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September 3, 2015

usa today

Weapons experts call 24's suitcase nuke storyline 'approaching fantasy'

by Meredith O'Brien, posted Mar 13th 2007 3:58PM
Morris O'Brian and Abu Fayed on 24 Several weapons experts told USA Today that a key story line in this season's 24 -- that terrorists have suitcase nuclear weapons -- is, as one arms control expert said, "so highly unlikely as to be approaching fantasy."

Despite pouring cold water all over a pivotal 24 plot point, they said there's more of a danger posed by the potential release of dirty bombs, adding that there have been legitimate concerns expressed about the custody of post-Soviet era nuclear materials that could be used in dirty bombs.

This season's 24 features a former Russian general, with access to Russian suitcase nukes that were slated for decommissioning, working with Islamic terrorists to detonate the weapons in the United States. A spokesman from a California-based non-proliferation studies center said of such a scenario, "God forbid it happens. But no, it's not very likely."

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24's Morris 'Drill Bit' O'Brian on his torture scene

by Meredith O'Brien, posted Feb 20th 2007 3:06PM

Morris O'Brian on 24Carlo Rota, who plays 24's Morris O'Brian, told USA Today that having his character cave in to terrorist demands to re-program a trigger for three suitcase nuclear bombs after he was tortured via a power drill was the right call.

"If he hadn't have caved, he would be setting himself up to be the super-individual he's not," Rota told the newspaper.

He said that the after-effects of his torture -- and the small fact that he armed nukes for terrorists -- will emotionally hobble Mr. Chloe, as clearly evidenced by the most recent episode. If Morris can pass up the whiskey in lieu of some Red Bull and smokes, he just might be okay.

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Target, Kohl's stop sales of Price Is Right-inspired game

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 11th 2007 8:29PM

PlinkoI have to admit that when I heard the name of this board game, I laughed.

Both Target and Kohl's have pulled Drinko off of their shelves. If you haven't already guessed, Drinko is the booze version of the classic Price Is Right game Plinko (the one where the contestant drops giant chips down a board and it bounces around and lands in a dollar amount). They've been getting a lot of complaints from various groups that say the game promotes binge drinking.

This isn't the only board game with the drinking theme. Other games include Shots and Ladders and Keg Pong.

This could inspire a PIR drinking game itself. Maybe taking a shot every time Bob Barker doesn't hear what a contestant says? Or maybe a shot when a contestant does something stupid? Nah, you won't last too long.

[via Obscure Store]

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Straight male couples are all the TV rage

by Joel Keller, posted Oct 27th 2006 6:04PM
Willaim Shatner and James SpaderYesterday, an article in USA Today talked about what appears to be a new TV trend: the portrayal of sensitive male buddies who talk about their hopes and fears and (gasp) their feelings. Riffing off a silly New York Times article from 2005 about "man dates," USAT talks to relationship experts and psychologists about why these new "couples" exist.

In the process, they examine pairs like William Shatner and James Spader from Boston Legal, Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford from Studio 60, Julian McMahon and Dylan Walsh from Nip/Tuck, among others. They even include Michael Scott (Steve Carell) and his search for a male friend on The Office in this article as evidence of this "trend."

There are two little flaws with this article, though, which I'll mention after the jump.

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Studio 60 needs a makeover, according to Robert Bianco

by Richard Keller, posted Oct 23rd 2006 2:50PM

Matthew Perry and Amanda Peet of Studio 60I thought it was just me.

I've tried to get into Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip like I did with Aaron Sorkin's two other network creations . . . The West Wing and Sports Night. I wanted to like Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford in their roles as the saviors of a long-running, comedy sketch show. I really did. But, there's just something missing; a last piece of the puzzle that would make this show very enjoyable. However, I thought I was the only one who felt that way.

Fortunately, I'm not. Not only do many of you feel the same way, but we also have Robert Bianco, USA Today's television critic, in our court as well.

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Sidekicks and Supernova: Entertainment Weekly in 60 seconds

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 15th 2006 7:23PM
  • Batman and RobinEW picks the 50 Best Sidekicks of All-Time. Ed McMahon is number 1, but I know people are going to think there are some choics left off this list.
  • Gary Susman just doesn't understand some of the contestants on Rock Star: Supernova.
  • What TV show music makes you want to tune in?
  • New DVDs: The Ellen Show gets a B+, while the first season of Weeds gets the same. The Adventures of Brisco County set gets an A- (review not online).
  • And the EW PopWatch blog has a few things to say about Retro Crush's list of the 30 Best Game Show Hosts of All-Time. Me too. Sorry, Gene Rayburn should probably be on the list, but not #1, and Bill Cullen should be higher than 7.

