Stay Tuned
Reviews, previews and much more on "The Real Housewives," "How I Met Your Mother," "NCIS" and many more of your favorite shows. This is the place to talk about all of the things that make us "Stay Tuned"…

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Taking a break

Angela is taking a short break from her blogging duties and will return in 2008.

Andrea Copley-Smith
online editor

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Perfect Gift for the "24" Fan in Your Life

With the premiere of “24” nowhere in sight, “24” fans are looking for ways to fill the void.

A great way to do that is by reliving the show’s best season with the new book, “24: The Official Companion Season 5,” which not only recaps every episode of the season, but also spills plenty of behind-the-scenes secrets.

Recently, I got the opportunity to interview the author of the book (and previous seasons' companions), Tara DiLullo Bennett, via e-mail. In our discussion, she revealed the joys of reliving season five, the difficulties of recapping season six, and how a character coming back from the dead can wreak havoc on editorial deadlines…

Q: How did you get involved in these books?
A: I have worked for Titan Magazines for some years and in Dec. of 2005, my editor
on the newly formed “24 Magazine” alerted me that there might be a companion
guide for the series coming down the pipeline too. I contacted the book
division, with whom I had worked with for the “Making of the Fantastic Four”
book and the “Firefly Companion Guides,” to let them know I was interested! They
awarded me the contract and the rest is history :)

Q: One of the best parts of your books is the “Additional Intel” for each
episode. How do you decide what tidbits to put there?
A: Thanks! I am very proud of those sections and hear great feedback about them. I
get the intel from many sources, mostly my one-on-one interviews with the cast
and crew of the show. When they give me trivia or details about the work they
do, I circle my notes so I know to use those tidbits later for the Intel
section. I also get PR material from Fox and I scour websites and interviews
with the “24” cast and crew for material that I corroborate with them for

Q: It’s obvious you get a lot of cooperation from people with the show. What’s been their reaction to your books?
A: I've gotten very positive feedback from the creators and crew of the show. I
think my greatest indication of that is when I show them the finished book and
they immediately become immersed in the pages, with big smiles on their faces.
The books really serve as a Yearbook and a personal walk down memory lane for
them, so I am really proud that they see them that way and I'm telling their

Q: One of the major moments of season five was the death of Tony Almeida,
which you write about in the book. Now we know that Tony is, in fact, alive.
What’s your reaction to that and does it bother you at all since you had already
written about his death?
A: Oh man! Ha, ha, let me tell you what a heart in my stomach moment that was! I
turned in the final feature for the Season Five companion in the beginning of
June 2007. At that time, I knew that Tony's resurrection for the end of Season
Six was scuttled by the writers, so I figured we were safe. Season Seven has
been the roughest story launch ever for the writers, so it really affected my
completion of the Season Six Companion Guide. The writers didn't settle on a
storyline for Season Seven until mid-August of 2007, and as most fans know, this
next season focuses on the return of Tony. I got my proofs back for the Season
Five book in July and that's when I first got the rumblings that Tony would be
back, but I had already written a Memoriam on his character! I emailed my editor
in a panic and no one in the writer's room even knew what direction they were
going in, so we had to just go with what we had in order to make the Nov. 2007
publication date. As I said, it was confirmed to me
by the producers in August that Tony would be back so I said to my editor,
"Well, at least we know what the first chapter in the season seven book will be
- What the h--l happened with Tony?!"

Q: Season 5 is widely considered to be the best season of “24.” Did that
make it more fun to write this companion or did it make it harder to figure out
what to include?
A: The success of season five was a lot of fun. I started gathering interviews for
the book the week it premiered on TV in January 2006, so I was really able to
ride the entire journey of the success of Day 5 with them. I was so proud the
night they all won their Emmys so I was really excited that I would get the
chance to tell that story in the Companion Guide. We changed formats for the
first time with this season, so I was even more excited to know that with the
extra page space, I would get to do two important things - 1) honor all the
important characters that died in Day 5 and 2) get to do long interviews with
Greg Itzin, Jean Smart and all the Emmy winners. All of those factors make it my
favorite book to date and one that I think fans will really enjoy.

