Stay Tuned
Reviews, previews and much more on "The Real Housewives," "How I Met Your Mother," "NCIS" and many more of your favorite shows. This is the place to talk about all of the things that make us "Stay Tuned"…

Friday, March 23, 2012

My Final Post:: Thank You and Goodbye

I had planned to do some special things here in the final days of this blog—some flashbacks, some last minute reviews. But as with so many things in my life these days, I just ran out of time.

It is truly time now to say goodbye…

About seven years ago, I got the crazy idea to form email distribution lists and send my friends news and thoughts about different TV shows. There was one for “American Idol” and one for the final season of “Friends” and one for Reality TV. And as silly as that might sound, they actually caught on.

Then my friend, Donna, suggested I do this new thing called a blog. I didn’t know much about them, but I figured I’d give it a shot. And I did, and it was a lot of fun.

Then about six years ago, I got a call from Andrea, the H-D’s online editor. The H-D was redesigning its website and they wanted to include blogs. So she asked me if I wanted to do a TV one. And the rest, as they say, is history…

The blog started out as just my opinions about shows and news items I had read other places. But I wasn’t satisfied with that and soon figured out with some research and some networking, I could make the blog so much more. And not to pat myself on the back, but I’m pretty proud of—and a little amazed at—what I was able to accomplish.

I talked to some pretty cool people and saw some pretty cool stuff during these past six years. But none of that could have ever happened without a lot of very cool people behind the scenes. I can’t possibly name them all, but there are four that I have to single out—the four publicists that gave me the initial start that I needed to really make this thing special: Tory from Bravo, Todd from FOX and Heather and Michele from TNT/TBS. I can’t thank them enough for what they did for me.

And, of course, I have to thank the fabulous Andrea Copley-Smith for making this possible at all.

Last but not least, I have to thank all of you. Without you reading this blog, it would have been taken down a long time ago. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Although it is sad for me to see six years of my work wiped away when this blog comes down Sunday, I am excited about the new phase of my professional career that I will be entering. And who knows where we might run into each other in the future.

I guess, like always, we’ll just have to Stay Tuned…

Thursday, March 22, 2012

My Final Column: Five Things I Need to Tell You About Now

Today, my final "Stay Tuned" column ran in "The Herald-Dispatch." If you missed it, you can read it here.

Tomorrow, you can read my last post on this blog with all of my many, many thank yous...

Goodbyes are never an easy thing. I admit that I’m terrible at them. But I’m going to do my very best to muster up a good one this week as I say goodbye to this column and move on to a new career.

I considered doing something special to mark the occasion, but in the end, I decided to take the “Everybody Loves Raymond” approach and wrap things up by doing the same thing I did every week, which is spotlighting the shows I thought you shouldn’t—or in some cases, should—miss.

So here are the top five upcoming shows I wanted to talk about now because I won’t be able to later.

5) “Two and a Half Men” (April 30 at 9 p.m. on CBS)

CBS announced this week that Kathy Bates will guest star on the April 30 episode as—are you sitting down?—the ghost of Charlie Harper, Charlie Sheen’s character. The ghost will appear to Alan (Jon Cryer) after he suffers a heart attack. What is the matter with this show that it can’t just leave well enough alone? I’m pretty sure my love-hate relationship with “Men” this season will stay at hate permanently after this one.

4) “How I Met Your Mother” (May 14 at 8 p.m. on CBS)

“Mother” has experienced a creative revival as it continues to take us through the many twists and turns of a bride’s identity—not of the titular mother, but of Barney’s (Neil Patrick Harris) bride, who will reportedly be revealed in May. I am still hoping it’s Robin (Cobie Smulders).

3) “Falling Skies” (June 17 at 9 p.m. on TNT)

TNT has gotten me excited about this one with a big promotional push during its NCAA tournament coverage. I’m still trying to figure out how the show will pick up after last year’s cliffhanger in which Tom (Noah Wyle) boarded an alien ship. And the sight of Terry O’Quinn (“Lost”) in the show’s promos has me positively giddy.

