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"…

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Pick of the Week: And Now For Something Completely Different…

So for this week I promised myself I would pick something different.

I don’t think you could get much different than this…

My Pick of the Week is “Shatner’s Raw Nerve.”

Let’s face it. I find William Shatner highly entertaining. You know I love him as Denny Crane on “Boston Legal” and I found his memoir highly entertaining. So when I heard about this new show, I was immediately intrigued…

“Nerve” is a celebrity interview series in which Shatner attempts to find his guest’s “raw nerve.” Among the guests he has lined up are Jimmy Kimmel, Jenna Jameson, Kelsey Grammer, Jon Voight and his friend and former co-star Leonard Nimoy.

The premiere features back-to-back episodes with Valerie Bertinelli and Tim Allen.

I have a feeling that this could be the most unique interview show television has ever seen. Or at least the most entertaining…

“Shatner’s Raw Nerve” premieres Tuesday, December 2nd at 10 p.m. on Biography…

Photo Credit: Doug Hyun/Biography

Nike Just Does It Again

While watching football all day today, I've seen this commercial several times and I love it.

It reminds me of the old days when Nike made the best commercials on TV.

You can see what I mean here...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Because I’m going to be away from this blog for the next three days, I’ve overloaded it with lots of stuff, so be sure to keep scrolling down…

As promised, I’ve given you my thoughts on the big “Prison Break” twist…

I’ve given you a review of the holiday episodes of “Monk” and “Psych” that are airing this Friday…

I’ve given you the promised “24: Redemption” DVD review…

I’ve given you my latest “Help for the Holidays” post…

And last but not least, I’ve listed some things I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving…

That should tide you all over until I get back…

In the meantime, I wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving! I’ll be back on Sunday with my Pick of the Week…

What I'm Thankful For This Thanksgiving...

I considered writing something sappy about what all I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving, but I think you guys know me well enough by now to know I don’t really do sappy.

But, I thought I’d list a few things anyway in the spirit of the season…

I’m thankful for the return of “24” even if Tony is completely creepy. That will just make it more fun when Jack beats the crap out of him…

I’m thankful for YouTube, without which I would never be able to keep up with everything…

I’m thankful for all of the publicists who have been so good to answer my questions and provide me pictures to make these blogs better…

I’m thankful for Jeramey and the IT department at the H-D for taking such good care of me…

I’m thankful for Andrea, my editor, who allows me to do this…

I’m thankful for my friends who make sure I don’t miss anything…

I’m thankful for my fiancé, who not only understood that Sunday date night had to be moved to Sunday date afternoon because of “24: Redemption,” he arranged it himself without me even mentioning it…

I’m thankful for my dad, who could teach Jack Bauer a thing or two about strength and toughness…

And last but not least, I’m thankful for all of you, my loyal readers. You are the ones that make this thing go and I truly appreciate all of you…

Okay, sorry, that last part was pretty sappy. I don’t know what came over me…

Feel free to let me know what you’re thankful for this Thanksgiving as well…

“24: Redemption” DVD Review: A Total Triumph

The fantastic thing about “24: Redemption” being released on DVD so quickly is not so you can watch it again (although that is a plus.).

No, the fantastic thing is the special features. And “Redemption” is jam-packed with them.

First, there’s the extended version with over 10 minutes of footage not seen in the TV version. As with most director’s cuts, there are some scenes that you hate to see cut (Peter MacNicol’s biggest scene) and some scenes you’re glad hit the cutting room floor (the fate of one of the movie’s villains). The broadcast version is also included on a separate DVD.

Then, there are two featurettes. “The Making of 24: Redemption” goes extremely in-depth on how the movie was made. You see the difficulties caused by the weather, how the special effects work and much, MUCH more. In fact, everyone participates so much in the featurette, you almost wonder when they actually had time to make the movie. It doesn’t take long to realize these people are a little crazy (especially Kiefer). But if they weren’t, we wouldn’t get such a terrific show.

The other featurette, “’Blood Never Dry’: Child Soldiers in Africa,” is just harrowing as we hear from experts about how children are forced to join armies in Africa. Cast members compliment the experts’ stories with the words of actual child soldiers. It made me want to immediately run to my computer, look up the websites Kiefer mentioned, and give a donation.

There’s also a recap of season six: “24 Season 6 in Four Minutes,” but sadly even with just four minutes, it’s obvious that it didn’t measure up.

Thankfully, it looks like we won’t have that problem with season seven as the DVD gives us the first seventeen minutes of the season seven premiere. It wastes absolutely no time in setting up the first threat and bringing back Tony. It’s a tad on the strange side, but I’m willing to give the show the benefit of the doubt—especially in light of “Redemption.”

Finally, we get the crown jewel of special features—a commentary on the extended version with Kiefer Sutherland, director Jon Cassar, and Executive Producer/”Redemption” writer Howard Gordon. It’s one of the best commentaries I’ve ever heard and you can tell just how proud Kiefer is of the movie because he actually talks—a lot (“24” fans know that Kiefer doesn’t talk that much during his DVD commentaries.). So therefore, we learn a lot. We hear about how Kiefer deals with certain scenes. We hear how the crew dealt with the weather. We hear about the incredible South African actors and crew. We hear Kiefer’s horror at the scene where two of the children are shot. And we hear just how much Kiefer brings to the show as Cassar and Gordon tell us about several scenes where Kiefer made changes to the script for the better—including the climactic scene where Trammell nearly doesn’t let the children into the Embassy gates.

Kiefer even suggests another scene in the commentary. He suggests that Trammell show up in season seven just so Jack can beat the crap out of him (I’m for that, by the way.)…

What makes the commentary even more interesting is that Gordon did not make the trip to South Africa so he gets to hear many of the stories for the first time along with us.

It’s also interesting to hear the dynamics between the three men. You can tell there’s a lot of collaboration and teamwork, but most of all there’s mutual respect for what each of them brings to the show.

Be warned, however, that Cassar and Gordon do give up one important detail from season seven. I guess they thought everybody already knew it since they spill it so nonchalantly (I had heard rumblings, but didn’t know for sure.)…

After watching all of the special features and hearing the commentary, you can’t help but think that “Redemption” is a total triumph. The DVD is a must-have for “24” fans or anyone who’s a fan of phenomenal acting, beautiful direction and compelling drama…

“24: Redemption” (SRP $26.98) is available now…

Photo Credit: Fox Home Entertainment

"Monk/"Psych" Holiday Specials Review: Not Your Traditional Christmas

It’s become an annual tradition for USA to show special episodes of its hit shows “Monk” and “Psych” for the holidays.

But if you’re looking for traditional, you’ve obviously never seen “Monk” or “Psych”…

For example, in any other show, the hero would welcome the opportunity to help those less fortunate than himself in the spirit of the holidays. But for an obsessive-compulsive like Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub), the homeless men that collect cans on the street mean germs and that’s almost more than he can take (It’s pretty funny for us, though.). However, Natalie (Traylor Howard) convinces Monk to help the men figure out what happened to their friend and the case begins.

Meanwhile, Captain Stottlemeyer (Ted Levine) is having a serious health problem, which is leading to a crisis of faith. But when he witnesses a miracle, he’s led down a whole new path…
Apparently my Batman detective skills were not working the day I watched this, because I’m usually a little better about guessing the outcome of these things. But I was so busy trying to figure out how the murder story connected with the miracle story that I totally missed it right in front of me. And I have to admit. It’s rather clever—even if it is a little dark for a holiday story.
But the good thing about “Monk” is that the show never lets anything get too dark. Monk’s OCD tics always seem to manifest themselves in the funniest places. And I don’t think I’ve ever seen a killer revealed so creatively…

“Psych,” on the other hand, wouldn’t know dark if it knocked it on the head. This show never takes itself too seriously—even when dealing with a con artist Santa Claus…

If you’ve never seen “Psych,” it’s about Shawn (James Roday) and Gus (Dule Hill) who run PSYCH, a psychic detective agency. Although Shawn pretends to be a psychic, he really just has incredible powers of observation and deduction, thanks to the training of his detective dad, Henry (Corbin Bernsen).
And in the holiday episode, Shawn uses his powers to help a little girl who is upset that Santa Claus was sent to jail. But after the Santa is released, Shawn and Gus realize that they were conned and they spring into action to stop the little girl and her partner from carrying out their Christmas caper. However, the case proves to be a little more complicated than they first thought.