Q: On the other hand, Season 6 is widely considered to be the worst season
of “24.” Did that make it harder to write the Season 6 companion?
A: Yes, the season six companion guide was my most difficult for many reasons. Fans
and critics really disliked the year so that was disheartening to not only
tackle but also have to bring up with the writers and creative team. There was a
lot they really liked about the year, so I had to address issues fans wanted to
know about while making sure I got the writer's perspective too. Also, season
seven being delayed severely impacted my ability to get interviews done for the
season six companion book so our end of August deadline had to be extended to
the end of October! But I really feel like the book answers A LOT of questions
that fans wanted explained truthfully, so even if you hate that season - at
least you get first-hand answers! Plus, the “24 Season Six” book comes with an
exclusive DVD!

Q: You’re clearly a “24” fan. Do you have a favorite “24” moment or
A: Gosh, there are so many! I don't think I can pick just one, but Teri Bauer's
death, Chloe's first field mission, Martha stabbing Charles Logan, and Jack's
reaction to killing Curtis are all standouts to me.

Q: With the current writers’ strike, there’s a chance we may not see “24”
this season. Do you feel like maybe your books can kind of help hold fans over?
How will the strike impact your writing for the “24” magazine?
A: I would LOVE for my books and 24 Magazine to be the stop-gap for fans clamoring
for their “24” fix. The strike is really terrible for the industry and all the
people who work in it, but I support the WGA 100%. I hope a deal can be made
sooner than later, as I won't have a book to write about S7 for a long time if
not! As for the magazine, we have a lot of material I just got from a set visit
in October and my trip to the DC location shoots in November, so couple that
fresh material with some great new interviews and features on classic season, we
will be the SOURCE for your “24” needs - strike or no strike.

Q: How many more of these companion books do you see yourself writing? In
other words, how much longer do you think the show will go?
A: I hope to write a companion guide for every season. Fox has contracted the show
for a 7th and 8th season. Whether there will be season seven and season eight
books depends on the strike being finalized and then the sales of the next
books. I hope “24” fans pick up my books knowing they are official, written by a
fan for fans, they address controversial subjects which are answered by the
people that create the show and they are a great reference companion to have
along with the DVD sets.

“24: The Official Companion Season 5” is available now. “The Official Companion Season 6” is scheduled for release February 19th.

“The Official Companion Seasons 3 & 4” was released earlier this year and “The Official Companion Seasons 1 & 2” was released in September 2006.

And yes, I, of course, have read them all cover to cover—as every “24” fan should…

What Time Is It? Time to Buy "HSM 2"!

In case you don’t already have it marked on your calendar, today is the big day, as “High School Musical 2” hit stores.

If you get it at Best Buy, you get a free bonus CD featuring three versions of “Bet On It.” But why we would want three versions of the song that nearly killed the movie is really beyond me. Maybe one of the versions is actually worth listening to…

At Kmart, you can save $10 if you buy both the DVD (at $14.99) and a “High School Musical 2” doll (which are on sale for $11.99). And while you’re there, you can check out the latest “HSM” bath accessories, which are 20% off…

As if Disney won’t make enough money from “HSM 2” DVD sales, today is also the release date of the third season of “Lost”…

Monday, December 10, 2007

Closer to Perfect Than I Thought?

Last night, I posted some comments from Donald Sutherland about Kiefer’s DUI arrest:

“You don’t want to get me going on this. All I can tell you is that he is
the most honorable, responsible, decent man I know, and I love him with a
passion. [Kiefer] behaved in a way that was so pure and so perfect and so
respectful. There are other elements in this community of ours that were less
so, but he was perfect.”

Perhaps Kiefer was a little more perfect than I thought…

A couple days ago on an AOL news site, someone posted this in the comments:

"What this news report doesn't tell you is that Kiefer was waiting for a taxi,
when the doorman at the club told him he had to park his car on the other side
of the street. As soon as he moved his car the police moved in and arrested

A post on the “24” forum from someone who was recently on the set in Washington, D.C., seemed to confirm the story:

"This makes me even sadder, because it seems to confirm something that I heard
while 24 was shooting here. According to the person who let me watch the last
day of shooting, Kiefer told him that the night of his arrest, he had a car
arranged to drive him home but was told to drive his car to a parking lot and
meet it there. I just didn't believe it. It didn't make sense. But when I read
this, I wonder if it did."

Adding to the story’s truth factor is the fact that Kiefer was pulled over for making the illegal u-turn just a block from the FOX party.

I’m still feeling a little ill…

So if this is true, the big question is why wouldn’t Kiefer have fought it? Why would he serve 48 DAYS in jail for moving his car? Donald already told you. “He is the most honorable, responsible, decent man I know.”

