Jerry Seinfeld is headed back to series television for the first time since his eponymous sitcom went off the air in 1998. This time around, instead of exploring the excruciating minutiae of single life, he'll explore the trials and tribulations of wedlock in 'The Marriage Ref.'
In other news, Fox has renewed 'The Simpsons' for another two seasons, the cast of 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' is reuniting for an ep of 'Family Guy,' and the new 'Melrose Place' has its first resident.
See more of today's TV headlines, casting scoops and premiere dates after the jump.
Frakes directed tonight's episode of Leverage, TNT's hit heist drama starring Timothy Hutton. The episode is a Star Trek reunion of sorts with Frakes behind the camera and his former Star Trek co-stars Brent Spiner (Data from TNG) and Armin Shimerman (Quark from Deep Space Nine) guest starring.
I spoke to Frakes by phone for a few minutes this week and, somehow, I was able to hold back from asking him a million geeky Star Trek questions. (Now I'll never know if "Tom" Riker ever escaped from the Cardassians!) We discussed his love for Leverage, his friendships with his former cast mates, and the possible return of "Number One" Will Riker.
But this isn't any old list – our Top 40 TV Shows of the '90s is just the first in a new series of countdowns in which we'll put our AOL Television seal of approval on the top 40 series of every decade.
Every other month we'll tackle another decade, going all the way back to the '50s, to recall the best comedies (hello 'Lucy'), the best prime-time soaps (do you remember who shot JR?), the best cop shows, animated series and groundbreaking TV shows.
So kick off 50 years of silver-screen bests with the greatest shows of the '90s, including everyone from 'Beavis,' 'Buffy' and 'Simpsons' to 'Freaks and Geeks' and teens on the 'Creek.'
Reason #2: Because it might star Marina Sirtis (Star Trek: TNG's Counselor Troi) and Luke Goss (the pastey prince from Hellboy II).
Reason #3: Because TV could use more evil mohawk-sporting, Fine Young Cannibal-rockin' punks and medieval mad scientists.
Am I wrong?
Last week another terrific cable drama, The Shield, took its final bow in a series finale that still has fans talking. The talk is mostly about the last three minutes, which featured Vic Mackey's silent contemplation of the life he now leads after losing his friends, family and, some say, his freedom. Right before the screen went dark we saw Vic stride out of the cubicle that is now his home -- unsure of what his fate would be from now on.
Some fans of the series were unhappy with this ending, saying that there was no closure to the life that Vic had led over the last seven seasons. Some hearken the ending to the now-famous series finale of The Sopranos, which featured several seconds of nothingness before the credits rolled. This concept of not giving finality to a series finale is a new one for viewers to grasp onto. But, when you look at it further, it makes complete sense. Why should the lives of our favorite characters come to a complete ending when our own lives don't?
This week's letter comes from a fan named Jim Rodrigues.
"I just saw an episode I've never seen before! This was rare indeed. It involved the crew of the Enterprise devolving into different creatures. Barkley became a spider. Captain Picard was becoming a lemur. Warf (sic) was biting amphibian Troi. It was my favorite episode other than one of the best T.V. episodes ever, "Cause and Effect." I was wondering if this "monsters running around" episode was released for Halloween? It would be the perfect October 31st episode. If someone knows the title and the date of release, I surely would appreciate it."
(S04E13) 'Wait, what are the other numbers?' -- Teyla
'42.' -- Sheppard
'What is that?' -- Teyla
'It's the ultimate answer to the great question of life, universe and everything.' -- Sheppard
I seem to be getting the episodes of Stargate Atlantis to review that remind me of episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. This week's episode, in which various members of the Atlantis team are trapped in different parts of the city after a false quarantine is declared, reminded me very much of the TNG episode 'Disaster', in which the crew members of the Enterprise are trapped in different parts of the ship after being struck by a quantum filament.
I was lucky enough to recently get a look at what this new DVD set. Is it really better to have the entire series in an all-in-one case? Are the bonus features worth the price itself? Well, I'll tell you my thoughts, at least. (See here for a gallery of packaging images.)
Are you a Captain Kirk fan or a Captain Picard fan? On one hand you have toupees and overacting and awesome songs, and on the other hand you have a calm, tea-drinking guy who pulls at his shirt all the time. I lean more toward Picard, but I often find that punching an alien instead of talking to him and sleeping with various female life forms gets the job done too.
In honor of Star Trek: The Next Generation's 20th anniversary,* Marty Beckerman makes a case for Jean-Luc Picard as President of the U.S. in this Huffington Post piece. More specifically, he compares the leadership qualities of the Enterprise captain with the leadership qualities of our current President.
It's a great piece, even if you're not a
Trekkie geek virgin Star Trek aficionado.
* God I'm old.
Don't ask me why, but someone has compiled a video consisting of the final ten seconds of every episode of the first season of Star Trek: the Next Generation.
