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September 30, 2014

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Community: Pilot (series premiere)

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 18th 2009 12:39AM
Community
(S01E01)
In a rather touching tribute to John Hughes, tonight's premiere of Community honored the director in the best way possible. By creating a great ensemble of individuals coming together to form a ... yes, that's the meaning of the title ... community.

I expected to like this show. Hell, the promos and early reviews made it a foregone conclusion. What I wasn't sure of was whether I'd like it because it had funny lines and jokes, or whether I'd like it because I cared about the people in it. It looks like the answer to that is going to be both.

The study group that Jeff accidentally pulls together to try and get into Britta's pants -- because why else would you form one -- is made up of just the kind of eclectic personalities you need to make a comedy like this work. Like Cheers, these are people from all different walks of life coming together.

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Community's Dan Harmon was told by NBC that critics are "bitter"

by Joel Keller, posted Sep 17th 2009 2:04PM
Dan Harmon, Creator / Executive Producer of CommunityAt the same NBC TCA party where I spoke to Joel McHale, I also ran into Community creator Dan Harmon. Suffice to say, he's a chatty fellow. I started off by asking him how a first-time show runner like him prepares to be in front of a ballroom full of reporters, as he had been earlier in the day. His answer was pretty interesting: they get briefed and told we're a bitter lot.

Harmon's claim to fame before Community was that he helped create The Sarah Silverman Program for Comedy Central, and he was one of the few people who thinks that the network creative process has been as smooth, if not smoother, than the process for basic cable.

He also got extremely effusive about having Chevy Chase on his show; I was going to edit his epic response to my question about Chevy, but it's so loopy that I figured I'd just let it stand as is. Interview after the jump.

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NBC turns to Facebook to preview Community

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 13th 2009 9:02AM
chevy_chase_community_NBCI've been pretty down on a lot of the stuff NBC has done about the new fall season, especially the Jay Leno experiment. But here's something that strikes me as a smart move. NBC is streaming the pilot of Community on Facebook. It's sans commercials and free for anyone who's a Facebook user who's willing to become a fan of Community. Or they can send a link from the fan page to friends, or place it on their Facebook profile.

Marketing-wise, this makes a lot of sense. The demographic NBC is targeting is the Facebook generation. And just the idea of seeing something before it previews anywhere else -- on your laptop for free just by going on Facebook -- is easy as pie.

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TV Squad previews NBC's new shows (part 1)

by Kona Gallagher, posted Jul 3rd 2009 2:00PM
nbc logoNBC isn't exactly engendering a lot of goodwill among people, with their cancellations of shows like Life and Medium, and My Name is Earl. The fact that they're replacing these shows with not one but two medical shows, isn't exactly a confidence booster. NBC hasn't sent screeners of all their pilots yet, hence the "Part 1" in the title. But I have gotten a taste of both their comedy and drama offerings with Community, a comedy starring The Soup's Joel McHale, and Trauma, one of the aforementioned medical dramas.

Going into this, I didn't have high hopes for Trauma, and while I wanted to like Community, I had a bad feeling that it wasn't going to be the vehicle that would change Joel McHale from cute host of a basic cable show to primetime star. Now, after seeing both of them, I will say that I was pleasantly surprised by one.

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Scrubs duo moves on to NBC's Community

by Mike Moody, posted May 13th 2009 4:25PM
Joel McHale Community NBCIf ABC renews Scrubs for another season, the show might return without two of its longtime writer-producers.

Scrubs scribes Garrett Donovan and Neil Goldman will join NBC's upcoming comedy Community under a new two-year deal with Universal Media Studios. Community was reportedly a big hit at NBC's recent infront presentation, and it looks like the network has high hopes for the show.

Judging by the preview video that hit the Web this week, Community looks pretty damn hilarious. It stars Joel McHale (The Soup) as a lawyer who is forced to go back to community college. In an attempt to get closer to a girl who looks like Elisabeth Shue, he starts a study group with a team of misfits, including a quirky lifelong learner played by Chevy Chase.

