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September 21, 2014

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'A Gifted Man' Series Premiere: Anna Tells Michael How She Died (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 26th 2011 1:30AM
'A Gifted Man' - 'Pilot'There's truth to the old saying that opposites attract, and that truth was at the heart of the central relationship in 'A Gifted Man' (Fri., 8PM ET on CBS). Friday nights on CBS are no strangers to ghostly apparitions, but this may be the first time that a ghost is one of the stars of the show.

Michael Holt (Patrick Wilson) is a neurosurgeon who almost makes Dr. House look like a great guy. He's a jerk, but his ex-wife Anna (Jennifer Ehle) was one of the kindest and giving people in the world. Thus he works for fat checks while she ran a free clinic.

And yet, when he reconnected with her after several years, he was thrilled to see her. But then he found out she had died in a car accident not long before. Suddenly, he was questioning his sanity and health and all the while she kept coming to him.

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Whitney Tries to Play Sexy Nurse for Alex on the 'Whitney' Series Premiere (VIDEO)

by Catherine Lawson, posted Sep 23rd 2011 9:00AM
'Whitney' S01/E01'Whitney' (Thurs., 9:30PM ET on NBC) has been one of the most eagerly anticipated new comedies of the fall season. It's also one of two (count 'em) new comedies created by star Whitney Cummings.

Alex (Chris D'Elia) and Whitney have been dating for three years now and she's starting to fret that maybe their love life's getting a bit dull.

So what's a girl to do? If you're Whitney you crack open the costume box and put on your sexy nurse outfit and some killer heels to spice things up.

Lucky Alex is totally onboard with all this -- "I think I got that file you're looking for!" -- and in his haste to accompany Whitney into the bedroom he starts taking off his pants on the run. And that's where it all goes horribly, horribly wrong.

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Det. Timoney Takes a Beating on 'Prime Suspect' Premiere (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 23rd 2011 6:15AM
'Prime Suspect' series premiereThe latest U.K. remake hit the airwaves last night as Maria Bello took on 'Prime Suspect' (Thu., 10PM ET on NBC). The "woman in a man's world" aspect of the show feels a little outdated -- though maybe that's just wishful thinking -- considering the plethora of strong, capable female detectives on television, but Bello is very compelling as Det. Jane Timoney.

In this opening salvo, we saw just how committed and dedicated she is to being a detective, which makes us curious why the guys are so sure she slept her way to her current position. If she did, that would seem out of character, as she's more focused on doing the job right than any of them.

While the procedural elements were firmly in place, and every other character that isn't Timoney is completely two-dimensional, Bello still manages to present a beautifully crafted character that feels real, flawed and strong.

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'Person of Interest' Premiere: Reese Has Standoff With Corrupt Cop (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 23rd 2011 2:45AM
'Person of Interest' - 'Pilot'If you're looking for a procedural drama of a very different color, or even if you don't care for the procedural format, you might just fall in love with 'Person of Interest' (Thu., 9PM ET on CBS). It certainly had one of the stronger pilots in this new premiere week.

Jim Caviezel is brilliant as an emotionally haunted and physically menacing former government operative, while Michael Emerson captures much of the same genius that made Benjamin Linus a stand-out character on 'Lost,' but without the evil undertones.

The premiere did a great job of setting up the very simple premise. Mr. Finch (Emerson) built a machine after 9/11 that can predict who will be involved in criminal activities. The machine for the government's purposes isn't interested in smaller crimes, but it's these crimes that kept Finch up at night.

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The Angels Learn Just How Dangerous the Job Is on 'Charlie's Angels' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 23rd 2011 12:30AM
'Charlie's Angels' series premiereWell, if the creators wanted the fate of Gloria to be any sort of surprise for the viewers of this 'Charlie's Angels' (Thu., 8PM ET on ABC) series premiere, they should have handled things a lot differently in the promotion of the remake.

Imagine the shock we could have had in seeing one of the Angels die in the very first episode. Now, that's exactly what happened, but it was Nadine Velazquez instead of one of the three women we've seen everywhere promoting the show.

