Ryan Seacrest gets a million-dollar payday, Paul McCartney books 'David Letterman,' Susan Sarandon and John Goodman join HBO's Dr. Kevorkian biopic and more of today's top TV headlines.
Premise: Struggling single mom Sarah moves her two teenage children back home to Berkeley, Ca., where she's welcomed back into the fold by her big, imperfect but loving family. Meanwhile, her three adult siblings all parenting issues of their own in this drama that is loosely based on the 1989 Ron Howard-directed film of the same name.
The original Parenthood movie starred everybody who was anybody in the late '80s, including Keanu Reeves, Jason Robards, Jr. and Mary Steenbergen and Steve Martin. It was like Crash with an extended family, following multiple story lines that all ultimately connected.
William Peterson is out and Lawrence Fishburne is in. That's the plan, anyway, over at CSI central.
Peterson's decision to say goodbye to CSI was one of the big stories of 2008. The actor's onscreen phase-out started earlier this month with the introduction of Laurence Fishburne as Dr. Raymond Langston, but he's not really saying goodbye. Peterson will remain on the hit CBS show as an executive producer and will likely appear as a guest star in future episodes. His final ep airs January 15.
Since CSI is one of those ever-lasting franchises, like Law & Order, I wouldn't rule out a complete return for Peterson a few years from now. Maybe he'll spin-off another show. I'm sure fans wouldn't mind seeing CSI: The Gil Grissom Chronicles.
Me, I don't really care. I don't watch CSI (I guess I'm not that intrigued by forensic science). So let's talk about the 2008 TV star departures that meant something to me.
We all know that ER is famous for its deaths. Not only of the patients that are served by Chicago's County General but of its staff as well. Particularly in its emergency room. Fact of the matter is, there have been so many deaths of ER personnel that I'm surprised that a police investigation hasn't been opened to determined if they were natural or a bit suspicious. Some of these deaths have been shocking, such as Lucy Knight's during season six. Others were long in coming, like Mark Greene's peaceful death in season 8.
When 'ER' wraps its 15th and final season in 2009, it will mark the end of Maura Tierney's 10th year on the show.
Going from obstetrics nurse to doctor, her Abby Lockhart has weathered alcoholism, a heartbreaking reunion with her bipolar mom (guest Sally Field) and relationship woes with Luka, Carter and Luka again.
Tierney shared with AOL TV her favorite 'ER' storyline, her thoughts on how Dr. Abby should exit County General, and more.
(S13E09) I'm with my brother Joel about new programming during Thanksgiving. Out of all the holidays we celebrate Thanksgiving should be the one that never has new episodes, even if it falls in the heart of the November sweeps. Why? Well, after ingesting so much sleep-inducing food it's hard to concentrate. If anything, Thanksgiving evenings should be reserved for three-hour long historical-period movies that feature plenty of silent scenes. You know, so you can get some sleep.
Okay, whining over, let's discuss this week's 'ER Event'.
ER is currently in its 13th season, and NBC's original plan was to interrupt the run of the show for three months in early 2007 and premiere the new drama The Black Donnellys. But ER had to go and be one of the top rated NBC shows (it's always in the top 20 now), so now the plan is to keep ER on the air throughout the winter and spring.
I'll say one thing: I swore up and down, right here on this site, that I was through with ER and wasn't going to watch it anymore. But I find myself pulled back into it after checking in to see what happened to Jerry (he's OK, just on another show for now) and Abby's baby (it's OK, as Rich has reported). So I guess if the show can keep a jaded veteran ER watcher like me interested after so many years, it must be doing something right.
I couldn't have been more wrong. Turns out Maura's getting a divorce from her husband of 13 years, actor Billy Morrissette. The reason is the old favorite, irreconcilable differences. This means that Maura has been married since before she started NewsRadio, which was when my (and likely Bob's) crush on her started. Actually, now that I think about it, I do recall something about a husband somewhere down the line. I guess I just wanted to block it out.
Abby Lockhart has become the new Mark Greene.
As fans of the long-running ER know, Dr. Greene (Anthony Edwards) had some of the worst luck and unhappiness in the emergency room staff of County General. First, his wife leaves him, then he gets beaten up in the ER bathroom by a unknown assailant. Both his mother and father die in the same year, he's diagnosed with a brain tumor (which was successfully removed), his daughter feeds his newborn child Escasty, his brain tumor comes back, and he dies while in Hawaii. Needless to say, the man had no luck.
And now Abby (Maura Tierney) looks like she's wearing the albatross around her neck. Well, actually, she's been wearing it for several seasons now. It began when she was kicked out of medical school after her ex-husband failed to pay her tuition. Then, she had a rough set of relationships with Doctors Luka Kovac and John Carter. Her bi-polar mother stop taking her meds and her brother was diagnosed with the same mental disease as her mother. Last season she was kidnapped by a drug dealer who wanted Abby to treat an injured comrade.
But this episode was actually one of the better season finales the show has ever had. A bit crazy, but well done and rather suspenseful, with more than one plot twist I didn't see coming at all.
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