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September 2, 2015

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Rome: De Patre Vostro (About Your Father) (series finale)

by JJ Hawkins, posted Mar 26th 2007 12:21PM

rome(S02E10) When HBO failed to renew Carnivale for a third season a few years back I was absolutely outraged. Carnivale was like a lover to me. Sexy, intelligent, mysterious, and beautiful in a bright but dirty way - all attributes of a good mate in my book.

To this day, it remains the only show I ever coordinated a watch party for which is saying a lot because I like a lot of shows, and I still quote Brother Justin's "Be Still!" line when I want someone to shut their mouth. Needless to say, I was pretty much heartbroken when the show was cancelled but I didn't go down without a fight.

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David Duchovny to star in new Showtime series

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 16th 2007 9:01AM

DuchovnyFormer TV stars don't fade away, they just get new gigs on hip new shows on cable.

David Duchovny, Agent Fox Mulder of X-Files fame, has just signed on to star in a new comedy for Showtime. He'll play a writer named Hank Moody who is divorced with a 16 year-old daughter. He's not only still in love with his ex-girlfriend, played by Natasha McElhone of Solaris), but he has a lot of addictions too. The show will premiere this summer and be paired with another quirky show, Weeds. There's no title yet, though the pilot was titled Californication.

This might be the series that finally makes me get Showtime. Oh, this and This American Life.

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Debbie Does Dallas ... Again: Pilot (series premiere)

by Keith McDuffee, posted Mar 9th 2007 11:58PM
debbie does dallas again
(S01E01) Obviously since I'm writing about this show, there's no hiding the fact that I watched it. On a Friday night. At 11 PM. Alone. Unfortunately my wife had no interest. Go figure.

I'll break down the premise to you quickly. There's a bunch of girls having sex with guys, each other and themselves. There's lots of nakedness, frolicking and furburgers. The end.

OK, maybe that wasn't all that fair; there weren't many furburgers.

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Are you ready for a Debbie Does Dallas reality show?

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 28th 2007 5:23PM

DebbieI saw Debbie Does Dallas years ago. It was purely for, um, journalistic research purposes, I assure you.

If you haven't heard, Vivid is remaking the movie (remaking a porn flick...let's think about that for a second), and Showtime is also going to have a reality show to find the star! Showtime, with good reason, is a little nervous about the show. Of course, I wonder if this nervousness is really just more hype for the show (Debbie Does Dallas...Again) itself. The reality show will have several porn stars trying to become the next Debbie.

So if people on Survivor have to eat bugs and the people on Project Runway have to actually make clothing to become a designer, won't the people on this show have to...well, I'm sure you can imagine. And imagine you will.

The show starts on March 9 at 11pm.

[via TV Tattle]

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This American Life -- an early look

by Kevin Kelly, posted Feb 23rd 2007 11:03AM
This American Life
As we've previously reported, This American Life is coming to Showtime, and we were lucky enough to get a look at the first four episodes. It's no secret that I had high hopes for this show, and was all set to have them crushed, trampled, and stomped upon. However, I'm happy to report that that my hopes are still intact, at least after having seen four episodes. There's still room for my hopes to be smashed into a million crystalline fragments down the road.

First off, if you've never heard an episode of This American Life, it's high time that you head to iTunes and subscribe to their podcast. It's one of the best radio shows I've ever heard, and presents stories from Americans that you'll never hear anywhere else. It's pure documentary work where the hosts and interviewers don't overshadow the subjects, and features as much humor as it does touching drama. A real gem on the radio dial, and it's a labor of love on Public Radio International, which is more famous for its content, and not for the fortunes they pay their hosts.

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Sparks fly (from Chicago) between Matlin & Beals

by Elizabeth Chan, posted Feb 12th 2007 5:43PM

Jennifer Beals on The L WordMarlee Matlin and Jennifer Beals are getting closer on screen, then they have been off screen.
Their characters may have just met each other on The L Word, but their friendship spans nearly two decades after meeting on a trip from Chicago to Los Angeles.
Although they never mention being part of the mile high club, the show forces them to take their real-life friendship to a whole other level as only a love scene can.

