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"…

Monday, June 30, 2008

VH1 Shows Tri-State Some “New Millennium” Love

So since it was last week’s Pick of the Week, I know you were all watching it, but in case you missed it, the Tri-State got a little shout-out during VH1’s “I Love the New Millennium”…

One of the discussions during the 2004 episode was the game, “Dance Dance Revolution.” One of the commentators brought up that schools were using it to promote exercise, and lo and behold, there was WSAZ’s Bill Murray sitting on a gym floor with a bunch of kids, asking how many of them played the game. It was obviously a story that Bill had done for a WSAZ newscast, but how did it get in the episode?

I figured I’d go right to the source, so I asked Bill himself. But he has no idea…

But don’t think that will stop me, dear readers. I am working all of my sources to get to the bottom of this one and I’ll pass on the answer as soon as I get it.

In the meantime, you can see the segment for yourself when VH1 encores the 2004 episode this Wednesday (July 2nd) at 5 p.m.

And if your kid was a part of Bill’s original story in 2004, you’ll want to be sure to watch as well because the local kids get a lot of screen time…

Friday, June 27, 2008

Andy Answers My Question…And Apologizes!

So, you’ll remember that I was a little fired up with Bravo after the “Top Chef” reunion when we never found out what Dale refused to talk about.

Well, Bravo’s Andy Cohen apologized for the oversight on his blog today, by explaining that the promo department took stuff out of the five hours of footage that was shot before the episode was edited together. “That was an error and that should’ve been in the show.”

Andy went on to say that he believes what Dale was referring to was either some kind of cursing he did, or a fight with Lisa.

Then he finished by saying, “I’m sorry that didn’t make it in, and that’s a good call and we should’ve done that.”

You’re forgiven, Andy. Just don’t do it again…

And even though he didn’t read my name—as he usually does with his viewer mail—he was absolutely reading my e-mail. You’ll notice it’s the same wording I used in my blog post.

I love you, Andy, but since you complimented me for making “a good call,” you couldn’t have mentioned my name?

You can see it for yourself here. It comes with 3:22 remaining in the video…

Emmy Makes Its Top 10 Lists

Normally, the Emmy process is like a secret society with little tidbits of information leaking out from people willing to expose the secrets.

But this year, it looks like the Academy is going to expose some of the secrets itself…

Yesterday the Academy announced the top 10 finalists in the Outstanding Drama and Comedy Series categories. Emmy voters will view tape of the finalists and then vote with the top five vote-getters receiving nominations. If the voting is close, six or seven shows could receive nominations.

Here are the top 10 on the drama side: “Boston Legal,” “Damages,” “Dexter,” “Friday Night Lights,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “House,” “Lost,” “Mad Men,” “The Tudors” and “The Wire.”

On the comedy side it’s: “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Entourage,” “Family Guy,” “Flight of the Conchords,” “The Office,” “Pushing Daisies,” “30 Rock,” “Two and a Half Men,” “Ugly Betty” and “Weeds.”

The most interesting story is the comedy nominees. “Desperate Housewives” did not make the top 10, even though this year it actually deserved it. And I’m a little disappointed that “The Big Bang Theory” didn’t somehow break through. But the real wild card here is “Family Guy” since the traditional Emmy categories usually shy away from animation. It will be interesting to see if “Guy” can break that mold. I’m actually rooting for it.

The Emmy nominations will be announced July 17th…

Blais Is Coming to Columbus!

So I hesitated to post this because I have no real information, but I had to share it with you…

Richard Blais is coming to Columbus as part of the “Top Chef Tour” and he’s bringing with him Hung Hyunh, the winner of “Top Chef: Miami.”


However, according to the tour website, all of the shows are sold out, but walk-ins are welcome.

I am frantically working every source I have to try and get more details on this one.

So, of course, Stay Tuned…

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Billy Ray is "Real Gone"

The fine folks at Lyric Street Records have just sent me a press release about the new CD, “Country Goes Disney,” and yes, Billy Ray is on it.

In fact, you’ll get two songs from Billy Ray: his smash duet with Miley, “Ready, Set, Don’t Go,” and “Real Gone,” from “Cars.” “Gone” was also featured on “Disneymania 6.” You can see the awesome video here.

In all, the CD features 15 contemporary and traditional Disney tracks from a who’s who of country artists including Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, and the Lyric Street “Idol” triple threat of Josh Gracin, Bucky Covington and Phil Stacey.

“Country Goes Disney” hits stores July 8th…

Actors Strike Update: Things Are Getting Nasty

I’ve always liked Alan Rosenberg. After all, he’s in one of my favorite TV movies of all time, “The Temptations” (He played Shelley Berger.).

But now, I just want him to go away…

Why? Because as the president of SAG, he is bringing us ever closer to another work stoppage when we still haven’t recovered from the last one.

