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April 24, 2014

Interviews

Ed O'Neill on Being the 'Modern Family' Patriarch

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 17th 2010 5:02PM
Ed O'Neill of 'Modern Family''Modern Family' is a repeat tonight, so I figured it would be a good opportunity to give fans a little taste by posting the quick talk I had with Ed O'Neill in January. It was the last day of the press tour, and the critics were in the middle of an epic day of set visits; one of the most fun aspects of the day was that were able to wander through the sound stages at 'Family' and talk informally to the show's stars.

I found O'Neill in the kitchen of the house where his character, Jay Pritchett, lives with his trophy wife Gloria (Sofia Vergara) and old soul stepson Manny (Rico Rodriguez). As my fellow critics were beckoning me to get on the bus to go to the next set, I asked Ed a few questions about how Jay has changed this season, and what he thinks the legacy of 'Married... With Children' might be.

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Vince Gilligan on 'Breaking Bad' Season Three

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 17th 2010 11:02AM
Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul of 'Breaking Bad'
'Breaking Bad' comes back for its third season this Sunday on AMC (10PM ET / 9PM CT), and after watching the last few episodes of season two, the new season can't come soon enough. The dramatic ante was upped for meth-making science teacher Walter White (a role for which Bryan Cranston won another Emmy) and his partner Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), and the season ended with the fallout of Walter's actions spreading from his family to the greater Albuquerque area.

Creator and executive producer Vince Gilligan is the man behind the dark but wryly amusing world of 'Breaking Bad.' After watching the first two season three episodes while I was at the TCA tour in January, I got a chance to sit with Gilligan poolside at the Langham Huntington for a few minutes.

We talked about the "holy crap" moment of season two, on how he and Cranston see Walter differently, how many seasons he envisions the show running, how Walter might transform over the season's run, and what it's like to be on the same network as 'Mad Men.'

Stay tuned for interviews with the cast later in the week.

(SPOILERS AHEAD! Stop here if you haven't seen season two yet...)

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A Few Details About the New Conan Road Show

by Nick Zaino, posted Mar 11th 2010 4:02PM
Conan O'Brien tour posterThe rumors of a Conan O'Brien road show, called the 'Legally Prohibited from Being on Television Tour,' were finally confirmed today (see our post earlier today), but few details have been announced. TV Squad spoke with longtime Conan writer Brian Kiley a couple of weeks ago, when the rumors first started popping up, about what the show might be like. The show was still in the planning stages, and probably still is. But there are a few details we can relate.

First of all, don't expect the road show to be a carbon copy of the 'Tonight Show' or of 'Late Night'. "[On] TV, things can be very small," said Kiley. "This stage show is going to have to be big. So I don't think he's going to come out and do a long monologue about current events, for example. I think it's going to be a romp. I think it'll be kind of fun, wacky things. Things we can't do on TV. It should be a very loose, fun show."

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Katharine McPhee on Singing, Acting, and 'Community'

by Nick Zaino, posted Mar 11th 2010 2:03PM
Katharine McPhee in 'Community'Katharine McPhee is a singer turned actor made famous as a singer by a television show (more specifically, by 'American Idol'). If that's hard for fans to figure out, imagine how it feels for McPhee, who has a new album out, 'Unbroken,' a pilot for NBC called 'The Pink House,' and a guest appearance tonight on 'Community,' playing the stepdaughter of Chevy Chase's character. In between that, she's shifting tour dates around to accommodate her shooting schedule.

It's clear McPhee is where she wants to be, but it can leave her a bit scattered. "I'm just really grateful that I'm a person who doesn't just have to rely on one thing," she said in a recent media conference call, "because I'm a real - I mean I'm not ADD but two of my friends used to joke - my husband always jokes like that I'm ADD just because I can't really focus on something for very long."

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Lisa Kudrow Answers the Question: Who Do You Think You Are?

by Nick Zaino, posted Mar 4th 2010 2:03PM
Lisa Kudrow Who Do You Think You Are?You might say genealogical research runs in Lisa Kudrow's family. Long before the former 'Friends' star decided to bring the British TV show 'Who Do You Think You Are?' to American television, her father had already written a family tree that Kudrow says takes up roughly 46 pages.

Kudrow saw the long-running original show, which investigates the family history and genealogy of celebrities, when visiting Ireland, and decided to bring it to American audiences. The only question was, would she tell her own story on the show?