In a recent TV Tattler interview about whether its easier to do it with your real life best friend on TV, Beals replies, "Oh, it's horrible. We laugh hysterically the whole time. It's horrible, it's horrible. I try to be professional, and she looks at me and gives me one little look of mischief and we just lose it, and it takes forever to shoot."


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Howard Stern plans Super Bowl halftime show

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 26th 2007 12:02PM

Howard SternFor those of you who don't want to watch Prince perform during the halftime show at next month's Super Bowl game between the Bears and the Colts, you can always watch a football game played between drag queens and Howard Stern staffers.

That's what Stern has planned on the day on the Howard TV On Demand Channel. During halftime, viewers (for $13.99) can watch Stupid Bowl III: The Boys vs. The Girls. People who work on Stern's Sirius show will play a 28 minute flag football game against a bunch of drag queens. And as an added bonus, Penthouse Pets will be the cheerleaders. Not sure what they'll be wearing, if anything.

So this is Stupid Bowl III? What were the first two?

[via TV Tattle]

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HBO orders more new shows

by Brett Love, posted Jan 22nd 2007 11:59AM
Lily TomlinHBO continues to prepare for a post Sopranos world. There has been a lot of talk about their upcoming shows lately, including adapting George R. R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire, David Milch's John From Cincinnati, and the untitled Kanye West project. We can now add two more to that list.

The network has picked up a one-hour comedy from producer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason (Designing Women) called 12 Miles Of Bad Road. The show will star Lily Tomlin as the matriarch of a rich Texas family. Add in the family real estate business and a collection of relatives and hilarity will ensue, hopefully. The idea almost sounds like a Dallas spoof. With Tomlin on board, it will certainly be worth a look. Look for Gary Cole, Mary Kay Place, and Leslie Jordan to also appear.

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Alec Baldwin's directorial debut on Starz

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 17th 2007 8:02AM

alec baldwinAfter a five-year wait, you can finally see the first feature film directed by Alec Baldwin -- on television. In 2001, Baldwin directed The Devil and Daniel Webster, an update of the 1941 film. In Baldwin's version, Daniel Webster (Baldwin) is a writer who sells his soul to the Devil (Jennifer Love Hewitt) in exchange for fame and fortune. Anthony Hopkins also stars in the film.

According to Baldwin, the film, now titled Shortcut to Happiness, was never released in theaters because some of his investors were being investigated for bank fraud. The FBI seized the film, but it eventually wound up back in the hands of producer Bob Yari and will make its debut on Starz on Demand with Baldwin no longer credited as director. If you want to see the film for some reason, it's being packaged along with The Illusionist and Find Me Guilty, so look for it when those two films hit Starz on Demand.

[via Dark Horizons]

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HBO's Life Support (or Queen Latifah for Prez) - TCA Report

by Kevin Kelly, posted Jan 13th 2007 11:03AM
Life Support for Queen Latifah(As a brief aside to those of you who have been reading these all day - TCA is the Television Critics Association, a twice yearly event that brings TV critics together with networks, show creators, and actors to find out all about upcoming shows, films, specials, and what have you. I'm a newbie to it all as well, so now you know. And knowing is half the battle.)

Life Support is somewhat based on a true story about a woman who contracts AIDS from her intravenous drug-using husband, and becomes an angry voice an activist in her community. She hands out condoms, doesn't pull punches, and is modeled after the sister of director Nelson George, who was even more outspoken than Queen Latifah, if you can believe it.

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David Milch's John From Cincinatti - TCA Report

by Kevin Kelly, posted Jan 13th 2007 10:05AM
David Milch - he likes the swear wordsFresh off of Deadwood (does anyone else think that left the air too soon?), David Milch and the cast presented their new surfing drama John From Cincinnati to the TCA. Most surprising was the fact that there are some mystical elements to the show ... although they weren't really elaborated on at the panel. The clips offered up contained scenes of levitation and a bird seeming to come back to life, but seeing them out of context makes us unsure to label them just yet.

Milch did get a bit esoteric though, and said that the show takes place on "the edge of the coordinates of reality." It has a vague aura of Six Feet Under around it, even though the subjects are entirely different, and I tend to like shows that aren't laid out for you in black and white.

