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November 23, 2014

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Review: Michael Emerson's 'Person of Interest' Is a Mixed Bag But Worth a Look

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 21st 2011 12:30PM
'Person of Interest' (9PM ET Thursday, CBS) has a few solidly good things going for it.

A big part of the premise is the idea that video surveillance and online tracking programs pervade almost every aspect of our lives. The show isn't designed to peer into the scarier crevices of paranoia, but 'Person of Interest' asks, not without cause, is it actually paranoia if someone really is watching us?

The other big thing it has going for it is Michael Emerson, who, after his terrific performance as the charismatic and ambiguous Ben Linus on 'Lost,' is more than capable of commanding the center of this drama as an enigmatic technology titan named Finch.

The pilot is well-paced and looks great, but then we always expect excellent production values from things that J.J. Abrams (one of the show's executive producers) sprinkles his pixie dust on. And, despite the fact that someone's dusting for fingerprints within the first five minutes of the pilot, there are glimmerings that this may not be just another CBS procedural.

Then again, 'Person of Interest' might be just another CBS procedural, dressed up in fancier clothing. We'll have to see.

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Catch Up With 'Fringe': 5 Essential Episodes

by Catherine Lawson, posted Aug 23rd 2011 1:30PM
So you've heard the buzz, your interest is tickled and you're ready to take the plunge into a new show. But, you don't have time to catch up on multiple seasons?

Have no fear, AOL TV is here. We'll be spotlighting five episodes from some of the best scripted comedies and dramas on TV that you need to see before jumping into the new season this fall.

Up now? 'Fringe.'

'Fringe' castStarring Anna Torv as FBI Agent Olivia Dunham, 'Fringe' is a sci-fi FBI drama set in the world of fringe science. But before you run screaming from the room, just know that it's much more than an 'X Files' rip-off.

Created by J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, 'Fringe' is about love, loss and redemption. It's smart, funny, challenging and moving.

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J.J. Abrams Has a Childhood Flashback on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' (VIDEO)

by Catherine Lawson, posted Jun 10th 2011 8:23AM
J.J. Abrams on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live'Super-producer/director J.J. Abrams stopped by 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' (Weeknights, 12AM ET on ABC) to talk about his new movie, 'Super 8.'

All geniuses need to get their start somewhere, and we found out that, as a boy, Abrams used to direct friends and relatives in his own monster movies, which he shot on a Super 8 camera.

As Abrams squirmed in his seat, host Jimmy Kimmel unleashed one of the finest examples of Abrams' junior oeuvre: 'The Attic.'

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'American Idol': Top 3 Elimination Results Recap

by Hilary Rothing, posted May 19th 2011 10:45PM
After 95 million record-setting votes, the most ever at this point in the competition, we learned the fate of the final three.

But not before Nicole Scherzinger and 50 Cent, accompanied by a very loud smoke machine, took to the stage for our entertainment. Add J.J. Abrams and an Italian boy band to the mix and you've got yourself another totally random results show. Also on tap was a more extensive look at the Top 3 homecoming visits this past weekend.

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Fox Cancels 'Human Target,' 'Lie to Me,' 'The Chicago Code' and More

by Catherine Lawson, posted May 11th 2011 8:30AM
Fox logoIt's that time of year again, the upfronts, when TV networks decide which shows live and which shows die. This year Fox has become the first network to announce which shows are being culled, and it's bad news for Christian Slater. Again...

Fox announced that it's cancelling five of its live action shows: 'Human Target,' Lie to Me,' 'The Chicago Code,' 'Traffic Light' and 'Breaking In.' It also dropped the ax on some of its drama pilots, including the much talked-about 'Locke & Key' and 'Exit Strategy.'

Angry fans turned to Twitter to vent as the news broke late Tuesday, with 'Human Target' fans being among the most vocal. In fact, according to THR, they tweeted so vociferously that the show became a Top 10 trending topic.

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'Lost' Star Henry Ian Cusick Returns to TV, Kathy Griffin Wants a Tony in New Broadway Show and More

by Jean Bentley, posted Feb 10th 2011 11:00AM
Henry Ian CusickAnother 'Lost' star has finally booked his first post-Island role.

Henry Ian Cusick, who played handsome Scotsman Desmond Hume on 'Lost,' will play the lead in ABC's new Shonda Rhimes pilot about professional crisis management consultant Olivia Price. Cusick's character is a lawyer who works for Kerry Washington's Price, TV Line reports.

Actress Katie Lowes has also landed a role on the show as a young lawyer on the team.

In other TV news ...

CBS greenlit the J.J. Abrams / Jonah Nolan pilot 'Person of Interest.' The show is about an "ex-CIA hitman and a scientist who team up to prevent crimes before they happen." [Entertainment Weekly]

Kathy Griffin wants a Tony, which is probably why she's heading to Broadway with a limited-run show called 'Kathy Griffin Wants a Tony.' The show will run from March 11–13 and 15–19, and the comedian will tackle "fresh material due to the revolving door of pop culture, political and celebrity missteps." [The Hollywood Reporter]

Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt might be interested in joining the 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' cast, but Andy Cohen isn't into it. "Hell no," tweeted the 'Watch What Happens Live' host yesterday when someone asked if he'd consider it. [Twitter]

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NBC Lands J.J. Abrams Project Starring 'Lost' Veterans Michael Emerson and Terry O'Quinn

by Chris Harnick, posted Sep 22nd 2010 9:35PM
Terry O'Quinn, Michael EmersonBen Linus and Locke have found a new home at NBC.

The hyped Michael Emerson-Terry O'Quinn project from J.J. Abrams and his Bad Robot Productions has secured a pilot commitment at the Peacock Network.

According to Vulture, ABC and Fox showed interest in the spy series, but it was NBC who won out. NBC just premiered another Abrams spy drama, 'Undercovers.'

The series, which was going by the name of 'Odd Jobs' but is now untitled, was pitched as a comedic drama with O'Quinn and Emerson as ex-black ops agents.

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'Undercovers' Premiere Review: A Slick, Slight Spy Caper

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 22nd 2010 11:00AM
'Undercovers' (8PM ET Wednesday, NBC) looks great.

But if you're looking for anything more than superficial eye-candy, you may be disappointed by this J.J. Abrams-Josh Reims espionage drama, which ditches much of what was good about Abrams' previous spy show, 'Alias,' and replaces it with, well, a whole lot of pretty-looking nothing.

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Fox and J.J. Abrams Headed to 'Alcatraz'

by Chris Harnick, posted Sep 16th 2010 1:00PM
FoxWhat happens when you take an eager network, a respected TV creator and America's most notorious prison? 'Alcatraz' happens.

Earlier this month we reported on the project from J.J. Abrams and Elizabeth Sarnoff, an executive producer on 'Lost,' but now it's found a home on Fox. According to Variety, the network has given the project a pilot commitment.

Not much information has been released about the project besides a logline The Live Feed reports as: "A show about mysteries, secrets and the most infamous prison of all time: Alcatraz."

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J.J. Abrams and 'The Dark Knight' Writer Jonah Nolan Shop Crime Thriller Series

by Jean Bentley, posted Sep 9th 2010 1:00PM
J.J. AbramsAdd another diverse project to J.J. Abrams' already-bursting resume: The Ausiello Files reports that the 'Lost' and 'Alias' mastermind, whose new show, 'Undercovers,' premieres on NBC on Sept. 22, is working with Jonathan Nolan on a new crime thriller series.

Nolan, who created the show, co-wrote 'The Dark Knight' and 'The Prestige' with his older brother, 'Inception' director Christopher. Despite the fact that Nolan hasn't ever worked in TV before, with J.J. Abrams behind the project, could there be any more of a guarantee that this series will get picked up in some form or another?

According to Ausiello, the still-untitled show is gaining heavy interest from at least one network.

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What to Watch: August 30 - September 5

by Stephanie Earp, posted Aug 29th 2010 2:42AM
Shattered - Wednesday September 1, 10 pm ET/PT, Global

The latest Canadian police procedural debuts tonight, with Callum Keith Rennie as a cop with Multiple Personality Disorder who drags his new partner into a murky homicide investigation. Originally slated to air on Showtime, this has more in common with 'Durham County' than 'Rookie Blue.'

