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"…

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Real Housewives of Atlanta" Review: Is There Any Drama Left?

With all the table flipping madness of the New Jersey Housewives, it would be easy to think that Bravo has bled all of the drama out of the franchise.

But along come the Housewives from Atlanta to prove that completely wrong…

When last we left the girls, they were going at each other at the reunion show. NeNe and Kim were still feuding over the song NeNe sang making fun of Kim’s music career and her relationship with a married man (referred to only as “Big Papa”). NeNe and Sheree were feuding because Sheree had gotten close with Kim. Lisa threatened to flip Kim over the couch because she felt like she was lying. And DeShawn just tried to stay above the fray.

When we pick up the story in the season two premiere, NeNe and Lisa are still at odds with Kim, but they are now joined by Sheree in that department. Kim, meanwhile, is trying to deal with her breakup from Big Papa and start her own line of wigs, all the while considering making up with NeNe.

DeShawn is gone, and she’s been replaced by Kandi, a Grammy-award winning singer/songwriter, who is recording a solo album while trying to plan her wedding.

In the premiere, Sheree plans a VERY extravagant party to celebrate her new independence. Lisa and her husband, Ed, contemplate expanding their family. Kandi struggles to join her family with her fiance’s. And Kim goes to beauty school to learn about wigs.

Proving that the “Housewives” drama is nowhere near dead, one of these storylines leads to a HUGE fight that will make Teresa’s table flipping look like nothing at all.

Plus, the previews of the season promise even more fighting, wig pulling and name calling.

And isn’t that what we want from our “Housewives”? Thank goodness there’s still some left in the tank…

“The Real Housewives of Atlanta” premieres Thursday, July 30th at 10 p.m…

Photo Credit: Quantrell Colbert/Bravo

Lifetime Capitalizes on a Scandal

Talk about capitalizing on an opportunity…

In the wake of an “US Weekly” report that Eddie Cibrian’s wife has left him because of an affair with LeAnn Rimes, Lifetime is re-airing the movie that first brought Cibrian and Rimes together.

According to an alert sent out to the media this afternoon, “Nora Roberts’ Northern Lights” will air Saturday, August 1st at 9 p.m.

You can see my original review of the movie here

Photo Credit: Dan Power/Lifetime

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pick of the Week: When Politics and Religion Collide

Those of you who are longtime readers of my blogs know that there are two things that I always try to avoid talking about—politics and religion.

It’s not that I don’t have an opinion on either of those things, because I do. It’s just that I know what kind of a firestorm those two things can set off and I don’t think a blog about TV (or “American Idol” for that matter) is an appropriate venue for that kind of discussion.

So when both of those things come together right in the middle of one of my favorite shows, I admit, it makes me a little uncomfortable. But when the issues are handled as well as they are in this particular hour, I’ve got no choice but to look past my discomfort and make it this week’s Pick…

My Pick of the Week is “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List.”

This week, Kathy decides that in order to be an A-lister, she needs to become an activist. So she takes on the cause of Prop 8, the proposition that outlawed gay marriage in California. It’s no surprise that Kathy is opposed to Prop 8 and joins the cause to rally support to defeat it next time around.

But instead of making a big publicity stunt out of it, as she does with many of her “D-List” activities, Kathy takes the cause very seriously, bringing along a group of gay teens to participate in an emotional march on Sacramento.

However, since this is the “D-List,” it doesn’t get too serious as Kathy manages to inject lots of humor. And you’ll be pleased to know that she injects it appropriately, in most cases…

I said earlier that the best episodes of this show are when Kathy shows she has a heart, and it is WAY out on her sleeve in this one as she cries more than once in the episode. And when she makes her triumphant “Norma Gay” speech with her mother at her side, well, I admit I teared up a little myself…

If you’re opposed to gay marriage, you’ll probably take offense at some of the episode. But I assure you that you won’t feel belittled for your beliefs. In fact, the volunteers of this movement go to great lengths to respect everyone’s religious beliefs, even though they clash with their own.
I will warn you, though, that the episode might make you think, so if you’re opposed to that, definitely do not watch…

“Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List” airs Monday, July 27th at 10 p.m. on Bravo…
Photo Credit: Janet Van Ham/Bravo

It’s Time to Get Dirty and Sexy All Over Again…

In case you missed it, “Dirty Sexy Money” returned last week to finally finish out its run.

But if you did miss it, you didn’t really miss much, which is why I didn’t tell you about it sooner…

Last week’s episode was the Thanksgiving episode that was supposed to air in November, but got pulled by ABC at the last minute. It was nothing but a filler episode—and a lame one at that—with clips that had been deleted from previous episodes strung together by Clark the chauffeur talking to a reporter (played by the increasingly annoying showkiller Rena Sofer).

There were small glimpses of what made me fall in love with the show to begin with but not enough. In fact, at the half-hour mark, I decided to just tape it and turn to something else. I have to admit the ending was pretty good, but it wasn’t enough to excuse the lame premise.

This week, we get back to business—I hope—if anyone can remember what that business was since the show last aired in December. Thanks to my own blog posts from December, I’ve managed to remember most of what was going on…

Simon Elder (Blair Underwood) was finally revealed as a big bad guy when he took a payoff from Tripp (Donald Sutherland) to not marry Karen (Natalie Zea). But Tripp, of course, had a plan, and instead of getting control of Darling Enterprises, Simon ended up as Tripp’s partner.

Karen, however, had actually fallen in love with Simon and was angry that the marriage didn’t happen—but not at Simon, at her first love, Nick (Peter Krause), who she felt had chosen her father’s interests over hers. But Karen forgave Nick and the possibility of the two of them getting together (since Nick is now single as well) surfaced again.

Meanwhile, Brian (Glenn Fitzgerald) did the right thing and married a dying Andrea (Sheryl Lee). But when he decided he couldn’t live without her, he made a deal with God to go back to the church if she lived. God kept up his part of the bargain, so Brian went back to the church and things became strained with Andrea. But Brian eventually admitted that he was trying to drive her away when he really didn’t want her to go anywhere.

Patrick (William Baldwin) became a Senator—thanks in part to his Chief-of-Staff Nola Lyons (Lucy Liu), who was secretly working for Simon. But tragedy struck when Patrick’s former brother-in-law killed Patrick’s true love, Carmelita, at his inauguration ceremony.

Jeremy (Seth Gabel) developed amnesia after he fell during the shooting, but revealed to Nola that he was faking it to get closer to Simon. Jeremy was trying to help the woman he loved after he had discovered that Simon was holding Nola’s brother hostage to make her do his dirty work.

