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Straight Out of Lackawanna and Other Viewing Notes

By admin Published: October 30, 2009

Above, the "Male Prima Donna" video. Three minutes of "Office" merriment. After the jump, notes on "The Office," "30 Rock," "Grey's Anatomy," "Survivor: Samoa" and "CSI." And, before we get there, you can find my latest chat with Lynne Sherwin about "Dancing With the Stars" here.

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"Chuck" S2 on DVD, "True Jackson" Returns

By admin Published: October 29, 2009

More notes from the mail, including the announcement of a "Chuck" set with the 3-D telecast:

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Thursday Notebook

By admin Published: October 29, 2009

The Deschanel sisters team up for "Bones," "Glee" goes gold, more love from me for "Modern Family," a link to the mailbag and a video for the folks at the Beacon Journal, all after the jump. And, what did you think of the new "Friday Night Lights"?

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Universal Opens Vaults for DVD (Some)

By admin Published: October 28, 2009

I have previously mentioned my admiration for Warner Bros.' offering many titles on a made-to-order basis. Now Universal, with TCM, is jumping a little ways into the game. Details after the jump.

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"District 9" Blu-ray To Have "God of War III" Demo

By admin Published: October 28, 2009

Details after the jump.

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Black Keys To Star at Benefit

By admin Published: October 28, 2009


From WAPS-FM this morning:

91.3 The Summit is proud to support "The Wild World of Alfred McMoore: a Multimedia Retrospective to Benefit Community Support Services featuring the Black Keys" on Friday, November 27th at Musica, in downtown Akron, at 6:00 p.m. Guests will have an opportunity to view outsider artist Alfred McMoore's unusual drawings and see Akron's own Black Keys in an intimate club setting, all while benefiting Community Support Services.

Alfred McMoore was a longtime friend of the band who often used the term "black key," the inspiration for their name. He passed away in September, but he will be remembered on the 27th, when his sprawling pencil and crayon drawings will be on display in the upstairs galleries at Musica.

Although he had mental health issues throughout his life, McMoore was able to live independently with the help of Community Support Services. Proceeds from the Musica show will benefit more than 2,000 people currently being treated by Community Support Services in Northeast Ohio.

Tickets for this exclusive show will be available starting at $50 this Saturday, October 31st at ticketweb.com.

A limited number of tickets will be available at different price tiers that include signed CDs, t-shirts, and a post-show meet and greet with the Black Keys. Go to akronmusica.com for details.

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Talking Television

By admin Published: October 28, 2009

This week's video: memories of Soupy Sales, a few thoughts about "Friday Night Lights," some new DVD, a couple of books and a Wanda Sykes bobblehead!

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"This Is It": Yes, And That's a Shame ...

By admin Published: October 28, 2009

... because there might have been so much more. After the jump, notes about a film which marvelously promotes a concert and tour that will never happen.

NOTE: The material after the jump was written soon after I watched the movie on Tuesday night. A revised and expanded version, done for the Beacon Journal print editions, has been posted on Ohio.com and can be found here.

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"Friday Night Lights" Returns

By admin Published: October 27, 2009

After the jump, in case you missed it, is my Beacon Journal column tied to the fourth-season premiere, on DirecTV on Wednesday...

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"The Amazing Race"

By admin Published: October 26, 2009

If you are thinking about being on "The Amazing Race," please take a close look at this picture. Commit it to memory. The show likes to challenge contestants. If you are afraid of heights, there's a pretty good chance you will face a situation where you have to deal with heights. If you hate the water, there's a chance you will find yourself on or in the water. If you're a picky eater ... well, you know where this is going. See me after the jump.

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Monday Notebook

By admin Published: October 26, 2009

Items from new and backlogged e-mail,after the jump, including DVD news about "Glee" and "Julie & Julia," and some grim kids-TV news from Nielsen.

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"Mad Men"

By admin Published: October 26, 2009

Notes on a couple of intense episodes, after the jump.

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Back From the Road

By admin Published: October 26, 2009

The above is a rather cool-looking building in Sugar Loaf,  NY, where we spent part of a long weekend of traveling and visiting two of our three children. The trip took us from Ohio to Claryville, NY, then to Butler, NJ, with part of a day in Chester, NY, and Sugar Loaf, shopping near Paramus and finally back to Butler and, on Sunday, home. Rainy on Saturday (buckets in the evening) but a gorgeous, sunny drive back on Sunday, with lots of beautiful landscapes along the way.

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"Dancing with the Stars," Other Notes

By admin Published: October 21, 2009

Lynne Sherwin and I talk about Natalie, the wacky judges and other topics ....