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Kyle XY breaks ABC Family record

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 2nd 2006 9:21AM

Kyle XYThat new show Kyle XY - which sounds a lot like John Doe, only for teens - set a record for ABC Family last week. 2.6 million viewers tuned into the debut episode.

This USA Today article lists all the shows, like Kyle XY, that are getting some airtime on the the bigger networks that are owned by the same company. This show was on ABC this weekend, and of course we've seen both Queer Eye and Battlestar Galactica on NBC (over from Bravo and The Sci-Fi Channel).

I'd like to see this continue. What cable shows would you like to see on the big networks so they get more exposure?

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People are still talking about Colbert

by Joel Keller, posted May 4th 2006 6:31PM
Colbert at the Correspondents' DinnerAre you sick of reading the analysis of Stephen Colbert's performance at the White House Correspondents' Dinner yet? I am. I mean, I haven't seen something so inconsequential polarize so many people since "Clay vs. Ruben". It seems like most of the analysts fall into two camps: either Colbert is a patriot and a hero for mocking the Bush administration and the media right to their uncomfortable little faces, or he was a blowhard that just wasn't funny, no matter who he was skewering. USA Today recaps the latest columnists to weigh in on the matter.

Really, folks, it was a glorified stand-up routine. It's almost a week already; it's time for us to move on.

[Photo: Mandel Nagan/Getty Images]

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The fans want their Scrubs for next season

by Richard Keller, posted May 3rd 2006 5:43PM

Fans want their Scrubs back for next yearIt's that time of year again, folks! Yep, some of your favorite shows are on the cancellation bubble and you can vote on which ones you'd like to see next fall and ones that should go far, far away. It's an annual tradition that sometimes predicts what shows will be renewed and which shows won't. So far you want your Scrubs.

In fact, according to the ninth annual USA Today 'Save Our Shows' survey (say that five times fast) a whopping 61 percent of you would like to see the NBC comedy renewed for a sixth season. Only fourteen percent of you want to see the show die a quick death. Scrubs is a good bet to be renewed for the fall, as long as the network is willing to pony up the increased dough to the show's production company,  Touchstone Television. If NBC doesn't renew the program there is an equally good chance that Touchstone's sibling ABC (both are owned by Disney) would pick up the show.

Six more shows on the USA Today survey have more supporters than detractors: Veronica Mars (UPN), Commander in Chief (ABC), Everwood (WB), Invasion (ABC), Reba (WB) and The King of Queens (CBS). After ABC shelved Commander in Chief this week, there is a good chance that it will not be renewed; Kevin James, the star of The King of Queens, wants a bigger paycheck for the new season; and Veronica Mars and Reba are vying for spots on the new CW network, which will be a combination of the WB and UPN.

What shows have the least amount of supporters? FOX's one-camera comedies The Loop and Free Ride and UPN's Half and Half  and One on One.


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Things I Hate About TV: Sara Rue gets skinny

by Joel Keller, posted May 3rd 2006 5:24PM
Which Sara rue is cuter?
I was watching Less Than Perfect last night (yes, it's back on ABC... yes, I thought it was cancelled, too), and the first thing I noticed was that Sara Rue had lost weight. A LOT of weight. Not that this is the first time I've seen the skinny Sara (I think I saw her skinny self on an episode of Ellen or something), but I had forgotten just how much she had slimmed down since her sitcom started four years ago.

But here's the thing: I don't understand why she had to lose the weight to begin with.

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And the circle is complete: a blog entry about a story about TV shows that blog

by Joel Keller, posted Apr 5th 2006 6:31PM
Jenna Fischer of The OfficeInteresting article in USA Today; it examines how TV shows are using blogs, some fictional, some not, to lure in new viewers and retain current ones. The article cites blogs from shows whose blogging reputations are well known (The Office, Grey's Anatomy) to shows you'd never expect to have blogs (Crossing Jordan? NCIS?).