And the mystery of who killed Nick and Brian’s father, Dutch, took another twist, as the possibility arose that Dutch was still alive…

I have read that the show actually does have some closure and that the central mystery about Dutch will be solved. But with only three episodes left, you know we’re in for a logic-defying Quantum Leaper that will only make me even sadder about what could have been…

It’s like “Commander In Chief” all over again. Hopefully, Donald Sutherland has learned his lesson with shows on ABC…

“Dirty Sexy Money” airs Saturday, July 24th at 10 p.m. on ABC…

Photo Credit: Randee St. Nicholas/ABC

Monday, July 20, 2009

Pick of the Week: One Last Bow to the "Kings"

One of my biggest TV pet peeves is when a show gets better AFTER it gets cancelled. It’s so sad to see such potential unrealized.

And unfortunately that will be the case for this week’s Pick…

My Pick of the Week is the series finale of “Kings.”

For some reason during the summer, I have a hard time sitting through an hourlong drama. But I had no such trouble with Saturday’s “Kings” as it was SERIOUSLY good…

Which makes me seriously sad…

If you missed it, William (the wonderful Dylan Baker) finally made his move to get rid of King Silas (Ian McShane) and make Jack (Sebastian Stan) king. At the ceremony to hand over Port Prosperity to Gath, William arranged for a shooter to take out Silas—but not before Jack jumped in front to take a bullet and look like a hero.

At the same time, David (Chris Egan) was facing down a firing squad after he was condemned for treason by Silas. But David’s life was spared thanks to Jack, who decided he needed David to help him rule.

But what Jack didn’t realize was that William had no intention of letting him rule, and instead planned to make him his puppet. And William has the army behind him to enforce his will…

But what William doesn’t realize is that Silas is not dead and David escapes to find the king and bring him back to his kingdom to stop William…

But what David doesn’t know is that William’s son Andrew (Macaulay Culkin) is watching his every move…

It helps that these last two episodes bring Baker to the forefront. And if I was casting a project and needed a young bad guy, I would totally cast Culkin. He is wonderfully creepy in a small part that will no doubt get bigger in this final hour.

I totally understand why NBC had such a problem marketing this show. It is very different. But it still hurts to see it go when it’s giving us such great drama…

The series finale of “Kings” airs Saturday, July 25th at 8 p.m. on NBC…

Photo Credit: Andrew Eccles/NBC

Thursday, July 16, 2009

More on the Emmy Nominations...

After pouring over the entire nominations list, here are some other things that jumped out at me…

Critics’ darling “Friday Night Lights” was nominated for Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series, but none of the cast received nominations…

One of my favorite commercials from the past year, the Alec Baldwin Hulu commercial, received a nod for Outstanding Commercial…

Considering the movie was shot on location in South Africa using actual South African actors, I think Jon Cassar definitely deserved a nod for directing “24: Redemption.” And I think “Redemption” deserved a nod as well. I can’t believe it wasn’t better than “Coco Chanel”…

“The Last Supper” episode of “Top Chef” received several technical nominations. You may remember that was the episode that featured the soft lighting around famous chefs enjoying their “last meals.” I guess the voters were impressed with the effect…

As I had hoped, “Lie to Me” received a nomination for Outstanding Main Title Design. You will remember that the title images are accompanied by “Brand New Day” by Ryan Star, so I’d like to think he had a little something to do with it…

In my review of the “24” season finale, I wrote, “that haunting Sean Callery score throughout the episode was amazing.” Clearly someone agreed with me as he received a nomination for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score) for the episode. He also received a nomination for Outstanding Music Composition for a Miniseries or Movie or Special for “24: Redemption”…

Justin Timberlake received three nominations: Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics for co-writing “I Love Sports” from the 2008 Espy Awards, Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics for co-writing “Motherlover” from “Saturday Night Live,” and Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for hosting “Saturday Night Live”…

Kiefer Sutherland was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Movie or Miniseries for “24: Redemption,” which I guess is some consolation…

Bob Newhart was nominated for Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role in a Movie or Miniseries for his role as Judson in “The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice”…

Jon Hamm received a Guest Actor in a Comedy nod, in addition to his Lead Drama Actor nod, for his role as Drew on “30 Rock”…

The Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy category is VERY interesting. Among the nominees are Betty White (“My Name Is Earl”), Jennifer Aniston (“30 Rock”) and Tina Fey for playing Gov. Sarah Palin on “Saturday Night Live”…

Michael J. Fox was nominated for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama for his role as Dwight on “Rescue Me”…

I had hoped that the voters could throw Jay Leno a bone and take their final opportunity to nominate his “Tonight Show,” but alas, it didn’t happen. “Jay Leno’s Garage” did receive a nod for Outstanding Special Class Short-Format Nonfiction Program…

Kathy Griffin once again received two nominations: Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special for “Kathy Griffin: She’ll Cut a B---h” and Outstanding Reality Program for “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List”…

NPH’s roll extended to the internet as well as “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” was nominated for Outstanding Special Class Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Program…

“Hannah Montana” was nominated for Outstanding Children’s Program…

Farrah Fawcett received a posthumous nod for Outstanding Nonfiction Special for “Farrah’s Story”…

Husband and wife Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon are both nominees—Kyra for “The Closer” and Bacon for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Movie or Miniseries for “Taking Chance”…

The Emmy Awards will air Sunday, September 20th at 8 p.m. on CBS…

Photo Credits: Barbara Nitke/Bravo, Erik Heinila/TNT, Craig Sjodin/Disney Channel

And the Nominees Are...

As I alluded to earlier, there is a lot to be perplexed about when it comes to this year’s Emmy nominations.

There was some concern that eliminating the blue ribbon nomination panels would cause the more popular shows to receive more nods than the lower-rated, but critically acclaimed shows. Clearly that didn’t happen…

Here’s a look at the major nominees, along with my analysis of each category…

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Jim Parsons (Sheldon, “The Big Bang Theory)
Jemaine Clement (Jemaine, “Flight of the Concords”)
Tony Shalhoub (“Monk”)
Steve Carell (Michael, “The Office”)
Alec Baldwin (Jack, “30 Rock”)
Charlie Sheen (Charlie, “Two and a Half Men”)

This is one of the few categories I have nothing to say about. I am thrilled for Parsons, who I think is the funniest guy on TV.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Bryan Cranston (Walter, “Breaking Bad”)
Michael C. Hall (“Dexter”)
Hugh Laurie, (“House”)
Gabriel Byrne (Paul, “In Treatment”)
Jon Hamm (Don, “Mad Men”)
Simon Baker (Patrick, “The Mentalist”)