He would have done it to protect “24.” Kiefer and his lawyers knew that fighting the charges would drag everything out, threatening the show’s production schedule. So, Kiefer took the deal (Unfortunately, the writers’ strike has made his sacrifice look even more unnecessary.).

Now, again, I have no proof that this is actually what happened. We will never know what happened until Kiefer comes forward. So, if by any possibility, one of Kiefer’s PR people is reading this, let me make a suggestion…

After he gets out of prison, have Kiefer do a sitdown TAPED interview with someone. My suggestion would be Ann Curry from NBC since she she’s not too tough. He could get his story out there, show his remorse and understanding for what he did and remind everyone about “24.” It could be a true PR bonanza for you…

Again, I want to say that I do not condone what Kiefer did. Driving while intoxicated is wrong and should be punished. If he was just moving his car, he should have gotten someone to move it for him since he still could have hurt someone or himself.

But you have to admit. Forty-eight days does sound a little harsh for trying to keep your car from getting towed…

42 days to go…

Serious Catching Up...

So, last night, I did some serious catching up, so be sure to scroll down so you'll see everything.

Not only will you get the latest strike scheduling news, but I've also finally posted my thoughts on "Desperate Housewives" and "Heroes."

As always, be sure to let me know what you think...

Pick of the Week: An Early Exit

If the promos are to be believed, the best reality show on TV is headed for another of its dramatic early exits, so you won’t want to miss it…

My Pick of the Week is “Project Runway”…

Last season, “Runway” history was made when Keith was asked to leave for cheating. But this early exit appears to be for more personal reasons.

And if reports before the season began were correct, then I know who’s leaving. But I’m not going to spoil it for you.

However, here’s a hint. A seemingly unimportant revelation about a contestant’s health two weeks ago will become extremely important this week…

“Project Runway” airs Wednesday, December 12th at 10 p.m. on Bravo...

This Week's Schedule

There is still some pretty good stuff left this year to point out to you…

Monday, December 10th
Everybody Hates Chris—8 p.m.—CW—Phylicia Rashad guests.
Deal or No Deal—8 p.m.—NBC—In this two-hour episode, three contestants compete against each other with the best deal winning. This is the first of three nights of “Deal” this week with a different twist each night.

Tuesday, December 11th
The Best of This is SportsCenter—8 p.m.—ESPN—An hour-long special showcasing the best “SportsCenter” promos
Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too—8:30 p.m.—ABC
Cane—9 p.m.—CBS—Back-to-back episodes

Wednesday, December 12th
America’s Next Top Model—8 p.m.—CW—Season Finale
Kid Nation—8 p.m.—CBS—Season Finale
Crowned: The Mother of All Pageants—9 p.m.—CW—This mother-daughter beauty pageant competition debuts.
Kitchen Nightmares—9 p.m.—FOX—Season Finales
Christmas In Washington—10 p.m.—TNT—Alan Jackson, Ne-Yo, Vanessa Hudgens, Katharine McPhee and more perform.

Thursday, December 13th
30 Rock—8:30 p.m.—NBC—Emmy Winner Elaine Stritch and Andy Richter guest star for this Christmas episode.
Seinfeld Marathon—9 p.m.—TBS—Four holiday-themed episodes beginning with the introduction of “Festivus”
Saturday Night Live Christmas—9:30 p.m.—NBC—A 90-minute clip show of your favorite “SNL” Christmas moments
What Perez Sez About 2007—10 p.m.—VH1—Blogger extraordinaire Perez Hilton weighs in on 2007’s celebrity news.
Law & Order: Criminal Intent—10 p.m.—USA—Ben Vereen guests.
Big Shots—10:02 p.m.—ABC—Charisma Carpenter (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) guests.

Friday, December 14th
It’s a Wonderful Life—8 p.m.—NBC
2007 World Music Awards—8 p.m.—My Network TV—Roger Moore hosts this showcase of the world’s best magicians.
Numb3rs—10 p.m.—CBS—Enrico Colantoni (“Veronica Mars”) guests.

Saturday, December 15th
Snowglobe—8 p.m.—ABC Family—Christina Milian stars as a woman who has her perfect holiday after she’s magically transported into a snowglobe.
Christmas in Paradise—9 p.m.—Lifetime—Charlotte Ross and Colin Ferguson star in this TV-movie about two single parents who meet on vacation.

