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Thursday, August 23, 2007

'Weeds' and 'Californication' Hold Strong

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Showtime's Monday night comedy block held strong a week after the premiere. Although Weeds lost 100,000 viewers from its season opener, it still came in at a respectable 729,000.

Despite the lower lead-in, Californication actually managed to increase its totals -- up to 684,000 from the premiere's 550,000.

These numbers only take into account the first run airing. The same night encore airing, as well as On Demand views bump the totals significantly.

Keywords: Showtime, Californication, Weeds, Ratings, Nielsen, Monday Night

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

HBO Gets 'Big Love' in Sunday Night Ratings

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The exodus of John from Cincinnati, which allowed Big Love's move to Sunday nights has provided instant dividends for HBO.

Big Love pulled in roughly a million more viewers than John and came through with its biggest numbers of the season at 2.34 million.

Entourage took advantage of the improved lead-in coming in slightly over its average with 2.8 million viewers.

Flight of the Conchords was unmoved with just over 1 million viewers.

Keywords: Nielsen, Ratings, HBO, Big Love, Flight of the Conchords, Entourage, Sunday Night

Lieutenant Daniels Gets 'Lost'

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Lance Reddick (Daniels) of The Wire, who has also starred in Oz and The Corner is heading to the island of Lost. No details are known about his character aside from the fact that it will be a recurring role.

Reddick marks the third Oz cast member to visit the island, joining Adebisi (Adewale Akkinnuoye-Agbaje) and Augustus Hill (Harold Perinneau). Although Perrineau will return for the fourth season, former Em City residents have never seemed to last very long on the island.

While we're on the topic of Oz and The Wire, I'm nominating Omar, Wee-Bey, Snoop, Adebisi (in character), O'Reily, and Schillinger as a rescue team. Guarantee they'd take care of 'The Others' within four episodes.

Keywords: Lost, The Wire, Oz, The Corner, HBO, ABC, Lance Reddick, Lieutenant Daniels, Guest Star, Season 4, Season Four

RIP Eddie Griffin...

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Just wanted to pay respect to former NBA player Eddie Griffin, who was just identified as the body in a car accident that took place last week.

A local Philly prospect, I've followed his career from Roman (HS) to Seton Hall to the NBA where he had stops at Minnesota and Houston. He had a huge upside (I thought he was going to be a stud) but some off the court issues resulted in tumultuous NBA career.

Thoughts and condolences to his family and loved ones.

Keywords: Eddie Griffin, Death, Car Accident, NBA, Roman Catholic High School, Seton Hall

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

FX Gets '4 o.z.' of Ryan Murphy

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FX has ordered a pilot for Nip/Tuck creator Ryan Murphy's next project. The show is titled 4 o.z. and is about a family man who decides to get a sex change.

This isn't the first time FX and Murphy have entered the world of transsexuals. Matt (Sean's son) had a sexual relationship with his psychiatrist, only to find out that she wasn't a woman. He later picked up tranny and beat him/her up and then gets whooped on by a group trannies in retaliation.

Keywords: Nip/Tuck, Ryan Murphy, 4 o.z., FX

Kristen Bell Talks 'Heroes'

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TV Guide has an exclusive interview with Kristen Bell (I'm somewhat hurt, considering I've asked her to marry me roughly 17 times) where she talks about her future role in Heroes. The biggest surprise is that she'll appear in 13 episodes and isn't opposed to staying on full time. She also seems much more optimistic about a Veronica Mars film than was previously reported.

Bell on...

Why she chose 'Heroes' over 'Lost'

How do you make the decision between [Lost and Heroes]? Basically, being able to stay in [Los Angeles] was a little bit of a factor for me [in terms of turning down Lost]. But I was honored to even be considered by Lost. I really, really was, because I love that show. But I have social relationships with a lot of the people who work on Heroes, through so many random connections. It was sort of funny that so many of my friends had been working on this show.
On the duration of her stay on 'Heroes'
I think I'm doing 13 as of now. I don't know. Technically, I'm on for the first half of the season, but who knows?
On her willingness to stay on longer
I think I might be. I'm kind of excited to go into this family, because doing a new show always feels a little like switching schools; it's exciting but it's also really nerve-racking. But this feels like I'm transferring to a school that all of my friends already go to.
Keywords: Kristen Bell, Interview, Veronica Mars, Heroes, Elle, Guest Star, Tim Kring, Season Two, Season 2

'Friday Night Lights' Guarantees Victory

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In a brilliant move by NBC/Universal, the DVD release of Friday Night Lights: The Complete First Season will come with a money back guarantee. If you don't like the show, you go to, fill out a form and get your money back (sans shipping and handling).

It's really a genius marketing tactic, not so much to promote the sales of the DVD, but because of the positive buzz a 'money back guarantee' provides. FNL has been a ratings failure and received a second season renewal based solely on its critical acclaim.

How many studios are so confident they'll essentially tell viewers that if they don't like the show, they don't have to pay for it? Even if someone doesn't take advantage of the offer or buy the DVD, at the very least it should peak their curiosity to the point that they'll tune in.

It'll be very interesting to see how it plays out, and if successful, whether it will set a precedent for future cult/critical favorites facing cancellation.

Keywords: Friday Night Lights, Season 1, Season One, The Complete First Season, DVD, Cancel, Cancellation, Canceled, Renewal, Renew, Renewed, NBC, H.G. Bissinger, Season Two, Season 2

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Emmys Get An 'Idol'

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American Idol host Ryan Seacrest is living the life. In addition to the pregame and halftime duties at the Super Bowl (which the Eagles will be in and win), Seacrest will be head man at the Emmy's.

As an avid hater of American Idol, I not only detest Seacrest for his part in ruining prime time television but question his ability to host the Emmy's. These things are supposed to be fronted by comedians, not Reality TV stars.

But I guess with Ian McShane and The Wire getting snubbed, there's no reason to stop screwing things up now.

Keywords: Emmy, Emmy's, Awards, Award Show, American Idol, Ryan Seacrest

Wedding on 'The Corner'

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Earlier this month we spotlighted the redemptive story of Fran Boyd, protagonist of 'The Corner' and Donnie Edwards, the inspiration for Omar. They were wed on August 11th. In a follow up piece, the NY Times highlights the wedding in which David Simon was the best man. Also in attendance where Dominic West (McNulty), Sonja Sohn (Kima) and Andre Royo (Bubbles).

Honestly, this is about as great a story as it gets. I was a fan of Simon's first book and the consequent TV series, Homicide, but it wasn't until The Corner that I realized Simon was the smartest and most important writer in America.

But it hasn't been easy. Simon's gift is the amazing ability to provide a crystal clear look into the parts of America that die a slow, painful death. His work is unapologetic and at times brutal.

Almost ten years later, to find out that Fran Boyd has found redemption is amazing.

It's rare when the man who penned The Corner and The Wire has a chance to say, “Everything has a second act and a third act. And everybody gets to write their endings.”

So when he does, it's a special thing.

Keywords: The Corner, The Wire, HBO, David Simon, Fran Boyd, Omar, Donnie Andrews, Homicide, McNulty, Greggs, Bubs

Dan Guts 'Deadwood' Films Chances

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At this point it's almost beating a dead horse, but Earl Brown's MySpace page has yet another piece of disappointing news regarding the future of Deadwood.

I had a meeting yesterday at an office complex where David Milch's office is located. After completing my scheduled appointment, I stopped by David's to say hello and see what was going on. Luckily, the Maestro was in. And well...

I had been very optimistic that we would be seeing more DEADWOOD episodes, at the least the two promised "movies." I left David's office with my optimism on the wane. It doesn't look good, dear DEADWOOD fans, it doesn't look good...

That ain't to to say the horse is completely dead yet. It is just lying trailside foaming at the nostrils and heaving for breath. Once it is completely dead, I'll try my damnedest to stop beating it.
Keywords: Deadwood, W. Earl Brown, Dan Dority, Al Swearengen, Deadwood Films, Deadwood, Cancel, cancellation, canceled, renew, future, renewed, David Milch, HBO

Showtime: The Best Shit on Television

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Their words, not mine.

