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October 7, 2015


What To Watch: TV Picks for October 17-23

by Laura Prudom, posted Oct 16th 2011 3:00PM
Harry BelafonteMONDAY, OCTOBER 17

'Terra Nova' (8PM ET, Fox)

When an orphaned "Sixer" girl comes to Terra Nova seeking asylum, the camp is at odds over whether they can trust her; Mira plots to reclaim a valued possession; Taylor begins to suspect there is a traitor in his midst and Reynolds admits his feelings for Maddy.

'Hart of Dixie' (9PM ET, The CW)
As Bluebell is hit by an intense heat wave, Zoe discovers that the hot weather makes everyone act differently and with a lot less inhibition. In fact, it takes all of Zoe's strength to ignore her heat-induced attraction to Wade until it gets the best of her. Meanwhile, Lemon prepares for the arrival of George's family, determined to win them over, but her emotions get the best of her when Lavon shows up to the same restaurant with his date, Didi. (Shirtless Wilson Bethel alert!)

'Sing Your Song' (10PM ET, HBO) special presentation
Filmmaker Susanne Rostock tells the rich life story of artist and humanitarian Harry Belafonte in this feature-length documentary. Though the film touches on Belafonte's musical career, 'Sing Your Song' focuses much of its time on Belafonte's social activism, as he worked intimately with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., mobilized celebrities for social justice, participated in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa and took action to counter gang violence, prisons and the incarceration of youth. Those interviewed include Tonny Bennett, Diahann Carroll, Whoopi Goldberg, Quincy Jones, Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, as well as Belafonte's family and the artist himself.

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Talking TV Podcast Collars 'Luther,' 'The League,' 'Homeland' and 'Breaking Bad'

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 29th 2011 2:00PM
A few new shows and 'Breaking Bad' get the Talking TV treatment this week.

In this edition of the podcast, Ryan McGee and I talk about the second season of BBC America's 'Luther,' the return of the fantasy-football comedy 'The League' (season premiere guest star Seth Rogen is pictured at right), Showtime's excellent new drama 'Homeland,' the bumpy ride of Fox's 'Terra Nova' and this week's 'Breaking Bad' episode.

Running times are below.

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Review: 'Luther' Is a Cop (and a Show) on the Edge

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 28th 2011 10:30AM
As is the cast with its lead character, 'Luther' (BBC America, 10PM ET Wednesday) spends a lot of its time trying to resist its lesser impulses.

Watching the show walk a fine line between finely observed character drama and pulpy, overwrought cop thriller creates its own kind of tension, and sometimes 'Luther' just gives in and steps over the edge into grandiosity or cliche.

Yet this four-part British import has a lived-in, evocative atmosphere, good supporting performances and provides an excellent star turn from Idris Elba. All of that makes up for a lot, even as you get the sense that with a lesser actor than this masterful 'The Wire' veteran, the entire enterprise would have probably fallen apart.

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What To Watch: TV Picks for Sept 26 - Oct 2

by Laura Prudom, posted Sep 25th 2011 2:00PM
Terra NovaNote: Premieres are still debuting, so I'd like to emphasize the "picks" portion of the title and remind you that I'm only spotlighting a selection of the week's most noteworthy offerings. For a full listing of new and returning shows and their timeslots, check out our fall premiere grid or alphabetized list to plan your schedule.


'Terra Nova' (8PM ET, Fox)
series premiere
The long-awaited, super-hyped and mega-expensive sci-fi drama finally lands on Fox this week, but is it worthy of the buzz? Surprisingly, yes. Some of the dialogue is leaden and lord knows how many times we've seen the "obnoxious teenager" archetype on genre shows, but I have a certain fondness for "event" TV, and this action-packed premiere is engaging enough and sets up plenty of potential mysteries for the season ahead. Gather your whole family for the spectacle.

'Hart of Dixie' (9PM ET, The CW) series premiere
Following the return of 'Gossip Girl,' this 'Everwood'-esque drama brings a little heart to The CW (pardon the pun) and gave me a serious case of the warm fuzzies. If you can get over the (admittedly large) hurdle of buying Rachel Bilson as a doctor, you'll probably appreciate its guileless, small town charm. Few shows can replicate the fond, nostalgic vibe that used to be The WB's stock in trade with shows like 'Gilmore Girls' and '7th Heaven,' so I'll admit that I'm kind of addicted. Whether it's more realistic than dinosaurs, though ... you'll have to draw your own conclusions.