Sunday, December 16th
Survivor: China—8 p.m.—CBS—Season Finale, followed by the live reunion (10 p.m.)
Unfabulous: The Best Trip Ever—8 p.m.—Nickelodeon—Series Finale
Dexter—9 p.m.—Showtime—Season Finale
Extras—9 p.m.—HBO—Series Finale
America’s Most Smartest Model—9 p.m.—VH1—Season Finale

NBC Gets Back in “Order”

What a difference six months make…

In May, NBC came very close to canceling “Law & Order.” And it moved “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” to its cable sibling, USA.

But now, with the writers’ strike, NBC is thrilled to have “Law & Order” and is even bringing back “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.”

“Law & Order” will premiere Wednesday, January 2nd at 10 p.m. (its old stomping grounds). “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” will premiere Wednesday, January 9th at 9 p.m. Most of the “CI” episodes will have already aired on USA…

A “Dallas” Movie Update

I’m going to try and write this without getting sick…

The “Dallas” movie will now take place in Saudi Arabia—not Dallas.

John Travolta told “USA Today” that it “is more of a spoof on the idea of ‘Dallas.’”

Can’t we put this thing out of its misery already?

A Father’s Love

A day before his son, Kiefer, began serving his 48-day sentence for DUI, Donald Sutherland, told “USA Today” that he’s proud of his son, but he is “not pleased with the behavior of some folks in the aftermath” of his arrest:

“You don’t want to get me going on this. All I can tell you is that he is the most honorable, responsible, decent man I know, and I love him with a passion. [Kiefer] behaved in a way that was so pure and so perfect and so respectful. There are other elements in this community of ours that were less so, but he was perfect.”

I think that’s really sweet; but perfect? I don’t think so…

Ah, a father’s love for his son…

However, you know that I agree with him about how other people acted—especially if he’s referring to FOX not taking any kind of responsibility.

Another person/entity that didn’t behave all that honorably was “People” magazine, which wrote an irresponsible article filled with unnamed sources and quotes from a dozen other interviews Kiefer had given over the years to other magazines. They also reported that no one saw Kiefer drink at the FOX party (insinuating he went to another party after that one), even though they printed a picture of him leaving the party in which you could see he was drunk (not to mention their complete disregard of the Internet video). So it’s interesting that “People” is now our major source of Kiefer’s daily jail activities. They’re probably eating it up…

And by the way, even if there were no Internet video, I can guarantee you that their statement is false. Because Kiefer Sutherland not drinking at a party with an open bar is like me coming home from work and not turning on the television. It’s not going to happen…

So now, we get daily stories of Kiefer folding laundry and serving meals to accused murderers. It will be interesting to see how the media coverage continues to play out.

But more importantly, it will be interesting to see how Kiefer’s life plays out. A “perfect” guy would do the right thing and finally admit his problem…

In a totally ironic twist, “USA Today” reported that a tabloid was going to report that Donald was actually drunk while shooting the wedding episode of “Dirty Sexy Money” in which Tripp got totally wasted. The tabloid didn’t run the story after Donald’s publicist told them “Donald doesn’t drink.”

I have to say the performance was really good. Unfortunately, I think we know where he could’ve gotten his inspiration…

The “Journey” is About to End…

I thought that with the writers’ strike, we would get to see all of the episodes “Journeyman” produced. But it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.

And that’s too bad, because the show was starting to get really interesting…

Beginning January 7th, “Medium” will replace it, following “American Gladiators” at 8 p.m. and “Deal or No Deal” at 9 p.m…

"Sex and the City" Movie: First Look

For all of you “Sex and the City” fans, the first movie trailer has hit the web.

But if you’re looking for details, you’re going to be disappointed…

You can see it here.

The Latest Strike News: It’s Not Looking Good

A report emerged last week that makes me feel a little ill…

Because progress has been “relatively minimal,” the Alliance of Motion Picture and TV Producers—and more specifically, the studio CEOs it’s representing—could decide they’ve given as much as they can and put a “take-it-or-leave-it package” on the table.

The problem with that is that the Writers Guild of America would almost certainly reject such an offer.

And here’s another interesting note on the strike…

December 17th, something called force majeure clauses will go into effect. I’m not completely sure what those are, but I do know they allow studios to terminate deals with producers and writers they find unfavorable (i.e. too expensive). So, expect some heads to roll—especially those of writers who have signed hefty studio deals and not produced any hits…

Meanwhile, CBS is prepping “Dexter” for air on the network. CBS is also looking at “The Tudors” and “Weeds,” but both would need a lot of editing.

