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<p>&quot;The Millers&quot;</p>

"The Millers"

Credit: CBS

Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'The Millers'

Will Greg Garcia's lure-them-with-farting strategy pay off?

[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots. I know some people will be all "These are reviews." If you've read me, you've read my reviews and you know this isn't what they look like.]

Show:"The Millers" (CBS)
Airs:Thursdays at 8:30 p.m.
The Pitch: "Farting! So much farting! And family, too!"
Quick Response: I contemplated doing this blurb w/out mentioning farting, specifically the farts emanating from Emmy-winning thespian Margo Martindale. But the farts are a call-back joke within the pilot and they've played a noxious role in CBS' promotion of the show. So just because Greg Garcia may not think of "The Millers" as a farting show, it's not a non-farting pilot and since pilots are when you throw down the gauntlet for what you believe is the funny essence of your sitcom, it'd be hard to think that the essence of "The Millers" isn't at least somewhat malodorous. And it's a small pity, because in addition to being a dramatic powerhouse, Margo Martindale is also comedic commando, an actress fearless enough to dive into anything you give her and, in the case of "The Millers," that's jokes about farting, watching Beau Bridges masturbate and, somewhat more admirably, some physical business inspired by "Dirty Dancing." It happens that I like Greg Garcia. "My Name Is Earl" started strong. "Raising Hope" has evolved into a source of regular amusement and occasionally brilliant inspiration. But old people freak Greg Garcia out. The frequency with which Emmy winner Cloris Leachman is used for lazy "Wacky Old People Are Wacky" punchlines on "Raising Hope" is somewhere close to 85% (and that's the figure for the most recent season, which was EASILY Leachman's best). So it's worrisome that so much of what Martindale and Bridges do in the "Millers" pilot is only ostensibly "funny" because it's being done by characters so old that not even CBS is targeting them. The "Millers" pilot is a lengthy run of "It's gross when old people do things that young people do" jokes that just happen to be executed by an amazing cast. Martindale is gung-ho for anything and Bridges matches her, though "matching" in this case too often means watching two expert actors yell at each other. [This has become a hallmark of James Burrows' pilot work in recent years. It didn't used to be. Sigh.] Will Arnett, in contrast, continues his "Up All Night" trend of underplaying, which is probably the best possible thing he could do, though he's getting dangerously close to "straight man" territory here, which would be a waste of Will Arnett. Because original pilot co-stars Mary Elizabeth Ellis and Michael Rapaport have been replaced by Jayma Mays and Nelson Franklin, it's hard to evaluate the rest of "The Millers." Since even Garcia has admitted that the problem with Ellis and Rapaport in the pilot was a lack of writing... Well, we'll see!
Desire To Watch Again: Moderate. I had problems with the "Raising Hope" pilot, but I liked enough of it to stick with it. I'm glad I did. I chuckled a couple times at the pilot for "The Millers" and cringed in embarrassment a few times. But the couple chuckles, the cast and good faith for Greg Garcia will bring me back. Maybe Garcia just wanted to use the agesploitation as a way of introducing the series premise and, having established it, he'll be able to play to other strengths in future episodes? After all, he's already promised a string of fart-free episodes. In any case, since "The Big Bang Theory" has a set spot on my DVR -- CBS and WBTV make it difficult to catch up in other ways -- "The Millers" will get a few episodes at least.


Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'The Goldbergs' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Ironside'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'We Are Men' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Almost Human' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Back in the Game' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Sean Saves the World' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'Reign' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'The Crazy Ones' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Enlisted' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Betrayal' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'The Blacklist' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'The Tomorrow People' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'Hostages' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Sleepy Hollow' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Trophy Wife' 
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'The Michael J. Fox Show' 
All of my 2012 Take Me To The Pilots Entries
All of my 2011 Take Me To The Pilots Entries
All of my 2010 Take Me To The Pilots Entries


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Jon Stewart's return will be bittersweet, thanks to John Oliver

Jon Stewart's return will be bittersweet, thanks to John Oliver
As Madeleine Davies explains it, "Jon Stewart is your best friend during the school year and John Oliver is the best friend you meet at sleep-away camp over the summer. He's different, he broadens your horizons, you prick your fingers with pins and become blood sisters, then promise to stay in touch and meet up once the summer's over. But then you go home, see your BFF Jon Stewart again, remember why you missed him and settle back into your own life." PLUS: See all 32 John Oliver excuses for Jon Stewart's absence.

