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October 21, 2014

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TV's Smartest Detectives

by AOL TV Staff, posted Nov 28th 2011 10:00AM
Magnum P.I.Ready to sharpen your armchair detective skills?

TNT is kicking off a new Mystery Movie Night, starting with Scott Turow's 'Innocent' (premieres Tues., Nov. 29, 9PM ET), starring Bill Pullman as a man charged with murdering his wife, played by Marcia Gay Harden, and Alfred Molina as his defense attorney. In honor of this series of best-selling whodunit stories brought to the small screen, we rounded up the smartest detectives in TV history.

From an OCD gumshoe-for-hire to a no-nonsense Scotland Yard sleuth, a sassy high-school snoop and a P.I. with facial hair as famous as he was, check out our gallery of the top 20 smartest TV detectives of all time.

Do your keen powers of perception tell you we've missed someone? Add your own favorites in the comments.

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'Chuck' Casts 'The Office' Vet, T.I. Gets a Reality Show and More TV Casting News

by Jean Bentley, posted Aug 31st 2011 7:00PM
David Koechner'Chuck' is going out with a bang.

While AOL TV brought to you exclusively last night that 'Community' star Danny Pudi will guest star on an episode of the NBC hit's final season, TVLine is reporting that 'Chuck' is adding a few more famous faces.

David Koechner, also known as 'The Office''s Packer, will guest star as a Buy More manager named Crazy Bob during a company convention that Chuck and Sarah attend. 'The Shield' star Catherine Dent will also hit up the convention as one of Bob's close friends.

'Chuck' returns to NBC Oct. 21 in its new Friday at 8PM ET time slot.

In other TV casting news ...

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Who the (Bleep) Did They Marry? TV Husbands With Double Lives

by Maggie Furlong, posted Jul 6th 2011 1:00PM
If you've ever wondered about your significant other's side dealings, well, you're not alone. There are plenty of examples of lying, cheating, law-breaking husbands in the news, and there are even more secretive spouses on TV.

'Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry?' (Season 2 premieres Wed., July 13, 10PM ET on Investigation Discovery) looks at the very worst kind of misrepresentation: those husbands who do double-duty as thieves, spies and even serial killers.

Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry?

We decided to round up some fictional better halves that turn out to be worse -- much worse -- than anyone could've ever imagined. From a meth dealer to a very dirty cop and even a real-life reporter tasked with exposing wrong-doings caught in his own expose, here are just a few TV husbands leading double lives.

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'The Chicago Code' Series Premiere Recap

by Piet Levy, posted Feb 8th 2011 6:45AM
'The Chicaog Code' S01/E01['The Chicago Code' - 'Pilot']

If you did an inventory of the top creative minds that ushered in The Golden Age of Television, Shawn Ryan would have to be on the top of that list. Ryan's gritty, provocative cop show 'The Shield,' featuring Michael Chiklis as one of the TV's greatest all-time antiheroes, was the first basic cable drama to showcase the kind of cinematic urgency we'd come to expect from movies and HBO. Now we expect nothing less from FX, the network that brought 'The Shield' into our living rooms.

One can expect less, however, from FOX, the network airing Ryan's return to the cop drama, 'The Chicago Code'. It's not that FOX hasn't shown its fair share of solid dramas, it's just that a show on a broadcast network can't explore as many nuanced, dark themes, or get away with as much, as a cable network like FX.

In its first hour, 'Code' wasn't as revelatory as 'The Shield.' But it's definitely ambitious, keen on addressing corruption on top of the standard chases, gun play, detective work and bursts of tough guy bravado. And, as a Chicago guy, it's great to watch a show about Chicago that was actually shot there.

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'Talking TV' Podcast With Writer/Producer Shawn Ryan ('Terriers,' 'Ride-Along,' 'The Shield')

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 27th 2010 6:30PM
This week, Ryan McGee and I are extremely pleased to bring you a special edition of the 'Talking TV with Ryan & Ryan' podcast. It's more accurate to call it 'Talking TV with Ryan & Ryan & Ryan' because Shawn Ryan, executive producer of FX's very enjoyable 'Terriers' and the mid-season Fox drama 'Ride-Along,' joined us for the hourlong chat.

