Latest Blog Posts

<p>&quot;Welcome to Sweden&quot;</p>

"Welcome to Sweden"

Credit: NBC

TV Ratings: 'Big Brother' leads CBS Thursday, while 'Sweden,' 'Engels' have OK launches

'Hell's Kitchen' and 'Gang Related' have FOX in second in the demo

Fast National ratings for Thursday, July 10, 2014.

The season's second "Big Brother" eviction delivered Thursday's best key demo numbers and combined with a "Big Bang Theory" repeat to help CBS lead primetime in most measures.

Also on Thursday, NBC's "Welcome to Sweden" premiered got off to a decent start, with the launch of "Working the Engels" dipping a bit. Both comedies came in below the May premiere for "Undateable," but "Sweden" was above recent "Undateable" numbers and "Working the Engels" was comparable.

Among other notables, ABC's "NY Med" and "Rookie Blue" were consistent and helped the network finish second overall, while "Hell's Kitchen" helped FOX take second in the key demographic.

On to the numbers...

Read Full Post
<p>Masters of Sex</p>

Masters of Sex

Credit: Showtime

Review: Showtime's 'Masters of Sex' better than ever in season 2

Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan continue to shine

Bill Masters and Virginia Johnson spend much of the second season premiere of the Showtime drama "Masters of Sex" (Sunday at 10) trying to redefine the nature and parameters of their relationship after the events of the show's marvelous first season. Are they now a couple? Is this just an affair? Is it still simply one small component of their groundbreaking study on human sexuality?

Read Full Post

Elisabeth Hasselbeck continues her war with Rosie on Instagram

Elisabeth Hasselbeck continues her war with Rosie on Instagram
Read the Fox News star’s hand-written response to Rosie O’Donnell.

"HIMYM" co-creator: We're done with “How I Met Your Dad”
Carter Bays says a report of redeveloping the pilot for next year is untrue. "I don't know why I keep reading articles about this, but since nobody bothers asking us: We are really, truly not working on HIMYD anymore,” he tweeted, adding: "HIMYD was fun to work on, terrific cast, terrific writer, but it's over now and we have other stuff we want to do ... .Maybe in the future it could be something, but I think we need to try something new before we go back to it." Adds co-creator Craig Thomas: "Sadly, that project will not move forward."

Why the Emmy nominations process is “completely insane”
The entire process has become a “dungeon of traps” to ensure that the best shows don’t get through.

CNN’s S.E. Cupp could join “The View"
Cupp could end up becoming the conservative panelist on the ABC talk show.

Brian Williams makes a sex joke about screwing on “NBC Nightly News"
"How long until someone on television points out that during the shutdown the folks in Washington are apparently doing at home what Washington has been accused of doing to the American people?”

“Welcome to Sweden” debuts to 3.5 million
The Amy Poehler’s brother comedy had a soft debut, despite NBC calling it the 2nd highest-rated summer comedy launch in five years (after "Undateable").

A Ted Williams miniseries is in the works
The baseball legend’s life will be adapted from the book "The Kid: The Immortal Life Of Ted Williams.”

“Glee” star Becca Tobin's boyfriend found dead in a hotel room
Police are seeking to interview Tobin after her boyfriend was found face down in a hotel room in Philadelphia, reports TMZ.

“Homeland” Season 4 details, revealed
Carrie will be mentally stable next season, producers promise — at least when it comes to managing her mental illness.

Jimmy Fallon reflected on his 6 Emmy noms during his “Tonight Show” monologue
Fallon devoted 2 1/2 minutes to joking about being nominated.

Dana Carvey sings “Choppin’ Broccoli” with an orchestra on Fallon
Watch Carvey redo his classic “SNL” sketch.

Jerry Seinfeld is now a model
Seinfeld is making his modeling debut for Rag & Bone's Spring/Summer 2015 Collection.

Fred Armisen is doing bits for Seth Meyers from “Portlandia”
Watch the first installment of Armisen’s “FredEx” segment.