2) “The Celebrity Apprentice” (Mondays at 9 p.m. on NBC)

I am not ashamed to admit that this is my favorite show on the air right now. “Apprentice” has been very entertaining this season and it keeps getting better. It’s the only show my husband and I actually sit down and watch together and we’re both really looking forward to seeing how it all turns out.

1) “Dallas” (June 13 at 9 p.m. on TNT)

This show was a tradition in my house on Friday nights back in the day, so I was a little nervous about someone doing a reboot. But I really think TNT is on to something here as the clashes over Ewing Oil move to the next generation with John Ross and Christopher picking things up where their fathers J.R. and Bobby left off. But the cool thing here is that J.R. and Bobby—and Sue Ellen—will be there too.

A special thanks to Robyn, Andrea and the entire team here at the paper for allowing me to be a part of your weekend these past two years. For more of my thank yous, be sure to visit my blog before it comes down Sunday.

Photo Credit: Martin Schoeller/TNT

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

"Auction Hunters" Uncensored: "You can imagine the mayhem that's going to ensue"

When I realized that my column would need to come to an end, I wasn’t sure how I was going to end it. What show would get the spotlight?

But then everything fell into place and I was able to once again speak with Allen Haff and Ton Jones, Spike TV’s “Auction Hunters.” The show is going live tonight and if the episode is anything like our conversation, heaven help us all.

These guys are so much fun and it was a perfect show to go out on. Here is our interview in its entirety, except for any words I might have missed because I was laughing so hard, or coughing from laughing so hard. The guys talked about the live episode, the upcoming episodes in Alaska and about the two of them coming to blows this season. I honestly can’t tell you what is true and what isn’t here, so I’ll just let you decide for yourself…

And you can see the live episode tonight (Wednesday, March 21st) at 9 p.m. on Spike TV…

Me: Hi guys, it’s great to talk with you again.

Ton Jones: How you doin’?

Oh, you know. Hangin’ out. I know you guys are busy.

TJ: Keepin’ busy like always.

So Ton, that’s you. Allen, are you there?

Allen Haff: Yeah, right here.

Well, you were being quiet so I wanted to make sure.

AH: Sometimes I find it’s best if I’m quiet and then Ton thinks he’s going to get a word in edgewise. Then I just take the thing over. I’m kidding. We’re going to do an experiment this time. We’re going to let him carry it and I’ll chime in here and there. How about that?


AH: Last time I was a real pig, so I owe him this one. Those West Virginians love Ton. They’re a little ambivalent about me.

Alright, Ton, then I’ll ask you. How do we think this whole live thing is going to work? What’s the gameplan here?

TJ: Actually, you probably know as much as we do. It’s for charity and it’s going to be live. We actually don’t know what’s going to happen yet.

How long does it actually take for everything we see in a show to happen?

TJ: From start to finish, an episode usually takes anywhere from four to eight days.

AH: The one thing that people do not realize when they watch our 22-minute show is all the work that Ton and I do. Most of it doesn’t make the cut of the show because it’s really not that sexy. It’s not that interesting. There’s a lot of sweaty, hard work and the camera crew has already gone home and we’re still there cleaning up the mess. What you see on TV is maybe 20 percent of what our business is. I can’t even tell you. We just found a really cool vintage boat that we went out on. Ton and I made a sale, we got to go out on the boat and the cameras weren’t there. We have an exciting life…But most of it doesn’t make the cut. As hard as we work in those 22 minutes, believe me it’s a lot harder in real life.

So Allen, how are those four to eight days going to get condensed into one single episode?

AH: I don’t see that happening. It’s going to be an hour so that will be important. Literally, it’s one of those deals where we understand it’s invitation only. It’s the first time I’ve ever been invited to anything in my life. I was always picked last in kickball. So this is new. But for charity, and for vets, Ton and I will be there. We will do what we do. But other than that, we really don’t have a lot of the information…We know that that night, that day, we’re going to be at that auction and hopefully, we’ll see something worth bidding on.

Hopefully, or it’s going to be short.