Meanwhile, Gus’ sister, Joy (Faune Chambers), comes home for the holidays to stay with her parents (Phylicia Rashad and Keith David). But things get interesting when it’s revealed that she and Shawn once had a fling that they both seem to be interested in renewing—especially when Shawn decides to stay at the Guster house. However, we soon discover that Shawn and Joy aren’t the only people in the house keeping secrets…

There is an actual mystery of sorts here for those of you who have to have that kind of thing, but the real reason to watch is for Roday. It’s his immense likability that makes the show work in even the most unbelievable situations. And his chemistry with Hill is priceless.

And just when you believe that you’re going to get a sappy holiday ending, the show throws that right out the window. And that’s not a bad thing…

So after a long day of shopping, grab the leftovers, take a seat and spend an evening with some fun and colorful characters.

You may just make it your holiday tradition…

“Monk” and “Psych” air at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. Friday, November 28th on USA…
Photo Credits: Peter "Hopper" Stone/USA and Alan Zenuk/USA

Help For the Holidays #6: A Great Gift For Lovers of Food and Football

I love cookbooks (which is funny because I don’t cook). So when I hear about a cookbook that combines recipes with the NFL, I’m on board. And if you have a foodie who’s an NFL fan, they will be too…

“The Sunday Night Football Cookbook” is a collection of 150 recipes from chefs and NFL players ranging from chili to duck confit.

Each of the NFL cities is represented by one of their most famous chefs, including Bobby Flay (New York) and Emeril LaGasse (New Orleans). Several players also contribute recipes including Hines Ward and my guy T.J. Houshmanzadeh. And even the “Football Night in America”/“Sunday Night Football” gang gets in on the act (And yes, Cris Collinsworth’s dish will be the first one I attempt.).

But to keep this one from being just an ordinary cookbook, each recipe is matched with its team and we get a fun team fact along with each recipe (Did you know the Cardinals are the oldest continuously run professional football team?). The recipes/teams are divided into regions with a special Super Bowl party section at the end.

But maybe the best thing about the cookbook is that proceeds from its sale will support food banks across the country through Taste of the NFL and Feeding America.

If you have a budding chef in your family who also loves the NFL there could not be a better gift this year.

And if you need someone to sample the dishes once you make them, you know how to get a hold of me…

“The Sunday Night Football Cookbook” (SRP $27.95) is available now…

Photo Credit:

"Prison Break": "It's time to stop running!"

As the credits rolled during “24: Redemption” Sunday night, the announcer said, “Don’t miss the last five minutes of ‘Prison Break’ for the most shocking twist of the season!”

It was strange since I didn’t recall seeing a single “Break” promo during the entire two hours of “Redemption”—and there were definitely enough breaks for FOX to squeeze one or two in. So I figured I would watch just to see what was so important that they had to include a special announcement.

You may recall that I enjoyed the new direction “Break” took this season. But after watching the premiere before the season started, I have to admit that I didn’t watch a single episode afterward thanks to the lethal combination of “Monday Night Football,” “Worst Week” and Bravo marathons. And after taping about five weeks, I realized I would never catch up and just gave up entirely.

But Monday, I blocked out an hour to watch a show I once was absolutely nuts for to see what the big twist was.

I had absolutely no idea what was going on. I didn’t know how the guys got all the cards for Scylla. I had no idea how they broke into The Company offices and kidnapped The General.

And I had no idea what T-Bag and Gretchen were up to.

But sadly, I could see the twist coming from a mile away. Oh sure, they attempted some small red herrings involving Mahone, but it was obvious from around the 9:30 mark that the gang would be betrayed by [SPOILER ALERT!] Self (Michael Rappaport), the FBI agent they had been working for all season.
I have to admit, it made me want to cry a little…

Throughout the hour, I got little twinges of the adrenaline rush I used to get when watching the show. But after the “big twist” that all went away.
Let’s face it. As Samuel Gerard said in “The Fugitive,” “It’s time to stop running!”

But just as Dr. Richard Kimble got a happy ending, “Break” deserves one too. Not just an additional couple of episodes on the DVD. Not a few hours buried in the summer. It deserves an honest-to-goodness satisfying ending.

Even though I crossed “Break” off my must-see list a long time ago, I still want to see it go out on a high note. Maybe I’m just sentimental for the old days of the “Prison Break”-“24” one-two punch.

Hopefully someone at FOX is too…

“Prison Break” airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on FOX…
Photos Credit: Greg Gayne/FOX

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Did the Right "Dancing" Couple Win?

So, the “Dancing With the Stars” season is over and a winner has been crowned…

But did Brooke and Derek deserve to win? In my opinion, yes; but then I’m not a fan of the show.

So I want to hear from the fans. Did the right couple win?

Post your comments below or send an e-mail to me at

“Boston Legal”: "What a Family"

I can’t remember the last time an episode of a show swung so wildly so quickly from making me want to cry to making me laugh so hard it hurt.

But that’s exactly what happened with last night’s “Boston Legal.” And I was right. It was a classic…

Shirley and Carl (Candice Bergen and John Larroquette) had planned an intimate Thanksgiving Dinner, but partner Edwin Poole (Larry Miller) invited himself and his foster child. Then Shirley invited Katie (Tara Summers) and Jerry (Christian Clemenson) because they had nowhere to go. And when Alan (James Spader) and Denny (William Shatner) got wind of it, she had to invite them too. But since Denny already had plans with Melvin Palmer (Christopher Rich), Denny invited him along as well.

The dinner got off to a rough start when Alan got up on his soapbox and started preaching about race. That led to Jerry being so rude to Katie that she ended up telling him where to go and to Shirley getting upset and storming out. When Denny caught Carl comforting Shirley he was furious.

But before we could get too caught up in the melodrama, the show took a heartbreaking turn. Denny’s tirade against Shirley and Carl showed signs of Alzheimer’s induced confusion and Shirley had to comfort her friend as he faced the reality of losing his mind.

However, the show didn’t give us much time to wallow as Jerry made up with Katie by telling her the secret we know he’s been hiding all season—he’s in love with her. It was such a great moment that I actually cheered (I would’ve cheered louder, though, if she had said it back. I know they’d be an odd couple, but Jerry deserves to be happy.).

But before we could dwell too much on that, we were back at the dinner table for take two. But yet again, everyone started bickering. And this time Shirley revealed the reason she invited everyone to the dinner. It was her first Thanksgiving without her father and she wanted all the people to help her deal with it. It was another heartbreaking moment…

But before the tears could get out of my eyes, Edwin revealed the big secret that he, Shirley and Carl were hiding from the others. The firm is broke. Leave it to Denny to end the drama yet again with the classic line, “Did I know that and forget it?” (He didn’t.)

But before anyone could delve too deeply into that, we got the piece de resistance. When Shirley left the table yet again, Carl revealed to the group that he had planned to propose to Shirley, but that the moment was ruined. However, Alan argued that he should still do it. And then Denny told him to do it, followed by the rest of the group. So when Shirley walked into the room, Carl had no choice but to propose.

However, anyone expecting a sappy proposal doesn’t know “Boston Legal.” In fact, Carl didn’t do the proposal at all. Denny actually grabbed the ring and did it himself on Carl’s behalf. I laughed so hard I was shrieking.

But before we could enjoy that hilarious (and touching) moment too long, everyone headed back to the dinner table one more time for dessert. And Alan once again opened his mouth. But this time, he opened it to tell everyone how wonderful it was to finally have a real family. And finally, the tears had time to come out…

And then it was off to the balcony as Alan and Denny pondered the afterlife. Denny wondered how you were in heaven, because he didn’t want to go through eternity with Mad Cow (what he calls his Alzheimer’s). Alan told him he believed that you were in heaven as you were in your best years in life. “Like right now,” Denny said. “Like right now,” Alan answered.

Denny looked up to the sky (and right at the camera above) and said, “Thank you.” Alan then did the same, as the episode faded out.

It was a beautiful episode that seemed so much like a series finale.

And honestly, I kind of wish it had been. Because I don’t want to see Denny get worse. I don’t want to see the firm close down. I want the show to end with Denny and Alan on that balcony enjoying each other’s company and the life they’ve been given.

But alas, there are two more weeks, and I know no matter how much the show swings between drama and comedy, I will cry my eyes out. Because these people have become my family as well.
And as Alan said, “what a family”…

You can see last night’s episode at “Boston Legal” airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on ABC…

Photos Credit: Vivian Zink/ABC

"Dirty Sexy Money": How Low Can It Go?

Remember how last week I said that ABC had made the choice for me as to whether or not to keep watching “Dirty Sexy Money”?