Joel McHale: My “True Detective” spoof Emmy nomination shows the power of Matthew McConaughey
"It just shows you how successful McConaughey has been the last couple years — even when you parody him, you get nominated,” says the first-time Emmy nominee. "He’s nominated, and the parody of him is nominated, so I’m sure they’ll be having us present together."

Claim: “Downton Abbey” stars told to lose weight and stop snacking on set
"Between takes and reshoots some actors were munching through a loaf’s worth of sarnies,” a source tells The Sun.

With an Emmy nomination, Jodie Foster is becoming known for her TV-directing skills
Foster earned her 2nd overall Emmy nomination yesterday for directing “Orange is the New Black.”

FX delivering exclusive “The Strain” content to Xbox users
The content includes a fan Q&A with Guillermo del Toro and behind-the-scenes videos.

James Gandolfini’s son attends a charity event with his dad’s “Sopranos” co-star
Check out Michael Gandolfini, 14, with Tony Sirico.

Janice Dickinson apologizes to Tyra Banks
“The one regret I've had is badmouthing Miss Tyra Banks when I was not speaking with a sober mindset,” Dickinson says of her former “America’s Next Top Model” co-star.

“American Idol” tour loses one of its singers
Seventh-place finisher Dexter Roberts has been too ill to participate.

Read Full Post
<p>The Strain</p>

The Strain

Credit: FX

Review: Guillermo del Toro's FX vampire thriller 'The Strain'

CDC doctors try to contain an outbreak of undead origins

Guillermo del Toro is the kind of filmmaker who leaves me wanting more — just not always in the best way. Whether he's adapting someone else's work with the "Hellboy" films, or inventing his own stories with something like "Pan's Labyrinth," del Toro leaves no hallucinatory stone unturned, no burst of inspiration unexplored. I've often walked out of his movies impressed by the depth and breadth of the creativity on display, yet frustrated at how little time there was to thoroughly explore it all. I wouldn't want to take away the big budgets and fancy effects work that he can apply to something like "Pacific Rim," but I've been itching for a while to see what del Toro might do with an ongoing television series, where he could drill down deep and expand each concept to its fullest, rather than rushing to fit them all into two hours.

Read Full Post
<p>Clive Owen of &quot;The Knick&quot;</p>

Clive Owen of "The Knick"

Credit: Cinemax

Press Tour: Cinemax renews 'The Knick,' creators discuss the journey from 'Shaggy Dog'

Steven Soderbergh and Clive Owen will both return for 10 more episodes

Cinemax preceded its Thursday (July 10) Television Critics Association press tour panel for the 1900 NYC medical drama "The Knick" by announcing that it has already renewed the series, which won't premiere until August 8.

The 10-episode renewal wasn't a huge shock, because "The Knick" is a very important series for Cinemax as it continues its transition from Skinemax to the fun action-fueled destination for shows like "Strike Back" and "Banshee" to the kind of network capable of luring talent like director Steven Soderbergh and star Clive Owen.

Read Full Post
<p>Nicole of &quot;Big Brother&quot;</p>

Nicole of "Big Brother"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Big Brother' Thursday - Eviction and Bomb Squad in Chaos

Would Zach or Pao-Pao go home after post-PoV drama?

When we left things yesterday, Devin had just reversed himself, decided he had parental solidarity with Brittany and taken her off of the Block, even though she was his top target all week up to that point. He had put Zach up, breaking his word to never put up a Bomb Squad member, but also doing what Zach told him to do.

But then Brittany said she wanted to make an announcement or something and... CLIFFHANGER!

Let's get to Thursday's (July 10) "Big Brother" to find out what the heck went down after the Veto and what's going to happen with this week's vote.