AH: Yeah, well, Ton and I can always do our vaudeville act. That’s pretty terrific so if this auction thing doesn’t work out, we’ll just start doing our musical numbers. I’m kidding. We don’t actually have a vaudeville act. I know you were probably thinking, wow. But no, we don’t. Thank you for laughing. Yeah, so we’re going to tear it up. I can’t tell you that it’s going to be awesome, because truthfully, a lot of what we do isn’t that awesome. It’s a lot of hard work…I tell you what I will guarantee. You’re going to get a glimpse of Ton you’ve never seen before. Because he is wonderful on the program, but in real life, he doesn’t have an editor. So I guess the one exciting thing is that you’re going to get a taste of Ton—the viewers are going to get a concentrated taste of Ton—that they have never seen before. He is a very different person.

TJ: I’m not disagreeing with anything he’s saying.

AH: Thank you. All of his rough spots get ironed out in editing. But you know what? You’re going to see them.

TJ: Shoot, yeah.

AH: He may go crazy. I may offend him in some way. We might actually come to blows, which happens in real life, but never makes the cut of the show. So we’ll see what happens. I can’t control him…Look what I’ve got. I’ve got the greatest show on Earth, come step right up. Give me your two bits. And then all of a sudden, Ton breaks free. He’s going to break free from his chains. Someone’s going to get hurt and the cameras are going to be there to see it. I think it’s very ill advised. I’m having second thoughts. I think I’m coming down with a cold. I’m not sure I’m going to be there. We’ll see what happens.

Ton, please jump in here and defend yourself.

TJ: I can’t. He didn’t tell a lie…I’m just praying to God for an eight-second delay.

Is that when you’re thankful you’re on cable and not broadcast?

TJ: We have a lot of fun and I do not have an edit program in my mind. Things usually come out whether they want to hear it or not. No one ever has to ask me what I’m thinking because I’ll tell them…This could get bad.

So is that your number one concern, Ton, or do you have other concerns about what might happen or not happen?

TJ: The bad thing is none of it concerns me which is the way I am. It’s a concern for everybody else. For me, it’s another day at work. They wanted to film Allen and I digging storage units and doing what we do. That’s what they’re doing. They signed up for it. Now they’re going to have to live it.

AH: The thing I worry about is we agreed to do this live event for Spike because the pitch was we were going to be able to help some of our vets from Afghanistan and the wars in Iraq. So, of course, we’re in for that. What I’m a little bit worried about, what I’m stressed about is we don’t always make money. Sometimes we just get back what we invested. For all I know we’re going to end up sending a George Foreman grill over to the vets instead of the kind of money I’d like to be sending them. So that kind of puts the pressure on. If we weren’t doing it for someone else, we’d just have that awkwardness of digging into Geraldo’s vault. I could live with that. I’m not ashamed of that because it happens in our business. But I’m going to feel like I let the guys down and that’s going to kind of bug me. So I hope that this auction is as high-end as we’ve heard and that there’s stuff worth bidding on so we can make some serious money for these guys. So I guess that’s where my pressure is. That’s what I’m worried about. Will it be entertaining? Yes. Ton and I laugh, we entertain the crap out of each other all day long. So as long as we’re having fun, I think the audience will enjoy it. But can I guarantee you this is going to be the best TV you’ve ever tuned into? No. But I guess that’s what’s exciting about the whole idea.

There are probably going to be some people who watch the show just to see what happens, Ton, what are you hoping to show viewers that they’ve never seen? Or what do you hope that they’ll see that they won’t see in some of these other shows that sort of do what you guys do?

TJ: Most of all, don’t get me wrong. I love to get new viewers. It helps out ratings and it helps us out in the long run. But this is for charity. And at the end of the day, I would like to make as much money for the charity and I’d like the viewers to also think about it and take a step back and realize there’s others with a lot worse problems than us like everything from Vietnam vets all the way to the Afghanistan vets to the Fallen Heroes Fund. All of them. And all I hope is that at the end of the day is all the viewers take a step back and say hey, I have an extra five bucks that I can donate to one of these funds. And hopefully make a difference.

AH: Wow. I like that too. What he said. See what happens when I don’t suck all of the oxygen out of the room?

That was pretty good.

AH: You’re not going to get that on the show. The editors would have cut that right out…So tell me about, if you don’t mind, I want to hear about your publication. Where are you based because I know West Virginia a little bit. I spent some time there. I dated a girl from WVU and I have to say that I survived two Pitt weekends. So I feel like I know a little about the area.