I knew this one would be tough, but I still thought that Kiefer Sutherland would break through. My only guess is that “24” lost some support after season six, and not as many people saw his work this year. I’m also surprised not to see Michael Chiklis since this was the last chance to honor “The Shield.” And as much as the critics hate to see his name, James Spader (“Boston Legal”) got ripped as well. Baker is the surprise here, but TV critics were pushing him hard. I think his nod is a reward for starring in last season’s only new hit show.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Christine, “The New Adventures of Old Christine”)
Christina Applegate (Samantha, “Samantha Who?”)
Sarah Silverman (“The Sarah Silverman Program”)
Tina Fey (Liz, “30 Rock”)
Toni Collette (Tara, “United States of Tara”)
Mary-Louise Parker (Nancy, “Weeds”)

I’m glad to see Applegate and Louis-Dreyfus both here.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama
Sally Field (Nora, “Brothers & Sisters”)
Kyra Sedgwick (Brenda, “The Closer”)
Glenn Close (Patty, “Damages”)
Mariska Hargitay (Olivia, “Law & Order: SVU”)
Elisabeth Moss (Peggy, “Mad Men”)
Holly Hunter (Grace, “Saving Grace”)

I’m surprised to not see Golden Globe winner Anna Paquin (“True Blood”) here.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Kevin Dillon (Johnny, “Entourage”)
Neil Patrick Harris (Barney, “How I Met Your Mother”)
Rainn Wilson (Dwight, “The Office”)
Tracy Morgan (Tracy, “30 Rock”)
Jack McBrayer (Kenneth, “30 Rock”)
Jon Cryer (Alan, “Two and a Half Men”)

The big surprise here is the absence of Jeremy Piven (“Entourage”). I think his whole sushi controversy hurt him. I really hope this clears the way for an NPH win.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
William Shatner, (Denny, “Boston Legal”)
Christian Clemenson (Jerry, “Boston Legal”)
Aaron Paul (Jesse, “Breaking Bad”)
William Hurt (Daniel, “Damages”)
Michael Emerson (Ben, “Lost”)
John Slattery (Roger, “Mad Men”)

I know many critics are sick of seeing Shatner’s name on this list, but he totally deserves it after the heartbreaking and hilarious Thanksgiving episode. I’m glad to see Emerson, but I think some other “Lost” men deserved some love as well. And I’m sad to not see Jon Voight (“24”).

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Kristin Chenoweth (Olive, “Pushing Daisies”)
Amy Poehler (“Saturday Night Live”)
Kristin Wiig (“Saturday Night Live”)
Jane Krakowski (Jenna, “30 Rock”)
Vanessa Williams (Wilhelmina, “Ugly Betty”)
Elizabeth Perkins (Celia, “Weeds”)

Poehler and Wiig will be an interesting dilemma for voters.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Rose Byrne (Ellen, “Damages”)
Sandra Oh (Christina, “Grey’s Anatomy”)
Chandra Wilson (Miranda, “Grey’s Anatomy”)
Dianne Wiest (Gina, “In Treatment”)
Hope Davis (Mia, “In Treatment”)
Cherry Jones (President Taylor, “24”)

Notice the absence of Katherine Heigl (“Grey’s Anatomy”).

Outstanding Host For a Reality or Reality-Competition Program
Phil Keoghan (“The Amazing Race”)
Ryan Seacrest (“American Idol”)
Tom Bergeron (“Dancing With the Stars”)
Heidi Klum (“Project Runway”)
Jeff Probst (“Survivor”)
Padma Lakshmi and Tom Colicchio (“Top Chef”)

I’m happy that Keoghan got the nomination he deserved last year, but I still don’t get Klum getting nominated. And even though I don’t completely agree with calling Colicchio a co-host, I’m thrilled to see him get a nod.

Outstanding Comedy Series
“Family Guy”
“Flight of the Conchords”
“How I Met Your Mother”
“The Office”
“30 Rock”

Considering the history of “Family” and the fact that an animated series hasn’t been nominated in this category since “The Flintstones,” I should be happy. But my happiness is tempered by my disappointment over the absence of “The Big Bang Theory.” So how did “How I Make Your Mother” make the cut? Three words: Neil Patrick Harris. NPH is on such a hot streak, I believe he single-handedly got the show a nod. Not that I don’t think “Mother” is good, I just think “Bang” is better. And for the record, I think the nomination of “Family” is a bit of an “in your face” for the Academy and the networks. Notice that there are seven nominees which means there was a tie somewhere.

Outstanding Drama Series
“Big Love”
“Breaking Bad”
“Mad Men”

Again, another tough one. I’m not all that disappointed about the absence of “24” since I’m not entirely sure it deserved a nomination. But I am disappointed it didn’t get one and “House” did. I’m also surprised by the absence of “The Shield” and “Rescue Me.” And it looks like ghost Denny hurt “Grey’s” chances. Again, there are seven nominees instead of six.

Outstanding Reality-Competition Program
“The Amazing Race”
“American Idol”
“Dancing With the Stars”
“Project Runway”
“Top Chef”

As I feared, “Runway” got a nomination it didn’t deserve. I don’t watch “So You Think You Can Dance,” but surely it deserved a nod more than “Runway.” And what about “Survivor”?

So what do you think? Did someone very important get left off the list or did the Emmys finally get it right?

And I’ll have more on the nominations coming up…

Photo Credit: Randy Tepper/CBS, Vivian Zink/ABC, Sonja Flemming/CBS, Virginia Sherwood/Bravo

Emmy Nominations: Wow...

So the Emmy nominations have just been announced and all I can say

Kiefer Sutherland is nominated for "24: Redemption" but snubbed for "24"?

Jim Parsons is nominated, but his show, "The Big Bang Theory," is ignored in favor of "Family Guy"?!

And just as I feared, "Project Runway" is nominated for its most dreadful season ever?

I will have MUCH more on this tonight...

Stay Tuned...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bravo's Andy Cohen: "Sometimes I Am Trying Not to Laugh..."

I don’t have to tell you guys about my undying love for all things Bravo. So, of course, I am a huge fan of Andy Cohen…

He’s the guy you always see caught in the middle of those “Housewives” reunion catfights, just trying to keep the peace while trying to get to the bottom of what’s going on. But what many people don’t realize is that Cohen is responsible for most of what we see on Bravo as the Senior Vice President, Original Programming and Development.

In fact, some of you probably think I’m on his payroll since I talk about Bravo so much (For the record, I am not.)…

His latest project is “Watch What Happens: Live,” a new interactive show hosted by Cohen himself where he and his guests will talk about the week’s events including what’s been happening on Bravo.

His first guest? None other than the most controversial Housewife of them all—Danielle of the New Jersey cast.

Being a TV executive getting set for a live show can keep a guy pretty busy. But thankfully, Cohen was able to take a few minutes and answer a few questions from me via e-mail. He told me about the show, his day job and just exactly what goes through his mind when the catfights heat up…

I’m sure there are a lot of people who watch Bravo who think you’re just the host of the reunion specials and they don’t realize you actually have a pretty important job with the network. So for those people, tell me about your day job.