As I posted earlier, Rosenberg is campaigning to get SAG members who are also AFTRA members to vote against the agreement AFTRA reached with producers. If the AFTRA deal passes, SAG will lose their bargaining power. And, since SAG has badmouthed the deal, it’s unlikely SAG will be able to get those same terms.

AFTRA will vote on its contract the first week of July.

In the meantime, several high profile SAG members are coming out in support of the AFTRA deal, including Tom Hanks. Sandra Oh of “Grey’s Anatomy” has been making calls on behalf of SAG’s “Vote No” campaign.

Let’s see. Tom Hanks vs. Sandra Oh. Not much of a contest, is it?

It’s important to note that Rosenberg has not asked for a strike authorization vote. However, that doesn’t mean a work stoppage isn’t still possible.

If SAG rejects the final offer—which may come this week—the studios could stage a lockout after the current contract expires on June 30th.

Stay Tuned…

The “Best of Both Worlds” in 3-D

If you have a “Hannah Montana” fan in your house, mark your calendars for July 26th at 8 p.m.

That’s when Disney Channel will air “Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert” in 3-D.

You can get your 3-D glasses in the July 21st issue of “TV Guide.”

To get fans ready, Disney will air a new “Hannah” episode July 20th, followed by a week of “rock-related” shows (I’m guessing “Camp Rock” will be one of them.). A “Hannah” marathon (beginning at 2 p.m.) will lead into the movie…

My Rock Returns to TV

I didn’t watch Tim Russert’s funeral Wednesday because I had promised myself no more crying.

Yet, there I was wiping away the tears at the short tribute on Sunday’s “Meet the Press.”

Thankfully, though, Sunday’s host Brian Williams made an announcement that instantly stopped the tears…

My rock is coming back to television.

Sunday, NBC announced that Tom Brokaw will become the interim host of “Meet the Press” through the November election.

It’s really the only choice the network could make. The country needs someone to get us through this transition and in my opinion, there’s no one better. I’m just glad he agreed to do it.

In all honesty, I don’t know how good Tom will be. But does it really matter?

Just having him on my TV every week is good enough for me…

Monday, June 23, 2008

Pick of the Week: VH1 Shows Some Love

So last week I promised you that I would pick something on another network besides Bravo which, let’s face it, is usually pretty difficult for me.

Fortunately, the people over at VH1 decided to stop chronicling the embarrassing downfalls of celebrities (I’m talking to you C. Thomas Howell! I know you won, but “Celebracadabra”? You were in “The Outsiders,” for heaven’s sake!) for a week and instead give us a new edition of one of their all-time classics.

My Pick of the Week is “I Love the New Millennium.”

I spent much of Saturday watching “I Love the 80s 3-D” to get into the spirit. It’s not nearly as good as the original “I Love the 80s,” but it was still fun to watch all those “celebrity commentators” make me feel old. At least with this edition, we’re talking about events that have happened in the last eight years.

VH1 will show two new episodes a night for the next four nights. Plus you can catch encores each night of the previous episodes before the new ones premiere.

And you’ll be happy to know that based on the preview VH1 showed Sunday, both Michael Ian Black and Hal Sparks are on board for this edition.

“I Love the New Millennium” premieres with the year 2000 tonight (Monday) at 9 on VH1…

Friday, June 20, 2008

My Beef With Bravo

You guys know that I have nothing but love for Bravo. Without it, I would’ve never made it through a season without “24.”

So, you know when I attack Bravo, I must be really irritated…

For a solid week, Bravo promoted the “Top Chef: Chicago” reunion with Dale angrily saying, “That is something that I just do not want to talk about.” I even mentioned it in my Pick of the Week post, saying:

“Bravo is once again teasing us with a juicy soundbite from the show, but who knows what it really means.”

Well, I have watched the episode twice now and I still don’t know what it means. Because we never saw it. At no point during the hour did Dale ever say those words.

I am SO SICK of Bravo showing us promos or previews of things that never make it into the show. They did it constantly last season during “Project Runway” and they’ve done it a couple of times this season during “Top Chef,” but nothing this bad.

If you’re going to center an entire promotional campaign for a show around one moment, shouldn’t that moment actually be in the show?

Of course, we never saw Padma say “I’m shocked” or hear Andrew do his tiger noise either. Did the promotion department get a totally different tape than the one we saw or what?

And by the way, the one we saw was a great episode and one of the best Bravo reunion specials I’ve ever seen, but I was so disappointed by the fakeout that I couldn’t really enjoy it.

But it did teach me a valuable lesson. Never trust a Bravo promo…

The Daytime Emmy Awards: Go Thaao!