Well, if they hadn’t, last week’s episode certainly would have…

I just finished watching it on tape and I am still shuddering at just how low the show stooped this time.

First, Lisa (Zoe McLellan) got in a catfight with Karen (Natalie Zea) over Nick because she believed that Nick (Peter Krause) was still interested in Karen. She gave Nick a big speech about how the Darling life was the life he always wanted and he had just been pretending before and that their marriage was over.

So what’s the first thing Lisa does after her tirade against the Darlings? She sleeps with one of them. And not just any of them. Jeremy (Seth Gabel)—the youngest.

But that wasn’t the episode’s lowest point. That would come later when Nick decided to get cozy with Wrenn (Sarah Carter), the woman staying with the Darlings. Suddenly, Nick—who was once so principled—was making out with a woman just hours after two other women, including his wife, were fighting over him (at least he didn’t sleep with her).

I wish I could say that was the lowest point. But the lowest point was when Tripp told Nick that he might actually be able to see himself happy with another woman. The other woman? You got it. Wrenn.

I thought I was going to throw up…

It’s not because I don’t love Donald Sutherland, because you know I do. It’s just that the mere thought of a love triangle with Tripp and Nick is just…well…disgusting. I mean, Tripp has become like a father to Nick. It’s just messed up…

Which is a great way to describe this show. I think we—and the cast—should be glad that someone is putting this thing out of its misery…

But now I’ve got to keep watching just to see if it can go any lower. I shudder at the thought…

“Dirty Sexy Money” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on ABC…

UPDATE: "DSM" will not air this Wednesday (November 26th) so that ABC can show Barbara Walters' interview with the Obamas...

Photo Credit: Vivian Zink/ABC

Who Will Win the Tackiest Trophy in Television?

So you guys have no doubt noticed my lack of posts about "Dancing With the Stars"...

That's probably because I'm still in shock about how my streak of predicting the winner before the season starts came to such a crappy end (You know if not for that achilles tendon, I would have a great shot at being right.). Who knew that Warren Sapp was going to be so light on his feet?

And there's also the fact that I don't watch the show, thanks to a combination of "Monday Night Football," Bravo marathons and "Worst Week." Although last night I actually made time for "Prison Break" (More on that later.)...

So since I didn't watch, you guys tell me. Who will take home the tackiest trophy in all of television? Will it be Brooke, who has proved surprisingly adept this season? Will it be Lance, who managed to survive the judges' initial scorn for his partner, Lacey? Or will it be Warren, who you kind of want to just give it to because he wants it so much?

Don't forget that tonight's results show is two hours beginning at 9 p.m. on ABC...

Monday, November 24, 2008

"The Real Housewives of Orange County" Review: Watch The Claws!

You know that the “Real Housewives” shows are about the only Bravo show I’m not hooked on.
But after getting caught up in a bit of the drama involving the Atlanta “Housewives,” I figured I’d give the originals a try. And I have to admit, they’re a lot of fun…

If you’ve never watched, “The Real Housewives of Orange County” follows five wealthy women and their families who live in the exclusive gated community of Coto de Caza in Orange County, California:

There’s realtor Jeana who’s involved in a trying separation from her husband…

Vicki, the “insurance queen,” who loves to have fun and spend money…

Lauri, the happy newlywed, who’s moved out of Coto with her new husband and their seven children…

And Tamra, the realtor turned stay-at-home mom who considers herself the “hottest housewife in Orange County”…

The housewives are joined by their newest neighbor, Gretchen, who comes with a whole mess of drama…

In fact, Gretchen gets much of the focus in the season premiere. She’s engaged to Jeff, who is 23 years older than her. The other “Housewives” are immediately suspicious of her—especially when she tells them her breasts are real (which apparently is not the case for any woman in Orange County). But the 30-year-old Gretchen has other issues to deal with, namely Jeff’s diagnosis of acute leukemia…
Meanwhile, Lauri is planning her honeymoon, Jeana is trying to deal with her husband staying in her house while they’re separated and Tamra is getting botox and giving her mom moral support before her facelift.
But the real reason to watch is Vicki, the drama queen of Orange County. In the premiere, she sets her sights on a yacht (It’s on sale for $950,000.) and starts trying to convince her family that she needs it. And the drama continues in the second episode as Vicki plans a summer of vacations without her husband, Donn. She also upsets the other “Housewives” with her constant working and she takes more than a few shots at the new girl—most of them more catty than necessary.
But then that’s why we watch, isn’t it?
“The Real Housewives of Orange County” premieres Tuesday, November 25th at 10 p.m. on Bravo after the explosive reunion of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” at 9 p.m…
Photos Credit: Mitchell Haaseth/Bravo

Help For the Holidays Bonus #2: The “Essential” Gift for the “HSM” Fan

If you’ve been to the toy store or even just read my blog, you know there’s a lot of “High School Musical” merchandise out there.

So if you’re trying to find the definitive gift for your “HSM” fan without getting swept up in all the toys and games, I may have found just the thing—a book. But not just any book. “The Essential Guide” to all things “High School Musical.”

If you’re familiar with the “Essential Guide” books from DK Publishing then you know they’re really great for fans of the subject (I have the Batman, Wonder Woman, X-Men and, of course, “24” ones myself.). They find really fun and interesting ways to give you all the facts.

And “The High School Musical Essential Guide” is no exception. Written for kids 8 and up, the book is filled with great pictures from all three movies (although the majority are from the first two). All of the character stories are recapped with pictures, quotes and stories from the movies. Each character receives equal treatment so your child won’t be upset that his or her favorite didn’t get enough pages. Plus, important storylines are summed up through pictures with fun captions.

It’s literally the “Essential” gift for your “HSM” fan.

And even though it’s written for the younger fan, older ones will enjoy it too. You know I did…
“High School Musical: The Essential Guide” (SRP $12.99) is available now…
Photo Credit: DK Publishing

The Fate of “Crusoe”

Lost in all of this talk in recent weeks about the cancellation of “Lipstick Jungle,” “My Own Worst Enemy,” “Pushing Daisies,” “Eli Stone” and “Dirty Sexy Money” has been the fate of NBC’s “Crusoe.”

In fact, I was actually starting to think that NBC was crazy enough to let it survive (You guys know I liked the pilot, but letting it go on and cancelling the mega-hyped “Enemy”? Come on!).
But it turns out NBC is not that crazy. “Crusoe” has been cancelled. I guess it’s just such an expected move that no one bothered to report it.

“Crusoe” is scheduled to air the remainder of its 13 episodes on Saturdays at 8 p.m. beginning December 6th. “Jungle” will move into the “Crusoe” timeslot Fridays at 9 p.m. and air its final four episodes December 5th, December 12th, January 2nd and January 9th (according to

“Dateline NBC” will return to NBC’s schedule Friday, December 5th at 10 p.m…
Photo Credit: Kelly Walsh/NBC

Could There Really Be Another Strike This Year?

I think I’m going to be sick…

Just as TV still struggles to recover from the Writers’ Strike, we get even worse news. There could be an Actors’ Strike.

Yes, you read that correctly…

According to “The Hollywood Reporter,” the Screen Actors Guild leadership has begun preparations for a strike-authorization vote. This move comes after two days of meetings with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers failed to produce an agreement.

It takes 75% of SAG’s voting members to approve a strike. There’s no word on a timeframe for the strike authorization vote.

SAG President Alan Rosenberg said that if a strike is authorized, that does not mean an immediate strike, but the AMPTP says that if the members approve it, then a strike “is all but guaranteed because SAG has shown no willingness to compromise on its unrealistic demands.”


Before these last rounds of talks, the two sides had not met since July when SAG’s counter-
proposal was rejected by the studios. The AMPTP has said repeatedly that it will not give SAG a better deal than it gave the WGA, DGA or AFTRA.

Let’s hope that cooler heads prevail here or we may be looking at the end of network television as we know it since I don’t know how the networks could recover from a second work stoppage in a year…

In fact, I don’t know how I could recover…

"24 Redemption": Is It January Yet?

You know the feeling you get when you’re sitting in a dark movie theater and the trailer for a movie you’re really excited about comes on the screen?

The trailer is really good and it just makes you wish that the movie would hurry up and come out already.

That’s how I feel about “24: Redemption.” It’s the really good trailer that makes me want season seven of “24” to premiere so bad I can’t even stand it…

After all, you don’t realize how much you miss something until it’s gone and from the first moments of “Redemption” I realized just how much I’ve missed every little thing about “24”—the type on the screen, “the following takes place” intros, the ticking clock, the split screens, the frenetic camerawork. I was so excited to see all of that I almost cried.

