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April 24, 2014

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Six NBC Shows on the Bubble

by Allison Waldman, posted May 3rd 2010 5:27PM
Chuck_Sarah_NBC_2010_tuxedo
The past season was a tumultuous one for NBC, what with the Jay Leno experience turning the primetime schedule into a whirl. The fact that Leno's ten o'clock show was a disaster resulted in NBC scrambling to fill in during the second season. Fortunately, at least one legit hit has emerged -- 'Parenthood.'

Still, as the network contemplates the future, there's really six programs that could be called on the bubble, teetering between a pick up or a cancellation. So what is the likelihood that NBC will renew these shows? Here's our take:

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'The Pacific' - 'Iwo Jima' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted May 3rd 2010 9:04AM
Jon Seda as John Basilone, 'The Pacific'
(E08)
If it seems like forever since 'The Pacific' spent any time with John Basilone, that's because it has been. As Basilone himself said, it's been more than a year since he saw action. Since he couldn't just go back into the heart of the war, he asked for the next best thing: the opportunity to train the next batch of marines who'd be heading out to back up his friends still on the line.

Other than a brief interlude with Sledge, who's back at base camp with a Snafu slipping toward hypochondria, we spent the entire hour with Sgt. Basilone. In doing so, the writers and producers managed to find yet another facet of the war to show us. The emotional struggles of a soldier away from the war, and the conflicting ties that pull him in both directions at once.

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'Treme' - 'At the Foot of Canal Street' Recap

by Sandie Angulo Chen, posted May 3rd 2010 8:03AM
John Boutte in HBO's Treme
(S01E04) Antoine perfectly captures the theme of tonight's 'Treme' episode (and, OK, the entire series so far) when he sings the line "I have roamed this whole wide world over, but New Orleans is still my home" while waiting at the E.R. It's the first post-Katrina Christmastime in New Orleans, and everyone is far from jolly: Albert is denied his insurance claim; Davis's car gets busted into; Creighton gives the entire country a "F--k you"; Ladonna still doesn't know where her brother is; and Janette is screwed by the utility company.

What was most compelling about tonight's story was the three men -- Delmond, Sonny, and Antoine -- who find themselves away from New Orleans for very different reasons. While Delmond lives it up in New York City with his girlfriend Jill (how funny that both he and his father were chatting up ladies in this episode) and has no intention of returning home, Antoine, the native son, and Sonny, the Amsterdam expat, are desperate to make a living in the city they call home but venture to Baton Rouge and Houston, respectively.

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'Ghost Whisperer' - 'Lethal Combination' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted May 1st 2010 3:38PM
'Ghost Whisperer'(S05E19) Personally, I'd have thought it was pretty awesome to have the pink Power Ranger as a babysitter. Unfortunately, Erin Cahill's character came with a lot of baggage. Since this is 'Ghost Whisperer,' I'm sure you can imagine what that baggage consisted of.

This episode took a break from the ongoing plotlines involving Shadows and Shinies, and all that other creepy stuff we're learning goes bump in the night other than ghosts. Instead, it got back to the heart of what 'Ghost Whisperer' was all about: helping a lost soul go into the light. I'm ashamed to admit it wasn't until very late in the episode that I realized the spirit was portrayed by Catherine Dent ('The Shield'). The make-up wasn't that intense!

The episode also pushed the limits of forgiveness and understanding about as far as they can be pushed. We've had some angry ghosts before, and they can definitely be a danger, but Laura (Dent) really surprised me.

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Seven CBS Shows on the Bubble

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 30th 2010 3:02PM
jenna_elfman_accidentally_on_purposeFor the most part, CBS has had a very good year. New series like 'Undercover Boss' and 'NCIS: LA' lived up to expectations and emerged as hits, and even though it's fallen off a bit lately, 'The Good Wife' is also a success.

