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Networks make movie deals

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 18th 2006 11:40AM

Casino RoyaleI often wonder why the networks still spend big money to get the rights to run big screen movies. At one time it was a big deal, when there weren't many options for seeing the movies after they had run in the theaters. But in this day of being able to buy DVDs and rent DVDs and the premium cable networks, are movies still a big draw for the networks?

USA and FX must think so. USA just bought the rights to run Casino Royale for 5 years, starting in June 2009. The cost: $20 million. Meanwhile, FX has picked up the rights for four movies for around the same price. The movies are The Departed, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, V For Vendetta, and The Wicker Man.

I say USA got the better deal.

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Some Monk news for Monk fans

by Adam Finley, posted Dec 4th 2006 12:02PM

monkGod damn it, Monk takes a midseason break and then tosses one new episode out in November and I totally miss it. What's doubly upsetting about that is I'm the one who posted about it in October. This may be a sign that my plan to stop reviewing the show is a good idea. I still love Monk, and I'll keep watching it, but I find I just don't have as much to say about it as I do other shows. Monk is kind of like popcorn to me: it's a lot of fun, and when it's all gone I wish I could have more, but there's just not a lot I have to say about it once it's over.

Now then, before the fifth season finishes off in January, there will be another episode airing on December 22, "Mr. Monk and the Leper." I'll try not to miss that one, though being so close to Christmas, who knows what'll happen? The episode will actually air twice, once in black and white (9 pm) and again in color (10 pm).

The latter half of the fifth season, which kicks off January 19, will feature several guest stars including Sean Astin, Steven Weber, Charles Durning and Andy Richter, among others.

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Casting news for USA's Burn Notice

by Richard Keller, posted Nov 28th 2006 6:30PM

Gabrielle AnwarUSA Network continues its foray into original programming, this time around with Burn Notice. The new drama stars Jeffrey Donovan (Touching Evil) as a CIA operative who was recently given his pink slip, or Burn Notice in spy lingo. Once he is let go he uses his Special Ops skills to help others who, for some reason or another, cannot go to the police.

Actors recently added to the cast are Gabrielle Anwar (The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines), Bruce Campbell (The Adventures of Brisco County Jr., Evil Dead), and Sharon Gless (Queer as Folk, Cagney & Lacey). Production on the show will begin next week. No word at this time when it will premiere on USA.

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Here are your television tricks and treats for this Halloween

by Richard Keller, posted Oct 23rd 2006 12:23PM

HalloweenBoo! Did I scare you? Well, if I didn't that's okay. I'm not much into scaring people since I gave Uncle Barry that heart attack at last year's Halloween party by putting a bloody finger into his apple-tini. Eh, Barry deserved it; he was always a putz. And constantly asking for money. I mean, one time . . .

Sorry, wandered off for a bit there. What was I talking about? Oh, yes, scaring people. There's really no need for me to scare anyone this upcoming Halloween since my good old friend television can do it much better. In fact, now that there are so many channels to choose from, you can watch hours of blood and gore and ooze into the wee hours of the morning while noshing on all of the 'good' candy that your children bring back (this would be anything from the Hershey or M&M/Mars family of candies).

So, to make your life a bit easier while you come down from that sugar buzz, we here at TV Squad have provided you with a comprehensive list of Halloween-themed programming that will be airing on from about dinnertime on October 31st into the first of November. It's all there, from the Halloween and Friday the 13th films (and their numerous sequels) to Halloween-themed Roseanne episodes, to classic Vincent Price movies such as House of Wax. We even mention Dark Town, which airs at 3:15 am on Wednesday, November 1st. In Dark Town a lesbian and a gangbanger team up to battle vampires. Gosh, what will the entertainment industry think of next?

The complete (or as near as complete list) can be seen right after the scary jump. Ooh!

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Watch Kevin Federline get body-slammed

by Brett Love, posted Oct 16th 2006 12:02PM
Kevin FederlineIf you watched Chaotic, or saw that video of "K-Fed" rapping, the thought might have crossed your mind that here is a guy that needs a good body slam. Maybe two. Well, you're in luck. Federline takes the next step in his growing acting career tonight with an appearance on WWE's Monday Night RAW, where he will go head to head with John Cena. I think we all know how that will turn out.

You have to give the guy credit, he knows how to pick a show. RAW is a perennial top ten cable show, and that follows up deals to appear on C.S.I. and Entourage. Also reported to be in attendance for the RAW show in Los Angeles are Steve-O and Chris Pontius from Jackass, Three Six Mafia, ZZ Top, Nick and Aaron Carter, and Antonio Sabato Jr. RAW airs on USA tonight 9-11.

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Monk finally meets his father

by Adam Finley, posted Oct 11th 2006 10:59AM
dan hedayaMark your calendar's, Monk fans. On November 17, a special holiday episode of the popular USA series will reunite the obsessive compulsive germaphobe crime fighter with his estranged father, a man Monk hasn't seen in forty years. Monk's long lost father will be played by actor Dan Hedaya, a name you might not recognize, but you'll probably recognize his face. He's one of those "oh that guy" actors. Well, if you remember Nick Tortelli from Cheers, you know who I'm talking about. As if I even had to mention it, Monk's father is mixed up in a crazy mystery and needs his son's help. You know, otherwise it wouldn't exactly be an episode of Monk, would it? The series returns with weekly episodes in January of 2007.

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USA greenlights two pilots

by Brett Love, posted Oct 7th 2006 1:21AM
Shiri Appleby - Jeffrey DonovanThe USA network has ordered two cast contingent pilots. First, To Love And Die In L.A. stars Shiri Appleby (Roswell, Six Degrees) as a young woman with abandonment issues. She convinces herself that the solution to her problems is tracking down the father she never knew. Things take a drastic turn when she finds him, only to discover that he is a hit-man. It does give her some clues about her relationship issues, and may open up the door to a new career.