But for those of us looking for the adrenaline rush the shows gives us, we didn’t get it from “Redemption.” No, this movie was a totally different animal giving “24” fans something we’re not used to seeing from the show…

Instead of lots of action, we got real emotion. And it was an interesting change of pace…

[Warning: If you have not yet seen “24: Redemption,” stop reading now.]

The main premise of the movie was actually pretty simple. Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) has been traveling the world since we last saw him on that cliff. For the past year, he’s been traveling to avoid a government subpoena to appear before Congress and answer questions about torture. He’s landed in Sangala (a fictional African country) to help an old special forces friend, Carl Benton (Robert Carlyle), with his school.

When an aide from the American Embassy, Frank Trammell (Gil Bellows), comes to the school to serve the subpoena while issuing threats to end the school’s funding if Jack doesn’t comply (which, of course, he doesn’t), Jack decides it’s best if he leaves the place where he has started to find a home (not to mention bond with the adorable children). But when the ruthless General Juma’s (Tony Todd) forces come to the school to kidnap the children and make them part of the army that plans to stage a coup, Jack has to postpone his departure and go into full Bauer mode to protect the children and get them to safety at the US Embassy.

Now here’s where it gets a little complicated…

In the US, Senator Alison Taylor (Cherry Jones) is preparing to be sworn in as the new President. Outgoing President Noah Daniels (Powers Boothe) has ordered an evacuation of US nationals from Sengala, but President-Elect Taylor favors a US military response and appears to be considering some action after she is sworn in.

Roger Taylor (Eric Lively), the President-Elect’s son, has other issues as he gets a visit from an old friend asking for Roger’s mother’s help in getting him out of some trouble at his work. What the old friend doesn’t know is that he aided the mysterious Jonas Hodges (Jon Voight) in funding the rebel forces in Sengala. And what Roger doesn’t know is that his Secret Service agent is in cahoots with Hodges.

I told you it was complicated…

However, in this case, complicated does not mean bad because the conspiracy story is actually quite interesting. Although we know absolutely nothing about Hodges, you can tell he’s going to make a great villain (the shadowy ones always do). And they’ve turned the “innocent guy accidentally gets a hold of the wrong information and is in danger for having it” story on its ear by involving the President’s son.

And speaking of the President, she didn’t get a lot of time in the movie, but the time she did get she made the most of. Cherry Jones looks to be quite fierce in the role and I’m going to enjoy seeing where she goes from here. But I have to tell you that I already miss President Daniels (although there was a small indication that maybe we haven’t heard the last of him). Nobody does steely like Powers Boothe.

But the star of “Redemption” was, of course, Kiefer Sutherland and he was beyond sensational as we got to see aspects of Jack Bauer we had never seen before. Jack’s sweet compassion with the children was adorable and made our indestructible hero more human. Sutherland’s chemistry with his real-life friend Carlyle was tremendous which made Benton’s heroic death all the more heartbreaking (although I think there’s more to that than we saw if the season seven preview was correct). Watching Jack struggle between crying and sucking it up for the sake of the children was just stunning.

But what else would you expect from the best actor on television?

I loved the scene when Jack “broke down” in front of his torturers as he pretended to give up the location of the children. I have to admit I laughed as Jack “begged” for his life—not because it was stupid but because you knew Jack was setting them up for the kill, literally.

But Sutherland’s best sequence had to be at the end when Jack finally reached the US Embassy with the children. Trammell, who you just knew was a huge weasel, forced Jack to comply with the subpoena to save the children and then almost didn’t let the children in anyway. Jack’s rage, frustration, concern and sadness all spilled out in just a few moments.

And if Trammell hadn’t let the kids in those gates, you know what would have happened to him…which I’m actually kind of sorry we didn’t see…

As I said, “Redemption” was a different animal and quite frankly, it wasn’t at all what I expected. After all, the promos only showed us the action sequences because they knew that’s what we wanted to see. However, that’s not to say it wasn’t good because it was actually quite good and I’ll be terribly disappointed if Sutherland doesn’t get a Golden Globe nod for his most well-rounded portrait of Jack Bauer yet.

If you missed it, you can get another chance to watch when “24: Redemption” is released on DVD this Tuesday. Plus, you’ll get the Director’s Cut and some great special features that I’ll have a review of later this week…

I know I’ve asked this question several times before, but it’s worth repeating…

Is it January yet?...

Photo Credits: Kelsey McNeal/FOX, Greg Gayne/FOX, Kelsey McNeal/FOX

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Pick of the Week: A Sure to Be Classic Thanksgiving Episode

There were three shows/specials I was debating on for my Pick this week…

I mean, how could I possibly pick against Rosie O’Donnell returning to live TV with Kathy Griffin?

And what about Britney finally talking about her breakdown?

But finally, in the end, I had to go with my first instinct…

My Pick of the Week is “Boston Legal.”

After two heavily political episodes, it looks like the show is getting back to basics with the zaniness we know and love so much.

Edwin Poole (Larry Miller) returns and invites himself to Shirley’s (Candice Bergen) intimate Thanksgiving dinner with Carl (John Larroquette). And then somehow, the whole gang ends up at Shirley’s—including Melvin Palmer (Christopher Rich).

How could that not be classic?

And with only three episodes left, you have to catch this show while you can…

“Boston Legal” airs Monday, November 24th at 10 p.m. on ABC…
Photo Credit: Vivian Zink/ABC

This Week's November Sweeps Schedule

It’s the final week of November sweeps.

And although it officially ends on Wednesday, I’ll take you through Sunday, which includes a few specials…

Monday, November 24th
Dancing With the Stars—8 PM—ABC
*Part one of the Season Finale
Two and a Half Men—9 PM—CBS
*Michael Clarke Duncan guests.

Tuesday, November 25th
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving—8 PM—ABC
House—8 PM—FOX
*Emmy winner Zeljko Ivanek guests.
Dancing With the Stars—9 PM (2 hrs.)—ABC
*Part two of the Season Finale
The Shield—10 PM—Series Finale
Law & Order: SVU—10PM—NBC
*Mike Farrell and Brenda Blethyn guest.
Real Housewives of Orange County—10 PM—Bravo
*Season Premiere

Wednesday, November 26th
Rosie Live—8 PM—NBC
*Rosie O’ Donnell returns to TV with a variety show featuring Kathy Griffin, Ne-Yo, Clay Aiken and others.
Bones—8 PM—FOX
*Ryan O’ Neil returns as Brennan’s father.
World Magic Awards—8 PM—My Network TV
Private Practice—9 PM—ABC
*Grant Show (“Swingtown”) guests.
Top Chef: NY—10 PM—Bravo
*The chefs must cook Thanksgiving dinner for the Foo Fighters.
Sons of Anarchy—10 PM—FX
*Season Finale

Thursday, November 27th
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade—9 AM—NBC/CBS
National Dog Show—Noon—NBC
CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute—9 PM—CNN
Storytellers—9 PM—VH1
*Kid Rock tells the stories behind his biggest hits.

Friday, November 28th
Monk—9 PM—USA
*The annual holiday episode
Psych—10 PM—USA
*The annual holiday episode

Saturday, November 29th
Moonlight and Mistletoe—9 PM—Hallmark
*Candace Cameron Bure regains her Christmas spirit as she helps a Santa Claus (Tom Arnold) keep his job.
Ellen’s Even Bigger Really Big Show—9 PM—TBS
*Ellen Degeneres hosts this special taped during the TBS Comedy Festival in Las Vegas.
Funniest Movies of the Year—10 PM—TBS
*Frank Caliendo hosts this look back at the funniest movies of 2008.

Sunday, November 30th
Britney: For the Record—10 PM—MTV
*This documentary promises the real story from Britney Spears herself.
Cheech and Chong: Roasted—10 PM—TBS
*The comedy legends are roasted in a special taped during the Comedy Festival.
Laffapalooza—11 PM—TBS
*Tracy Morgan hosts this comedy special also taped during the Festival.

Photo Credits: Kelsey McNeal/ABC, Prashant Gupta/FX, Peter "Hopper" Stone/USA, TBS

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Breaking News: HUGE Changes at “Days”

When I pulled my “Soap Opera Digest” out of the mailbox this morning, I saw the headline “2 Days Superstars Out”…

So, of course, as soon as I got back in the house I flipped to the story to find out who.

If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t want to know these things in advance, you’ll want to stop reading now.