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Talking Television

By admin Published: October 21, 2009

Join me as I talk about the return of Sharona to "Monk," some new DVDs and Los Lobos going Disney.

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Sunday Morning Notebook

By admin Published: October 18, 2009

Couple of DVD accounts in today's Beacon Journal. A discussion of a new Rock and Roll Hall of Fame set is here. As I indicated, the set is something of a nightmare organizationally. But it is full of cool stuff, and what I thought would be brief checks of this or that disc usually turned into prolonged visits to different items. My weekly DVD column, which includes a "Transformers" box set and a "Vega$" collection, is here. I'll be talking about some other DVD titles in my weekly online video on Tuesday.

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Saturday Notebook

By admin Published: October 17, 2009

After getting through the grocery shopping and a few other things, the wearying previous week and the damp weather caught up with the bride and me. Quiet afternoon indoors, with some pizza and a lot of football, including two local losses -- Ohio State to Purdue, and Akron to Buffalo -- and the thrill-packed ending to the USC-Notre Dame game. Also, some reading of Edith Wharton, "The House of Mirth," which is for a class but quite enjoyable.

Have also been catching up on some viewing in recent days, including "Lie to Me," "The Good Wife," "Bones" and three previous episodes of "House," which I had been letting pile up. Some notes after the jump.

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Friday Notebook

By admin Published: October 16, 2009

(Just realized I never changed this from draft status to publishing. Erps. Here it is now.) Another video of me and Lynne Sherwin talking "Dancing With the Stars" is here. After the jump, thoughts re Thursday's "The Office," "Community" and "CSI."

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"30 Rock" Returns, Other Notes

By admin Published: October 15, 2009

After the jump is my Beacon Journal column from Sunday about "30 Rock." As I mentioned in my most recent "Talking television" video, I'm not thrilled with the beginning of the new season. The column offers some details.

Does anyone else find this sponsorship deal as funny as I do:

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Thursday Morning Notebook

By admin Published: October 15, 2009

You can find a link to the mailbag in a previous post. My review of "Where
the Wild Things Are," which I liked, is here. My immediate reaction to the movie was "Very cool." The review tries to explain why, but probably neglects to make the "Very cool" clear.

Some Wednesday viewing notes after the jump.

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Baseball Video Notes

By admin Published: October 14, 2009

From the folks at Major League Baseball:

For the first time ever, all 65 years worth of official World Series films will be available as a complete package in a new DVD set.

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It's Not Thursday ...

By admin Published: October 14, 2009

But you can already find my mailbag column online. So it may be time to come up with a new opening line.

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Talking television

By admin Published: October 14, 2009

Video topics include "30 Rock's" return, a documentary on Joan Baez, which airs on PBS tonight, a few new DVD releases and the great Andy Griffith in "A Face in the Crowd."

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"Mad Men": The Suit

By admin Published: October 14, 2009

Yep, a suit in the "Mad Men" style, for $998 (or about $144 in 1963). Here's the word from AMC and Brooks Brothers:
Brooks Brothers, the iconic American brand, launches a Limited “Mad Men Edition” Suit designed with award winning Costume Designer Janie Bryant of the critically acclaimed Lionsgate Television series that airs domestically on AMC. Mad Men has earned numerous awards including two consecutive Emmys for Outstanding Drama Series and two consecutive Golden Globes for Best Television series.

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Viewing File: "HIMYM," "Big Bang Theory," "Dancing With the Stars" (Updated)

By admin Published: October 13, 2009

VERY fun "How I Met Your Mother" and "Big Bang Theory." The "It Was the Best Night Ever" video, above, isn't quite in the league with "Let's Go to the Mall" or "Sandcastles in the Sand," but it's still amusing. More after the jump. ...

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Viewing Notebook: "Mad Men"

By admin Published: October 13, 2009

Thoughts after the jump.

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Tuesday Notes

By admin Published: October 13, 2009

I'll post later about "Mad Men," "How I Met Your Mother," "The Big Bang Theory" and some other viewing. For now, items from the e-mail:

The ABC Television Network announced full season pick-up orders for new drama “FlashForward” and comedies “Cougar Town,” “The Middle” and “Modern Family.” So says a release. Am happy about "Modern Family," which I like a lot, and "The Middle," which I like some. Have quit on "Cougar Town" and am backed up with viewing of "FlashForward."

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"The Amazing Race" and Other Viewing Notes

By admin Published: October 11, 2009

Comments and spoilers from tonight's "Amazing Race," and a few words about the past week's "Grey's Anatomy," "Private Practice" and "The Good Wife" ...

