Tree Hill,” which is currently filming in Vancouver. The episode will air Tuesday, October 12 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET) on The CW. Also singing in the episode will be “One Tree Hill” series star Bethany Joy Galeotti (Haley) and recurring guest star Kate Voegele (Mia), along with Ben Lee and Rain Perry (singer/songwriter of the “Life Unexpected” theme song).

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A Fall 2010 Viewing Calendar

By admin Published: September 1, 2010

Here, as closely as I can determine, is how the fall TV premieres will roll out. I will modify it if changes occur or if I learn of a mistake.

At this writing, two fall shows, ABC's "Body of Proof" and "Secret Millionaire," do not have premiere dates. And you "Friday Night Lights" fans can find its fifth and seemingly final season on DirecTV beginning Oct. 27; reruns from previous seasons begin Sept. 7 on ABC Family.

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CMA Awards Nominees Announced

By admin Published: September 1, 2010

Miranda Lambert was tops with nine nominations. Full list after the jump. The awards air Nov. 10 on ABC.

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"Dancing With the Stars" Partners Announced

By admin Published: September 1, 2010

The official word:

· MICHAEL BOLTON, Grammy ® Award-winning singer, teams up with CHELSIE HIGHTOWER, who returns for her fourth season.

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"Amazing Race" Teams Announced

By admin Published: September 1, 2010

The official word: CBS announced today the 11 new teams competing in the next installment of THE AMAZING RACE, which premieres with a special 90-minute debut on Sunday, Sept. 26 (8:30-10:00 PM, ET/PT). Phil Keoghan is the host.

This season's cast of Racers will travel over 32,000 miles, covering four continents and 30 cities, with first-time visits to Bangladesh, Ghana and the Arctic Circle. Additionally, for the first time in the history of the Race, the Team to finish in first place during the premiere episode will be awarded a surprise, game-changing advantage.

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