Otherwise, you’ll want to sit down…

The two are Deidre Hall and Drake Hogestyn (Marlena and John).

And they won’t be the only ones leaving.

Why? It’s all about the Benjamins…

According to the “SOD” story, NBC has finally renewed “Days of Our Lives” through September 2010 with an option for another year. But in order to make that happen, the show is getting a huge reduction in its licensing fee from NBC—40 percent. That means cuts must happen.

So, [SPOILER ALERT!] John and Marlena will be reunited and then will be off-screen after January for “an unknown period of time” according to Executive Producer Ken Corday. But Corday is quick to point out “there is never an end when a couple leaves happily ever after. They’re not dead. Characters have left and come back [before].”

Who’s next? Corday didn’t say, but he did admit that the cast has to be pared down.

“It’s a matter of cooperation now on the cast’s part. We have to downsize economically first, then physically. If they don’t cooperate economically, then it will be a physical downsize or a recast. No one is above recasting. No one is the center of the wheel. They’re all spokes. If we blow a spoke, the wheel will keep turning and we replace it. The center of the wheel is that hourglass that ticks twice a day. There has to be a bilateral understanding that you have to play ball here. And if they don’t, there’s nothing I can do about it. My hands are tied. I have to do this show at cost.”


It sounds like maybe Hall and Hogestyn are getting the better end of the deal…

Corday admits it’s a hard time for him and the next five months for the show will be rough; but he believes that the show will come out better in the long run.

I think he might be dreaming…

I would really hate to see “Days” go off the air, but even more I would hate to see it become a shell of the show it once was, and I think that’s what’s going to happen.

I completely understand about money, especially with our current economy; but I have to wonder if there was a better way. Maybe they could have cut more of the new people. Maybe they could have cut some of the returning veterans that really aren’t necessary (i.e. Joe Mascolo, aka Stefano).

But maybe they’re going to do all of that too…

The reality is that whatever they do, “Days” will become a different show. The question is whether or not the same fans will stick with it…

Photo Credit: Jeff Katz/NBC

"Back To You" DVD Review: See What Could've Been

It should’ve been a sure thing…

Emmy winners Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton starring in a comedy created by Steven Levitan (“Just Shoot Me”) and Christopher Lloyd (“Frasier”), directed by the best sitcom director in TV history, James Burrows and co-starring the funniest man on TV, Fred Willard.

However, sometimes the surest things are the biggest misses…

But here’s the thing. “Back to You” wasn’t really a miss. I know it got cancelled after one season because of poor ratings, but the show was good.

And now, thanks to the DVD release of the series, everyone else can discover that for themselves.

If you never saw it, “Back” starred Grammer as Chuck Darling, an anchorman who had worked his way from Pittsburgh up to LA only to be fired after a YouTube classic outburst. Chuck returns to Pittsburgh to re-team with Kelly Carr (Heaton), who he had a tumultuous relationship with.

The major premise for the show is set up in the closing moments of the pilot as Chuck learns he is the father of Kelly’s daughter, Gracie (Laura Marano), thanks to a one-night stand on Chuck’s last night in Pittsburgh.

You guys probably remember that I was pretty hard on the premise when the show premiered, and I still believe it was a bit of a misstep. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that the show was funny.

In fact, it was my plan for this review to just watch a handful of the episodes. But I got so hooked, I had to watch them all.

Grammer and Heaton have loads of chemistry and the supporting cast is extremely solid. Ty Burrell, who plays Gary the investigative reporter, is a true find and Josh Gad, who plays news director Ryan, managed to win me over. Ayda Field is also good in her limited role as Montana, the weatherperson. And it goes without saying that Willard, as sportscaster Marsh, is very funny.

The biggest problem with the show—other than that premise—is that there’s no consistency. The writers decided to get rid of Montana and then decided Gracie should look younger and recast the role with Lily Jackson, who does not measure up to Marano.

And thanks to the Writers’ Strike, the episodes are jumbled. Montana is gone for a few shows and then she’s back. Stories are started and then just dropped. Thankfully, the DVD has the three unaired episodes that fill in the blanks—including the original season finale, which is actually one of the best episodes of the season.

In fact, it’s probably thanks to the Writers’ Strike that “Back” isn’t on the air today. The show was just starting to hit its stride and it was going to get the cushy post-“American Idol” timeslot, where I think it would have thrived.

Now the DVD gives us a chance to see what could have been…

There are also two good featurettes on the DVD. “This Just In” talks about local news and its opportunities for comedy while “Behind the Scenes” gives us a look backstage. However, it’s clear that the latter featurette was done before the cancellation because it just abruptly ends with no mention of it. There’s also a funny gag reel to round out the special features.

If the lack of sitcoms on TV has you looking for a good comedy to watch, then check out “Back To You.”

But don’t be surprised if it doesn’t make you angry at FOX for pulling the plug.

“Back To You” (SRP $39.98) is available now…
Photos Credit: FOX Home Entertainment

Friday, November 21, 2008

Breaking News: ABC Pulls the Plug On...?

As you guys know, I only break in during the day if it’s big news. And much like the last time I broke in, it’s bad news…

Both and are confirming that ABC has cancelled “Pushing Daisies,” “Eli Stone” and “Dirty Sexy Money.” All three shows will complete their 13-episode orders, although there is no guarantee that all 13 episodes will air for any of them.

But if all 13 do air, then there is a slim chance if the ratings improve that ABC will change its mind, but I wouldn’t hold my breath…

It is important to note, however, that ABC has not confirmed any of this, although “Daisies” creator Bryan Fuller did confirm it to’s Michael Ausiello.

The good news for “Daisies” fans is that Fuller plans to tie up the loose ends of the show in comic book format. And speaking of comics, there may be some good news in this for “Heroes” fans, as Fuller has said publicly he would love to go back to “Heroes” if “Daisies” was cancelled (Fuller was a major creative force in the show’s first season.).

I’d like to say that I’m upset about “DSM” since it was my favorite new show last season, but the truth is that I’m not. I’ve been struggling on a weekly basis as to whether to cross it off of my TV-list. Now, I won’t have to decide since ABC has crossed it off for me…

Of course, the real cause behind these cancellations is the Writer’s Strike. “Daisies” and “DSM” were just starting to gain some momentum when they were yanked off the air. I’m betting that ABC is now seriously regretting its decision not to bring back “Daisies” and “DSM” after the strike (like CBS did with its shows). “Stone” would have never made it to a second season if not for the lack of choices ABC had because of no pilots being produced.

The only thing that saved “Private Practice” from cancellation is that it’s a “Grey’s Anatomy” spinoff…

In all honesty, I think “Daisies” should have been given more time—especially since it scored so many Emmy nominations last year. If—as Chuck pointed out in his comment on my last post on this topic—ABC did a little more promotion it could have become a bona-fide cult classic. Personally, I think the network should have re-aired the previous episodes before the new season started—or at least the pilot—in order to set up the whole premise.

We can just chalk that one up as one more bad decision by my TV enemy Steve McPherson…

Thursday, November 20, 2008

ABC Announces Its January Moves

ABC has finally scheduled a premiere date for “Scrubs”…

The show will return (to its new network) Tuesday, January 6th at 9 p.m.

In other moves, “Private Practice” will move to Thursdays at 10 p.m. after “Grey’s Anatomy” beginning December 11th (Reruns will air until January 8th.) and “Life On Mars” will move to Wednesdays at 10 p.m. after “Lost” beginning January 28th.

There is still no word on the fates of “Pushing Daisies,” “Dirty Sexy Money” and “Eli Stone.” “TV Week” is reporting that “multiple industry insiders” have confirmed that ABC has decided not to pick up any additional episodes of any of the three for now.

However “Daisies” has a lot of fans within the network and ABC has until the end of the year before it has to make a decision so it still has a chance. “Stone” I’m not sure about, but I’d say “DSM” is history. And with the disaster it’s turned into, I say good riddance…

The CW Takes Back Its Sundays

The CW’s little experiment is over…

The network announced today that it is taking back its Sunday nights from Media Rights Capital.
You will recall that the CW sold off its Sunday primetime to the independent studio so it could concentrate on its programming during the week. But the ratings for the MRC shows were so low that they sometimes didn’t even register on the Nielsen meters.

So what will the CW fill its Sunday nights with? Reruns and movies.

And what reruns pray tell? That’s where it gets interesting…

At 5 p.m. are reruns of “Everybody Hates Chris” and “The Game.” But at 6 p.m., it’s reruns of “The Drew Carey Show.” Then, at 7 p.m., it’s reruns of “Jericho.”

