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September 2, 2015

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More Studio 60 episodes ordered

by Julia Ward, posted Nov 9th 2006 3:54PM
Studio 60 at the Sunset StripGood news for Studio 60 fans. Despite persistent rumors of the show's forthcoming cancellation by NBC, a "back nine" has been ordered - meaning that nine more episodes will be produced to finish out the season. Whether the show makes it past a first season remains to be seen, but it will be given a shot to build an audience.

While I appreciate a literate show and Mr. Sorkin's banterfests, I think a handful of problems persist over at Studio 60. Starting with, does anyone really care about the Harriet-Matt relationship? I'd much rather see "Josh Lyman" and "the guy from Friends" at the core of the show. They've got better chemistry, and the show is much more fun when they're on the screen together.

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What baby boomers learned from TV

by Julia Ward, posted Nov 7th 2006 11:01AM
All in the FamilyNewsweek's November 13th issue features a story on what television taught baby boomers. Apparently, it first taught them how to buy a Davy Crockett cap and shotgun. Then, however, things got more complicated. All in the Family. M*A*S*H. Good Times. The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Roots. "What boomers ultimately took from early TV was a collective sense of irony." The article isn't entirely convincing in this argument, but it does level a pointed criticism about television today.

Modern TV, according to Newsweek, has lost its edge. "The most popular shows are still crime procedurals (CSI) or soaps (Grey's Anatomy) - slick and sexy, but not about much. The reality shows American Idol and Dancing with the Stars are so retro, they're practically The Lawrence Welk Show. When The Unit or 24 does dare to focus on something like the war on terror, their take is uncritically gung-ho - no network today would risk satire on the level of M*A*S*H."

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New TV on DVD releases today

by Bob Sassone, posted Nov 7th 2006 8:44AM
  • Police SquadArk II - Complete Series
  • Beverly Hills, 90210 - Season 1
  • Doctor Who - The Hand of Fear and The Mark of the Rani
  • The Electric Company - Best of Vol. 2
  • Grosse Pointe - Complete Series
  • Grounded For Life - Season 4
  • Inside the Actors Studio - Dave Chappelle and Icons
  • JAG - Season 2
  • M*A*S*H* - Season 11 and Martinis and Medicine set
  • Melrose Place - Season 1
  • Police Squad! - Complete Series
  • The Sopranos - Season 6, Part 1
  • Ultraman - Vol. 2
  • The West Wing - Season 7 and Complete Series set

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Aaron Sorkin visits the Dental Hygienist

by Julia Ward, posted Nov 3rd 2006 6:28PM
Aaron SorkinYou can always count on McSweeney's to bring the verbose, witty goods.

In the past few weeks, we've had "Johnny Knoxville's Letters to His Brother" and "Ten Reasons Why You, Audrey Tautou, Gamine French Star of Amelie, Should Date Me, Teddy Wayne." Yesterday brought a real gem, however, in the form of "Aaron Sorkin Visits a Dental Hygienist."

Giving Ken Levine's "If Aaron Sorkin wrote a show about baseball..." post a run for its money, author Jack Pendarvis unpacks the Sorkin banter tactics with an extended Poulenc reference. A sample exchange:

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Why Smith was canceled

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 22nd 2006 3:29PM

Ray LiottaIf the comments section here is any indication, even though Smith was canceled rather quickly by CBS, it actually had a lot of fans. Of course, we didn't get 10 million comments, so "a lot" wasn't really enough.

TV Guide has a breakdown on why the show was canceled. It seemed like it could be a hit: West Wing/ER producer John Wells, big stars like Ray Liotta and Virginia Madsen, and lots of hype by CBS, but what happened? People have speculated that it was because the gang of crooks on the show weren't likable, but the magazine says that it was more the price of the show. Each episode cost about $3 million dollars!

I wonder how much that awful motorcycle chase with Simon Baker cost to film?

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Are TV theme songs finally dead?

by Joel Keller, posted Oct 19th 2006 3:42PM
ER cast
For twelve seasons, ER used some of the most memorable and intense theme music heard during the last decade or so; it started soft, then pulsated to a climax that matched the frantic pace of a big-city emergency room and of the show itself. And the climax was usually punctuated visually, either by Eriq LaSalle's Benton punching the air after a surgery or Laura Innes' Weaver bursting through the door with her cane.

