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September 2, 2015


What to Watch: TV Picks for May 23 - 29

by Stephanie Earp, posted May 23rd 2011 2:30AM

Elizabeth Taylor Biography - Sunday May 29 8PM ET/PT, Biography

Taylor's death earlier this year reignited the public's fascination with the original movie star, the woman for whom the paparazzi was invented, and one half of the world's most famous love affair. Remembered more now for her violet eyes and fondness for enormous diamonds, this bio will remind viewers that Taylor was an Oscar-winning actress, stomped the boards on stage and always, always did things her way.

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Kelsey Grammer Returns to TV (As a Director), Matt Pinfield Revives '120 Minutes' on MTV2 and More

by Jean Bentley, posted Mar 17th 2011 1:30PM
Kelsey GrammerKelsey Grammer is yet another big TV star returning to the medium this pilot season -- but he won't be on-screen.

According to Deadline, the former 'Frasier' star will direct the CBS comedy pilot 'Vince Uncensored,' which stars 'No Ordinary Family' leading man Michael Chiklis and is produced by Conan O'Brien.

This isn't Grammer's first foray behind the camera; he directed 37 episodes of his hit sitcom and has helmed four different pilots, Deadline reports. He'll be back in front of the lens as the star of Starz's 'Boss.'

In other TV news ...

'Nip/Tuck' star Dylan Walsh is slated to return to TV in a CBS pilot. He'll star alongside Poppy Montgomery in the as-yet-untitled drama. [Deadline]

Tiya Sircar, late of 'The Vampire Diaries,' has made her way to the Josh Schwartz pilot 'Georgetown.' She'll play "the assistant to a presidential speechwriter who gets fired for a media gaffe." [THR]

Neil McDonough will stop by 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent' for an episode in the show's final season. As TV Squad previously reported, Jeri Ryan will also guest star for an episode. The actress shot her spot last week. [TV Line]

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Kitty Kelley Gets Talk Show Cold Shoulder for Oprah Bio

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 12th 2010 10:30AM
Oprah: A BiographyShe has written about the Bush family, the Royals, the Reagans and the Kennedys. Now, Kitty Kelley's latest sensationalistic tome is about the Queen of Daytime Talk Shows, Oprah Winfrey. This time, she may have bitten off more than she can chew.

After all, when most writers come out with a new book to appeal to the gossipy crowd, they try to make an appearance on Oprah in order to promote it. In this case, it can be safely said that it won't happen. In fact, a myriad of other talk shows refuse to allow Kelley to appear and promote her latest work. Perhaps Kelley should stick to dead celebrities in the future to avoid retribution from the talk community?

Granted, Kitty Kelley is a big enough name that the book will likely sell even without the assistance of the talk show crowd. It could be argued that Oprah actually is helping sales simply by her name being on the cover.

When she wrote her Nancy Reagan biography, Kelley received anonymous death threats. Oprah's acolytes probably won't be as kind.

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What to Watch: March 29 - April 4

by Stephanie Earp, posted Mar 29th 2010 2:29AM

Biography: Tiger Woods
- Thursday April 1, 8 pm, Biography Channel

When illustrious personages reach a certain age or notoriety, it is common practice in the media to have an obituary ready and written in case of sudden death. I imagine Michael Jackson falls into this category, and I know when I was at a magazine, a certain low-voiced newsman was our main worry. I would suspect the Biography Channel's eponymous show works the same way so I'm surprised it took this long to get a Tiger Woods episode on the air. Interviews with himself, his late father, Wayne Gretzky, Lance Armstrong and Michael Jordan pepper the episode, and is timed perfectly for Woods' return at the Masters this April.

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'Mission: Impossible' Star Peter Graves Dead at 83

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 14th 2010 11:04PM
Peter GravesPeter Graves died of a heart attack at his Los Angeles home today. He was an actor who seemed to do a little bit of everything, and where you know him from might depend on your age.

He was team leader Jim Phelps on 'Mission: Impossible' in the '60s and also had a memorable role as the pilot Captain Oveur in the first two 'Airplane' movies in the '80s. He was also the host of A&E's 'Biography' for ten years and appeared in several commercials ("I'm Peter Graves..."). You might even know him from voice work he did on 'American Dad.' He had a recurring role on '7th Heaven' and guest roles on 'Cold Case,' 'House,' 'Diagnosis: Murder,' 'The Love Boat,' 'Fantasy Island,' and other shows.

