16 items from 2015
It was boys’ night on “American Idol” on Wednesday, as the Top 12 guys battled it out for the last eight remaining spots. The hour-long episode went at roller-coaster speed with host Ryan Seacrest flying through his introductions of the aspiring stars during the live-performance phase. Also Read: ‘American Idol’ Team Talks Fighting Ratings Losses, Downsizing Live Shows One famous fan who definitely likes the new tone of the show is “Malcolm in the Middle” actor Frankie Muniz, who tweeted: “American Idol is fun again this year. Lots of great singers! Super in to it again!” American Idol is fun again this year. »
- Debbie Emery
They’ve proven to be among the most popular kids series on Prime Instant Video, and all four of them were recently honored by the Parents’ Choice Foundation. Today Amazon announced that it has greenlit second seasons of its hit kids series: Creative Galaxy, Annedroids, Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street, and recent Annie Award winner Tumble Leaf.
“Tumble Leaf, Creative Galaxy, Annedroids and Gortimer have all experienced a tremendous response from our customers and we’re excited to bring them back for another season,” said Tara Sorensen, Head of Kids Programming for Amazon Studios. “Working with such remarkably talented and impactful creators in both the preschool and kids six to 11 space, it’s exciting to see where the storylines and characters will take us for another season.”
A decade in rehab has failed to tame abrasive former supermodel Salem Rogers (Leslie Bibb, About a Boy), Model of the Year 1998. Now that she’s been let loose on the world, hard-partying Salem is intent on recreating her former success and glamorous lifestyle in a new world she barely recognizes. She tracks down her browbeaten former assistant (SNL alum Rachel Dratch), who’s since built a career as an author of self-help books, and stops at nothing to enlist her in her plans to return to the spotlight — whatever it takes.
Discovered through Amazon Studios’ open submission website, Salem Rogers was created by newcomer Lindsey Stoddart, directed by Mark Waters (Mean Girls) and executive produced by Will Graham (The Onion News Network). In addition to Bibb and Dratch, the half-hour comedy stars Jane Kaczmarek (Malcolm in the Middle), Brad Morris (Playing House), Harry Hamlin (Mad Men), Toks Olagundoye (The Neighbors »
Since Breaking Bad's wrenching finale in September 2013, fans have been craving another fix from showrunner Vince Gilligan - especially after the announcement that Bob Odenkirk's character Saul Goodman would lead his own spin-off. Better Call Saul has finally arrived, and it's (dare we say it?) addictive. Rather than trying to ride a few more miles on Breaking Bad's success - as so many other spin-offs before it have - AMC's newest offering thrives as a standalone. Breaking Bad fans will of course enjoy the callbacks and cameos as we learn how James "Jimmy" McGill became Saul Goodman, »
- Amanda Michelle Steiner, @amandamichl
Within the first 20 minutes or so of AMC’s “Breaking Bad” prequel series “Better Call Saul,” it quickly becomes clear that Bob Odenkirk is a worthy successor to the role of unlikely leading man in a New Mexico-based series. Just as Bryan Cranston was a revelation as Walter White in the parent series — after years making us laugh on “Malcolm in the Middle” — Odenkirk shows a depth of character unexpected in smarmy lawyer Saul Goodman. Of course, he’s not Saul Goodman yet. That fast-talking, shifty lawyer who works both sides of the law is lurking beneath the surface, but. »
- Jason Hughes
Ahh, the clip show. The bane of scripted television, the clip show is often a signal of two things on a television show: creative exhaustion and/or budgetary restrictions. It often makes for lazily-framed episodes with the main cast “reflecting” on events of the past – Friends was notorious for it, airing six of them (that’s right, six) throughout their ten-season run, with only one (season nine’s “The One With Christmas in Tulsa,” which pushes Chandler into his final interesting solo arc) providing any reason for existence. Often, the best “clip show” episodes are episodes that aren’t actually clip shows; Avatar: The Last Airbender‘s third season episode “The Fire Emblem Players” allowed for the same kind of reflective tone as most clip shows, but did so by having actors play out exaggerated versions of their stories on stage, adding texture to the culture of Avatar and providing »
- Randy Dankievitch
Berman is exec producing the single-camera laffer through her Jackal Group and 20th Century Fox TV. Jay Lacopo wrote the script about the “mistakes and misadventures” that people experience in the years after college and before settling down.