My apologies for not saying anything sooner about this, but it just kept slipping my mind—which as you’ve noticed has been focused solely on Bravo lately…

Tonight is the Daytime Emmy Awards where the best and brightest stars of soap operas, game shows and talk shows are honored. But more than a little controversy surrounds this year’s ceremony…

Now, let’s be honest. Award shows never please all the critics, but the criticism of this one has been extremely harsh over the past few months. Why? Because there are some new voting rules in the soap opera acting categories that have riled everyone up.

It’s a multi-step process that I may have wrong because it’s extremely complicated—way more that it should be—but I’ll do my best to explain it. Basically, before this year, each show pre-nominated two actors for each category—making them the only actors from the show eligible for nominations (If you’re thinking that might have gotten ugly behind-the-scenes, you’re right, based on some stories I’ve read.). Then those pre-nominees were sent to the Academy and the top vote-getters in each category were made the nominees. Then, tapes of the nominees were sent to the voters who chose the winner.

This year, however, the Academy eliminated the second vote, meaning that tapes of all the pre-nominees were sent to the Academy members and the top vote-getter in each category after the pre-nominations is in fact the winner.

What’s the controversy? Critics are concerned that since this process made so many tapes to view, no one actually watched them and they simply voted based on name recognition, loyalty to show or any other reason besides the actual material. The critics argue that this process kept some lesser known actors from being nominated and that it may mean the winners were not chosen fairly.

Quite frankly, I can’t disagree. However, I am SO excited about one of the nominees that I’m willing to look over it.

The dashing Thaao Penghlis received a nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor for his portrayal of Tony/Andre on “Days of Our Lives.” Now, if you follow the Daytime Emmys, you know that “Days” never receives any acting nominations, so if these new rules allowed a deserving actor like Penghlis to be nominated, I’m okay with it.

Now, I honestly don’t think Penghlis has a snowball’s chance of winning—especially with David Canary (“All My Children”) in the running—but his nomination does offer some hope and I wish him the best of luck tonight.

By the way, the voting is not the only controversy surrounding this year’s awards. The telecast itself is also slightly controversial. ABC cut the show to two hours this year. The network says that it wanted to spotlight its new SOAPNet show, “MVP,” by airing it after the awards. But most people agree that ABC just didn’t want a three-hour spotlight for CBS, which dominated this year’s nominations.

The Daytime Emmy Awards hosted by Cameron Mathison (“All My Children”) and Sherri Shepherd (“The View”) air tonight (Friday) at 8 p.m. on ABC…

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

"Top Chef" Is Coming to Columbus!

Yesterday, NBC Universal, which owns my beloved Bravo, officially announced “Top Chef: The Tour.”

According to the NBC Universal press release, the promotional tour will feature a traveling 18-wheeler semi-truck, which includes a state-of-the-art kitchen.

In each city, “Top Chef” “chef’testants” will host live interactive shows. Cooking demonstrations, gourmet tips, show secrets, food tastings and merchandise will be featured on the truck.

The tour will stop in Columbus, Ohio July 12th. The where and when have not been announced yet.

I’ve already seen one blog trying to figure out how Columbus got a stop on the 20-city tour. My guess is because judge Ted Allen is from Columbus…

I’m hoping to have much more on this, so Stay Tuned…

Monday, June 16, 2008

Pick of the Week: Just One More

So the logical choice for this week would be “Camp Rock,” the movie Disney Channel is hoping will be the next “High School Musical.” But since I’m over the Jonas Brothers, I had to go with another show from my beloved Bravo.

I promise that next week’s Pick will be from another network…

My Pick of the Week is the “Top Chef: Chicago Reunion Special.”

Bravo is once again teasing us with a juicy soundbite from the show, but who knows what it really means.

This time it’s Dale saying, “That’s the one thing I just do not want to talk about.” My guess is he’s referring to Tom’s feelings that Lisa should have been eliminated before him. Or maybe he’s the one who turned up Lisa’s rice…

We’ll also find out the winner of Fan Favorite. My money is on Stephanie or Andrew, although I voted for Blais, of course.

“Top Chef: Chicago Reunion Special” airs Wednesday, June 18th at 10 p.m. on Bravo…

And for the record, “Camp Rock” premieres Friday, June 20th at 8 p.m. on Disney Channel. You can catch encores Saturday, June 21st at 8 p.m. on ABC and Sunday, June 22nd at 8 p.m. on ABC Family…

Maybe Katherine Should Keep Her Mouth Shut

Remember during Isaiah-gate when Katherine Heigl of “Grey’s Anatomy” said that Isaiah Washington should keep his mouth shut?

I’m thinking she should follow her own advice…

Last week, Heigl’s publicist released a statement saying Heigl was not submitting her name for Emmy consideration this year.