Ryan, who created the landmark FX drama 'The Shield' and has also worked on 'The Unit,' 'Lie to Me,' 'Angel' and 'Nash Bridges,' gave us insight into the creative processes behind his past, current and upcoming shows, and talked about the general challenges of creating quality television (yes, Fox's struggling drama 'Lone Star' did come up).

My favorite part of the podcast is his thought-provoking list of 'Five Things That Bother Showrunners.' I can pretty much guarantee that some things on that list will take you by surprise.

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TV's Top 10 Cheaters

by Jane Murphy, posted Sep 27th 2010 2:30PM
Love makes the world go 'round, but there's nothing like infidelity to drive story.

These memorable TV characters, from shows of the '80s, '90s, '00s and present -- very married or allegedly monogamous -- broke their vows in most spectacular fashion.

Heroes, anti-heroes and villains, they have one very naughty thing in common -- two-timing.

Roger and Joan, 'Mad Men.' Mr. Sterling and Mrs. Harris have elbowed now-divorced Don aside as the show's super-cheaters. Fans wanted Roger (John Slattery) and Joan (Christina Hendricks) to forget their spouses and reunite – so why do we feel so queasy after last weeks post-mugging tryst (and resulting pregnancy)?

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Miss 'The Shield'? Watch Tonight's 'Lie to Me'

by Jason Hughes, posted Aug 16th 2010 4:20PM
'Lie to Me' - 'Pied Piper'Shawn Ryan may have stepped down as showrunner for the upcoming third season of 'Lie to Me' on FOX, but the executive producer still has a trick up his sleeve before he leaves. In tonight's episode, fans of Ryan's 'The Shield' can look forward to guest spots from five -- yes, five -- 'Shield' alums, according to TV Guide.

The episode centers around a married couple, played by Catherine Dent and Benito Martinez, who connect with Lightman and Zoe at the execution of the man accused of killing their son 17 years earlier -- only Lightman isn't so sure they're watching the right man die. That's when Ryan got to pull in some of his other friends. The trail leads to the executed man's brother (David Rees Snell) and ex-girlfriend (Cathy Cahlin Ryan), and ultimately to a photographer (Kenny Johnson).

Martinez said of the experience, "We found a whole new, completely different vocabulary and relationship that was organic to these characters. What was instant was our trust for each other."

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Walton Goggins Talks About the 'Justified' Season Finale, 'The Shield' Series Finale and Being a Lovable 'Predator'

by Kim Potts, posted Jun 8th 2010 5:15PM
Walt Goggins, Justified'Justified' has unfolded in a nice, slow manner throughout its first season, but tonight's season finale (10PM ET) of FX's latest hit offers a big payoff for fans, with action and character revelations that make for a satisfying capper and new developments that will have you wishing season 2 was starting next week.

At the center of it all: 'The Shield' alum Walton Goggins as Boyd Crowder, the complicated Kentuckian who started off the series as a swastika-ed white supremacist, but, thanks to a near-death experience (and some Emmy-worthy acting by Goggins), has turned into one of the most compelling characters in primetime, and, yes, one you can't help but like, or at the very least, be completely fascinated by.

Goggins, who's already been bumped to series regular for the show's second season, called TV Squad from Los Angeles to talk about how he almost turned down the role of Boyd, how he helped saved the character's life -- literally -- in the pilot, how he felt about the way the storyline wrapped for his other complex TV alter ego, Shane Vendrell, and how he's going to make movie fans fall for his death-row inmate character in 'Predators,' the Robert Rodriguez-produced big-screen 'Predator' sequel.

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'Justified' - 'The Collection' Recap

by Danny Gallagher, posted Apr 21st 2010 10:29AM
(S01E06) "In the words of St. Francis, 'It is only by forgiving that we ourselves are forgiven.'" - Boyd to Raylan upon hearing that Raylen doesn't want to know about his father's misdeeds. "Ain't he the one with the birds?" - Raylan

I've been waiting with eager anticipation for Walton Goggin's character, the reformed bigot Boyd Crowder, to saunter back into Raylan Givens' field of view since the very first episode.

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'Justified' Rocks Ratings with Premiere Episode

by Danny Gallagher, posted Mar 18th 2010 8:30PM
Timothy Olyphant of FX's The premiere episode of FX's 'Justified' was a lot of fun to watch and apparently, I wasn't the only one who thought so.