Bebe Neuwirth is headed to "Blue Bloods"

The "Cheers" alum will clash with Tom Selleck.

"Mob Wives" star's fiance gets 15 years in prison for drug trafficking

Joe Sclafani, who's engaged to Ramona Rizzo, apologized to the court after his sentencing.

Can "SportsCenter" be saved?
The ESPN institution is trying to reinvent itself amid declining ratings.

Shonda Rhimes didn't think of "Scandal" Season 3 when Season 2 ended

Says Rhimes: "We left the end of season two, and then we all came back and sat down and went, 'What the hell is going to happen next.' And then we figured it out. That's the fun of it. I feel you have to leave it all on the page and the screen, and then go from there."

White House press secretary asks his "West Wing" counterpart how to do "The Jackal"
That's how Jay Carney welcomed Allison Janney to Twitter.

Here's your 1st look at Ross Mathews' E! talk show

"Hello Ross" premieres Sept. 6.

Rob Lowe's new book will be called "Love Life"

The "Parks and Rec" star will reveal intimate stories in the follow-up to his memoir.

Donald Faison welcomes a son

"The Exes" star welcomed his 5th child this week.

Should "The Real World" end?

After 29 seasons, is the MTV reality show's age that turned viewers off? Or is it MTV's meddling? PLUS: "Real World: San Francisco" cast: Where are they now? (Judd Winick is working on "The Awesomes.")

"Breaking Bad's" Dean Norris delves into the "tread lightly" moment
There were two versions of that scene that were filmed, but the 2nd one, the one that aired, was more memorable. PLUS: What "Breaking Bad" gets right and wrong about meth, more reasons why Netflix wasn't the only cause of "Bad's" ratings boost, and 21 easter eggs that will blow your mind.

Is this Stephen Colbert's "best segment ever"?

The "People Who Are Destroying America" segment on a gay small-town Kentucky mayor has gotten lots of rave reviews.

What is behind Laura Prepon's exit from "Orange is the New Black"?

Is her departure some kind of ruse? PLUS: See the "Orange" cast in real life.

Jesse Plemons joins HBO miniseries "Olive Kitteridge"

The "Breaking Bad" star will be joined by "The Newsroom's" John Gallagher Jr., Frances McDormand, Zoe Kazan and Richard Jenkins.

Russian political candidate uses "Game of Thrones" star Emilia Clarke's image in "anti-rape" message
Clarke was identified as a local 24-year-old named Anya. PLUS: Sophie Turner becomes BFFs with Alec Baldwin's daughter over Twitter.

Adam Driver promotes the "Girls" Season 2 DVD with "Masterpiece Theatre" theme

"Get in bed with Adam." PLUS: Why did The Gap pick Driver to be a model?, and Driver poses with sheep for Vogue.

Johnny Galecki: It doesn't feel like "The Big Bang Theory" is halfway over

"I personally don't feel like we've told half the stories that these characters have to tell," he said at an Emmy panel. "It doesn't feel to me like we're halfway through. I'm certainly not done working with all of these people."

"Duck Dynasty": Breaking down the cast's fortune

Just by selling Duck Commander callers, the Robertsons are set to make nearly $45 million this year.

Is "The Newsroom" the best bad show ever?

"You have to be a genius like Aaron Sorkin to get away with a show as vigorously awful as 'The Newsroom,'" says Rob Sheffield. "That's the thing that makes it so agonizing in its watchability."

See Spencer Pratt's huge 30th birthday cake

Shaped like a giant 3-0.

Watch a mid-90s Jon Stewart and Louis CK

Stewart was a syndicated talk show host and Louis CK was a writer for Conan's "Late Night" when they sat down for these interviews.