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HBO's Friends of God - TCA Report

by Kevin Kelly, posted Jan 12th 2007 9:57PM
Friends of God - HBO FilmsDocumentary filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi, who also directed the doc about the Presidential campaign of George W. Bush Journeys with George, tackles evangelicals in Friends of God, an original film for HBO. It's a startling look deep inside the conventions, beliefs, and personalities that make up this larger than you would think demographic in the United States, which contains an estimated 50 to 80 million Americans.

Some of the subjects in the film are some wrestlers who describe what they do as "Taking TV wrestling, cleanning it up, and putting Jesus in it," and a minister who brags about the amount of sex he has with his wife. He also dubiously claims that evangelicals have "The most satisfying sex lives out of any group." He also asks two of his constituents how often they have sex with their wives, and they both claim every day. Two times a day, sometimes ... and they climax every time. Wow. Not exactly what you'd expect to see in a documentary about evangelicals, and that's what makes this look appealing.

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Bill Maher pimps Real Time With er, Bill Maher - TCA Report

by Kevin Kelly, posted Jan 12th 2007 8:44PM
Bill MaherBill Maher appeared at the TCA to tease the upcoming fifth season of Real Time with Bill Maher (that's already four Bill Maher mentions between the headline and this -- I hope the check's in the mail). He let us know that he wishes (hopes?) that he could get Bill or Hillary Clinton as a guest, and that they have trouble getting a lot of conservatives to appear because, "most of them are in bed by 8PM on a Friday night, getting ready for church."

Real With Bill Maher (*cha-ching*) premieres on February 16th.

Quotes from Bill:
  • "Truth is like sex. It's best when it's a little painful."
  • "HBO pays me the same whether I listen to the guests or not. It's all: bullshit, bullshit, bullshit -- my line."
  • "Fox News hates us, for good reason, I make fun of them a lot ... and for good reason, they suck."

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Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee - TCA Report

by Kevin Kelly, posted Jan 12th 2007 8:33PM
Bury My Heart at Wounded KneeThis original movie from HBO Films is based on Dee Brown's famous book of the same name, stars Anna Paquin, Aidan Quinn, and Adam Beach, and was executive produced by TV veteran Dick Wolf.

Beach is sort of Hollywood's go-to-guy who portrays a Native American character in everything from John Woo's WIndtalkers to Clint Eastwood's Flags of our Fathers. Now don't get me wrong, I think he's a good actor, but aren't there any other Native American actors out there who can step into roles like this?

The movie, like the book, is about the massacre at Wounded Knee, and the extremely heavy-handed attempt of the U.S. government to assimilate Native Americans and homogenize them, much like the Borg does on Star Trek:TNG.

They did this by moving them onto reservations and giving them "Christian" names, and allowing them to "hunt" for food ... by chasing penned calves around with a rifle. It's a heart-breaking and tragic story, and according to the creative team has ties to the current U.S. situation in Iraq.

Quote of the panel:
  • Anna Paquin: "Sadly, stories like this are not unique in the United States." She can act, and she's political. Watch out folks.
  • Fred Thompson, former U.S. senator and actor who has is always typecast as a hard-assed senator, admiral, and politician in general plays President Ulysses S. Grant. When aproached by executive producer Dick Wolf and asked if he wanted to play him, Thompson replied: "Not if I have to grow the damn beard."

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HBO Films Presents Longford - TCA Report

by Kevin Kelly, posted Jan 12th 2007 8:15PM
Longford: Myra Hindley & Ian BradyHBO has several original movies coming out in 2007, and the first of them will be Longford in February, which stars the versatile Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan as Lord and Lady Longford -- both of whom campaigned in the UK for the release of Myra Hindley, a notorious child murderer. It's based on a chilling true story about Hindley who assisted Ian Brady in brutally murdering five young boys and girls in the 1960s. Longford and his wife both believe that she had been reformed, and petitioned for her release.

The Hitler-obsessed Ian Brady is portrayed by Andy Serkis (who unfortunately wasn't here for the panel) and he looks eerily perfect in this role. This story hasn't received widespread attention in the United States, but what they've shown here looks really intriguing. Jim Broadbent looks great as Lord Longford, and Samantha Morton, who plays Hindley, deserves to win an award for her portrayal. It's creepy, but extremely well done, like most of the offerings from HBO Films.

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