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Matt Nix Talks 'Burn Notice' and Dark Deeds for a Noble Purpose

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 25th 2010 2:02PM
matt_nix_usa_network_burn_noticeMatt Nix is the man who single-handedly entered the term "burn notice" into the American pop culture lexicon. In a recent conference call about the current season of 'Burn Notice' and Michael Weston's spy games, Matt Nix reflected on the past, gave us a glimpse into the exciting last few episodes this season, and assured us all that despite the torrid chemistry, Bruce Campbell and Sharon Gless are not going to hook up as Sam and Maddie. Michael and Fiona, on the other hand, that's still a flame that's burning... if you don't mind the pun.

Q: What can you tell us about upcoming guest stars that you have lined up?

Matt Nix: In the finale, we have Garret Dillahunt coming and doing a pretty amazing bad guy. Let's see, the guy who played Tony Almeida on '24' Carlos Bernard, is playing a bad guy who... under other circumstances he could have been one of the team, but he is willing to do certain things that they're not willing to do. He's a guy who's really committed to what he's doing. It's a pretty devastating performance. He's pretty awesome.

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'Dick Cavett Show' Audience Member Recalls the Day a Guest Died

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 25th 2010 10:10AM
Dick Cavett'The Dick Cavett Show' has long been a talk show of legend. It not only broke the traditional late night mold of jokey sketches and characters, but it also birthed a long list of interesting and historic television moments from the famous "Woodstock" show to his public support of John Lennon as he faced deportation that scored him a special mention on the Richard Nixon tapes.

One of the most infamous moments resurfaced on television when Cavett made a guest appearance on Jimmy Fallon's 'Late Night'. Cavett recalled one episode that the public never got to see because a guest, Dr. James Rodale, actually died on tape.

The episode has never seen the light of day even though the tape still reportedly exists in the network's vault, but Kathy Starcher of Bridgeport, Conn. sat in the audience for that show and recalled what it was like to watch a TV moment that only a few people have ever seen. Read our interview with Mrs. Starcher after the jump about her fleeting foray into TV history.

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Aziz Ansari: The ODB of 'Parks and Recreation'

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 24th 2010 7:02PM
Aziz AnsariAziz Ansari has had the kind of career you'd expect to see from a guy who's 35 or so, not from someone who's only four years out of business school.

The 26-year-old comedian's profile has risen quickly over the last couple of years. From being an up-and-coming stand-up star playing the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York, the last three years have seen him do two seasons of MTV's 'Human Giant,' a half-season as lazy intern Ed on the eighth season of 'Scrubs,' a big role as awful stand-up comic Randy in Judd Apatow's 'Funny People,' a one-hour stand-up special on Comedy Central, and a season and a half as Tom Haverford on 'Parks and Recreation.'

I caught up with Ansari at NBC's all-star press party last month and asked him about how his character, who plays the scheming right-hand man of the earnest Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), has developed since the show started, and what's next for a guy who's done a lot in such a short period of time.

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Alison Brie On Shifting Between 'Mad Men' And 'Community'

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 18th 2010 2:02PM
Alison Brie at the NBC all-star Party at the Winter 2010 TCAsUsually during a press tour all-star party, there's one or two unexpectedly popular stars who just seem to attract throngs and throngs of reporters for the entire night. A couple of years ago, it was George Takei right after he started on 'Heroes.' This year, the NBC star attracting the attention at their all-star party in Pasadena last month was Alison Brie.

Why? Well, besides being cute and chatty, having significant supporting roles in two critically-acclaimed shows probably helped. Brie not only plays the uptight and naïve Annie on the comedy 'Community,' but she also plays Trudy, the hard-driving wife of Pete Campbell (played by Vincent Kartheiser) on 'Mad Men.'

I managed to wait out the crowds and get a few solo minutes with Brie. We talked about how she shifts between the high comedy of 'Community' and the intense drama of 'Men,' and if her presence in 'Men's' finale means she'll be back for season four.

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Edward James Olmos On the 'Battlestar Galactica' Movie and 'Caprica'

by Mike Moody, posted Feb 18th 2010 11:05AM
battlestar galacticaAdmiral Adama himself, Edward James Olmos, visited my hometown of Brownsville, TX on Tuesday to promote 'Kings of Brownsville', a documentary about the border town's champion student chess players.

Olmos' passion for the film was obvious during a press conference with city officials. Of course, I couldn't resist the urge to ask him a few questions about one of his other passion projects, and one of my favorite shows of all time, 'Battlestar Galactica'.

We talked a little about the show's legacy, his initial thoughts on 'Caprica' and what he thinks about that planned 'Battlestar' movie project from director Bryan Singer and producer Glen Larson.