But for season thirteen? It's gone. We've got the cold open, a title card with generic music, and then a commercial. The credits are shown over the first act. It's the most glaring example of a trend that's been going on since the late '90s. Erin Carlson of the AP is the latest person to write about the death of the theme song. The article cites all the same reasons cited for years: an increase of commercials, a desire from networks and show-runners to keep people's attention, etc., etc.

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The Five: Shows to watch forever

by Bob Sassone, posted Oct 9th 2006 8:44AM
Mary Tyler Moore, Dick Van DykeThis is a list of the TV shows I could never live without. If I was able to own and watch only five TV shows on DVD (or tape), these are the five shows. My desert islands discs, as they call them.

The interesting thing to me about this list is that these five shows are NOT my five favorite TV shows of all-time. They're in the top 10, sure, but I found making that list that I know only looked at the ones I liked, the quality, but since these were the only five shows I could have (and I'm trapped on that damn island - hope there's electricity), then I'd want a mix of shows to entertain me. A balance of comedy and drama.

What shows would you pick? Remember, you can never watch any other shows ever again.

1. The Dick Van Dyke Show: OK, so the first show on my list just so happens to also be my favorite TV show of all-time. This show is timeless, it's extremely well done, and Rob Petrie is the reason I became a writer, so it has to be number one.

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Ask TV Squad: What shows are not coming back?

by Richard Keller, posted Sep 17th 2006 9:11AM

Cast of ABC's Invasion. Will they be back for another season?Many of you reading our complete listing of fall premiere dates have been posting questions on the whereabouts of some of your favorite shows. For example, poster rach asks 'What happened to the show "Related" on the WB? Is there a premiere?'', while reader Jim asks 'What? No "Invasion"? How does it end? Is this a new trend ... to just terminate an ongoing series?' .

So, as a public service to you, the omnipotent readers of TV Squad, here is the complete list of shows that will NOT be returning to the network schedules this season.

ABC: Invasion (sorry Jim), Sons & Daughters, Less Than Perfect, Hope & Faith, Rodney, Commander-In-Chief (although a two-hour movie may be produced to tie up any loose ends), Freddie, In Justice, Emily's Reasons Why Not, Crumbs, Hot Properties, Jake in Progress (yes, one episode actually aired last season. John Stamos joins the cast of ER this season), Alias, The Evidence and Miracle Workers.

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Penn and O'Donnell talk politics

by Adam Finley, posted Jun 2nd 2006 12:02PM
lawrence o'donnellOkay, I'm usually not interested in listening to other people talk about politics, and especially not on talk radio, which has a tendency to make all viewpoints, even the ones I agree with, sound annoying. However, magician Penn Jillette had Lawrence O'Donnell on his radio show yesterday to spout off on things political, and it was quite interesting. Of course, you might have the reaction I usually do to these sort of things and find it a complete yawnfest. O'Donnell is a former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, a political analyst on MSNBC, a panelist on The McLaughlin Group, and was a writer and executive producer for The West Wing. He has some interesting things to say about politics in general, and not always partisan issues, either. Anyway, if that's not your cup of tea, I encourage you to at least skip ahead to about twenty-eight minutes into the show when a cranky old woman calls and all but yells at O'Donnell for all the minor mistakes that popped up on The West Wing.

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The Five: shows my sister has never watched

by Bob Sassone, posted May 31st 2006 12:34PM
SeinfeldWhen I talk to friends and family, it often amazes me what shows they haven't seen. Now, I know that not everyone can (or should) watch as much television as I do, but I was stunned when I found out what mainstream, popular shows my older sister has never seen. Not even one minute of. And my sister watches a lot of TV. It's not as if she's "anti-TV" or doesn't own a set. She has a lot of shows she watches regularly.

But from talking to her in the past couple of years, here are the shows she says she has never seen.

1. Seinfeld. Can you believe it? How do you avoid a show like Seinfeld? It's not just one of the most popular shows of all-time, it's also a cultural touchstone. It was watercooler talk for many years in the 90s. But she hasn't seen one second of it and has no desire to.