Graves wasn't happy about Phelps being the bad guy in the big-screen 'Mission: Impossible' movie but was actually going to film a cameo in the fourth film in the franchise.

Graves was the brother of another TV icon, 'Gunsmoke's' James Arness. After the jump, the opening to 'Mission: Impossible.'

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What's Hot on SlashControl: Hugh Jackman

by Jane Boursaw, posted Dec 29th 2009 3:00PM
Hugh Jackman has come a long way since he played Curly McLain in a TV version of Oklahoma in 1999. Now we know the Aussie star mainly for his work in movies like X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Australia, and Van Helsing, but early in his career, he earned a communications degree with a journalism major from the University of Technology Sydney. Fortunately for us, he went on to pursue drama at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, then met his future wife Deborra-Lee Furness while starring in the ABC prison drama Correlli.

How do I know all this? Because Biography did a show on him and told us all there is to know about Hugh Jackman. Ok, maybe not ALL there is to know, but enough to get a behind-the-scenes look at the guy who would go on to become famous for his spiky hands and song-and-dance numbers while hosting awards shows. Here's a look at the episode straight from our sister site, SlashControl.

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Does the chair on Shatner's Raw Nerve bug you?

by Jane Boursaw, posted Dec 10th 2009 9:02AM
Shatner's Raw Nerve - the chair
I've really been enjoying Shatner's Raw Nerve on the Biography channel. He has great guests, and he's just so Shatnerific with them. On the one hand, you sort of feel like you're listening in on a conversation between old friends. On the other hand, he's so intense that you're afraid he might jump up and start leaping around the room gesturing wildly. Which brings me to ...

The Chair. You know, it's different. But I don't think I really like it. My husband thinks it's called a "lover's chair" or something along those lines, and I can see that. The two people sitting in it are sort of in the perfect position to embrace and kiss. But from what I've seen, most of the guests seem a little uncomfortable with it. I mean, just look at Henry Winkler. He looks really uncomfortable, probably because he's not sure if Shatner might try to embrace him.

What do you think of the chair? Any experts out there who can tell us the origin of this particular type of chair?

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Shatner takes on Limbaugh on upcoming Raw Nerve

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Dec 5th 2009 9:02AM
William Shatner takes on Rush Limbaugh on Raw Nerve.It'll be a feast for the eyes for anyone who loves to watch doughy, puffed up, bombastic old men when Rush Limbaugh sits down with William Shatner on the Biography Channel series, Raw Nerve.

Airing this Sunday after taping last summer, the Shatner Vs. Limbaugh clash touches on everything from family background to health care. But the exchange looks like a couple aging members of a country club debating stock tips at the 19th hole.

I have no interest in the inevitable political jibber-jabber headed our way Sunday. But, I'd love to see these two square off over who gets the last piece of lasagna. The fatty grunts alone would blow out your TV speakers.

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Fifteen cable networks that have encountered channel drift

by Richard Keller, posted Oct 20th 2008 2:09PM

Before MTV was known for reality, it was know for its music videosAt the beginning of the year the beautiful and sexy Jay Black presented a wonderful dissertation on the state of channel drift in cable television that discussed many of the reasons for this phenomenon. Being someone who likes to jump on an idea and trample it to death, I decided to expand on Jay's initial premise and provide some specific examples of cable networks that have drifted one way or another. Yet, being someone who likes to add something to an existing idea before the trampling begins, I decided a twist was in order.

Since a drift can range from 'small, but noticeable' to 'am I on the right channel?' a ratings system needed to be designed to determine how far a channel has gotten away from its origins. So, in the fifteen examples I list after the jump, you will see one of four categories...Minor Shift, Moderate Shift, Major Shift and Mother of All Channel Shifts. It is these four categories that you can use to agree or disagree with my findings once they are presented. So, without a continuing narration, here are the cable networks that have encountered some sort of channel drift.

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What's next for Rachael Ray? Her memoirs

by Allison Waldman, posted Jul 3rd 2008 8:00AM
Rachael Ray in chairAccording to that journalist without peer, Ted Casablanca -- yeah, I'm sure that's his real name -- Food Network diva and Emmy-winning talk show hostess Rachael Ray is working on a new project.