Similarly, NBC is looking at airing USA’s “Burn Notice”…

"Heroes": Too Harsh?

So I guess I would be doing you all a disservice if I didn’t at least say something about the “Heroes” finale—even if I am a week late.

But since I gave up on “Heroes” a while ago, I don’t really have much to say. And what I’ve read doesn’t really impress me…

Actually, I would’ve thought the Adam buried alive twist was clever, if I hadn’t already seen it on “Alias.”

And for the record, I’m happy that HRG didn’t die, but that wasn’t enough to get me to tune in again.

I might think about it when it returns (whenever that is)—with might being the operative word.

So what did you think? Am I being too harsh?

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Yes, Mary Alice, Life Is Unfair…

At the conclusion of last Sunday’s “Desperate Housewives,” narrator Mary Alice Young told us that life is unfair.

Yes, Mary Alice, life IS unfair—especially for all of us “DH” fans, since it will probably be months before we find out who lived or died, thanks to the writers’ strike…

The next episode has been completed, but ABC will probably hang onto it until it gets more new episodes.

Which leaves us plenty of time to discuss Mary Alice’s revelation that one woman would lose a husband and they all would lose a friend…

Ever since I heard that two people were going to die—one of them being male—I got worried about Tom. Now, I don’t know for sure that he’s dead, but it doesn’t look good—and that upsets me. I’ve always liked him and I don’t like them making Lynette into the tragedy-of-the-week character.

But that’s probably better than the selfish, unreasonable witch they keep turning her into. Releasing the cat was horrible and I know it had to infuriate pet lovers everywhere.

However, that doesn’t mean she deserves to have her husband die…

Fortunately, Tom is not the only possibility here. It did look like Victor died and he is still Gaby’s husband. But them someone else would have to be the friend since no one liked Victor. If it was Tom, he could be the husband and the friend, making Nathan’s stalker the second death.

Stupid writers’ strike…

There was plenty to like about the episode, but there were several things that made me roll my eyes: 1) Carlos was able to drive home, even though the funnel cloud was just
behind the neighborhood. 2) The wind was strong enough to flip over a car; but Carlos and Victor were able to stand up with no trouble. 3) Did you see how long it took for those papers to fly away from Gaby?

And I’m still bothered that a shrewd politician like Victor would be crazy enough to do something as stupid as attempt murder—twice.

However, for the most part, the episode was pretty dramatic. As usual, I loved Bree’s story and it was nice to see Susan take charge for once.

I just wish we knew how it all ended. At least with season-ending cliffhangers, you know that in four months, you’ll get the resolution. This time, we have no idea…

So what did you think? Who do you think didn’t survive?

The Walls Are About to Tumble Again

CBS has announced that “Jericho” will return Tuesday, February 12th at 10 p.m.

The bad news is that Tuesdays at 10 p.m. is CBS’s death slot. The good news is that all the competition will be in reruns.

By the way, because CBS only ordered seven episodes, the entire order was completed before the strike…

Has the “Bionic Woman” Been Shut Off?

Have we seen the last of “Bionic Woman”?

The show ran out of episodes two weeks ago and NBC has not given it a full-season order, but despite the strike, has given orders to “Life” and “Chuck.” “Bionic” has been a big ratings disappointment, so when the strike ends, it may not go back into production.

One of the biggest knocks on the show is that its star, Michelle Ryan, is not nearly as charismatic as Katee Sackhoff, who plays the first bionic woman, Sarah Corvus. So when a blog reported Sackhoff was done with the show, that seemed like the final nail in the coffin.

But Sackhoff told “TV Guide” that she never made such comments. In fact, she has a six-year contract with the show. Her appearances have been limited thus far because of her obligations to “Battlestar Galactica”…

Stay tuned…

Thursday, December 06, 2007

"Dancing With the Stars": The Talk Continues...

“Dancing With the Stars” may be over, but the craziness continues…

Earlier this week, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who danced with Mel B. this season, told “TV Guide” he was not returning to the show. He said that most of the pro dancers were interested in furthering their entertainment careers and he just wanted to dance. Then today, Maks told “People” that he wasn’t leaving after all. Maks says that after he read the article and all of the e-mails and comments from his fans, he regretted his words. He says it was just the frustration and exhaustion of a difficult season talking (Because of her rehearsals for the Spice Girls tour, Mel B. often had only a few hours to learn her routines.)…

Rumors continue to swirl around Helio and Julianne, but they continue to deny they’re an item. The two will perform a few dates on the east coast leg of the “DWTS” tour. Helio needs to stay east as he prepares to begin the Indy season and Julianne is recording a country album in Nashville for Universal Records…

Meanwhile, Mark Ballas’ participation in the tour is up in the air after arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder, which he dislocated during the season finale.