And with that kind of slogan and four of the best shows on television (Dexter, Weeds, Californication, Brotherhood), I think its a fair assessment. The network's new motto comes along with a witty commercial.

While it's being touted as a ballsy move, given the content of Californication and HBO's upcoming Tell Me You Love Me, the word shit is pretty tame. It's really funnier than it is shocking. It's high time that advertising kicked the clever slogans and brazenly declare their superiority. I'm personally nominating "F*** Showtime" as HBO's new slogan. Let's just drop the niceties and admit we're all a bunch of cursing fools.

Veronica Mars is a 'Hero'

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Kristen Bell will be joining the cast of Heroes next season in a multiepisode story arc playing a mysterious character by the name of Elle whose intentions are not immediately clear. Elle will fit into the storyline of Peter, Claire and Noah Bennet (HRG).

Despite the fact her critically acclaimed cult hit Veronica Mars never achieved ratings success, Bell has been in high demand since its cancellation, most notably having been pursued by ABC to guest star on Lost. Fans of Deadwood might remember Bell from her two episode stint as a hustler looking to rob Cy's Bella Union (She gets murdered for her troubles).

Aside from her upcoming stint on Heroes, Kristen Bell will become the latest TV star to join Judd Apatow's stacked stable (he's starting a gang of the stars in brilliant cult hits canceled before their time) starring in Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

Keywords: Veronica Mars, Kristen Bell, Heroes, NBC, CW, Judd Apatow, Undeclared, Freaks and Geeks, Arrested Development, The Office, Da Ali G Show, Seth Rogan, Michael Cera, Steve Carell

Audiences McLove 'Superbad'

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Congrats to Judd Apatow, Seth Rogan, Micheal Cera and the rest for coming in #1 at the Box Office.

Between Superbad, Knocked Up and Forty Year Old Virgin, the top tier of television comedies (Arrested Development, Freaks and Geeks, Undeclared, Da Ali G Show, The Office) seem to be imposing their will on the film industry.

It'll be interesting to see if this has any affect in the TV world, where Apatowesque humor has been commercially scorned.

Keywords: Superbad, Michael Cera, Judd Apatow, Seth Rogan, Box Office, Film, Arrested Development, Freaks and Geeks, Undeclared, Da Ali G Show, The Office

'The Wire' Begins Shooting Last Episode

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The Wire has begun shooting its very last episode, set to wrap up on August 31st. As sad a thought as that may be, Pat Moran and Associates have placed an open casting call for extras on Craigslist.

All Interested Extras for HBO's "The Wire"!!!
We have just started shooting the VERY LAST episode of "The Wire" ever. We complete shooting Aug. 31st and then the show goes away forever.

If you are interested in being an extra on the show please submit now!

We are looking for ALL TYPES, Men/Women, Union and Non-Union. To be considered you MUST submit all of the following to

Full Name
Phone Number
Car Color and Make/Model (if applicable)

Pay scale is dependent on whether the day is Union or Non-Union.
Keywords: The Wire, HBO, Extras, Season 5, Season Five, Finale

Sunday, August 19, 2007

'The Wire' Season 4 DVD Release

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We've finally got box art for the season four DVD release of The Wire. Given that season five should premiere in February of '08, expect the DVD set around Christmas of '07.

Keywords: The Wire, HBO, Season 4, Season Four, DVD, Release, Date, Premier, Premiere, Season 5, Season Five

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Dog Fighting as a Parallel to Sports and Society

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This has very little, if nothing to do with television, but Gregg Easterbrook of's Page 2 penned an article that should be read by anyone following the Michael Vick dog fighting scandal.

It's almost impossible to promote rational debate on the subject because dog fighting is so wildly offensive. Dogs are the symbol of innocence. Inherently good, loyal, cute (more so than most humans) and untainted.

But exploiting people, animals or any living creature for profit or entertainment isn't new. In fact, it's as old as time, it's human nature and it's the world we live in.

But the way 'Bad Newz Kennels' euthanized (or murdered) their dogs is downright sadistic. How do you drown, hang, electrocute or beat to death an animal when you obviously have the resources to keep a vet on call?

That reason, more so than anything, kills my ability to look at the situation rationally. But Easterbrook is the first person to get me to budge.

I recommend reading the entire article, but this one passage in particular demonstrates the level of hypocrisy involved in the entire situation.

What believable explanation could Michael Vick have offered when the news broke? Not, of course, that cruelty to animals, or associating with gamblers, is OK. Rather, Vick could have said, "It's wrong what I did to those dogs, but we live in a world where governments, business and sports organizations don't hesitate for one second to do the same to human beings -- to exploit them, then throw them away. We need to change the way we treat animals, but most of all, we need to change the way we treat people."

You don't need to be Dr. Freud to see the parallels between killing a dog that lost a fight and cutting an NFL player who had a bad game -- or shrugging as a soldier dies in the Iraq desert because the Pentagon didn't care that a corrupt defense contractor stole the money that was supposed to be used for armor. Deion Sanders wrote of Vick's dogs, "Maybe he identified with them in some way." NFL Network quickly invoked Sanders' contract terms to require he not comment on Vick and the dogs again. Why does Roger Goodell, a good man, fear Deion speaking his mind about Vick and dogs? When the good fear honest speech, all should tremble. And if Vick is railroaded, who will say so?

I can't say it changes the way I feel about went on or what should happen to those involved. But it does change the way I feel about our right to judge their behavior.

And after watching four seasons of The Wire, I should have remembered just how little we value life -- human or otherwise.

Keywords: Michael Vick, Dog Fighting, NFL, Scandal, Bad Newz Kennels, Indictement, Football, Roger Goodell

The Final 'Nine' Online

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On Tuesday I chastised ABC for pulling the final episodes of The Nine and Knights of Prosperity from the schedule.

Coincidentally, less than two days later, ABC took action, making the remainder of the episodes available at

Two of the final four unaired episodes of The Nine are already up, with the last two being released on August 23rd and August 30th. The entire season of Knights (13 eps) is available now.

Keywords: The Nine, Knights of Prosperity, Series Finale, Season Finale, Cancel, Cancellation, Canceled, Renew, Renewal, Renewed, Airing, Air Date, Streaming, Online, Stream, Video

Friday, August 17, 2007

HBO Gives 'Entourage' a Return 'Flight'

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HBO has renewed Entourage for a fifth season and Flight of the Conchords for a second season, it was announced today by Carolyn Strauss, president, HBO Entertainment. Both series will return with new episodes in 2008.

While there was little doubt Entourage would be back, the fate of Flight of the Conchords was questionable.

Once the two comedies conclude their current run on September 2nd, Curb Your Enthusiasm will return for its sixth season along with the new HBO drama Tell Me You Love Me to take over HBO's Sunday Night Block.

Keywords: HBO, Renewal, Renew, Renewed, Entourage, Flight of the Conchords, Season 5, Season 5, Season 2, Season Two, Cancel, Cancellation, Canceled

Creed Thoughts (August 16)

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I'm a romantic guy. Always have been. Fell in love for the first time in the fourth grade with the Truancy Officer. Ever since then, I’ve had a thing for women with badges. Cops, security officers, DEA -- doesn’t matter to me. They’re all foxy.

Love is tricky. It makes you do crazy things. Back in ’73, I got into a love triangle. Love pyramid, really. Put $6,000 into a cigarette resale venture and just waited for the dough to start pouring in. It never did. Lost my savings for a shot with the DePalma sisters, but it was worth it. I’ve still got some old smokes sitting in a storage shed up in Delaware. It’s my little reminder of the price of love.

If I ever wanted to get married again, I’d go for height over substance. Pretty wives are good for taking to buffets, but tall wives get you noticed. Wealthy’s also a good quality to find in a lady. I’ve got to find me a rich, tall broad. That’ll keep me happy.