When the episode began and Minka Kelly wasn't in the trio of ladies saving the day, we knew Gloria's days were numbered. But ABC could have had a much bigger reaction if they'd pretended Velazquez was a cast member all along, even giving her lead billing in this premiere rather than seeing her name tacked on as a guest star.

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'The X Factor' Series Premiere: What Do the Critics Think?

by Catherine Lawson, posted Sep 22nd 2011 8:15AM
'The X Factor'Simon Cowell's much-hyped latest show 'The X Factor' finally launched stateside last night. It's sure to have done well in the ratings, but was it any good?

Following the same format as its British predecessor, 'The X Factor' showcased the tried and tested mix of producers' auditions and live performances in front of the judges and a live audience.

There were some inspirational tales, some great singers and some well, pretty bad performances.

Critics have praised the slick production values, but many feel we've been here before. 'New York' magazine described it as "'American Idol' meets a more lucrative contract for Simon Cowell."

The judges -- especially Nicole Scherzinger -- have been criticized for their contributions (or lack thereof). And some critics have questioned the possible exploitation of poor contestants.

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'Revenge' Premiere Begins to Reveal Who Emily Thorne Is -- And Was (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 22nd 2011 7:15AM
'Revenge' - 'Pilot''Revenge' (Wed., 10PM ET on ABC) turned out to be a pleasant surprise in its premiere. Emily VanCamp showed nice range as Emily Thorne, a woman who returns to the Hamptons to exact revenge on behalf of her father.

So far, the show is using some creative storytelling techniques to slowly reveal secrets about Emily and some of the other characters we meet along the way. As it begins, we're not even sure what she's needing to get the titular revenge for, or on whom.

Actually, as it begins we get a scene that may be her ultimate victory, or something else entirely; a wedding gone horribly wrong when the groom is found dead on the beach. But it's a later revelation that proved even more surprising.

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Stacy Francis Proves It's Never Too Late for Dreams on 'The X Factor' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 22nd 2011 12:00AM
Stacy Francis, 'The X Factor'Already an international sensation, Simon Cowell finally managed to bring 'The X Factor' (Wed., 8PM ET on FOX) stateside, and while it's expected to get massive ratings for this premiere, featuring the returns of Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul together, along with L.A. Reid, Nicole Scherzinger and ever-so-briefly Cheryl Cole.

But as much as Cowell might wish it weren't so, it's about the contestants they manage to find. And while Chris Rene, who was 70 days sober and trying to turn his life around, blew everyone away with a heartfelt original performance, it was another contestant who perhaps best personified what makes 'The X Factor' different.

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'Unforgettable' Series Premiere: Carrie Uses Her Gift at a Crime Scene (VIDEO)

by Catherine Lawson, posted Sep 21st 2011 8:45AM
'Unforgettable' S01/E01In 'Unforgettable' (Tue., 10PM ET on CBS), Poppy Montgomery plays Carrie Wells, an investigator suffering from hyperthymesia, which is the ability to remember the details of every single day of her life.

In the series premiere Carrie uses this special gift to look over a crime scene and finds something she didn't notice before.

Replaying events in her mind's eye, she sees a shadow on the wall, which indicates that a man was hiding close to where a woman was killed. This then leads her to inspect a drain opening nearby.

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Jess' New Roommates Save Her Date on 'New Girl' Premiere (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 21st 2011 2:00AM
'New Girl' - 'Pilot'After more hype than probably any other sitcom in a season with a lot of new sitcoms, 'New Girl' (Tue., 9PM ET on FOX) premiered.

Given the sweet spot on the schedule right after 'Glee,' the show lived up to a lot of its promise, though it could be accused of trying a little too hard to be cool and clever.

Zooey Deschanel is cute as a button, but here's hoping she dials it back a notch in future installments as she settles in with her new male roommates. In this premiere, the guys helped her get back out there in the dating world after a break-up, only to find out she was stood up on her first try -- for texting too much.