The injury happened during his cha cha cha with girlfriend Sabrina Bryan. Ballas was rushed to the ER after the performance, but Bryan was required to stay in the audience for the rest of the show.

Ballas is learning the steps and is hoping to join the tour at some point. Bryan will be a part of the entire tour. No word on who she’ll dance with…

After Ballas’ injury, Mark Cuban offered the Mavericks team doctor to give a second opinion and has been in constant contact with Ballas and his family. Cuban also came to the rescue earlier in the season when Cameron Mathison suffered an injury…

Derek Hough, who danced this season with Jennie Garth, told TMZ that he might next dance with Florence Henderson…

And buzz is starting to circulate in the blogging community that Marie Osmond may have faked her fainting spell. TMZ reports that Marie had a writer on the set to feed her one-liners and that writer was “at the ready” both when she fainted and when she woke up.

I’m not saying Marie faked her fainting spell, but there’s no doubt she’s media savvy. Just about everyone questioned why she did that wind-up doll freestyle dance. But then a Marie Osmond doll in that same outfit showed up on QVC. And yes, there is also a doll dressed in the outfit she was wearing when she fainted.

No surprise, the dolls are a huge success…

Welcome to the "Jungle"

NBC has finally scheduled the premiere of “Lipstick Jungle”…

“Jungle” will premiere Thursday, February 7th at 10 p.m., taking over the “ER” timeslot when it runs out of episodes.

The dramedy, based on the novel by Candace Bushnell (“Sex and the City”), stars Brooke Shields, Kim Raver and Lindsay Price as three New York City power players…

The Latest on "High School Musical 3"

So let me update you on what’s happening with “High School Musical 3”…

The entire cast is back for the film. Although Disney won’t disclose salaries, “Entertainment Weekly” reports Zac Efron will make $3 million for the movie.

The script is completed, so it will not be affected by the strike. It will center on senior year, including prom.

I hope Ryan gets a date, because I can’t wait to see his tux…

Filming is scheduled to begin in March after Efron completes “17,” an update of “Big” about a father (Matthew Perry) who wakes up one day as a teenager (Efron).

I hope they give Perry some contacts to match those Efron baby blues, or we’ll never buy it…

"Terminator" Is It Too Much?

As FOX prepares to premiere “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” Christian Bale has apparently signed to star in a new “Terminator” film.

Can you say overkill?

The only reason I mention this is because McG is going to direct it. And that will be seriously cool…

“Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” premieres Sunday, January 13th at 8 p.m. on FOX…

NBC Gets Real

NBC will have a lot more reality come January…

The fifth season of “The Biggest Loser” will premiere Tuesday, January 1st at 8 p.m…

“1 vs. 100” will return Friday, January 4th at 8 p.m…

And the moment you’ve all been waiting for, the premiere of “American Gladiators” will be Sunday, January 6th at 9 p.m…

"Celebrity Apprentice": What Can I Say?

If you’ve been watching NBC lately, you’ve seen the promos for “The Celebrity Apprentice.”

Here are the celebrities who will compete…

Trace Adkins
Carol Alt
Stephen Baldwin
Nadia Comaneci
Tiffany Fallon (Former Playboy Playmate and Mrs. Joe Don Rooney of Rascal Flatts)
Jennie Finch (Olympic Softball Team)
Neby Galan (Producer, Former President of Telemundo)
Marilu Henner
Lennox Lewis
Piers Morgan
Tito Ortiz (Ultimate Fighting Champion)
Vincent Pastore
Gene Simmons

I wish I could say something, but there are no words…

“The Celebrity Apprentice” premieres Thursday, January 3rd at 9 p.m. on NBC…

Latest Strike News...

Remember that optimistic post I wrote last week about the writers’ strike ending before the end of the year?

