For those who may be planning a volley of comments about how stupid I am, please note that the preceding paragraph is dripping with sarcasm. If you can't see it, perhaps you don't have the right fonts loaded. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. If you have seen the promos, I'll bet you haven't seen Captain Janeway prowling around the hospital halls, have you?
That's because Kate Mulgrew just joined the cast of Mercy. She'll be playing the mother of main character Veronica, played by Taylor Schilling. Mercy's already been getting some good buzz, and you just know NBC is looking for their next ER. Could Mercy be it? Or better yet, their Grey's Anatomy? It already appears to have a more personal slant, if Mulgrew's addition means anything.
The controversial film, which dealt with the intersecting lives of a myriad of people living in Los Angeles in just 48 hours, centers on the character of Detective Graham Waters. Waters, a police detective, is struggling with his career, his drug addict mother and a criminal brother. The role was played by Don Cheadle (Picket Fences), who was also one of the film's producers. He is expected to reprise the part in the Starz production and may even direct a few episodes. In addition, director/co-writer/producer Paul Haggis and others from the film are also on board for Starz.
Like not being able to look away from a train wreck, I found myself watching again. If you have this episode TiVo'd, do not continue to read on because there is a big spoiler ahead.
The Black Donnellys (Mon., 10PM, NBC) series premiere
There are no original ideas in the movies -- everything's a sequel, prequel or "re-imagining." So, it's no surprise that this new show from Oscar-winning movie producers Paul Haggis and Bobby Moresco (Crash) tries to be an Irish version of The Sopranos. The Donnellys comprise four brothers: hothead Jimmy, gambling Kevin, artistic Tommy and baby Sean. When Jimmy kidnaps Kevin's bookie, the brothers find themselves facing off against the Italian mob.
Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? (Tue., 9:30PM, Fox) series premiere
Class is in session! Reality TV maestro Mark Burnett presents this new game show that tests just how much adults have forgotten since their elementary school days. Over three days this week, host Jeff Foxworthy will asks questions about everything from math to grammer to American history. And instead of using a lifeline or asking the mob, contestants can turn to some pint-sized experts: a group of real fifth graders.
If you are a born and raised New Yorker, you might find it initially hard to relate to the creators insistence on piecing together different but real geographical areas and their claim that it's one fictional neighborhood, unlike other shows using a New York backdrop such as The Sopranos, Law and Order or even Sex and the City.
If you are Canadian, you might be even more confused by the creators choice of the title, which until recently has been a famous historical reference to one of the most gruesome murders in Canadian history.
Bobby Moresco and Paul Haggis, the Oscar winning team behind Crash and the creators of The Black Donnellys implore you to throw pre-conceived notions out the window when you watch the premiere Monday night and want to remind us that although the show is heavily based on their personal experiences growing up in New York City's Hell Kitchen, the story and places are indeed fictional and should feel timeless.
If the show improves on Studio 60's questionable numbers, it could be the end of Matt and Danny. I think things are just going to get murkier than ever though. Nothing about the pilot grabbed me and made this must see TV. The show is just as awkward a fit for the post Heroes slot as Studio 60.
I would expect it to perform much the same. Look for a disappointing drop-off out of Heroes and a sound defeat facing CSI: Miami. Something in the 2.5 to 3 times the viewership area. Where the network goes from there is anyone's guess.
So, to start things off, we've got a slew of NBC pilots to cover: Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Heroes, Friday Night Lights, Kidnapped, 20 Good Years, 30 Rock and The Black Donnellys.
Gee, with all of the announcements NBC is making about its upcoming fall schedule, I'm not too sure what they're going to talk about during the upfronts come May. I guess they'll play charades with the press. Or perhaps their advanced notice is a subtle message to advertisers.
We first reported that NBC has renewed all three shows in the Law & Order franchise for next season. Now, three more dramas are joining the list: Medium, Las Vegas, and Crossing Jordan. What, no Joey? All three series drew about 11 million viewers per episode, with Las Vegas holding on to much of its audience during the show's move to Friday nights.
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