July 30, 2009

rockford redo

Although the show technically aired before my time, I know Rockford Files by name, reputation, and late night reruns. Face facts, James Garner was the original McDreamy.

Variety is reporting a new Rockford Files pilot from NBC and Steve Carell's Carousel Television. The best part? David Shore, creator-executive producer of House, is on the case. With new bodies at the helm of NBC, let's hope this doesn't go in the tragic direction of the unfortunate Knight Rider remake.

If you were in diapers in the 70s or don't have cable, here's the basic premise of the original: Jim Rockford is an ex-con granted pardon for an armed robbery he didn't commit. He lands as a private investigator living in a trailor in Malibu who prefers a quiet life, but his cases are usually more than he bargins for.

I'm trying to cast the new Rockford in my head... he needs to be 45ish, slightly rough around the edges, tough, but also dapper with some comedy chops. I wouldn't mind seeing Damian Lewis (Life), but that would basically be a lighter version of Life, and I need to let go of that dream. Chris Noth? Too polished. Matt Dillion? Probably to cool for TV. Michael Rapaport! Non-traditional, but that might be right up David Shore's alley.

Any thoughts?

July 27, 2009

bye bye ben

Pardon me while I analyze some industry news today. NBC has announced that Ben Silverman is leaving his post as co-chairman to head InterActiveCorp (IAC) a production and multimedia company.

Silverman has only been with NBC for 2 years, becoming perhaps the most public network executive (a frequent offender on Ryan Seacrest's radio show). He developed a reputation for shaking things up but never doing much to pull NBC out of the number 4 spot to which it tragically fell. Ben's probably most noted for more aggressive advertising strategies leading to more product placement and sponsorship (Chuck's love for Subway), but not so noted for successful new programming during his reign. The most recent decision to place The Jay Leno Show in the 10pm timeslot being the most controversial decision among fans of NBC shows of yesteryear.

To be fair, Silverman is also responsible for some good in this world. Prior to NBC, he founded a production company called Reveille, created to bring international formats to the U.S. audience. At Reveille, he brought us such gems as The Office, Ugly Betty, and The Biggest Loser.

It's was obvious pretty quickly that he was brought into NBC to make money for the struggling network, and he made some big changes to the ad strategy, so it's not surprising that he's heading to IAC to work on ad strategies for new media projects.

Silverman will be replaced by Jeff Gaspin, current president and chief operating officer of the company's cable entertainment group. Don't know much about him, but it will be interesting to see if he assumes an equally public role.

July 24, 2009

tgif top 10: so you think you can dance

HOW have I never before watched So You Think You Can Dance? As an avid Idol fan, there is really no excuse. The Katie Holmes performance caught my curiosity (well done promoters), so I tuned in last night for what turned about to be a special episode because it was their 100th. Sweet Mary Poppins. I'm in love. And I'm turning this revelation into this week's top 10 list.

Top 10 Things I Love About SYTYCD **
  1. The Host: Cat Deeley completely sets the tone for the program - possibly more than any other live show I've seen. She's obviously a huge fan of the choreographers and performances, but also plays mother hen to the dancers. It's an elimination show, so she's charged with generating the "suspense" on results nights, but she does it in such non-patronizing way. You just don't feel the ugly awkwardness as in other shows. How does she not have an Emmy nomination yet? I love her!

  2. Production: Although they are both executive produced by Nigel Lythgoe (also a SYTYCD judge), this show's production seems of much higher quality than American Idol. Sure, Idol is dealing with a much larger stage and audience, but the transitions, cutaways, and montages seem so much more fluid and cohesive.

  3. Audience: What love coming from this audience! They really cheer the great moves in each performance and keep the energy up quite well.

  4. Choreography: The show's choreographers have received a number of Emmy nods, and rightfully so. Their work is really amazing, and I only saw a handful of performances. I like how they receive accolades with the dancers come judging time.

  5. Music: Already I found a few songs to download, a good mix of genres.

  6. Judges: Last night, I saw Nigel, Mary and Mia. I'm not sure if others rotate in or if that just happens during the audition round, but these three have great chemistry and a good mix of providing technical critique and just plan geeking out.

  7. Set: The set design and camera angles work really well for this format. The stage seems small and intimate, but the dancers make it look huge somehow. I don't pretend to know anything about this. I just like how it looks.