Lacopo fielded another comedy script at Fox this year, a project produced by Brett Ratner about a womanizer who helps a divorced woman to find the man of her dreams.
Last year Berman set up a wide-ranging production pact with Fox that calls for her to produce for a range of the studio’s networks. She was head of programming for the network from 2000-2005, and before that she headed the Regency TV shingle that birthed Fox’s hit domestic comedy “Malcolm in the Middle.”
- Cynthia Littleton
Season in and season out, the Super Bowl is the most-watched broadcast across all of television for the calendar year. So when the New England Patriots or the Seattle Seahawks raise the Lombardi Trophy this weekend, NBC Sports will be celebrating right alongside the winning 53-man roster. Immediately after that, it will be “The Blacklist’s” turn to pop some champagne while dreaming of ostentatious Nielsen numbers.
The critically acclaimed James Spader drama returns on Sunday night in the highly coveted post-Super Bowl timeslot. The result is guaranteed to hand “The Blacklist” its most-watched episode ever — likely by a landslide »
- Tony Maglio
Created by David Sacks
Produced by Carsey-Werner Productions
Aired on Upn for 1 season (6 episodes, 1 unaired) from March 10 – April 22, 2004
Patrick Warburton as Rip Smashenburn
Lucy Liu as Raquel Smashenburn
Rachel Dratch as Alice Smashenburn
Elizabeth Daily as Billy Smashenburn
This is a show that, similar to Disney’s Wreck It Ralph, asks the question, “What do video game characters do outside of the video game?” Unlike the film however, this series focuses on an average family of video game characters known as the Smashenburns. The family is made up of father Rip, a Grand Prix race car driver from an unspecified racing game, mother Raquel, a Lara Croft type from an artifact scavenging adventure game, daughter Alice, who is an activist that sometimes goes boy-crazy, son Billy, who is trend-obsessed with becoming a rapper, and lastly Turbo, their talking purple »
- Jean Pierre Diez
Maybe if "Wild" hadn't done such a solid and visually rich job of portraying one woman's determination to restart her life by hiking 2000 miles, the banal platitudes and strange visual monotony of two older guys' determination to restart their lives by hiking 2000 miles in "A Walk in the Woods" wouldn't seem so subpar. Maybe if Robert Redford hadn't done such harrowing, committed and honest work as a man battling nature in "All Is Lost," Robert Redford's lax, barely engaged work as a man meandering through nature in "A Walk in the Woods" wouldn't seem so subpar. Maybe if "A Walk in the Woods" weren't having its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, a venue that doesn't always demand artistic or narrative experimentation but certainly rewards the work of risk-taking, it's bland and peculiar artistic and narrative flatness wouldn't seem so subpar. But here we are in Park City, »
- Daniel Fienberg
ABC Family ("Pretty Little Liars") has started production on the procedural drama series "Stitchers", focusing on 'Kirsten' (Emma Ishta), a young woman recruited into a covert government agency to be 'stitched' into the minds of the recently deceased (?!):
"...using memories to investigate murders and decipher mysteries that otherwise would have gone to the grave, 'Cameron' (Kyle Harris), a brilliant neuroscientist whose passion for the program is evident in his work, works alongside Kirsten.
"The secret program, headed by 'Maggie' (Salli Richardson-Whitfield), a skilled veteran of covert operations, includes 'Linus' (Ritesh Rajan), a socially immature bioelectrical engineer and communications technician.