Jimmy Kimmel now refers to himself as "HusBoss" on his talk show
That's because he's husband and boss to the show's co-headwriter, Molly McNearny.

Selma Blair is now a blonde

After her "Anger Management" stint, Blair has dyed her hair.

Presenting 7 "wonderfully terrible" reality shows that lasted 1 season

From Monica Lewinsky's "Mr. Personality" to "Kid Nation."

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<p>Luke Bryan</p>

Luke Bryan

Credit: Donn Jones/AP

Luke Bryan 'Crashes' onto next week's Billboard 200

Can he beat Jay Z's first-week numbers?

Luke Bryan will have a monster of a week next week as “Crash My Party” crashes onto the Billboard 200 with sales of up to 525,000.

If he gains enough steam before the chart closes Sunday night and hits 529,000, he’ll roll right past Jay Z’s “Magna Carta Holy Grail” to have the second highest debut of the year  (second only to Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience.”  Read our review of Bryan’s “Crash My Party."

Not only will “Crash” lead the chart next week, but the excitement around Bryan’s new release lifts the tide for his last full-length set, “Tailgates and Taglines,” which will zoom back onto the chart at around No. 14, according to Hits Daily Double.

The only other debut in the Top 10 comes from “Love & Hip Hop” reality show star K. Michelle, whose “Rebellious Soul” pops in at No. 2 with sales of up to 70,000.

The remainder of the Top 10 are repeaters: “Now That’s What I Call Music 47” is at No. 3, while Robin Thicke’s former No. 1, “Blurred Lines,” is No. 4. This week’s No. 1 set, “The Civil Wars” by the defunct duo, drops to No. 5.

Jay Z’s aforementioned “Magna Carta Holy Grail” will likely be at No. 6, while Disney’s soundtrack to the wildly popular TV movie, “Teen Beach,” is at No. 7.

Rounding out the Top 10, Florida Georgia Line’s “Here’s To The Good Times”  is at No. 8, Imagine Dragons’ “Night Visions” at No. 9 and Five Finger Death Punch’s “Wrong Side Of Heaven, Vol. 1” at No. 10.


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"Bizarre ER"

 "Bizarre ER"

Credit: Discovery Fit & Health

Watch: Amputee gets new arms after electrocution on 'Bizarre ER'

They may not be pretty, but they work

Want to have a bloody good weekend? Then tune in to Discovery Fit & Health on Saturday at 10:00 p.m. for an all new episode of "Bizarre ER." On the show, you'll meet a woman who’s landed in the ER after hurling herself off a ten-foot platform onto a giant rubber ball, a man who’s trapped inside his own prosthetic leg, and a kickboxer who’s travelled 8,000 miles over ten days with a broken jaw. But wait! There's more!

In the clip, get a glimpse of the man who receives a double arm transplant after his own were electrocuted in a freak accident. 

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NBC says Hillary Clinton miniseries may never go into production

NBC says Hillary Clinton miniseries may never go into production

NBC Entertainment president Robert Greenblatt, who announced the Clinton miniseries last month, said today in a statement that only a script is being written, and that the miniseries may never go into production. His statement came after Fox TV Studios turned down the chance to produce the project.

JoAnna Garcia cast as "Once Upon a Time's" Little Mermaid

She'll play Ariel next season.

Fox buys Tina Fey's college comedy
Fey and her "30 Rock" exec producer Robert Carlock are behind the project, about an all-girls college that begins accepting men.

Katie Couric responds to Kim Kardashian slam: "I didn't mean to hurt her feelings"
When Couric told a magazine she didn't understand why the Kardashians were famous, she says, ""I was responding to a reporter's question, and explaining how I'm intrigued by the public's fascination with her family."

CBS orders a female Secretary of State drama

Morgan Freeman and "Joan of Arcadia" creator Barbara Hall are producing "Madame Secretary."