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More Viewing: "Parks and Recreation," "CSI," "Survivor: Samoa"

By admin Published: October 9, 2009

Additional notes from a packed Thursday after the jump. ...

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"The Office" Wedding, "Community," "Bones"

By admin Published: October 9, 2009

Working my way through Thursday, after the jump.

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Video: "Dancing With the Stars"

By admin Published: October 8, 2009

Here's a new video of me and Lynne Sherwin talking about "DWTS."

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More Thursday Notes

By admin Published: October 8, 2009

According to a Twitter post by one of the show's producers, "Modern Family" has gotten a full-season pickup. Excellent news, since -- as you know -- I really like the show. Less cheerful: Report, also on Twitter, that "Southland" has gotten the ax, and its second season wasn't even due to start airing for another week. Zap2it is also confirming the cancellation, and saying six new episodes were completed before the show was dumped.

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Thursday Notebook

By admin Published: October 8, 2009

Today's mailbag is here. Questions and answers about getting obscure Warner Bros. movies, "The Rifleman," "Amerika," and Craig T. Nelson's most recent TV project.

I have been thinking about sitcoms this morning, and the form is on a pretty good roll in terms of quality. I dropped "Accidentally on Purpose" after one episode and "Cougar Town" after two, and two new episodes of "30 Rock" did not enthrall. But I am getting laughs from "Big Bang Theory," "How I Met Your Mother," "Community," "The Office," "Parks and Recreation," "Modern Family" and "The Middle." Last night's "Modern Family" was another delight; I know I have already praised Ed O'Neill, but look at what he was doing in the group hug scene. He and Ty Burrell are becoming a great tandem. The kids are getting some good business, especially Manny (the delightful Rico Rodriguez). And the Costco scenes were both funny and very real. I was checking out a local discount warehouse over the weekend, and got just as giddy over at least one marked-down item as Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) did on the show.

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"NCIS:LA," "The Good Wife" To Keep Going; Notes on "Lie to Me," "Glee"

By admin Published: October 7, 2009

From CBS today:

CBS has given full season orders to NCIS: LOS ANGELES and THE GOOD WIFE, the top two new series of the 2009-2010 season.
NCIS: LOS ANGELES, the No.1 new program of the season and ranked second among all primetime programs, is averaging 17.47 million viewers, 4.1/11 in adults 18-49 and 5.6/13 in adults 25-54 over its three broadcasts. NCIS: LOS ANGELES has won its Tuesday (9:00-10:00 PM) time period in viewers and adults 25-54 every week this season and placed first in adults 18-49 twice.
THE GOOD WIFE, the No. 2 new series of the season, is averaging 13.70 million viewers, 3.0/8 in adults 18-49 and 4.2/11 in adults 25-54, winning its Tuesday (10:00-11:00 PM) time period in all key measures every week.
NCIS: LOS ANGELES stars Chris O'Donnell, LL COOL J, Linda Hunt, Peter Cambor, Adam Jamal Craig and Daniela Ruah. Shane Brennan and R. Scott Gemmill are executive producers for CBS Television Studios.
THE GOOD WIFE stars Julianna Margulies, Christine Baranski, Josh Charles, Archie Panjabi, Matt Czuchry, Makenzie Vega and Graham Phillips. Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, Dee Johnson, Robert King, Michelle King, Brooke Kennedy and David Zucker are executive producers for CBS Television Studios
.

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Talking television

By admin Published: October 6, 2009

Another new video. This one has comments about "Glee," reality television, several new DVD releases (including a Paul Newman box and "Not Quite Hollywood") and David Alan Grier's new book.

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"Dancing With the Stars" Results

By admin Published: October 6, 2009

In progress notes, after the jump ...

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More "Flashpoint," J. Hudson Christmas Special, Other Tuesday Notes

By admin Published: October 6, 2009

From CBS today:

CBS has renewed the police drama FLASHPOINT, ordering 13 episodes for broadcast later this season.
Last season, FLASHPOINT won its Friday (9:00-10:00 PM) time period in viewers and key demographics averaging 9.55m viewers, 2.9/08 in adults 25-54 and 2.1/06 in adults 18-49.
FLASHPOINT premiered in July 2008 and became the summer's top original scripted series, averaging 8.03 million viewers and winning its time period against non-Olympic competition.
FLASHPOINT, starring Hugh Dillon, Enrico Colantoni, Amy Jo Johnson and David Paetkau, depicts the emotional journey into the tough, risk-filled lives of a group of cops in the Strategic Response Unit.
FLASHPOINT was originally developed by CTV, Canada's largest privately owned English language broadcast network and Toronto-based Pink Sky Entertainment. For the series, Pink Sky joined forces with Avamar Entertainment in association with CBS Television Studios and CTV. The series has been broadcast concurrently in both the U.S. and Canada.

