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The Best Holiday TV Episodes of the 21st Century, Ranked

  • Indiewire Television
The Best Holiday TV Episodes of the 21st Century, Ranked
Holiday episodes are rarely a show’s best, but they’re often the most enduring. CBS still airs a colorized version of the “I Love Lucy” Christmas episode, repackaged as a perennial special, 60 years later. The image of The Fonz eating out of a can, alone on Christmas Eve, is probably one of the best-remembered scenes from “Happy Days.” And “The West Wing’s” 1999 episode “In Excelsis Deo” not only won an Emmy, but its takes on homeless veterans and hate crimes are just as relevant today, nearly two decades later. And of course, it was a Christmas episode that launched the longest-running scripted series in primetime, “The Simpsons,” all the way back in 1989.

As the networks more wholeheartedly embrace the holidays as a marketing tool, there has been an explosion in Christmas-themed movies and specials in recent years. But there’s still something special about celebrating the holidays with
See full article at Indiewire Television »

The Best Holiday TV Episodes of the 21st Century, Ranked

  • Indiewire
The Best Holiday TV Episodes of the 21st Century, Ranked
Holiday episodes are rarely a show’s best, but they’re often the most enduring. CBS still airs a colorized version of the “I Love Lucy” Christmas episode, repackaged as a perennial special, 60 years later. The image of The Fonz eating out of a can, alone on Christmas Eve, is probably one of the best-remembered scenes from “Happy Days.” And “The West Wing’s” 1999 episode “In Excelsis Deo” not only won an Emmy, but its takes on homeless veterans and hate crimes are just as relevant today, nearly two decades later. And of course, it was a Christmas episode that launched the longest-running scripted series in primetime, “The Simpsons,” all the way back in 1989.

As the networks more wholeheartedly embrace the holidays as a marketing tool, there has been an explosion in Christmas-themed movies and specials in recent years. But there’s still something special about celebrating the holidays with
See full article at Indiewire »

Fear the Walking Dead: Season Four; Garret Dillahunt (Raising Hope) Joins AMC Series

Garret Dillahunt is heading to AMC. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Raising Hope star has joined season four of Fear the Walking Dead.A spinoff of The Walking Dead, the action drama unfolds in Los Angeles and Mexico and follows a dysfunctional group who must band together in the face of the coming Zombie Apocalypse. The cast includes Kim Dickens, Cliff Curtis, Frank Dillane, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Rubén Blades, Mercedes Mason, and Colman Domingo.Read More…
See full article at TVSeriesFinale »

'Fear the Walking Dead' Enlists Garret Dillahunt as Season 4 Regular

AMC's Fear the Walking Dead is bringing in a superfan for season four.

Garret Dillahunt has joined the cast of Robert Kirkman's prequel series as a regular for its forthcoming season. Details of the actor's role are being kept under wraps.

Dillahunt, whose credits include Hulu's The Mindy Project, Fox's X-Men show The Gifted, TBS anthology The Guest Book, Amazon's Hand of God and Fox's Raising Hope, is a diehard Walking Dead fan. The actor campaigned in November 2015 to land the role of the villain Negan on the flagship series. (The part went to Jeffrey Dean...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - TV News »

Andrew Dice Clay Recovering After Doctors Discover a 'Partially Blocked Artery'

  • PEOPLE.com
Andrew Dice Clay Recovering After Doctors Discover a 'Partially Blocked Artery'
Andrew Dice Clay is recuperating after doctors discovered he had a much more serious condition following his hospitalization for dehydration and exhaustion.

Clay, 60, checked into a Las Vegas hospital last week initially as a precaution but, once there, tests revealed the actor had “a partially blocked artery,” his rep tells People exclusively.

“He thought he pinched a nerve at the gym,” the rep says. “But once at the hospital he was told he had a partially blocked artery and underwent a stent procedure.”

The rep adds, “He’s now stable and resting comfortably with his family at his Vegas retreat.
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Andrew Dice Clay Checks Into Las Vegas Hospital for Dehydration and Exhaustion

Andrew Dice Clay Checks Into Las Vegas Hospital for Dehydration and Exhaustion
Andrew Dice Clay checked into a Las Vegas hospital to be treated for dehydration and exhaustion Thursday night, a rep for the actor tells People exclusively.

“But he’s fine,” the rep adds. “This is just a precaution to make sure he’s okay.”

Clay, 60, came up in the stand-up comedy world of Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip in the 1980s. He began acting in ’80s sitcoms M*A*S*H and Diff’rent Strokes before landing his own HBO comedy specials.