My day job is a blast…It involves a lot of screening shows and giving notes, planning for new shows, development of new shows, pitch meetings, and total immersion in all things Bravo.

What was it that made you step in front of the camera to begin with?

I used to want to be in front of the camera when I was majoring in broadcast journalism, but gave up all thoughts of that when I got a job at CBS News.

So what can we expect with "Watch What Happens"? What kinds of things will you be talking about, what kinds of guests will you have, etc.?

It will be a mix of what you see on the reunion shows with the interactivity of Howard Stern and a little Playboy after dark. It'll be Bravolebrities like “Real housewife of New Jersey” Danielle on the premiere plus some fantastic celebrities.

And there’s going to be a fun interactive element, right?'
Yes people can call in or Twitter us questions or use old fashioned e-mails…

What made you decide to do the show?
It's an on-air version of a live web show I was doing on We did 30 episodes and it was a blast.

The number one question that always comes to my mind when I’m watching the “Housewives” reunion shows and the fighting starts is “What is going through Andy’s mind right now?” So tell me. What does go through your mind when you’re sitting there watching these women go at each other?
Oh man it's a mix of all things - changes by the minute. Sometimes I am trying not to laugh, sometimes I am shocked by the intensity in the room, sometimes I'm figuring out how I'm going to get them to admit to doing/thinking/saying something.

Bravo is on such a high these days with its programming. Anything down the road that you’re really excited about?

SO MUCH! We're just launching “Miami Social” this week. I'm thrilled that “Top Chef Masters” moves into its championship round in two weeks. We've got “Flipping Out,” “Rachel Zoe Project” and “Real Housewives of Atlanta” all returning for new seasons in the next month or so.

You can hear much more from Andy when “Watch What Happens: Live” premieres Thursday, July 16th at Midnight on Bravo…

I forgot to ask Andy if he can write an excuse for my boss when I oversleep Friday morning…

Photo Credit: Bravo

And the Nominees Will Be? UPDATED

So now that we’ve got the hosts all lined up, all we need for the Emmys are the nominees…

And that will all be taken care of bright and early tomorrow morning as Chandra Wilson (“Grey’s Anatomy”) and Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory”) announce the nominations.

You’ll notice a change this year as the series and major acting categories will now have six nominees each. One change you won’t notice is that the way nominees are selected has changed. In the past, the popular vote of Academy members produced 10 finalists, and then blue ribbon panels chose the nominees based on tapes of the finalists. Now the nominees will once again be chosen by a popular vote only (The acting nominees are chosen by a popular vote from the appropriate peer group.). This could mean that people who are well-liked and respected by their peers have a better shot than those who are just good at selecting tapes.

Notice I said could…

Since the nominations have already been made, there’s nothing I can do to change them. But I’m still going to send out some good thoughts tonight for a few select people…

Here’s my look at the major races:

Outstanding Drama Series:
This one is going to be tricky. With only six slots, someone important is going to get left out. I think “Mad Men” is a lock. But “Lost,” “True Blood,” “Breaking Bad,” “24,” “The Shield” and “Rescue Me” are going to have to fight it out for the rest. And even though critics panned their seasons, “Grey’s Anatomy” and “House” are also possibilities because it’s based on popularity and not tape.

Outstanding Comedy Series:
If there is any justice in the Emmy world—and we already know there usually isn’t—the funniest show on TV, “The Big Bang Theory,” will be nominated. But we already know that the Emmys tend to shy away from traditional multi-camera sitcoms. I would look for all the usual suspects here, including “30 Rock” and “Entourage.”

Outstanding Actor, Comedy:
Since Parsons is reading the nominations, it would be totally cruel—and totally ridiculous on the Academy’s part—if he didn’t get a nod for his work as Sheldon on “Bang.” Plus, TV critics everywhere would go ballistic. Alec Baldwin (“30 Rock”) is a lock here.

Outstanding Actress, Comedy:
Personally, I think Christina Applegate (“Samantha Who?”) deserves a nomination, especially after the shabby way ABC took her show off the air. Tina Fey (“30 Rock”) is a lock. And I always root for Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“The New Adventures of Old Christine”) since her show doesn’t get a very fair shake from its network.

Outstanding Supporting Actor, Comedy:
Jeremy Piven (“Entourage”) has owned this category, but I have to believe this is Neil Patrick Harris’ (“How I Met Your Mother”) year.

Outstanding Actor, Drama:
This one could be the toughest of the night. For me, it begins and ends with Kiefer Sutherland who did some of his best work as Jack Bauer this season on “24.” But I’m sure that Hugh Laurie (“House”), Denis Leary (“Rescue Me”), Michael Chiklis (“The Shield”), Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”) and Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) have to be in the mix somewhere. And if the critics get their way, we’ll also see Kyle Chandler (“Friday Night Lights”). And isn’t it about time Matthew Fox (“Lost”) got some Emmy love?

Outstanding Actress, Drama:
If there was a blue ribbon panel this year, I would say that Katherine Heigl (“Grey’s) was a lock, but after the enemies she’s made with her comments over the years, I’m not so sure. I would say the only locks are the ladies of cable—Kyra Sedgwick (“The Closer”), Holly Hunter (“Saving Grace”) and Anna Paquin (“True Blood”).

Outstanding Supporting Actor, Drama:
The glaring omission here would be Michael Emerson (“Lost”) who was once again superb as Ben, but I would also make a strong case for Jon Voight (“24”) even though his character did not survive the entire season. If I were making the picks, in addition to those two, I would choose Josh Holloway (Sawyer, “Lost”) and the man who will never get any Emmy love—even though he totally deserves a ton of it—Robert Knepper (T-Bag, “Prison Break”).

Outstanding Supporting Actress, Drama:
As President Taylor, Cherry Jones hit a huge home run for “24” and definitely deserves a nod. I would also show some love to Elizabeth Mitchell for her work as Juliet on “Lost.” Whether or not we see them, I’m sure we’ll see one or two of the “Grey’s” actresses and maybe a gal or two from “Mad Men.”

The movie/mini-series categories are usually dominated by cable, but I would look for “24: Redemption” to sneak into a few categories like Outstanding Actor, and possibly Outstanding Made For TV Movie.

The Outstanding Reality-Competition Program will also be an interesting category this year. “Project Runway” does not deserve to be nominated, but I think it will be based on name recognition alone. And wouldn’t it be a hoot to see one of Bravo’s “Housewives” programs nominated for Outstanding Reality Program?

