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November 22, 2014

Programming

NBC Tweaks Summer Schedule

by Rich Keller, posted Apr 22nd 2010 8:00AM
Original episodes of 'Minute to Win It' begin on July 7thNBC is making some last-minute tweaks to its summer schedule, The Wrap is reporting.

Though not totally confirmed, network programming executives have decided to make Thursday nights all-comedy with additional episodes of 'The Office' and 'Parks and Recreation' in the 10PM hour. Some say this is a sign of more scripted comedies down the line, like the new anthology 'Love Bits'. In addition, recently renewed dramedy 'Parenthood' will begin to air at 8PM on Saturdays.

The other tweak involves 'Minute to Win It.' The network will air original episodes Wednesdays at 8PM, beginning Jul. 7 (as a lead-in to 'America's Got Talent'). If that works, NBC may add a second airing in August -- 9PM on Mondays. Executives need to be careful with this one, as viewers can easily burn out on multiple, weekly viewings of a show (the 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire' effect), which will make the show's renewal dead on impact.

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What's On Tonight: 'In Plain Sight,' 'South Park,' 'Mercy,' 'Ghost Hunters'

by Rich Keller, posted Apr 21st 2010 12:25PM
A new episode of 'Peep Show' airs at 9:00 on BBC America
Here's tonight's lineup of new shows and events (all times Eastern). Check your local
TV listings for additional information.

Before you question...yes, the entire ABC primetime schedule is repeats, with one hour each of 'The Middle,' 'Modern Family,' and 'Cougar Town.'

8:00 to 9:00
CBS: 'The New Adventures of Old Christine' and 'Accidentally on Purpose'
The CW: 'America's Next Top Model'
FOX: 'American Idol' -- 'Idol Gives Back' special
NBC: 'Mercy'
Discovery: 'Weird or What?'
DisneyXD: 'Naruto: Shippuden'
G4: 'Web Soup'

9:00 to 10:00
The CW: 'Fly Girls' and 'High Society'
BBC America: 'Peep Show' and 'That Mitchell and Webb Look'
CNBC: 'American Greed'
History: 'Gangland'
SyFy: 'Ghost Hunters'

10:00 to 11:00
NBC: 'Law & Order: SVU'
A&E: 'Dog the Bounty Hunter' and 'Billy the Exterminator'
Bravo: 'Top Chef Masters'
Comedy Central: 'South Park' and 'Ugly Americans'
Discovery: 'What a Tool'
E!: 'E! Investigates: Bullying'
MTV: 'The Challenge: Fresh Meat 2'
Showtime: 'Inside NASCAR'
Spike: 'The Ultimate Fighter'
SyFy: 'Destination Truth'
TBS: 'Tyler Perry's House of Payne' -- Two 30-minute episodes
TLC: 'Addicted'
USA: 'In Plain Sight'

After the jump, the late night talk shows.

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'True Blood' Minisodes to Begin May 2

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 21st 2010 11:30AM
True BloodCan't wait until the June premiere of 'True Blood' season 3? Well, HBO's got you covered.

Starting May 2, HBO will begin airing six weekly 'True Blood' minisodes (3-5 minute episodes), according to True-Blood.net. The minisodes, which will be written by creator Alan Ball, will air following the conclusion of the season 2 encore.

Will we see the identities of whoever kidnapped Bill? Will Sookie make an appearance? At this point it is unknown.

The only familiar character that will make an appearance so far is the teen vampire Jessica Hamby (played by Deborah Ann Woll). She was turned by Bill at the end of the season 1, and then had a teen romance during season 2 that didn't end well.

After that, she decided to embrace her vampire ways and was seen feeding on a truck driver during the last episode. Perhaps during the minisodes we'll be treated to one of her predatory slaughters.

This is exciting. Is it May yet?

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'Early Show' Is (Finally!) Going HD

by Jane Boursaw, posted Apr 21st 2010 7:34AM
The Early Show 'The Early Show' is finally going HD, according to a new report from Media Bistro. It seems a little odd that it's taken the show so long to switch, especially considering that its morning show rivals, 'Today' and 'Good Morning America,' already broadcast in HD.

Perhaps this is CBS' attempt to boost ratings and skew to a younger audience, which was nudged along a couple of years ago when it re-launched the show with a colorful new widescreen set. According to Media Life, the show averaged a measly 2.52 million viewers during the first three months of 2010, putting it in third place among the network morning news programs.