In recent years, he has appeared on the TV shows Entourage, The Blacklist, Celebrity Apprentice and Raising Hope, as
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

The Gifted Sneak Peek: To Save the Day, Caitlin Must Be a 'Naughty' Nurse

The Gifted Sneak Peek: To Save the Day, Caitlin Must Be a 'Naughty' Nurse
Those who escaped the Sentinels at the close of The Gifted‘s series premiere are far from safe and sound there on the other side of the portal.

RelatedFox’s The Gifted Premiere: Grade It!

As Episode 2 of the Fox drama gets underway tonight at 9/8c, we see that orchestrating that big of a “jump,” back to the mutant underground’s Atlanta way station, did a real number on Clarice — and in turn has put everyone there in danger. To save Clarice’s life, Caitlin (Amy Acker), who’s a nurse, and Marcos (Sean Teale) slip into a hospital to procure some necessary meds.
See full article at TVLine.com »

TVLine Items: Garret Dillahunt Joins Gifted, New Transparent Boss and More

TVLine Items: Garret Dillahunt Joins Gifted, New Transparent Boss and More
The Gifted‘s mutants have a new adversary: Garret Dillahunt.

The Justified and Raising Hope alum will recur on the upcoming Fox drama from Marvel TV, our sister site Deadline reports.

VideosThe Gifted: Find Out Who’s Who From the Stars of Fox’s Mutant Drama

Dillahunt — whose many TV credits also include The Mindy Project, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Burn Notice — will play the intense and intimidating Dr. Roderick Campbell, a mutant researcher contracted by the Sentinel Services.

The Gifted premieres Monday, Oct. 2 at 9/8c on Fox. (Read our first impression here.)

Ready for more of today’s newsy nuggets?
See full article at TVLine.com »

Immigrant Workplace Comedy ‘Welcome To Maine’ In Works At CBS From Austen Earl & Greg Garcia

As the debate on immigration has been pushed to the forefront by the policies of the current Trump administration, CBS has put in development Welcome To Maine, a multi-camera family workplace comedy that tackles the hot-button issue. It hails from Austen Earl (The Great Indoors) as well as My Name is Earl, Raising Hope and The Millers creator Greg Garcia and his CBS TV Studios-based Amigos de Garcia Productions. Written by Earl, Welcome To Maine centers on a…
See full article at Deadline TV »

Greg Garcia Developing Immigrant Comedy Series at CBS

Greg Garcia Developing Immigrant Comedy Series at CBS
CBS is developing a new multi-camera comedy series with Greg Garcia set to executive produce, Variety has learned.

Currently titled “Welcome to Maine,” the series would follow a ninth-generation Maine family and a recent immigrant and his daughter who must all learn to embrace change when they share the same workplace in a tiny rural town.

Austen Earl, who most recently worked as a writer and co-executive producer on the CBS comedy “The Great Indoors,” will write and executive produce. Earl previously collaborated with Garcia as a writer on the CBS series “The Millers,” which Garcia created. Earl has also worked as a writer on CBS’ “Angel From Hell,” and NBC’s “The Carmichael Show.” Garcia will executive produce along with Alix Jaffe, the head of Garcia’s Amigos de Garcia Productions. Garcia has also created the comedy series “My Name Is Earl,” “Raising Hope,” and currently has “The Guest Book” on TBS. CBS Television Studios
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Nia Vardalos to Star in Dramedy Series for Bravo

Nia Vardalos in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2”: Universal Pictures

Nia Vardalos has booked her next TV role. The writer, director, and actress will star in a dramedy series for Bravo, tentatively titled “Suburbs Famous.” Vardalos will portray a suburban housewife who becomes the unwitting star of a viral video, Deadline confirms.

“Thrust into the cutthroat world of celebrity chefs, the newly divorced mom must navigate between the intense public scrutiny which could destroy her and the investors who want to make her a star… all while realizing she suddenly has the one thing everyone wants: power,” the source summarizes.

Vardalos took inspiration from viral video star Chewbacca Mom when she began work on “Suburbs Famous.” “I wanted to explore the concept of sudden fame for someone who isn’t prepared and doesn’t want it, for someone who gets power and doesn’t know what to do with it, as well as what happens next,” she explained.

The “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” writer-star’s own experiences with fame also helped shape “Suburbs Famous.” “I worked hard to maintain my normal, average life every day, not wanting a personal assistant for example,” Vardalos recalled of her post-big break life. “You have struggles to maintain your ethics, morals, and friendships.”