We’ll get all of our answers tomorrow morning. I’ll be here tomorrow evening to break it all down for you…

Stay Tuned…
UPDATE: It was pointed out to me in the comments that Katherine Heigl would most likely be nominated in the Supporting Actress Category, which is true. And in hindsight, I realized I left an important name out of the Drama Actor discussion--James Spader. I know a lot of people are sick of him being nominated, but after his tour de force in the "Boston Legal" finale, he deserves it. However, without the blue ribbon panel system, it might be tougher for him to get it...
Photo Credits: Sonja Flemming/CBS, Kelsey McNeal/FOX, and John Crooms/Bravo

Kathy Griffin Takes Over the Schmemmys!

Are you even serious?

So while I was checking out the information about tomorrow’s live stream of the Emmy nominations, I found this little nugget…

Guess who’s hosting the Creative Arts Emmys that Kathy Griffin so lovingly refers to as the Schmemmys?

That’s right. Kathy Griffin!

Maybe they decided that if she was up on stage she couldn’t cause any trouble…

I admit that I never watch the Creative Arts Emmys, but this year, I am there. Of course, since it’s on tape, E! can take out anything Kathy says that they don’t like. But the fact that the Academy would even give her the chance is beyond awesome…

This year really could be legendary…

Photo Credit: Bravo

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

"Leverage" Review: No Sophomore Slump Here

The second season premiere of a show I like always makes me nervous. I’ve seen too many shows go through the dreaded sophomore slump. “The O.C.” and “Desperate Housewives” are the two examples that immediately spring to mind.

But fortunately, it looks like that’s not going to happen to one of last season’s best new shows—“Leverage.”

If you haven’t seen it, “Leverage” follows a gang of thieves who have banded together to bring justice to the little guy: Sophie (Gina Bellman), the grifter who can be almost anyone; Eliot (Christian Kane), the muscle; Alec (Aldis Hodge), the master hacker; and Parker (Beth Riesgraf), the daredevil thief. They’re led by Nate (Timothy Hutton), a former insurance investigator.

When last we left our gang last season, they were going their separate ways. But fate—and Sophie’s debut in “The Sound of Music”—brings them back together and soon the group starts itching to work together again, despite Nate’s objections. But eventually Nate agrees to go along with exposing a bank bailout scheme to help a young girl and her father.

The show really is like a new version of “The A-Team” but with a little more realism and some better stunts. The car flip in the opening moments of the premiere episode is pretty wild…

TNT certainly knows drama, but “Leverage” is all about the fun. The drama is just a bonus…

“Leverage” premieres Wednesday, July 15th at 9 p.m. on TNT…

Photo Credit: Richard Foreman/TNT

"Dark Blue" Review: The Promise of Something Different

I try not to read other reviews before I watch a show myself so my opinion won’t be influenced. But I couldn’t help myself with TNT’s newest drama, “Dark Blue.” And every review I read had the same word in it—cliché.

Well, maybe I just really like clichés or maybe I was just blinded by my love for Dylan McDermott, but I liked “Blue.” Is it the most original show I’ve ever seen? No, but it certainly shows the promise of doing some different things with a cop drama…

The latest TV product from Jerry Bruckheimer, “Blue” follows a special undercover task force led by Lt. Carter Shaw (McDermott). As one member of the force explains it, there’s nothing Shaw won’t do to protect his people and nothing he won’t do to get his man. The force and Shaw operate pretty much off the books to bring down L.A.’s worst criminals.

Making up Shaw’s team are Ty Curtis (Omari Hardwick), a newlywed struggling to balance his real life with the one he has created while undercover; Dean Bendis (Logan Marshall-Green) the team’s unpredictable wild card; and Jaimie Allen (Nicki Aycox), the newest member recruited for her lying skills.

In the premiere, Bendis’ actions are called into question when he’s caught on a surveillance tape by the FBI and Shaw and Curtis must determine if he has crossed over the fine line of undercover work.

My biggest concern going in was that McDermott would not be able to pull off playing a tough cop. But I couldn’t have been more wrong as McDermott plays it perfectly—especially the mysterious side that hides a painful past. And Marshall-Green (last seen in the gone-too-soon “Traveler”) is perfect as the edgy Bendis. The premiere also benefits significantly from the presence of Kyle Secor (“Homicide,” “Commander In Chief”) as one of the FBI agents. I really hope we see him again.

Plus, the show looks absolutely gorgeous—and I’m not just talking about McDermott…

The effects of seedy undercover work is well-traveled TV territory (“Fastlane” immediately comes to mind.), but in Bruckheimer’s capable hands, I think this one has got some real possibilities…

“Dark Blue” premieres Wednesday, July 15th at 10 p.m. on TNT…

Photo Credit: Timothy White/TNT

"Leverage" DVD Review: The New "A-Team"?

Last year, I called “Leverage” the best new show of 2008 and there’s nothing on the first season DVD set that proves me wrong…

My connection with the show lies in its resemblance to “The A-Team”—a resemblance that even the shows stars cite in the behind the scenes documentary. A group bands together to pull off cons to help the little guy. But unlike the “A-Team,” the only common bond this group has is being a thief. And sometimes that bond just doesn’t seem like enough…

The leader of the group is Nate Ford (Timothy Hutton), a former insurance investigator whose job was to bring down thieves and recover valuable property. But after the company he worked for allowed his son to die, Nate jumps at the chance to lead a group of thieves to seek revenge. But that one act of revenge turns into helping even more people who have suffered injustice by leading this unlikely team…

Elliott Spencer (Christian Kane) is the muscle, Sophie Deveraux (Gina Bellman) is the grifter who can play just about anyone, Alec Hardison is the expert hacker and Parker (Beth Riesgraf) is the master thief with more than a few screws loose.

Even though the idea of being a team doesn’t sound appealing at first, the group soon realizes that working together is the most fun they’ve ever had. And you’ll have a lot of fun watching them.

The cast is fantastic and the cons are so intricately planned, you can’t help but get sucked in to try and find out what exactly is happening. The show has great guest stars as well, including Kari Matchett (“Invasion,” “24”) who appears late in the season as Nate’s ex-wife. And executive producer Dean Devlin (“Independence Day”) provides his big screen touch by directing several of the episodes.

The DVD provides an interesting behind the scenes feature that shows us why the cons are so beautifully planned—the show has a thief as a creative consultant. We also see the staging of a fight scene, and the moment when Devlin told the cast the show had been renewed. But the real gem in the bonus features is “Parker Can’t Lose,” a parody in which Riesgraf asks for Parker to be turned into “Sharker,” a half-woman, half shark. Plus you can hear commentary from the producers and writers on each of the 13 episodes.

If you’re looking for the new “A-Team,” forget a big screen movie. Check out the gang on “Leverage.” Because as Nate says, sometimes bad guys make the best good guys. They certainly do in this case…

“Leverage: The First Season” is available now…

Photo Credit: Paramount Home Entertainment

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Pick of the Week: The Best Show I'm Not Watching

I had such a stack of shows to preview over the weekend that there was one I almost ignored.