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Monday Miscellany

By admin Published: October 5, 2009

Here we are at the start of a new TV week, and I still haven't gotten through everything that I planned to watch last week. ...

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"Mad Men"

By admin Published: October 4, 2009

As I said in my last post, I neglected to post about "Mad Men" a week ago, so I am doubling up tonight. Which, after seeing tonight's episode, does not seem like a bad idea ...

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TV Sunday

By admin Published: October 4, 2009

Tonight includes the premiere of "Three Rivers," a CBS medical drama, and the beginning of the "Seinfeld" reunion arc on HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm." Notes after the jump. You can find today's DVD column -- "Anvil: The Story of Anvil," "Ally McBeal" and other topics -- here. And I apologize for not getting around to blogging about last week's "Mad Men"; it was one of those weeks. I'll do some doubling up after tonight's show.

I did check out "Three Rivers," which stars Alex O'Loughlin, who got new fans from his sexy-vampire stint on CBS's short-lived "Moonlight." The show is awful. Set at a heart-transplant clinic in Pittsburgh (and with some scenes set in Cleveland in the premiere), it follows the team dealing with dire situations. It does so slowly, with wooden dialogue and bland performances even from actors like Alfre Woodard and Katherine Moennig who have been much more interesting elsewhere. (The medicine also looks as if it involves enormous dramatic license.) I was checking the clock pretty quickly in this thing, and longing for it to be over well before it was. Not something I'm going to waste DVR space on.

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TV Saturday: "Anvil: The Story of Anvil"

By admin Published: October 3, 2009

The documentary about the Canadian heavy-metal band airs tonight on VH1 and on VH1 Classic. It will then be released on DVD on Tuesday, and it's at the top of my DVD column for Sunday. It's a good, surprisingly touching piece of work as it follows two of the original members of Anvil on their quest to get into the big time which they did not quite achieve in the '80s. Notable moments: Lips trying to bond with more successful rockers, many scenes from a disastrous European tour, a painful meeting with a record-company executive, emotions exploding, and just seeing these guys going from playing their hearts out to their day jobs. I'd recommend this for anyone with rock dreams, as an example of how difficult it is to become a star, no matter how much you want it or how hard you try to get it.

Consumer advisory: I watched the documentary on DVD, so I can't say exactly what VH1 will do in terms of bleeps, pixels and cuts. But it's a show worth seeing, whether you sample it on TV tonight or wait for the DVD.

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Thursday Viewing File, Part 1: "The Office," "Grey's Anatomy," "Parks and Recreation," "Bones," "Private Practice," "Community"

By admin Published: October 2, 2009

Brief notes on the shows mentioned above, following the jump. I hope later to get to "The Mentalist," "Survivor," "SNL Thursday," "CSI" and "Flashforward."

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"Outrage" on HBO

By admin Published: October 2, 2009

The Kirby Dick documentary -- about closeted gay politicians who publicly take anti-gay positions -- will have its HBO premiere on Monday at 9 p.m. After the jump, I have posted my review of the movie from its theatrical run here in June.

Besides the premiere, telecast times on HBO include: Oct. 5 (2:30 a.m.), 8 (1:00 p.m., 8:30 p.m.), 11 (10:30 a.m.), 14 (4:25 a.m.), 15 (6:00 p.m.), 20 (3:30 p.m., 12:05 a.m.), 24 (6:30 p.m.) and 30 (4:00 p.m.). And on HBO2: Oct. 14 (8:00 p.m.), 22 (12:05 a.m.) and 28 (11:00 a.m.)

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Thursday Notebook

By admin Published: October 1, 2009

Before I get into anything else, I have to celebrate last night's episode of "Glee," which musically was the best since the pilot. The one last week did a fine job of blending comedy and drama, but the tunes -- and guest star Kristin Chenoweth -- just tore it up last night. The DVRs at home are getting overloaded, so I've been trying to watch and delete a lot, and I can't quite bring myself to delete that "Glee" yet. I need "Maybe This Time" at least one more time.

While I'm at it, last night's "Modern Family" was also very well done. Lots of comedy, Ty Burrell was great in the whole bicycle scenario (he is so good at looking guilt-ridden), and Ed O'Neill of course sold the ending. Loving this show. "Cougar Town," though, I think I'm done. It's not terrible, but neither is it my brand of humor -- I'm not a big "Scrubs" guy either. I've got enough other comedies I watch without adding this one.

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