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August 31, 2015

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Comic-Con turning more TV on

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jun 29th 2009 2:43PM
San Diego Comic ConIt seems like a no-brainer that television and Comic-Con would go together like peanut butter and jelly. But TV has actually been a bit slow to the game and viewed their presence at Comic-Con as something that goes together like peanut butter and regular butter (trust me, I've tried peanut butter and butter, and it's not good).

This year, studios have recognized the importance of the annual geek con-fab and are presenting more shows and panels than ever before. There is going to be more TV at the Con than you can shake a stick at, so don't forgot your shaking sticks.

Why so many? Variety reports that studios and networks are recognizing the buzz they can generate at the convention through electronic social networking and good ol' word-of-mouth by showcasing and premiering exclusive screenings of their shows.

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Steven Wright's Pony on Letterman, top ten favorite lines

by Nick Zaino, posted Jun 5th 2009 11:03AM
Steven Wright - I Have a PonyIf you recognize Steven Wright's material tonight on his Late Show with David Letterman spot, you either have a good memory, or you bought the re-release of Wright's I Have A Pony that hit shelves Tuesday. Wright will be performing material from the CD, which was originally released 24 years ago.

Warner Brothers released this "Deluxe Anniversary Edition," which also includes his first HBO special, A Steven Wright Special (coincidentally, produced by Peter Lassally from Johnny Carson's Tonight Show), as part of its 50th Anniversary celebration.

Wright's material was always off the wall, unlike anything anyone had heard when he first did Carson's Tonight Show in 1982. Some have worked in the same field of quick-fire absurdism that Wright cleared (like Mitch Hedberg and Demetri Martin), but Wright's comedy was never rooted in a particular time, place, or even galaxy, really. Which is why I Have A Pony still sounds fresh today.

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The Tiny Toons episode you weren't supposed to see

by Brad Trechak, posted May 31st 2009 2:02PM
Tiny Toon AdventuresPerhaps some of you are already aware of the existence of this particular gem, but I was surprised to find online a banned episode of Tiny Toon Adventures from the early 90's. In it, Buster Bunny, Plucky Duck and Hamton Pig find a bottle of beer that never goes empty, then proceed to get drunk, steal a cop car, cause general chaos and collectively die by driving said car over a cliff.

I can understand why Warner Brothers and Steven Spielberg may have wanted to stop this one from the airwaves. Despite dying at the end, I think it more highlights the positive values of being drunk, such as the ability to completely break any law you wish without fear of consequences (much as when your favorite sports team wins some sort of championship). Plus, I very much want to find that particular bottle of beer.

You can judge it for yourselves. Video is after the jump.

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It's official: Chuck is saved!

by Kona Gallagher, posted May 17th 2009 9:28PM
ChuckWell it looks like buying all of those $5 footlongs really paid off: Chuck has officially been renewed for a third season. The spy comedy hasn't always gotten the greatest ratings, in no small part because its highly-competitive Monday night timeslot, but fans all over the internet have been pushing hard for its renewal.

There has been a huge outpouring of support on Twitter, where #savechuck has often been a trending topic. Even the show's star, Zachary Levi, has done his part to get Chuck back for another season. In addition to taking to his official blog to plead his case, he even showed up at a Subway (one of Chuck's biggest sponsors) to make sandwiches for fans.

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A thank you to my cable provider (no, I'm serious!) -- VIDEO

by Richard Keller, posted Jan 13th 2009 9:08AM

Bugs Bunny talks up Little Red Riding Hood.Everyone, I need your attention! I am about to do something that rarely pops up in my life and, I'm guessing, in yours as well. It might be a little shocking, so I want to make sure that you're near a chair. Deep breath, here it goes...

I want to thank my cable provider. I'll wait until you can sit down. Need a drink of water? Breath of fresh air?

I'm being serious here! I know that it's rare that someone publicly thanks the utility that sucks their money away and provides little if any variety, but I think this time it's merited. You see, for years now the networks have been lacking a very important series of programs that are important to the proper education of our youth. I speak about Looney Tunes cartoons.