But as the May upfront approaches, when the network has to make difficult decisions about what new shows to order and which programs to axe, it's a good time to assess what might happen. Here's our look at what's Tiffany network shows are on the brink ... and how it might play out.

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'Happy Town' - 'In This Home on Ice' Recap

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 28th 2010 11:35PM
Happy Town
(S01E01) "A well man doesn't put a hole in another man's head." - Sheriff

Every single review is going to compare 'Happy Town' with 'Twin Peaks.' This isn't just because both shows involve mysterious goings on with mysterious characters in a small town, it's because ABC itself has been driving the point home in all of its marketing for the show. "From the network that brought you 'Twin Peaks ..." I don't really understand why they're mentioning a TV show that ran on their network over 20 years ago, but maybe they feel they have to connect it to something cultish and beloved.

Is it like that show? I guess. A little. It has that small town mystery vibe. It also has dashes of 'Harper's Island' and 'Salem's Lot,' but those ran on CBS so I guess they can't mention them in the ads.

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Short-Lived Shows: 'Central Park West'

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 28th 2010 7:20PM
Central Park West
I'll admit it, I like soap operas. I don't watch a lot of them, unless you count 'Lost' as a soap opera. It has a continuing storyline over many years with many characters, it just happens to include time travel and monsters.

Wait...daytime soaps have had those too.... But I did watch 'Guiding Light' for 30 years and 'Knots Landing' for whatever number of years that show was on -- it was better than 'Dallas' -- and now I've found myself hooked on 'The Young & The Restless' because one day I was too lazy to reach for the remote control after my local noon news was over. That's how addiction happens sometimes.

There was another soap I liked too, back in the 1995. It was called 'Central Park West,' and considering the ratings the show got, I think I'm one of the very few people in the country who can say I watched it and liked it.

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Geoff Stults on Living in 'Happy Town'

by Michael D. Ayers, posted Apr 28th 2010 1:04PM
Geoff Stultz of 'Happy Town'Premiering tonight on ABC is a new 'Twin Peaks' -looking drama called 'Happy Town,' where things in small town Haplin, Minn. are thrown into chaos following a gruesome string of murders. At the center of all this mess is Geoff Stults ('7th Heaven,' 'October Road'), who's taking his first lead role as town deputy Tommy Conroy. Joining him on the cast is Steven Weber ('Wings') as John Haplin, M.C. Gainey ('Lost') as his father Griffin and Amy Acker ('Alias,' 'Angel') as Stultz's wife Rachel.

TV Squad spoke to Stults about the show's Midwest setting, working with M.C. Gainey and 'Happy Town's creepy factor. 'Happy Town' premieres Wednesday, April 28 at 10PM ET.

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'Parenthood' - 'Perchance to Dream' Recap

by Jane Boursaw, posted Apr 28th 2010 8:15AM
Parenthood: Perchance to Dream(S01E09) "Get it off me! Get it off!" - Adam, after discovering that the Victoria's Secret bra is his daughter's and not his wife's

Well, I'm totally with Adam on this one. Sure, Haddie could wear the bra -- there's no crime in a girl wanting to feel pretty -- but I wouldn't let her leave the house with her shirt hanging off her shoulder and her bra strap showing. It's not a double standard! Drew didn't have half his underwear showing!

Besides that, Haddie and her boyfriend were making out on his bed (without her bra on, since she took it off in anger before leaving the house!). And, hello?!! Parents shouldn't let teens be alone in a bedroom with the door closed. Ok, I feel slightly better now.

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'Justified' - 'Blind Spot' Recap

by Danny Gallagher, posted Apr 27th 2010 10:30PM
Timothy Olyphant and Joelle Carter on 'Justified(S01E07) "I'm so very disappointed in you, Raylan." - Boyd Crowder after Raylan attacks him in prison

'Justified' has been running surprisingly low on its juicy, meaty main plot up until the closing minutes of last week's episode. It feels like a whole decade has passed since Raylan blew away some hapless schmuck in a posh Miami restaurant and landed in the middle of the last place on Earth he'd ever want to be.