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NBC announces four new dramas, two new comedies to fall lineup

by Jason Hughes, posted May 4th 2009 12:22PM
Weekend Update with Seth MeyersThere weren't a lot of surprises at NBC's "In Front" presentation this morning. As already leaked, Parks & Recreation, Heroes, and Southland have been renewed, joining the already announced 30 Rock, The Office, The Celebrity Apprentice, Friday Night Lights, The Biggest Loser and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

There's still no word on Law & Order's bid for a 20th season, nor did they clarify the fate of Chuck, though insiders feel confident both will be back. Back on the bubble is Medium, which was leaked as renewed last night, along with My Name Is Earl. Their fates are a bit more murky, especially Earl considering NBC is giving Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update" a prime-time berth, apparently launching NBC's Thursday night.

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The star of NBC's hottest new show is ... Chevy Chase?

by Mike Moody, posted May 1st 2009 12:03PM
chevy chase nbcThat's right. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Clark Griswold himself is starring in a comedy pilot for NBC that's "pretty much a lock" to be picked up as a series.

The show is called Community and it's described as "Stripes at a community college." (Hmm. Didn't Stripes star Bill Murray and Harold Ramis?) If the series is picked up, it will mark Chevy Chase's first full-time primetime series gig.

Months ago, I would've been baffled by this news. The best thing Chase has done in the last ten years was probably his cameo in Orange County, or his brief appearance on Family Guy. I thought he'd be stuck in junk like Zoom and Funny Money forever, but then he started showing up on shows like Brothers & Sisters and Chuck.

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Chuck: Chuck Versus the Ring (season finale)

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 28th 2009 10:19AM
Chuck vs the ring(S02E22) If this was the series finale for Chuck, it was a really satisfying and appropriate wrap up. If, as I'm hoping, it was only the season finale, this was a really satisfying and appropriate set up for the next season of Chuck. Therefore, any way you slice it, Chuck hit a lot of high notes -- including Jeffster's pre-wedding serenade. The show was filled with action, had new information that was just a little bit stunning, and overall, it was terrific.

Have I mentioned how much I love Ellie and Awesome's wedding ? She looked amazing in her wedding gown and after the chapel situation turned into a scene reminiscent of You Only Live Twice with guys parachuting in through the roof (only in Bond it was a volcano), the outdoor, California nuptials were not only nicer, it gave Chuck a chance to give Ellie the wedding she really wanted.

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Chuck: Chuck Versus the Dream Job

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 7th 2009 10:27AM
Chevy, Bakula Chuck
(S02E19)
Chuck, Chuck, Chuck. Just when you think you're on the verge of getting answers, you wind up with a lot more questions. We knew going in that Chuck had finally tracked down his father, ostensibly to fulfill Ellie's dream of having her dad walk her down the aisle at her wedding.

On the most superficial level, Chuck achieved his goal. He did find his father, Steven J. Bartowski, but he also found all the craziness that sent him off in the first place. Only it wasn't really, really craziness. It was something far more nefarious.

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Scott Bakula leaps into Chuck

by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 17th 2009 3:30PM
scottI like Scott Bakula. I've liked him in just about everything I've seen him do. The latest news that Scott Bakula is joining Chuck as Papa Bartowski, Chuck and Ellie's long-lost dad, seems like great casting to me.

I can't imagine how the clever writers of the show -- that starts with creator Josh Schwartz -- will keep from referring to Quantum Leap and Enterprise in some way. In fact, knowing their penchant for weaving topical bits into the plot, there should be a slew of references.

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Chevy Chase meets Chuck

by Brad Trechak, posted Jan 15th 2009 12:16PM
Chevy ChaseI haven't seen Chevy Chase on television since his talk show from 1993 bombed. Now it looks like I'm going to.

Chase has been slated to appear in three episodes of Chuck as a technology mogul who is accused by Chuck's father of stealing his ideas. This also marks a return for Chase to NBC, the network which made him famous via Saturday Night Live.

I'm a fan of Chuck and have enjoyed some of Chevy's movies (most notably Fletch and Caddyshack), so I'm looking forward to this appearance.

Chase's career has been on the upswing as of recent. He even made an appearance on the radio show of his nemesis, Howard Stern. He's recently guest-starred on series such as Law & Order and Brothers & Sisters. Now, he'll be guest-starring on a television show that doesn't have an ampersand in the title.