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Talking TV Podcast Talks 'Louie' and 10 Returning Shows We're Excited About

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 8th 2011 2:15PM
With the onslaught of new shows around the corner, Ryan McGee and I decided to talk briefly about 10 returning programs we're quite interested in (we each picked five shows).

And of course, the word "brief" was in our podcast planning documents, but it didn't quite work out that way. Between our opening gabfest about the FX show 'Louie,' which concludes its second season tonight, and the discussions of the other 10 shows, the podcast ended up being about 90 minutes long.

The rundown of shows we discussed, which includes 'The Good Wife,' 'Supernatural,' 'Boardwalk Empire,' 'Luther' and 'Glee,' is below.

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BBC Update: More 'Luther,' 'The Hour' On the Way

by Jean Bentley, posted Aug 30th 2011 4:35PM
Idris Elba, LutherGood news for two of our favorite British series: both 'The Hour' and 'Luther' are returning for more episodes.

'The Hour,' which premiered Aug. 17 on BBC America, just got a second-season order from BBC Two. That means at some point in the undetermined future, Americans will get six more episodes of the drama, which takes place behind-the-scenes of a news show in the 1950s. The series will return to BBC Two in 2012.

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USA Network Orders 'Common Law' to Series, Pia Toscano Signs Record Deal & More TV News

by Chris Harnick, posted Jul 6th 2011 12:30PM
Michael EalyUSA Network has picked up 'Common Law,' a new buddy cop series starring 'The Good Wife' veteran Michael Ealy.

The new hourlong series will have 11 episodes. 'Common Law' stars Ealy as Travis Marks, partner to Wes Mitchell (Warren Kole), two police officers on the homicide team at the Los Angeles Police Department. In true USA Network format, these two partners have issues, and in effort to solve them, their captain sends the two to couples counseling.

Cormac and Marianne Wibberley of 'National Treasure' fame will serve as executive producers with Jon Turteltaub ('Jericho') and Craig Sweeny ('Medium').

"When CBS Television Studios sent us the script of Common Law, we immediately fell in love with the writing, the characters and the premise," USA co-presidents Jeff Wachtel and Chris McCumber said in statement. "We're very lucky to have the Wibberleys, Jon and Craig guiding the process on this show; and with Michael and Warren, we have two stars who bring out the best in each other."

In other TV news ...

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'Luther' and New TV Shows on DVD for Nov. 23, 2010

by Elizabeth Chan, posted Nov 23rd 2010 1:30PM
Considering 'tis the holiday shopping season with both "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" coming up on the heels of Thanksgiving, it's surprising that there aren't many more TV DVDs coming out this week.

However, there is one key DVD that does hit the shelves today.

As fans of 'The Wire' have watched their favorite characters land in other shows, Idris Elba headed back to the other side of the pond in 'Luther.' Elba plays a no-nonsense detective, in his native British accent to boot -- a far cry from his Stringer Bell days.

Definitely get this DVD and check out the rest of the DVDs that hit the stores today after the jump!

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Kathy Griffin Says 'My Life on the D-List' is Over, Kevin Eubanks Will Return to 'The Tonight Show' and More

by Chris Harnick, posted Nov 17th 2010 7:00PM
Kathy GriffinYou better put your box of wine down before you read this: Kathy Griffin told Entertainment Weekly that her hit reality show, 'My Life on the D-List,' is over.

The Emmy-winner told EW that she's unsure of the show's future and format. "I don't think it will come back, especially not as the same show it was," Griffin said. "I would love to do a hybrid show, like a half-scripted kind of thing or something based on what I built on 'My Life on the D-List' and what I experience, but not a full-on reality show."

Griffin said a scripted series would be a natural progression for her brand and humor.

The past few seasons of 'D-List' have focused on the diva's misadventures with celebrities, with the situations seeming less organic and more staged. Bravo has yet to make a decision on the future of the series.

