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'Big Brother' racism boosts ratings


"Big Brother" racism boosts ratings
Last night's episode was the highest-rated of the night and ended a string of low-rated episodes.


Jay Leno is having a ratings renaissance

"The Tonight Show" has had its best numbers in the past five quarters, which begs the question -- why is NBC dumping Leno?


Study: TV is the main source of news for most Americans
Gallup also found that the No. 1 source for getting news is Fox News.


Paula Abdul to guest-judge "SYTYCD"
"It's the girl I've waited ten seasons for," says Nigel Lythgoe.


In defense of cable news' extensive George Zimmerman trial coverage
It's clearer than ever that viewers would rather watch coverage of the trial than more newsworthy stories like the latest goings-on in Egypt.


Eva Longoria is dating a contestant from her "Ready to Love" reality show

Longoria's new boyfriend appeared on the NBC reality show earlier this year, but she says she didn't start dating him until recently.


Sorkinisms gets a sequel
The YouTuber who created a compilation of recycled Aaron Sorkin dialogue is back, this time with "Newsroom" dialogue.


Sisters With Voices, AKA SWV, is making a comeback via a WEtv reality show

WEtv has ordered six episodes of "SWV - Sisters With Voices" for next year.


Discovery to air "Real 40 Year Old Virgins"
The documentary aired on British TV earlier this year -- watch the trailer.


2 "Survivorman" specials are on the way

Science Channel has ordered "Survivorman & Son" and "Survivorman: Bigfoot Sasquatch Territory."

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<p>Guillermo del Toro promoting &quot;Pacific Rim&quot;&nbsp;in&nbsp;Mexico</p>

Guillermo del Toro promoting "Pacific Rim" in Mexico

Credit: AP Photo

Wait, Guillermo del Toro has a take on Kurt Vonnegut's 'Slaughterhouse-Five' with Charlie Kaufman??

The 'Pacific Rim' director is up against the wall if he wants to make this a reality

It's tough to work Kurt Vonnegut out for the screen. It rarely comes together well. But I'll be damned if I'm not excited to see Guillermo del Toro try with Charlie Kaufman writing. You kidding me??

According to a story that originated at The Daily Telegraph, an adaptation of Vonnegut's novel, "Slaughterhouse-Five" -- which was originally filmed by George Roy Hill in 1972 -- is part of the "Pacific Rim" director's current deal with Universal. Not only that, but he has a writer in mind, frankly the perfect conduit for Vonnegut if there ever was one: Oscar-winning "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and "Being John Malkovich" scribe Charlie Kaufman.

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<p>Diane Kruger and Demian Bichir in &quot;The Bridge.&quot;</p>

Diane Kruger and Demian Bichir in "The Bridge."

Credit: FX

'The Bridge' producer Meredith Stiehm on translating Denmark/Sweden into U.S./Mexico

Diane Kruger and Demian Bichir play cops from opposite sides of the border in new drama from 'Cold Case' creator
Wednesday night at 10, FX premieres “The Bridge,” a new longform cop drama adapted from a popular Scandinavian crime series about a dead body found on the bridge connecting Denmark and Sweden, which eventually leads to a serial killer operating in both countries. Here, the action has been moved to the U.S./Mexico border crossing between El Paso and Juarez, with Diane Kruger playing an American cop with undiagnosed Asperger’s and Demian Bichir as her charming Mexican counterpart.
 
Leading the adaptation is veteran producer Meredith Stiehm, who cut her teeth on “NYPD Blue,” created and ran “Cold Case” for years, and was part of the murder’s row writing staff for the first two seasons of “Homeland,” where she was responsible for some of the series’ best episodes (including “The Weekend” in season 1 and “The Clearing” in season 2).
 
I liked “The Bridge” quite a bit (review to follow later in the week), and I recently spoke with Stiehm about the choices she made in adapting the original, how she’s approaching her heroine’s social deficits, whether comparisons to “The Killing” (which was adapted by fellow “Cold Case” alum Veena Sud) are fair, and more.
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"The Real Housewives of New Jersey"

 "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" 

Credit: Bravo

'Real Housewives of New Jersey': Do you think Melissa cheated?

Jan and Kim D. spread a nasty rumor about Melissa

In theory, all should be calm among the New Jersey housewives. Teresa has pitched almost everyone on the idea of going on some sort of healing retreat so she and her brother Joe can stop throwing things at one another, so now is the time for Bikram yoga and soothing herbal teas and meditation, right? Stop laughing! Come on, I can't hear myself think over all that cackling. 