  8. Dancers: How amazing are these people? Super talented and hardworking. They also seem to generally support and enjoy performing together. That brings me to the last point...

  9. Love: I don't know if this was just a special episode, but the everyone was just oozing with love. The dancers seem to actually like each other and admire the choreographers. The judges are huge fans of dance, as well as successes in their own right. And Cat is either a really good actress or she genuinely cares for and supports the contestants. It's a love fest!

  10. Cute boys.

** after one episode

July 23, 2009

ugly meadow!

Jamie-Lynn Sigler, a.k.a. Meadow Soprano, has been cast in the recurring role of Daniel's new assistant "Natalie" on Ugly Betty. Natalie is described as "sexy, spiritual, and funny".

I'm excited about this news. I really liked Jamie-Lynn's Entourage stint, and her guest appearance on How I Met Your Mother was hilarious. This lady has some comedy chops, and Ugly Betty seems like a good fit for her.

Here's hoping this generates some buzz to remind fans of Betty's unfortunate move to Fridays. I would love to see the writers breath some new life into this season and comeback with a bang. It seems as though the actors are better than ever, but the plot is flailing just a little a bit. More murder mysteries, funny Suarez family, Mark and Amanda. Less cancer, lovesick Willy, and Betty love triangles.

July 22, 2009

project runway all-star challenge!

The long awaited return of Project Runway is less than a month away. Has anyone seen the new set of "meet the designers" promos from Lifetime? The aesthetic is the same, but the look and feel of the advertising is very different. More biographical and contemplative, less dramatic. This worries me slightly, but the more comprehensive show site gives me hope.

The best news? Lifetime just announced a 2-hour Project Runway All-Star Challenge to air as a lead-in to the new season premiere on August 20th. I love this idea to get fans back into the Runway.

Here's the lineup:

Daniel Vosovic (Season 2) - Great talent, excited to see his stuff again.
Santino Rice (Season 2) - Gotta have someone to bring the drama.
Jeffrey Sebelia (Season 3) - Over him, but I wouldn't mine seeing him throw down with Santino.
Uli Herzner (Season 3) - Love her. Can she please design a line of sundresses for Target?
Mychael Knight (Season 3) - Gives him an opportunity to make up for his tragic Fashion Week show (and he definitely changed the spelling of his name).
Chris March (Season 4) - Always fun to watch him and see what he creates.
Sweet P (Season 4) - All I can remember is her whining.
Korto Momolu (Season 5) - Super talented, but hopefully nicer without crazypants Kenley.

One other note, they created a whole new show for the models, creatively called Models of the Runway. This will air right after Project Runway each week. I've never been one to get into the model shows, but since it will immediately follow the show, I will probably check it out.

July 17, 2009

tgif top 10: emmy disses

I'm long overdue for a Friday top 10 list, so in keeping with the Emmy theme, here are my top 10 Emmy nomination disses. Actually, there are in no particular order. I should just call it the ten ten list.

Top 10 2009 Emmy Nomination Disses
  1. Big Bang Theory for Best Comedy - As happy as I was to see different faces like How I Met Your Mother (finally!) and Flight of the Conchords, Big Bang really deserves to be on that list.

  2. January Jones (Mad Men) for Best Lead Actress in a Drama - Come on, the woman is flawless.

  3. Vincent Kartheiser for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama (Mad Men ) - I mentioned this in a previous post, but Pete Campbell is one of the most interesting characters on television, and Kartheiser deserves some kudos.

  4. Emily Deschanel for Best Lead Actress in a Drama (Bones) - Unfortunately, Bones seems stuck in the awardless zone with CSI and the other acronym crime shows. Emily has created an amazing complex, funny, and endearing character with oddball Dr. Brennan. If Mariska can be nominated every year since the beginning of time, then Emily deserves an invite to the party at least once.

  5. Amy Ryan for Best Guest Actress in a Comedy (The Office) - Holly Flax needs a prize!

  6. Michael Urie for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy (Ugly Betty) - Ugly Betty wasn't on its strongest legs this season, but the fact that Michael Urie has yet to get a nomination is tragic. He consistently plays hilarious, evil, sensitive, and silly with brilliance.