Suburbs Famous” is penned by Vardalos and Mike Mariano (“Raising Hope”). The duo will serve as EPs on the show alongside Untitled Entertainment’s Jennifer Levine and Stephanie Simon and Flame VenturesTony Krantz. Krantz is also producing, as are ITV Studios America and Universal Cable Productions.

Vardalos wrote the 2002 box office hit “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and its 2016 follow-up, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2.” She appeared as protagonist Toula in both films. In 2009 Vardalos made her directorial debut with the romantic comedy “I Hate Valentine’s Day,” which she also penned. Her recent screen roles include “Star vs. the Forces of Evil,” “Graves,” and Shondaland series “The Catch.” You can see Vardalos next with Sandra Oh, Emily Watson, and Melora Hardin (“Transparent”) in “33 Liberty Lane,” an upcoming comedy about four friends who launch a phone-sex company.

“Tiny Beautiful Things,” Vardalos’ play adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s book of the same name, will return to New York’s Public Theater September 19. Vardalos stars as Sugar, the anonymous persona Strayed employed when she worked as The Rumpus’ advice columnist.

Nia Vardalos to Star in Dramedy Series for Bravo was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Win Acclaimed TV Series ‘American Gods’ On Blu-ray

One of the most striking, controversial and utterly absorbing TV events of the year becomes the home entertainment hit of the summer as American Gods comes to Blu-ray and DVD. The series, which has received huge acclaim, is now available and we have three copies to give away on Blu-ray.

When Shadow Moon is released from prison, he meets the mysterious Mr. Wednesday and a storm begins to brew. Little does Shadow know, this storm will change the course of his entire life. Left adrift by the recent, tragic death of his wife, and suddenly hired as Mr. Wednesday’s bodyguard, Shadow finds himself in the centre of a world that he struggles to understand. It’s a hidden world where magic is real, where the Old Gods fear both irrelevance and the growing power of the New Gods, like Technology and Media. Mr. Wednesday seeks to build a coalition
See full article at The Hollywood News »

‘The Guest Book’ Boss on the ‘Freedom’ of Flexing Comedy Muscles on Cable

‘The Guest Book’ Boss on the ‘Freedom’ of Flexing Comedy Muscles on Cable
After spending two decades on network television working on traditional and then single-camera sitcoms from “Yes, Dear” to “My Name is Earl,” writer/producer Greg Garcia is breaking out of the comedy box with a new anthology comedy show at TBS.

The Guest Book” follows the guests of Froggy Cottage in the small town of Mountain Trace as they come for vacation but get sucked into the drama of the residents. Each episode features a rotating guest cast, which is not something Garcia thinks he could have accomplished anywhere but TBS, who was taking a chance on new kind of storytelling as they re-brand their comedies.

“If the only place I could have done this show was on a network, I would have because I liked the style of it, and I liked the stories. But I would have had to water it down,” Garcia tells Variety.

“These stories all came from a place of going away
See full article at Variety - TV News »

‘The Guest Book’ Review: The TBS Hotel Comedy Can Be Anything, And That’s Its Biggest Problem

‘The Guest Book’ Review: The TBS Hotel Comedy Can Be Anything, And That’s Its Biggest Problem
The premise of the new comedy “The Guest Book” is an exciting one: a quiet, unassuming cottage at a cozy mountain getaway plays host to a number of weekend travelers with something to work out or something to hide. Each of them relate their wacky adventures in the room’s guest book, using a few pages to write a confession, an alibi or a farewell. It’s the kind of “if these walls could talk” setup that makes you wonder why TV hasn’t taken advantage of hotel-adjacent stories more often.

There’s a certain flexibility that comes with getting to reinvent a show’s character list every episode. Like its new motel counterpart “Room 104,” each episode of the first season of “The Guest Book” focuses on a different set of occupants: These vacationers range from scientists to quarreling spouses to parents with misplaced preoccupations.

Read MoreHow Squeaky Clean
See full article at Indiewire Television »

‘The Guest Book’ Review: The TBS Hotel Comedy Can Be Anything, And That’s Its Biggest Problem

‘The Guest Book’ Review: The TBS Hotel Comedy Can Be Anything, And That’s Its Biggest Problem
The premise of the new comedy “The Guest Book” is an exciting one: a quiet, unassuming cottage at a cozy mountain getaway plays host to a number of weekend travelers with something to work out or something to hide. Each of them relate their wacky adventures in the room’s guest book, using a few pages to write a confession, an alibi or a farewell. It’s the kind of “if these walls could talk” setup that makes you wonder why TV hasn’t taken advantage of hotel-adjacent stories more often.