Read Full Post

Emmy nominations were mostly right, but it’s fun to complain about 'snubs' anyway

Emmy nominations were mostly right, but it’s fun to complain about “snubs” anyway
"The simple fact is it’s no fun being reasonable about the Emmys,” says Willa Paskin. She adds: "The Emmys are now generally sophisticated enough that getting exercised about them feels worth it. And that, more than anything, is a reflection of just how much excellent television the Emmys has to choose from. The Emmys, even when not making boneheaded mistakes … couldn’t possibly acknowledge everyone deserving. And this is obviously great, if occasionally infuriating. But it’s infuriating in an invigorating way: Who wants to have exactly the same opinions as the Emmys?”
Snubs should be expected when there’s so much great TV
—How to fix the Emmys: Expand the major categories to 10 nominees
—Read a preview of Matthew McConaughey’s Emmy acceptance speech
Gaming the system proved beneficial to “True Detective” and “OITNB”
“OITNB” cast members instagrammed their celebration pics from the set
Tatiana Maslany should benefit from being snubbed
“The Good Wife” didn’t get snubbed — it got spurned!
Mindy Kaling kept it together while announcing her own Emmy snub
—It’s Jay Leno vs. Jerry Seinfeld in the same Emmy category
Steve Buscemi was nominated for AOL’s “Park Bench"
—“Silicon Valley,” “True Detective,” “Masters of Sex” among contenders for best opening sequence
Matt Bomer says “it’s great” to be up against 3 of his “Normal Heart” co-stars
The British continue to “invade” acting categories
Emmy trivia: Louis CK and Melissa McCarthy were nominated again for hosting "SNL"

Emmy nominee Kurt Sutter says “Sons of Anarchy” fans would lose viewers if his show got major Emmy recognition
An Emmy nominee for co-writing the song that ended Season 6, Sutter penned a piece for explaining that "I still suffer the emotional and spiritual depletion every July when ‘Sons of Anarchy’ gets zero nominations in all major categories.” But he adds that if "SOA" was actually nominated in a major category, "My bombastic outlaw-a**hole reputation would be tarnished. Or rather,  untarnished. I’d be just another smiling douchebag in a new suit, pretending to give a shit on the red carpet. Actually…taking a sh*t on the red carpet, that’s something that might drop as a ‘real and honest moment.’”

“The Comeback” Season 2 will follow Valerie Cherish on her new HBO show
This time, she’ll be followed by a behind-the-scenes crew as she gets cast on an HBO dramedy. “The DNA that we liked about Valerie is her in front of a camera unedited,” says co-creator Michael Patrick King. However, “this time we found a different way to get her in front of the camera because we wanted to evolve the character.” PLUS: It isn’t certain if “The Comeback” will come back for Season 3.

Ryan Murphy's shows earned 34 Emmy nominations
Murphy’s “American Horror Story,” “The Normal Heart” and “Glee” had more nominations than Netflix, Showtime and AMC.

Frances McDormand has been too busy to watch FX’s “Fargo”
McDormand, the star of the “Fargo” movie and the wife of Joel Coen, was promoting her HBO miniseries “Oliver Kittredge” at the TV press tour today when she was asked about the FX “Fargo.” "I will take a (‘Fargo’) question but I will not do the accent,” she said. PLUS: McDormand says HBO was brave to make the 4-part “Traumedy” “Oliver Kittreddge."

The majority of Americans use a 2nd screen while watching TV
About 56% of American viewers watch TV while using a smartphone, a computer or tablet, but that’s far behind many Asian countries.

Dave Grohl slams reality TV “song contests"
“I don't want my kid to think that the only way you can be a musician is  to stand in line at a song contest audition, and then wind up having a bazillionaire tell you if you're not a good singer,” Grohl said at the TCA panel promoting his new HBO series. “Don't get me started. To me, that's not what music's about.”

Cinemax plans to show the final season of “Strike Back” sometime next year
Production was delayed after star Sullivan Stapleton was injured.

“Getting On” cast and crew were asked about HBO’s lack of promotion
We’re a … tiny show, unlike any other show on HBO,” said exec producer Mark V. Olsen. “We’re a guerrilla show. We were always going to come in under the radar.”