In the statement, Heigl said, “I did not feel that I was given the material this season to warrant an Emmy nomination.” She went on to say that she wanted to “maintain the integrity of the academy” and that she “did not want to potentially take away an opportunity from an actress who was given such materials.”


First she badmouths “Knocked Up,” which kept the producers of the movie from nominating her for a Golden Globe and now this?

There have been lots of rumors that Heigl is looking for an escape hatch from “Grey’s Anatomy” and I can’t help but wonder if she’s hoping badmouthing the writers is it.

But couldn’t she have found a classier way to get out of the show—which has shot around her film schedule, by the way?

I’m starting to think she’s just not capable of that…

I Miss You, Tom

If there’s one thing I’ve learned this weekend while watching all of the tributes to Tim Russert, it’s this…

I miss Tom Brokaw.

That’s not to say that I don’t like Brian Williams, because I do. It’s just that no one can reassure you during a hard time better than Tom.

I don’t want to even think about what I would do without him…

My Personal Apology to Keith Olbermann

Dear Mr. Olbermann,

Considering you have never met me, this might sound like a pretty bold statement, but I have never liked you very much.

I have always found you terribly cocky and way too sarcastic. I never saw you on ESPN, but I couldn’t stand your work on FOX. You always seemed to make the game about you and I hate that.

So last year, when I heard you were being given a spot on “Football Night in America,” one of my favorite shows, I was less than thrilled. Not only did I think you would completely wreck the great chemistry the show had, but I thought you would take time away from my guy Cris Collinsworth—not to mention my guy Bob Costas. And although I have to say you had some good moments on “Football,” Bob’s constant gushing over you got more than a little annoying…

Obviously I’m not the only one who thought that way as an article in this month’s “New Yorker” quotes several people—including my rock Tom Brokaw—disagreeing with your broadcasting style and detailing the bridges you’ve burned at your previous jobs because of your “difficult” personality.

Which makes your work this past weekend all the more impressive…

I know it couldn’t have been easy anchoring MSNBC’s coverage of Tim Russert’s death—asking person after person the same questions for hours—but you handled it beautifully. And for the first time, I saw a human Keith Olbermann. Your grief was obvious in your eyes, on your face and in your voice. But still, you pressed on, which was actually somewhat reassuring.

For the first time, I could see why MSNBC has hung so much of its hopes on you. You truly rose to the occasion…

So, Mr. Olbermann, I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for the bad things I have said about you in this blog. I now have a new word when I think of you…


Just cut my guy Collinsworth some slack this season, would ya?


Angela Henderson

Just One More Tear...

I said yesterday that it was time to move on, but I hope you all will indulge me just one more tear...

This morning on "Today," Luke Russert spoke to Matt Lauer about his father and it is so easy to see why Tim was so proud of him. He is a remarkable well-spoken young man.

You can see the interview here.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

My Last Hour of Crying

About four minutes into the special tribute edition of “Meet the Press,” Tom Brokaw said this was a celebration of Tim Russert’s life and there would be no crying.

Nice try, Tom. I actually started crying from that moment and didn’t stop until the hour was over and I turned over to my beloved Bravo.

This entire weekend I’ve been in kind of a fog over the death of a man I never met. Maybe it’s because it’s Father’s Day and I feel so bad for his son because I know what it’s like to lose a parent. Maybe it’s because I read his book and I know how much his family meant to him. Maybe it’s because I feel like his life ended just before we needed him the most.

Whatever it is, I decided I needed to turn off the tributes and move on. The special edition of “Meet the Press” would be my last hour of crying.

And what an hour it was.

Tom Brokaw hosted a roundtable of some of Tim’s friends and colleagues: Gwen Ifill (PBS), historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, “MTP” Executive Producer Betsy Fischer, Mike Barnicle (NBC News), Maria Shriver, and political strategists James Carville and Mary Matalin.

They told wonderful stories, they showed great clips and, yes, they even cried—including Tom himself. But I think I was most touched by the shot of Carville and Matalin—the couple known for their heated debates on the show—holding hands. I have never understood how these two people who believe so strongly in such opposing views (She’s a Republican, he’s a Democrat.) could be married. But in that moment, I saw how as they were there for each other in their grief. It was a beautiful moment—and clearly the director agreed with me, because they cut back to that shot several times throughout the hour.

I have been incredibly impressed with the job the entire NBC News operation has done during this difficult time and this hour was a wonderful way to cap off the weekend of tributes.

It was also a great way for all of us to mourn a man we never met, but who we will truly miss.

You can see Tom’s intro to the program here. The entire hour of “Meet the Press” will be available online later today.

If you would like to express your condolences to the Russert family, you can do so here.

Friday, June 13, 2008

How Will We Get Through Election Night Now?

A little over an hour ago, my fiancé called me on my cell phone.