"Kirsten’s roommate, 'Camille' (Allison Scagliotti), a gifted computer science grad student, is also recruited to use her skills to assist Kirsten in her new role as a 'stitcher'..."
Click the image to enlarge »
- Michael Stevens
The hourlong crime drama, which was ordered to series in September and began production Wednesday in Los Angeles, has added Allison Scagliotti (Syfy’s “Warehouse 13″), Salli Richardson-Whitfield (Syfy’s “Eureka,” “I Am Legend”) and Ritesh Rajan (“The Last Airbender”) to the main cast, rounded out by Emma Ishta (“Manhattan Love Story”) and Kyle Harris (“The Carrie Diaries”), who were in the original pilot.
“Stitchers” follows Kirsten (Ishta), a young woman who is recruited into a secret government agency to be “stitched” into the minds of the recently deceased, using their memories to investigate murders and help solve mysteries before they go to the grave.
Working alongside Kirsten is passionate neuroscientist Cameron (Harris); socially immature bioelectrical engineer and communications technician Linus (Rajan); Maggie (Richardson-Whitfield), who heads the covert program; and Kirsten’s roommate, »
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
Happy birthday Julia Louis-Dreyfus! The wildly successful Veep actress celebrates her 54th birthday Tuesday – but we all have start somewhere, and for Julia it was at The Practical Theater Company in Chicago.
Back in 1982, Et stopped by the theater for a special performance from Julia and the fellow members of her improv group, The Golden 50th Anniversary Jubilee, as they prepared to take their final bow for the opportunity of a lifetime.
"I am incredibly excited about moving to New York, working on Saturday Night Live! I can hardly sleep!" Julia told Et back in '82.
Watch: On The Set of 'Malcolm in the Middle' 15 Years Ago
That's right! Not just Julia, but the entire improv group was just hired by SNL as their newest cast members.
"This was kind of this supreme opportunity to become nationally successful," said Julia.
Get ready to feel old! It’s been 15 years since Malcolm in the Middle premiered on television but before you start binge-watching on Netflix, let’s get nostalgic with the family that changed the face of sitcoms on television forever.
The groundbreaking show centered on Malcolm, played by Frankie Muniz, and his dysfunctional, yet entirely relatable family -- played by Bryan Cranston, Jane Kaczmarek, Christopher Masterson, Justin Berfield, and Erik Per Sullivan.
"It reminds me of my childhood and the rambunctiousness of it all," Cranston told Et on set back in 2000. "You look at most houses on television and everything's in order and everything's nice and neat and everything -- and you look at our house, and it's real!"
Watch: 'The Amanda Show' Turns 15!
Back then, 14-year-old Muniz was a star on the rise, getting his first real glimpse of the television world in a role he’s dreamed about his entire young life.
"[Even] if »
Amazon Studios’ first pilot season of 2015 will debut Thursday, Jan. 15, unveiling seven drama and comedy projects as well as a half-dozen kid-centric pilots.
Already due to debut via Amazon Studios this year are the first full seasons of Bosch, Hand of God and Red Oaks, plus Season 2 of Transparent. (Chris Carter’s The After meanwhile just had its series order scrapped.)
The dramas and comedies are as follows (click photos to zoom):
While many may still be catching up on some of the great television from 2014, programming in 2015 is starting earlier than ever. Gone are the days of months-long hiatuses and January and Februarys full of repeats. This year looks to be just as jam-packed as last year, with interesting television coming from any number of sources. Here are Chief TV Editor Kate Kulzick and Managing TV Editor Deepayan Sengupta’s picks for new premieres to keep an eye out for in the coming weeks.
Created by Dan Fogelman
Airs Sundays at 8pm and 8:30pm (Et) on ABC
Premieres Jan. 4th, 2015
Musicals have been a genre rarely explored on television, and fairy tales even less so. Thus, the idea of a new show in either category is an intriguing one and a show that combines the two, as Galavant does, is an exciting prospect. With a four-week run (eight half-hour »
16 items from 2015
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