There’s one lady who might fit the bill and her name is Louise. She works as a toll collector at the Wilkes-Barre exit on the Pike. Lou's a big woman, really fills out her uniform and I like it. I'm going to show up at her tollbooth next weekend wearing my lucky socks and my sex pants. Then I'm going to read her a poem I've been working on, in the style of my man Willy Carlos Williams. After that, I'll spray paint all the windows in her booth black and show her why they call me "The Guiding Principle." It's going to be smooth. Don’t know if she’s rich, but she definitely has access to a lot of change and that’s good enough for me.

There’re only six things you need if you want to snag a good woman: A guitar, chicken, wine, a car, running water, and some permanent markers. If you don’t have a guitar, a lute will do. You get those six things and you’re Don Juan, trust me.

Keywords: Creed Thoughts, Creed, Blog, The Office, NBC, Creed's Blog,, www.creedthoughts

Thursday, August 16, 2007

'Always Sunny in Philadelphia' Season 3 Episode Online

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It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - Season 3 - 'Mac is a Serial Killer'

Watch the rest of the episode at the It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia MySpace page.

I know I called Weeds the best comedy on television, but that was only because Sunny hadn't aired in so long (and because I thought Mary-Louise Parker might kiss me). I never got my kiss and now that I'm reminded of its greatness, I'll go ahead and say it. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is the best comedy on television.

Keywords: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, FX, Mac is a Serial Killer, Season Three, Season 3, Streaming Online, Video, Watch, MySpace

Thursday Odds and Ends

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  • The latest 'Judd Apatow Joint' (Freaks and Geeks, Undeclared, 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up), Superbad comes out tomorrow. George Michael lives!
  • The American re-make for the acclaimed British series Life on Mars has finally cast the main characters. Jason O'Mara will play Sam Tyler, (John Simm in the British version) as Colm Meaney (a pretty good last name considering the character) will play Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister in the British version).
Keywords: Superbad, Judd Apatow, Arrested Development, Michael Cera, Freaks and Geeks, 24, FOX, Life on Mars, BBC, D.L. Hughley, Studio 60

'Lost' in Translation

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Chicago Magazine has a feature on Jeffrey Lieber, the guy who penned the pilot for Lost and was subsequently fired by ABC (he still collects residuals and shows up in the credits). I highly recommend checking out the entire article, it's a insightful look into the cut throat world of Hollywood.

Part of the article details Lieber's original plan for Lost. A very different plan.

Leiber imagined something Lord of the Flies- a "realistic show about a society putting itself back together after a catastrophe."
Instead, supernatural won out over sociology and Lost is what it is today. Personally, I've always lamented the fact that the show didn't go the way of the Flies.

It's hard to say if Lieber's vision would have become the massive hit that is Lost. But the show's biggest flaw could have been abandoned (the over the top monsters, death smoke, weirdo numbers and other mumbo jumbo).

The entire science angle could work as a backdrop for why the castaways have not been rescued. 'The Others' could exist, not as an insane group of magicians, but regular humans long stranded on the island and weary of newcomers.

There's a reason I write about television instead of for television but I can't say the prospect of a modern day Lord of the Flies, with Lost's budget isn't mouth watering. Almost like a modern day Deadwood.

Oh, what could have been.

Keywords: Lost, ABC, Lord of the Flies, Jeffrey Lieber, J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof, Deadwood, Pilot

Two Cult Hits Say 'No' to Movies

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Two of television's biggest female stars dismissed the possibility of a future for their respective canceled series.

In an MTV interview, Claire Danes, star of the television classic My So Called Life said that a reunion film is unlikely.

Meanwhile Kristen Bell can't have made the rabid fan base of the now canceled Veronica Mars too happy when she told MTV "there was no future" for the show. She didn't close the door entirely, conceding that if the opportunity were to arise she'd consider it.

Keywords: Veronica Mars, My So Called Life, Claire Danes, Kristen Bell, Cancel, Canceled, Films, Film, Movies, Cancellation, CW

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Is David Milch Killing HBO?

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Well, that didn't take long. Not two days after John From Cincinnati was officially canned, David Milch is working on a new project. This time around the show will be a more traditional fare -- early 1970's story about a Vietnam vet who comes home and joins the NYPD.

But once again, Milch has shown his propensity for mentally checking out of a series while it's on the air. It happened with Deadwood and it's happened again with John. Milch made a bad program, HBO canceled it and Milch didn't blink twice because he had lost interest anyway.

Despite the fact that John's fate was sealed two weeks ago, the notion that a show's creator would start working on his next project two days after the cancellation is made public is insane.

It doesn't happen.

I understand the fundamental right to work in a capitalist society... But honestly... Two days? Seriously? And HBO thinks its prudent to sign the man through 2008? At this point, he has to be costing them more subscribers than he's bringing in.

John had a very loyal (if not small and crazy) fan base. But unlike other cult hits -- Arrested Development, Firefly, Jericho, Veronica Mars, Carnivale, etc. -- the show runner doesn't care.

Deadwood was Milch's fault, but at this point, does it really matter? The show is gone. The two movies are never going to happen. And whether the fan base blames HBO or Milch, Milch isn't running a subscriber based cable network.

And it's happened again with John. Regardless of who's to blame (there's enough to go around), yet another Milch production has left HBO with nothing but a wave of angry subscribers. Some because the a series they loved is canceled and some because HBO aired such a gibberish show in the first place.

And let there be no doubt. In the world of HBO, Showtime and FX, HBO is no longer king. The most generous of outlooks would put their programming stable only slightly ahead (95% of which is attributed The Wire and 5% to Curb, Big Love and Entourage).

So what exactly is another David Milch project going to do? A number of John and Deadwood fans have already canceled. Those that are left either don't watch his shows or are bitter but loyal (HBO changed the landscape of television).

Good or bad, why would anyone invest in another David Milch drama? All they seem to do is result in heart break...

Keywords: HBO, David Milch, New Project, NYPD Blue, Deadwood, John From Cincinnati, Cancel, Renew, Renewal, Renewed, Cancellation, Canceled, Season 2, Season Two, Deadwood Films, Showtime, FX

'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' to Stream Season 3 Episode on MySpace

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Great news for fans of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Starting tomorrow the Always Sunny MySpace page will be streaming an episode from season three, 'Mac is a Serial Killer.'

The episode is airing almost a month before the season three starts (September 13th) but will not actually be the season premiere. Instead the ep will appear later on in the 15 episode season.

The video will only be available from August 16th to the 23rd and we'll be sure to have it available the moment it starts streaming.

As a Philadelphia native (Go Birds), I'm going to be doing my best to make sure that the upcoming month is stacked to the gills with coverage.

Keywords: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Streaming, Stream, Online, Free Episodes, Season 3, Season Three, FX, MySpace

America Loves 'Weed' and 'Fornication'

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Mary-Louise Parker and David Duchovny have knocked it out of the park for Showtime. The season three premiere of Weeds drew 1.2 million viewers (824,000 first run). At a shade over 40%, this was a marked improvement over the season two premiere and a 65% increase on the series premiere.

The 1.2 million viewers may seem minuscule, but accounts for a shade over 8% of the net's 14.5 million subscribers. Not including DVR or On Demand viewings (The +7 ratings will be much higher), Weeds left little doubt it is now Showtime's flagship series.

Californication was no slouch itself, drawing 795,000 viewers (550,000 first run) to its series premiere. Ignoring Fat Actress, which premiered on a night in which Showtime was offering a free preview, Californication's 550,000 first run numbers mark the largest ever for a Showtime comedy debut.

Originally labeled as a mini series and consequently changed to season one order of twelve episodes -- the prospect of a season two renewal is now looking very promising for Californication.

I've said it before, but Showtime is coming at HBO. Hard.

Keywords: Weeds, Californication, Ratings, Nielsen, Nielsen Ratings, Showtime, David Duchovny, Mary-Louise Parker, Rating, Episode, Premier, Premiere

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

'Weeds' Weekly: Doing the Backstroke

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The season three premiere of Weeds kicked off last night and did little to relinquish its hold on the top of the comedy food chain.