And if I had, I would’ve missed a great hour of TV that I had no choice but to pick…

My Pick of the Week is “The Closer.”

I guess because I watch so much TV during the season that it’s hard for me to sit down and watch anything during the summer because there’s no reason I shouldn’t be watching this show on a regular basis. It’s well written and beautifully acted and Monday’s episode is one of the best hours of TV I’ve seen in a while…

When the episode begins, Chief Pope (J.K. Simmons) announces that he is going to be just “one of the guys” and joins Brenda’s (Kyra Sedgwick) team for the day. But he actually ends up completely screwing things up, making it more difficult for Brenda to get her confession.

And if my description sounds a little vague, that’s because I am deliberately withholding details because it will make the episode more fun for you…

TNT definitely knows drama, but I laughed my head off through this entire hour. Simmons, Tony Denison, and G.W. Bailey are fantastic and Sedgwick is in a class by herself.

Even if you are not a regular watcher of this show, you will want to watch this episode. It’s that good…

“The Closer” airs Monday, July 13th at 9 p.m. on TNT…

Photo Credit: Karen Neal

"Miami Social" Review: How Can You Possibly Resist?

So now that all the drama with the New Jersey housewives is over and the drama with those New York City kids is just starting to rev up, Bravo is introducing its newest docu-series, “Miami Social.”

And much like “NYC Prep,” “Social” gets off to a slow start, but by episode two the sparks start flying and you’ll want to be there…

The title is the name seven friends have given to their little group, who all run in each other’s circles and then meet up each week to catch up on their lives:

George is a high-powered banker who enjoys a good hotspot. He is currently involved in an unhealthy relationship with “Russian hottie,” Nina.

Sorah is George’s ex-wife. He still comes to her for advice on his relationship with Lina (They still live in the same building.), which complicates her current relationship.

Hardy is “the social director of Miami.” As the head of a conglomerate which owns the city’s hottest nightclubs, he plays host to the hottest parties. So his job often leads to problems with his longtime girlfriend, Trixia.

Katrina is a high-powered real estate agent who almost always chooses work over play. She is having some issues in her marriage to Ben, her high school sweetheart.

Michael, a celebrity journalist, is Katrina’s confidante. He’s experiencing a “dry spell” in the dating department.

Maria, an art director and photographer, is also close friends with Michael. She’s the only one of the group with a child, her 13-year-old daughter, Angelika.

Ariel is a fashion producer. He has a real tendency to rub people the wrong way with his brash style.

The George-Sorah-Lina saga definitely gets interesting by episode two, but for me the star of the show is Katrina. If you were a fan of the first (and best) season of “The Apprentice” you’ll recognize her. And she is just as driven now as she was then, even if that drive means the end of her marriage (which I’m not entirely sure is a bad thing based on what I saw in those first two eps)…

Pretty people in a pretty place with a lot of petty drama. How can you possibly resist?

“Miami Social” premieres Tuesday, July 14th at 10 p.m. on Bravo…

Photo Credit: Virginia Sherwood/Bravo

"Blood Ties" Review: Take a Bite Out of This One

In case you haven’t noticed, vampires are kind of big right now. Which makes me wonder if networks that had vampire shows are now regretting letting them get away.

I know that CBS has to be regretting their cancellation of “Moonlight,” but what about Lifetime? Do they regret not renewing “Blood Ties”? Since I was a big fan, I would say if they don’t, they should…

Fortunately for us “Blood Ties” fans, Eagle Rock Entertainment has released the first season of the show on DVD so we can relive all the supernatural goodness of the “crime series with bite.”

If you don’t remember, “Ties”—which was based on the book series by Tanya Huff—followed private investigator Vicki Nelson (Christina Cox). Vicki was a cop until she was diagnosed with a degenerative eye disease that compromised her vision. While investigating a murder, Vicki meets Henry Fitzroy (Kyle Schmid), who turns out to be a vampire. The two form an unlikely partnership—a partnership that doesn’t really sit well with Vicki’s ex-partner (and ex-lover), Detective Mike Celluci (Dylan Neal).

As the season progresses, all three are sucked into an ever stranger world of supernatural activity. And Vicki becomes torn between her lingering feelings for Mike and her attraction to Henry.

The freak-of-the-week cases could get a little crazy and the resolutions could be a tad on the “Quantum Leap”-ish side, but in all honesty that never mattered. Because “Ties” was always about the love triangle. A love triangle I still consider to be among the best television has ever given us…

The first key to any love triangle is chemistry. And Cox, Schmid and Neal had that in spades. The second key is that you can actually be happy with the middle person in the triangle being with either person. And yes, I could have been happy if Vicki ended up with Mike, but I was totally rooting for a hookup with Henry—as implausible as it may have been.

Plus, it helped that Vicki was a great heroine and Cox is the type of actress you could see kicking butt on a show like “24.” Schmid was super-suave as Henry and Neal wasn’t too hard on the eyes himself. The trio also had great support from Gina Holden as Vicki’s Goth assistant, Coreen.

If you like a good supernatural story with intense special effects, then “Ties” will be a bit of a disappointment for you because that’s not what the show is about. If you’re a vampire fan, however, then “Ties” will be right up your alley.

But if you’re a fan of a good dramatic love triangle, you won’t want to miss it. For you, the drama and mysteries will be just a nice bonus…

The DVD has all 13 episodes from the first season and a behind-the-scenes documentary that gives some nice insight into the show.

“Blood Ties: Season One” is available now in stores and on-line…

Photo Credit: Kayos Productions

Friday, July 10, 2009

"Drop Dead Diva" Review: Don't Judge a Book By Its Cover

With a title like “Drop Dead Diva,” you would expect something completely cheesy.

But if you learn anything from this show, it’s that you should never judge a book by its cover. And if you bypass “Diva” because of its title, then you will miss a smart, engaging dramedy guaranteed to tug at your heartstrings…

When “Diva” begins, we meet two women who couldn’t be more different. Deb (Brooke D’Orsay) is a blonde model with a gorgeous boyfriend, Grayson (Jackson Hurst). She’s on her way to audition to be a prize model on “The Price Is Right.” Jane (Brooke Elliott) is a brilliant attorney who practically lives in her office and has to navigate the politics of the firm, which includes run-ins with the “mean girl” of the place, Kim (Kate Levering), and her clueless boss, Parker (Josh Stamberg). Fortunately, she has her assistant, Teri (Margaret Cho) to help her.

And since it’s kind of the whole point of the show, I should tell you that Jane is a size 16 and Deb is nowhere near that…

On her way to her audition, Deb ends up in a car accident and is killed at the same time Jane is shot. When Deb gets to Heaven and meets up with the gatekeeper, Fred (Ben Feldman), she tries to negotiate her way back to Earth. But her attempts actually lead to a screw-up which sends her spirit into Jane’s body.