There’s a certain flexibility that comes with getting to reinvent a show’s character list every episode. Like its new motel counterpart “Room 104,” each episode of the first season of “The Guest Book” focuses on a different set of occupants: These vacationers range from scientists to quarreling spouses to parents with misplaced preoccupations.

Read MoreHow Squeaky Clean Kellie Martin Wound Up on Greg Garcia’s Quirky Cable Comedy ‘The Guest Book’ — Turn It On Podcast

But the problem with cycling so many of these performers in and out of the world of the show is that creator Greg Garcia has essentially made 10 different pilots. Rather than treating these individual chapters like short stories, there’s an unspoken effort to squeeze a season’s worth of quirks and angst into a twenty-minute window.

Over the course of his work on “My Name is Earl” and “Raising Hope,” Greg Garcia shepherded shows that presented unconventional family dynamics and disjointed inner circles of friendship. But, despite their collective shortcomings, the offbeat characters of those series worked together to create something built on love, appreciation, and understanding. To see so many episodes of “The Guest Book” tinged with cynicism and frustration seems like a misstep that doesn’t play to his strengths as a writer and observer of human tendencies. The humor here often seems forced, both in its writing and the physicality of the performances it asks of its actors.

It’s all the more frustrating when some episodes seem to strike the ideal tone that the others strive for. Episodes 4 and 5 are probably the strongest efforts of this first season, the latter of which stars Jenna Fischer as a scientist uncovering some unexpected memories of an Alzheimer’s patient left in her care. Some of those developments are legitimately shocking, but it doesn’t have the same manufactured chaos that plagues so many of the other installments.

The Guest Book” boasts an impressive roster of guest stars, including Michaela Watkins, Danny Pudi, Lauren Lapkus, Stockard Channing Tommy Dewey, and Michael Rappaport. But the actors who have worked in previous Garcia shows seem to be the only natural fits for this new venture. Jamie Pressly, a bright spot on “My Name is Earl,” instantly finds the heart a character that in lesser hands could have been an episode-length punchline. Same goes for Shannon Woodward, who finds some an extra emotional layer in a character that could easily be a fodder for sight gags.

And although many of the recurring side players in the town surrounding the cottage are little more than means for advancing the handful of season-long throughlines, Garret Dillahunt is an exception. As Andrew, a local doctor whose marital foibles and parenting misadventures pop up across the season, Dillahunt gets another much-deserved chance to show off his comic chops. The shifting dynamic between Andrew and Kellie Martin’s Officer Kimberly hints at an alternate foundation for the show that might not be as formally innovative, but would make for a more satisfying series.

Read MoreThe 20 Best TV Comedies of the 21st Century, Ranked

The stealth stars of “The Guest Book” might just be Arjay Smith and John Milhiser as two office co-workers who serve as the show’s “Previously On” Greek chorus. Reorienting audiences at the start of each episode, their changing 15-second banter is one of the show’s best bits of character development. That they make such an impression in short snippets is a testament to Garcia’s ability to find some fun developments with a repeatable framework, but it also emphasizes that the constant cast list churn of check-ins and check-outs is rarely the part of this show that’s most engaging.

With a handful of drug-fueled benders and neuroses-driven montages, “The Guest Book” gets the chance to match its changing cast list with a few visual switch-ups. Some split-screen episode bookends and some inventive camera placements keep the cottage from getting too familiar. But those occasional touches can’t replace the fact that the show lives and dies on the strength of its episode-to-episode stories. A few of them are entertaining enough, but a show that’s still in search of its strengths still keeps it from being a reliable trip worth taking every week.

Grade: C+

The Guest Book” airs Thursday nights at 10 p.m. on TBS.

Sign UpStay on top of the latest film and TV news! Sign up for our film and TV email newsletter here. Related stories'Full Frontal with Samantha Bee' Aired a Positive Segment About Donald Trump, World Still Confirmed to Be Spinning -- WatchHow Squeaky Clean Kellie Martin Wound Up on Greg Garcia's Quirky Cable Comedy 'The Guest Book' -- Turn It On Podcast'Manhunt: Unabomber' Review: Discovery's First Scripted Drama Intrigues as It Evokes Empathy in a Madman
See full article at Indiewire »

How Squeaky Clean Kellie Martin Wound Up on Greg Garcia’s Quirky Cable Comedy ‘The Guest Book’ — Turn It On Podcast

How Squeaky Clean Kellie Martin Wound Up on Greg Garcia’s Quirky Cable Comedy ‘The Guest Book’ — Turn It On Podcast
Read MoreLAST Week’S Episode: Matt Groening and ‘The Simpsons’ Producers on 30 Years, Beating ‘Gunsmoke’ and Taking On Trump — IndieWire’s Turn It On Podcast

The idea behind “The Guest Book” has become almost the stuff of TV legend by now. It all started when Greg Garcia — the Emmy-winning creator behind hits like “My Name Is Earl” and “Raising Hope” – began writing fictitious stories in the guest books of various rental cabins. What was originally meant as a creative exercise, and also as a side benefit to freak out the next renters, quickly became something more.

