Speaking of entrances, Laurence Fishburne was given quite the platform, appearing in shadow until the light clicked on and he was revealed. It'll be interesting to see if Petersen's last scene will replicate Frank Sinatra vanishing into distant spotlights, singing "Excuse me while I disappear." Considering the Vegas connection, I think that would be a perfect way for him to go.
In March, I told you about a new TV Land series called Back to the Grind in which celebrities from classic TV shows actually attempt to do the jobs their characters performed on television. I told you it debuted on October 10, but clearly I was lying because it actually kicks off this Wednesday, July 18 at 10:30 p.m.
If you don't have TV Land, don't worry. You can actually watch full episodes on TV Land's site starting July 16. Right now you can just see a few clips, but I think they give a pretty good idea of what to expect. I especially enjoyed watching Erik Estrada continuously fail both the written examination and driving test for his motorcycle license. Also, Loni Anderson doesn't look that much different than she did when she was on WKRP in Cincinnati. It's almost as if she had some kind of surgery performed on herself to make her look younger than she really is.
That's right, A&E has a new reality series, Confessions of a Matchmaker, set to debut on June 16 at 10:00 p.m. that is all about the art of making matches. Starting with the lumberjacks who chop down the trees for the matches and ending with the factory workers who create the match heads out of phosphorus sesquisulfide and potassium chlorate.
Hang on, someone just told me that's not what this series is about at all. It's actually about Patti Novak, a professional matchmaker who helps her clients find that special someone by using her own brand of "tough love." I'm guessing Novak's approach doesn't involve a lot of potassium chlorate, but maybe it should. I'm just saying.
Ricky Gervais is a funny man, but you guys already know that. If you want to see him perform his stand up live, he'll be at the High Line Festival in New York City in May, so get your tickets. It looks as if they range in price from $46.00 to $66.00, which really isn't too bad.
This year's festival is curated by David Bowie and also features bands including Deerhoof, Arcade Fire, Air, and others. So if you like funny British people and hip indie bands you'll want to find the nearest car, knock out the owner, and drive that stolen car straight to New York City. Just don't drive too far or you'll end up in the ocean. Or something.
If you can't make it to see Gervais perform, you can always watch the hilarious clip I placed below from Gervais' stage show in which he explains Creationism to his audience. It's both funny and enlightening.
I had a chance to sit down and read the Andy Barker pilot script last week, and I'm happy to report that this is charming, Richter-esque comedy. It's stylized, understated and a touch absurdist - the fancy word for goofy. It's firmly in the Lookwell school, the failed P.I. pilot produced by Conan O'Brien and Robert Smigel in the early 90s. You can check out Lookwell on YouTube while you wait for Andy Barker's March 15th debut.
One of the best bits of programming news to come down the pike recently was the return of Sit Down Comedy with David Steinberg, TV Land's hidden gem that features Canadian comedian, actor, writer and director David Steinberg chatting with big names in comedy from the perspective of someone who actually knows the business. The second season will debut on TV Land on February 21 with guest Jerry Seinfeld, but you can catch it online at TVLand.com on February 19. How cool is that? It's a whole bunch of cool, that's what it is.
If you've never seen the show, I encourage you to check it out. This isn't just comedians doing shtick or plugging their new TV show or movie. You actually learn a little something about the person and the comedic craft.
You know, if anyone other than H. Jon Benjamin were involved with this show, I'd say a cartoon about a crime-fighting ass was a really stupid idea. And when I say "crime fighting ass" I don't mean TJ Hooker, I mean an actually human butt who works as a sniper for the police department. A trailer for the new series Assy McGee, which kicks off on November 26 on Adult Swim at 11:30 pm, can be viewed after the jump. I completely lost it when Assy, right before launching a missile at a blimp, says, "Adios ... blimp." That's just what I would expect from a talking ass who takes the law into his own hands in order to rid the city of criminals and murderers. He's like Dirty Harry, if Dirty Harry were a butt.
The show was created by Benjamin, Matt Harrigan (voice actor for Aqua Teen Hunger Force and 12 Oz Mouse) and Carl W. Adams. John Glaser of Late Night with Conan O'Brien is a writer for the show, along with the three creators. The schedule currently has the series set for a six-episode run. It has a visual style somewhat similar to Minoriteam, but less static and more fluid.
Amazing Screw-On Head, a show based on a comic book I've never heard of, will debut on SciFi's Pulse broadband site on July 13, two weeks before it airs on television. The animated series will feature actor Paul Giamatti as the voice of a robot working for the United States Government under President Lincoln. David Hyde Pierce and Molly Shannon are also providing voices for the series. After watching the pilot online, viewers will be able to fill out a survey, the results of which will determine whether it becomes a series. I have a tendency to not trust online surveys, but sci-fi buffs have a kind of online presence that's unparalleled by most other groups, so this could be a pretty cool thing.
Another series called Garth Marenghi's Darkplace will also debut online at the same time.
As Anna mentioned previously, Ryan Seacrest, the hardest working metrosexual in show business, signed on with E! News as a co-anchor and managing editor. Well, tonight is his big debut, so we'll get to see just how adept he is at making the trivial sound exciting, which is pretty much the only criteria for being an entertainment reporter: "Queen Latifah was seen yesterday wearing a BLUE HAT!" Oh yeah, Idol fans need not worry. Seacrest is still sticking with the show, as well as his many other TV and radio duties. Of course, now the question is how long Seacrest can maintain this workload before he actually loses his mind on the air. I think I just gave myself a reason to tune in.
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