Well, we are from the Marshall community. So we don’t claim WVU. Huntington, West Virginia. The home of the Thundering Herd.

AH: You’re not from there originally, are you?

I’m from right across the river in Southern Ohio.

AH: I know Ohio because I’m a Michigan guy and I worked at Cedar Point, so I got you.

You worked at Cedar Point?

AH: I did that for three summers. I really enjoyed that. That was my happy time.

Were you one of those barkers that said, step right up and all that stuff?

AH: A little bit like that, yeah. I drove paddle boats and told jokes…You take the big boat out and you’re like Captain Allen and you do your thing. What a fun job. I’ve had a lot of fun jobs. This isn’t one of them I have to tell you. It was hard before, but with TV cameras, it’s even harder because we have to deal with production now. So it’s more challenging.

Once you guys get the live episode under your belt we’re going to see a lot of other really cool stuff that you guys have already filmed. So Ton, give me a little teaser about the rest of the season.

TJ: I’m not sure if I’m allowed to tell you—

AH: I’ll tell you. Ton fights a dwarf. I’ll tell you that right now. And the outcome is shocking. Also, we go to Alaska right away, which is amazing. Totally wild country. We loved Alaska and didn’t want to leave. We spent a lot of time in Alaska and some of those episodes are going to show up right away and I am telling you they are wild. Great people, great characters, and I am telling you we went head to head with some bad, bad people. I really think the Alaska episode is the funnest thing we’ve ever done. When I look at that, if you like the show so far, you’re going to love these because it’s like “Auction Hunters” on steroids. I really love what they capture and what we had the opportunity to see in Alaska. Those were special.

Ton, would you agree with his assessment about Alaska?

TJ: Alaska was awesome. I want to go back.

AH: Did I mention Ton also fights a grizzly bear? You can print that. I wouldn’t say it if it wasn’t true. You know that, right?

Seriously, Ton, is this what Allen does to you? You guys go some place and he just looks for something for you to fight?

AH: Yes, that’s right. That’s what happens…He’s a feisty guy. He does not take any disrespect from any man or grizzly, for that matter. And no man is too small to incur Ton’s wrath. Oh, let me tell you something. This is a fact. If you watch this next season, Ton punches me. I swear to God, he punches me and it’s on camera. He’s very abusive normally, but he takes it to a whole new level this season and let’s just say we come to blows. And maybe or maybe not, I punch him right in his face.

TJ: Oh, who swung first?

AH: Who swung first. The fact that there’s a second swing after that tells you all you need to know about that fight. So, we’re tearing it up.

I’m sure that if Ton swung at you, you deserved it, Allen.

AH: Why would you say that? That was terrible. Now, I’m really going to have to think about this. But yeah, I had a feeling that if they caught that fight, that some people would be rooting for Ton to whoop my tail pretty bad. All I’ll say is that I can hold my head up high. I won’t say it was a decisive victory on my part, but I definitely, I held my own in this.

TJ: Not bad.

AH: Thank you. That goes a long way toward my healing. I appreciate you saying that. We’re still friends. Let me put it that way.

But Ton, I’m right. If you guys came to blows it was because he deserved it.

TJ: I would never swing without someone deserving it.

AH: Let me say you guys get to see the edited version of Ton. You have no idea what he’s capable of. Please, consider this a warning. I’m telling you, this guy’s an animal. And they put him on TV so I think that some people think he comes off like a sweet guy. And he is capable of being one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. But he is also capable of being one of the most horrific atrocities ever to curse the Earth…Ton you’re not upset that I said that, are you?

TJ: No, I enjoy the fact that you think I’m not an angel, which I am…I’m a sweet guy. Watch the shows.

You guys are so awesome. I love talking with you. I have to tell you guys something. I actually have another job so you guys are the last show to be featured in my column.

AH: Aww, congratulations on your new job. Thank you.

I’m going back to the world of PR, so this will be my next to last column. I’m going to give a mushy goodbye next week, but you guys are the final show to be featured in my column.

TJ: Aww…

AH: Thank you. That is really sweet, thank you. We could use somebody like you. As you can tell, Ton and I could use a little PR. So if they don’t treat you right at your new place, give us a call, will you?

