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October 10, 2015

West Wing

Rob Lowe leaving Brothers & Sisters

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 21st 2010 4:51PM
Rob LoweRob Lowe has announced that he is leaving the hit ABC drama Brothers & Sisters.

His reps confirm that Lowe is leaving the show later this season because he isn't being used enough. Every time I hear that as the reason why someone is leaving a show I think of the line Catherine said on NewsRadio after a magazine review said she wasn't being used enough. Dave said that he'd "find more ways to use you" and Catherine responded "uh huh. I've heard that noise before." Lowe plays Senator Robert McAllister on the show and he's married to Calista Flockhart's character Kitty.

Lowe left a hit TV show once before. He quit The West Wing in the middle of the fourth season, pretty much for the same reason. ABC would like to keep him around and maybe give him his own show. That's a great idea. As long as it's not a rejuvenated Dr. Vegas.

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What are your Turkey Day TV traditions?

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 26th 2008 3:09PM
Kate and AllieAre there TV shows and/or movies that you watch every Christmas? If you're like me, you try to catch It's A Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, Bad Santa, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolph and other specials. And on Halloween we have, well, Halloween and It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

But what about Thanksgiving? Do you have any TV traditions for this holiday?

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Some more spinoffs I'd like to see

by Paul Goebel, posted Jan 28th 2008 9:30AM

Seth Green as OzWhen one of our favorite TV shows goes off the air, it can be devastating. However, many times, the cancellation is the birth of a spinoff. Sometimes it can be a great thing (Frasier) and sometimes not so much (AfterM*A*S*H). Here are some this month's spinoff ideas that I would love to see.

McCormack & Van Lowe: At Your Service
When Keith Mars becomes sheriff of Neptune and his daughter Veronica joins the FBI, Vinnie Van Lowe emerges as the county's number one private detective. His new caseload is so overwhelming and his moral compass is so out of whack that he's forced to employ attorney Cliff McCormack on a permanent basis. Together with the help of their excitable intern (Alia Shawkat), they bring their distinctive style of crime-solving to the citizens of Neptune.

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TV Obits: Wyman, Ryan, Kent

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 14th 2007 3:26PM

Jane WymanA roundup of TV people from in front of the camera and behind the scenes who have passed away.

  • Jane Wyman: She won an Oscar for her role in the movie Johnny Belinda, but is probably best known to TV fans as the matriarch on the primetime soap Falcon Crest and as the ex-wife of Ronald Reagan. She died at age 93 in Palm Springs, CA.

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Alan Alda writing another book

by Adam Finley, posted Jul 15th 2007 12:01PM

alan alda bookThat's what Starpulse is saying, and based on a search of Google News, it's the only site saying it. However, a quick scan of Random House's site revealed the book does in fact exist, and will be out on September 4. The book is titled Things I Overheard While Talking To Myself and will be Alda's second book after Never Have Your Dog Stuffed. His first book is one of very few non-fiction books I've read in my lifetime, and it's quite interesting. Even if we didn't know Alda as that guy from M*A*S*H, The West Wing and Scientific American Frontiers, the stories of his childhood --his mentally unstable mother, living above a burlesque house-- are more than engaging enough.

This new book will apparently feature highlights from various speeches Alda has given over the years, a kind of guide on how to enjoy life and get the most out of it. I would say Alda did enough heavy-handed proselytizing when he started writing M*A*S*H episodes, but apparently Alda even pokes fun at his early rhetoric in this book.

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Six great depictions of writers on TV

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 10th 2007 11:01AM

Sally, Buddy, and Rob

Welcome to TV Squad Lists (formerly 'The Five'), a feature where each blogger has a chance to list his or her own rundown of things in television that stand out from the rest, both good and bad.

TV usually gets the writing profession wrong. I've never understood why, since shows and characters are written by writers themselves. Maybe they think they have to dumb it down for the general audience. That's why you have writers like Jessica Fletcher, who just sits down at the typewriter and the words come out fine and she mails it off to her publisher. This happens all the time on television. And have you ever noticed that when you hear the writing that a writer character has done on a show it's almost always terrible? Why is that?

After the jump are six writer characters on TV that were done correctly.

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The Lowe brothers get political

by Meredith O'Brien, posted Mar 6th 2007 5:22PM

Rob and Chad LoweThe Lowe brothers have taken on presidential politics . . . at least on primetime TV. Which one has the juicier role?

Rob Lowe gets to bed Calista Flockhart's Kitty Walker on Brothers & Sisters, as he portrays a smooth-talking, charismatic Republican senator seeking the presidency.

Meanwhile, Chad Lowe tries to assassinate a president and frame a terrorist for the deed on 24, as he portrays the deputy chief of staff who's trying to save the country from the commander in chief's perceived weak response to a string of terror attacks.

Rob's turn as an earnest Democratic speechwriter on The West Wing notwithstanding, who gets bragging rights in the Lowe family for the best political character?

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Hello Mr. TV President

by Elizabeth Chan, posted Feb 16th 2007 6:02PM

President Palmer did a good job on 24President's Weekend is upon us, and besides looking forward to all those nifty sales being offered at your local car dealership, how else should you best commemorate this day?

Sure, our real president may be less than desirable to revere at the moment, but at least we have our TV presidents to look up to!

How well you know your TV presidents? Wonder no more and check out this quiz. I personally do not know my TV presidents because I got a 4/10 on the quiz, but maybe you'll do better. Maybe.

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A little info about Peter from the Folger's Christmas ad

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 13th 2006 8:05PM

Folger'sThis is the way the web works.