One of the links is to Jenna Fischer's MySpace page. This one's interesting; even though the front page for The Office star's page looks like it was written by her character, Pam Beasley, the blog within is written by Jenna from her perspective. So it's a weird blend of character and actor that I actually find more interesting that blogs written by fictional characters, like the one Rainn Wilson writes in the voice of Dwight Schrute.

Oh, and in the section of the article that mentions the "explosion" of TV blogs, they speak to Sherri Lonon, a writer for a blog called teevblogger.com, which I've admittedly never heard of until now. While Sherri gave some nice insights, I think they would have gotten some nice quotes if they came to us here at TVS (especially if they talked to Adam or Bob). Your, loss, USA Today... your loss!

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She's baaaack! - NOT!

by Anna Johns, posted Feb 14th 2006 8:03AM
Hey! Don't kill the messenger. I had it on good authority (USA Today) that Elisha Cuthbert would be back on 24 on Monday night. And, in case they change their story, here's the original quote: "It's official. The magnet of mishaps is returning to 24 tonight. Though actress Elisha Cuthbert took a season off to star in big screen flicks (House of Wax, The Girl Next Door), her character, Kim, will be back to complicate matters for her dad, Jack Bauer." The story printed February 13, 2006.

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George Takei on Howard Stern, new Trek, and working with Shatner

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 25th 2006 7:20PM
Oh My!  It's George Takei!Words cannot express how much I enjoy George Takei. He's just so... out there, in both an ironic and unironic way, that you can't help but appreciate the career he's carved out for himself. From his deep, back-of -the-throat voice with the slight aristocratic Asian affect -- I can't go a day without saying his signature line, "Oh, my." -- to his halting, gasping laugh, Takei (pronounced ta-KAY, because, as he says, "the other way, ta-KEYE, means 'expensive'".) is equally a character and a caricature. To top everything off, he has no problem laughing at himself, which probably comes from the stress of growing up in an internment camp, coming out of the closet, and working closely with Bill Shatner. He just simply amuses the shit out of me.

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Joss Whedon looks forward to 2006

by Anna Johns, posted Dec 28th 2005 7:19PM
Whitney Matheson over at the Pop Candy blog on USA Today has an interview with Joss Whedon, who ranks No. 13 on her list of Top 100 Entertainers of 2005. Personally, I'd put Whedon at #2 (I'm still a bit peeved about a certain character who was killed off in Serenity) and I'd put Steve Carell at #1. But, I digress. The interview clears up the Entertainment Weekly article that mis-represented Whedon's feelings about Serenity and Firefly. He doesn't directly reference the EW story, possibly because he did the Pop Candy interview before the article printed, but he does say that he'd love to do more with the crew of the Firefly and, he says, huge DVD sales may help him get two more movies made. I know I did my part for him this Christmas. He also talks about what he'll be doing in 2006: writing Wonder Woman, creating a new Buffy comic, and pushing very hard for that Spike film we've all been hearing so much about. It's a good interview that didn't really tell me a whole lot that I didn't already know, but it's nice to hear from him.

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A big year for Paula Deen

by Anna Johns, posted Dec 23rd 2005 10:07AM
My big year for Paula Deen was 2001, when I lived in Savannah, GA and discovered the Lady and Sons buffet on Congress Street complete with fried chicken, mashed potatoes, hoe cakes, cheesy biscuits, and banana pudding. During one trip up to the buffet, I actually spotted Paula Deen at a table and I went right up to her and told her how much I loved her food. She said she loved it too and that she could never seem to order off the menu because the buffet was so darn good. I loved her for talking to me with her sweet Southern drawl and I loved her for teaching me how to make mashed potatoes that my husband once proclaimed were better than his mother's! I think that sweet personality is what is so appealing to all the Americans who tune into her show and specials on Food Network. Sure, the food she cooks is shockingly fattening, but it's the company we seek, isn't it? Although, I did laugh when another blogger launched the Paula Deen Coronary Watch. Still, there's no doubt that 2005 was Paula Deen's year. Not only did Paula's Home Cooking get very popular, she also got a supporting role in a Cameron Crowe movie, Elizabethtown, starring Orlando Bloom!

Paula is rightfully listed on Pop Candy's list of Top 100 Entertainers of 2005, and there's even an interview with her over on the site. She, of course, is very grateful for her success and hints that she plans to launch a line of kitchen tools or dishes or something in 2006.

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