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Steve Carell inks deal with WB

by Brad Trechak, posted Oct 7th 2008 2:05PM
The OfficeThe Office star Steve Carell has inked a first-look deal with the WB. My guess is this was done to sweeten the pot for Carell to appear in a sequel for Get Smart.

Talk about being the "it" man for comedy nowadays. He's in one of television's most successful comedies and is one of the top-tier comedy movie stars. He's even slated to co-star with another television icon, Tina Fey, in an upcoming movie called Date Night.

Carell is so humble about his celebrity, he's even willing to take a ribbing from the creator of The Office, Ricky Gervais at the Emmy Awards. The look on his face while Gervais mocks him is priceless.

I can only be envious of Steve Carell since he's had ties to both Second City and The Daily Show, two of my favorite comedy organizations (what do you call it when one is a comedy troupe and the other is a television show?).

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Live action Scooby Doo coming to TV and DVD

by Brad Trechak, posted Aug 2nd 2008 10:23AM
The Scooby GangJust in case the first two Scooby Doo movies left you with unanswered questions, there is some good news. A third movie is in the works and this one will be direct-to-TV-and-DVD.

The new movie is intended as a prequel and will be called Scooby Doo: In The Beginning. It will star lesser-known actors (and by lesser I mean virtually not known at all) since the original actors have moved on with their careers. It will be about the Scooby Gang solving mysteries together for the first time.

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Marvin The Martian coming to a theater near you

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 1st 2008 3:04PM
Marvin the MartianWhy do I think this is going to be really bad?

Warner Brothers has decided to make a big screen feature based on the Martin The Martin character, the little black and green guy who wanted to destroy Earth and/or Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck in several cartoons. Now, a feature film based on the character wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing, but here's the sentence that sends a shiver down my spine:

Project will blend live action and CGI.*

Ugh. They can't just do a straight animated movie, they have to have some sort of live element that just ruins it? The plot will have Marvin coming to Earth to destroy Christmas, only to get stuck in a box. Producers say the movie will be aimed at families and people who like movies that kinda suck. Of course, I truly hope I'm wrong. Marvin is a great, classic cartoon character.

*Another reason to hate that sentence: the idiotic writing style that Variety uses.

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Batman TV show writer opines on the movies

by Brad Trechak, posted Jul 12th 2008 10:34AM
Batman TV showLorenzo Semple Jr., the pilot writer of the Batman television show of the 1960's (and writer of such movies as Three Days of the Condor), has written an article for Variety sharing his opinion of the Batman movie franchise. In it, he discusses the origins of the Batman TV show.

Semple has a very enjoyable, erudite writing style. Here's an example: "...I am often asked what I think of the string of Batman features which has followed. My answer disappoints. Truth is, I think only rarely about Warner's big-screen charades, for they are related to our antique effort in little beyond the eponymous title."

As one can guess, he doesn't really dig the new franchise. But Bob Kane, Batman's creator, didn't really understand Frank Miller's famous Batman comic book The Dark Knight Returns, so I guess it's a generational thing.

The article is also a good history lesson regarding how the business of television worked at the time. Recommended reading.

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Comic-Con Countdown: Who's coming?

by Richard Keller, posted Jul 4th 2008 2:03PM

TV Squad is heading towards ComicConTo use a well-worn phrase...Good News, Everyone! Your friends over here at TV Squad are heading on out to San Diego during the last week in July to cover one of the bigger, if not biggest, comic book and science fiction conventions on mainland America and the world. I speak, of course, of ComicCon.

From July 24th through July 27th you'll see us with our TV Squad T-Shirts (and underwear -- viewings of those by appointment) as we join the rest of the throngs attending the convention. At some point we may even be doing a bit of Twittering to find out where you are at the convention so you can find us in order to shake our hands (or, in the case of some of our commenters, punch and kick us) and potentially get some free stuff as well.