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<p>Chad Hartigan</p>

Chad Hartigan

Credit: Karlovy Vary Film Festival

Chad Hartigan on the personal layers and professional rewards of 'This is Martin Bonner'

The Sundance-endorsed drama opens in New York and Los Angeles today

EDINBURGH - As we sit down in the appealingly tatty coffee shop of Edinburgh's Filmhouse – the stone-built base camp of the city's venerable film festival – Chad Hartigan admits feeling pleasantly bemused at being interviewed for In Contention. As well he might do. It's not that long ago that Hartigan's name appeared in bylines rather than headlines on this site – one of several where he plied his trade as a box office analyst for five years, while laying the foundations of an independent filmmaking career. 

I'm half-tempted to ask Hartigan for a projected gross for his own film; after all, it's not every scrappy indie writer-director who can boast such cool-headed commercial instincts, even (or perhaps especially) with regard to blockbusters fare a million miles from their own. “A lot of people wonder if all that work has given me some kind of like secret code,” he says, with a dry laugh. “Like I could make the failsafe blockbuster. After five years, I still don't know what exact science makes a hit. But I do know that 'This is Martin Bonner' is not it.”

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<p>AJ&nbsp;Bowen and Sharni Vinson are right to be so excited about the impending release of their new film 'You're Next'</p>

AJ Bowen and Sharni Vinson are right to be so excited about the impending release of their new film 'You're Next'

Credit: HitFix

Stars AJ Bowen and Sharni Vinson talk about the long road to release for 'You're Next'

Plus Vinson talks about remaking the Aussie cult classic 'Patrick'

One weird part of my job is when I walk into a room to conduct what is meant to be a formal interview, but the person sitting across from me is someone I have an entirely informal relationship with. You can't live and work in Los Angeles for 23 years without making a number of friends in the industry, and it's even harder to avoid if you spend a good percentage of your year attending film festivals.

I first saw AJ Bowen in "The Signal," and in the years since, he's shown up in a number of films that i like, sometimes in main roles, sometimes showing up for one or two memorable moments. Several years ago, though, he and I started to see each other more frequently because of our mutual friend Aaron. Aaron's house is the place I stay any time I go to Austin for a festival, and AJ started coming to many of the same festivals and also staying with Aaron.

By far, the finest moment so far in our friendship came before either Fantastic Fest 2013 or this year's SXSW, when I texted AJ to ask if I was going to see him in Austin. He texted me back, "Already warming up the bed in the master bedroom," which made me laugh. It seemed less hilarious to my wife, who had trouble believing that "AJ" was a dude. Honestly, I'm not sure it helped when I convinced her that he was indeed a guy, because she found that suggestion even more upsetting.

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<p>'Short Term 12' director Destin&nbsp;Cretton</p>

'Short Term 12' director Destin Cretton

Credit: AMPAS

Destin Cretton on the Academy's Nicholl Fellowship and 'Short Term 12' as a potential TV series

The writer/director's 'I Am Not a Hipster' follow-up is already an award winner on the festival circuit

NEW YORK - While attending film school at San Diego State University some years ago, Destin Cretton would always take note of an annual poster calling for script submissions. It was a contest held by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences called the Nicholl Fellowship. He never tried applying for it until a script called "Short Term 12," which was inspired by his time working at a foster care facility for at-risk teenagers. He never thought there would be much of a chance at winning but he gave it a shot and went right back into working out the kinks of his script.

A short time later, he was incredibly frustrated with those kinks, as well as the rejections the script was getting at other outlets, and he was just about ready to throw in the towel. Then he received an email notifying him that he had landed in the quarterfinals of the competition. The good news gave him further encouragement to finish his rewrite (which, three years later, would finally make its way to the screen with him behind the camera). Before long, the circuit ended with "Short Term 12" being one of the 10 winning finalists for the honor, and Cretton still can't believe that's how it panned out.

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CW buys Lauren Graham's drama project, with Graham writing the pilot

CW buys Lauren Graham's drama project, with Graham writing the pilot

This will be Graham's first time writing for television. She's adopting her semi-autobiographical book "Someday, Someday Maybe" for the small screen, with Ellen DeGeneres producing. PLUS: Graham recalls her '90s sitcoms in Nerdist podcast.