I'm over at Adjab today doing some work, and I put up a post about favorite and least favorite christmas commercials. So I start to list mine, and I remember that classic ad for Folger's coffee they used to run every year. The one where "Peter" comes home early in the morning and wakes his family up by making coffee. So I surf around to see if I can find a video of it. No such luck. But in my search I came across this Yahoo answers page, which has some info about the commercial (it first aired in 1982!), including the names of the cast. Peter was played by Greg Wrangler, so I head on over to the IMdb and check out his resume. He's been on a ton of stuff, including Friends, ER, All My Children, The West Wing, The King of Queens, and recent gigs on Heroes and CSI:NY.

If anyone can find a link to a video of the commercial, let me know. I saw it last year but haven't seen it this year yet.

Update: Reader Hmmm let us know there is a video of the commercial here.

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The Five: More Fanesia moments

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 30th 2006 8:01PM

West WingLast year I introduced the term "fanesia" on this blog. It's a word that means "fan amnesia," those moments of a TV show that you simply forget ever happened, because they're illogical, hurt the show, or just make you feel bad and/or angry. I think it's time for another five:

1. Toby was the leak (The West Wing): I don't know what happened here. Whether the character was written off because actor Richard Schiff wanted to leave or NBC wanted to cut some payroll, the way it happened was a real kick in the stomach to longtime fans of the show. Not only that Toby would leak info about a secret military plane (he wouldn't), but that President Bartlet would just fire him so coldly and bring up their history in such a nasty way. Sure, these two butted heads many times, but it was always out of caring and love for each other. Great to see Bartlet pardon him as his last act as President and invite him to the opening of the library, but still. Aaron Sorkin must have thrown something at his TV when this happened.

In my mind, Toby just quit the White House to go teach at Columbia.

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Why is Spielberg interviewed on new Alias set?

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 27th 2006 4:29PM

Alias box setDirector Steven Spielberg is interviewed on the new deluxe Alias DVD set that was released last week.

No, Spielberg didn't produce the show or even direct an episode, but it is one of his favorite TV shows and he admires creator/director J.J. Abrams so much that he agreed to be interviewed for the set.

Spielberg liked the show so much that he actually asked Abrams to write the War of the Worlds movie for him, but Abrams couldn't do it because he was working on Lost. Of course, after that, Tom Cruise also contacted Abrams because he was a big fan of Alias (he got the DVDs and watched them all in one weekend, as he has said many times in interviews) and he hired Abrams to write the third Mission: Impossible movie.

On a related note, I had planned on buying the Alias set this month, but after buying the West Wing and Twilight Zone sets and it being Christmas and all, I really don't want to spend the money right now. But if any TV Squad reader (or coworker of mine) would like the buy the set for me, well, I wouldn't say no to that at all.

[via TV Tattle]

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Thank You for Smoking to become NBC series

by Julia Ward, posted Nov 24th 2006 6:04PM
Thank You for SmokingFormer West Wing and Six Feet Under producer Rick Cleveland is on board to translate Christopher Buckley's best-selling book and recent film Thank You for Smoking into a single-camera television series for NBC.

The television show will pick up where the film left off - with spin doctor Nick Naylor opening his own firm. It's a great idea for a series in that Naylor can have a never-ending array of clients. Nick will, of course, always be on the politically incorrect side of whatever big business or political issue is thrown his way. The producers have discussed Naylor repping fast food companies, environmental polluters and politicos in Mark Foley-esque situations.

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17 Great Thanksgiving TV moments

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 22nd 2006 12:01PM

A Charlie Brown ThanksgivingAnother fun list over at The Onion, and as usual they miss the mark as often as they hit it. It's their selections for the 17 Memorable Thanksgiving Television Moments.

I love the fact that they remembered to include the Bob Newhart episode "Over The River and Through The Woods," where the gang gets drunk on Thanksgiving night and try to order Chinese food over the phone ("More moo goo!"), and the choice of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and Bewitched are good choices. But I'll take exception to their choice of the Friends episode "The One Where Ross Got High." It's certainly a good episode, with the whole "Rachel makes a dessert" plot, but Friends was famous for its Turkey Day episodes, and "The One With All The Thanksgivings" is even better. It's the flashback episode where we see Ross and Chandler go to Ross' home for Thanksgiving and we meet fat Monica and then thin Monica a year later, when she accidentally cuts off part of Chandler's toe. That's hysterical.

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Book Review: Television Without Pity

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 21st 2006 4:40PM

Michael Ian BlackEverything you need to know about the web site Television Without Pity - and why I hate it so much - can be found in the subtitle of their new book. It's called Television Without Pity: 752 Things We Love To Hate (And Hate To Love) About Television.

Why does it have to be like that? Why do they either have to "love to hate" or "hate to love" what they see on television? Is it not "hip" to really like television? I've long suspected that these people don't really like TV, they just find it a convenient place to use all of their snarky tools and be sarcastic. Of course, that doesn't mean that a book about television, even from them, couldn't hold some promise. But reading through the damn thing, this is what I found out about TWoP's view of television.

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The Five: What Bob is thankful for

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 20th 2006 4:29PM

Studio 60So here we are at the start of Thanksgiving week, that time of year that we give thanks to everything we have in our lives. While most of us will, of course, be thankful for having our family and friends in our lives, we also can't forget about television!

1. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip getting a full season. Come on, you read this site, so you know this would be number one for me. I think it's a really good show, no matter what some people say. And kudos to NBC for actually giving the show (and Friday Night Lights, too) a full season even though the ratings weren't spectacular. Imagine, a network that didn't cancel a show quickly, instead having a strategy to move it to a new night! Who knows if the show will get a second season, it at least gets a whole first season, and that makes me happy.

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