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USA developing new shows

by Adam Finley, posted Mar 30th 2007 3:23PM

USAUSA is developing some new series. Here's what's on the menu:

The Negotiator, a show about a hostage negotiator who becomes a relationship counselor, is being developed by film producer Donald De Line (The Stepford Wives, The Italian Job).

Meanwhile, Battlestar Galactica co-executive producer Toni Graphia is developing American Girl, about a Wal-Mart employee whose personality changes after she witnesses a robbery. I was hoping for a show either based on the line of dolls, or possibly the Tom Petty song of the same name, but I guess this works, too.

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TV Squad lists your season and series premieres and finales

by Richard Keller, posted Mar 15th 2007 10:31AM

the shieldHola, mi muchachos and muchachoettes! It is I, Schedule Boy, back from wherever the hell I was. I'm here this time to present a comprehensive list of upcoming season and series premieres and finales for you, my adoptive TV Squad family.

What a crazy season its been! Shows that had so much potential (The Nine, Studio 60) struggled to stay on the air, while others (Ugly Betty, Friday Night Lights, Jericho, 30 Rock) surprised us with their growing fan bases and popularity. Then there were shows like ER that made a sudden comeback and ones like Gilmore Girls and Scrubs that didn't seem to find their way for the first half of the season. Well, at least we could be confident that hits like Grey's Anatomy, American Idol, 24 and Lost would carry us through the season. Then again, maybe not. Like I said, crazy season.

So, sit back, relax, and enjoy this fine presentation, presented in color with limited commercial interruption. You can find the list of premieres and finales (as well shows returning from hiatus) after the jump. Remember, dates are subject to change, so we'll be updating as time moves forward.

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Psych: Scary Sherry: Bianca's Toast (season finale)

by Richard Keller, posted Mar 3rd 2007 10:45AM

Dule Hill and James Roday in Psych(S01E15) Exactly twenty years later . . . give or take ten minutes.

And so, with heavy heart, we come to the conclusion of the first season of Psych. What at first seemed like a quirky little comedy-mystery hybrid (I call it mysterdy) featuring a Tom Cruise lookalike, the guy from The West Wing, and Arnie Becker, has become an amusing show full of snappy banter, decent character development and references to 227. Yes, Psych has come a long way in a very short time and I'll miss it while it's away on vacation. In the meantime, though, let's take a gander at this week's show.

Pretty strong for a final episode, although a bit different. That's because it was co-written by Shawn Spencer himself, James Roday, and directed by one Mr. John Landis (Animal House, Blues Brothers). The tone of the show was a little less humor, a little more tension. As Roday put it in his blog, it was a "thriller" episode of Psych.

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Psych: Poker? I Barely Know Her

by Richard Keller, posted Feb 24th 2007 9:33AM

James Roday and Dule Hill of Psych(S01E14) You knew that a moment like this would eventually come up . . . a time where a father needed his son's help. I mean, even though Henry Spencer shows reluctance about his son's detective skills (especially since he masks them with a fake psychic power), inside he is extremely proud of how far his son has come. So, when an old friend of Henry's asks for help in finding his son the senior Spencer happens to drop Shawn's name. Ah, parents.

Shawn doesn't disappoint this client. In fact, he goes over the top in solving the mystery. By 'over the top' I mean going severely psychic in the presence of the father and his client. As I've mentioned in previous posts Shawn has been pretty subdued when using his psychic powers. Not this episode, though. He went whole hog just to put his Dad in an awkward position. Ah, children.

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Psych: Game Set... Muuurder?

by Richard Keller, posted Feb 17th 2007 11:11PM

The cast of USA's PsychSmell that? It has the aroma of burning leaves. It must be me thinking about something again. Here's the skinny: I've noticed over the last few weeks that Shawn likes to tell people that Gus is his hero, that he looks up to his best friend. I think that most of that is just joking since it is usually preceded or followed by a false statement about Gus' skills. However, deep down, I wonder if Shawn really does look up to Gus. Gus is very intelligent (something we have just started to see), has a steady job, and seems to have his head straight on his shoulders. Meanwhile, until he began his detective agency, Shawn flitted around from job to job and girl to girl. Perhaps the younger Spencer wants to have just a bit of what Gus has. Then again, I could be blowing smoke out of my poopie chute.

