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October 7, 2015


NBC's 'Prime Suspect' Put on Hold

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 25th 2010 8:29AM
helen_mirren_headshotRemember that proposed remake of the British crime series 'Prime Suspect' for NBC? You can forget about it... for a while anyway. NBC has shelved 'Prime Suspect' till June and the reason why is all about casting. This, my friends, is exactly what we were saying when the idea first surfaced.

The notion that you're going to find an actress as perfect for the role of detective chief inspector Jane Tennison as Helen Mirren is madness. T'aint gonna happen. She's an Oscar, Emmy, SAG and Golden Globe winner for a reason. She's freaking brilliant.

So, NBC is acknowledging that they have not found another Helen Mirren and will not push 'Prime Suspect' into pilot production at this time. Veteran writer/producer Hank Steinberg -- he did 'Without A Trace' for CBS -- has wisely decided to push the project back and revisit it in June. It could always be created as a mid-season show instead of a fall 2010 premiere... assuming the project comes together.

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NBC to adapt UK's Prime Suspect

by Allison Waldman, posted Sep 3rd 2009 2:08PM
Helen_Mirren_Prime_SuspectIs it cynical of me to question the wisdom of NBC trying to adapt the British detective series Prime Suspect for American TV? It probably is, but after the disappointment of Life on Mars (I know, some of you liked the ABC version, but I was not in that camp), I have worries about the way American writers and producers rework excellent British TV shows and suck the life out of them in the process.

What makes Prime Suspect particularly of concern is that the British show had a great actress starring in it. Helen Mirren has deserved every award -- Oscar, Tony, Golden Globe -- that she's received. As the tough-as-nails detective chief inspector Jane Tennison, she was simply amazing.

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The real reason Without A Trace was cancelled

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 4th 2009 8:57PM

Amid the CBS Summer Press Tour this week, the subject came up about why the network had cancelled Without A Trace. It wasn't ratings, which is clearly the truth because just this past weekend, Without A Trace was pulling over six million viewers for a rerun, doubling the number of people who tuned in for the brand new ABC series, Defying Gravity. Therefore, if Without A Trace was still capable of besting the fodder produced by the competition, why on earth would CBS dump it?

"Every show has its own life cycle," said CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler, who went on to explain that the shows the network had in development were just too good to wait. In other words, The Good Wife, Three Rivers and NCIS: Los Angeles, none of which are proven hits, were more important than an established success.

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It was time for Without A Trace to end

by Allison Waldman, posted May 22nd 2009 4:29PM
LaPaglia Without A TraceWhen the news about Without A Trace ending its run was made official at the CBS Upfront this past week, I wasn't shocked. Rumor had it that either Without A Trace or Cold Case would be dropped, and Cold Case might have tipped the scales in its favor with a strong showing with its two-part season finale. But as much as I liked Without A Trace, I'm not really sorry that it's calling it a day.

Seven years is a darn good run for a TV show. In fact, if it had been a British series, it might have ended after 30 episodes – unless you're talking Coronation Street which is a freak of TV.

But here's the thing about Without A Trace, it's been a solid show with a strong set of characters who've had a chance to shine as much as possible within the confines of a procedural. Anthony LaPaglia as Jack Malone was terrific. The high point in many an episode for me was when Jack lost it and got in someone's face. His personal life was generally a mess, so LaPaglia had lots of chances to show the troubled side of his character.

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CBS Cancels 'Without a Trace,' 'Eleventh Hour'

by Andrew Scott, posted May 20th 2009 11:00AM
Without a TraceOn the heels of yesterday's cancellation of 'The Unit,' CBS is now saying goodbye to 'Without a Trace' and 'Eleventh Hour.'

'Eleventh Hour' ran for one season in the network's 10PM slot, which will now be filled by ratings juggernaut 'The Mentalist,' according to Variety.

Meanwhile, the Ausiello Files says 'Without a Trace''s cancellation came down to the wire. 'Trace' battled 'Numb3rs' for the network's final spot, but lost out because 'Numb3rs' is reportedly "less expensive to produce."