And yes, you read that one right…

A movie will air at 8 p.m.

Does the CW really think this lineup is going to score any better? And if the MRC lineup wasn’t costing them anything, then why not just stick with it?

I can hear the Jericho Rangers rallying already…

The changes begin November 30th…

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Help for the Holidays #5: “Scene It? Seinfeld Edition”

As I’ve told you before, I love board games. But my fiancé doesn’t like to play with me because he says I’m too competitive…

So what’s the solution? Play a game he’s sure to win—“Scene It? Seinfeld Edition”

You see, my fiancé compares everything in life to an episode of “Seinfeld” just like I do with “Friends.” So yes, he did win. The surprising thing is how competitive I was.

But that’s the beauty of the “Scene It?” games. You don’t have to be an expert because most of the answers to the DVD questions are in the clips. The trivia questions can get pretty specific, but I managed to handle a few of them.

However, even the casual “Seinfeld” fan like me will get a kick out of watching all the clips from the show. And the show-inspired game pieces, like the puffy shirt, are a real treat for everyone—even if they don’t know the episode they’re from.

If you have a “Seinfeld” fan to buy for this year, this is definitely the way to go. And don’t be afraid to play with them because you’ll enjoy it too…

“Scene It? Seinfeld Edition” (SRP $34.95) is available in stores and online now…

Photos Credit: Mattel

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

One More Reason to Hate the BCS

FOX Sports announced today that it has declined to match ESPN’s offer to televise Bowl Championship Series bowl games beginning in 2011.

So why is this a big deal? Because that means the BCS bowls will most likely air on cable for the first time.

Now I know the argument here is that most homes have cable and of those over 90% of them have ESPN. But there are some homes in the world—believe it or not—that do not have cable and would be without the BCS bowls.

And this development also begs the question what’s next? The Super Bowl on cable?

Plus, I have to admit that all of this makes me nostalgic for the good old pre-BCS days. Remember when all the bowl games were squeezed into one day on three networks and you chose which games you were going to watch, set out your New Year’s Eve leftovers and overdosed on food and football?

Now, the BCS bowls stretch out over an entire week which means a whole week of dreary-eyed work days as opposed to one.

I guess that means just one more reason to hate the BCS—as if I needed another one…

Is “Lipstick” Cancelled After All?

So, is “Lipstick Jungle” cancelled or not?
Series star Brooke Shields told “US Weekly” that it is not. She told the mag, “They thought that because ‘My Own Worst Enemy’ has been shut down that the same thing had happened to us, and it's not true ... they're not breaking down the sets. We're still working. We still have more to do, so it's erroneously presented that we've been canceled, thank God.”
Not to argue with Brooke, but news outlets did not report that “Lipstick” was cancelled just because “Enemy” was. They reported it because NBC decided not to order any more episodes past the 13 they had already ordered—which is the same thing as cancelling it.
However, she is correct that there is still work going on because they are wrapping that 13th episode this week.

And now comes word from “The Hollywood Reporter” that NBC “has moved back on the fence” about the show.

Why? “Reporter” cites two reasons. First, the public outcry against the cancellation has been fairly strong and fans are now sending lipsticks to the network. Second, the ratings are actually improving.

But since the ratings are still too low (3.8 million viewers), and because NBC has not announced if it will air the remaining episodes, “Reporter” says that NBC deciding to spare the show is unlikely.

However, there were a lot of people that probably said the same thing about it getting picked up at all. So, who knows?...

As always, Stay Tuned…
Photo Credit: Andrew Eccles/NBC

Monday, November 17, 2008

The End Is Near For Adrian Monk

My fiancé tells me all the time that he doesn’t read my blog because I never write about shows that he watches…
So I thought I would take a minute and write about his favorite show. But my fiancé will not like what I’m about to say.
Adrian Monk is about to solve his last case…

“The Hollywood Reporter” reports that USA Network is picking up “Monk” for its eighth and final season. The 16-episode season will begin in the summer.

The “Reporter” story says that the decision was a mutual one by everyone involved with the show so that it could be concluded while it was still on a creative high.

If you’ve never seen it, “Monk” stars the Emmy-award winning Tony Shalhoub as Adrian Monk, a brilliant but obsessive-compulsive detective.
You can catch a special holiday episode of “Monk” Friday, November 28th at 9 p.m. I’ll have a review next week…

Photo Credit: USA

A Few Random “Housewives” Thoughts

Let me offer a few random thoughts about last night’s “Desperate Housewives”…

So now we’re supposed to feel sorry for Ann because her husband is beating her? Granted, there is never justification for such a horrible act, but I cannot feel sorry for a 45-year-old woman who is sleeping with a 16-year-old boy. That’s still disgusting!!!...

Let’s give some more airtime to Lily Tomlin and Kathryn Joosten as Roberta and Karen McCluskey. They’re a really great team…

[For you TV trivia buffs out there, the casting of Tomlin is Marc Cherry’s nod to “The West Wing.” Joosten played President Bartlett’s secretary, Mrs. Landingham, until her character was killed off. Tomlin played her replacement, Debbie.]

They could’ve given Roberta and Karen the airtime they devoted to that ridiculous story involving Julie. Sure, it got a few laughs, but since the guy was introduced and dismissed in the same episode, what was the point? Couldn’t Julie and Susan have had that marriage talk some other way?

Speaking of what was the point, are we now totally done with the creepy rich lady story? If it was going to wrap up in three episodes then why bother? And Carlos gets hit in the head and he loses his sight and now he gets hit in the head again and gets it back? Are you telling me in the five years we didn’t see that Gaby never hit him in the head? I find that hard to believe…

And I am sick and tired of shows teasing us with the possibility that someone is going to die and then making it a supporting character we barely knew anyway. And how dumb was that criminal expert? Did it never occur to him when Dave was leading him down that dark hallway that Mike was one of the guys at the table in the BLUE ODYSSEY T-SHIRTS?!

Murderous tendencies aside, I am still loving Dave. I think he is the only bright spot in an otherwise meandering season. And when he emerged from the flames with Mike, you have to admit that was a nice twist. So what does he really have in store for him? Hmmm…

Okay, I’ve said my piece. Now it’s your turn. Are you as frustrated with this season as I am, or is it just me?...

Photo Credit: Ron Tom/ABC

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Random Thoughts on a Sunday Morning: “SNL,” “Grey’s Anatomy” “Ghost Whisperer” and “Desperate Housewives”

Good Lord! What was that total waste of network airtime last night that NBC called “Saturday Night Live”?

It seemed like the point of the entire 90 minutes (I confess I barely made it through 45.) was to gross us out as much as possible…

A painting that made people convulse and throw up? A cell phone stuck up a guy’s butt?

Even Beyonce’s performance was a little off (although her wind machine was working just fine).

Isn’t it terribly sad that Justin Timberlake’s overview of the show he was going to do was actually funnier than the show that actually was (although that “Single Ladies” bit was pretty cute, thanks to Justin sticking around)?

It’s clear that for “SNL,” the party is over…

You guys know I don’t watch “Grey’s Anatomy.” But my second favorite Canadian, RT, shared with me some of the details of last week’s episode…

Which makes me think there are some “Grey’s” fans out there that might need to vent a little. And I want you to know that I am here for you…

Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at

You may recall that I told you something big was on the horizon for “Ghost Whisperer.”

Well now that you know what that something big was, I wanted to give you a chance to talk about it.

Are you angry about the death of Jim or do you think it will open new avenues for the show?


I never dreamed that some of the most disgusting moments on TV this year would be on “Desperate Housewives”…

But how else could you classify a 45-year-old making out with a 16-year-old-boy? And then declaring her love for that boy? And then admitting she’s pregnant by that boy?


I have been seriously considering giving up “DH” all season. This may have just pushed me over the edge…

So what random thoughts would you like to share? You know the drill…

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Pick of the Week: Do You Even Have to Ask?

If any of you out there try to guess what I’m going to pick each week, you had to know what my choice would be this week…

My Pick of the Week is “24: Redemption.”

It’s been 18 MONTHS since we last saw a new episode of “24.” But thankfully, instead of making us wait another two, FOX is bringing us a two-hour movie to bridge the gap between season six and season seven.

And from everything I’ve seen and read, it should be quite a bridge indeed.

Basically, the story is pretty simple. While hiding from a government subpoena, Jack gets caught up in trying to save children from being swept up into an African coup.

As I’ve said before, it’s Jack Bauer kicking butt to save children. What more could you possibly ask for?