“I saw a guest book and began to read it,” he said. “I thought, ‘I’m going to write a story in this guest book that blows peoples minds!'”

Eventually, he became addicted to the idea, and would even rent houses just to write in the guest book – “which my wife thought was insane,
See full article at Indiewire Television »

How Squeaky Clean Kellie Martin Wound Up on Greg Garcia’s Quirky Cable Comedy ‘The Guest Book’ — Turn It On Podcast

  • Indiewire
How Squeaky Clean Kellie Martin Wound Up on Greg Garcia’s Quirky Cable Comedy ‘The Guest Book’ — Turn It On Podcast
Read MoreLAST Week’S Episode: Matt Groening and ‘The Simpsons’ Producers on 30 Years, Beating ‘Gunsmoke’ and Taking On Trump — IndieWire’s Turn It On Podcast

The idea behind “The Guest Book” has become almost the stuff of TV legend by now. It all started when Greg Garcia — the Emmy-winning creator behind hits like “My Name Is Earl” and “Raising Hope” – began writing fictitious stories in the guest books of various rental cabins. What was originally meant as a creative exercise, and also as a side benefit to freak out the next renters, quickly became something more.

“I saw a guest book and began to read it,” he said. “I thought, ‘I’m going to write a story in this guest book that blows peoples minds!'”

Eventually, he became addicted to the idea, and would even rent houses just to write in the guest book – “which my wife thought was insane,
See full article at Indiewire »

TVLine Items: T.I. to Star in Fox Cop Drama, Younger Hits Hulu and More

TVLine Items: T.I. to Star in Fox Cop Drama, Younger Hits Hulu and More
TipT.I.” Harris has his eye on Atlanta’s Most Wanted at Fox.

The actor-rapper will star in and executive-produce the police procedural, which just got a script commitment plus penalty from the network, our sister site Deadline reports.

RelatedMark-Paul Gosselaar to Star in Fox’s Vampire Drama Pilot The Passage

The drama project — from Jerry Bruckheimer Television and writer Rodney Barnes (The Boondocks) — follows Marcus Armstrong (Harris), the son of an infamous Atlanta criminal who is recruited to be a part of a new vice squad that tackles the city’s growing criminal elements. Marcus’ involvement in the
See full article at TVLine.com »

Sesac Honors Attorney Jay Cooper, More at Film & TV Composers Awards

Cooper (left) with Sesac CEO John Josephson

Music creators are “at a major crossroads” in seeking proper payment for their work, veteran entertainment attorney Jay L. Cooper said in receiving Sesac’s Visionary Award at its annual Film and Television Composers Awards Wednesday night at Casa del Mar in Santa Monica, Calif. Approximately 220 composers, songwriters and other members of the L.A. music community attended the event. Others honored for their music in films, TV, streaming media and advertising included Christophe Beck (“Trolls”), Danny Lux (“Grey’s Anatomy”), Dennis C. Brown (“Two and a Half Men”), John Swihart (“How I Met Your Mother”), Paul Buckley (“2 Broke Girls”), Evan Frankfort (“Dog Whisperer”) and Jon Ehrlich (“Goliath”).

Cooper, whose clients include Katy Perry, Sheryl Crow, John Williams, Jerry Seinfeld, Mel Brooks and “The Voice,” said “something is wrong” when technology has made it possible for musicians to reach the widest audience in history, yet
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Downward Dog: Is Allison Tolman's New ABC Comedy Fetching?

Downward Dog: Is Allison Tolman's New ABC Comedy Fetching?
Either you think that a dog spouting therapy-speak while he addresses a confessional-style camera is funny, or you don’t.

If you do — and I count myself in this camp — then the premiere of ABC’s Downward Dog is a sweetly funny little belly rub of a show that premiered Wednesday (9:30/8:30c). If you don’t, then the comedy is an odd project for Allison Tolman to choose as her first post-Fargo series-regular role.

RelatedFall TV Schedule 2017: What’s on When? And Versus What?

Either way, we want to know what you thought of the debut.
See full article at TVLine.com »
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