Even though Fred, who has been demoted from gatekeeper to guardian angel because of the screw-up, has told Deb she will be Jane forever, Deb decides she doesn’t want to be an attorney. That is, until she realizes she might actually be able to make a difference.

So how could a model who dropped out of college be an attorney? Well, Deb has Jane’s mind, which means she can remember legal terms at the drop of a hat. However, she doesn’t have Jane’s memories. It’s a distinction that requires a little bit of a suspension of disbelief, but it’s worth it because it allows you to become engrossed in the backbone of the show which is that Deb still remembers everything about her life. That includes Grayson, who in an interesting twist (that you’ll see coming from miles away), actually enters Jane’s life—and unfortunately Kim’s as well.

The cast is solid, especially Elliott, who beautifully makes the transition between the real Jane and the Deb Jane so believable. And Margaret Cho is a good straight man, playing it semi-serious as Teri.

Lifetime classifies “Diva” as a comedic drama, but the pilot leans a little more toward the dramatic side—or at least that’s the justification I’ll use for nearly crying at the end. But I can’t believe that Deb/Jane won’t touch you too…

I will say that there’s probably one too many stereotypes about plus-size people in the hour, but I’m willing to forgive it since they’re necessary to illustrate Deb’s vanity. I’m looking forward to Jane gaining more of Deb’s confidence, allowing her to give Kim a run for her money in more places than just the courtroom…

“Drop Dead Diva” premieres Sunday, July 12th at 9 p.m. on Lifetime…

Photos Credit: Lifetime

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

What Happened With General Motors?

For those of us who have been wanting an in-depth look at what happened to General Motors, we’re finally getting our wish…

“20/20” will devote an entire hour to “The Rise and Fall of General Motors.” According to the ABC press site, Bill Weir will examine “the mistakes and mismanagement from the negotiations with the powerful unions to the miscalculation of the effect of foreign competition to how they plan to win America back.”

This special hour of “20/20” airs Friday, July 10th at 10 p.m. on ABC…

Photo Credit: Douglas Ashley/ABC News

"Another World" Lives On Through Its Fans

How many of you have ever dreamed up storylines for your favorite characters of a cancelled show?

Maybe you considered how many kids a favorite couple would have or what they’d be doing now. Maybe you’ve even wished you could share your ideas with fellow fans and hear their ideas about other characters…

Well, proving you can’t keep a good thing down, the fine folks at are making that possible for fans of “Another World.”

To mark the 10th anniversary of the show going off the air (Wow, has it really been that long?), AWT has started a Twitter role-playing game allowing fans to take on the personas of their favorite characters.

Some fans just give bulletins of what the characters are up to, while others provide actual dialogue from “scenes.” It’s all pretty cool…

And I have to say very addictive. How do I know? Because I am actually playing two of the characters myself. Go ahead, tell me that’s being unprofessional, but if you think I was going to let someone else write the story of my favorite soap couple of all time, you’re crazy…

It’s clear that we all have a story we’re trying to tell, we just have to decide how to unfold it. And when another character tries to mess with your story by dredging up the past, well, that’s when things get interesting…

You can follow the stories at AWT’s Twitter page here.

And don’t forget that new “episodes” of “Another World Today” are posted every Monday here.

It’s getting SERIOUSLY good...

Logo Credit: Telenext Media

"The D-List" Is Back on Track...

You guys might recall that I was a little tough on my beloved “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List” when I reviewed the premiere. I just didn’t like the new concept of Kathy interviewing celebrities. Everything just seemed so staged.

But after that slightly rocky start, the show is on a roll thanks in large part to the antics of Maggie, Kathy’s mother—antics that are still somewhat staged, but they’re so funny, you won’t care…

The roll started three weeks ago when Team Griffin and the ever present Mike McDonald (What is up with that?) went to visit Paula Deen. Team Griffin and Team Deen were perfect for each other and the hijinx ensued. The best part was when Kathy accidentally clocked Paula in the head.

Then, last week, Kathy put Maggie in charge of her Facebook page, and of course, Maggie struggled to figure out how to use “the Face place,” leading Kathy to fire her. Plus, Kathy set out to spend more money than Paris Hilton and she succeeded. The look on Kathy’s face when she heard the total of $14,000+ was priceless.

But the best episodes of “The D-List” are when we get to see Kathy’s heart, and that’s exactly what we got to see last night as Kathy got Maggie to write her bucket list. Then, of course, Kathy set out to make all of Maggie’s dreams come true by arranging yoga with Stephanie Powers, lunch with Betty White, a trip to “the wine section” of California, and a meeting with Don Rickles.

If you’ve seen “The Comedy Central Roast of William Shatner,” you know what a pistol White can be, and she showed that last night. The highlight was when Kathy got Tom, Tiffany, Betty and Maggie to play “Password,” and of course, Maggie screwed it up and said the word.

But the show’s best moments were when Maggie met Don Rickles. Maggie and John, Kathy’s father, were big fans of Rickles and so it was a real treat for Maggie to spend time with him. And when it came time for him to leave, Maggie had trouble letting him go because he reminded her so much of John, which even Kathy noted while barely keeping it together.

I admit, I kind of teared up myself…

When a show can make you laugh, groan and cry all in the same hour, that’s good TV…

“The D-List” is back on track, folks, so get on board the Griffin train…

“Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List” airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on Bravo. You can watch an encore of last night’s episode Monday, July 13th at 9 p.m…

Photo Credits: Stephen Morton/Bravo & Mike Ruiz/Bravo

Monday, July 06, 2009

Pick of the Week: NPH Alert!

I’m starting to think that I would watch Neil Patrick Harris read the phonebook.

So when he appears on one of my favorite shows, I have no choice but to pick it…

My Pick of the Week is “Top Chef Masters.”

We are now in week four of the competition, and it’s been a lot of fun so far. But this week’s challenge with a magic focus is sure to be a treat—especially when the real magic touch is that NPH will be serving as a guest judge.

And did I mention that Tom Colicchio drops by?

It’s a lot of fun to watch these famous chefs be submitted to the same challenges that the cheftestants are on “Top Chef.” Although I have to say that the Magical Elves have truly outdone themselves in the challenge department with this show and that’s what makes it so much fun.

That, and cool guest stars like NPH…

“Top Chef Masters” airs Wednesday, July 8th at 10 p.m. on Bravo…

Photo Credit: Kelsey McNeal/Bravo

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Are You Ready to Flip Out?

So we’ve seen that flipping table NUMEROUS times, but are we ready to seriously flip out?

Bravo has announced that “Flipping Out” will return Monday, August 17th.

Let the celebration begin…

If you’ve never seen it, “Out” is a docu-series that follows the life of obsessive compulsive house-flipper Jeff Lewis. He’s joined by his assistant Jenni, his maid Zoila, and his business partner (and ex-boyfriend Ryan).