NBC's Hillary Clinton miniseries won't be produced by Fox
There was talk last week that Fox TV Studios might produce the miniseries starring Diane Lane as Clinton.

"Dexter's" James Remar joins "Grey's Anatomy"

Remar will be part of a multi-episode arc, but details of his character have yet to be revealed.

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<p>If you ever get off a plane and this is the first thing you see, twist ending... you are probably dead.</p>

If you ever get off a plane and this is the first thing you see, twist ending... you are probably dead.

Credit: CBS

Director Joseph Kosinski jumps from 'Oblivion' to 'The Twilight Zone'

No word on what this means for a 'Tron' sequel or 'The Black Hole'

"The Twilight Zone" remains a potent title in terms of the immediate reaction it evokes from people, and while I'm glad the name hasn't been worn down to irrelevance, it does amaze me that they haven't done more with it in the last fifteen or twenty years. It seems like they should always be doing something with it, because more than anything else, it's a suggestion of a certain type of storytelling, and done well, these are stories people really love.

Obviously, they have tried to make "The Twilight Zone" work as a movie before. The anthology film from the early '80s might have successfully kicked off a series if not for the controversy around the real-life death of actor Vic Morrow during production. Even if the Landis and Spielberg stories didn't quite connect, chances are enough people would have dug the Dante freakshow and the George Miller exercise in pure tension that they would have been able to get four different filmmakers to sign up for a sequel. I can only imagine what it would have been like if Warner had been able to make a new "Twilight Zone" movie every two or three years, working with four interesting filmmakers every time.

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Scott Lomu and George Wright of "Jungle Gold"

 Scott Lomu and George Wright of "Jungle Gold"

Credit: HitFix

Watch: George and Scott of 'Jungle Gold' talk robbery, accusations

The reality stars say we'll never see the whole, horrible truth

George Wright and Scott Lomu of Discovery's "Jungle Gold" (Sundays at 10:00 p.m. ET) give the term "gold diggers" a literal spin with this reality show, now in its second season. If you haven't seen the show, it's a doozie. Two guys lose their shirts when the real estate bubble bursts and decide to do the logical thing -- hunt for gold in Ghana! I got a chance to talk with the pair about how the show came about, how they feel about those that accuse them of faking and what their wives really think of what they're doing.

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MTV's VMAs going host-less this year

MTV's VMAs going host-less this year
"For this year's show, we've decided to go in a different direction than the traditional 'host' route — like we have done on multiple occasions throughout the years," said an MTV spokesperson.

Kim Kardashian slams "fake media friend" Katie Couric
Couric recently dissed Kardashian in a magazine interview, prompting Kardashian to post a photo of the gift and nice note Couric gave her after giving birth.

How "Grey's Anatomy's" Cristina Yang changed TV

As Willa Paskin explains, "On another TV show, Yang's combination of qualities—mercenary, scary, and extremely skilled—would have made her the lead character’s enemy, if not a whole litany of other clichés: the type-A Asian, the frigid ballbuster, the unlikeable shrew. Instead, Grey’s respected Cristina’s ambition and wit, laurelled her with humor, swag, and a sex drive, and made her the lead character’s best friend."

Justin Guarini: "I'm nowhere near poverty"

After writing that he's skipping meals, the former "Idol" star clarifies that he's not impoverished.

Hillary Clinton admits she's a "Downton Abbey" fan

Clinton revealed her "Downton" fandom on Twitter.

Stuntwoman gets paid $2,800 to reenact "Family Guy's" "Epic Chicken Fight"
Check out a nearly shot-for-shot reenactment of the classic scene.

"Price is Right" contestant comes on down by crowd-surfing
Watch what the show is calling "he greatest come on down EVER."

What it's like to recap TV shows

It's an unusual job that requires writing between primetime and sunrise.

MTV orders "Jerks With Cameras"

A team of "jerks" will be sent out on this "unhidden" camera prank show from the creator of "Jersey Shore."

"The Following" adds Valerie Cruz

The "Homeland" alum will play Detective Mendez.

Watch "Revolution's" Season 2 promo

The 2nd season debuts Sept. 25.

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