Tuesday's episode, titled "Fire in the Hole" after the Elmore Leonard novella upon which the series is based, scored 4.2 million sets of eyeballs, the network's second highest rating since the premiere of 'The Shield.'

Naturally, the show scored more older than younger viewers, but my gut tells me that could change once word spreads about the type of show it is and the quality it can produce. Sure it's a pseudo-western, but it has a very updated and edgy feel. It's fun for the whole family, if your family is one of those weird groups that lets their kids watch anything whether it's an edgy Western drama or late night Cinemax.

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Big Shot TV Producers Aren't Straying From Familiar Territory, And Why Not?

by Danny Gallagher, posted Feb 8th 2010 7:00PM
If you're one of the fortunate few who make it big in the television biz, shouldn't you take the opportunity to use that cushy cushion you have built for yourself and take a big risk on something exciting and new? Not if you're one of these big television producers.

Big shots like Shawn Ryan, David E. Kelley, and Shonda Rhimes all have pilots in the can that don't seem to stray much farther from the shows that made them the big shots that they are today.

For instance, Ryan, creator of the groundbreaking FX cop drama 'The Shield,' has another cop drama premiering with Fox called 'Ridealong.' Kelley, the writer/producer behind 'The Practice' and 'Boston Legal,' has created a reality drama for NBC called 'Kindred.' Even Rhimes, the woman behind ABC's 'Grey's Anatomy,' has another medical drama show for ABC called 'Off the Map.' Is ABC looking to create an all-medical soap opera cable channel in the coming year?

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Michael Chiklis Joins ABC 'Family'

by Laura Prudom, posted Feb 8th 2010 11:15AM
Michael ChiklisMichael Chiklis is no stranger to superpowers, but thanks to a new pilot from ABC, he'll be able to flex his heroic muscle without layers of orange make-up.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Chiklis has been tapped to star in 'No Ordinary Family,' a drama pilot from Greg Berlanti that centers around an American family whose members all have special abilities. (Think a live-action version of 'The Incredibles.') Chiklis will play the family patriarch.

Aside from acquiring his superhero chops as The Thing in the 'Fantastic Four' franchise, Chiklis also gained recognition for his role as badass Detective Vic Mackey on the FX drama 'The Shield,' a role that won him an Emmy in 2002. He'll next co-star in the indie feature 'High School,' which premiered at this year's Sundance and stars Colin Hanks..

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Fox Orders Cop Pilot From Shawn Ryan

by Gary Susman, posted Jan 6th 2010 11:15AM
Look for another gritty crime drama this fall from Shawn Ryan, the man behind 'The Shield' and 'Lie to Me.'

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fox has agreed to a pilot for Ryan's new series, 'Ridealong.' Like Ryan's other popular dramas, 'Ridealong' would center around a charismatic maverick, in this case, a Polish-American Chicago cop, one of the city's toughest.

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Best TV of the '00s: Dramatic Actress

by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 1st 2010 11:02AM
allison_janney_west_wingMore of our best of the decade coverage, which started on Tuesday. You can read the other posts at the link above. Here, we talk about the best dramatic actresses of the decade.

Television has always been good to the ladies. Actresses have flourished in dramatic series, and in the past decade, we've seen some amazing performances. There have been lawyers, cops, a U.S. president, nurses, doctors, judges, mothers, daughters and even a real housewife from New Jersey whose husband was in the waste disposal business.

Many of these women have already been honored with Emmys and Golden Globes... and now they get the recognition of TV Squad.

Here, then, without further vamping, the best dramatic actresses of the past ten years:

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Best TV of the '00s: Dramatic Actor

by Jane Boursaw, posted Dec 30th 2009 11:06AM
Bryan Cranston, Breaking BadMore of our best of the decade coverage, which started on Tuesday. You can read the other posts at the link above. Here, we talk about the best dramatic actors of the decade. And, boy, was it a tough choice.

From a meth-making chemistry teacher to a damaged 1960s ad exec, the guys populating the dramatic actor category in our best of the decade are nothing short of brilliant.

It's hard to choose favorites when you're dealing with the likes of Jon Hamm, Bryan Cranston, Mark Harmon, James Gandolfini, and many others, but the TV Squad team has spoken.

Did your favorites make our list? If not, feel free to add them in the comments below.

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