Burn Notice takes us inside the world of a fired spy. Jeffrey Donovan (Touching Evil, Monk) stars as Michael Weston. While on a mission, Michael gets the news that he has been fired, a "burn notice", and is now untouchable. Having no idea who or what caused this, he sets out to find the truth. With no job, and none of his normal contacts at his disposal, he takes work helping those that the system can't, or won't, to fund his personal investigation. It's very one man A-Team sounding.

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Jewel to host this season of Nashville Star

by Anna Johns, posted Sep 28th 2006 12:01PM
jewelSinger Jewel is the next in the revolving door of celebrities who take on hosting duties for Nashville Star. Last season, it was Wynonna and Cowboy Troy (he's returning as co-host), and before that it was Leann Rhimes and Nancy ODell. Even though I swear she had gone pop, the press release from USA says Jewel grew up on country music so I guess that's all it takes. Plus she's a songwriter and musician just like the contestants on Nashville Star are supposed to be. It's an interesting career move, anyway.

Season 5 of Nashville Star premieres on Thursday, January 11th at 10 pm on USA.

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USA renews Psych and The Dead Zone

by Brett Love, posted Sep 17th 2006 8:38PM
Shawn and Gus from PsychIf you were worried about the fate of Shawn and Gus, you can relax. USA has announced that both Psych and The Dead Zone will be getting another season. This comes on the heels of news that Monk and The 4400 have also been renewed. I guess that programming gig over at USA is a pretty cushy one.

While the ratings did drop somewhat after the premiere, Psych still managed over 5 million viewers a week, which is very good for a cable series. The Dead Zone didn't do as well, with an average of 2.8 million viewers. Still, that was enough to get it another season paired with The 4400.

Psych and Monk are currently away on one of those midseason breaks that the networks don't seem to realize are incredibly annoying to fans... They'll both return to finish their seasons in January.

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NBC to rerun fall pilots on its cable networks

by Joel Keller, posted Sep 4th 2006 11:39AM
Kidnapped logoNBC seems to have been at the forefront of promoting its fall shows on multiple fronts this year (given its fourth-place status last year, the effort is understandable). Not only were they the first to send pilot previews, but they made pilots available to Netflix users and make pilots available online. They've even invited some humble reporters to the set of their new drama Kidnapped (including me... more on this in a week or so). So it comes as little surprise that they are going to leverage NBC Universal corporate synergy to give their new shows as much exposure as possible.

According to TV Week, NBC plans on showing all of its fall pilots on its cable networks after they air. USA will show the network's dramatic pilots for an entire week at 11 PM, Sci Fi will show Heroes, and Bravo will show 30 Rock and Studio 60. I would imagine that these networks might also show the second runs of each episode, but those deals haven't been announced yet.

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The Dead Zone: The Hunting Party (season finale)

by Jen Creer, posted Aug 28th 2006 11:03AM
Dead Zone Season Finale(S05E11) Well, after nine episodes of nary a mention of Greg Stillson's name, he's baaaaaack. Of course, this is to prepare us for what is coming in Season Six. I keep telling myself that all of these other episodes that are seemingly disconnected are somehow designed to show us things about John's character-- what he believes in, what he will and won't do, with what he finds important. We know from five seasons that John Smith is ultimately not corruptable. It would almost be more interesting if there was some chance that he were, you know?

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The 4400: Fifty Fifty (season finale)

by Jen Creer, posted Aug 28th 2006 10:42AM
4400 Season Finale(S03E13) Okay, that was a pretty cool season finale -- with one caveat. I hate it when TV shows (and movies for that matter) use plot devices simply for the purpose of setting things up for the next season (or movie). What if the series gets canceled? No closure. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

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USA has 4400 marathon today

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 27th 2006 8:55AM

The 4400For those of you who have never seen an episode of The 4400 (like me), or those of you who watch the show but want to get caught up on what's going on, USA is having an all-day marathon of the show today. The first episode airs at 11am and the marathon runs until 7pm tonight.

This, of course, leads up to tonight's season finale of the show at 9pm. It's followed by the season finale of another show I've never seen, The Dead Zone. Saw the movie though.

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Monk: Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert

by Adam Finley, posted Aug 26th 2006 10:56AM

monk(S05E08) This episode opens behind the scenes at a rock festival. A roadie is upset with a rock musician for stealing one of his songs and putting it on an album. Luckily (well, actually unluckily) for Stork, the roadie, he mailed the sheet music to himself so as to have proof that he wrote the song. The musician, Kris Kedder, knocks Stork unconscious with a beer bottle.

Back in Monkland, Monk and Natalie are trying to get Stottlemeyer to compensate them for a dry cleaning bill from a suit that was soiled while Monk was investigating another case. Stottlemeyer tells them Disher handles such things, but Disher is home sick. While they're arguing, Stottlemeyer gets a call that his son has skipped school to attend a rock concert.

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Psych: Shawn vs. The Red Phantom

by Keith McDuffee, posted Aug 26th 2006 12:04AM
psych(S01E08) You've gotta love George Takei in being such a great sport. I knew from the previews last week that this would be a good episode, and I'm glad I was right. If comic book conventions aren't a great source of comedy scenarios, I'm not sure where else would be better.

I was actually glad to see Lassiter in a different situation this time, as his distaste for Shawn sometimes gets to me. It's sort of like Columbo -- he solves all these cases, near every time, and still there's that one guy who never trusts him nor likes him. When will they ever learn?

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