I don’t think I could control you guys.

AH: No, there’s no controlling really. That’s why you need the editing program. So you can imagine the mayhem that’s going to ensue when they go live with us. You know, with me, you’re going to get what you get, but with Ton, honestly, he’s unpredictable. I’m just trying to warn everybody that this isn’t going to be what they bargained for. Whatever you think it is, it’s not like that at all…Finally, America is going to see how he really acts and maybe you’ll change your mind about me deserving a beating or any of that. Truthfully, it’s a different situation in real life than it is on that cut of the show. They pick very carefully what they show you.

TJ: Whatever.

AH: We have our problems like anybody else who works together. We have a lot of stress with what we do when we’re doing it correctly. I’m going to try and enjoy this whole live thing. I don’t know how they’re going to fit a day’s worth of work into an hour. That’s their problem. God bless ‘em. They’re going to be really stressed out. Ton and I are going to have a good time. Quite possibly, there will be alcohol involved. Ton says a lot of alcohol. I’m going to hold you to that, Ton, because honestly we’ve had a hard run. We’ve been buying and selling. I don’t even want to think about how many things have gone through our hands this year that were turned into money. But we’ve been at this thing now for like 20 months. So this is kind of like our fun. It’s a graduation night kind of deal. I’m excited about the new episodes, so anything that we can do to point people in the right direction with what we’ve done with our new episodes, awesome. I’m down with it.

I’m very much looking forward to this. You’ve really whet my appetite about what kind of mayhem you guys might be ensuing.

AH: I’m telling you it’s on. I was telling Ton today. Remember there was an actor who had a rant—Christian Bale?...And he goes on for like three minutes. You remember that? That’s happening. That is happening. We don’t know who. We don’t know who is going to suffer the brunt of our rant, but I will probably bust it out on somebody else in good fun. I look forward to the opportunity. I understand they hired some poor guy who considers himself a host to try and wrangle us. That’s hilarious. I can’t wait to see this guy. If he doesn’t get locked in a storage container by the end of the night, we’re just not doing our jobs correctly.

TJ: He’s going down.

AH: I’m serious. If this nerd thinks he’s going to come over and try to, ‘Well gentlemen, how are you feeling about this?’ when grown-ups are working? I feel bad for the little guy, honestly.

TJ: Call him victim.

AH: Oh, he calls him victim. Fair enough. I can’t wait to see what they’re going to try to do to us. But it’s on.

You guys are awesome. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me. I wish you guys the very best of luck.

AH: Okay, so in conclusion, your headline, spoiler alert, is like, somebody is getting punched in the mouth…It may be me getting punched in the mouth, but somebody is getting punched in the mouth. I promise you that.

Thank you guys so much.

AH: Well we appreciate you spending your dwindling hours thinking about us and our little program. Thank you for that.

Photos Credit: Spike TV

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Beginning of the End...

As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. And so is the case with this blog…

Yes, I am in my last days as a TV blogger. Friday will be my last post and the blog will be taken down sometime Sunday.

But don’t be sad for me. This is all happening because I am starting a brand new career that I’m pretty excited about, as I return to the world of PR. But of course, I will miss sharing news and reviews with you, my loyal readers.

I’ve still got a few things planned for this week and I’m hoping that I’ll get lucky and come up with a few more surprises. As always, just Stay Tuned…

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

CBS Renews 18 Shows

CBS announced today that it has renewed 18 of its shows for the 2012-2013 TV season. But there are a few notable exclusions from this blanket renewal…

The renewed comedies are “Broke Girls” and “Mike & Molly.” “How I Met Your Mother” and “The Big Bang Theory” had already been renewed.

The announcement also said that CBS and Warner Bros. are in “preliminary discussions” about future seasons for “Two and a Half Men.”

The renewed dramas are “NCIS,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “Hawaii Five-O,” “Criminal Minds,” “CSI,” “Person of Interest,” “The Mentalist,” “Blue Bloods” and “The Good Wife.”

Returning reality series will be “The Amazing Race,” “Undercover Boss” and the previously renewed “Survivor.”

“60 Minutes” and “48 Hours Mystery” will also be back next season.