Why Fox should pull the plug on “Glee” now
"Even high schoolers know you're supposed to rip the Band-Aid off."

Leah Remini addresses the camera crews on her new TLC reality show
Remini turns out to be too self conscious of the cameras on “Leah Remini: It’s All Relative,” which premieres tonight.

Roger Ebert’s documentary poster was photoshopped to put a smile on his face
It looks like the marketing department for “Life Itself” tried to soften his image.

Sprout channel is having its new space animal characters “break in” to other kids’ shows
To promote “Astroblast!,” Sprout is having its characters invade other shows on the kiddie cable network for five to 10 seconds.

Dan Rather reacts to Robert Redford playing him on the big screen
The former CBS News anchor tells The Hollywood Reporter: "I at least know enough to recognize that having the Sundance Kid make a film about political and corporate interference of news can only help audiences understand why a truly independent press and strong investigative reporting are so important in a country such as ours."

“Elementary” casts a new protégé for Sherlock
British actress Ophelia Lovibond will play Lucy Liu’s rival.

An appreciation of Meshach Taylor
His “Designing Women” character, Anthony Bouvier, proved to be groundbreaking.

Watch a preview of truTV’s 1st sketch comedy show
The cable network devoted to reality shows is expanding to scripted programming with “Friends of the People.”

“Pawn Stars” spawns “Pawnography”
Rick Harrison says of the History channel game show, premiering tonight: "We were throwing so much stuff against the wall for a couple of years. Originally, they just wanted me to be in it, and I just thought it would just be so much funnier and so much fun with Corey and Chum in it.”

See what “Modern Family’s” Jesse Tyler Ferguson looked like in high school
Check out the Emmy nominee's yearbook photo.

El Rey Network renews “Matador” before its premiere
Season 2 will air next year.

Emilie de Ravin’s marriage is ending
The “Lost” and “Once Upon a Time” star actually filed for divorce in 2007, but her husband has recently filed papers to end their marriage.

NBC’s “Working the Engels” wants to be “Arrested Development”
The new comedy has assembled all the right ingredients, but without any of the right quirks.

Amy Poehler’s brother wrote “Welcome to Sweden” with the help of “How I Met Your Mother”
"I had a big, gigantic, clunky Dell computer in my attic,” says Greg Poehler, "and it’s kind of embarrassing, but I’m not even joking, I started by Googling 'How to write a script.’ That was step one. In quotes. 'How to write a script.’ And then I cut and pasted the 'How I Met Your Mother' pilot, which is available online when you type in 'How to write a script.' And then kind of just went from there. I had no idea what I was doing.” PLUS: Amy Poehler says her brother has always been funny, “Welcome to Sweden” is NBC’s best comedy in a long time, it’s actually funny with a story to tell, it requires active watching by going in and out of English, this could become an NBC utility player, and  “Sweden” is the terrible antithesis of “Parks and Rec."

Read Full Post
Director Matt Reeves on how Coppola's 'Godfather' advice shaped his new 'Apes'
Credit: HitFix

Director Matt Reeves on how Coppola's 'Godfather' advice shaped his new 'Apes'

Plus he talks about what Giacchino brought to the table this time

I sat down with Matt Reeves in the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge to see which one of us could have our hair more disheveled by the amazing wind on Crissy Field. Enjoy the video.

The last time I saw Reeves, it was at Michael Giacchino's house, where I got to watch the two of them working on a scoring session for "Let Me In."

I don't bring that up simply to not-so-humblebrag, but to illustrate just how unusually open Reeves can be about the filmmaking process. Even after almost 16 years of writing about films online, I can count the number of scoring sessions I've been invited to attend on my fingers. It's one of the more private parts of the overall filmmaking experience, and it's also a pressure cooker, so many filmmakers simply can't open that up to reporters.

