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September 30, 2014

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USA Network Orders 'Common Law' to Series, Pia Toscano Signs Record Deal & More TV News

by Chris Harnick, posted Jul 6th 2011 12:30PM
Michael EalyUSA Network has picked up 'Common Law,' a new buddy cop series starring 'The Good Wife' veteran Michael Ealy.

The new hourlong series will have 11 episodes. 'Common Law' stars Ealy as Travis Marks, partner to Wes Mitchell (Warren Kole), two police officers on the homicide team at the Los Angeles Police Department. In true USA Network format, these two partners have issues, and in effort to solve them, their captain sends the two to couples counseling.

Cormac and Marianne Wibberley of 'National Treasure' fame will serve as executive producers with Jon Turteltaub ('Jericho') and Craig Sweeny ('Medium').

"When CBS Television Studios sent us the script of Common Law, we immediately fell in love with the writing, the characters and the premise," USA co-presidents Jeff Wachtel and Chris McCumber said in statement. "We're very lucky to have the Wibberleys, Jon and Craig guiding the process on this show; and with Michael and Warren, we have two stars who bring out the best in each other."

In other TV news ...

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Michael Ealy Joins 'The Good Wife'

by Chris Harnick, posted Jul 19th 2010 3:20PM
Michael Ealy'FlashForward' alumnus Michael Ealy is trading in blackouts for courtrooms and joining CBS's 'The Good Wife' for at least 10 episodes this upcoming season.

Warning, spoilers for season 2 begin here!

According to Ausiello Files, Ealy will play Derrick Bond, the head of the Washington, D.C. firm that is merging with the floundering Lockhart & Gardner.

The casting breakdown describes the character as a casual and soft-spoken attorney who believes all people should be treated equally. Look for those beliefs to cause some friction with Will and Diane.

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'FlashForward' - 'Better Angels' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 2nd 2010 4:23AM
'FlashForward' - 'Better Angels'
(S01E14)
With this week's episode, 'FlashForward' started to remind me a little of some of the more intriguing moments early on in 'Lost.' It's a risky comparison to find itself in, because 'Lost' is poised to be one of the greatest long-form narratives in the history of television.

Plus, with a series name that reminds people of one element of 'Lost,' even if the book that 'FlashForward' was based on did precede the island mystery saga, and with Dominic Monaghan and Sonya Walger in the cast, does it really need to keep reminding people of a show it probably can't stand neck-and-neck with?

Regardless, though, once again 'FlashForward' took some important steps forward in its narrative, while Mark continued taking stupid steps backwards because ... well, he is still Mark Benford.

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TV Casting: Megan Mullally Books 'Parks and Recreation'

by Andrew Scott, posted Oct 2nd 2009 1:00PM
Megan Mullally Parks and RecreationMegan Mullally to play an ex-wife on 'Parks and Recreation,' Marlee Matlin and Mario Cantone join a new Showtime comedy series and more of today's top TV casting headlines.

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Sleeper Cell: Fitna

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Dec 16th 2006 10:33PM

Thekla Reutan as Mina in 'Sleeper Cell.'(S02E07) Wow... I'm not even sure how to react. Absolutely shocking. If it's even possible, I don't know how tomorrow night's finale could even top that. I'm sure it will, but that's a tall order. This was by far the best hour of this entire series up to this point.

All that being said, I'm still going to nit-pick a wee bit. The more I've been thinking about the whole Mina/Gayle thing, it's doesn't make complete sense to me. Why wasn't there a greater sense of urgency when Mina first made contact with Gayle? Russell and Co. decided to take advantage of this budding relationship, but why was it never considered a breach in Darwyn's cover? Technically it was, right? Even though Farik and Karrar had no idea who Darwyn really was, Mina's approaching Gayle should have signaled something to the FBI. Like I said, in retrospect, it just seems a little off to me. Regardless, the way it ended between those two (in the middle of nowhere) was gut-wrenching to watch. Darwyn's job got Gayle killed. How could you ever forgive yourself for that? I don't think I'd be able to.

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Sleeper Cell: School

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Dec 16th 2006 11:29AM

Michael Ealy as Darwyn and Said Taghmaoui as Karrar in 'Sleeper Cell.'

(S02E06) One of the things I love about this show is how they pick simple one word titles (the first season did it too) and the given episode stays committed to portraying that title (a theme really) from everyone's perspective. It's a very cool storytelling technique, the way they expand upon everyone but manage to keep it cohesive. Ethan Reiff, Cyrus Voris, and everyone else who has a hand in writing and producing this show deserves a real pat on the back. They've created quite the epic. Entertaining because, well, it is. And scary because... it's real.

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Sleeper Cell: Home

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Dec 15th 2006 12:16PM

Jay Ferguson as Agent Russell in 'Sleeper Cell.'

(S02E05) Sleeper Cell really doesn't quit. It's just keeps moving at you from all angles and once again, things that I never expected happened. For the most part, I think plenty of people have a good sense of predicting what's going to come next in TV and films because often we've seen the same stories and plots told over and over in different ways. Sleeper Cell is just throwing all convention out the window because I keep making guesses that make sense and nothing pans out. I love it because it's genuinely holding my attention as a result.

