The biggest premiere of the month isn't in prime time. But still we expect plenty of people to stay up until 11PM ET to catch the TBS launch of 'Conan' on November 8. ABC bids farewell to another hit season of 'Dancing with the Stars,' but not before using its power to launch new series 'Skating with the Stars.' USA gets back in the action with fall returns for 'Burn Notice' and 'Psych,' while History premieres the US-version of 'Top Gear.'
So check out our picks for what to watch this Halloween ...
It's October, and that means Halloween and scary television. This year, there's a new 'Shrek' Halloween special for the kids, while the adults have even more to look forward to. Leading up to the Halloween night premiere of the hotly anticipated AMC series 'The Walking Dead' is a zombie import from the UK. The five-part series 'Dead Set,' about a zombie apocalypse during the filming of 'Big Brother,' will air the five nights leading up to October 31.
October's more than just spooky programming. As we say goodbye to AMC's quality dramas 'Mad Men' and 'Rubicon,' we can be consoled in knowing that HBO's excellent 'In Treatment' is back for another season. Those with DirecTV can start enjoying the final season of 'Friday Night Lights,' while on the broadcast networks 'American Dad,' 'CSI: Miami' and 'America's Funniest Home Videos' finally kick off their seasons.
In March, Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim told Maxim "season cinco" would end the series run and discussed 'Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie,' co-produced by Will Ferrell and set to hit theaters in 2011.
On Monday, in an announcement the pair had been hyping on Twitter for days, they revealed plans in a YouTube video for their one-hour 'Chrimbus Spectacular,' which will feature dyspeptic comic Neil Hamburger and Pusswhip Banggang (Tim and Eric in full rock band mode), and for 29-date tour.
The special premieres December 5 on Adult Swim.
This is the big one. Virtually every show that you could possibly be watching, or thinking of watching is either coming or going this month. Big summer hits like 'The Closer,' 'Covert Affairs' and 'True Blood' bid us farewell, while the fall season on the major broadcast networks blasts us with all that's new by the end of the month. Some cable networks are even taking on the big boys directly in the fall with new seasons of hits like 'Sons of Anarchy,' 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' and 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars.'
In anticipation of the big fall premieres coming late next month, most of our favorite summer series reach their season finales. By the end of the month, we'll know the winners of 'The Bachelorette,' 'Hell's Kitchen,' 'So You Think You Can Dance,' and 'Last Comic Standing.' It's also time to say goodbye, for now, to favorites like 'Rescue Me,' 'Royal Pains,' 'Burn Notice,' 'Hot in Cleveland,' 'Friday Night Lights,' and new favorites like 'Huge,' 'The Hard Times of RJ Berger' and 'Memphis Beat.'
It's getting hotter and hotter out there. Thank goodness, TV's got you covered, so there's no need to spend another moment out in it! What could arguably be considered the real summer season begins in earnest in July with the premieres of most of cable television's heavy hitters. 'The Closer' kicks off a new season for TNT on July 12, followed by the return of Angie Harmon in the series premiere of 'Rizzoli & Isles.'
For the uninitiated, an Advent calendar counts down the days from December 1 to Christmas Day. Kids unveil the dates one day at a time, sometimes revealing little presents to enjoy along the way. In Doctor Who's case, fans receive goodies each day until Tennant's final episodes as The Doctor.
But, since an advent calendar is a Christmas tradition, and three people in Oxfordshire objected to showing any preference to a particular holiday, the BBC quit using the term and changed it to "Adventure Calendar."
With all the press coverage given to Michael Jackson, you'd think a special about his life would trample the ratings of all the other networks. Apparently, that isn't the case as an ABC special about the life of Farrah Fawcett won in the ratings against a similar Michael Jackson retrospective on CBS.
I think it likely helped that Barbara Walters hosted the ABC special (which was a 20/20 special and therefore had more name value than a generic special), whereas the special on Jacko was simply a CBS documentary. I'm still amazed at the rapid turnaround time that the networks can produce specials like these. They have turned it into an art.
It is debatable over who was the bigger name, although both were icons on their time. Jackson seems to be getting more coverage because his death was more of a surprise than Farrah's. Either way, Thursday was a hell of a day.
Wow. Busy day in celebrity deaths. First we hear that Farrah Fawcett finally lost her battle to cancer, then suddenly we hear that, after being rushed to a LA hospital in cardiac arrest, Michael Jackson also died. He was only 50, and he was about to embark on a comeback concert stint in London that he hoped would revive his career.
ABC News was already scrambling to move up the Farrah special they had planned to air on 20/20 this coming Friday. That special, where Barbara Walters interviews Ryan O'Neal, will be shown tonight at 10 PM ET. They also just announced that they will be airing an MJ retrospective at 9 PM ET.
Other networks are following suit with their own specials, according to THR.com.
It's interesting how most news outlets aside from Fox didn't confirm MJ's death even though our friends at TMZ had the news first. I guess it wasn't legitimate enough for them. Either way, it's a shockingly sad day in the entertainment biz, no matter what you may have thought of Farrah or Jackson.
One of my favorite series this summer has been Ice Road Truckers on the History Channel. If you haven't seen it, a quick synopsis: truck drivers in northern Canada haul critical supplies hundreds of miles across frozen lakes to diamond mines owned by DeBeers and other corporations.
Ice Road Truckers is the kind of reality show I can dig, because it features real people with an extraordinary occupation. There's some drama, but it's never contrived or played up for the cameras. I stopped watching Dog the Bounty Hunter because I got sick of egregious musical cues dictating when I was supposed to feel something, and Ice Road Truckers is mercifully void of such manipulation. The fact that these men are driving heavy rigs with only a few inches of ice between themselves and the water is dramatic enough.
How are you? That's good. I just wanted to take a moment from your usual reading of sitcom/drama/reality stuff and tell you about some specials and documentaries popping up this month that looked rather interesting to me. I hope you think so, too. Here's what I found:
If you like music, PBS has two specials coming up you might like: Great Performances: We Love Ella! A Tribute to the First Lady of Song, and Paul Simon: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. The Ella special, which features contemporary artists performing songs by iconic jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald, airs tonight at 9:00 p.m. The Paul Simon tribute will air on June 27, also at 9:00 p.m. Simon is the first songwriter to receive the prize, and will be honored during a ceremony featuring several singers, songwriters, and other people of note, including his former collaborator, Art Garfunkel.
ABC recently announced it will be offering news specials from its archives for purchase on iTunes. Customers will be able to pick from the library of ABC News Specials which include a ride-along with gang patrol cops in LA, a behind-the-scenes look at Grey's Anatomy, and a special on UFOs. The first two might be worth checking out, but I'll save all of you $1.99 right now by telling you UFOs aren't real. Don't bother to thank me, I do this out of love. There's also an archive of celebrity interviews, and another selection called "The Day It Happened," which looks at major events in history. It should also be pointed out that ABC does offer free news content through iTunes as well.
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