How about a new president played by Cherry Jones who looks seriously cool. And of course, we get the fabulous Peter MacNicol—the only real bright spot of season six—returning to guide the new president’s transition.

You can see the latest trailer here.

“24: Redemption” airs Sunday, November 23rd at 8 p.m. on FOX…

This Week's November Sweeps Schedule

November sweeps hits its home stretch this week with several major events and a few season finales…

And remember that schedules are always subject to change…

Monday, November 17th
How I Met Your Mother—8:30 PM—CBS
*Jamie-Lynn Sigler (“The Sopranos”) guests.
One Tree Hill—9 PM—CW
*It’s a special film noir episode written by Chad Michael Murray (Lucas).
Worst Week—9:30 PM—CBS
*Fred Willard guest stars.
CSI: Miami—10 PM—CBS
*Teri Polo guests on the show’s 150th episode.
Boston Legal—10:02 PM—ABC
Cheri Oteri guests as a woman who feels she was fired for not voting for John McCain.

Tuesday, November 18th
The Real Housewives of Atlanta—10 PM—Bravo
*Season Finale

Wednesday, November 19th
Pushing Daisies—8 PM—ABC
Fred Willard guest stars. And no, you’re not dreaming, I’ve already said that. But why wouldn’t lots of shows want one of the funniest guys alive?
Criminal Minds—9 PM—CBS
*Jason Alexander guests as a serial killer.
Private Practice—9 PM—ABC
*Billy Dee Williams guests.
Law & Order—10 PM—NBC
*Sherry Stringfield and Ned Beatty guest star.
Top Chef: New York—10 PM—Bravo
*The chefs must cook at Tom’s restaurant where chefs who didn’t make the cut for the show are the diners. And whose dish does Padma actually spit out?
CSI: New York—10 PM—CBS
*Chris Daughtry, Rumer Willis, Nelly, Marshall Faulk and Scott Wolf guest star on the show’s 100th episode.

Thursday, November 20th
Smallville—8 PM—CW
*The sweeps tradition of a big wedding continues with Chloe and Jimmy.
Ugly Betty—8 PM—ABC
*Mark Badgley & James Mischka guest star.
30 Rock—9:31 PM—NBC
*Steve Martin guests.
Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style—10 PM—Bravo
*Season Finale (BOO HISS!)
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia—10 PM—FX
*Season Finale
Sarah Silverman Program—10:30 PM—Comedy Central
*Season Finale

Friday, November 21st
Deal Or No Deal—8 PM—NBC
*Thanksgiving show featuring a models eating contest
Star Wars: The Clone Wars—9 PM—Cartoon Network
*Jar Jar Binks plays the hero.
Larry the Cable Guy’s Star-Studded Christmas Extravaganza—9 PM—CMT
*Larry is joined by ventriloquist Terry Fator and—you guessed it—Fred Willard.
Stargate Atlantis—9 PM—SciFi
*Dave Foley and Bill Nye “The Science Guy” guest.
Lipstick Jungle—10 PM—NBC
*Mary Tyler Moore guests.

Saturday, November 22nd
An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving—9 PM—Hallmark
*Jacqueline Bisset stars in this TV-movie based on a Louisa May Alcott story.
My Big Redneck Wedding—9 PM—CMT
*Season Finale

Sunday, November 23rd
24: Redemption—8 PM—FOX
2008 American Music Awards—8 PM—ABC
True Blood—9 PM—HBO
*Season Finale
A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All—10 PM—Comedy Central
*Jon Stewart and Willie Nelson help Stephen Colbert celebrate Christmas.
Entourage—10 PM—HBO
*Season Finale

Photo Credits: Fred Norris/CW, Monty Brinton/CBS, Rick Diamond/CMT

Friday, November 14, 2008

"Robot Chicken" Review: Not a Dud In the Bunch

Not all that long ago, in a galaxy not too far away, Seth Green, Matthew Senreich, and all of the other twisted minds behind “Robot Chicken” decided to do an episode of “Star Wars”-inspired sketches.

And that episode was so successful, they decided to do it again…

You can see their second effort this Sunday as “Robot Chicken Star Wars: Episode II” makes its debut.

And having seen it, I can tell you the show has one huge problem…

It’s too short.

The half-hour goes by so quickly that it seems like it’s over before it really gets started. But what we do get is very funny…

There’s a parody of the GEICO ads featuring Jar Jar Binks. There’s a sketch with a stormtrooper participating in “Take Your Daughter to Work Day” and there’s a pretty funny sketch featuring Lando bargaining with Darth Vader with Billy Dee Williams as Lando. And the sketches featuring Emperor Palpatine are always funny.

In fact, there’s not a dud in the bunch, although Ewok fans may be a little traumatized…

“Robot Chicken Star Wars: Episode II” airs Sunday, November 16th at 11:30 p.m. on Adult Swim (Cartoon Network). “Episode I” will follow at Midnight…

Photo Credit: ShadowMachine Films

"ER" Regains Its Heart

I was starting to feel a little gipped after the first half of last night’s “ER”…

25 minutes into the episode and Anthony Edwards still hadn’t shown up yet. But finally, right at the 10:30 mark, he made his first appearance.

And although I would disagree with the promos that the episode was “legendary,” it was pretty strong…

I read a few reviews that criticized the way the show brought Edwards’ Dr. Mark Greene back, but I actually thought it was kind of brilliant.

If you missed it, the first half of the episode doled out small tidbits of information about a tragedy in Dr. Banfield’s (Angela Bassett) life—a health emergency involving her son. Flashbacks of her son getting sick were cut into a present day story involving a health emergency for another child.

Then we saw the big reveal in the story of Dr. Banfield. Her son was brought to the Cook County General ER and treated by Dr. Greene. As she remembered how Dr. Greene treated her son, Dr. Banfield was able to properly diagnose the little girl in the present and eventually save her life. Sadly, the same was not possible for her son, who passed away in one of the very rooms in which Dr. Banfield must work every day—another brilliant touch…

It was nice to see the caring Dr. Greene do what he did best. And to keep from having to use makeup (and hair) to make Edwards appear younger, the show decided to set the events at the same time Greene was having his chemo treatments (The writers clearly thought these returns out.).

But Dr. Greene was not the only familiar face we got to see. Jerry (Abraham Benrubi) briefly stepped into Trauma One, as did Dr. Weaver (Laura Innes). And just like we remembered him, Dr. Romano (Paul McCrane) came by to lecture Greene about putting off his chemo to attend to his patient. “I’m not the one who had the idea for you to get cancer,” he told him. But unlike we remember him, when Greene went back into Trauma One, Romano actually stood and watched with a look of concern. It was a nice touch…

(I was mistaken about Noah Wyle’s Dr. Carter making an appearance. Apparently, Wyle was just on the set and did not actually film a scene.)

But much like Jennifer Aniston’s hyped appearance on “30 Rock,” the show actually didn’t belong to Edwards. It belonged to Angela Bassett and her real-life husband Courtney B. Vance. I’ve got to believe that both of them are in line for Emmy nods.

As painful as it was to watch Banfield and her husband deal with the death of their son, it was nice to see Greene deal with it as he always did—with lots and lots of heart.

I think this is the first full episode of the show I’ve seen since Edwards left, but I’m pretty sure that the show never regained its heart after his departure. That is, until last night…

If you missed it, you can watch the episode here.

Photo Credit: Matt Dinnerstein

A Nice Moment for "Night Court" Fans

It’s a shame that the much ballyhooed guest appearance by Jennifer Aniston on last night’s “30 Rock” overshadowed the funnier appearance by three other NBC Thursday night favorites.

To try and get Kenneth (Jack MacBrayer) out of his funk over the new page uniforms, Tracy (Tracy Morgan) hired three actors from “Night Court” to give Kenneth the satisfying ending to the show he’d always wanted—the wedding of Harry and Christine.

And yes, Harry Anderson and Markie Post were both there, along with Charles Robinson, who played Mac. And Kenneth got the happy ending he was hoping for after a small delay due to Post and Anderson getting in a fight over who John Larroquette still speaks to.

It was a nice moment for “Court” fans and it’s a shame that there wasn’t more attention paid to it…

If you missed it, you can watch it at

Thursday, November 13, 2008

“The Bill Engvall Show” Review: A Very Special Christmas

Remember when all the sitcoms would do a very special Christmas episode?

No matter how each show did it, the result was always the same. At least one character would learn the true meaning of Christmas.

Sadly, because of the lack of traditional sitcoms, those days are mostly gone. Thankfully, TBS has decided to revive them with a special holiday episode of “The Bill Engvall Show.”

