Here's tonight's lineup of new shows and events (all times Eastern). Check your local TV listings for additional information.
Starts at 7:00
ESPN: '2010 NFL Draft' -- Rounds 2 and 3
8:00 to 9:00
ABC: 'Wife Swap'
The CW: 'Smallville'
NBC: 'Who Do You Think You Are?' -- Two Hours
Cartoon Network: 'Ben 10: Ultimate Alien' and 'Generator Rex'
Disney: 'The Suite Life on Deck'
Nick: 'Big Time Rush' and 'Victorious'
9:00 to 10:00
ABC: 'Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution' -- Season (series?) finale
Animal Planet: 'I Shouldn't Be Alive'
Cartoon Network: 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars'
CMT: 'Gator 911' and 'Danger Coast'
Discovery: 'Swamp Loggers'
HBO: 'The Ricky Gervais Show' and 'The Life & Times of Tim'
National Geographic: 'Dog Whisperer'
TeenNick: 'Degrassi: The Next Generation'
TLC: 'Say Yes to the Dress' -- Season premiere. Two 30-minute episodes
SyFy: 'Stargate Universe'
10:00 to 11:00
ABC: '20/20' -- Stories on false accusations
CBS: 'Miami Medical'
BBC America: 'Friday Night With Jonathan Ross' -- Idris Elba; Kiefer Sutherland; Gemma Arterton; performance by Alphabeat
CMT: 'Smoke Jumpers'
HBO: 'Real Time With Bill Maher' -- Journalist Matthew Continetti; security expert Susan Eisenhower; Rep. Alan Grayson; counter-terrorism expert Richard Clarke; activist Dr. Jack Kevorkian
Discovery: 'American Loggers' -- Season finale
E! 'The Soup'
Food Network: 'Private Chefs of Beverly Hills'
Starz: 'Party Down' and 'Gravity' -- Season and series premieres, respectively
TLC: 'Four Weddings'
After the jump, the late night talk shows.
The story in the new game, Star Wars: The Clone Wars - "Republic Heroes" bridges the gap between the show's first two runs, as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker and their loyal Clone Trooper comrades take on a new Separatist enemy packing a freshly polished doomsday weapon.
Available for PS3, Nintendo Wii or Xbox 360, "Republic Heroes" lets you play as a Jedi Knight or as a Clone Trooper -- depending on where you are in the game and what choices you make as a player.
The sign artfully painted on the glass door in this tasteful, Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired hallway within the Skywalker Ranch compound in Marin County, Calif. reads "LucasFilm Television." You'll have to trust me on that. This is as close as I could get with a camera.
You might wonder what the big deal is about that sign -- considering that LucasFilm has a show on the air already with Cartoon Network's Star Wars: The Clone Wars. But, those 22 episodes originate across the building in LucasFilm Animation -- a separate division.
Admittedly, there isn't a ton of competition as action shows are few and far between on TV these days. They're expensive to produce in live action, so reality TV, detective shows and "chick-flick" dramas drive network schedules. Since the Star Wars universe exists only in the imaginations of George Lucas and his team encamped north of the Golden Gate bridge, The Clone Wars has more room to play affordably.
The second season of The Clone Wars launches this Friday on Cartoon Network. To build some force behind the premiere, LucasFilm Animation hosted a press event at Skywalker Ranch in Marin County. Munching on Wookie-Cookies (as all of the catering was Star-themed) and rubbing elbows with costumed Clone Troopers and bounty hunters, show creators and cast members mingled with reporters in an enthusiastic, nerd-friendly atmosphere.
To drive this point home, they've even added a snazzy subtitle to the title of the show for this season, as well as giving it a premiere date. The action starts Friday, October 2 with the one-hour premiere of Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Rise of the Bounty Hunters.
That follows the pattern of the films, if you think about it. While the first film was technically Episode IV: A New Hope, it was only branded as Star Wars. The stakes were raised and things got much better with the next installment, complete with official subtitle. Rise of the Bounty Hunters even sounds like an episode in the film franchise.
(S02E08) As much as I enjoy this show, I'm always afraid that it's going to start becoming too Sheldon-centric. Sheldon is easily the quirkiest character, so falling into the trap of, "hey, check out this ridiculous thing that guy said," over and over again would be quite easy. So far though, the writers have managed to avoid that; which is why I was happy to have a Wolowitz episode this week.
Of course, Sheldon was still there being his ridiculous self, but he wasn't there to move the plot along; much as his "Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock" game didn't move anything along (everyone always picked Spock).
Clone Wars, Secret Saturdays, a teenager with a super watch, and yet another Batman cartoon. These are just some of the items that were announced at the Cartoon Network upfronts this past week. A presentation, mind you, that was attended by one George Lucas.
Lucas was there to promote the CN's pickup of the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which many are expecting big things of. This series, which we told you about way back in May of last year, will continue the adventures of Obi-Wan, Anakin, and many others during the Clone Wars. According to Stuart Snyder, President and COO of Turner Animation, Clone Wars will be a game changer for the network and will be event viewing for kids as well as entire families. "Star Wars: The Clone Wars will be appointment television for everyone in the family", said Snyder
(S04E12) "Blind we are, if creation of this clone army we could not see." - Yoda
I can't be the only one that had the clone wars running through their noggin through half of this episode. I'm not even a big Star Wars fan, but as soon as Todd started in explaining how the base worked, and how they used it in the war with the Ancients, it was all I could think about. I'll be hearing Yoda in my head all weekend now. That's not to say it was a bad episode. The idea is certainly familiar, but it brought with it some interesting backstory, and that's more than a fair trade.
Citing information from "animation insiders," Animation Magazine is reporting that Disney may have its sights set on securing broadcast rights to Clone Wars, the CGI-animated cartoon series based on George Lucas' Star Wars universe (the series would take place between episodes Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith). The series' debut has been set at fall 2008 for some time now, but no official announcement has been made as to which network or cable station would air the series. Rumor has it that both FOX and HBO would also like to broadcast the series.
While the thirty years of Star Wars panel featured plenty of video game previews and Lucas-approved montages of the fans that have made him one seriously wealthy man, it also featured a special preview of Family Guy's season premiere - a one hour Star Wars tribute starring Stewie as Lord Vader, of course. Who else were you expecting to don Vader's robes?
We've been hearing about the new Clone Wars cartoon for some time now, and finally a little taste of the new series is available on the Star Wars site.
We've been told previously that this new series would focus on the clone wars that took place between episodes two and three (Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith) and those of us who are both Star Wars fanboys and animation nerds were excited to see what this new animated series would look like.
I'm sure Lucas can write his own ticket and generate more Star Wars content in any format he wants. I did love The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, anyway -- though maybe I'm the only one.
Last month Richard got us all up to speed on the live-action Star Wars series, which is currently set to debut in 2008. Apparently the people behind the new series have been working like crazy, so we'll see if the wait is worth it, though I can't think "Star Wars" and "television" without thinking of those horrible made-for-TV Ewok movies.
Anyway, while we have to wait a couple years for this series, we may be seeing the new animated series as soon as next year. Lucasfilm's animation studio in Singapore is currently working on the CGI series, which will focus on the Clone War era that falls between episodes two (Attack of the Clones) and three (Revenge of the Sith). The Clone Wars, while a vital part of the movies, was delved into much deeper in the books and comics based on the series. Despite this, insiders claim there will be some surprises for even the most diehard fans of Star Wars and its expanded universe.
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