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'Romantically Challenged' Debut Is Challenged in Ratings

by Laura Prudom, posted Apr 20th 2010 4:00PM
Romance isn't the only thing that's proving challenging for ABC's new sitcom 'Romantically Challenged.' Apparently, its ratings are facing an uphill battle, too.

According to the Live Feed, the Alyssa Milano vehicle delivered "average" ratings on its Monday night debut, with a reasonable 11.6 million watchers and 3.1 in the adult demo. For any other timeslot, the bow would likely have been seen as a success, but with an epic lead-in from 'Dancing With the Stars' (which captured 20.8 million viewers and a 4.7 share), plus a couple minutes worth of overrun from the reality hit which likely boosted the numbers from 'Challenged,' the midseason sitcom could be in trouble before it's even begun.


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Celebrity 'Jeopardy!' Contestants and Schedule

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 20th 2010 1:15PM
Jeopardy and Wheel of FortuneThe game show 'Jeopardy!' has announced the semi-finalists for its Million Dollar Celebrity Invitational Tournament, in which celebrities compete for $1 Million to go to the charity of their choice. The list of celebrities and the charities they will sponsor is as follows:

May 3
Pat Sajak (Vietnam Veterans of America)
Jane Curtin (U.S. Fund for UNICEF)
Harry Shearer (Common Ground Relief)

May 4
Michael McKean (International Myeloma Foundation)
Charles Shaughnessy (1736 Family Crisis Center)
Isaac Mizrahi (Good Shepherd Services)

May 5
Neil Patrick Harris (Food on Foot)
Jane Kaczmarek (Clothes Off Our Back)
Cheech Marin (Hispanic Scholarship Fund)

The winners of each round will move on to the 2-day finals, on May 6th and 7th.

It must have been easy for the studio to get Pat Sajak since both 'Jeopardy!' and 'Wheel of Fortune' are produced by Sony Pictures Studios. The line-up on May 4th isn't as interesting as the other two dates (Andy Richter had to drop out for that day due to his appearances on Conan O'Brien's tour), but the other two days pretty much rock, celebrity-wise. I'm secretly hoping that NPH wins it all but I have no idea how good each of the contestants are at 'Jeopardy!'.

Tell us: Who do you think will win?

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What's On Tonight: 'Glee,' 'V,' 'Lost,' 'Criminal Intent'

by Rich Keller, posted Apr 20th 2010 12:30PM
A new episode of 'V' airs at 10:00 on ABC
Here's tonight's lineup of new shows and events (all times Eastern). Check your local TV listings for additional information.


Starts at 8:00

TNT: NBA Playoffs

8:00 to 9:00
ABC: 'Dancing With the Stars' -- Results show
FOX: 'American Idol'
NBC: 'The Biggest Loser' -- Two hours
History: 'Ancient Aliens'
TLC: 'Your Kid Ate What?'

9:00 to 10:00

ABC: 'Lost'
FOX: 'Glee' -- It starts at 8:58. Thanks for screwing up my DVR, FOX!
BBC America: 'Survivors'
Bravo: 'The Millionaire Matchmaker' -- Live reunion show
Discovery: 'Deadliest Catch'
Golf Channel: 'Being John Daly'
HBO: 'Burma VJ: Reporting From a Closed Country' -- Documentary showing life inside Burma. Starts at 9:30
HGTV: 'Home Rules'
Spike: 'Deadliest Warrior'
TLC: '19 Kids and Counting'

10:00 to 11:00
ABC: 'V'
NBC: 'Parenthood'
BET: 'Tiny & Toya'
Bravo: '9 by Design'
Discovery: 'Construction Intervention'
Food Network: 'Chopped'
FX: 'Justified'
LOGO: 'The Big Gay Sketch Show'
MTV: '16 and Pregnant' -- Another new episode starts at 11:00
National Geographic: 'Explorer'
Spike: 'Deadliest Warrior'
TLC: 'The Little Chocolatiers'
Travel: 'Food Wars'
USA: 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent'

After the jump, the late night talk shows.

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AMC Denies Season 6 End for 'Mad Men'

by Rich Keller, posted Apr 20th 2010 10:20AM
'Mad Men' ending after season 6? According to AMC, don't believe what you read.Have you ever had one of those moments, in which you find out that someone you know had said or done something without telling you first? If so, welcome to AMC's world.

