November 13, 2009

tgif top 10: tv news this week

Here are 10 TV news items for this week that seem worth repeating:

1. Kathy Griffin is returning for a 6th season of Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List on BRAVO. She'll start filming the 10-episode season in January. Still love the show, but I thought last season's "lessons on how to be an A-lister" with special guests (although great) were a little too contrived since she's clearly friends with these people. Kathy is hinting at some Levi Johnston action this season. Wonderful. (People)

2. NBC made an interesting programming decision for the winter hiatus (interesting is going to be my nice word for NBC from now on). A week-long a cappella competition called Sing-Off airing as a four-night event with two-hour episodes on Monday Dec. 14 through Wednesday, Dec. 16, then ending with a finale on Monday, Dec. 21. The show will follow eight a cappella groups as they compete for a recording contract with Sony Music's Epic label. A label for an a cappella group? Do they actually have those? I thought they just burn CDs to sell out of a cardboard box during birthday parties. (Variety)

3. Some Fox executive obviously read this post because Martha Plimpton has been cast in a comedy pilot! Plimpton will co-star with Lucas Neff in Keep Hope Alive from My Name is Earl Creator Greg Garcia. The show will center around a 25-year-old man raising an infant with the help of his quirky family after the mother of his baby (one night stand) ends up on death row. Plimpton will play Neff's mother. I wrote about this a few months ago when they first announced the premise, and I was appauled. This might be the darkest of dark comedy plots, but with Plimpton, I'll have to check it out. Plus, who am I kidding, I love sick comedy. (Hollywood Reporter)

4. Missing some gone-but-not-forgotten CW/WB characters? ABC Family to the rescue. None other than Gilmore Girls' Max Medina, also known as Scott Cohen, will be staring in a new single-camera comedy pilot about a recently laid-off architect (Cohen) who begins to mentor his underdog middle daughter, while his veterinarian wife shares a closer bond with their Type-A older daughter. Also, Lucy Hale of the too-short-lived Privileged has been cast in a new drama pilot called Pretty Little Liars about four teenage girlfriends, who begin to receive mysterious messages, seemingly from their girlfriend who disappeared three years before. Spooky. (Hollywood Reporter)

5. ABC cancelled Hank and Eastwick this week, and Fox cancelled Dollhouse. ABC has no plans to air the remaining five episodes of Hank on Wednesday nights at 8:00. You'll see holiday specials and movies in that slot until the spring season begins. They will run the remaining episodes of Eastwick. I'm slightly bummed about that one - I liked the female characters, but can't stand the guy they have playing Darryl Van Horn. Oh well, further proof that female trio shows don't work on major networks. There was a rumor that Ugly Betty would take that 10:00 Wednesday timeslot, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen. And Dollhouse will finish it's run with a finale on Jan. 22. See my updated list of renewals/cancellations here.

6. Christine Baranski will reprise her role as Leonard's mom in a January episode of The Big Bang Theory. I'm really glad they're having her back - the interaction between her and Sheldon was hilarious. I love me some Baranski, but I've been disappointed with her character on The Good Wife. Seems like a waste of her talent for what has seemed like a pretty one-dimensional character. (Ausiello Files)

7. Another TV site is always good news. went live yesterday. It's billed as a TV Guide for the Internet where users can search online video sources, track the availability of online programs, and set season passes for favorite shows (sort of like online DVR). You can also integrate the site with your Facebook page, and I'm guessing Twitter as well. I haven't played around with it too much yet, but looks promising, especially with the rumor that Hulu is going to start charging $$ in 2010. Does this mean I should change my blog handle? I wouldn't want them to feel threatened...

8. I really like this story about the revival of (good) network family comedies - and comedies in general for that matter. The 2009/2010 season is really becoming the year of comedies for me. Modern Family and Glee are my favorite new shows of the season, and Parks & Recreation and Community keep getting better.

9. Anyone still (or start) watching Fringe? I still think it's one of TV's best kept secrets. Unfortunately, the secret part doesn't do them any favors in the ratings. This story runs down a list of five things that could improve the show, and I agree with every one.

10. If you're looking for some procrastination on a Friday afternoon, go vote for the People's Choice Nominees, which were announced this week. I'm officially endorsing Jim Parsons for TV Comedy Actor, So You Think You Can Dance for TV Competition Show, and Glee for New TV Comedy. Also, please have the Glee kids perform. The awards will be broadcast on Jan. 6.


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