For those in need of a season two refresher...

Conrad and Nancy are being held at Gunpoint by U-Turn and the Armenian mobsters who killed her ex-boyfriend, Peter the DEA Agent.

Silas, who liberated the $300,000 stash and has it in his trunk is being arrested at the behest of Celia, the ever lovable Agrestic City Councilwoman.

Meanwhile, the junior Botwin, Shane, is being quasi-kidnapped by Andy's insane ex-girlfriend, with Andy hot in pursuit (accompanied by an Eskimo Bounty Hunter).

The premiere picks off right where season three ended in a hilarious intro that includes five heavily armed gangsters, a little girl wetting her pants and a conversation about cell phone reception. The scene is an instant reminder of Weeds majestic ability to provide lighthearted laughs even under the most dire of circumstances.

With Silas arrested, Celia, averse to public transportation, absconds with his car and quickly discovers the weed in the trunk. In yet another bitchy demonstration of her need to maintain control in her relationships, she throws all $300,000 worth into Nancy's pool.

Nancy, who realizes Silas stole the pot, convinces her captives she can retrieve the stash. Leaving Conrad as collateral, she heads off with one of the Armenian mobsters (who is strictly informed by his boss that "raping" is unprofessional) and U-Turn's right hand man, Marvin. The search takes them to a gas station, the police station and finally to Nancy's house, where her and Marvin discover that Celia has drowned their pot.

Shane's quasi-kidnapping takes a turn for the worse when Andy's insane ex-girlfriend abandons him to take up with a trucker on his way to Mexico. In a twisted act of responsibility, she leaves Shane with thirteen dollars worth of change, the keys to the van and instructions that he ought practice (or learn) driving in the parking lot out back.

Unable to find Shane, Andy calls in an Amber Alert (which will come to haunt him in later episodes). Unfortunately, he has a bit of a falling out with the Eskimo Bounty Hunter, who does not, it seems, appreciate being called a "snow nigga."

Back in domestic Agrestic, Dean and Doug continue their girlish skirmish. Seeking Tylenol after Doug kicks him in the shins, Dean discovers a medicine cabinet stocked to the gills with prescription drugs. The two engage in a reconciliation of sorts, popping pills, getting facials, and trying to determine whose penis is bigger.

The Doug/Dean scene is as funny as it gets. The one liners that go back and forth are vintage Weeds. Mary-Louise Parker proves herself the best actress on television with another stunning performance. Andy is funny as always. It did end with yet another cliffhanger, but after a that kind of episode, who can argue?

Keywords: Weeds, Showtime, Weeds Season Three, Weeds Season 3, Review, Premiere, Premier, Recap, Commentary, Mary-Louise Parker

Watch 'Weeds' Season 3 Premiere Online

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For those that don't have Showtime or missed the first episode of Weeds, Showtime is streaming it online.

Watch Weeds S3E1 - 'Doing the Backstroke'

Keywords: Weeds, Showtime, Watch, Online, Video, Streaming, Season 3, Premier, Premiere, Episode 1, Doing the Backstroke

Tuesday Odds and Ends

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  • The reason TV Blogger updates have been a bit slow lately. (EA Sports sent me a copy a few days early).
  • ABC won't air the final episodes of Knights of Prosperity or The Nine. Gotta love the compassion and loyalty for the show's fan base, however small. Really inspires viewers to start watching new ABC series doesn't it?
  • Our favorite How I Met Your Mother cast member, Neil Patrick Harris (Barney) discusses coming out of the closet. I've always found it funny that one of the biggest womanizers in television is gay. Just goes to show he really deserved that Emmy nomination.
  • Cavemen, the ABC series based on the Geico ad campaign, won't be getting any ad buys from rival insurance companies. And it has nothing to do with how lousy the pilot was.
Keywords: Tony Soprano, James Gandolfini, HBO, William Wesley, Sonny Vaccaro, Nike, Reebok, Adidas, NBA, The Sopranos, ABCD Camp, Mary-Louise Parker, Mary Louise Parker, Weeds, Reality TV, Ratings, Nielsen, Emmy Nominations, How I Met Your Mother, Emmy Nomination, Neil Patrick Harris, Barney, Gay, Madden 2008, 08.

It's Official. HBO Cancels 'John From Cincinnati'

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As was first reported by TV Blogger on August 2nd, John From Cincinnati has been canceled.

HBO made it official one day after the finale aired and announced a development deal that will keep David Milch with HBO until 2008.

Additional Coverage

More TV Blogger Coverage of John From Cincinnati and Deadwood.
Keywords: John From Cincinnati Canceled, Cancel, Cancellation, Renew, Season 2, Season Two, Renewal, David Milch, HBO, Deadwood

Monday, August 13, 2007

I Don't Think John's from Cincinnati...

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First off, I'm glad to have Rebecca De Mornay out of my life. She was so bad as Cissy Yost she should should be banned from acting. Forever.

That said, I'm going to miss the cast of Imperial Beach. Butchie, Bill, Roman, Linc, Cass and even John. As poorly executed as John From Cincinnati was, I was still fond of some of the characters. So, while the show never came close to deserving a second season, it wasn't a complete failure.

But those that claim "intelligence" is required to understand John are quite wrong. Intelligence, and the cognitive ability to engage in critical thought, is the exact reason that John doesn't make sense.

It was convoluted. The writing lacked discipline as Milch went off on wild tangents. The story had no continuity, no flow. It was the garbled images of a philosophical discussion that ought to have taken place at a Phish concert.

This explanation isn't about how John From Cincinnati touched me, or what I got out of it. I researched, read, rewatched and tried to make sense of something nonsensical. And I think I have an understanding what Milch wanted to say with John From Cincinnati. So I don't get hammered by pseudo-intellectuals, please understand this is conjecture.

"Hear my father's words."

The ocean represented the enormity of the world around us and how small we are in contrast. That we are beholden to something bigger. The waves are the ocean's will, and through surfing, we are simply riding along.

John From Cincinnati was a story about some higher form or entity, a manifestation of God, entering these seemingly random group of people's lives. It investigated the way that their preconceptions and understanding of the world was shaken to the very core. How they dealt with and came to grips with John's nine day visit to Imperial Beach.

The way I saw it, Linc's final act was their attempt to put it all together, their attempt to make sense of it all.

Or he was just dumping out.

Keywords: John From Cincinnati, Finale, Review, Recap, Commentary, About, Meaning, Cancel, Cancellation, Canceled, Renewal, Renewed

Sorry Creed, It's Showtime

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With all due respect to NBC's Thursday night comedy line up -- the best collection of comedies since Arrested Development was canceled -- Showtime has taken the throne. The pairing of Californication and Weeds is simply too much to go up against.

I've already reviewed Californication and I'll be doing a weekly episode recap for season three of Weeds.

Weeds premieres tonight at 10 p.m. followed by Californication at 10:30.

I only hope my friends at Dunder Mifflin can forgive me.

Keywords: Californication, Weeds, Mary Louise Parker, David Duchovny, Showtime, Monday Night, The Office, Scrubs, My Name is Earl, 30 Rock, NBC, Comedy

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Milch Discusses 'Johns' Fate and More

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David Milch did an interview with Tavis Smiley on Thursday, his first public appearance (to my knowledge) since John From Cincinnati began airing on June 10th.

I love David Milch. Absolutely love and respect his work -- even John to a certain extent.

But after listening to the interview and reading the corresponding transcript, my first reaction was something Seth Bullock said in season one of Deadwood.

"The man is a lunatic. High water, he never made much sense, but now, he just utters pure gibberish...What is part and your part? What part of my part is your part? Is my foot your knee? What about your ear? What the fuck is that?"
The interview explores Milch's aspirations for John From Cincinnati and addresses whether he succeeded. Smiley didn't press the issue of a renewal but Milch seems resigned to the fact it won't be back. But contrary to wide spread reports of his exhaustion, he seems ready to move onto another story.