If you’ve never seen it, Bill Engvall is Bill Pearson, a family counselor with a loving wife, Susan (Nancy Travis), and three children: Lauren (Jennifer Lawrence), Trent (Graham Patrick Martin) and Bryan (Skylar Gisondo). Tim Meadows plays his best friend, Paul.

In this special Christmas episode, it’s the kids who need to learn the true meaning of Christmas as they try and find ways to get out of the family traditions Bill loves so much. But thankfully for them—and Bill—their curmudgeonly neighbor Mr. Faulkner (Brian Doyle-Murray, who you’ll probably recognize from the Christmas classic, “Christmas Vacation”) is there to help out.

Of course, there’s a sappy ending, but isn’t that what Christmas is really about?

The Christmas episode is followed by another episode of “Engvall” entitled “Honey Do.”

And the title refers to exactly what you think it does—the list wives make for their husbands of things they need done around the house. Only in this case, it’s Sarah who decides to tackle the “Honey Do” list herself, making Bill feel like less of a man. Also in this episode, the kids fight over a giant jar of change.

Although Engvall is best known for being a part of the “Blue Collar Comedy” foursome, he is quite good as a sitcom dad. Nancy Travis is perfectly cast as his wife and Tim Meadows has finally found a good TV role. But the real star here is Martin, whose Trent gets most of the laughs—especially in the second episode. I know the airheaded teenage boy has been done a lot, but it’s still pretty funny when done right…

If you’re looking for a good family sitcom in a world where they mostly no longer exist, then “The Bill Engvall Show,” which was recently renewed for a third season, is your salvation…

The special presentation of “The Bill Engvall Show” airs Saturday, November 15th at 8 p.m., following the classic, “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas” at 7:30 p.m…

Photo Credit: Gavin Bond/TBS

Stars Sign On to Go "Live" With Rosie

The stars keep signing up to be a part of “Rosie Live,” Rosie O’Donnell’s upcoming NBC variety special…

Ne-Yo, Alanis Morissette, Jane Krakowski and Kathy Griffin are all set to appear with more guests to be announced.

And since Kathy Griffin will be there, you know I’ll be watching.

Who am I kidding? I was going to watch anyway…

Kudos, though, to Rosie for remembering her friend for her return to network TV…

“Rosie Live” will air Wednesday, November 26th on NBC…

Is The End Near For "Break"?

“The Hollywood Reporter” reported today that the end could be near for “Prison Break”…

According to the “Reporter,” the actors on the show have been notified by 20th Century FOX TV that “the filming schedule might be extended to accommodate production of two additional episodes.” That has created speculation that the two additional eps might be a conclusion for the show.

However, FOX has not committed to airing these additional two hours, but according to the report talks are under way. But since “Break” has struggled this season, the possibility of FOX airing two additional eps when the six remaining they have are not on the mid-season schedule is fairly unlikely. “Reporter” speculates the two hours could be turned into a movie or they could end up on the DVD…

I have to confess that I haven’t seen an episode of “Break” since the pilot. I was taping them, but when I got five hours behind, I just gave up. Mondays are just too populated with other shows like “Worst Week” and “Monday Night Football”…

And Bravo marathons…

Photo Credit: Florian Schneider/FOX

Breaking News: NBC Pulls the Plug on "Enemy"

You know I don’t usually break in during the day, but this is pretty big…

Both and are reporting that NBC has cancelled “My Own Worst Enemy.”

Now, I knew that “Enemy” was struggling, but I never dreamed that NBC would pull the plug this early—especially with all of the hype they’ve been giving it (Didn’t that last round of promos call it TV’s newest hit?). And let’s face it, “Heroes” hasn’t done it any favors as a lead-in.

No word on whether NBC will air the remaining five episodes.

NBC also has pulled the plug on “Lipstick Jungle,” but that’s really no big surprise…

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

"Batman: The Brave and the Bold" Review: A Fun Batman?

You guys know I love all things Batman…

But when I hear about a new animated series featuring the Dark Knight, I get a little concerned since “Batman: The Animated Series” is one of my all-time favorite shows.

However, I shouldn’t have worried because “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” is a completely new and imaginative look at the World’s Greatest Detective that in no way takes away from the efforts before it…

In this half-hour series, Batman teams up with heroes throughout the DC Universe including Green Arrow, Red Tornado and Plastic Man. The show has a lighter touch to appeal to younger fans, but adult Batman fans will enjoy it as well. “Brave” looks fantastic with its bright colors inspired by the Batman comics of the 40s and 50s and Diedrich Bader (best known as Oswald on “The Drew Carey Show”) does a nice job as the voice of Batman.

In the premiere, Batman teams up with the Blue Beetle (Will Friedle, who voiced Terry McGinnis/Batman in “Batman Beyond”). Batman is looking for help with an asteroid, but when the Blue Beetle has trouble controlling his powers, the duo ends up on another planet defending some aliens from a ruthless villain.

The biggest difference here is that this is not the Batman we’re used to. This Batman is just as quick with a wisecrack as he is with one of his gadgets and it takes a few minutes to adjust. But this more humorous take is a refreshing one that you’ll enjoy and Bader handles the balance between serious and humorous well.

Although we adults know Batman best as dark and brooding, it’s nice to see DC Comics and Warner Bros. find a way to let kids enjoy him as well. Plus, it’s fun for adults too…

“Batman: The Brave and the Bold” premieres Friday, November 14th at 8 p.m. on Cartoon Network…
Photo Credit: Cartoon Network

Help for the Holidays #4: Channeling Your Child's Inner CSI

When I was a kid, we played superheroes, but these days with shows like “CSI,” kids might be just as likely to play forensic investigator. Luckily, there are some great toys this year to allow your child to be the next Gil Grissom or Horatio Caine (Sorry, sunglasses not included).

And I’m sure that adults will get a kick out of them as well…

The EyeClops Bionic Eye ($49.99, Ages 6+) captures “specimens” with 100x, 200x, or 400x magnification. Kids can then plug the Eye into a TV to view their discoveries.

The EyeClops BioniCam (SRP $79.99 Ages 8+) also magnifies subjects 100, 200 or 400 times but with a color LCD screen and clip-on battery pack, kids can view their discoveries on the scene. There’s also a built-in digital camera and flash drive that allows you to capture images and upload them to a computer. You can also plug the BioniCam into a TV for viewing.

But if examining specimens is not enough for your child (or you) and your child wants to channel their inner spy, you can crank it up a notch with EyeClops Night Vision ($79.99 Ages 8+). These infrared goggles allow visibility up to 50 feet in complete darkness.
I think we all know at least one adult who would have a blast with those. But remember they’re found in the toy section of your favorite store (and online)…
Photos Credit: JAKKS Pacific

Monday, November 10, 2008

There Are No Words...

There are no words to describe my glee at seeing this, so I am not even going to try…

This issue hits stands Thursday…

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Pick of the Week: “Bright Knives, Big City”

Since we’re in the heart of November sweeps, there is A LOT of stuff to choose from. So, I wavered just a little on my Pick.

But since one of my favorite shows is returning this week, I just couldn’t go against it…

My Pick of the Week is the season premiere of “Top Chef: New York.”

I was a little concerned after this past season of “Project Runway” that maybe my beloved “Top Chef” wouldn’t be up to snuff this year. But I needn’t have worried because the show is rolling out all the stops in the Big Apple.

The premiere features the toughest (and longest) Quickfire Challenge ever, centered around—what else?—apples. I don’t dare give away what happens in this one, but it’s a truly delicious twist.

The Elimination Challenge is not too shabby either as the chefs face a challenge inspired by the different cultural areas of New York City.

But the best challenges in the world mean nothing if you don’t have good contestants. Thankfully, it looks like “Top Chef” has those in spades. The battlelines are drawn early as the two European contestants begin rubbing everyone the wrong way. And there’s even a culinary student in the mix this year to compete with the more seasoned chefs.

And no, I haven’t picked a favorite yet. However, there’s a real cutie I’ve definitely got my eye on. I just don’t want to jinx him so early…

My only disappointment is that Ted Allen will not be a judge on the show this year. But his replacement, Toby Young (who will appear in the seventh episode), looks like he’s going to bring plenty of snark to Judges’ Table. And who doesn’t love snark?

The season premiere of “Top Chef: New York” airs Wednesday, November 12th at 10 p.m. on Bravo. If you’re taping, please note that the show will not end until 11:15 p.m…

Photo Credit: Bravo