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"…

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Help For the Holiday Bonus #1: “High School Musical 3” Graduation Dolls

If you’re looking for the perfect doll for your “High School Musical” fan this Christmas, you’ll have a lot of choices…

There are the “School Spirit” dolls, the “Prom Date” dolls, the Troy and Gabriella treehouse set, and the “Off to College” dolls sold exclusively at Target.

But for me, the cutest of the choices are the graduation dolls created for the “HSM 3” line.

The dolls come dressed in an outfit that showcases each character’s personal style. But, as a bonus, you can also dress them in their cap and gown. And, kids can also be a part of the action with a class ring for them to wear.

The dolls come in all of the main characters: Troy, Gabriella, Sharpay, Ryan, Chad, Taylor and Kelsi. I was able to get a closer look at the Sharpay doll and I think it’s the best version of her yet. She comes dressed in a hot pink dress, of course, that looks fabulous for her big day with sparkly shoes and just the right bracelets and earrings. And her class ring has—what else?—a pink stone.

The “High School Musical 3” graduation dolls are available wherever “HSM” toys are sold.

And if anyone finds that elusive Ryan doll, please let me know…

Some Sad News for Animation Fans

According to “Television Week,” FOX has cancelled “King of the Hill.”

Though animated, “Hill” is often one of the smartest comedies on TV. But FOX has not always treated it that well when it comes to timeslots. And now with Seth MacFarlane getting all of the love from the network, I guess it’s now expendable.

The good news is that because of the lead time for animated series, the last episode probably won’t air until the 2009-2010 season…

Photo Credit: FOX

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Help for the Holidays #2: Keepsake Ornaments

I have a confession to make. I am a Hallmark Keepsake Ornament junkie.

Each year, I add new ones to my collection to commemorate events in my life or just because I think they’re cool. And often I give them as gifts because they make a unique and special surprise.

This year, there are some pretty cool TV-inspired ornaments…

If you’re a Trekkie, you can commemorate the classic episode “The Trouble With Tribbles” with the latest in the “Star Trek” series of ornaments.

Bart and Lisa Simpson enjoy some TV on this “The Simpsons” ornament.

And how can you commemorate Christmas 2008 without “Hannah Montana” or “High School Musical”? The adorable “HSM” ornament plays “We’re All In This Together” and the “Hannah” ornament plays “Best of Both Worlds.”
These ornaments are available now at your local Hallmark store or wherever Hallmark ornaments are sold...

Next week, I’ll be taking a look at one of the newest games in the popular “Scene It?” line, “Disney Channel Scene It”…

Photos Credit: Hallmark

Can “Law & Order” Save NBC’s Wednesdays?

To boost ratings on Wednesdays, NBC is instituting a night of crime dramas…

“Knight Rider” will remain at 8 p.m., followed by “Life” at 9, which will move from Fridays and “Law & Order” will return at 10 p.m.

“Lipstick Jungle” will move to Fridays at 10 p.m.

“L&O” had not been expected to return until January, but duty calls…

Photo Credit: NBC

The New "24" Trailer: Is It January Yet?

My second favorite Canadian, RT, just sent me this new season seven preview of “24” and it absolutely rocks!

I’ve posted it here for as long as FOX will allow it. Be sure to let me know what you think…

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

“30 Rock” Review”: Does It Deserve a Second Chance?

There’s no doubt that Tina Fey is NBC’s biggest star right now.

So suddenly Ben Silverman looks like a genius for holding off the premiere of “30 Rock” until this week, right?

Well, since I detest the idea of Silverman being a genius about anything, I’m going to hold off on that assessment—especially since you could argue that the network should have struck while the iron was hot and debuted the show in the middle of Fey-mania, instead of at the end.

But I’m hoping that I’m wrong because Fey and “30 Rock” deserve a little love. But I will not be calling Silverman a genius. EVER…

Now, you guys might be surprised about my sudden affection for “Rock” since I was so hard on it when it debuted. But it’s clear to me after watching the season premiere that “Rock” is just one of those shows that has to grow into itself (like “How I Met Your Mother”) and I believe that maybe it has.

And I love Tina Fey…

In the premiere, Liz (Fey) is trying to impress the woman (Megan Mullally) who is evaluating her for the adoption agency. I don’t think I’m giving anything away when I tell you that things don’t go quite as planned.

Tracy (Tracy Morgan) is making tons of money from his video game, but he’s not sharing the wealth with the rest of the cast and crew who helped him create it—especially Jenna (Jane Krakowski).

And Jack (Alec Baldwin) returns from Washington to reclaim his old job from Devon (Will Arnett) and his soap opera obsessed wife. I know that the big name guest stars are getting most of the attention this year, but for me, Will Arnett is always a reason to tune into anything.

The episode is actually quite cute thanks to Fey and her crazy cast of characters. And although he may sometimes complain in the press, I think it looks like Baldwin is having the time of his life in probably the best role of his career.

And some of the inside jokes are absolutely scathing. Only Tina Fey could turn a studio fire into the best joke of the night…

Much like “Mother,” not every joke is a zinger and not every situation is laugh out loud funny. But it’s a show that can really grow on you if you give it the chance. I’m thinking very seriously about giving it a second chance myself…

“30 Rock” premieres Thursday, October 30th at 9:30 p.m. on NBC…

Photos Credit: Nicole Revelli/NBC

“Boston Legal”: A Great Pick

Since I make my Pick of the Week choices without seeing the shows in advance, they don’t always pan out as well as I’d like them to. So I’m always very happy when they do…

And that was definitely the case last night with “Boston Legal.” I can’t remember the last time I laughed that hard for that long. In fact, during the scene where Denny was making eyes at the sheep (You had to be there.), I was shrieking so hard I thought the neighbors would come to see if something was wrong with me.

Now granted, the show fell apart just a tad when it started to get preachy, but James Spader (Alan) always finds a way to make it work. And this time the wonderful Christopher Rich (Melvin) was there to lend a hand…

It absolutely pains me to see the lack of love ABC is showing “BL” after all the acclaim it’s racked up over the years. But I am starting to come to terms with the show only getting 13 episodes in its last season and in fact, I’m actually starting to agree with it.

I always start out the season with “BL” and then when it turns unwatchable—which it always does—I stop watching. But we’re halfway through the season and I’m still loving every minute of it. The show is focusing on its strengths—Spader and William Shatner (Denny)—and downplaying its weaknesses—everyone else—to produce a much more even season. If the show was given more than 13 episodes, I’m afraid they’d screw it up. And “BL” deserves better than to go out as a shell of the show it once was.

However, I am starting to feel some concern for how it’s all going to end. Last night, Carl (John Larroquette) made mention of the firm doing something about Denny’s antics. But I don’t want the firm to do anything. I want the show to end with Alan and Denny out on the balcony smoking their cigars, drinking their scotch, declaring their love for each other and then making some inside joke about the show coming to an end. That way we can imagine Alan and Denny continuing on without us watching…

Next week, however, Alan and Denny cross swords as they debate the Presidential candidates. Alan defends a client who Denny swears is Valerie Bertinelli (played by Bertinelli). And Denise (Julie Bowen) returns, but without Brad (Mark Valley). If she returns with Jeffrey (Craig Bierko), I think I’ll cry…

“Boston Legal” airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on ABC…
Photo Credits: Richard Cartwright/ABC & Craig Sjodin/ABC

"Project Runway" The Sabotage Theory Hits the Courtroom

Remember how I mentioned more than once that it seemed like Bravo was doing a little “Project Runway” sabotage? Looks like I’m not alone in my thinking…

In court papers filed this week as part of its counterclaim to NBC Universal’s lawsuit, The Weinstein Co. accuses NBC Uni of trying to hurt the “Runway”s future value by failing to promote the fifth season and changing the timeslot.