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Get Smart on the big screen - a movie review

by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 24th 2008 11:41AM
AP Matt Sayles pic of Steve Carell and Anne HathawayI went to see Get Smart the other day. Judging by the box office numbers, I wasn't alone. Of course, I was curious about how one of my favorite TV shows from the '60s would be translated to the big screen. Would it be an inventive retelling in the tradition of The Fugitive, Maverick and The Addam's Family, or would it make me want to weep in horror like the dreadful I Spy, Bewitched, The Wild, Wild West and The Avengers? (And that's only the tip of the awful iceberg).

Would you believe it if I told you Get Smart falls somewhere in between? I could use the line many other reviewers have copped; you know, "The new Get Smart missed it by that much." Yes, well, it's true. Get Smart is not great on the big screen. It's okay. Nothing too shameful, but neither is it that inspired or wickedly built on the premise of the original situation comedy.

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Super Friends: The five silliest plots by the Legion of Doom

by Brad Trechak, posted Jun 17th 2008 2:20PM
The Legion of DoomDo not adjust your web browser. You are now entering the Retro Squad, where we are reviewing past episodes of classic TV shows.

Remember when you were watching Pinky and the Brain and the Brain would think of these abstract, convoluted plots for taking over the world? Or when Scott Evil was pointing out to his father how easy it would be to shoot Austin Powers in the head rather than subject him to some sort of silly trap from which he could escape. I'm convinced they were parodying the Legion of Doom's methodology from the Challenge of the Super Friends which ran from 1978 to 1979 on ABC. Their simple goal was stated in the opening credits: the conquest of the Universe, with a subordinate goal of the destruction of the Super Friends. They failed every time, and I think that's partially due to poor planning.

With that in mind, here are the top five silliest plans from the Legion of Doom to accomplish their goals:

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More Sex and the City movies? Believe it

by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 1st 2008 12:44PM
Sex and the CityJust as the Sex and the City movie is surging to the top of the box office charts -- beating out week two of Indiana Jones -- Michael Patrick King is cashing in on the success. DreamWorks has offered the writer/director/producer of Sex and the City a first-look deal for future film project. And one of those future films could be sequel to the new Sex and the City movie. This may seem unimaginable, but -- come on -- this is Hollywood. If this film does boffo box office, which seems likely based on a $26 million Friday, why wouldn't Warner Bros. and New Line cash in with another episode from the lives of Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte?

According to King, he wasn't thinking of launching the ladies into a film series, especially since they had such a good run on HBO and are still doing well on cable. "I wrote that movie with a beginning, middle and end because I didn't want to leave the audience unfulfilled. The actresses are great, and if the gods smile and people are still interested, why not?"

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David E. Kelley makes a move

by Paul Goebel, posted May 28th 2008 4:44PM

David E. Kelley and the cast of Boston legalAfter more than twenty years at 20th Century Fox TV, Emmy-winning writer-producer David E. Kelley is packing his bags.

One of the longest and most succesful collaborations in television history is coming to an end as Kelley announced that he is entering into a three-year partnership with Warner Bros. TV.

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Get Steve - Carell talks about the new Get Smart movie

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 27th 2008 9:20AM
Carell as SmartLast week, The Office's Steve Carell attended WonderCon 2008, talking about his new movie Get Smart. The picture, which is based on the 1965 NBC (and later CBS) TV series of the same name, will be appearing in theaters around the country on June 20, 2008. While saying that he tried not to channel Don Adams's performance so he could bring something different to the role, in an IESB.net interview with Carell, he said that before he got the part of Maxwell Smart, Agent 86, of CONTROL, both Jim Carrey and Will Ferrell were considered. The film had actually been in development for nearly a decade. Steve recalled going to Warner Brothers for a reading about three years ago. "It was the most surreal moment, because I went in thinking I was just going to audition for a role. I didn't expect them to offer me the part of Maxwell Smart."

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