Last season, the show was one of the best of the year as Jeff resorted to spy cameras to catch a member of his staff (and Jenni’s husband) in a lie (which he did). The confrontation set off a series of events that led to Jenni getting a divorce.

This season, because of the downturn in the real estate market, Jeff will be forced to take on more design clients, which means taking orders and being nice to people—two things Jeff is terrible at doing.

You know this turn of events will lead to a lot of drama. And that’s just the way I like it…

Because I could use a good flip out. Couldn’t you?

Photo Credit: Bravo

The Dynamic Duo of the Beach Reunites

I am a sucker for a happy reunion. And I couldn’t be happier about this one…

NBC Sports has announced that Chris Marlowe and Paul Sunderland will team up for the first time in a decade to call this weekend’s AVP Coney Island Open.

For beach volleyball fans like me, this is a big deal. Marlowe and Sunderland taught me everything I know about beach volleyball (which during the Karch Kiraly days was quite a lot). And as big of a fan of Kiraly as I am, it is a thrill to have these two heavyweights back together again.

In the NBC Sports press release, Sunderland said, “We’re like oil and water. Different in style, different in opinion.” Maybe to them, but for me it’s more like peanut butter and chocolate—a perfect combination.

NBC Sports will present live coverage of the women's final on Saturday and the men's final on Sunday beginning at 4:30 p.m…

Photos Credit: Steve Freeman/NBC Sports

Give Me a Break, Stossel!

Since I come from a journalism background (and am still a quasi-journalist), I am always fascinated by how media outlets cover big stories.

It’s hard to maintain the proper balance sometimes between too much and not enough. And the Michael Jackson story is a perfect example of that. There are those who feel he shouldn’t get so much attention because of his alleged behavior with children. And then there are those (like me) who feel he does deserve attention because he was a true music icon.

And then there are those who apparently have no common sense. I would put ABC’s John Stossel in that category…

The “NY Post” reported this morning that Stossel had blasted his bosses on his ABC News blog for pulling his “20/20” report on Canadian healthcare last Friday night in favor of a Michael Jackson story. So I checked it out myself. And sure enough, there it is, in black and white:

“I am sick of the Michael Jackson coverage…Of course, maybe my bosses made the wrong choice. Maybe more viewers would have tuned in for my health care report. But the beauty of the market is that if they regularly choose wrong, they will go bankrupt.”

As Stossel himself would say, give me a break! As you will recall, last Friday night was barely 24 hours after Jackson died. How can you say you are sick of the coverage when it had just started? And I’m sure his report on Canadian health care was very important, but if they had shown that instead of some kind of Jackson story, wouldn’t that have made ABC News look out of touch?

If they had pulled his story this Friday night, I would understand his frustration. But to me, this shows a total lack of understanding of what is news. Regardless of how you feel about Jackson, you have to admit that his death is news. And I can’t see how taking five minutes on an hour-long news magazine is too much coverage.

I sincerely hope that ABC takes a good look at Stossel’s behavior. It’s one thing to trash your bosses on Facebook or MySpace, but on the website that they maintain? OUCH!

What do you think? Was Stossel right to be upset?

You can read his post for yourself here.

"Princess Protection Program" DVD Review: Release Your Inner Princess

I think you guys know I’m a real sucker for a cute tween movie. But I just wasn’t expecting “Princess Protection Program” to be one.

I couldn’t have been more wrong…

“Princess Protection Program,” the newest Disney Channel original movie, features Disney’s newest stars, Demi Lovato (“Camp Rock,” “Sunny With a Chance”) and Selena Gomez (“The Wizards of Waverly Place”).

Gomez is Carter Mason, a high school student who helps her father run a bait shop in Louisiana. She’s hopelessly in love with one of the most popular guys in school, but of course, there are mean girls standing in her way. There’s also the matter of her father, Joe (Tom Verica), being a secret agent in the international Princess Protection Program.

The PPP rescues princesses who are in peril and transforms them into normal young women until the time they can return to their countries. Joe’s latest rescue is Rosalinda Marie Montoya Fiore (Lovato), the future queen of the tiny country of Costa Luna. When Rosalinda’s country is taken over by a dictator, she flees into the protection of the PPP. But since Joe is the only person she trusts, Joe is forced to bring Rosalinda home to live with him and Carter.

Of course, the girls instantly clash since “Rosie” is still expecting everyone to treat her like a princess—much the same way the mean girls treat Carter. But as their time together continues, the two girls discover they’re much more alike than either of them thought as Carter teaches Rosie to be a normal teenager and Rosie helps Carter find her inner princess. The friendship culminates with the Homecoming Dance where Carter risks her own safety to save her new friend.

It must be hard for someone as adorable as Lovato to play someone as un-adorable as Rosalinda starts out to be. But Lovato does it beautifully. And her real-life BFF Gomez is a perfect foil, as well as friend. Plus, the always solid Verica is perfectly cast as the movie’s adult figure.

The supporting characters—especially the mean girls and the general—are a tad on the clichéd side, but they’re all necessary to teach the movie’s lesson: Whenever we need it, there is an inner princess inside all of us.

But the most important thing to note about “Protection” is that while it’s teaching us that lesson, it’s also entertaining us with an actual plot that actually makes sense—something that doesn’t always occur in tween movies.

The movie’s ending leaves the door open for a sequel that would take our girls in a fun new direction. I just hope that Lovato and Gomez can find the time in their busy schedules to take us there…

The DVD features a behind-the-scenes look at BFFs Gomez and Lovato on set with their co-stars, an interview with a real-life princess and a super cute music video for “One and the Same,” a Lovato-Gomez duet from the movie’s soundtrack.

The “Princess Protection Program Royal B.F.F. Extended Edition” DVD is available now.

Photo Credit: Copyright Disney. All Rights Reserved

Will the Emmys Be Legendary?

So remember when I said that CBS should consider Neil Patrick Harris for the Emmys hosting gig?

Well, it looks like someone heard my plea…

WOO-HOO!!!’s Michael Ausiello is now confirming the news “Variety” first reported this morning—that NPH will host this year’s Emmys.

Before NPH earned rave reviews for the Tonys, the logical choice seemed to be Craig Ferguson. The logical choice for everyone but me, that is…

Now, don’t get me wrong. I think Ferguson is very funny. But NPH is, well, NPH. And with him, we might have a better chance of getting the Emmys that we should get: a classy evening that focuses on the awards and not the host or stupid bits and montages.

Or at least I hope. Because anyone who makes NPH look stupid will feel my online wrath…

The 61st Annual Emmy Awards will air Sunday, September 20th on CBS…

Photo Credit: Cliff Lipson/CBS