According to “Television Week,” TWC makes the following claims in the papers:

  • Bravo changed the show’s timeslot from 10 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesdays making it harder for viewers to find.

  • Bravo didn’t start promoting the July 16th premiere until June 26th. The 20-day notice was the shortest in the show’s history, according to the papers.

  • Bravo didn’t run many ads and the ads it did run were “confusing, mundane and unappealing.” TWC also alleges that the ads for the new season confused viewers because they featured clips from previous seasons.

  • Bravo didn’t release the names and bios of the contestants until two days before the premiere, which put a damper on potential buzz for the show.

In a statement, NBC Uni officials said, “the fact is that season 5 was the most-watched and highest-rated ‘Project Runway’ cycle ever.” But TWC counters that by saying, “This achievement was in spite of, and not a result of, Bravo’s tactics. The overall goal and effect of Bravo’s marketing scheme was to lower the ratings of Season Five from what could have been otherwise reached.”

TWC also said in its counterclaim, “Advertisers will purchase product integration for Season 6 and beyond based upon their predictions of the program’s future ratings. The Weinstein Co. will not be able to exact as much revenue from product integration as it otherwise would have had Bravo followed its promotional scheme from previous seasons.”

You guys know I have nothing but love for Bravo and nothing but disdain for The Weinstein Company, but I have to say in this case TWC is right. If you’ve been reading my blog for the last several months you know that I’ve been questioning the “Runway” promotion myself. This would make the strange promotional decisions make sense.

And although I would argue that part of the reason the ads were unappealing is because the contestants were not appealing (which TWC would have to shoulder some of the blame for as executive producers), I truly believe that Bravo was trying to hurt “Runway.”

But my response to that is, can you blame them? Harvey Weinstein completely trashed Bravo—the network that made “Runway” a success—and then expects them to wholeheartedly support his show? And why should Bravo be expected to make a huge deal out of a show they know is going to a competitor?

If Bravo did indeed seek to diminish the show’s value as TWC suggests, it only makes me love them even more. It actually makes me have the slightest bit of respect for NBC Uni’s Jeff Zucker—but just the slightest.

TWC also alleges that Bravo is developing copycat shows, including the Sarah Jessica Parker-produced “Fashion House,” as competitors to “Runway.”

Well, duh! What are they supposed to do? Just sit back and let Lifetime have all of their viewers?

This whole thing is a perfect example of what happens when greed gets in the way of a good thing…

Photo Credit: Bravo

Obama Takes Over Primetime

Tomorrow night, programming will have a different look as Barack Obama airs a paid “program” on FOX, NBC and CBS at 8.

As of this writing, no one has any idea what the program will be.

ABC will air a new episode of the struggling “Pushing Daisies.” The network had tried to negotiate another timeslot with the Obama campaign, but was refused. According to “The Washington Post,” by the time ABC finally offered the Wednesday at 8 slot, the Obama camp said they had already allocated the funds elsewhere…

By the way, when NBC’s regular line-up returns, a familiar show will be making an earlier than expected entrance. I’ll have more on that later…

CBS Crosses “Ex” Off Its “List”

CBS has pulled “The Ex-List” off its schedule. It will be replaced with repeats of CBS’s little engine that could, “NCIS.”

“List” was not performing up to par with “Ghost Whisperer” and “Numb3rs,” so CBS—which with its #1 status can take as many chances as it wants—pulled the plug.

“List” joins FOX’s “Do Not Disturb” and “Opportunity Knocks” as new shows that have been pulled, most likely never to be seen again.

You guys know I liked “List,” but I have to admit that I haven’t seen a single episode since the pilot. There’s just something about Friday nights that makes me not want to sit down and watch TV. I guess now I won’t have to…
Photo Credit: Cliff Lipson/CBS

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pick of the Week: Happy Trails

A road trip with the dynamic duo of television. What could possibly be better?

How about the great Betty White as a murderer?

My Pick of the Week is “Boston Legal.”

“BL” continues its strong final season by sending Denny (William Shatner) and Alan (James Spader) on a road trip to a dude ranch. And if this trip is half as funny as when they went fishing, you will not want to miss it…

As if Denny and Alan at the ranch weren’t enough, the show is throwing in the showboating attorney Melvin Palmer (the always wonderful Christopher Rich) to make things even more interesting...

But thankfully, the show isn’t stopping there. Betty White finally returns as Catherine Piper, Alan’s murderous former assistant. Only with Alan out of town, Shirley (Candice Bergen) has to defend her…

And it looks like things might be getting interesting between Jerry (Christian Clemenson) and Katie (Tara Summers)…

I’ve got to believe this episode will be a classic in an already classic final season…

“Boston Legal” airs Monday, October 27th at 10 p.m. on ABC…

Photo Credit: Richard Cartwright/ABC

Saturday, October 25, 2008

“High School Musical 3” Review: A Truly Fitting End

The problem with seeing a movie in a theatre as opposed to the comfort of your own home is that you can’t always react the way you want to—unless, of course, you want a theatre full of people to laugh at you.

But it was all I could do to keep from standing up and cheering at the end of “High School Musical 3.”

Oh yeah. It’s that good.

Now granted, there are some storyline holes and not all of the new characters quite work, but you’ll be so jazzed by the time the fantastic ending rolls that you’ll completely forgive the movie’s shortcomings…

The saying goes that bigger isn’t always better, but thankfully, that’s not the case here. The big screen sets Kenny Ortega and his fellow choreographers free producing some of the most spectacular dance sequences I’ve seen in years. And just when you think you’ve seen the best one, Ortega and friends roll out another one even better.

What makes the big dance sequences work in this one where they didn’t always work in “HSM 2” is that we know they’re fantasies, which allows us to forgive the wardrobe changes and special effects.

And the songs are the best of the three movies, even if they are a tad overproduced…

The movie wastes absolutely no time getting started as we join the defending state champion Wildcats down significantly in the first half of the championship game. Not to worry, though, because team captains Troy (Zac Efron) and Chad (Corbin Bleu) lead the team in a song that gets them fired up. And I don’t think I’m giving anything away by telling you that they come back to win the game.

So with another championship in the books, the Wildcats focus on the rest of their senior year. To prevent Sharpay from making the spring musical into a one-woman show, Kelsi (Olesya Rulin) signs up the whole gang and Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens) convinces them to do it as their last chance to do something all together. The musical is called “Senior Year” and features all of the events that seniors deal with in their final year of high school. As usual, Kelsi is writing the songs and this time Ryan (Lucas Grabeel) is the choreographer.

But the stakes are a little higher as Juilliard recruiters will be in the audience to award a scholarship to one of the Wildcats.

So of course that sets Sharpay (Ashley Tisdale) in motion to try and get the scholarship for herself. But she knows she can’t do it without her brother Ryan so she enlists him in her plot. But Ryan doesn’t really seem to be interested in playing along, especially since he’s become one of the gang (which I find really cool by the way). So, Sharpay turns to her new personal assistant, Tiara (Jemma McKenzie-Brown) for help.