Absent from the renewal list were the new dramas, “Unforgettable” and “A Gifted Man.” “Man” is probably history, but I’m thinking there’s still a slim shot for “Unforgettable.” Veteran shows missing from the list are “CSI: Miami” and “CSI: NY.” I think they both could be in serious trouble—especially the NY edition.

Absent from the comedies list was the new comedy, “Rob,” which the critics despise, but has done decently in the ratings. And no surprise, “Rules of Engagement” is not on the list either. Who knows what CBS will do with it…

Photo Credit: Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

FOX Moves "Touch" Premiere

The ripple effect of the delay of the Daytona 500 is now being felt in the FOX schedule.

“Touch,” the new Kiefer Sutherland drama, has now been moved to Thursdays. It will premiere Thursday, March 22nd at 9 p.m. The preview episode will air again Thursday, March 15th at 9 p.m.

The “Alcatraz” season finale will now air Monday, March 26th at 8 p.m. “The Finder” will air its spring finale Thursday, March 8th at 9 p.m., but is scheduled to return later with all-new episodes.

In other words, they’ll burn off the rest of “The Finder” episodes during the summer after FOX has already cancelled it…

“Bones” will move to Monday at 8 p.m. beginning April 2nd. “House” will air at 9 p.m. on Mondays with a retrospective special airing Monday, May 21st, followed by the series finale.

FOX also announced that its 25th anniversary special will air Sunday, April 22nd at 8 p.m…

Photo Credit: Brian Bowen Smith/FOX

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

FOX Chooses JLo and Marc

Jennifer Lopez and her ex-husband, Marc Anthony are bringing their new show to a network JLo is familiar with—FOX…

“Q’Viva! The Chosen” will premiere Saturday, March 3rd at 8 p.m. and will continue for five weeks until the finale Saturday, April 7th at 8 p.m.

In the show, JLo Marc and concert director Jamie King travel through 20 countries to find the best Latin singers, dancers, musicians and other performers. After traveling the globe, they’ll review the talent and then bring “the chosen” ones to the U.S. for a special performance…

Am I the only one who thinks JLo and Marc still share a lot of chemistry?

Photo Credit: FOX

"The X Factor" Auditions Go Bigger

FOX has announced the audition process for “The X Factor” and it’s bigger than ever…

Online auditions open March 1st at The MyStudioHD Recording Studios will travel to New Jersey, Phoenix, Nashville, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New England and Las Vegas also beginning March 1st.

The Open Calls begin March 14th in Kansas City. There will also be open auditions in Austin, Texas (March 22nd), San Francisco (April 20th), Greensboro, NC (May 1st) and one more city to be announced later.

New this year, artists with pre-existing management contracts can now audition, subject to limited restrictions.

The prize this season is once again a $5 million recording contract with Sony Music. According to the FOX press release, winner Melanie Amaro, Astro, Chris Rene, Josh Krajcik, Marcus Canty and Rachel Crow all signed deals with Sony.

Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid will return as judges with a whole new crew to be announced later.

I’ll have much more on this later this week after a media conference call with Simon and L.A. I’m guessing the main topic will be all those judge rumors…

Photo Credit: FOX

NBC Makes Some Spring Tweaks

NBC announced today the additions of three new shows to its spring schedule…

The comedy “Bent” will premiere Wednesday, March 21st at 9 p.m. with two episodes. The show will then air back-to-back episodes the next two Wednesdays.

The good news here is that “Bent,” which is a really good show, is finally premiering. The bad news is that it’s only six episodes and they’re being burned off rather quickly…

To make room, “Rock Center with Brian Williams” will move to Wednesdays at 10 p.m. beginning March 7th, when “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” goes on hiatus. It will return Wednesday, April 11th at 10 p.m. when “Rock Center” moves back to 9 p.m…

Also being added to the schedule are “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers” and “Best Friends Forever.” Both will premiere Wednesday, April 4th beginning at 8 p.m…

NBC also announced that “Community” will return Thursday, March 15th at 8 p.m. To make room, “Parks and Recreation” will leave the schedule until April 19th at 9:30 p.m. when “Up All Night” wraps its run…

And yes, I do believe this is as confusing as it looks…

Photo Credit: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC