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August 27, 2014

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Are These The Top 10 Shows of 2011? AFI Says So

by Chris Harnick, posted Dec 12th 2011 12:45PM
AFI Top 10 TV Shows 2011'Parks and Recreation' stands very tall next to 'Boardwalk Empire' on the American Film Institute's list of Top 10 TV shows of 2011. Can you imagine a meeting between Leslie Knope and Nucky Thompson?

A who's who of veteran shows and critical darlings filled out the rest of the list, some for the first time. 'The Good Wife,' 'Parks,' 'Louie,' and 'Justified' are all brand new entries to AFI's year-end list.

Showtime's 'Homeland' and HBO's 'Game of Thrones' were the only new 2011 shows to make the list.

Take a peek at the full list below.

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What to Watch: TV Picks for November 28 - December 4

by Stephanie Earp, posted Nov 28th 2011 10:42AM


I Hate my Teenage Daughter - Friday December 2, 9PM ET/PT, Global and Wednesday November 30, 9:30 PM ET/PT, Fox

Well now, this is a strange time of year to debut a new show. The fact that Fox has moved the debut of this comedy around could be a sign they don't have a ton of faith in it, or it could mean nothing at all. With Jaime Pressly ('My Name is Earl') in a lead role, it's bound to have some attitude. She plays one of two moms who discover that their pampered kids have turned into bullying, spoiled mean girls. I think this premise has a ton of potential actually -- I just hope the script has more subtlety than the title.

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What to Watch: TV Picks for November 14 - 20

by Stephanie Earp, posted Nov 14th 2011 9:35AM



Bones - Thursday November 17, 9PM ET/PT, Global/Fox

I do enjoy it when 'Bones' decides to have a little bit of fun with their murder scenes. This week, they find their victim shrink-wrapped with a Prince Charming doll. Turns out, the woman worked for a toy company headed by guest Morgan Fairchild, who always adds a dash of creepy camp when she turns up. Meanwhile Sweets prepares for his gun certification, despite the fact that Booth still objects to him carrying a weapon.

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Talking TV Podcast Talks 'Louie' and 10 Returning Shows We're Excited About

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 8th 2011 2:15PM
With the onslaught of new shows around the corner, Ryan McGee and I decided to talk briefly about 10 returning programs we're quite interested in (we each picked five shows).

And of course, the word "brief" was in our podcast planning documents, but it didn't quite work out that way. Between our opening gabfest about the FX show 'Louie,' which concludes its second season tonight, and the discussions of the other 10 shows, the podcast ended up being about 90 minutes long.

The rundown of shows we discussed, which includes 'The Good Wife,' 'Supernatural,' 'Boardwalk Empire,' 'Luther' and 'Glee,' is below.

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'Louie' Makes the Leap to Greatness in Its Essential Second Season

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 7th 2011 1:45PM
It's not often that a show gets me to think differently about the possibilities of television. But that's just one of the side bonuses of the brilliant season of 'Louie' (10:30PM ET Thursday, FX) that concludes this week.

Generally speaking, I'm predisposed to like mythology, the meatier the better. But 'Louie' doesn't feature characters traveling along a particular timeline and doesn't develop interlocking stories over the course of a season. This increasingly assured comedy takes a few ideas and examines them from a variety of angles with a thoughtful blend of rigor, humor and innocence.

Yes, innocence. Sure, 'Louie' devotes large amounts of screen time to topics like masturbation, awful sex and self-loathing, but there's something innately winning about Louis C.K.'s dedication to the truth of a situation, no matter how strange or squirm-inducing. And in terms of craft, 'Louie' has proven in recent weeks that its creator, Emmy nominee Louis C.K., has an incredibly astute grasp of how stories work, how to pace them and what makes them interesting.

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Louis Can't Talk to His 13-Year Old Niece, But Godfrey Can, on 'Louie' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 2nd 2011 6:40AM
Amy, 'Louie'So far, we've seen Louis C.K. interacting with his own daughters on 'Louie' (Thu., 10:30PM ET on FX), but they're young enough that he's still kind of the hero in their life story. It's an easy role to play, and it certainly makes talking with them easier.