The Wildcats are also planning their futures. Taylor (Monique Coleman) is headed to Yale, while Chad is going to the University of Albequerque to play basketball with Troy. But Troy is starting to have second thoughts, especially since Gabriella has been accepted to Stanford. And, of course, he has his love of the theatre to consider as well…

Although each of the six main stars gets their moments, the movie belongs to Zac Efron and he carries it well. His voice is in such great form that even his solo song works despite its semi-cheesy “Footloose” choreography (You’d think they would have learned their lesson with “Bet On It.”). In fact, there are times that Efron seems too mature for everything around him. There’s no doubt that he’s a star. And the dance moves he throws out (especially with Corbin Bleu in the amazing “The Boys Are Back” set in a junkyard) are astounding…

But you guys know that Lucas Grabeel is my guy and he gets his best story yet as Ryan becomes his own character separate from his sister. I would have liked to have seen more with him and Kelsi (one of the story holes I mentioned), but I’m well aware that these movies are about Troy and Gabriella, so I’m happy with what I got.

In fact, if anyone got ripped off in this movie, I would say it’s Ashley Tisdale. She gets one of the best songs, but not much else. And she’s forced to help introduce the new characters in her story, which kind of overshadows her. Plus, once again, Sharpay’s transformations from bad to good just don’t quite ring true…

But as I said, these movies are about Troy and Gabriella, and I don’t think I’m giving anything away by telling you that they get the happy ending they truly deserve with a lot of super sweet moments (and beautiful duets) along the way. In fact, all of them get the happy endings they deserve. And yes, if you are a true “HSM” fan, you will cry. I know I did…

My biggest problem with the movie is the introduction of the new characters, who I presume Disney plans to use in “HSM 4” (Yes, there will be an “HSM 4.” I don’t think Disney ever knows when to quit.). Jimmie, the “Rocket Man” (Matt Prokop), gets some funny moments, but more often than not he comes off as annoying as he takes away from the main story. Jimmie’s best friend is Justin (Donny Dion), who I presume is meant to replace Chad, but he has a long way to go.

The real problem is Tiara, who is meant to be the next Sharpay, but comes off as just plain annoying. And her transformation rings completely false and just intrudes on Sharpay’s spotlight.

But thankfully, Sharpay gets that spotlight back, as do the other five main characters, in one of the most satisfying movie endings I have ever seen.

Wouldn’t it be nice if Disney would just quit while they’re ahead…

Be sure to hang around after the final credits to see some fun bloopers. Plus, the winner of “High School Musical: Get In the Picture” shows up too (Wow, that whole thing was truly pointless, wasn’t it?).

If you’re an “HSM” fan you will absolutely love “HSM 3,” but if you’ve never seen any of them and just enjoy fun music and outstanding choreography, you’ll love it too. I was a little hesitant about the move to the big screen, but having seen it, I honestly don’t think they could have done it any other way.

It is truly a fitting end to a true phenomenon…

“High School Musical 3: Senior Year” is in theatres now…

Photo Credit:

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Book Review: Maureen McCormick's "Here's the Story"

Unless you’ve been avoiding TV and the Internet for the past few weeks (and obviously I hope the latter is not the case) you’ve heard some of the sordid details from Maureen McCormick’s new autobiography, “Here’s the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice.”

You’ve heard about her serious cocaine addiction. You’ve heard about her fling with Barry Williams (who played Greg Brady). You’ve maybe even heard about her blowing a meeting with Steven Spielberg for “Raiders of the Lost Ark” because she was high.

But just because you’ve already heard the most salacious details doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read the book, because I highly recommend that you do…

I’ve never been much of a “Brady Bunch” fan (although I love “A Very Brady Sequel”), but ever since I caught her on “Celebrity Fit Club,” I’ve liked Maureen McCormick. She has such a genuine personality that comes across beautifully on a TV screen. She totally continued that with her beautifully written song on “Gone Country” and should have done the same on “Outsider’s Inn,” if that hadn’t been such a complete disaster.

So reading about all of her troubles was a little shocking at first, but then I just couldn’t put the book down. McCormick has a wonderful storytelling style that completely draws you in. The tales of her drug escapades could be just another Hollywood story, but for some reason it doesn’t come off that way. For me, it comes off more like a survivor story than anything else. And who doesn’t like to see the damsel in distress rescued?

Usually the reason to read a book like this is for behind-the-scenes dirt and you do get just enough to satisfy you, but it’s really not the attraction here. The attraction is McCormick herself as you just keep wondering what might have been for her if she had just not done that first line of cocaine.

But the good thing about McCormick is she doesn’t blame Hollywood or child stardom for her troubles. She knows her problems are the result of her actions. And although she struggles for quite a while after “Bunch” in dealing with Marcia, she eventually accepts her enduring legacy and even embraces it.

And just when you’re feeling good for her—although that’s MANY pages in—her story takes another awful turn as she details the collapse of her family after her mother’s death.

If you’ve ever been a Maureen McCormick fan, you must read “Here’s the Story.” It will make you see her in a whole new light.

However, when that light is one of courage and strength, that’s not a bad thing…

“Here’s the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice” is available now…

Photo Credit:

“Top Design”: Goodbye to My Fave

Although I predicted it in my post Tuesday, I feel like I should say something about the departure of my favorite “Top Design” contestant, Andrea…

I’ve had my favorite reality contestants be cruelly eliminated after doing the right thing (Robert, “Project Runway”), be the favorite only to choke in the last challenge (Richard, “Top Chef: Chicago”) and I’ve had them eliminated in complete and devastating shockers (Constantine, “American Idol”).

But I’ve never had one ask to leave the competition, which is what Andrea did last night.

As I’d told you earlier, Andrea had been missing her family terribly and last night was no exception—especially when she found out her husband, Ricky Schroder, was filming a movie directly across the street from where she was. And the beautiful flowers and love poem he sent her didn’t really help her state of mind (although it was really sweet).

So when it came time to answer the judges’ questions last night, Andrea admitted her shortcomings when it comes to accessorizing, said she was tapped out and told the judges she should probably just go home.

But the judges still deliberated with Jonathan Adler expressing anger at Andrea for what he viewed as an insult to the other contestants. In the end, however, they all agreed it was Ondine that deserved to go home. So when Andrea and Ondine returned, they let Andrea decide what to do. If she decided to stay, Ondine would go home.

The news that she wasn’t being eliminated seemed to revive Andrea and she actually considered staying, but in the end she missed her family more and left the show with, as she said, no regrets…

I have to give the editors of the episode credit, though, for trying so hard to fool us. Eddie and his out-of-control cockiness was the focus of much of the episode, which is unusual since Eddie had immunity. It almost gave you the impression that Eddie might ask to go home because he didn’t agree with the judges.

And I’m sorry, Eddie, but that dining room was REALLY ugly…

Next week, it’s down to the final four. And they’ll have their work cut out for them as Jeff Lewis returns as the guest judge.

Is that a smackdown with Eddie I smell? Man, do I hope so because that guy seriously needs a good smacking…

“Top Design” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on Bravo…
Photo Credit: Peter Tangen/Bravo & Isabella Vosmikova/Bravo

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Help for the Holidays #1: “The Moment of Truth”

My plan was to get some of my friends together and play “The Moment of Truth” board game so I could review it for you guys. But I couldn’t find anyone who wanted to play.