That story being Deadwood though seems very, very unlikely. Milch appears to have lost his interest in capitalism functioning as an organizing principle and vehicle for society -- which is in essence what Deadwood was about.

Here's a recap:

Milch on the show's premise and thematic content...
"I was interested in faith as a regenerative and reorganizing principle for the community," but went onto to do Deadwood.

"This is a show in which I tried - I wanted to come back to the original idea. If God were trying to make himself known with a particular urgency because the apocalypse is coming, and if the difficulty was not with his faculty of communication but rather with our capacity to understand.

"The idea that the universe is a solid system but a series of waves. And that man is not an individual creature, but that his essence is carried from seeming individual to seeming individual is available to surfers if they aren't loaded and selfish or if they don't become addicted to the behavior of surfing itself. Doesn't often happen."
Milch on the show's success in doing so...
Well, there is a very cogent and articulate school of thought which says I didn't bring it down. (Laughter) And in fact, that question - the artist is one of God's surrogates, I believe. And what I was just saying about God trying to make himself understood, I believe is the artists' challenge, as well. I can make myself understood at the sacrifice of the truth.
Milch on the story's evolution...

"Oh, no, I know where "John From Cincinnati" would go if they're going to keep doing the show. What the fate of the show is going to be is still up in the air, and I'm going to keep working and in some ways, I think all stories are the same story. So -

"Which means that if God is anywhere, he's everywhere, and it's my task - I said to a priest, as he was dying, “I'm grateful to have lived long enough to be able to say to you that the shadow in which I always believed I and my characters must move is cast by God's sheltering hand.” So any story can let you do that."
You can listen to audio of interview or read the transcript.

Keywords: David Milch, Interview, John From Cincinnati, Deadwood, John From Cincinnati Cancel, Renewal, Renewed, Canceled, Cancellation, Deadwood Return, Deadwood Film, Deadwood Movie

Friday, August 10, 2007

Ratings, Renewals for Summer Cable

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While the networks take off for the summer, cable steps and delivers some of its best programming. A quick recap on the news of summer.

  • Damages continues to perform for FX, averaging 3.3 million viewers a week.
  • Rumors of Rescue Me's dip in the ratings have been somewhat exaggerated. Season four is averaging slightly over 2 million viewers a week and gets around a 15% bump from DVR viewings. The show has not been renewed for a fifth season. FX needs to get on that, post haste.
  • Saving Grace has been averaging over 5 million viewers a week for TNT and has been rewarded with a 15 episode pick up next season. Not being the biggest fan of Grace, I want to point out that it enjoys a 7+ million viewer lead-in from the The Closer.
  • Speaking of The Closer, TNT will bring it back for another 13 episode season.
  • And finally, USA has greenlit another 13 episodes for Burn Notice, which averages 5.5 million viewers a week.
Keywords: Nielsen Ratings, Ratings, Renewal, Renewals, Cancel, Cancellation, Canceled, TNT, USA, FX, Damages, Rescue Me, Saving Grace, The Closer, Burnt Notice, Summer, Programming

Redemption on 'The Corner'

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David Simon is the best storyteller of our time. But to say his depiction of urban America is grim would be a woeful understatement. All the more reason to check out a great article by Ian Urbina in the NY Times. The article catches up with the McCullough matriarch and her relationship with former Baltimore stick up artist Donnie Andrews.

Their separate stories of decline into drugs and violence are nationally known: Mr. Andrews was the inspiration for the character Omar Little, a ruthless thug who stalks dealers on the HBO series “The Wire.” Ms. Boyd was the protagonist of “The Corner,” an HBO miniseries that chronicled her fall into addiction.
The following passage may be of particular interest to fans of The Wire.
“My gun jammed,” Mr. Andrews said. “So the guy was lying on the ground, and it gave him a chance to look me in the eye, and he said, ‘Why?’

Nonetheless, he went through with the killing. But he said he could not get the man’s image, the sound of his voice and that question out of his mind. The guilt and shame were too much, he said, and months later he went to the police, turning himself in to Edward Burns, a Baltimore homicide detective who later became Mr. Simon’s writing partner.

This could be a reference to Cutty's character on The Wire. In season three Wee-Bey explained that following a murder, Cutty called the police himself and told them to "come get me, I just shot a nigga."

And in his last act as a Barksdale enforcer, Cutty balks after looking into the eyes of Fruit, his first potential murder victim after being released.

Keywords: The Wire, The Corner, David Simon, Fran Boyd, Omar Little, Donnie Andrews, Baltimore, Dennis Wise, Cutty, Ed Burns, HBO

Thursday, August 9, 2007

HBO Production Update

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  • In Treatment, the half hour drama about a psychiatrist who sees his own therapist looks likely to premiere in fall, starting its 40 episode run (all of which were ordered during the series' pickup)
  • Same goes 12 Miles of Bad Road. The comedy stars Lily Tomlin as the matriarch of a rich Texas real estate mogul and examines the family's comedic quirks and tribulations.
  • The Untitled J.J. Abrams pilot mentioned a few days ago has been delivered to HBO. No news on whether or not it will be picked up.
  • We are also awaiting news regarding the fate of the Will Ferrell comedy about a retired baseball player and his attempts at teaching Phys-ed.
Keywords: HBO, Development, Update, Schedule, Scheduling, In Treatment, Lily Tomlin, 12 Miles of Bad Road, Israel, J.J. Abrams, Will Ferrell, Comedy, Drama, Pilot, Pick up, Renewal

HBO Gets 'Six Feet' of 'Blood'

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Six Feet Under creator Alan Ball is coming back to HBO to produce a series called True Blood.

Based on the popular Southern Vampire Mysteries' books, the show takes place in a world where the ability to buy blood (as opposed to sucking it out of people's necks) has allowed vampires to integrate into society.

The main character, Sookie Stackhouse (played by Anna Paquin) is a mind reader who begins to date a newly arrived vampire -- immune to her ability -- by the name of Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer).

Things get messy, however, when a string of murders in the small Louisiana town coincide with Bill's arrival.

The series is set to shoot in the fall. HBO has not announced how many episodes will be made.

Keywords: HBO, Alan Ball, True Blood, Six Feet Under, Sookie Stackhouse, Bill Compton, Anna Penquin, Stephen Moyer, Charlaine Harris, Southern Vampire Mysteries

Special Effects Produce FX Productions

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FX's recent success has resulted in the development of their own production company, aptly named FX Productions.

Rather than outsourcing the costs and paying licensing fees, FX Productions will finance up to 50% of an FX original. The move adds significant costs up front, but also provides the net a bigger financial reward at the back end.

FX already owns and produces It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (The Comedy Gods executive produce) although FX Productions will not handle every FX show.

Keywords: FX, FX Productions, Network, Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Rescue Me, Dirt, Damages, The Riches, The Shield, 30 Days, Nip/Tuck

Creed Thoughts (August 9)

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I have this computer at home. A friend needed to get rid of it fast and he needed a vacuum, so I traded him. Anyway, I don’t even use it that much. Sometimes if I’m going to a coffee shop to look at women, I’ll bring it with me to look busy, but that’s about all.

The other day, I overheard some dudes at work – the fatso and the fruit – and they were talking about some internet video of water buffaloes fighting lions. I don’t know about you, but that’s the kind of thing I can build a whole night around. I stopped at the supermarket on the way home and picked up some things to get me in the mood: Buffalo jerky, buffalo wings, Frosted Flakes, some cupcakes, and a bottle of white wine. (Side note: I couldn’t find any lion-related items at the store, so I settled for the Flakes because of the Tiger. It was the best I could do.) When I got home, I was really jazzed for a good old-fashioned jungle fight. I turned on my computer and boom – nothing happened. Just a weird clucking noise and a black screen, so I did what anybody would do. I punched my computer and then I called tech support.