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Sleeper Cell: Faith

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Dec 13th 2006 10:08PM

Kevin Alejandro as Benny in 'Sleeper Cell.'(S02E04) This is turning out to be quite the mini-series. Plenty of twists and turns that I did not see coming, especially after the way last night's episode turned out. Sleeper Cell has been edgy since the beginning, but it would appear that nothing is off limits now.

The biggest development was Salim's story. I honestly did not expect him to turn out gay. I really thought his story was headed in a direction with Farrah and that their romance would lead to issues later on. I like the twist -- the scene in the gym completely caught be off guard. What I didn't like was how the revelation manifested itself. The entire story of Salim's disgust with the Muslim televangelist was a bit over the top. Not to mention the fact that it felt exactly like the story from last season when Christian killed that visiting scholar. It was the exact same progression. The only difference was that Darwyn was able to stop it this time around. From here on out it would appear that Salim won't be a problem anymore because Darwyn can hold that knowledge of Salim's preferences over his head. Unless Salim tries to revolt and take out Darwyn for good?

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Sleeper Cell: Torture

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Dec 12th 2006 10:03PM

Oded Fehr (Farik) listens to episode director Vondie Curtis-Hall on the set of the Saudi prison.

(S02E03) Speechless. When the idea of television was first conceived, I don't think it was ever expected that it could feel this satisfying. Sleeper Cell is some of the best stuff out there, ranking with only a few other shows currently on and this, the thirteenth episode of the series, may well have been the best one yet. The simplicity of the episode title, "Torture," doesn't begin to describe the pains our characters went through.

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Sleeper Cell: Salesman

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Dec 11th 2006 10:06PM

Omid Abtahi as Salim in 'Sleeper Cell.'(S02E02) This episode perfectly displays what I think most people had problems with during the first season. Sleeper Cell is still spectacular but it can be very uneven at times. I think this is partially the reason that Showtime doesn't air it on a weekly basis because I don't think it would hold the attention of picky television viewers. It's much easier to stay with a show like this when you know it will be completely done in a week's time. Again though, that doesn't mean it's not good. It's beyond good.

Taking the cue from season one episodes, "Scholar" and "Immigrant," this episode basically dealt with one person and what he could offer to the cell (surface-to-air missiles). In question was Hassani, a washed up Pakistani arms dealer who now barely got by in the US by driving a cab and running a tiny halal delicatessen. It was the circumstances surrounding Hassani that made it worth watching.

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Sleeper Cell: Al-Baqara (season premiere)

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Dec 10th 2006 10:02PM

Oded Fehr stars as Farik in 'Sleeper Cell.'

(S02E01) Sleeper Cell is an incredibly impressive show. The first mini-series which aired a year ago was publicized quietly and didn't garner the attention it deserved until well after it had aired. Hopefully people are listening to the buzz this time around because Sleeper Cell is the closest thing Showtime has to HBO's The Wire. Yeah... it's that good. Visually impressive, rich in dialogue, a host of characters to love and despise. The list goes on. Not to mention the fact that it's topically relevant and due to it's place on a premium cable station, it can address the issues directly -- often to an uncomfortable extent. Something that a similarly themed broadcast network clock-ticking drama unfortunately can't compare to. Trust me. You owe it to yourself to be watching Sleeper Cell.

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Sleeper Cell returns in December

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Nov 16th 2006 8:08PM

Michael Ealy and Oded Fehr star in Sleeper Cell.Quick! Everyone stock up on duct-tape, plastic wrap, and whatever else we were told to buy! OK, I jest... you don't really need to buy all that stuff. But Showtime's outstanding mini-series Sleeper Cell is back, so you should at least make sure you own a comfortable couch or recliner because we've all got eight great nights of TV ahead of us. As I reported back in June, Showtime picked up the show for a second series but no dates were set at the time. Now we have them. Series two will have eight episodes (the first series had ten) and the premiere will be on Sunday, December 10 at 9PM on Showtime. But don't forget that Showtime bills this show as a mini-series. So the remaining seven episodes will air one at a time on the next seven nights in that same 9PM time-slot. For the die-hard fans like myself, the entire series will be available On-Demand after the premiere airs. Michael Ealy, Oded Fehr, Henri Lubatti, and Melissa Sagemiller are all back to reprise their roles. In the meantime, you can check out a special preview here. So get excited... I am. And I'm serious about that couch thing.

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Sleeper Cell wakes up for second season

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Jun 5th 2006 7:36PM

Sleeper CellGet it? Sleeper Cell "wakes up?" That's a pun... fine, make fun of me later.

Showtime has ordered up a second season of it's acclaimed mini-series Sleeper Cell. Here's a question though. Why did they call it a mini-series? Wasn't it ten episodes long? Shouldn't that make it just a season? Last I checked, ten episodes wasn't very "mini." Anywho, the second go around will have eight episodes, and according to the press release both stars Michael Ealy and Oded Fehr will be back. Last year's two-hour finale will set the stage for the coming events. Production is set to start later this summer.

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