Which really makes me wonder what my friends are hiding…

Unlike the FOX reality show it’s based on, the home version doesn’t ask any questions that will break up a marriage. However, some of the questions do get a little spicy and should provide a lot of fun at parties.

The object of the game is to be the first player to answer questions truthfully in all six sections of the pyramid scoreboard (containing “prize amounts” of $10,000-$500,000). The bottom three sections correspond to blue questions, which are a little tamer. Blue questions ask things like “Have you ever missed work because you were hungover?” or “Have you ever eaten a worm?” The top three levels correspond to the red questions which ask things like “Have you ever had sex with a person the same day you met him or her?” or “Have you ever dreamed of seducing your boss?”

However, the person reading the questions in either category has the power to shake the game up by changing some of the words in the questions if they so choose.

When a player answers a question, the other players must decide if they’re telling the truth. If the other players think they’re lying, they must take a lie detector test. And yes, there is a lie detector—a small handheld biometric one.

There are also some special cards and tokens that can change the course of play including one that allows a player to not answer a question AND one that forces a player to reveal all the details about their answer.

As you can tell this is not a family game, but it should be a real hoot at a small gathering of friends.

However, you might want to make sure it’s a gathering of really good friends…

“The Moment of Truth” game is for 3-6 adult players and is available now…

Next Thursday, we’ll take a look at some of the great TV-inspired Hallmark keepsake ornaments…

Photo Credit: Hasbro

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

“Top Design”: Inferior Knockoff No More

Perhaps the reason “Project Runway” was off its game this year is because The Magical Elves were too busy working their magic coming up with fantastic challenges on their other show, “Top Design.”

Two weeks ago, “Design” came up with a brilliant challenge that “Runway” should have done years ago (So, if the new producers end up doing it you’ll know where they stole it.).

After the designers met with their clients and picked out their paint colors and all their materials, they had to switch clients with another designer—forcing them to work with someone else’s decisions. As I said, it was brilliant.

Last week, the challenge was to design the room of the future. And just as the designers started to get into the groove creatively, they were interrupted by a “pop design,” a short design challenge that awards immunity. But unlike “Top Chef” where the challenge takes place at the beginning of the show, a “pop design” can pop up at any time to frustrate the designers.

And this week, it looks like one of the designers will be so frustrated they’ll quit the competition—if those pesky Bravo promos are to be believed…

If they are, my guess is it will be my fave, Andrea. She’s been complaining for the last couple of weeks about how much she misses her family. And she honestly should have gone home last week.

But it could also be Eddie. The Martha Stewart employee has been getting cockier and cockier each week and he said that if he didn’t win he would still know he’s one of the best because “Martha only hires the best”…

However it turns out is bound to be fun because the guest judge is Simon Doonan, Barney’s creative director (and regular judge Jonathan Adler’s new husband), who you’ll recognize from VH1’s “I Love…” shows. It’s the kind of fun we never saw on “Runway” this season.

When Harvey Weinstein told NBC Universal that he wanted “Runway” taken off Bravo, one of his reasons was because of all of the “inferior knockoffs” like “Top Design.”

I’m guessing Bravo is getting a big laugh out of that one now. I know I certainly I am…

“Top Design” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on Bravo…

Photo Credits: Peter Tengen/Bravo & Isabella Vosmikova/Bravo

“How I Met Your Mother”: Jiminy Christmas!

At the risk of sounding like I’m stuck in the middle of a Disney movie, my only reaction to last night’s “How I Met Your Mother” was…

Jiminy Christmas!

Warning: If you have not seen last night’s episode of “HIMYM,” stop reading now…

The synopsis sent out to the media by CBS pretty much told me what was going to happen, but I didn’t want to believe it. I didn’t even want to believe it when the show’s narrator alluded to it. And even when the narrator told us what happened, I still told myself it wasn’t true.

I just couldn’t face the fact that Stella was not the mother. She was just so perfect for Ted. Sarah Clarke’s chemistry with Josh Radnor was just so strong.

But it’s true. Stella is not the mother.

The only thing more devastating than Stella and Ted’s breakup was Barney blowing his chance at sleeping with Robin again…

So, who is the mother? Well, we know it’s not Robin. She was revealed as Aunt Robin in the series premiere.

And since Lily and Marshall did get married, I think it’s safe to say it’s not Lily—who was my initial guess.

So I guess that means it’s someone new…

Unless it’s Britney Spears’ Abby…


“How I Met Your Mother” airs Mondays at 8:30 p.m. on CBS

Photo Credit: Eric McCandless/FOX

“High School Musical 3”: The Countdown Continues…

Today, the “High School Musical 3” soundtrack hits stores. You can buy the regular version or the deluxe version, which comes with a DVD of behind-the-scenes footage, the movie trailer, a music video, three ringtones, a voicetone, a mobile game, mobile wallpaper, and digital downloadables.

Now you might remember that with “High School Musical 2,” I listened to the soundtrack before I saw the movie; but I’ve promised myself I won’t do that this time. Hearing the soundtrack first gives away all of the story and I want to be surprised…

“Variety” released a review of the movie last week and it started our fairly positive. Peter Debruge wrote that Kenny Ortega, the movie’s director, stages “his most impressive setpieces yet.” However, later, he wrote, “But it’s the staging, not the music (which has a disembodied studio sound and never quite synchs with the characters), that makes ‘High School Musical 3’ worthy of the bigscreen…”

He also wrote “there’s something almost lazy about the pic’s underachiever script.”

And I have to say I’m inclined to believe in his assessment since he wrote that Lucas Grabeel is “the most talented of the bunch.” You know I can’t disagree with that…

But a lazy script is not going to stop me from seeing it this weekend.
Just four more days…

Photo Credit:

Monday, October 20, 2008

"Frank TV" Review: A True Talent Showcase

If you only know Frank Caliendo from his DirecTV commercials or his segments on “FOX NFL Sunday,” then you’ve only scratched the surface of his talent.

Fortunately, TBS has given Caliendo his own showcase and he makes the most of it…

“Frank TV” is a half-hour late night sketch show that features Caliendo in a variety of skits doing impersonations of everyone from President Bush to James Gandolfini.

In the premiere, he plays Bill Clinton, Al Gore, David Letterman and even Yoda. And in an almost surreal (but funny) animated sketch he plays several characters at a Congressional hearing where Batman accuses Superman of doing steroids.

And don’t despair. John Madden shows up in the second episode as he searches for a quarterback to replace Brett Favre in his heart.

Caliendo is joined by new cast members Freddy Lockhart and Mike MacRae, who does an unbelievable Alec Guiness impersonation.

But it’s the Election Day special where MacRae and Lockhart really shine as Lockhart plays Barack Obama and MacRae does a dead-on Tom Brokaw in a hilarious skit where Brokaw clones himself to save journalistic integrity.

My only beef with the show is that Caliendo’s introductions of the sketches in front of a studio audience fall flat. But since the rest of the show is hilarious, you can look over them…

“Frank TV” airs Tuesdays at 11 p.m. on TBS…

Photo Credits: Karen Neal/TBS & Mark Hill/TBS

“Project Runway” Finale: We Deserved Better

You’ve no doubt noticed that I haven’t said anything about the season finale of “Project Runway.”