This week, he got a sneak peek at the challenges in keeping those lines of communication open as they get older when he tried to talk with his 13-year old niece, Amy. He simply could not get through to her, and it's because he was focusing on talking to the kid in front of him.

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Louis C.K.'s Life Saved by a Duckling in Afghanistan on 'Louie' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Aug 26th 2011 6:43AM
'Louie' - 'Duckling'Tonight was a very different episode of 'Louie' (Thu., 10:30PM ET on FX). He traded the urban background of New York for the rolling hills of Afghanistan, and yet it remained familiar and delightfully unexpected.

The premise is simple, sending Louis C.K. on a USO tour to Afghanistan to entertain some troops stationed in various encampments. He comes with a country singer and some cheerleaders, because these are hard-working men and men love cheerleaders.

But it's the stowaway in Louis' bag that makes it so they can have a nice time in Afghanistan. When their chopper has to land amongst hostiles, things aren't looking so good. That is, until a baby duck emerges from Louis' bag. His daughter had slipped it in there to keep him safe.

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Louis C.K. Discusses 'Louie's' Success and His Dark Worldview on 'Conan' (VIDEO)

by Alex Moaba, posted Aug 19th 2011 11:30AM
Season 2 of 'Louie' has pushed the boundaries of the type of comedy we're used to seeing on TV. The show is adept at finding the twisted hilarity in life's depressing situations: a bum getting hit by a truck, unrequited love, and reuniting with an old friend who's contemplating suicide have all served as fodder for the show's unique blend of drama and black humor.

Louis C.K. was on 'Conan' last night, and talked about 'Louie's' success, its two Emmy nominations, and his bleak, hilarious worldview that permeates the entire show.

"I don't expect any of it to keep going. You can't ... I think life is pretty ... I don't think it's so awful, I don't think you should expect anything to go well, but the only thing you really have coming to after you're born is death," he said, remaining stubbornly skeptical that his hard-won success can last.

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Somebody Stands Up to Halloween Bullies on 'Louie,' But It's Not Louis (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Aug 19th 2011 5:20AM
'Louie' - 'Halloween / Ellie'There are two phases to Halloween. There's the pre-nightfall phase when children are out in their cute costumes trick-or-treating for candy. And then there's the post-nightfall phase, when the dressed up people are getting older and wilder and even a little scary. It was this crowd Louis C.K. found himself and his daughters in on 'Louie' (Thu., 11PM ET on FX).

After the girls begged to stay out later, Louis caved and kept them out past dark. But things took a turn, the costumes got a little scarier, and then they found two guys who thought it might be fun to scare a father and his two little girls.

Louis sheepisly tried to talk them out of doing anything stupid, but it was his youngest daughter, dressed like a fairy princess, who decided she'd finally had enough.

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Louis C.K. Offers His Bleak, Deep View on Life to Talk an Old Friend Out of Suicide on 'Louie' (VIDEO)

by Alex Moaba, posted Aug 12th 2011 10:30AM
Season 2 of 'Louie' (Thu., 10:30PM on FX) has seemed determined to be way more than just a comedy. With some TV success under his belt and full creative control of his show, Louis C.K. has used the show to explore all sides of the human experience. He's honestly reflected on his own TV failures, family life, tackled celebrity and jokestealing in the Dane Cook episode, and slept with Joan Rivers.

The shows continued to play with dark themes last night, as Louis reunited with an old comedy buddy named Eddie, played by Doug Stanhope. The two had come up together in their early stand-up days in New York, but grew apart as Louis found success and Eddie fell further into drinking and got stuck performing at hole-in-wall clubs.

They hadn't spoken for years when Eddie calls Louis, asks him to meet up, and takes him on a tour of his current station in life, before very matter-of-factly telling him that he's thinking about committing suicide with some pills his Doctor gave him. It's in this twisted scenario that 'Louie' delivers one of its realest-feeling moments yet, as Louis refuses to talk his friend off the ledge in a conventional way, instead offering him his own at once bleak and oddly profound theory on life.