As we reported yesterday, Weiner told an audience at last weekend's NAB convention that 'Mad Men' would wrap its run up after season 6. AMC's response? Uh, not exactly.

Apparently, Weiner never told the network of his intentions, so, in an attempt to ease the surprise and anger of fans, AMC issued a response saying that no date had been set for the show to end. The statement went on to say that it trusts Weiner's vision for the show and its future direction.

Needless to say, this may drag on for a bit. In the meantime, fans can at least take comfort in some more positive news from the 'Mad Men' front: According to the Hollywood Reporter, the show's highly anticipated fourth season will officially kick off on Sun., Jul. 25 at 10PM ET.

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Matt Smith to Appear on 'The Sarah Jane Adventures'

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 20th 2010 9:21AM

Doctor WhoMatt Smith has only just taken the reigns of the title role in 'Doctor Who' and he is already slated to make a guest-appearance on the spin-off series 'The Sarah Jane Adventures,' according to the BBC Press Office. For those unaware, the spin-off follows the adventures of former 'Doctor Who' companion Sarah Jane Smith as played by Elisabeth Sladen.

Also joining them in the same episode is former 'Doctor Who' companion Jo Grant. She'll be played by Katy Manning, who is stepping into the role for the first time since 1973.

And to round out the news trifecta, the episode will be written by the creator of 'The Sarah Jane Adventures' and the man responsible for bringing 'Doctor Who' back to television, Russell T. Davies. This would mark Davies' first time writing for the character of the Doctor since he left the series (and it could be argued that it's his first time writing for Smith's Doctor).

Mind you, Davies writing was never particularly impressive on the series in terms of science fiction. Davies' strength tends to be writing about relationships, and having the Doctor in a room with two of his ex-companions (which for the Doctor would be the equivalent of ex-girlfriends) is enough reason to tune in.

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Four Reasons Why 'Pretty Little Liars' Will Be a Hit

by Jane Boursaw, posted Apr 19th 2010 9:00PM
Pretty Little Liars, ABC FamilyIf you have a tween girl in the house, you're probably aware of at least a few shows airing on ABC Family -- 'The Secret Life of the American Teenager,' 'Make It or Break It,' and '10 Things I Hate About You' spring to mind.

The network has a new show premiering June 8 that looks to grab some of that audience. 'Pretty Little Liars' sounds like a cross between 'The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,' 'Desperate Housewives,' and 'Gossip Girl.' But it also looks pretty good. Here are four reasons why this show will be a hit.

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HBO Acquires 'Al Qaeda' Doc

by Nick Zaino, posted Apr 19th 2010 8:28PM
HBO picks up Lawrence Wright's 'My Trip to Al Qaeda' HBO picks up Lawrence Wright's 'My Trip to Al Qaeda' This fall, HBO will bring journalist Lawrence Wright's perspective on Al Qaeda to light in yet another format. Wright has been covering the subject since 2001 for the New Yorker, won a Pulitzer for his 2007 book 'The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11," and put his more personal observations into a one-man show called 'My Trip to Al-Qaeda,' which played in New York City.

HBO announced in a press release last Thursday it has acquired the domestic TV rights to the film documentary version of that one-man show, also called 'My Trip to Al Qaeda,' which will debut sometime this fall. The documentary is a collaboration with director Alex Gibney, who won an Oscar in 2007 for his exploration of torture in Afghanistan, 'Taxi to the Dark Side' and also directed the film adaptation of the book 'Freakonomics.'

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Lucasfilm Making Another 'Star Wars' Animated Series

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 19th 2010 1:00PM
Robot Chicken Star WarsIt's not what you think. It's much worse. Apparently, a Lucasfilm representative at C2E2 confirmed that the company will be making another 'Star Wars' animated series that will serve as a sequel to 'Return of the Jedi' and feature all the original characters from the first trilogy. It will be in the same computer animated format as the current 'Clone Wars' series on Cartoon Network.

Perhaps this will be the comedy series with the 'Robot Chicken' creators that he was referring to in the past. Or perhaps it's a variation of that live-action 'Star Wars' television show that is forthcoming. Or perhaps it's just Lucas messing with the heads of any fans of the franchise even further than he already has.