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<p>Rinko Kikuchi and Idris Elba are just two of the people who must conquer their own fears so they can battle giant monsters threatening mankind in 'Pacific Rim'</p>

Rinko Kikuchi and Idris Elba are just two of the people who must conquer their own fears so they can battle giant monsters threatening mankind in 'Pacific Rim'

Credit: Warner Bros

Review: Guillermo Del Toro's 'Pacific Rim' is an eccentric and emotional thrill

Character is front and center even as robots kick the hell out of giant monsters

There are many kinds of movies that I love.

I'm always baffled by people who really only seem to have one genre of film or one style of film that they like, because to me, film is all about variety. If you browse through my shelves full of movies or the books full of DVDs and you try to figure out some system by which they're ordered, you'll go crazy. I intentionally do not alphabetize my films or my discs, and I don't group them by genre. I just add titles as they show up, putting them on the stacks or filing them in the books, and what looks like random chaos to anyone else is, to me, the purest expression of the way I ingest movies. I see no real tangible difference between the pleasures I get from "Pacific Rim" and the pleasures I get from something like "Before Midnight" or "Stories We Tell." To me, film is all about voice. You find the right voice to tell me your story, and I'll pretty much follow you anywhere.

And if there is anything that Guillermo Del Toro has, it is voice.

We have reached an age where the truly fantastic has become commonplace. We look at images in movies today that would baffle people from 100 years ago, images that would be considered sorcery 500 years ago, and we are blase about them. We accept the incredible as an ordinary part of filmgoing these days, and to some degree, it has ruined us. When the amazing becomes routine, what is left to give us that sense of wonder?

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CBS finally airs 'Big Brother' racism


CBS finally airs "Big Brother" racism
One housemate, Aaryn Gries, was exposed on Sunday's show for her racist comments, with CBS broadcasting an entire montage of her ugly words. PLUS: Employer distances itself from "Big Brother" racism.


James Franco joining the "Veronica Mars" film?

There's a rumor he'll play himself.


Family of 9/11 firefighter furious at "Princesses: Long Island"

The Bravo reality show aired a segment of one of its stars filming a modeling shoot at the statue of a fallen 9/11 firefighter. The model was directed to hold up a beer bottle to the statue's lips, before kissing it.


Nigella Lawson's husband is filing for divorce

Charles Saatchi is upset that his TV chef wife didn't defend him in wake of choking allegations.


Chris Pratt is totally ripped
The "Parks and Rec" star posted a new, buff pic of himself, which prompted Rob Lowe to tweet: "You CANNOT return to Pawnee like that!"


Nickelodeon teams with Birds Eye to promote vegetables
The cable network is trying to promote healthier eating.


Ion picks up "Burn Notice" and "White Collar" reruns
They'll join USA series "Psych" and "Monk" that already are shown on Ion.


Elisha Cuthbert weds
The 30-year-old former "Happy Endings" star married her NHL boyfriend on Saturday.


Emmy Rossum splits with her "Shameless" co-star

She and Tyler Jacob Moore are no longer dating after two years together.


"Full House" stars hang with New Kids on the Block

It's a '90s nostalgia trip.

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<p>&quot;The Tomorrow People&quot;</p>

"The Tomorrow People"

Credit: The CW

Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'The Tomorrow People'