This Indian dude takes my name, my phone number, and my email address. I gave him some fakes. I have enough problems in India without the cops finding out where I live. Then he wants me to tell him the problem with the computer. “The damn thing don’t work!” I say. He says “Okay, Sir, it would be my pleasure to assist you with that today.” I’m thinking, it would be my pleasure to stick your ass on top of the Taj Mahal, but I don’t say it because I’m smart. You catch more flies with really friendly decoy flies, that’s what I always say.

So I let this guy tell me what he thinks is wrong and then he asks for the serial number. I give that to him, too, and then he tells me I don’t have a warranty anymore. I’ve been on the phone for ten minutes already and now he tells me he can’t help me because of some stupid warranty. I’m ready to kill this guy, but I play nice and then the guy tells me he can help, but it’s going to cost me fifty bucks. Fifty bucks? If I’m paying you fifty bucks to fix a computer, (a) you’re going to do it naked and (b) you’re going to cook me dinner. Well, you can’t do either if you’re halfway around the globe so I hung up on that idiot.

Long story short, I got rid of the laptop right away. Did what I always do with broken gizmos: Threw it into the dumpster and filed a police report saying somebody stole it. Next time somebody turns in a lost laptop to the fuzz, I’m going to have myself a new computer. It just goes to show you: you can screw with Old Creed all you want, but in the end he’s always going to win.

p.s. If I ever find you, “Franklin,” I’m going to take you out Tamil Tiger style and I never forget a voice, even when you’re talking in a fake American accent.

Keywords: Creed Thoughts, Creed, Blog, The Office, NBC, Creed's Blog,, www.creedthoughts

Want Webisodes? Pay the Writers Rules NLRB

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In a coup for the under appreciated television writers of the world, the National Labor Relations Board has ruled that studios cannot force their writers to create online content without compensation.

NBC has mastered the practice of providing supplemental features online. From webisodes for The Office to a weekly comic for Heroes, viewers can find a plethora of original content online to enhance the experience for their favorite shows.

Writer's Guild of America (West) executive director David Young applauded the decision.

"We are pleased by the board's decision, which reaffirms the guild's right to represent its members in the growing new-media marketplace.

"Whether downloaded, streamed or broadcast, it's all about quality content, and writers deserve fair compensation for what they create. The guild stands ready to negotiate a deal that is mutually beneficial for all parties involved."
Keywords: Online, Streaming Content, Webisodes, Downloads, Online Video, NBC, Writers Guild of America, NLRB, Labor Rights, Television Writers, TV Online

ABC Calls Cedric for Multi-camera Comedy

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In a tale of "what's old is new," ABC is trying to find success in their comedy lineup by greenlighting an untitled multi-camera comedy starring Cedric (The Entertainer).

Cedric will play an established breadwinner who has trouble adjusting when his wife unwittingly turns a hobby into a wildly successful multi-million dollar enterprise.

ABC has had little success with the 'single-camera/no laugh track' formula that has become the standard for high end comedies (Arrested Development, The Office, Scrubs, My Name is Earl, 30 Rock, Weeds).

At this point, the only good multi-camera comedy on the air is How I Met Your Mother, so my money's on another mindless sitcom.

Keywords: Cedric, ABC, Pilot, Multi-Camera, Multi Camera, Sitcoms, Comedy, Comedies, Single-Camera, Singlecamera, Single camera, Arrested Development, Scrubs, The Office, 30 Rock, My Name is Earl, Weeds, How I Met Your Mother

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

GLADD in a State of 'Arrested Development'

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The 'Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Discrimination' released their network responsibility index. They provide recap on their website as well as the entire report, which was sent to network executives.

The gist of their findings is that network television is not gay enough. And I don't disagree. The ratio of the gay shows to the gay population is probably low.

Now, I subscribe to the school of thought that a person's sexual preference is absolutely none of my business. I really don't care if a person has a proclivity to some bizarre fetish so long as no one is getting hurt (against their will) and I could care less if a person is attracted to the same sex. I even support gay marriage so long as both girls are attractive.

I do have a huge problem with trying to control the content of scripted television.

One of the big debates regarding homosexuality is whether or not it's a choice. I doubt that it is (who would subject themselves to the persecution) and that sentiment is often used aggressively in the fight for legal recognition.

But what about the overweight? What about the ugly? Should we stand up and cry foul because there aren't enough red heads on TV? And that's without even touching upon the subject of race.

It's ridiculous. Television is dictated by what people want to watch. If shows about gays pulled in the same ratings as American Idol, there'd be more Will and Grace spin offs than CSI and Law and Order combined.

Unfortunately, that's not how it works. If gays deserve a certain percentage of prime time programming regardless of ratings, then I'll be damned if the intelligent shouldn't get it too.

Arrested Development was canceled because not enough people watched it. If that's no longer the criteria for staying on the air, then let's have 10 gay shows for every Arrested Development, Freaks & Geeks, Firefly, Futurama, Boomtown, etc. that were canned because people of intelligence are underrepresented in prime time television.

Or GLADD could focus their efforts on the very real and disturbing discrimination that exists in society.

Meanwhile, I'll just keep punching holes in my wall because 95% of network television is made for idiots.

Keywords: GLADD, Report, Index, Discrimination, Gay representation, Network TV, Arrested Development

Russian Mob Shakes Down FX

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FX's next big drama will take place in the world of the Russian mob. The show revolves around an out of pocket undercover agent and the NYPD officer sent to reign him back in.

Pete Berg (Friday Night Lights) will serve as executive producer for the Untitled project along with Sheldon Turner, who penned the pilot, and Sarah Aubrey.

No word on a targeted release.

Keywords: FX, Pilot, New Series, Russian Mafia, Pete Berg, Sheldon Turner, Sarah Aubrey, Friday Night Lights

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Mandy 'Meets Her Mother'

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Mandy Moore has signed onto season three of How I Met Your Mother. She'll play Ted's first girlfriend after becoming single and reportedly will not be the best influence. No word on how many episodes she will appear in.

Keywords: How I Met Your Mother, Season 3, Season Three, Mandy Moore, Guest Star, CBS

'The Boondocks' Season 2 Trailer

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After months of delays, we've finally got trailer for season two of The Boondocks.

Season 2 is set to premiere in October.

'Boondocks' Season 2 Trailer

'Boondocks' Season 2 Photos

Keywords: The Boondocks Season 2, Season Two, Trailer, Video, Streaming, Adult Swim, Comedy Central, Aaron McGruder

Detective Munch Gets 'Wired'

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Detective John Munch (Richard Belzer) will add yet another series to his credits, appearing in season five of The Wire. Belzer has had the unique distinction of playing the same character on almost every criminal procedure known to man (and 'Arrested Development').

Munch was a character in NBC's acclaimed series, Homicide: Life on the Street, marking a reunion of sorts with Wire creator David Simon. Simon penned the book upon which Homicide was based on, although his involvement in the series was limited.

Given Simon's distaste for gimmicks, the move is somewhat of a surprise. Personally, I've never liked Munch and don't care for his inclusion, but at this point, there isn't anyone in the world that can question David Simon's judgment.

Keywords: The Wire Season 5, Season Five, HBO, Detective John Munch, Richard Belzer, Homicide: Life on the Street

Monday, August 6, 2007

How Often Does Tony Soprano Change His Oil?

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I don't know, but I'm guessing someone is going to overpay to find out.

Bid on Tony Soprano's Chevy Suburban courtesy of eBay

The seller is a company called 'Profiles in History' and the Suburban will be sold off via 'Live Auction'

For more information on eBay's 'Live Auction' process check out their 'Live Auction Help Page.'

Keywords: The Sopranos, Tony Soprano, Chevy Suburban, Tony's Suburban, eBay, Auction, Sopranos Car, Sopranos SUV, Tony's SUV

Rick Fox Gets 'Ugly'

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Rick Fox is a busy guy. He's set to guest star in season two of Ugly Betty, reuniting with his ex-wife, Vanessa Williams. Fox will play a bodyguard for Williams' character, Wilhelmina Slater.