I'm actually going to start off this week's review with a mention about Gus. I haven't spoken much about him even though this role on the show has expanded quite a bit over the last few episodes. I put him up top this time around because even though he was kinda, sorta missing in a few scenes this week the ones he was in he made some significant impact. One of the things I noticed is that he is starting to pick up on some of the detective skills that Shawn had drilled into him by his father. There were one or two occasions where Gus actually saw evidence first before Shawn. The other noticeable trait Gus is exhibiting is his intelligence. I couldn't really tell how smart he was in the first half of the season because he always seemed to be whining. In the second half the producers have fleshed Gus out a bit more to show his intelligence and use it in the process of an investigation.

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Psych: Cloudy...Chance of Murder

by Brett Love, posted Feb 10th 2007 7:11AM
Keegan Connor Tracy(S01E12) Rich is off on his annual pilgrimage to North Carolina to tour the shops of various NASCAR teams. It's either that, or he's performing with his improv group. I forget. Either way, he's handed off Psych duties to me for the week. He'll return with a review of "Ready Set... Muuurder" next week.

Right off the top, I have to say this was a fantastic episode. Possibly my favorite of the series so far. The courtroom venue worked great, and really set the stage for some fun bits. As Gus said, "Man, this is fun."

Donnelly Rhodes (Battlestar Galactica) was perfectly cast as Judge Leland. His 'psychic mumbo jumbo' scene with Shawn was particularly good. The asparagus on his bench at the end of the episode was a nice touch. There has been so much serious courtroom drama on television, that it's nice to see a comedic take on things from time to time

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Psych: He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, He Loves Me, Oops He's Dead

by Richard Keller, posted Feb 5th 2007 9:30AM

Maggie Lawson as Juliet O'Hara(S01E11) Yes, the review is late. I'll apologize to each and every one of you individually. That should take a few years, and by that time you'll probably forget what I was apologizing about.

How do you connect speed dating with naked, fat guys found out in the middle of a field? I'm not too sure, but Psych did it and made it work quite well. Gosh, what a funny episode! I can't remember laughing out loud at this show so much as I did this time around.

The second half of Psych has seen a lot of changes. We've seen Shawn mature quite a bit, we've seen Lassiter mellow out, and we've even seen Henry Spencer going out on a date. This week we saw another change. This was probably one of the first episodes where all of the members of the ensemble cast were utilized. We've seen combinations on Gus and Shawn with one or two of the other players, but this week they all participated. Even Kristen Nelson was back as Interim Police Chief Karen Vick. With some of the attention off of Shawn and Gus, the show took on a different feel. The cast is really jelling together as a cohesive team.

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Psych: From the Earth to Starbucks

by Richard Keller, posted Jan 28th 2007 10:30AM

(S01E10) I predict we'll solve it Friday at 10:01pm, then maybe watch some cable. -- Shawn Spencer

This was a very significant episode. Not because of the mystery being solved (which was very weak), but because of the character development we saw in three of the main players -- Carlton Lassiter, Henry Spencer, and our fair-haired boy Shawn Spencer.

Let's begin with Carlton. As I mentioned last week I noticed that Lassiter performance in the second-half of the first season was much more subdued than he was first portrayed. At the beginning he was shown almost like an amalgam of other over-the-top television cops. With this episode we can see he has been considerably toned down and made to be a bit more human.

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My Monk reviews come to an end

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 21st 2007 6:00PM

MonkIt's been written before, but it's worth repeating: TV Squad does not do episode recaps. We write reviews/opinions of episodes for people who have already seen them in order to spur discussion.

I chose to review Monk because I'm a big fan of the show, but it has become more and more difficult for me not to repeat myself with each review. Five seasons in, I think the show has found a comfortable niche, but I can only write about that niche so many times before I get sick of it. Monk has more or less used the same basic plot since it began, and if it weren't for Tony Shalhoub's ability to embody the character of Adrian Monk so perfectly, myself and other fans would have grown tired of the show a long time ago. Monk is a character-driven series, and that's just fine, but at this point I've said all I can say about it.

If you liked my reviews, thanks for reading. Personally, I never thought they were my best for the reasons mentioned above. Fans of the series can still check out the series' Web site, which has episode recaps and video clips.

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Monk: Mr. Monk Makes a Friend

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 20th 2007 11:45AM

andy richter(S05E11) Tony Shalhoub has garnered a few Emmys for his role as Adrian Monk, and I know some have complained that at this point it's almost as if he's given the award automatically. I don't care whether or not Shaloub "deserves" to be nominated year after year, but I do know that it's Monk that makes Monk worth watching. I don't watch this series because of the complex plots, because they're rarely complex. Clues to the suspect's identity are made more obvious than hints in an Encyclopedia Brown story, especially in this episode when a mysterious man strangles his lover in the opening scene, a man who is clearly Andy Richter even though they try to obscure him.