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FX Renews 'Louie,' 'Wilfred' & 'Sunny'

by Jean Bentley, posted Aug 6th 2011 1:00PM
WilfredAfter a solid debut season for FX's strangely hilarious 'Wilfred' and an ever-more popular season 2 for the Louis CK-starring 'Louie,' the network has decided to bring both shows back for more. And although season 7 of 'It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia' doesn't premiere until September, FX has already ordered two more season of the hit show.

According to TVLine, after 'Sunny' seasons 8 and 9, the show will be the longest-running live-action basic cable comedy ever.

And good news for Canadian fans of FX shows: the cable network will launch a branch for our neighbors to the North. FX Canada will debut in November, FX president John Landgraf told TV critics at Saturdays Television Critics Association panel.

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Dane Cook Says He Never Stole Jokes From Louis C.K. on 'Louie' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Aug 5th 2011 6:56AM
Dane Cook, 'Louie'Say what you will about the controversy, but it was pretty bold of Dane Cook and Louis C.K. to address it directly and to each other within the context of 'Louie' (Thu., 10:30PM ET on FX). The meeting was necessitated by Louis' desire to score Lady Gaga tickets, and Cook being with the same agency as her.

C.K. goes to ask for this favor, so he can maybe make his daughter happy for her birthday, and Cook confronts the controversy directly.

"Everything I read about me was about how I stole jokes from you, which I didn't," Cook said.

"I kind of think you did," C.K. responded. When Cook asked why he would risk his reputation to do that, C.K. said, "Because they were funny jokes."

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Louis C.K. Tells Pamela How He Truly Feels About Her on 'Louie' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Jul 29th 2011 5:37AM
'Louie'It's an incredibly frightening thing to put yourself out there emotionally in front of someone else. That's why the l-word is such a huge thing in a relationship, and why saying it or not saying it can ruin everything. But on 'Louie' (Thu., 10:30PM ET on FX), Louis C.K. finally decided he needed to tell Pamela the truth, even if he knew she didn't feel it back.

"I want to be your friend. And it's okay with me that there's nothing else," he said. "Can I just tell you one time the way I feel about you?"

She agreed, and what poured out next was an incredibly honest and realistic description of what it feels like to be completely and totally in love with someone. Unfortunately for Louis, while she was flattered she still insisted this was a one-way love.

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Louis C.K. Explains to His Daughters that Huckleberry Finn is a Racist (VIDEO)

by Catherine Lawson, posted Jul 22nd 2011 8:00AM
'Louie'On 'Louie' (Thu., 10:30PM ET on FX) this week Louis C.K. used his stand-up act to give his opinion on one of the most famous characters in U.S. literature: Huckleberry Finn.

Unlike Tom Sawyer, who's "a nice kid," Huck Finn is "a dirty little homeless, little white-trash creep" who just won't quit dropping the n-bomb.

Explaining Huck's unacceptable language choices to his daughters, Louis could have told them how and why language mores change over the years, but instead he did what many dads do when having awkward conversations with their daughters.

He took a short cut. He simply summed up Mark Twain's most famous characters in one sentence: "These boys are racists and are not nice boys."

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Louis C.K. Takes Advice from Joan Rivers, Then Makes His Move on 'Louie' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Jul 15th 2011 6:15AM
How did Louis C.K. celebrate his four Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for his work on 'Louie' (Thu., 10:30PM ET on FX)? In a way, you could say he celebrated by sleeping with Joan Rivers.

It happened in the back half of the episode, after Louis was frustrated with the audience during one of his casino sets. After turning down a steady paycheck and asking to be fired, Louis took advantage of an invite to talk with Joan Rivers after her set.

The two talked a lot, and candidly, about the comedy business and it's genuinely fascinating stuff. But, in typical 'Louie' fashion, Louis misconstrued some of her statements and abruptly went in for the kiss.

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