Keywords: Ugly Betty, ABC, Vanessa Williams, Rick Fox, America Ferrera

AMC Does Basketball, Jackson Vehue Style

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I've been waiting for a realistic series about professional football/basketball my entire life.

Unfortunately, it's almost impossible to do without the blessing (i.e. licensing) of the NBA/NFL.

Fake teams and lousy in-game scenes kill any hope of authenticity, producing hard to stomach gibberish time after time.

Well that's Rick Fox's problem now. Good old Jackson Vahue (Oz) is set to executive produce a series that deals with the world of professional basketball.

And for some reason, I'm optimistic. If anyone can pull this off, it's Rick Fox (That's gotta be first time anyone's said that).

The series will air on AMC, eliminating one potential hurdle out of the gate. When ESPN tried (and failed miserably) to go gritty with Playmakers, the NFL flexed its muscle and crushed the series after a season.

I'm betting (the puns don't stop) NBA Commissioner David Stern won't be able to do the same with AMC.

No word yet on whether or not Fox will also star in the series. On a side note, what's the over/under on a Tim Donaghy cameo?

Keywords: AMC, NBA, Professional Basketball, Rick Fox, Jackson Vahue, Oz, Tim Donaghy, David Stern

'Weeds' Creator: Leaked Episodes are "Exciting"

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With season three of Weeds only a week away (review coming this week), some might be upset with the fact the first four episodes of their show leaked weeks ago.

Not so, according to creator and executive producer Jenji Kohan. In fact, Kohan expressed frustration that all the episodes weren't available for download,

"It's very annoying. If I had my druthers, the whole thing would be available right now."
While easy to appreciate an author's desire to have their vision seen by the world, Kohan's reasoning is unique, to say the least,
"Revenue aside, I don't expect to get rich on 'Weeds.'"
Kohan's unique fiscal take notwithstanding, one has to appreciate her disregard for the conventions of the television industry.
"I'm excited it's out there. Showtime is great, but it does have a limited audience."
For more on this new form of guerrilla marketing, check out past coverage.Keywords: Weeds Season 3, Season Three, Leaked, Jenji Kohan, Californication, Showtime, Pilot Leaks

Saturday, August 4, 2007

The 'Rescue Me' Retort

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Wanted give some visibility to an interesting conversation going on in the comments of the previous Rescue Me post. Special thanks to puck for his thoughtful replies.

Keywords: The Sopranos, Rescue Me, Tony Soprano, Tommy Gavin, FX, HBO

Reilly 'Oaks' His First Big Move at FOX

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The bidding war over David Schulner's Oaks has ended with FOX winning the rights to the highly sought after script.

Shawn Ryan of The Shield will join executive produce.

When speaking about the decision to go with FOX, Schulner cited Reilly's addition.

"I saw it on FOX with Kevin Reilly and Peter Liguori."

Shooting for Oaks is set to begin as early as November.

Keywords: FOX, The Oaks, Pick Up, Signed, Peter Liguori, Kevin Reilly, FOX, CBS, NBC, Network Executive, Execs

Friday, August 3, 2007

Come On Baby, 'Rescue Me'

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As I've stated, I'm waiting until the end of the season before covering Rescue Me. Nonetheless, as it's come under fire, I wanted to respond to some of its critics.

Alan Sepinwall (Star-Ledger) was the first to take issue with last episode, where Tommy may have contemplated killing the bastard child that is destroying his family. Geoff Berkshire (LA Times) has joined in, echoing the same sentiment.

At this point, hasn't Rescue Me earned the benefit of the doubt? There are certain events from which a person cannot come back from. Hell, watching the news should teach us that much. I highly doubt that any journalist, including myself, can ever understand the torment that suffer these characters.

Is The Wire really so different? While Rescue Me deals with family and the individual struggle, The Wire is as scary a representation of the American city. Whether or not we find Rescue Me’s portrayal of a post 9/11 firehouse believable, we should cherish the fact that it exists. I know Tommy Gavin is wildly flawed. I know the characters on the show do some really bad, and at times scary, unbelievable things.

But who the hell else is trying? To those that criticize Rescue Me for what they believe to be an over the top portrayal of the members of Engine 62, how come no one else is willing to tackle the nightmares of everyday people directly affected by 9/11?

Heartwarming stories about families moving on, tributes, patriotism and the like are great. But that’s not life. There were some people, a lot of them far from perfect, whose lives were turned upside down.

And I’m not talking about people shedding tears because they saw people jumping out of windows or two buildings tumble. I’m talking about survivors that were in those buildings, saw their loved ones die, survived a horror from which some people can’t recover.

Rescue Me
is a story about those people. It’s real, it’s gritty and it’s uncompromising in its vision. Firemen are heroic in their professional endeavors. That we'd consider they can all exert that same heroism in their personal lives is ridiculous.

And since no one else seems willing to tell the story, we should all be thankful that the people who chose to do it so damn well.

Keywords: Rescue Me, FX, Controversy, Commentary

'The Wire' Season 5 Interviews

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"The Wire" on HBO: Play Or Get Played, has three exclusive interviews straight from the set of The Wire season five.

Here are the interviews, courtesy of Jim King:

Keywords: The Wire, HBO, The Wire Season 5, The Wire Season Five, The Wire Interviews, Jim King, Dominic West, McNulty, Clarke Peters, Lester Freamon, Wendell Pierce, Bunk Moreland, "The Wire on HBO: Play or Get Played

Creed Thoughts (August 2)

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Fall is just around the corner and you know what that means: Crab Apple Season. I’m getting hungry just thinking about them. These little buggers pop up all over the place and nobody wants them because people are idiots. As a result, they’re absolutely free, which is my favorite price of all.

Crab apples have a whole stinkload of benefits. Back when I was little, my grandpa used to stick a crab apple in my mouth every time I stuttered. And guess what? I don’t stutter anymore. Crap apples are tiny miracles.

Anyway, farmers usually get mad when I help myself to their apples but when I’m picking up crab apples, I’m a real American hero to them. Also, crab apples are an instant cure for cancer. Plus, crab apples are useful in all situations. You can use them in jelly or applesauce or one time I cut myself real bad trying to get over some razor wire. Took out a crab apple, sliced it in half, rubbed it on my wounds and a few minutes later I was better than new. Ended up getting a pretty nice TV out of that night, too.

I can’t think of anything else in my life that I look forward to more than Crab Apple Season. Maybe 4th of July, but that’s just because I know when everyone’s going to be out of their houses watching fireworks. If you’re looking for a free nutritious food that’s available without dealing with the jerks at the grocery store, you really can’t beat crab apples. Stay away from Scranton, though, because those crabbies belong to me.

Side Note: Crab apples have nothing to do with real crabs. I don’t want to get into some kind of lawsuit because you made an idiotic assumption, so I’m setting the record straight right now. Crab apples contain no actual crabmeat. There you go.

Keywords: Creed Thoughts, Creed, Blog, The Office, NBC,\www.creedthoughts, Creed's Blog

'Don't Forget' the Schedule

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The summer success of Dont Forget the Lyrics has earned it a spot in FOX's fall line up, prompting a domino effect in the the midweek scheduling. The victim of Lyrics ascent is rookie drama New Amsterdam, which sees its premiere date pushed back to mid season.

Lyrics will air following Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader on Thursday nights.

Kitchen Nightmares, originally scheduled for for the Thursday 9 p.m. slot, will take over the 9 p.m. Wednesday hour formerly occupied by Bones.

Bones will move to 8 p.m. Tuesday.

It's likely the scheduling changes have as much to do with getting Bones out of the very competitive Wednesday 9 o'clock hour, where it would have gone head to head with Criminal Minds, Private Practice and Bionic Woman.