“Have you heard the bad news?” he said.

I was thinking that something had happened with the Reds or the Bengals or something else sports related. “What bad news?” I said almost jokingly.

“About Tim,” he answered.

“Tim who?”

“Tim Russert. He died today.”

I’m surprised I didn’t swerve my car…

In all honesty, I have no idea what to say right now, but I feel I should say something, so here goes…

If it’s possible to be a huge fan of a journalist, then I was a huge fan of Tim Russert. I used to watch “Meet the Press” religiously and I’d drive my parents crazy quoting him. For me, whatever Tim said was gospel and no politician was worth anything until they had been on “Meet the Press.”

I remember during the last Presidential campaign how everyone was all excited about Howard Dean and how he would be the Democratic candidate. But I knew that his candidacy would collapse. How? Because Tim had shredded him to pieces on “Meet the Press.”

As I told my fiancé, John McCain and Barack Obama have a cakewalk now…

I never met Tim Russert, but that doesn’t stop me from mourning his loss and from getting a little choked up as I write this and I hear numerous people on MSNBC talk about how wonderful he was.

And hearing the voice of my rock Tom Brokaw cracking as he reported the news? Well, I’m still trying to recover from that…

It’s interesting that after I stopped watching “Meet the Press” when I started getting more disillusioned with current politics that it was my mom who would quote Tim from what she had seen him say on “Today.”

At the risk of getting too personal, I can’t help but wonder if they’re having a conversation today. Maybe she’s telling him, “My daughter is such a fan of yours.”

I honestly have no idea how we’ll get through Election Night without him…

Thursday, June 12, 2008

"Top Chef" Finale: A Sad But Satisfying Ending

Warning: If you have not seen the season finale of “Top Chef: Chicago,” stop reading now…

As “Top Chef: Chicago” took its last commercial break last night, I was feeling a little sick because I had come to a horrible realization…

Lisa could actually win this thing.

The judges went wild for her second course and really enjoyed her fourth. The judges generally liked Stephanie’s first and second, loved her third, but disliked her fourth. And my boy Blais? Just like Casey last season, he was totally off his game.

And if there was any doubt about that, he admitted it himself when he shocked Gail by saying “I choked.”

Without Blais in the equation, that left Lisa a strong contender—especially since she was actually calm and in a good mood in the kitchen. But of course, in pure Lisa fashion, she had to destroy the calm by bragging about her chances in the stew room.

So thankfully, the judges made the right decision and named Stephanie the Top Chef—the first female winner in the show’s history.

However, all the blogosphere can talk about today is Blais and his sad defeat.

In his blog on Bravo’s website, judge Ted Allen wrote:

“The day after the finale shoot, waiting with Barry [his partner] for our flight, I saw Richard wandering alone through the airport in Puerto Rico. He looked dazed. And I felt so sorry for him. He was, of course, ever gracious to everyone after the battle, putting on a brave face with cast and judges alike for post-show drinks in Old San Juan (at 6 a.m., no less), congratulating Stephanie with complete sincerity, thanking the producers. But at the airport, in the clear light of day, it was obvious that the finality was hitting him. Nobody fights that hard for second place.”

So what happened? Blais was totally off his game from the beginning. I’ve always been amazed at how quickly he conceptualized dishes this season. But for some reason it just didn’t happen this time. In his first interview after the challenge was announced, Blais said he was “just waiting for the lightning bolt.” Unfortunately for him, it never came…

When at the end of the first day Blais said he had no “finished dishes,” I knew it was over for him.

As for his admission that he “choked,” I wouldn’t call it shocking, but it was sad because I believe he truly deserved to win. And he really wanted to win—not just for him, but also for his wife and his then unborn child (She was born two weeks ago.).

And yes, just as I warned you about, Bravo did trick us with the promos that made it look like Blais went after Lisa. But I should have known that he’s classier than that.

And I should have known that Gail, the Paula Abdul of “Top Chef,” was overreacting to something…

Next week, we can hear the whole story on the “Top Chef” reunion. We’ll also learn the identity of the Fan Favorite. Based on the poll results last night, I’m guessing Stephanie has a great shot, but my money’s on Andrew.

I can guarantee you it won’t be Lisa…

Monday, June 09, 2008

Is "Swingtown" the Most Provocative Thing to Ever Hit TV?

With all of the postponing of the show’s premiere, you’d think that “Swingtown” is the most provocative thing to ever hit television.

It isn’t. I see much more provocative stuff on Bravo every single week…

Granted, the pilot started out with a threesome, but it and all of the other attempts to shock us after that just came off rather lame.