In other TV news ...

The striking 'Biggest Loser' crew got a bit of a boost from the talent. Trainers Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper along with host Alison Sweeney have not crossed the picket line even though they have no-strike clauses in their contracts. [Deadline Hollywood]

Ready for more 'Luther'? BBC is at work on two more two-hour TV movies about the character. No word on whether the new movies will air on BBC America. [Variety]

Kevin Eubanks is returning to 'The Tonight Show.' Eubanks will appear on the Nov. 23 episode to promote his new CD, 'Zen Food.' [NBC]

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The Show Girl Talks 'Luther,' 'The Big C,' 'Giuliana & Bill' and 'The Middle' (VIDEO)

by Maggie Furlong, posted Oct 15th 2010 10:00AM
Idris Elba, 'Luther'The reality TV craze isn't going anywhere, so it's nice to see Giuliana and Bill Rancic proud that their titular show skews much more "normal." But that's not to say they don't love the over-the-top stuff ... I get their reality TV guilty pleasure confessions.

I've also got scoop on this week's multicultural episode of 'The Middle' from stars Patricia Heaton and Neil Flynn, and they share what other ripped-from-their-lives storylines we might see on the show.

Then I gush all over Laura Linney's 'The Big C.' I love it, I love her and I will officially follow fabulous guest star Idris Elba anywhere. So it's a good thing his new mini-series, 'Luther,' is such a unique and exciting thrill ride. Seriously -- watch it.

Got questions? E-mail me TV questions at TheTVShowGirl@aol.com and I'll try to get you answers on the show. -- By Maggie Furlong

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'Luther' Premiere Review: A Rogue London Cop with a 'Wire' Connection

by Maureen Ryan, posted Oct 14th 2010 2:40PM
A show about a troubled yet brilliant urban detective? Isn't that kind of character ready for the Entertainment Cliche Hall of Fame?

Judging by the pallid crop of cops that the American broadcast networks have been serving up lately, you'd think that there wasn't much life left in the old "Damn it, detective, you're out of line!" scenario.

Yet 'Luther' (10PM ET Sunday, BBC America), the story of an impulsive, very intelligent London cop, manages to be an excellent showcase for Idris Elba ('The Wire') and an increasingly impressive character drama that goes to some dark and absorbing places.

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Idris Elba May Be Involved in 'The Office' This Season - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Aug 7th 2010 6:29PM
Ruth Wilson and Idris Elba at the 'Luther' panel at the Summer 2010 TCAs
BBC America presented their wares to the TV critics today, the last day of the TCA tour; one of the shows is 'Luther,' staring Idris Elba of 'The Wire' and 'The Office' fame. In the show, Elba plays a police detective who chases serial killer Alice Morgan (played by Ruth Wilson) the entire season, never being able to pin her crimes on her, but intrigued by her in many ways.

The clip reel showed a pretty intense series, but Elba is nothing if not intense, as anyone who saw him as Stringer Bell in 'The Wire' can attest. But will he come back to his other well-known role, as Dunder-Mifflin hard-ass Charles Miner?

He told reporters curious about the matter that, while Miner will not take over the Scranton branch, he may be involved with the story "closer to the season finale." Perhaps he's somehow involved in the departure of Michael Scott?

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Idris Elba Drama 'Luther' to Air on BBC America

by Rich Keller, posted Jun 10th 2010 8:00AM
Idris ElbaThings are looking good for former 'Wire' co-star Idris Elba: In addition to being cast in a four-episode run on the new Showtime series 'The Big C,' it was announced this week that his BBC series 'Luther' is headed to America -- BBC America, that is.

Written by 'MI-5' scribe Neil Cross and co-produced by Elba himself, the show will revolve around Idris' John Luther, an emotionally impulsive homicide detective who considers his job to be more of his destiny than simply a profession. He's so dedicated that he's abandoned his wife and gained a confidante named Alice, who happens to be a multiple-murderess and Luther's arch-enemy.

According to writer Cross, 'Luther' is an "intense psychological thriller which examines not only human depravity but the complex nature of love... and how it's often this -- our finest attribute -- that leads us into darkness."

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