Keywords: FOX Scheduling, Don't Forget the Lyrics, Bones, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader, New Amsterdam, Criminal Minds, Bionic Woman, Private Practice

Thursday, August 2, 2007

July DVD of the Month

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I suppose it's a good thing when it's damn near impossible to choose the DVD of the month. Both Extras and Weeds are such brilliant shows you couldn't go wrong with either. I chose Weeds for the simple fact that it's comprised of 12 episodes as opposed to Extras' six.

DVD of the Month - Weeds: Season 2

The second season of Weeds took it to another level. Mary Louise Parker is absolutely amazing (although she refuses to marry me) as Nancy Botwin, the matriarchal drug dealer. Parker manages a comedic touch in the face of dramatic obstacles with an understated elegance. Meanwhile, Doug (Kevin Nealon), Nancy's business associate and accountant, proves himself one of the funniest characters in comedy today (He's Dwight Shrewt funny folks).

Runner Up
Extras: The Complete Second Season

Don't take this as a knock on Extras in anyway. It's as much a masterpiece and deserves all the credit in the world. It'll always have my love.

Keywords: July DVD Releases, TV on DVD, Weeds Season 2 DVD, Extras Season 2 DVD, Season Two

'John' Exiled to Cincinnati

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A source inside HBO, who wished to remain anonymous, has informed TV Blogger that HBO will not pick up John From Cincinnati for a second season.

A second individual, who works on the show itself, also suggested that that John will not be back. "I don't know for sure, but from what I've heard, the grape vine and such, we won't be back" for another season.

The show has struggled since its debut, garnering mixed reviews and drowning in the ratings. That it's the most confusing show in television history can't have helped. My sincere hope is that HBO brass pushes Milch into bringing back Deadwood.

The season one (series) finale airs August 12th.

More John From Cincinnati and Deadwood coverage from TV Blogger

Keywords: John From Cincinnati, Cancellation, Canceled, Cancel, Renewed, Renewal, Pick Up, HBO, David Milch, Deadwood

Technical 'Damages' Hurt Ratings

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The second episode saw the ratings for FX's Damages drop from 3.9 million for the premiere to 2.7 million. The show did manage to jump from 1.2 million to 1.4 million among the 18-49 demographic.

According to The Hollywood Reporter
, the drop was likely due to a large blackout in New York/NJ, where the household average
plummeted 47%.

Keywords: Damages, Nielsen Ratings, Damages Rating, FX

'The Kill Point' Review

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I'm a little late to the party when it comes to The Kill Point, but am I ever glad I showed up for a piece of cake. As a Wire groupie, Omar, Bodie, Brianna, Johnny and Officer Truck (Cop in the Western) with Steve Shill producing was more than enough to hook me in. You add John Leguizamo and Donnie Walhberg (Boomtown, baby) as the leads, throw in a fun (if not entirely unique) premise and I was geeked to sit down and watch the first three episodes.

The action starts immediately after a bank robbery turns into a hostage situation for five former marines (after a Heat style shoot out outside the bank). Led by Leguizamo, the lovable cast of bandits somehow make you believe they can beat the odds (Swordfish style). Whether it's the fact their driver got away and recruited three guys from their old squad or that they're running the bank like a military operation, it feels different than your usual Negotiatoresque affair.

Walhberg is wonderful as the man assigned to get the hostages out alive and the chemistry he shares with Leguizamo is great. The rest of the cast does a good job, although I lost the ability to honestly assess anything with ties to The Wire years ago.

But the show's greatest asset is its ability to walk a fine line not many thrillers can. In Prison Break, although Scofield and his merry band are trying to escape from prison, they're clearly the good guys. And I suspect if you rooted against Jack Bauer he'd snap your neck. The Killing Point manages to endear you to the marines, rooting for their escape without hating the people trying to catch them.

And in a show with guns, blood and dead bodies (and cake), do we really want anything more than to like everyone?

Keywords: The Kill Point Review, Spike TV, John Leguizamo, Donnie Walhberg, The Wire

August DVD Preview

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Rome: The Complete 2nd Season
August 7th

Finally getting beyond the death of Caesar, season two was a huge improvement over the first. Getting to see the characters deal with the fallout, and the impending war was a great send off to the short lived, slightly disappointing series.

Dexter: The Complete 1st Season
August 21st

Dexter is without question one of the best series on television. Michael C. Hall is amazing as a forensic analyst by day, Robin Hoodesque killer by night. For anyone that hasn't had a chance to see the series, this is a must buy.

Heroes: Season One
August 28th

Oh, what could have been. Heroes had it all going, 22 episodes of masterful serialized storytelling and a great ensemble cast. Then there was the season finale filled with horrible dialogue, sloppy plot holes and a general lousiness. Still, the first 22 episodes are great and we can always pretend the season finale didn't happen.

Friday Night Lights: The 1st Season
August 28th

What started out as one of the best new shows of the season fell off hard. Plagued with ratings trouble, FNL tried drawing viewers by toning down the dark storylines. Even at its worst, it's still better than most of what's on TV.

Other August DVD Releases:

August 7th
  • The Dresden Files: The Complete 1st Season
  • The Simpsons: The Complete 10th Season
August 21st
  • House: Season 3
  • South Park: The Complete 10th Season
  • Ugly Betty: The Complete 1st Season: The Bettyfied Edition
Keywords: August Releases, TV on DVD, Rome, Heroes, Dexter

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Downhill for 'Damages'

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If the second episode of Damages is any indication, the show's in trouble. If not spectacular, the pilot was good, aided by a nice plot twist at the end. The second episode tries the same formula, dropping an even more dramatic revelation in the final scene.

This time around, it wasn't enough to compensate for how miserable the rest of the episode was. Outside of Frobisher (Danson) every character is a one trick pony. Patty (Close) is downright mean and does nothing but lie and manipulate everyone around her. She seems proud about it and goes way overboard in driving home the fact that "everyone lies" (the show's theme).

Meanwhile Ellen (Byrne) is the innocent, hard working, likable character whose life Patty inevitably ruins. I won't reveal the plot twist, only to say the blood on Ellen's raincoat is the least of her problems. The thing is, Patty's so obviously a bitch that I don't have any sympathy for Ellen.

Ellen has another perfectly good job offer she can accept at any moment. Patty proved herself certifiable when, after ten years, she fired her most loyal employee over a minor screw up (she didn't really, he's a double agent now).

What kind of an idiot doesn't walk away and take the other job? Even worse, Ellen finds it prudent to move into an apartment that Patty gets for her. You don't need Tim Donaghy reffing to bet on the apartment being wired to the gills.

Then you have, Katie (Anastasia Griffith), Ellen's remarkably inept sister. After Katie comes home and finds her dog murdered, believing that Frobisher was behind it (It was actually Michael Vick... or Patty) she decides to help Patty take him down.

Only Katie had a one night stand while she was in Florida that resulted in an abortion. She chooses to keep that information from Patty, who is so appalled at being lied to rescinds her promise of protection.

So now, Katie is on her own, being stalked by Frobisher's people, who plan to kill her unless she signs a confidentiality agreement. After a day of being stalked, she finally signs with the added bonus of getting a restaurant out of the deal.

When Frobisher, very relieved at not being responsible for someone's death, comes to thank her (albeit rather creepily), Katie changes her mind and tells Patty the truth about the abortion.

Seriously? After ridding herself of danger, getting a nice restaurant and freeing herself of ever having to talk to Patty again, she goes back? On a scale of dumb ass moves this ranks a solid 8. But there's more.

Turns out she's not done lying to Patty. The would-be father of her unborn child isn't as far removed from her life as she let on. Naturally, she chooses to meet him in a park, never considering that anyone might be following her. But people were hired to follow her. Doh!

Basically, the only redeeming quality of the episode is Danson's performance as Frobisher. Whether he's being hilarious (he offers up an uneaten meal to his cook, only to change his mind and give it to his dog), contemplating the moral ramifications of murder or snorting coke and banging hookers, the man's gold. He almost makes up for how ridiculous everyone else is.


Keywords: Damages, FX, Episode 2, Review, Recap, Ted Danson, Glenn Close, Rose Byrne


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