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Psych: Forget Me Not

by Richard Keller, posted Jan 20th 2007 11:21AM

The cast of Psych(S01E09) After five long months Psych has returned with all new episodes featuring James Roday as Shawn Spencer and Dule Hill (The West Wing) as his trusty companion Gus. For those of you who watched and enjoyed this show when it aired over the summer on USA I say welcome back. For those of you who aren't familiar with this comedy-mystery hybrid (I call it a mysterdy) let me give you a brief synopsis of the plot . . .

The show follows Shawn in his role as a police psychic, solving crimes that they cannot (which are many). However, he really isn't a true psychic. In reality, he has an extraordinarily keen eye minute details, which he obtained through intense training conducted by his policeman father (Corbin Bernsen).

Got it? There will be a quiz at the end of the review, of course. With that out of the way let's move on to this week's show.

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Starter Wife gets going on USA - TCA Report

by Kevin Kelly, posted Jan 13th 2007 12:03PM
Starter Wife - or could it be the alternator?The USA six hour miniseries The Starter Wife presented a half and half panel as the closing event at Friday's TCA ... half of the panel was here in Pasadena, the other half in sunny and gorgeous Australia. Based on the novel by Gigi Levangie Grazer, the series is being shot down under, which doubles as Malibu, and follows the trials and tribulations of Gracie Pollock (Debra Messing) as a freshly dumped (via cell phone just beofre her 10th anniversary) "starter wife".

The miniseries is airing a bit oddly, if you ask me. Not that you did, but since I'm telling the story here, let's pretend like it happened. They're airing the first episode as a two hour show, and then four one-hour episodes after that. All on the USA Network this May. While that may be a bit odd, the show looks like it'll pull in fans of Sex and the City, and is directed by veteran Jon Avnet.

It also stars Joe Mantegna who had the two zinger quotes of the evening:
  • Joe Mantegna, on starter wives: "I've been on the same starter wife for 32 years."
  • Joe Mantegna: on hearing writer and executive producer Josann McGibbon say that she'd been bitten by a leech in Australia, but that it wouldn't have happened in Los Angeles: "Did you just say there's no leeches in L.A.?!"

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Debra Messing stars in USA mini-series

by Anna Johns, posted Jan 11th 2007 2:38PM
debra messingDebra Messing will star in The Starter Wife mini-series on USA Network this spring and summer. She'll play the "newly single and utterly fabulous" Molly Kagan. The series is based on the novel by the same name, about how the 40-something Kagan redefines herself after getting a divorce.

The whole thing is part of Ponds' anti-aging campaign, as Ponds is co-producing the flick. The organization is hosting a contest in advance of The Starter Wife to find the five 40-something women "who best embody the Pond's brand of grown-up beauty."

The six-hour event premieres May 31 and runs through June 28.

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The Golden Globes: Best Actor - Musical or Comedy

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 9th 2007 2:25PM
Alec Baldwin on 30 RockThe Golden Globes were very kind to NBC this year, weren't they? Each nominee in the Best Actor - Musical or Comedy category this year is part of the Peacock family; the male leads from each of the network's Thursday comedies is joined by an old favorite, who happens to be in a show produced by NBC Universal that airs on an NBC-owned network. It was all kind of a surprise, since one might expect to see Charlie Sheen or Neil Patrick Harris here. But it's an NBC party and everyone is invited, and it's hard to argue with any of these choices.

So... who will win? Who should win? I'll let you know after the jump.

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Look here to find out when your shows will return from holiday break

by Richard Keller, posted Dec 21st 2006 10:09AM

Schedule BoySchedule Boy has returned! Yes, yes, many of you know me as the dashingly attractive Rich Keller, reviewer of such shows as Bones and ER. However, sometimes I need to put on my mask and cape (and nothing else) and take on the guise of Schedule Boy in order to give you, the holiday-exhausted TV Squad readers, a chance to see where season premiere dates will fall or what time your favorite horror movie will air on Halloween night. It's a thankless job, but someone has to do it!

This time around I have been given the task to list the days when your favorite (and not-so favorite) shows will return from the holiday break. Also included in this list will be those shows having late starts to their season, like According to Jim, and those that are coming back from mid-season finales, like Psych. Please be warned that these dates may change, and we will try to adjust the schedule accordingly when we find out about them. So, get your decoder rings out and let's begin . . . right after the jump, that is. Schedule Boy, away!

[Schedule Boy image courtesy of the Hero Machine at UGO.]

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