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Why CBS shouldn't pick up the NCIS spinoff

by Allison Waldman, posted May 15th 2009 1:35PM
NCIS spinoff
Next Wednesday, CBS will be announcing its schedule for the new season, and while rumors have swirled that Cold Case or Without A Trace might be on the chopping block -- despite good ratings -- one sure thing seems to be the spinoff from NCIS.

Well, now that I've seen the two-part NCIS episode that served as a pilot for the show, I'm hoping that CBS gives this new series a thumbs-down. I don't expect that to happen, but if it were my decision, I wouldn't dump a solid series with a loyal viewership like Cold Case or Without A Trace, for the hope of LL Cool J and Chris O'Donnell's overly fussy, overly procedural NCIS derivative step-child.

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Which Bubble Show Should Be Saved?

by Kelly Woo, posted Apr 21st 2009 1:00PM
TerminatorAh, spring. It's the time of year for daffodils, chirping birds ... and cancelling shows.

TV Squad has a rundown of shows that will be renewed, cancelled or are on the bubble. The Hollywood Reporter also has a handy update, and we're sad to see some of our favorite shows are in jeopardy of going dark, including a personal fave, 'Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.' TV critic Alan Sepinwall also makes a good case to NBC for keeping the action-comedy 'Chuck.'

So, if you had the power to save a show on the bubble, which one would you choose?

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What to Watch Tuesday, March 17

by Kim Potts, posted Mar 17th 2009 5:00AM
Law & Order SVU'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit'
(10PM, NBC)
She's won multiple Emmys and Golden Globes for comedy, but the Carol Burnett who pops up in tonight's 'SVU' is much more serious ... deadly serious, in fact.

When Benson and Stabler show up to investigate a murder, they stumble upon a double homicide in a neighboring apartment. One of the victims was employed as a stripper at a club owned by Birdie Sulloway (Burnett), a sweet little former Rockette who runs the joint with her nephew Chet (guest Matthew Lillard).

But when the main suspect in the murders also turns up dead, the investigation begins to point back to Chet and Birdie, who isn't nearly as sweet – and maybe not as innocent – as she would have the police believe.

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All Kona wants for Festivus

by Kona Gallagher, posted Dec 19th 2008 7:29PM
Since I'm still new enough at TV Squad not to exist on the "Meet the TV Squad" page, this is my first Festivus. It's nice to be able to dig deep into my heart for all of my TV wishes in hopes that some internet fairy will grant them and make the television landscape just a little bit more awesome... for me, at least.

Without further ado, here is what I want for Festivus:
  • Christina Hendricks and the rest of the Mad Men cast should guest-star on more shows. Ever since I started watching Mad Men, I've noticed Hendricks popping up places. She's on an episode of Without a Trace here, an old episode of Cold Case there... I love me some Joan Holloway and Mad Men isn't returning soon enough. I loved seeing Jon Hamm host SNL, and I'm super excited about his upcoming guest stint on 30 Rock. More please!

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CBS orders five more Eleventh Hour eps

by Allison Waldman, posted Dec 2nd 2008 9:05AM
Rufus EleventhToday's news that CBS ordered five more episodes of Eleventh Hour is not a big surprise. A big surprise would have been if the network didn't give the freshman drama a re-order. The Jerry Bruckheimer production has been in the most-favored nation position at CBS -- meaning whatever Jerry wants, he usually gets.

The network enjoys a very fruitful/profitable relationship with the TV/filmmaker. Together, CBS and Jerry share Cold Case, CSI, CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, Without A Trace and The Amazing Race. They're thinking of changing the initials CBS to Columbia Bruckheimer System. (Kidding!)

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What to Watch Tuesday, Nov. 26

by Kim Potts, posted Nov 25th 2008 5:00AM
The Shield'The Shield'
(10PM, FX) series finale
It's the show that earned FX its reputation as the home for edgy dramas -- as the HBO of basic cable -- and tonight, seven gritty, violent, corrupt, fantastic seasons come to an end in an episode that's more shocking and heartbreaking than you'll expect.