Now many of you may know this, but almost every episode ended with someone saying, "bite me, suck-face!" and giving the finger directly into the camera. I know, it's weird. I never quite understood it myself. It's one of those TV catchphrases that never quite caught on.
Seriously, though, if you're a fan of The Next Generation, this is a pretty cool tribute, as each episode doesn't end with a definite conclusion, but with another step toward more adventure.
Original Air Date: September 28, 1987
Written By: D.C. Fontana and Gene Roddenberry
Directed by: Corey Allen
Synopsis: When we last left our heroes, the Enterprise had just entered orbit around planet Deneb IV, so that's a pretty good place to pick up the action, as an Excelsior class ship (in this case the USS Hood) pulls away from the Enterprise, giving us a sense of just how goddamn big this spaceship is. It's a cool shot -- so cool, in fact, we reused it about 900 times over the duration of the series, with different planets (or no planet at all) put into the background.
Picard walks onto the bridge, and before he can find out the Hood's reply to his taunt bon voyage, mon ami (which loosely translates into "suck my balls, assmaster" in 24th century starship captain slang), Q appears on the main viewscreen. Worf leaps to his feet, propelled by his Klingon instincts, and draws his phaser. Luckily, before he can fire, Picard (and the entire audience) point out that all he's going to do there is blast a hole in the main viewscreen. (It is at this very moment that the Big Dumb Stupid Old Worf drinking game is born, one of the only Star Trek drinking games to span two series and at least four movies.) Q gives Picard 24 hours to have his Encounter at Farpoint, or be summarily judged by Captain Q's Kangaroo Court, where he faces death beneath an avalanche of ping pong balls.
Eleven of the 24 hours pass, and we find Riker and Picard getting ready to head down to the planet to meet Groppler Zorn, and have some of those tasty-but-mysterious apples Riker keeps ranting about. Picard then introduces Riker to the ship's counselor. As she walks down toward them, she projects some of her thoughts into Riker's mind, and calls him "Imzadi," which is Betazoid for "Backstory red herring that never really goes anywhere for seven years but finally pays off (sort of) in the last movie when Riker gets Worf's sloppy seconds, but let's not go there because 'ew gross.'"
They all head into the turbolift, and Picard says, "Hey, I think it's great that you guys know each other, because it's important for my key officers to know each other's abilities." Troi says, "We do, sir," and Riker and Picard subtly high-five each other as the turbolift doors close.
Original Air Date: September 28, 1987
Written By: D.C. Fontana and Gene Roddenberry
Directed by: Corey Allen
Synopsis: The Enterprise, which is huge and beautiful and majestic, cruises through space toward the camera, and Trekkies who have waited since the 60s to have new Star Trek on television let out a mighty cheer. The camera zooms in on a darkened window, where her captain -- the second bald man to command a starship called Enterprise -- steps out of the shadows and gazes at the stars. In voice over, the captain, Picard, says that they're heading out to "the unexplored mass of the galaxy."
Picard heads out on a tour of this spiffy new Galaxy Class starship, through engineering and up on the bridge, while he tells his log (and the now tearfully celebrating Trekkies) that the ship is huge, isn't entirely filled with crew just yet, and is on its way to Farpoint Station, where they'll pick up their new first officer and absolutely nothing else of interest will happen.
Wait. Of course something interesting will happen! They're supposed to solve the mystery of Farpoint, but before the ship can even reach its mysterious destination, a more pressing mystery presents itself: the mystery of the giant mysterious CGI net that the ship can't pass . . . mysteriously.
Original Air Date: October 5, 1987
Written By: John D.F Black and j. Michael Bingham
Directed by: Paul Lynch
Synopsis: The Enterprise is on her way to rendezvous with a science vessel called Tsiolkovsky. Tsiolkovsky is collecting data from a supergiant star, which is about to collapse into a white dwarf.
When the Enterprise arrives, the crew discovers that something isn't right on board the Tsiolkovsky, as a woman's voice broadcasts from the ship, "Well, hello, Enterprise, welcome. I hope you have a lot of pretty boys on board, because I'm willing and waiting. In fact, we're having a real blowout here."
A real blowout indeed! The crew hears that great big sucking sound Ross Perot will mention years later during the NAFTA debate, but it takes the crewmembers out into space, instead of jobs out of America.
Geordi, Tasha, Riker and Data make a quick trip to the Tsiolkovsky, where they confirm that the crew had a sexy party which ended with all of them in various stages of undress and death. Geordi examines a sonic shower, and a frozen woman falls into his arms. Geordi doesn't know it, but he's just been infected with the Tsiolokovsky disease. He also doesn't know it, but this is the closest he'll get to holding a woman until season three. Unfortunately, when he finally does, she'll be just as frigid.
When they return to the Enterprise, Geordi is clearly in Bat Country, and while Doctor Crusher tries to figure out what the hell is wrong with him, he begins to spread the infection around the ship.