The truth is I haven’t been really sure what to say…

Yes, the right person won, but was that enough to salvage the season?

Sadly, no. And Bravo really deserved better…

Before the finale, I said I was still optimistic because Tim Gunn was going to be a judge. But the greatest development in “Runway” history turned out to be a total dud. We barely heard any of the judges’ discussion. And what we did hear was mainly glowing reviews and none of the patented Gunn snark we were looking forward to.

Tim being made a judge did lead to the hour’s best moment as Kenley, upon hearing the news said, “Maybe I should have changed my attitude.” You think?

The only real negative comments made at all by the judges were about Leanne, which made me think there was a possibility that Kenley could win. But that was what the editors wanted us to think as they tried to milk drama out of a dramaless situation.

Because apparently the decision was completely clear for the judges. Usually when Heidi asks, “Have we made our decision?” Nina Garcia is on the verge of tears as she agonizes over her decision. But this time, she confidently said, “It’s clear.”

For the record, I agree that Leanne was head and shoulders above Korto and Kenley. But with these judges, you just never know…

However, Leanne did win, but it was the most muted celebration I’ve ever seen on the runway.

Even Bravo knew they had a turkey on their hands. That’s why they didn’t use the designers in the promos. That’s why they didn’t use the designers in the opening credits. And I have to believe that’s why, for the first time, they didn’t have a reunion.

The next season of “Runway” is currently in production, but due to the legal fight between The Weinstein Co. and NBC Universal, there’s no telling when we’ll see it.

But I have to admit I may not see it all. Because this season may have squelched my passion for “Project Runway.”

And if I’m not alone (and I don’t think I am), Lifetime may have its work cut out for it.

And I can’t help but think that maybe that was Bravo’s plan all along.

Or at least I hope so. Because I’d hate to think they gave us this crap on purpose.

We deserved better too…

Photos Credit: Barbara Nitke/Bravo

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Pick of the Week: Is She the “Mother”?

For the show I once called the most frustrating on TV, this week could be where the rubber meets the road…

My Pick of the Week is “How I Met Your Mother.”

“Mother” is becoming a little like a comedic “Lost” as we try to put together the clues as to the identity of the mother. Last week was a big clue as we saw the gang together in 2009 to toast “quite a year.” Unless I’m mistaken, I did not see Ted wearing a wedding ring. And then, the gang headed back to the apartment, which earlier in the episode they were all moving out of. Of course, an episode from last season told us that Robin lived in the apartment, but in this one she was packing to move to Japan, so…

See what I mean?

This week, Ted and Stella (who has been the odds-on favorite to be the mother) decide to go ahead and get married. But will they actually go through with it? The toast in 2009 would indicate no.

Which would totally blow the idea that Stella is the mother.

Or would it?...

I’ll be taping the episode so I can rewatch it for clues later…

“How I Met Your Mother” airs Monday, October 20th at 8:30 p.m. on CBS…
Photo Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS

The Invasion of the Femme Fatales

This week, it’s the invasion of the femme fatales as some big-time female guest stars make special appearances on a number of shows…

First, Monday (10/20), it’s Nicole Richie guesting on “Chuck” as an old high school nemesis of Sarah’s. If you’ve seen the previews, you know there’s a big-time fight scene between Richie and Yvonne Strahovski; but you probably don’t know that Richie did most of her own stunts. “Chuck” airs at 8 p.m. on NBC…

Later on Monday, it’s the return of Elizabeth Berkley on “CSI: Miami.” Okay, so she’s not necessarily a big name, but she can be darn entertaining. And that is bound to be the case this week when Horatio discovers that Julia is becoming increasingly unstable. “CSI: Miami” airs at 10 p.m. on CBS…

Tuesday (10/21), Katie Holmes reunites with her “Dawson’s Creek” producer Greg Berlanti to guest star on “Eli Stone,” where she shows off her singing and dancing skills. “Eli Stone” airs at 10 p.m. on ABC…

Finally, Thursday (10/23), Lindsay Lohan returns to “Ugly Betty” as Betty’s former classmate. “Ugly Betty” airs at 8 p.m. on ABC…

Photo Credits: Byron Cohen/NBC, Sonja Flemming/CBS, Karen Neal/ABC, David Giesbrecht/ABC

Thursday, October 16, 2008

"Crusoe" Review: Money Well Spent?

If I were to give an award for boldest choice of a new show, it would have to go to NBC for “Crusoe,” a retelling of the classic novel, “Robinson Crusoe.”

I probably would also have to give NBC the award for spending the most money on a show because it’s clear that “Crusoe” didn’t come cheap?

So was it money well spent?

Yes and no…

As a two-hour movie, it comes off pretty well. As a mini-series, it would be brilliant. But as a weekly series? I’m not quite sure…

When “Crusoe” opens we meet Robinson Crusoe (Phillip Winchester), the lone survivor of a ship washed up on a deserted island. His narration tells us that he has been on the island for a while, though we’re not told how long (My guess is a long while since he’s had plenty of time to devise all the gadgetry that helps him get around and do things like squeeze orange juice.). Through short flashbacks, we learn that Crusoe is married with children and he wants desperately to get back to them.

In the opening moments of the premiere, he sees what he thinks is his salvation, a small ship with a British flag. However, he soon learns the ship is full of pirates coming to the island looking for gold. After a chase scene where we see most of Crusoe’s clever booby traps in action, we meet Friday (Tongayi Chirisa), Crusoe’s native companion (Friday is the name Crusoe gave him because he can’t pronounce his real name.). Soon both men are cornered by the pirates who force Crusoe to help them navigate the island in search of the gold.

The remainder of the two-hour premiere follows Crusoe and Friday as they try to outsmart the pirates and possibly still find a way to get Crusoe back to England. Along the way, we are given little bursts of information about Crusoe’s wife, Susannah (Anna Walton); his father, James (Sean Bean), his mysterious benefactor Jeremiah (Sam Neill) and how he met Friday. But we do not see any flashbacks relating to how he got on the island (a future episode, no doubt).
To say the show looks gorgeous would be an understatement. The screener I watched had only temporary visual effects, but they were still stunning. The scenery is beautiful, and Crusoe’s gadgetry within that scenery is as beautiful as it is clever.

And there is story to back up the beauty. Though the search for the treasure gets a little tedious with the constant threatening of Crusoe’s life and an extended swordfight sequence between Crusoe and the only female member of the pirate’s crew, the two hours do keep you entertained and even in a little suspense from time to time.

Plus, Winchester is a great lead and Chirisa is even better. Crusoe and Friday have a great witty banter that’s fun to watch. And Sam Neill is perfectly cast as the mysterious Jeremiah that you just know is going to become very important later. I just wish they would stop introducing the flashbacks with that annoying narration. We’re smart enough to figure it out on our own without hearing some fluffy, unnecessary words.