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Richard Hatch Still Ticked About Being Thrown Back in Jail

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 17th 2010 2:07PM
Richard Hatch attends 10th Anniversary party for 'Survivor' in January 2010When CBS threw their tenth-anniversary party for 'Survivor' last month during the TCA press tour, there was only one person I wanted to talk to: Richard Hatch. And there was only one reason I wanted to talk to him: Someone claiming to be him sent us an e-mail comment in response to a post Allison did in October; Allison basically told him to stop airing public comments regarding the incident that sent him back to jail last summer.

If you recall, he gave an interview with 'Today' and two other NBC properties last August; he was sent back to jail because he was supposedly only given permission to talk to 'Today.'

In the note to us, the person -- who we're pretty sure was Hatch, based on some digging we did after the note came in -- claims that the system is "broken" and that he doesn't owe any back taxes, something Hatch has said in public a number of times.

So, I decided to ask him about whether he liked sending websites e-mails like that, then we talked a little about the case.

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'Human Target's' Chi McBride Misses 'Pushing Daisies'

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 16th 2010 3:02PM
Chi McBride at the FOX all-star party January 2010One of the most fun things of any press tour is getting to sit down with Chi McBride and just talk, about anything. Politics, baseball, cigars... when you're talking to Chi, the conversation can go just about anywhere.

The drawback to seeing McBride on so many tours is that he's always there with a new show to promote. Because he's able to handle drama and comedy with equal ease, he's cast in a lot of pilots. The problem is, most of the resulting shows rarely last more than a couple of years. In the last six years, since his four-season run on 'Boston Public' ended, we've seen McBride in 'Killer Instinct,' 'The Nine' and 'Pushing Daisies.' Now he's co-starring with Mark Valley and Jackie Earle Haley in the FOX popcorn-action series 'Human Target.'

I sat with McBride as he held court at FOX's all-star party in Pasadena last month. As he puffed away on an Opus X -- he offered me one and I very reluctantly declined -- we talked about which of his roles he misses the most, and how he does his running scenes on 'Target.' Let's just say he doesn't waste too much film on those.

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'Dexter's Julie Benz Talks ... From Beyond the Grave!

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 16th 2010 9:00AM
Julie BenzJulie Benz has been all over the place since her latest stint on 'Dexter' came to an abrupt and shocking end.

And apparently, no one was more shocked about her character than Julie herself! "Out of all the characters that I've played, I think she's the one I grieved for the most, just because it really came out of left field."

She recently sat down with our own Jane Boursaw for an interview at AOL Television (the only reason they wouldn't let me do it is because the majority of my dialogue would have consisted of drooling and repeating the phrase "Hamina-hamina-hamina").

She talked about her run on the acclaimed Showtime series, as well as her latest run on 'Desperate Housewives' as a stripper in reform and her rumored return to films such as 'Rambo V' and 'Saw VII.'

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Nick Offerman on Being Ron "F@%&in'" Swanson

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 11th 2010 2:01PM
Nick Offerman of Parks and RecreationWhen viewers and critics first saw the government-hating parks director Ron Swanson on 'Parks and Recreation,' they didn't quite know what to make of him. Is he just a hard-ass? Or was there more to him?

Well, as the show has improved so has viewers' opinion of Ron, played by Nick Offerman. In the first half of 'Parks and Rec's' second season, Swanson has become a favorite of fans and critics; we've seen his love of breakfast food, his ability to build a small harp while drinking, and his secret life as smooth jazz stylist Duke Silver. And the 'stache... oh, the 'stache. It's the best one on primetime since Tom Selleck's.

When I was at the NBC party at the TCAs last month, I spoke to Offerman about how Swanson has developed, having his real-life wife (Megan Mullally) play Swanson's ex, and if we're going to see more of Swanson's jazzy alter ego.

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Sarah Silverman Talks Season Three and More

by Nick Zaino, posted Feb 4th 2010 11:04AM
Sarah Silverman on The Sarah Silverman ProgramIt may not have seemed that Sarah Silverman was busy in 2009, especially since the last time we saw 'The Sarah Silverman Program' on Comedy Central was December of 2008. But she was busy behind the scenes.

Silverman filmed 'Saint John of Las Vegas' with Steve Buscemi, which played the festival circuit last year and gets a wider release this year, 'Peep World' with Michael C. Hall and Rainn Wilson, and wrote her memoir, 'The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee,' which is due in April.

Silverman was also negotiating with Comedy Central for 'The Sarah Silverman Program.' Comedy Central wanted to cut her budget from $1.1 million per episode to $850,000, which was a non-starter for Silverman and her partners.

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