It all came back this week with the mighty force of a tropical tsunami and it was worth the wait.

Batten down the hatches and get below deck because things are about to go from slack tide to choppy faster than you can say "Chips ahoy!"

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Pacino Kills as Dr. Kevorkian in 'You Don't Know Jack'

by Danny Gallagher, posted Apr 26th 2010 11:33AM
Dr. Jack Kevorkian's headline-grabbing crusade against medical law and procedures was bound to become a movie sooner or later. It's got all the elements that make for great viewing, whether it's on the larger-than-life screen of your local cineplex or the soft, warm glow of your living room television.


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'Treme' - 'Right Place, Wrong Time' Recap

by Sandie Angulo Chen, posted Apr 26th 2010 10:02AM
(S01E03) 'Treme' delved deeper into the injustices big and small faced by each of the characters in this episode. I saw it twice and liked it much more the second viewing. It wasn't as gripping (or funny) as the previous episode, but there were several moments that beautifully captured each of the main character's chief post-Katrina struggles.

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'The Pacific' - 'Peleliu Hills' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 26th 2010 8:45AM
(E07) "Fear and Filth" - written by Eugene Sledge while on Peleliu in description of his experience there

This week, I finally saw the value of the opening narrative with Tom Hanks interspersed with interviews with the World War II veterans. They're presented to offer background information for the events to come. Most of us have never seen anything like the war in the Pacific, so we wouldn't know about things like the intricate tunnels the Japanese used on Peleliu.

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TNT Pairs 'The Closer' With 'Rizzoli & Isles'

by Rich Keller, posted Apr 23rd 2010 11:50AM
'The Closer' returns for a sixth season on July 12th
Before you know it, the summer will be upon us. For viewers, this is both bad and good news. The bad: The major networks resort to schedules filled with reality programming. The good: The cable networks rev up their schedules with original scripted programming. By the time July rolls around, AMC, FX, TNT and USA will be chock full of fan favorites.

For TNT, that means a new season of 'The Closer.' The network has just announced that season 6 will premiere on Mon., Jul. 12 at 9PM. Joining 'The Closer' on that evening will be the new drama 'Rizzoli & Isles.' Based on a series of Tess Gerritsen's novels, the show casts Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander as a Boston detective and medical examiner, respectively, who team up to solve cases. The series also stars Lorraine Bracco as Harmon's mother.

TNT has always excelled with shows featuring strong female leads. As long as the acting and writing is up to par on 'Rizzoli & Isles' it should have a long life on the network.

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Barry Levinson Takes On Jack Kervorkian in 'You Don't Know Jack'

by Joel Keller, posted Apr 23rd 2010 11:05AM
Al Pacino, Jack Kervorkian and Barry Levinson at the premiere of HBO's 'You Don't Know Jack'What does it take to get Al Pacino, Susan Sarandon, and Barry Levinson together for an HBO movie? Only the story of Jack "Doctor Death" Kervorkian.

'You Don't Know Jack,' premiering on Saturday, April 24 at 9PM ET, chronicles the period when Dr. Kervorkian was helping terminally ill patients commit suicide. This includes the 1998 incident where he assisted a patient with ALS and sent the video to '60 Minutes,' which landed him in prison for eight years.

In addition to Pacino, who plays Kervorkian, and Sarandon, who plays his friend and euthanasia advocate Jane Good, the movie also stars John Goodman, Brenda Vaccaro and Danny Huston. Levinson, seen above with Pacino and Kervorkian, produced and directed the movie, the first time he's directed a feature-length movie for television.

The director of 'Rain Man,' 'Good Morning, Vietnam,' 'Wag The Dog,' and other classics spoke to me earlier this week about dealing with the touchy topic of Kervorkian, working with a pro like Pacino, and whether a movie like 'Diner' could ever be made today. His answer to that one is surprising.

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