The biggest problem with the show, however, is that this isn’t “Lost.” The moment Crusoe gets off the island the show is over. So in the meantime, we’re stuck with a show about the trauma of the week. How will Crusoe and Friday defeat the pirates? How will they handle the weather? How will they keep from being eaten by cannibals? It could get old really quick…

Of course, I used to think the same thing about “Lost”…

My biggest concern about the show before I saw it was how a period piece was going to work on network TV. But the truth is, this makes way more sense than trying to modernize it. The show’s biggest obstacle will instead be the one that faces all new shows…

Can it sustain the story? And in this case, I’m not sure “Crusoe” can. But part of me would really like to see it prove me wrong…

“Crusoe” premieres Friday, October 17th at 8 p.m. on NBC…
Photo Credit: Kelly Walsh/NBC

Help for the Holidays

If you’re like me, you like to get your holiday shopping out of the way early.

So for you early birds, I thought I would give you a helping hand…

For the next several Thursdays, I will be reviewing the latest TV related toys and games.

First up next week, “The Moment of Truth” board game from Hasbro.

So, Stay Tuned…

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"Boston Legal": Going Out Strong

I’ve been so busy trying to stay up on the premieres that I’ve neglected to say anything about “Boston Legal.”

And considering how strong “BL” has been in its final season, that’s truly a crime. Plus, after last night’s brilliant episode, I really have no choice…

In the season premiere, we were introduced to Phoebe (Ally Walker), an old girlfriend of Alan’s (James Spader) that he still carried a torch for. After he beat her in court and they said their goodbyes, Alan started to get a little more introspective about his lack of a love life. It really seemed like the show was planning some sort of epiphany for Alan on the road to happily ever after.

So when Phoebe returned at the end of last week’s episode to ask Alan to defend her husband for murdering his mistress, it seemed like Alan would get his happy ending with Phoebe. Now granted, I would rather see Alan’s happy ending with Tara (Rhona Mitra, who was cut from the cast after season one), but anyone played by Ally Walker is a good substitute.

Especially when we met Phoebe’s cold-hearted husband, Robert (beautifully played by the fabulous Kyle Secor), who you just knew was guilty as sin—as did Alan and Denny (William Shatner), who didn’t believe Phoebe’s story that Robert was with her all night for a second.

In fact, Denny encouraged Alan to get off the case since he would lose no matter what the verdict, but Alan pressed forward to help the woman he loved. Or maybe he was just trying to impress her.

Unfortunately, if he was trying to impress her, he wasn’t doing a very good job of it since the case was not going well and Alan refused to put Robert on the stand since the jury would hate him. The case came down to Phoebe’s testimony and Alan told her she’d have to be much more convincing to the jury than she had been to him.

But when Phoebe took the stand she shocked everyone and admitted her husband had left that night. During the ensuing recess, Phoebe told Alan that she realized she could go to jail by committing perjury and that there would be no one to care for her children. After a conversation with Robert—that we didn’t see—Alan resumed his questioning of Phoebe, and when he was done talking about her threats to her children, her personality disorder and much, much more, Phoebe looked completely guilty herself—as I had predicted.

During his closing, Alan shook his head and ignored his broken heart to tell the jury, “She did it.” Of course, the jury found Robert not guilty.

Back at the office, Alan encouraged Robert to stay with out-of-town friends since his murdering wife was on the loose. But lo and behold, in glided Phoebe to confess that she and Robert had staged the whole thing. None of the stuff Robert told Alan about Phoebe was true. Robert was indeed the murderer. When Alan told her that she was now the prime suspect, she responded that was a chance she was willing to take because she would do anything to keep her family together.

Alan could only stand with his mouth open in shock as Denny tried to comfort him…
It was an hour full of twists and turns that would make “24” proud, powered by great performances from the dynamic duo of Spader and Shatner and guest stars Walker, Secor and Brenda Strong (Mary Alice, “Desperate Housewives”) as the judge. Plus it featured only Alan and Denny. No Shirley or Carl or Katie or Jerry. Just the two that matter most.

I just wish that “BL” mattered a little more to ABC. It’s the most award-winning of all of ABC’s current shows, yet it receives no love from the network. It almost didn’t get a final season, and when it did, it only got 13 episodes.

But it looks like those 13 are going to be pretty good ones, so be sure to jump on the Crane express before it’s too late…

“Boston Legal” airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on ABC…

Photo Credit: Vivian Zink/ABC

A Week Without John Madden?

There’ll be something missing if you tune into NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” this Sunday night…

John Madden’s voice.

This will end a streak of 476 consecutive weeks Madden has worked a game.

As his fans know, Madden doesn’t fly. So to avoid a cross country trip from San Diego, Madden will not be in Tampa Bay.

The good news is that Madden’s replacement is Emmy Award-winning analyst Cris Collinsworth. Though I’ll hate not seeing Cris on “Football Night In America,” it’s nice that he’ll be somewhere where he can actually talk without Tiki Barber talking over him…

“NBC Sunday Night Football” airs Sunday, October 19, 2008 at 8 p.m. on NBC as the Seahawks take on the Buccaneers…

Monday, October 13, 2008

“Rachel Zoe”: Finally Delivering the Goods?

Some of you may be wondering why I went quiet about “The Rachel Zoe Project.”

Basically it was because I’ve been bored…

All the drama we were promised in the premiere and the preview special never manifested itself. Oh sure there were minor hiccups, but they would get fixed just as quickly as they were created.

But it looks like the last episode of the season may finally deliver the goods…

We’ve been promised tons of crying by Brad and an ultimatum by Taylor, who “Entertainment Weekly” just named TV’s worst assistant.

Personally, I would like to see Rachel let Taylor go. But then there would be absolutely no reason to tune in if there’s a second season…

The season finale of “The Rachel Zoe Project” airs Tuesday, October 14th at 10 p.m. on Bravo…

Photo Credit: Evans Vestal Ward/Bravo

Sunday, October 12, 2008

“My Own Worst Enemy” Review: Its Own Worst Enemy?

So here’s a question. Is it bad for a show when you get tired of its entire premise before the end of the first episode?

My guess is yes.

But sadly, that’s kind of the way I felt about “My Own Worst Enemy.” And if I’m not the only one who feels that way, then the show could turn out to be its own worst enemy…

The premise is that a secret government agency recruited a man named Edward Albright (Christian Slater) to carry out covert missions. To keep him safe, they created a new identity for him. But instead of just having Edward play the other identity, they actually implanted it as a chip in Edward’s brain. When his mission is done, they turn Edward off and family man Henry takes over. Edward knows all about Henry, but Henry knows nothing of Edward.

That is, until something goes wrong and Henry shows up in the middle of a covert operation, which eventually forces him to come to terms with the fact that he is not a real person. And maybe Edward is wishing he was more of a real person as well…

It seems like a clever concept, but the truth is you’ll just want all the switching to stop because you won’t care about Henry. Sure he’s got a wife and two kids, but once you realize he’s not real, you just don’t care anymore. Part of that is because Edward is more interesting, but part of it is also because Slater makes very little distinction between the two. Or maybe it’s just that he’s not convincing as a family man.

And after the last switch—which requires a huge suspension of disbelief—you’ll be left wondering what the whole point is anymore. Are we supposed to believe that Edward is jealous of Henry’s life and is going to fight for more time? Or should we really not try too hard to analyze them so much because the show won’t go that deep anyway?

Henry does have a psychiatrist (Saffron Burrows), but since I presume she’s on the agency’s payroll anyway, those scenes are really just a waste of time.

The real star for me is not Slater, but Mike O’Malley, who plays Raymond/Tom, a fellow dual-life agent. Since O’Malley is best known for comedy (“Yes, Dear”), I really thought this was a miscast. But he’s fantastic and actually does a better job than Slater of separating the personalities.