  7. Zachary Levi for Best Actor in a Comedy (Chuck) - This is tough because Chuck is not a comedy in the traditional sense - the same problem Ugly Betty actors have. But Zachary Levi completes a triathlon of acting every week and makes it look effortless. Plus, he's so fricken cute.

  8. Big Love Cast for Everything - Big Love got a show nomination this year, which is great, but these actors need some individual nods as well.

  9. Jason Segel for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy (How I Met Your Mother) - I actually don't want to see Marshall nominated until Barney wins. Then, he should at least get a nod for all of the ridiculous things they have him do.

  10. Justin Chambers for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama (Grey's Anatomy) - T.R. Knight is the only Grey's boy with an Emmy nomination, and I think Dr. Karev is often overlooked during awards season. His performance is consistently great, especially with the Izzy story line this year.

July 16, 2009

2009 emmy nominations

I've had an unforgivable lack of posts this summer. But that is all about to change as the new fall season quickly approaches! The anticipation was given a lovely jolt this morning with the announcement of the 2009 Emmy nominations (by the fabulous duo Chandra Wilson and Jim Parsons no less).

The Emmys will be broadcast on September 20th with Neil Patrick Harris hosting (yay!). This year, they are allowing more than 5 nominees in each category. Most have 6, but some have as many as 7. Seems like a little much, but if it means given more much-needed recognition to quality shows (and it does!), then I'm all for it.

Without further gabber, here are the nominees in the major categories and some of my initial thoughts:

Outstanding Comedy Series
Yay for Family Guy, Flight of the Conchords, and How I Met Your Mother getting in there with the new rule. All very much deserved. The 30 Rock reign will most likely continue, but it would be a great surprise to see any of the others take it, especially the newbies.

Entourage, HBO
Family Guy, FOX
Flight Of The Conchords, HBO
How I Met Your Mother, CBS
The Office, NBC
30 Rock, NBC (won last year)
Weeds, Showtime

Outstanding Drama Series
Another really strong, competitive drama list this year. Mad Men is still going strong, but Dexter had an excellent season. It's doubtful, but I wouldn't mind seeing Lost pull one off after a great season.

Big Love, HBO
Breaking Bad, AMC
Damages, FX Networks
Dexter, Showtime
House, FOX
Lost, ABC
Mad Men, AMC (won last year)

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series
Sheldon Cooper! Best news in the bunch. I love seeing Jim Parsons - and Jemaine actually - on here. Not to take away from the talent, but this list really needed some fresh blood. Vote for Jim!

Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory
Jemaine Clement as Jemaine, Flight Of The Conchords
Tony Shalhoub as Adrian Monk, Monk
Steve Carell as Michael Scott, The Office
Alec Baldwin as Jack Donaghy, 30 Rock (won last year)
Charlie Sheen as Charlie Harper, Two And A Half Men

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series
Michael C. Hall or Jon Hamm (both nominated last year) would be great, but please god someone give an Emmy to Hugh Laurie already. It's getting embarrassing.

Bryan Cranston as Walter White, Breaking Bad (won last year)
Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan, Dexter
Hugh Laurie as Dr. Gregory House, House
Gabriel Byrne as Paul, In Treatment
Jon Hamm as Don Draper, Mad Men
Simon Baker as Patrick Jane, The Mentalist

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series
Tina Fey still rules the universe, but I've heard great things about Toni Collette. I'd also love to hear Sarah Silverman's acceptance speech.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Christine, The New Adventures Of Old Christine
Christina Applegate as Samantha Newly, Samantha Who?
Sarah Silverman as Sarah Silverman, The Sarah Silverman Program
Tina Fey as Liz Lemon, 30 Rock (won last year)
Toni Collette as Tara Gregson, United States Of Tara
Mary-Louise Parker as Nancy Botwin, Weeds

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series
As happy as I am for Elizabeth Moss, I'm shocked not to see January Jones on this list. Guess I have to be happy one of the Mad Men ladies made it. I'm betting Gwen goes home with another.

Sally Field as Nora Walker, Brothers & Sisters
Kyra Sedgwick as Brenda Leigh Johnson, The Closer
Glenn Close as Patty Hewes, Damages (won last year)
Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson, Mad Men
Holly Hunter as Grace Hanadarko, Saving Grace

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series
Where's Jeremy Piven?? I actually haven't seen the last season of Entourage, but the 3-year winner isn't even nominated? Jeremy, Hollywood is putting you in timeout for the mercury poisoning stunt. Sorry dude. Great to see a first nomination for Tracy Morgan, but my vote is for the wonderful and talented NPH.