I just wonder if at some point Chuck will turn to Chevy and say "Hello, I'm Chuck Bartowski, and you're not."

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Seven of the greatest Saturday Night Live Christmas sketches ... that we could find on the web - VIDEOS

by Danny Gallagher, posted Dec 25th 2008 8:30PM
Christmas is the easiest holiday to make fun of because it can be so hokey and jolly. It's like the office jolly holly -- someone who's always smiling, always bringing gooey sweet goodies to the office for no reason, always cackling at everyone's jokes, no matter how bad they are or what MadTV episode they were taken from.

But deep down, you know that anyone that happy has to be making up for something equivalently dark and sinister. They are hiding a dark secret, something they can't even admit to themselves. You just know that the rises in sick leave usage after she brings her secret recipe brownies aren't coincidences.

Christmas wears the same mask. All it takes is a little scratching to find something dark and funny behind its red and white veneer. SNL has had some great success taking pot shots at Christmas, even during the down times, for this very reason. It's hard not to find something funny about Christmas, but it's hard to keep finding something funny about it long after the turkey has been picked clean and the eggnog has left a thin layer of plaque on the inside of your small intestine. Here are the best of the best.

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Star Trek: the television parodies - VIDEOS

by Richard Keller, posted Jul 18th 2008 1:26PM

A Simpsons' parody of Star TrekDo not adjust your web browser. You are now entering the Retro Squad, where we are reviewing past episodes of classic TV shows.

The original version of Star Trek has been a show with two faces. On the one face, it was a serious show that dramatized the good and glorious future we humans could have after we screwed everything up (though, with so many wars going on around the galaxy, how good and glorious could it be?). On the other face, at least to some, it was a campy science fiction show that featured poor special effects, bad acting, and tunics that really didn't hold up to space travel too well.

Since the show left the airwaves in 1969, that second face is the one that television shows throughout the decades have parodied. Whether it be the original series itself, or the subsequent movies, or the conventions that sprung up from this show that lasted only 79 episodes. Shows both animated and live-action have found ways to skewer the show's, and its fans', good intentions. After the jump you'll find a few examples of those parodies either to laugh with or be angry at.

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The Not Ready for Prime-Time Players who made it to the big time: 1975-1985

by Richard Keller, posted Apr 17th 2008 1:42PM

An early opening of Saturday Night Live.As AOL Television continues their look at the 50 Best TV Comedies -- Ever with numbers 30-21, we here at TV Squad are also looking at television comedy, but with a slightly skewed difference. Last week, we took a look at the numerous stand-up comedians who became sitcom stars. In this installment we look at one particular TV comedy that made stars out of a number of actors and actresses.

I'm talking about NBC's Saturday Night Live. Since its premiere in 1975, the late-night sketch show has given us a slew of actors and actresses who have made the move onto both the big and small screen. Sometimes the move was towards more comedy, sometimes it was a switch to more serious roles, other times it was a little bit of both. And, while many of those who made it are still in the public eye these days, some of the greatest of those who came from Studio 8H had their careers snuffed out way too early.

The amount of those who rose to the top varied from cast to cast. Some casts, like the very first one, produced a whole slew of talent who went on to bigger and better things. Others, like the first casts from 1980-85 and the mid-1990s, produced very little in the way of big stars.

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Brothers and Sisters: Holy Matrimony!

by Jen Creer, posted Dec 3rd 2007 9:02AM
kitty and robert wedding
(S02E09) "We could wake up tomorrow, and it could all go to hell."-- Robert McAllister

I have to admit: I would have owed Tommy $100. But not for the same reasons as Kevin and Justin. I will get to that in a bit though. Was it just me, or did this episode have some editing glitches? One minute Kitty is telling Robert that it's bad luck to sleep with the groom on the night before the wedding and Justin and Lena seem to be talking about the wedding being that day, and then Kitty is in the Walker kitchen working on her vows and the wedding is still a day away. Anyway, it wasn't a big deal-- it just seemed a little incongruous for a bit.

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