Alfre Woodard is also solid as Mavis, the head of the program. Woodard was a late addition to the show, but she’s a good one as she plays the cold-hearted witch perfectly.

As I said before, it’s a clever concept, it just gets a little tired. I would rather see a show where the operative actually had to play the family man. But then you couldn’t show him having sex with sexy international spies and no network’s going to give that up.

Since there was a lot of reworking of the pilot, the show may actually get into a groove on down the road. But I must admit, I won’t be there to find out…

“My Own Worst Enemy” premieres Monday, October 13th at 10 p.m. on NBC…

Photo Credit: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Pick of the Week: The End of An Era

Even though this season of “Project Runway” has been extremely disappointing, it is still the final new episode on my beloved Bravo.

So, of course, my Pick of the Week is the season finale of “Project Runway.”

In an interview last week, eliminated contestant Suede said he was happy with who won. I hope that’s a hint that it isn’t Kenley.

I say, go Leanne!

The season finale of “Project Runway” airs Wednesday, October 15th at 9 p.m. on Bravo. You can read my thoughts on part one of the finale here

Photo Credit: Bravo

"Life On Mars" Review: No Problems Here

It was one of the most anticipated dramas of the new season…

David E. Kelley (“Ally McBeal,” “The Practice,” “Boston Legal”) was returning to TV with an American version of a popular British show about a present day detective who gets transported back to the 1970s.

But then Kelley decided to jump ship and ABC replaced him with the producing team from the cancelled (and critically despised) “October Road.” And after the pilot was filmed, the entire cast—except for the lead—was replaced and the setting was moved from LA to New York.

So to say that “Mars” was starting out with some issues would be an understatement. Fortunately, those issues did not manifest themselves on screen…

When we meet NYPD Detective Sam Tyler (Jason O’Mara), he’s in pursuit of a murder suspect alongside fellow cop, Maya (Lisa Bonet), who also happens to be his girlfriend.

They get their suspect, but they have to let him go when he produces an airtight alibi. Maya, however wants to prove herself to everyone, so she starts following the suspect. The alibi unravels, but not before Maya is kidnapped by the murderer and Sam is forced to track them down before Maya is killed.

But just as Sam’s about to go into the suspect’s apartment building, he’s hit by a car. And when he wakes up everything’s different. The iPod he was listening to is now an eight-track (of David Bowie’s “Life On Mars,” of course). His SUV is now a classic muscle car. And in one of the most unsettling images I’ve seen on TV in a while, Sam comes face-to-face with the Twin Towers (a very fake looking towers, by the way).

The differences continue to surface when Sam returns to his precinct—the 125th. He’s surrounded by people he doesn’t know, including Det. Ray Carling (Michael Imperioli), Det. Chris Shelton (Jonathan Murphy) and his boss Lt. Gene Hunt (Harvey Keitel), who he instantly clashes with.

Also part of the 125th is Annie Norris (Gretchen Mol) who is a member of the Police Women’s Bureau. The detectives refer to her as “No Nuts” and only use her to talk to grieving relatives and other “womanly” duties. Sam, however, recognizes her intelligence and tries to involve her. He also confides in her about his 2008 life. Sam even gets a flash of that life when he hears doctors working on him in a hospital and later sees them on TV.

In 1973 (which is where Sam has ended up), a murder is committed just like the one in 2008 and using what he knows from the future, Sam is able to piece it together. He discovers the murderer was the neighbor of his 2008 murderer and that the 2008 murder was a copycat of the 1973 one.

Believing that the way to save Maya is to kill the 2008 murderer as a boy, Sam considers doing just that (or at least that’s what we’re led to believe) until he receives a message from Maya through his radio telling him she’s okay and that he needs to come home. Of course, Sam has no idea how to do that.

As the show ends, we once again see the Twin Towers, this time lit up at night…

Minus the unsettling, fake-looking Twin Towers, the show looks and sounds fantastic. The clothes, the cars, the music, it’s all beautifully done. But fortunately, there’s story to back up the pretty package.

Although the show’s premise is a little out there, you’re willing to go along with it because the cast pulls you in. I’m glad to see that they kept O’Mara after that first cast cut, because he’s an excellent leading man. Imperioli, Murphy and Keitel are solid in support, as is Mol in a rather thankless role. But Bonet is pretty much forgettable despite ABC’s attempts to shove “her return to TV” down our throats.

My biggest complaint with the show is the male supporting characters. I realize that detectives in 1973 would be male chauvinist pigs, but they bang that over our heads so much it gets annoying. I mean, couldn’t at least one of them call Annie by her real name?

Overall, though, I thought the show was solid and has lots of potential. However, I’ll wait one more episode before I decide whether to add it to my must-see list.

Why? Because according to “USA Today,” the premiere was almost a scene-for-scene copy of the British original. Which means we have yet to see the producers’ and writers’ own ideas.

If I was them, I would keep stealing the British show’s good ideas…

And by the way, that extremely catchy song that opened the show and has been used in all the promos is Chris Cornell’s “Ground Zero.” You can read about all the music from each episode at…

“Life On Mars” airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on ABC…

Photo Credit: Eric Liebovitz/ABC

McG Takes On the Boy Wonder

I’ve been so busy keeping track of the premieres that there is a ton of stuff I need to catch up on…

One of those is the announcement by The CW that it has ordered a pilot for “The Graysons,” a show that would follow Dick Grayson before he became Robin (as in Batman and Robin).

Two producers from “Smallville,” which has enjoyed a lot of success with the same formula with Superman, will executive produce this one.

But here’s the cool part. McG will also be an executive producer.

If that means we get a McG directed pilot, I am there. And if the show sticks to the original comic story of the Graysons being trapeze performers in the circus, couldn’t you just see McG’s stop-motion tricks with that?

Now it’s important to remember that a pilot order does not mean a show and the pilot may never see the light of day. But I’m going to stay hopeful…

"Project Runway": Sabotage?

In the first five minutes of part one of the “Project Runway” season finale, Kenley said the other three designers tried to sabotage her.

She was wrong, because actually what they did was just tell the truth. But I still can’t shake the feeling there was some sabotage going on—not by the contestants, but by the producers and Bravo.

Why else would the show be doing such lame stuff?

Last night, Heidi sent the final four to design their collection for Bryant Park, but they would also have to do another challenge by designing a wedding dress.

Where did that even come from? There was no bride client, or a visit to a wedding venue. It was just tacked on to the collection.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, when they returned to New York, they were told they had to design a bridesmaid dress to go with it.

So basically they spent all that work on a collection the judges didn’t even get a glimpse of.


Of course what ended up happening was that Korto, who appears to have a strong collection, stumbled on the wedding stuff and was almost eliminated.

Fortunately for her, the judges liked Jerell’s gown less and he was eliminated—even though he also appeared to have an interesting collection.

Worst of all, however, is that Kenley totally nailed the bridal challenge, but her collection seemed totally off with her use of ropes wrapped around the neck.

Of course, all of this could have been avoided if the judges had not taken the easy way out and eliminated Kenley last week. But they wanted to hold onto the villain.

And even though Kenley’s half-hearted apology appeased her fellow designers this week, it appears the you-know-what is back next week, giving the show exactly what they wanted.