I hope you weren’t holding your breath, because it’s probably not going to happen…

The two sides are apparently making progress, but insiders are still fairly pessimistic. One story I read said the strike may not be over until March…

I think it’s time to start going Jack Bauer on some people…

In other strike news…

Carson Daly has brought his show back on the air, much to the chagrin of the WGA. They are especially upset that he set up a jokeline so that people could call him with jokes to use. During his first show back, Daly, who is not a WGA member, explained his decision by saying he didn’t want 75 people to lose their jobs…

Meanwhile, the non-writing staff at “The Tonight Show” was laid off by NBC last week. Jay Leno, in turn, handed out Christmas bonuses early to help; but after some criticism, Jay has agreed to pay their salaries out of his pocket at least through the end of this week.

The criticism came because Conan O’Brien, who makes less than Jay, had already agreed
to pay his employees’ salaries. Plus, Jay did not say goodbye to the staff in person, because he refused to cross the picket line to go into the production offices…

By the way, when the strike does end, it will take a while to get shows back on the air. Sitcoms could be back in a week and a half, but dramas would need three to five weeks to get going again…

What Makes a TV Icon?

When I say the words, “TV icon,” what comes to your mind?

To me, a TV icon is someone who made a true impression on both the medium of television and the audience through their roles.

Apparently, the people at “Entertainment Weekly” and TV Land don’t see it exactly the way I do…

If you watched the special on TV Land or saw “EW” a few weeks ago, you know they joined together to compile a list of TV’s Greatest Icons. In looking over the list, I think it’s obvious there’s a big difference between iconic characters and iconic actors. Why else would Henry Winkler, aka The Fonz, only be #34? But there’s no explanation for me as to how Jimmy Smits would rank ahead of Bob Hope…

In case you missed it, here’s the top 50:

50) Larry Hagman
49) Calista Flockhart
48) Jimmy Smits
47) Simon Cowell
46) Lassie
45) Sarah Michelle Gellar
44) Susan Lucci
43) Flip Wilson
42) James Gandolfini
41) Jon Stewart
40) Sally Field
39) Jennifer Aniston
38) Bea Arthur
37) George Clooney
36) Diahann Carroll
35) Michael J. Fox
34) Bob Barker
33) Ellen DeGeneres
32) Henry Winkler
31) Sarah Jessica Parker
30) Alan Alda
29) John Ritter
28) Howard Cosell
27) Regis Philbin
26) Farrah Fawcett
25) Heather Locklear
24) Michael Landon
23) Barbara Walters
22) Milton Berle
21) Kermit the Frog
20) Carroll O’Connor
19) Andy Griffith
18) William Shatner
17) Bob Newhart
16) David Letterman
15) “Not Ready for Primetime Players”
14) Ed Sullivan
13) Jackie Gleason
12) Dick Van Dyke
11) Roseanne
10) Dick Clark
9) Homer Simpson
8) Jerry Seinfeld
7) Mary Tyler Moore
6) Carol Burnett
5) Walter Cronkite
4) Bill Cosby
3) Oprah Winfrey
2) Lucille Ball
1) Johnny Carson

As you can see, Bob Hope, one of our most legendary entertainers, didn’t even make the top 50 (#51). Nor did Betty White (#56), Don Knotts (#58) or James Garner (#77)—all of whom I would consider icons.

As is usually the case with these lists, the newer names get ranked a little higher than they should since they’re fresher in mind. That would explain how Jerry Seinfeld would be ranked ahead of Andy Griffith, Michael Landon and Dick Van Dyke.

However, I still think there’s some confusion between character and actor. For example, I don’t consider Kiefer Sutherland a TV icon, but if I was making a list of iconic characters, I would definitely include Jack Bauer. For me, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Jennifer Aniston are not TV icons, but Buffy and Rachel are. However, neither of them are as iconic as J.R. Ewing, whose portrayer, Larry Hagman, ranked below them.

But there’s still no explanation for Jimmy Smits…

If the point of this list was to generate conversation, then I guess it succeeded. But it bothers me a little that TV Land was involved with this list since they should be familiar with iconic TV.

On second thought, have you seen their line-up lately?...

So what do you think? Who do you consider the greatest TV icons?...

Don't Worry, I'm Okay...

In case you haven't heard--and I hadn't until this morning--Kiefer Sutherland went to jail last night.

Due to the writers' strike, he's decided to serve his entire 48-day sentence consecutively.

I'll have much more on this later, but I thought I should get a post up quickly to let you guys know I'm okay. I'm sure you were all worried...

Monday, December 03, 2007

Pick of the Week: Back to the Kitchen

During the long months that “Project Runway” was off the air, I took comfort in another reality show. And this week, that show returns for the holidays.