If you missed it, “Swingtown” is the story of three couples and their families in the 1970s. In the pilot, Bruce and Susan Miller (Jack Davenport and Molly Parker) are moving to a new neighborhood. It’s just two blocks away, but for the Millers, it turns out to be a whole world away. Their new neighbors, Tom and Trina Decker (the wonderfully sleazy Grant Show and Lana Parrilla) are swingers and they’re looking for new recruits.

Meanwhile, the Millers’ old neighbors, Roger and Janet Thompson (Josh Hopkins and Miriam Shor) are struggling through their suburban existence knowing their friends Bruce and Susan are living in a world they don’t really understand or completely condone (or at least Janet doesn’t).

The Miller children are also struggling with the changing views of sex in the 1970s as B.J. (Aaron Howles) discovers “Penthouse” and Laurie (Shannon Collins) develops a crush on an older man—her teacher. Plus, B.J. meets Samantha (Britt Robertson), the girl next door, whose mother spends all of her time high on cocaine.

The mood of the show is beautifully set with the clothes, the décor, the lighting and the overall style, but the show tries a little too hard with the music. Obviously there’s an Internet tie-in, but it just gets to be a little too much.

There are some interesting stories here as it’s clear that there’s more than meets the eye between Susan and Roger—or at least I hope so since the fabulous Josh Hopkins got very little to do in the pilot. The possible pairing of the cute B.J. and Samantha has some promise and Grant Show is fantastic as the swinging airline pilot, Tom.

But instead of taking time to develop some real story, the pilot spent most of the hour finding different ways to shock us. The characters snort cocaine, pop qualudes and indulge in orgys—all of which, of course, completely seduce the Millers.

But unfortunately, not any of it was shocking. Maybe that’s because we’ve been so desanitized by today’s television. Maybe it’s because our morals have completely decayed.

Or maybe it’s because it was just plain pointless.

As I’ve said numerous times before, pilots are a tricky business. Obviously this one was more interested in trying to create something people would talk about than creating a good show.

Unfortunately, it didn’t really succeed at either…

“Swingtown” airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on CBS…

You can watch the pilot episode for yourself here.

Book Review: "Up 'Til Now"

So when I’m not watching TV, I’m reading books about TV. Or in this case, a book about someone on TV…

I have never seen an entire episode of “Star Trek,” but I am still a fan of William Shatner—or at least the Shatner we’ve gotten to know over the last few years. The one who is so great at making fun of himself and has won three Emmys for his portrayal of Denny Crane on “Boston Legal.” So it was only natural I would want to read his autobiography, “Up ‘Til Now.”

Fortunately, “Now” is just as manic, self-mocking and totally out there as Shatner is. And that’s a good thing…

It’s hard not to laugh out loud when Shatner interrupts a story just to plug something from his website, although it does get a little annoying during the really good stories.
Shatner has lived an amazing life, both on and off the screen. In fact, “Star Trek” is really just a small portion of the book. Much more of the pages are dedicated to his love of horses, his failures at marriage and his “music.”

But “Trek” does get its due. In fact, I think Shatner came to terms with a lot more about the show—especially his co-stars’ feelings about him—while writing this.

The book, however, is not all fun and games, as Shatner tells the story of his wife’s alcoholism and tragic death. Anyone who thinks that Shatner is just a self-absorbed jerk will be amazed by the raw emotion he exhibits when he talks about his struggles to move on after her death.

Though the book’s length doesn’t allow Shatner to go too in-depth about anything, you do get a great overview of his life and career which gives you a much better understanding about the man behind the legend.

What, you don’t think William Shatner is a legend?

If you’re a fan of Shatner, you have to read “Up ‘Til Now” even if, like me, you have no idea of the difference between Klingons and Romulans…
Photo courtesy of

A Good Celebreality Show?

Just last week, I was asking for TV to stop the celebreality madness…

So why am I actually a little excited about this one?

CMT will premiere “Outsider’s Inn” this August starring Maureen McCormick, Carnie Wilson and Bobby Brown. According to “Billboard,” the trio will join together to run a bed and breakfast in rural Tennessee.

For those of you who watched “Gone Country,” you know that McCormick and Brown formed a sweet and quirky friendship—thanks to their mutual love of cigarettes—and Wilson was the breakout star with her sarcastic humor and free spirit. So you just know this one is going to be good.

So why couldn’t CMT have just gone with this one and ignored that Hulk Hogan nonsense?

Friday, June 06, 2008

Enjoy Your Weekend!

I'm taking the weekend off, but I'll be back next week.

So, Stay Tuned...

Picks of the Week: It's All About Bravo...Again

I hate to sound like a broken record, but how could I not go with Bravo Picks again this week?

My Picks of the Week are “Top Chef: Chicago” and “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List”…

If you’ve been reading my blog this week, you know that the season finale of “Top Chef” is going to be a good one—as long as Lisa doesn’t win. I am still rooting for my boy Blais, but I think Stephanie will win, becoming the first female Top Chef.