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J.J. Abrams and Joss Whedon at Comic-Con: 'Avengers,' 'Dr. Horrible,' 'Undercovers' Updates

by Laura Prudom, posted Jul 22nd 2010 10:00PM
JJ Abrams and Joss WhedonJ.J and Joss ... sounds like one hell of a team, doesn't it?

The two "Visionaries," as labeled by Entertainment Weekly, came together for one geektastic Comic-Con panel Thursday. And the creators of 'Lost,' 'Buffy,' 'Alias,' 'Firefly' and the 'Star Trek' movie only disappointed the hall full of fans in one way -- they sadly aren't collaborating on a project. (Yet.)

Whedon confirmed what has been long suspected -- that he's directing 'The Avengers' movie with Marvel. It's too soon for much info, he said. He's still writing an outline and thoroughly researching the comics, but was enthusiastic about the movie's development. "These people shouldn't even be in the same room together, let alone on a team; isn't that the definition of family?" he reasoned wryly.

Meanwhile, Abrams talked about his new show 'Undercovers,' which will be both "case of the week" and serialized. He also revealed a few (very sparse) tidbits about his upcoming movie 'Super 8,' which is being produced by Steven Spielberg. The movie hasn't begun shooting and may feature an interactive element. Abrams cryptically said, "My favorite thing about the movie is that someone will go to the theater and see the trailer and hopefully go, oh my God, that looks bitchin', and have no idea they will be starring in it." What could he mean?

Whedon also discussed the prospects for future editions of 'Dr. Horrible,' saying he needed to find time to get the whole gang back together as well as find a studio to finance it. But some songs have been written, and Whedon referred to the project as "the movie," which may give a hint to the project's ultimate scope.

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Pilot Watch: 'Undercovers'

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 5th 2010 11:23AM
Boris Kadjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw in 'Undercovers' on NBC
From now through the end of July, we're going to be taking a quick look at the fall and mid-season pilots that the networks sent to critics after their upfront presentations.

Keep in mind that in each case, our opinions are based on a pilot that could be completely recast and reworked between now and the fall.

Show: 'Undercovers'
Network: NBC
Timeslot: Wednesdays, 8PM ET

The lowdown:
Steven and Samantha Bloom (Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw) run a catering company in Los Angeles. But at one time, they were a pair of crack agents for the CIA. They fell in love on the job, but never worked together or discussed each other's missions; they left the spy life in order to enjoy their lives together. But they are called back to duty by CIA liaison Carlton Shaw (Gerald McRaney) to find their old agency friend Leo Nash (Carter MacIntyre), who might have gone rogue. The Blooms criss-cross the globe, joined by staff agent/ Steven Bloom fanatic Bill Hoyt (Ben Schwartz), in search of Nash, and in the process they find that they're attracted to each other all over again.

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Becoming Smokey on 'Lost' (VIDEO)

by Oliver Miller, posted May 12th 2010 1:50AM
Becoming Smokey on 'Lost'From light can come darkness. That's the lesson on 'Lost' (Tue., 9PM ET on ABC).

[Spoiler alert.]

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ABC Re-Airing 'Lost' Pilot Before Series Finale

by Kim Potts, posted Apr 23rd 2010 8:45AM
It remains one of -- if not the -- best TV drama pilots ever, and in celebration of the May 23 'Lost' series finale, ABC has decided to replay the show's incredible, $10 million, two-hour series premiere on May 22.

As reported by The Wrap, the pilot repeat adds to an already 'Lost'-packed week at ABC between May 17-23. The penultimate episode of the show premieres on May 18, the pilot re-airs on May 22, and on May 23, the finale night kicks off with a two-hour recap of the entire series, followed by the two-hour finale and then a special 'Jimmy Kimmel Live: Aloha to 'Lost'' show that will feature 'Lost' cast members and showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse.

The pilot episode, directed by series creator J.J. Abrams, debuted on ABC on September 22 and 29, 2004, and hasn't been aired on the network since 2006.

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