My Pick of the Week is the “Top Chef Holiday Special”…

Chefs from the first three seasons will compete for $20,000 and a whole lot of pride since none of them won the title. Among the competitors are Season 2’s villain, Marcel, and two of Season 3’s most popular contestants, Tre and C.J. Padma, Tom and Ted will be there to judge.

I just hope they play the theme song. I still find myself humming it from time to time…

“Top Chef Holiday Special” airs Thursday, December 6th at 9 p.m., following a “Top Chef” marathon (beginning at 11 a.m.) on Bravo…

This Week's Schedule

It was my plan to stop posting weekly schedules after sweeps ended, but there are so many specials on this week I don’t want you to miss them…

Monday, December 3rd
The Closer—8 p.m.—TNT—It’s a special two-hour Christmas episode.
Inside the Actors Studio—8 p.m.—Bravo—John Cusack steps into the studio. Think he’ll tell us why he and Jeremy Piven don’t speak anymore?
A Charlie Brown Christmas—8 p.m.—ABC—If you missed it the first time…
Heroes—9 p.m.—NBC—This episode is being billed as the year’s finale, but a long writers’ strike could make it the actual season finale.
Saving Grace—10 p.m.—TNT—The Holly Hunter drama returns for the first of four new episodes.
Life—10:01 p.m.—NBC—The drama airs twice this week with a special two-parter. Part two airs Wednesday at 10 p.m.

Tuesday, December 4th
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer—8 p.m.—CBS
Beauty and the Geek—8 p.m.—CW—Season Finale
Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show—10 p.m.—CBS—The reunited Spice Girls make their TV performance debut and Seal provides some music for his wife, Heidi Klum.
Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency—10:30 p.m.—Oxygen—Season Premiere

Wednesday, December 5th
Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town—8 p.m.—ABC
Julia Roberts Tribute—8 p.m.—AMC
Larry the Cable Guy’s Christmas Spectacular—9 p.m.—VH1—Larry performs with special guests Kid Rock, Flavor Flav, Penn Jillette, Lisa Lampanelli and Tony Orlando.
House of Payne—10 p.m.—TBS—Tyler Perry guests as Madea in a spoof of “A Christmas Carol.”

Thursday, December 6th
Ugly Betty—8 p.m.—ABC—Betty White guests as herself.
CSI—9 p.m.—CBS—Academy Award Winning Director William Friedkin (“The French Connection”) directs this episode centering on Warrick (Gary Dourdan).
ER—10:01 p.m.—NBC—Peter Fonda guests in the show’s 300th episode.
Top Chef Holiday Special—9 p.m.—Bravo—Chefs from the past three seasons return for a holiday cookoff.
Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style—10:30 p.m.—Bravo—Season Finale
Barbara Walters’ 10 Most Fascinating People of 2007—10:02 p.m.—ABC—I’m guessing that Rosie didn’t make the list…

Friday, December 7th
Hannah Montana—8 p.m.—Disney Channel—Dolly Parton and Vicki Lawrence guest. Frosty the Snowman—8 p.m.—CBS—The 1969 classic is followed by the 1992 sequel, “Frosty Returns.”
Movies Rock! A Celebration of Music and Film—9 p.m.—CBS—Beyonce, Fergie, Carrie Underwood, Elton John and more perform memorable movie songs.
Monk—9 p.m.—USA—The show returns for its annual Christmas special.
Psych—10 p.m.—USA—Shawn and Gus join the holiday fun with guest stars Ernie Hudson and Phylicia Rashad.

Saturday, December 8th
Heisman Trophy Presentation—8 p.m.—ESPN
The Note—9 p.m.—Hallmark Channel—Genie Francis (“General Hospital”) stars in this story of a woman delivering a final message from father to child.
Lost Holiday: The Jim and Suzanne Shemwell Story—9 p.m.—Lifetime—Jami Gertz and Dylan Walsh star in this true story of a couple lost in the snowy wilderness on Christmas.

Sunday, December 9th
Holiday In Handcuffs—8 p.m.—ABC Family—Melissa Joan Hart and Mario Lopez star in this TV-movie about a woman who forces a man at gunpoint to spend the holiday with her and her family.
Oprah Winfrey Presents: Mitch Albom’s For One More Day—9 p.m.—ABC—Michael Imperioli (“The Sopranos”) stars as a suicidal man who gets a visit from his late mother (Ellen Burstyn).
1968 With Tom Brokaw—9 p.m.—History Channel—Tom Brokaw looks back at one of the most turbulent years in American history.