So they ditched a party to go meet her at her date and cheer her up by singing some 'Dirty Dancing!' It's the heart these characters show and the heart the show had in that moment that gives it promise for the future.

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Murder Brings Nick and Maureen Together on 'The Playboy Club' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 20th 2011 7:15AM
'The Playboy Club' - 'Pilot'Amid a storm of controversy based more on the name of the show and its magazine association than its content, 'The Playboy Club' (Mon., 10PM ET on NBC) premiered with a mystery and a pretty damned good Jon Hamm impersonation.

It's one thing to try and capture the cool swagger of 'Mad Men's Don Draper in a show set in the same decade, but Eddie Cibrian mimicked everything from his icy cool gaze to the pitch, tone and even cadence of his speech.

If this were 'Saturday Night Live,' we'd be applauding the impression, but we're supposed to take him seriously here. Cibrian did start to find his own voice as the episode progressed, which was encouraging and far less distracting.

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Max Finds Out Caroline Is a Riches to Rags Story on '2 Broke Girls' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 20th 2011 3:15AM
'2 Broke Girls' - 'Pilot'At the heart of '2 Broke Girls' (Mon., 9:30PM ET on CBS) is this 'Odd Couple' relationship that springs up between seasoned and ultra-jaded waitress Max and Caroline, the trust fund baby who finds herself suddenly broke and out on her own.

To the writers' credit, they don't write Caroline as spoiled or self-entitled. She may be a little clueless as to how the real world worlds, but she shows drive and commitment, which is rare in the pampered rich girl persona.

The girls' first meeting tried to establish a good cadence between them, as Max discovers that Caroline's father "ripped off the entire city," and just how rich Caroline was. But the connection between the two never really comes together this episode.

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'The Secret Circle' Premiere: Intriguing Mysteries, Cliché Characters (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 16th 2011 1:52AM
'The Secret Circle' - 'Pilot'['The Secret Circle' Season 1, Episode 1 - 'Pilot']

When looking for a companion series for 'The Vampire Diaries' on Thursday nights, The CW didn't have to go very far. They simply looked at the bibliography of books by 'VD' book series author L.J. Smith. There they found 'The Secret Circle' (Thu., 9PM ET on The CW), a trilogy of books featuring the same teen romance, only this time with witches.

Britt Robertson was transplanted from the just-cancelled 'Life Unexpected,' taking the lead as Cassie Blake. In typical fashion for these types of young adult stories, she finds herself an orphan at the beginning of the series when her mother dies in a house fire.

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'Up All Night' Series Premiere: Parenting and Partying Don't Mix (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 15th 2011 1:50AM
'Up All Night' - 'Pilot'['Up All Night' Season 1, Episode 1 - 'Pilot']

There's a sweetness that really surprised me throughout the premiere of 'Up All Night' (Wed., 10PM ET on NBC). To be honest, I wasn't sure if Will Arnett could pull off the role of a normal human being, but he absolutely nailed it. His chemistry with on-screen wife Christina Applegate was so authentic, I believed their love completely.

It was the little moments they shared, and some clever editing by the writers to make it feel real. After a fight over who was or wasn't awake at what time to take care of the baby, we cut quickly to the next morning where it's kisses and quick apologies. This is a couple we can root for together, because they're in this together.

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'Ringer' Premiere: Sarah Michelle Gellar Brings Twice the Thrills (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 14th 2011 1:02AM
'Ringer' - 'Pilot'['Ringer' S01/E01 -- 'Pilot']

'The Lying Game' may have done the twin switch thing on television a few weeks ago for ABC Family, but it couldn't come close to matching the slick production and dense plot layering we saw with the series premiere of 'Ringer' (Tue., 9PM ET on The CW).

Sarah Michelle Gellar made her much-anticipated return to television with a role so big, she had to get two parts. And while sisters Siobhan and Bridget only shared a couple of scenes together, Gellar proved rather adept at carrying on an emotional conversation with herself, such as it is.

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