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And I Quote: the best one-liners of the week

by Bob Sassone, posted May 19th 2006 1:27PM
  • Will and Grace "Thank you. If you'd like to receive e-mails about upcoming shows, then please give me money so I can buy a computer." - Phoebe, to her Central Perk audience, on Friends.
  • "You're amazing! If you ever brushed your teeth, I'd kiss you." - Reese, to his grandmother, on Malcolm in the Middle.
  • "What's next?" - President Santos, to Chief of Staff Josh Lyman, on The West Wing.
  • "God, I hope so." - Alan, to Denny, toasting to a new season, with Denny hoping for the "same night," on Boston Legal.
  • "I saw them when I was his age, as my father did before me." - Richard, trying to talk Christine into letting Richie go to the Rolling Stones concert, on The New Adventures of Old Christine.
  • "You never have." - Grace, to Will, who said he didn't like the the "trim" on her daughter's wedding dress, on the finale of Will and Grace.

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Special Lost collector's issue! Entertainment Weekly in 60 seconds

by Bob Sassone, posted May 14th 2006 7:00PM
  • LostThis week you can get four different covers. Actually, each issue comes with all four covers, the one on the front and then the other covers are inside. Also inside: secrets of the Lost finale. Don't read if you don't want to be spoiled.
  • EW lists the Top 5 Theories on what's happening on Lost.
  • Chris Daughtry says his exit from Idol doesn't make sense, logically.
  • Aaron Sorkin reminisces about The West Wing.
  • The mag gives The Loop co-creator Will Gluck 30 seconds to convince FOX to renew his show.
  • In the print edition only: a guide to the Wisteria Lane neighborhood; Josh Schwartz explains how he intends to save The O.C.; and why did Commander-In-Chief crash and burn after such a promising start?

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Finale Mania: TV Guide in 60 seconds

by Bob Sassone, posted May 13th 2006 7:01PM
  • David CarusoOn the cover: a rundown of all the season and series finales, including an interview with CSI: Miami star David Caruso.
  • Matt Roush loves this season of The Sopranos, but NBC's 10.5: Apocalypse? Not so much.
  • A look back at Malcolm in the Middle.
  • In the print edition: a visit to the set of How I Met Your Mother as they tape the season finale; a guest column from Megan Mullally; another guest column, this time from writer David Mamet (The Unit); and a visit to the set of That 70s Show, which is ending after eight years.

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And I Quote: the best one-liners of the week

by Bob Sassone, posted May 12th 2006 1:20PM
  • My Name Is Earl"It was reported last week that Rosie O'Donnell will take over for Meredith Viera on The View. It will now be called The Obstructed View." - Tina Fey, Saturday Night Live.
  • "Senioritis. I'm having trouble getting motivated, though I guess I shouldn't tell that to the boss." - Will, explaining to C.J. why he's just walking around the White House, on The West Wing.
  • "It's like Steve is America and you're Arrested Development. It doesn't mean you're bad, it just means he's not interested in you." - Fran, explaining her son's disinterest in his father, on American Dad.
  • "Like they say, a man's reach must exceed his grasp, for what's a penis for?" - Charlie, to Alan, about the smartest girl in class calling Jake, on Two and a Half Men.
  • "The resemblence is uncanny. And by that I mean you both have gigantic cans." - Jack, to Karen and her sister, on Will and Grace.
  • "Thanks. First time today.  I've gotten three Matthew McConaugheys, two Aaron Eckharts, and one Thomas Jane. Whoever that is." - Josh Lucas, to Jack, who knew who he was, on Will and Grace.
  • "Doing things on the list without money was starting to feel like surfing TV channels without a clicker. It can be done, but your legs will get awful tired." - Earl, who gave away all his money, on My Name Is Earl.
  • "Comedies are very much alive. As are homeless people." - Michael, who wants to give gambling winnings to Comic Relief, which doesn't exist anymore, on The Office.
  • "Actually, I didn't think it was appropriate to invite children, since there's, you know, gambling and alcohol and it's in our dangerous warehouse and it's a school night and you know, Hooters is catering. Is that enough? Should I keep going?" - Toby, on why he didn't want Boy Scouts at casino night, on The Office.

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The Five: Secondary characters I'd like to see in their own shows

by Bob Sassone, posted May 9th 2006 9:17AM
Roger - American DadCreating a show for a secondary character can be a tricky thing. For every Frasier there are five A Man Called Hawks. It usually just doesn't work, because a character that is brilliant as a supporting character can completely fail in the lead role (all the things that make a secondary character great often disappear when they are thrust into the lead). But here are some characters on current shows I wouldn't mind seeing in their own shows. If the writing is good (and the new supporting cast supports them like they supported the people on their show), it could be worth doing:

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