Sadly, however, it’s not what we wanted…

The Bravo finale of “Project Runway” airs Wednesday, October 15th at 9 p.m. on Bravo…

Photo Credit: Virginia Sherwood/Bravo

Friday, October 10, 2008

“HSM 3”: Prom Dates Revealed!

As we edge ever closer to “High School Musical 3” hitting theaters, we now know who will be accompanying who to prom in the movie thanks to the release of—what else?—the dolls…

Here’s a look at the pairings courtesy of and…

Troy and Gabriella

Chad and Taylor (which for some reason was the only not on the Walmart website)

The one that will no doubt be added to my collection--Kelsi and Ryan (Love the colors)

And what do you know. It looks like Sharpay finally did the right thing as her date is the loveable baker Zeke.
Don't forget that "High School Musical 3: Senior Year" opens in theaters Friday, October 24th...

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Britney's Video Debut

If you’re a Britney Spears fan, or if you’re just really curious, you’ll want to tune into “20/20” tomorrow night…

Britney’s new video, “Womanizer,” will debut during the news hour.

And yes, I agree. It’s a strange place for a video debut…

“20/20” airs Friday, October 10th at 10 p.m…
Photo Credit: MTV

The Early Winners and Losers

In my post from September 16th about CBS’s premiere schedule, I wrote:

Because of the Writers’ Strike, FOX was last season’s most watched network, ending CBS’s run. I hope that FOX enjoyed its time at the top because I don’t think it will happen again this year as CBS has put together a pretty strong schedule.
I love it when I’m right…
Now, granted, the TV season is not even a month old yet, but CBS is far outpacing its competition with both old and new shows.
And its #1 show, “CSI,” just premiered...
The biggest surprise has been the stalwart known as “NCIS.” Two weeks ago, it topped “House” in total viewers (although not in the coveted 18-49 demo) and this week it topped “Dancing With the Stars.” I’d like to think my promotion of it had a little something to do with it, but I’d be dreaming…

The success of “NCIS” has led to the success of TV’s #1 new show, “The Mentalist.” I really have no idea why the success of this one seems to have taken everyone by surprise. Good show, good leading man, good timeslot. What’s not to be successful?

CBS does have its problems, however. The new Wednesday night comedy block has not performed as well as the network would have hoped and “Worst Week,” has been leaking “Two and a Half Men” viewers like crazy, which has also caused a ratings drop for “CSI: Miami.” Plus, that pesky Tuesdays at 10 timeslot is still causing trouble as “Without a Trace” is down significantly from its numbers on Thursday; although it did manage to beat “Law & Order: SVU” last week.
But overall, I would have to declare CBS the winner at this early stage of the season.

So if CBS is the winner, who is the loser? That, my friends, would be the once proud network known as NBC…
Now we have to remember that NBC hasn’t even debuted most of its new series yet, but sadly, its returning shows have let them down in the meantime…
“Heroes” has consistently dropped viewers over the last two weeks and Monday night, it even had less viewers than CBS’s “How I Met Your Mother” which is absolutely unheard of. “Chuck” also took a significant drop from its premiere, as did “Life.”

And the new show NBC did premiere has not done all that well. “Knight Rider” premiered to ratings nowhere near the success of the TV-movie that spawned it.

But in NBC’s defense, FOX and ABC both have their share of problems.

Of course, FOX had the first cancellation of the season—although they would never call it that—in “Do Not Disturb.” And “Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles” returned to numbers that have many questioning its future. “Prison Break” isn’t faring much better.

On the plus side for FOX, “House” is still strong despite its new timeslot. And “Fringe” overcame its slow start to earn a full season order…

For ABC, its biggest problem is “Opportunity Knocks.” You may have noticed Ashton Kutcher’s presence in last week’s promos which is no doubt a strategy aimed at boosting dismal ratings (Kutcher is an executive producer.). But there is also concern for the returning shows as they have each premiered below last season’s premieres. In fact, “Pushing Daisies” was down a whopping 55%.

On the plus side for ABC is a still strong “Dancing With the Stars” and “Grey’s Anatomy” and the network stepchild, “Boston Legal” is enjoying solid ratings for its final season.

And although it has somewhat cooled, “90210” is still doing okay for The CW and its leadout, “Privileged,” even grew in numbers this week. “Gossip Girl” is also scoring well for the network. But there is some concern about the slowing numbers of “America’s Next Top Model”…

Friday will be an important day for all of the networks because that is when we will find out the ratings for “CSI,” “Life on Mars,” and “Eleventh Hour.” And it may not be an exaggeration to say that Christian Slater may be NBC’s savior if his drama, “My Own Worst Enemy” premieres well on Monday…

As always, Stay Tuned…

Photo Credits: Art Streiber/CBS & NBC & Karen Neal/ABC

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Pick of the Week: The “Takeover” Comes to an End

I’m happy that “Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style” is back, but sadly it means that I have to say goodbye to one of my new favorites.

My Pick of the Week is the season finale of “Tabatha’s Salon Takeover.”

Tabatha is to hair what Tim Gunn is to clothes. She tells it like it is whether people like it or not—and they usually don’t.

During the season, Tabatha has confronted some of the most clueless people I’ve ever seen. Sometimes she was able to set them straight and sometimes she wasn’t. But regardless of the outcome, the journey was always entertaining.

I really hope Bravo is planning another “Takeover” very soon…

“Tabatha’s Salon Takeover” airs Thursday, October 9th at 10 p.m. on Bravo…

Photo Credit: Mitchell Haaseth/Bravo

This Week's Schedule...

This will be my last of these posts until November sweeps as the new fall premieres begin to wrap up…

Monday, October 6th
Chuck—8 PM—NBC
**John Larroquette and Melinda Clarke guest star. You can read my review here.
I Want to Work for Diddy—9 PM—VH1—Season Finale
VH1 Hip Hop Honors—10 PM—VH1

Tuesday, October 7th
Presidential Debate—9 PM—ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX
The Real Housewives of Atlanta—9 PM—Bravo—Season Premiere

Wednesday, October 8th
Criminal Minds—9 PM—CBS
**Luke Perry guest stars as a religious cult leader.
The Sarah Silverman Program—10:30 PM—Comedy Central—Season Premiere

Thursday, October 9th
Kath & Kim—8:30 PM—NBC—Series Premiere
**Read my review here.
CSI—9 PM—CBS—Season Premiere
Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday—9:31 PM—NBC—Series Premiere
**Angela Bassett joins the cast.
Life On Mars—10:01 PM—ABC—Series Premiere
Tabatha’s Salon Takeover—10 PM—Bravo—Season Finale
Eleventh Hour—10 PM—CBS—Series Premiere

Friday, October 10th
The Starter Wife—9 PM—USA—Series Premiere

Saturday, October 11th
Really Awards 2008—10 PM—FOX Reality Channel
**Alonzo Bodden hosts this awards show that recognizes the most outrageous moments in reality TV from the past year.

Sunday, October 12th
Rock of Love Charm School—9 PM—VH1—Series Premiere
**Sharon Osbourne tries to teach manners to some “Rock of Love” alumnae.
Army Wives—10 PM—Lifetime
**Rumer Willis guests.
The Pickup Artist 2—10 PM—VH1—Season Premiere
Photo Credits: Karen Neal/ABC Studios and Robert Voets/CBS