No, it's not a new cookbook or anything about food or travel, her two specialties on FN. Rachael Ray is writing her memoirs, the story of a kid from upstate New York who's made in big on TV.

Rachael, who turns 40 on August 25, has had a meteoric rise on TV, and as I wrote last week, she's one of five TV stars I think have exceeded expectations. In a very short time, she's become a force with which to be reckoned.

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Chef Irvine gets axed

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 4th 2008 8:03AM
Chef Robert IrvineRemember when you were young and your parents told you things like "cheaters never prosper"? Well, it's true. (All right, not all the time, but at least this time!) As TV Squad reported recently, Chef Robert Irvine, star of Food Network's Dinner: Impossible, has been hoist on his own petard. Now that the truth is out -- that he lied and padded his resume -- the network has dumped him. His fire has been extinguished. Dinner: Impossible will go on, but not with Chef Irvine as chief cook and chef extraordinaire.

Food Network president Brooke Johnson said in a statement, "We appreciate Robert's remorse about his actions, and we can revisit this decision at the end of the production cycle, but for now we will be looking for a replacement host."

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Oprah's father writing book about Oprah

by Adam Finley, posted May 22nd 2007 3:20PM

oprahVernon Winfrey, the father of Oprah Winfrey, is writing a book about his daughter, something the TV host and entrepreneur was unaware of until informed by the New York Daily News.

Winfrey moved in with her father in Nashville after becoming pregnant at the age of fourteen. Her baby died soon after it was born. Winfrey credits her father for helping her through the difficult time, and maintains that the two of them still stay in touch. Nevertheless, Winfrey says she was "stunned" to have found out about the book through other people and not her father.

Vernon Winfrey plans to call his book Things Unspoken, which pretty much describes any book. If the things were spoken, then it would be a book on tape, you see.

Meanwhile, infamous biographer Kitty Kelley is also writing a book about Oprah.

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Kitty Kelley to write Oprah bio

by Julia Ward, posted Dec 14th 2006 9:31AM
Kitty KelleyKitty's got claws, and she likes to scratch. The first lady of unauthorized biography is back. Kitty Kelley has a new book in the works, and her target this time out is none other than Oprah Winfrey.

For those of you unfamiliar with Kelley, her methods are best described as tabloid. She's published unflattering biographies on the Bush family, the British royals, Nancy Reagan and Frank Sinatra. She unearthed the coke-snorting habits of George W., Jackie O's battle with depression and Nancy Reagan's supposed affair with Sinatra.

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Catch repeats of Sesame Street and Fred Rogers Biography episodes

by Adam Finley, posted Dec 9th 2006 3:01PM

sesame street and fred rogersMuppet News Flash, my favorite place for all the latest Muppet information, reports that a repeat of A&E's Sesame Street Biography will air in two parts: the first part on December 18 at 4 AM, and the second part on December 19, again at 4 AM. Unless you're a farmer or a garbage truck driver and you're used to being up that early, I suggest you fire up the ol' DVR and record it. I caught the episode when it first aired, and it's a great look at the inner workings of the program, how ideas are developed, and how the performers and artists bring the Muppets to life.

The following morning of December 20, also at 4 AM, A&E will re-air the Biography episode featuring the late Fred Rogers of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. That's three days to relive your favorite childhood PBS memories.

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Independent Lens profiles author John Fante

by Adam Finley, posted Dec 3rd 2006 10:00PM

john fanteAuthor John Fante grew up in Denver in the early 20th century, the son of immigrant parents. His books were largely ignored at the time, and it wasn't until writer Charles Bukowski helped republish Fante's works that he became recognized as a master writer. While his books, including Ask the Dust, Wait Until Spring and Bandini were all hailed by critics, the public never caught on and most of his books went out of print soon after being published.

Like most writers, Fante had to make ends meet by writing things he didn't especially enjoy, and that meant penning screenplays for many films that never got made.

On December 12 at 10pm, the PBS documentary series Independent Lens will air "A Sad Flower in the Sand," a look at the late author featuring interview with his wife, Joyce Smart, his biographer Stephen Cooper and filmmaker Robert Towne.

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