The question every 'Shield' fan has wondered about for seven seasons -- what will become of complicated Strike Team leader Vic Mackey? -- is answered, and not in the ambiguous 'Sopranos' finale kinda way.

As much as we might want to continue hanging with Vic and the gang for a few more seasons, the finale is as satisfying a wrap-up as loyal fans could hope for.

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November sweep secrets

by Isabelle Carreau, posted Nov 2nd 2008 5:00PM
NetworksIt's November sweeps time. When thinking of that time of year, TV fans know that this also means huge cliffhangers, major twists and a lot of guest stars. A good number of fans don't like the stress this time of year brings, especially since they know some of their favorite series will go on hiatus for December and the first weeks of January.

To help you prepare for November sweeps 2008, we compiled spoilers for the November episodes of some of the best shows on TV. We give you spoilers for series such as: Bones, Brothers & Sisters, Criminal Minds, CSI, Desperate Housewives, Fringe. Ghost Whisperer, Gossip Girl, Grey's Anatomy, Heroes, House, How I Met Your Mother, NCIS, Prison Break, Smallville, The Simpsons, The Unit, Without a Trace and Ugly Betty.


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Steven Weber gets ANOTHER role; this time it's Desperate Housewives

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 6th 2008 5:06PM
Weber SYou know that scene in the movie When Harry Met Sally, when Meg Ryan is in a New York deli and simulates having an orgasm? Then Estelle Reiner looks over and says to the waiter, "I'll have what she's having."?

Well, that's how a lot of actors in Hollywood must be feeling about actor Steven Weber -- "I'll have what he's having!" -- because he's been on a hot streak going from role to role to role, TV series to TV series. The latest is his landing a juicy part on Desperate Housewives.

The former Wings star will be playing Julie's lover, her college professor who's a serial monogamist, having been married three times. Susan, reportedly, is going to freak out about her daughter getting serious with a guy who's old enough to be her father.

This role is being slated for just one episode, so far, but you never know. He could turn out to be Susan's son-in-law down the road.

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What to Watch Tuesday, Sept. 23

by Kim Potts, posted Sep 23rd 2008 5:39AM
'The Mentalist'
(9PM, CBS) series premiere
An incredibly observant man who uses those skills to pose as a psychic medium and help solve crimes ... so what's the difference between 'Mentalist' Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) and 'Psych's' Shawn Spencer?

Mostly, Jane wears suits. And while Shawn employs an endless arsenal of pop culture references and goofy humor to aid him in his crime-solving capers, 'The Mentalist' tackles his cases in a more dramatic fashion.

Still, there's much charm and flair in Jane's methods as a consultant for the California Bureau of Investigation, and even the potential for one of those long-simmering TV romances between Jane and his prickly CBI colleague Teresa (Robin Tunney).

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The Excellence in Outsourcing Award: Call for considerations

by Allison Waldman, posted May 20th 2008 3:20PM
tv squad awardsOutsourcing: it's running rampant in America. You know, you call for technical support when your PC is out of whack or you have a problem with a credit card and instead of hearing an American voice on the other end, you're left to chat with Kim in Karachi or Biff in Bangalore.

Well, in TV, outsourcing is also taking place. Parts that were once strictly American roles -- requiring a real, colloquial U.S. voice -- are being played by foreigners. The thing is, many of these roles are being brilliantly played by actors donning American accents -- they're doing a great job.

Think about it; some of the best performances on TV feature foreigners with great American accents, like Hugh Laurie on House and Jonny Lee Miller on Eli Stone. Two of Her Majesty's loyal subjects, two wonderful American voices. The Brits are all over the dial.

But did you know that Anthony LaPlaglia (Without A Trace) and Rachel Griffiths (Brothers & Sisters) are Australian? It's true. And they're not alone. There are a lot of other actors who were not brought up speaking like typical Americans who sound like they were.

Therefore, you tell us: who are your choices for the best American accents on television right now? Give us your thoughts on who should be nominated for TV Squad's Excellence in Outsourcing Award.

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