‘Top Chef: Chicago” airs Wednesday, June 11th at 10 p.m. on Bravo…

You guys know my second pick as my guiltiest pleasure, because there is no show that makes me feel as guilty watching it as “Kathy Griffin.” But I just can’t help but laugh at her—as wrong as it may be…

The season premiere of “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List” airs Thursday, June 12th at 9 p.m. on Bravo…

Is Blais Turning Up the Heat?

So the only good thing about watching the “Step It Up and Dance” season finale was that during the episode, Bravo unveiled its latest promos for the ‘Top Chef: Chicago” finale.

And each one of them revealed a little more about what we’re going to see…

First, we heard Gail say “I’m shocked”…

Then it was “I’m shocked by what Richard just said”…

Finally, it was “I’m shocked by what Richard just said” after we heard Richard say, “I can’t get over the fact that Lisa’s still here”…

Could it be? Is my boy Blais going after Lisa?

She’d have it coming after Lisa threw her little temper tantrum that Blais and Stephanie didn’t congratulate her…

Now, it’s important to note that Bravo is quite good at creating promos that make things appear as they usually aren’t, but I’ve got to believe my boy Blais is turning up the heat…

This one is going to be good…

Step It Up and Zzzzz...

You guys know I have nothing but love for Bravo.

But even they knew that they had a snoozer on their hands with “Step It Up and Dance”…

After all, they gave it hardly any encore presentations—a Bravo hallmark. And there was hardly any promotion—even when major guest stars appeared.

But somehow I got sucked in anyway. And I was rewarded for that last week when the show FINALLY got some personality. It came during the judges’ discussion when Nancy O’Meara called Cody a “snob.” Host Elizabeth Berkley immediately took issue with Nancy’s word choice. When Nancy cut her off, Elizabeth responded, “I’m allowed to speak.”

It was a great dramatic moment in an otherwise drab show. Unfortunately, that spunk didn’t continue into the finale…

Bravo reality shows are known for last-minute finale twists like adding an extra outfit or dish to the final challenge. So it was no surprise when the final four dancers had to learn a group number in addition to their solo performance.

It’s just a shame that the group number had to be a giant commercial. The two and a half minute routine managed to sell “Sex and the City,” Fergie’s “Labels or Love,” Akon, and his new protégé, Colby O’Donis. It was just completely pointless.

Much more interesting was Jerry Mitchell working with each dancer on their solo performances. In fact, he improved each one of them. It was the first time we got to actually see Mitchell be the Tim Gunn-like mentor the show obviously meant him to be. But it was just too little too late.

And as for the winner, it really wasn’t a surprise to see the early favorite, Cody, come out on top once again—which makes you wonder if all that “snob” business wasn’t for show.

Too bad they couldn’t have come up with something to spice up the finale…

Stop the Madness!!!

When will this celebreality madness end?

“Variety” reports that CMT will air “Hulk Hogan’s Celebrity Championship Wrestling” this fall.

In the show, celebrities will compete to be named the “Celebrity All-Star Wrestling Champion” based on their performances in various challenges including wrestling moves, “talking trash” and working the audience.

The cast will include Todd Bridges (“Different Strokes”), super-heavyweight boxer ButterBean, Trishelle Cannatella (“The Real World”), Frank Stallone, Erin Murphy (Tabitha, “Bewitched”), Tiffany, Nikki Ziering, Danny Bonaduce, Dennis Rodman and…wait for it…Dustin Diamond.


I don’t know what is sadder. That this show is actually being made, that CMT is airing it, that someone is actually giving that jerk Dustin Diamond another show, or that the show comes from Bischoff-Hervey who gave us the charming Scott Baio reality series…

Maybe the saddest thing is that I’m actually wasting space to tell you about it…

The Latest On the Actors' Strike

Things are once again looking bleak in regards to a possible actors’ strike…

According to “The Hollywood Reporter,” SAG President Alan Rosenberg and the guild’s chief negotiator are contemplating lobbying the 44,000 SAG members who are also AFTRA members to vote down AFTRA’s deal with AMPTP. This would help SAG regain its negotiating leverage.

However, there is strong opposition to that strategy from within SAG.

The SAG board was scheduled to meet today to discuss the strategy and whether to ask the membership for a strike authorization…

Will Jay Replace Larry King?

Add a new name to the list of possible successors to Larry King…

“The Chicago Sun-Times” reported last week that CNN is considering Jay Leno for a late-night talk show when he leaves “The Tonight Show” next year. Then, eventually, he would take over for Larry King.

I have always thought Jay Leno was a fantastic interviewer so I know he would be great for this job. But I am really hoping he ends up at another broadcast network so he can crush NBC…

Thursday, June 05, 2008

"Top Chef": It's Not "American Idol"

During last night’s “Top Chef: Chicago,” Bravo asked viewers which chef should be sent home.