Anybody who reads the original novels that serve as a sequel to the original trilogy is in for a nasty shock. Lucas has a tendency to ignore concepts that he himself didn't originate that actually enhance his franchise. It's likely that any new series will render those novels as moot as 'Galactica 1980.'

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What's On Tonight: 'House,' '24,' 'Little People,' 'Nurse Jackie'

by Rich Keller, posted Apr 19th 2010 12:30PM

A new 'United States of Tara' airs at 10:30 on Showtime
Here's tonight's TV lineup (all times Eastern). All shows listed are new, unless otherwise noted.


Starting at 8:00
TNT: NBA Playoffs

8:00 to 9:00
ABC: 'Dancing With the Stars' -- 90 minutes
CBS: 'How I Met Your Mother' and 'Rules of Engagement'
FOX: 'House'
ABC Family: '10 Things I Hate About You'
Animal Planet: 'Animal Cops Houston'
BBC America: 'Top Gear' -- 100 minutes long
Cartoon Network: 'Adventure Time With Finn & Jake'
G4: 'The International Sexy Ladies Show'
TLC: 'Little People, Big World' -- Two 30-minute episodes

9:00 to 10:00
ABC: 'Romantically Challenged' -- Series premiere of a new Alyssa Milano comedy
FOX: '24'
NBC: 'Trauma'
A&E: 'Intervention'
Animal Planet: 'Untamed and Uncut'
Cartoon Network: '6TEEN' -- 9:30 start
Golf Channel: 'Donald J. Trump's Wonderful World of Golf'
LOGO: 'RuPaul's Drag Race'
MSNBC: 'The McVeigh Tapes: Confessions of an American Terrorist' -- Featuring recordings of Timothy McVeigh prior to his execution
MTV: 'True Life'
National Geographic: 'Explorer' -- A look back at the last 25 years of the series
TRUtv: 'Operation Repo' -- 9:30 start

10:00 to 11:00
ABC: 'Castle'
CBS: 'CSI: Miami'
FX: 'Damages' -- 90-minute season finale
MTV: 'True Life'
Oxygen: 'Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood'
Showtime: 'Nurse Jackie' and 'United States of Tara'
Spike: 'Jail'
TLC: 'Ultimate Cake Off'
Travel: 'Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations'
TRUtv: 'Southern Fried Stings' -- Two 30-minute episodes
VH1: 'TRANSform Me' - 10:30 start

11:00 to Midnight
A&E: 'Runaway Squad' -- Two 30-minute episodes
SyFy: 'Monster' -- Two 30-minute episodes. 11:30 start

Check your local TV listings for more information. After the jump, the late night talk shows.

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'South Park's' '200' Continues This Week

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 19th 2010 11:29AM
South ParkThere are very minor spoilers in the following paragraphs. You have been warned.

For those who watched this past week's episode of 'South Park' titled '200,' you know that the episode ended on a cliffhanger. However, there was no indicator that it would be continued into the next episode as the words "to be continued" nor scenes from next week nor any indicator were anywhere to be found. It would be just like Trey Parker and Matt Stone to pull a prank like this (such as the 'Not Without My Anus' gag in the first season).

The good news is that the story most definitely will continue this week in an episode titled "201," which makes sense since it's the 201st episode. Ain't It Cool posted some information about the episode in "inviso-text." Feel free to hightlight the text and get a clue about what's going to happen, unless of course you're spoiler-phobic.

Of course, this could all be another massive prank by the creators. Find out on Wednesday.

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David Tennant and Patrick Stewart In a Classic 'Hamlet'

by Nick Zaino, posted Apr 19th 2010 9:02AM
David Tennant and Patrick Stewart in 'Hamlet' on PBS's 'Great Performances' If you are going to play Hamlet with the Royal Shakespeare Company, you could do a lot worse for practice than playing Doctor Who for five years. Both characters depend on a certain amount of madness, something at which David Tenant is especially adept. And there is, as Shakespeare says of his sweet prince, a certain method to that madness.

That said, the version of 'Hamlet' airing April 28 on PBS's 'Great Performances' (and appearing on DVD May 4) is not the good Doctor as Danish prince. There are flashes of that, especially in Hamlet's early scenes with Polonius (a masterful Oliver Ford Davies) and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. That's where Tennant plays with a pitch-perfect blend of humor and cunning, spinning just short of out of control. And there is a beautiful sense of irony when Hamlet looks into the camera and says that time is out of join and it's his job to fix it.

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