Kevin Dillon as Johnny Drama, Entourage
Neil Patrick Harris as Barney Stinson, How I Met Your Mother
Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute, The Office
Tracy Morgan as Tracy Jordan, 30 Rock
Jack McBrayer as Kenneth Parcell, 30 Rock
Jon Cryer as Alan Harper, Two And A Half Men

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series
Someone named Zeliko Ivanek from Damages won last year, so this is anyone's game. Shatner may get a swan song award, but I would love to see it go to Michael Emerson who wipes the floor with almost every other actor on Lost. As for John Slattery, always glad to see Mad Men get recognition, but I thought some of the other actors were stronger this year, especially Vincent Kartheiser playing Pete Campbell.

William Shatner as Denny Crane, Boston Legal
Christian Clemenson as Jerry Espenson, Boston Legal
Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman, Breaking Bad
William Hurt as Daniel Purcell, Damages
Michael Emerson as Ben Linus, Lost
John Slattery as Roger Sterling, Mad Men

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series
Last year, it went to Jean Smart in Samantha Who? - she really was great in that show (RIP). Speaking of RIP, yay for Kristin and Pushing Daisies. Long shot, but I would love it. Also great to see SNL giving more funny ladies a shot at Emmys.

Kristin Chenoweth as Olive Snook, Pushing Daisies
Amy Poehler as Various Characters, Saturday Night Live
Kristin Wiig as Various Characters, Saturday Night Live
Jane Krakowski as Jenna Maroney, 30 Rock
Vanessa Williams as Wilhelmina Slater, Ugly Betty
Elizabeth Perkins as Celia Hodes, Weeds

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series
I can't contribute too much here because I don't watch Damages, In Treatment or 24. If I had to choose, I think Chandra Wilson eeked ahead of Sandra Oh this season on Grey's.

Rose Byrne as Ellen Parsons, Damages
Sandra Oh as Dr. Christina Yang, Grey's Anatomy
Chandra Wilson as Dr. Miranda Bailey, Grey's Anatomy
Dianne Wiest as Gina, In Treatment (won last year)
Hope Davis as Mia, In Treatment
Cherry Jones as President Allison Taylor, 24

Outstanding Variety, Music Or Comedy Series
Colbert or Stewart probably have it in the bag, but I wouldn't mind seeing it go to Letterman just to stick it to NBC for their stupid Leno decision.

The Colbert Report, Comedy Central
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, Comedy Central (won last year)
Late Show With David Letterman, CBS
Real Time With Bill Maher, HBO
Saturday Night Live, NBC

Outstanding Reality Program
If the dog psychic wins over Kathy, she'll have comedy material for a year.

Antiques Roadshow, PBS
Dirty Jobs, Discovery Channel
Dog Whisperer, NGC
Intervention, A&E
Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, Bravo (won last year)
MythBusters, Discovery Channel

Outstanding Reality – Competition Program
The Amazing Race continues to dominate for good reason. Project Runway just didn't earn it this year unfortunately, and as much as I love it, American Idol production is a shit show.

The Amazing Race, CBS (won last year)
American Idol, FOX
Dancing With The Stars, ABC
Project Runway, Bravo
Top Chef, Bravo

Outstanding Host For A Reality Or Reality-Competition Program
I don't care about this.

Phil Keoghan, The Amazing Race
Ryan Seacrest, American Idol
Tom Bergeron, Dancing With The Stars
Heidi Klum, Project Runway
Jeff Probst, Survivor (won last year)
Padma Lakshmi & Tom Colicchio, Top Chef

As a final note, just want to mention a few fun nominees in the guest appearance categories. Justin Timberlake was nominated for just being all around funny on SNL. Jimmy Smits was nominated for his ridiculously disturbing stint on Dexter as was Michael J. Fox for his great work on Rescue Me. For the ladies, I loved Carol Burnett's weirdo character on SVU, Sharon Lawrence as Izzie's mother on Grey's, and Christine Baranski as Leonard's mom on Big Bang Theory. Of course, Tina Fey also got a shout out for her guest appearances on SNL.

If you want to see the full list, from hairstyling to main title editing, you can download it here.