91% voted for Lisa to “pack her knives and go.”

Unfortunately for all of us Lisa haters out there, “Top Chef” is not “American Idol” and our opinion doesn’t mean squat…

Warning: If you haven’t seen part one of the “Top Chef” season finale, stop reading now…

We really should’ve seen it coming. From the moment my boy Blais admitted that not many people would expect Lisa to be there. And then there was Nikki’s admission that something was off about Antonia. She was totally right. But why that didn’t make Nikki jump in and save those peas, I have no idea…

However, the final tell was when Tom said nothing to Antonia after tasting her food. He had complimented Blais (I know his name is Richard, but they all call him Blais so I will too.), Stephanie and even Lisa. So when he said nothing to Antonia, you knew the unthinkable was about to happen.

And happen it did. Ladies and gentlemen, Lisa has made it to the finals of “Top Chef”…

But even more unthinkable. Could she actually win?

I sincerely hope that Blais will have a little something to say about that. After his poor showing in the Quickfire, I was a little worried. And then I got even more worried when Stephanie assigned him Spike. But Blais ended up winning the final challenge AND a brand new car. The look of shock on his face was priceless and I can’t wait to see it again…and again…and again (God bless Bravo!).

And speaking of shock, I was gasping at the sight of that pork not making the refrigerator. And I was completely freaking out, afraid that Spike had just torpedoed my guy. But it was Dale who did the torpedoing of Stephanie. And did Stephanie pull a Lisa and totally scream and yell at him? Nope, she just calmly told him they were throwing it out and worked with him on a plan B. It was Stephanie making a strong case to win this thing. And I have to admit that after seeing last night’s episode, I would be okay with that.

So back to my question. Could Lisa win? I certainly hope not—and I am not alone. The Bravo message boards are full of comments from fans citing conspiracy theories that the show left Lisa on for the ratings. But what everyone needs to remember is that the judges decide on that week’s challenge and that challenge alone. So they didn’t take Lisa’s constant presence in the bottom into account at all. Plus, they only judge on what’s on the plate—not the attitude the chefs exhibit in the kitchen. They don’t see that until we do.

If you want to see a better defense of the judges, go to and read Tom’s blog. But don’t think that Tom doesn’t understand where we’re coming from, because he does. In fact, two weeks ago, he believed that Lisa should have gone home instead of Dale based on the episode he saw (Tom was away at a charity event and did not judge that challenge.).

But it’s all about the food on the plate. And this week, Antonia’s was worse.

Now, a lot of fans are saying that if Lisa wins they’re done with the show, but there’s no way I could say that. I’ll just have to be extremely disappointed and hope that Blais wins the Fan Favorite.

I’m 100% positive that Lisa won’t win that one…

Part two of the “Top Chef: Chicago” finale airs Wednesday, June 11th at 10 p.m. on Bravo…

P.S. I would like to thank the hard working duo in hard hats from American Electric Power who made it possible for me to see last night’s episode. I was starting to sweat it…

Monday, June 02, 2008

"You Don't Know Diddley"

I know they always say celebrity deaths come in threes, but it seems like we’re doubling that this week, doesn’t it?

Today, Bo Diddley passed away. So in honor of him, allow me to share one of my favorite commercials of all time…

You Sir, Are No Bert Convy

When I was a kid at home during the summer, one of my favorite shows to watch was “Super Password.”

It was a game show hosted by Bert Convy in which celebrities gave one-word clues to contestants to help them gain points that would get them to the bonus round, where they could win big money. It was an update of the show from the 60s.

The show’s announcer, the wonderful Gene Wood, would whisper the password to the audience (even though we could read it on the screen) and then the contestants and celebrities would take turns giving the clues to the same word.

Convy and Wood had a wonderful chemistry and the celebrities were always a lot of fun—especially Betty White, who was the best celebrity player of them all (Her late husband was the show’s host in the 60s.).

So when I heard that CBS had revived my favorite game show, I was pretty excited. But let’s face it. Regis Philbin is no Bert Convy…

“Million Dollar Password” is a revved up version of the old “Password” with quicker rounds, a la “Pyramid.” You get a lot more action, but I miss that whispered password. And Regis comes off terribly stiff.

But I have to admit that I still got into the premiere episode. Mainly because I have decided to renew my love for Neil Patrick Harris, who is…wait for it…awesome in the episode (His Regis was better than Regis’.). If only the contestants hadn’t been so stupid…

I will probably tune in a few more times, if only to see Rosie O’Donnell. You just know she takes her game shows seriously…

“Million Dollar Password” airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on CBS. You can see the premiere episode for yourself here.