When "Let Me In" came to Comic-Con, I moderated the panel, and it was there that Reeves asked me to come by and watch some of the session. He and Giacchino have preposterous amount of fun when they're working together. For proof of this, just check out this Vimeo link. I think the reason they have that much fun together is because they speak in terms of very common geek reference points, and they are able to clearly figure out what they are trying to do emotionally with each beat.

Read Full Post

'Constantine' says goodbye to its female lead, Lucy Griffiths

“Constantine” says goodbye to its female lead, Lucy Griffiths
The NBC drama based on “Hellblazer” is moving in a different direction, one that won’t include Griffiths’ character Liv, who is teamed up with Constantine.

Read Full Post
<p>Sean Bean of &quot;Legends&quot;</p>

Sean Bean of "Legends"

Credit: TNT

Press Tour: 'Legends' star Sean Bean has little to say about Sean Bean dying

Bean does, however, list his favorite on-screen death

As you may have heard, seen and read on the Internet, Sean Bean is prone to dying on the big and small screen.

You know this, right? I don't need to run through the list of movies and TV shows in which Bean has died, because I don't want to spoil "The Smurfs" for you or something. [Note: That was a joke. Sean Bean probably doesn't die in "The Smurfs." I haven't seen it. I just didn't want to spoil something real.]

TNT also knows it. On Thursday (July 10) morning at the Television Critics Association press tour, TNT presented a panel for the new undercover FBI agent drama "Legends." 

Read Full Post

'Boardwalk Empire' returns for a final, 8-episode season on Sept. 7

“Boardwalk Empire” returns for a final, 8-episode season on Sept. 7
HBO confirmed today that Season 5 will be set during the Depression in 1931. PLUS: "The Comeback" will come back in November, along with "Getting On."

“True Detective” creator: “There are four central roles” for the California-set Season 2
Nic Pizzolatto wouldn’t reveal much more, but HBO programming chief Michael Lombardo said today: “The two scripts we have are… I hate to jinx it, but are more exciting than the first season,” and casting announcements should come next week.

HBO isn’t concerned about the “Game of Thrones” books, says Larry David is still thinking about “Curb Your Enthusiasm”
HBO programming chief Michael Lombardo said he recently bumped into Larry David. “I said, ‘So Larry, should I emotionally get Curb out of my head?’ He says, ‘No, no, no.’ As long as he’s still thinking about it, we have a place for him.”

“Big Brother” will begin tracking housemates’ every move with wireless activity trackers
The Fitbit Flex trackers will generate information that will be posted on

Donald Trump calls Rosie’s “View” return “a good move” — but "Rosie always self-destructs”
Rosie O’Donnell’s longtime nemesis says: “I think it’s a good move on ABC’s part. It’ll have a short term positive effect. The show has really missed not having Barbara (Walters) on it. With that said, it’ll have a short term positive impact, but then you have the long term. Rosie always self-destructs.”

HBO will show Beyonce and Jay-Z’s “On the Run” tour
The “major musical event” will tape in Paris in September.

Cinemax renews Steven Soderbergh’s “The Knick” before its premiere
The 1900-set NYC hospital drama won’t premiere for another two months.

Kate Mulgrew earned her very 1st Emmy nomination today
"This is my first Emmy nomination,” she says of her “Orange is the New Black” nod. "Can you believe it, after 40 years in this business?"

Ali Larter: I’m not reprising my “Heroes” role
Larter says she’s too committed to TNT’s “Legends” to return for “Heroes: Reborn.”

Read Full Post
Press Tour: July 2014 HBO Executive Session Live-Blog
Credit: HBO

Press Tour: July 2014 HBO Executive Session Live-Blog

Expect 'Game of Thrones,' 'True Detective' and other discussion

Welcome to my first live-blog for the July 2014 Television Critics Association press tour!

Up first, HBO Chairman and CEO Richard Plepler and Michael Lombardo take the stage to discuss "True Detective," "Game of Thrones," "The Leftovers" and whatever else we feel like we want to talk about.

Follow along!

That's Richard Plepler above. He looks like a character on "Mad Men," doesn't he?

Read Full Post