A late change in course my help Robbie Amell's superpowered drama

[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 Tomorrow People" (The CW)
Airs:Wednesdays at 9 p.m.
The Pitch:You know "Heroes," "Alphas," "Misfits," "Chuck," "Chloe King," "Reaper," "Jake 2.0," or any of the dozens of TV shows and movies in recent years about ordinary people who suddenly discover they have (or are given) extraordinary abilities? Has The CW ever had one? Well, other than "Reaper."  Bingo! Now, with an Amell! [The original British series isn't on my radar, unfortunately.]
Quick Response: It's really hard to settle in and enjoy the pilot for "The Tomorrow People," because every single solitary beat in the first 30 minutes feels like the latest iteration of a seemingly endless string of superhero origin stories on the big and small screen. The search for any sign of freshness is futile, so you're left looking for things that are at least well handled or handled with any sort of new twist and even that's hard, especially since pilot director Danny Cannon may have accidentally taken his shot-list and visual template from "Nikita" to the "Tomorrow People" set. Even the production design for the various lairs looks like various rejected, or possibly accepted, concepts for Division. And then, when you're looking for something that doesn't feel like straight-up cloning, you're given a leading man who literally comes from a common genetic pool with "Arrow" star Stephen Amell. And it isn't that Robbie Amell is bad, but his similarities to his cousin keep producing moments of frustrating deja vu, especially when the script finds a way to get him out of his shirt multiple times in the first five minutes. Like I said, Robbie Amell isn't a bad actor, but he's ridiculous casting in this role, both because he looks much, much, much too old to be pretending he's a high school student, but also because there's zero excitement in watching somebody with the muscles of a model or a professional athlete discover he might be strong. Guess what? There's no way this character looks the way he does without spending a awful lot of time in the gym, so when he discovers he can shoot CGI blur from his fingertips, it's just another thing he has going for him, not a 180 reverse of his life. It's predictable CW casting and it undermines the show. They needed to find a Bret Harison or a Zachary Levi or a Chris Gorham or anybody who couldn't, again literally, fit into a mold established by another CW star. Aaron Yoo, good in a supporting role here, would have been more interesting lead casting, but... Yeah. But there were things I liked in the last 15 minutes. I like that Mark Pellegrino's character, while obviously intended as the villain, comes across as fairly reasonable and that that character's rational behavior instigates plausible conflict for the hero and that that plausible conflict may eventually spin the show off in a direction which is still derivative -- I'd say which shows the twist is borrowing from, but then you'd feel like you'd seen ever second of "Tomorrow People" previously -- but at least feels derivative of different things, rather than every one of the shows I listed in the Pitch. The end of the show gave me hope that "Tomorrow People" could could at least offer the occasional detour from the norm.
Desire To Watch Again: This is a time slot that will only work for me if I will myself to jettison "The X Factor." I'm curious based on the end of the episode and that curiosity might make me give this one another few episodes. I honestly give nearly everything on The CW at least a handful of episodes unless they're unwatchable like "Beauty and the Beast." So this'll probably get more episodes as well. On a broader level, this isn't a show that's going to bring anybody new to The CW.

 

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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<p>Christopher Guest and Nina Conti in &quot;Family Tree.&quot;</p>

Christopher Guest and Nina Conti in "Family Tree."

Credit: HBO

Season finale review: 'Family Tree' - 'Cowboys'

Tom's stay in California appears to come to an end; should the HBO comedy continue?

A quick review of the "Family Tree" season finale coming up just as soon as I steal a toy from a kids charity...

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"True Blood"

 "True Blood"

Credit: HBO

'True Blood': Has Warlow been found 'At Last'?

Sookie makes a discovery, Bill doesn't, and Sam is on the run

While this week's episode of "True Blood" wasn't quite as gripping as last week's, the good news is that storylines were moved forward, Jason determined he wasn't gay (like that was ever a question for anyone but him), and crucial details were revealed. More importantly, though this episode was definitely about laying down groundwork for the future instead of big blow-ups, I think (or at least hope) that what we know thus far indicates some mighty challenges and emotional turmoil ahead if the odds are ever in our favor (or the writers don't dodge some potentially tricky material). Spoilers ahead, so stop reading right about... now if you haven't seen it. 

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<p>Michael C. Hall and Charlotte Rampling in &quot;Dexter.&quot;</p>

Michael C. Hall and Charlotte Rampling in "Dexter."

Credit: Showtime

Review: 'Dexter' - 'Every Silver Lining...'

Dexter gets to know Dr. Vogel, while Deb goes to another dark place

A quick review of tonight's "Dexter" coming up just as soon as I give you an electrolyte replenishment formula...

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"Big Brother"

 "Big Brother"

Credit: CBS

'Big Brother' recap: Racism is revealed and two go on the block

CBS airs footage of one of the hamsters making crude jokes

I was initially reluctant to jump on the "Big Brother" hater train. When cameras are following you around 24/7, it's almost guaranteed you're going to be caught saying something stupid. When you're under constant stress and your "job" is essentially stabbing other people in the back, you're also likely to say something stupid and possibly hateful. I can even see how something said sarcastically could be taken literally. Given that the hamsters are mostly stupid kids, I hate to judge too quickly (reality TV housewives, though, are a different matter). 

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"Naked & Afraid"

 "Naked & Afraid"

Credit: Discovery

'Naked & Afraid': The wildest new reality show you need to watch

No clothes, no food, no water, no shoes - and no escape

When I heard the premise of "Naked & Afraid" (Sun. at 10:00 p.m. on Discovery), I thought it was just an extreme take on "Survivor." Each week, two people (a man and a woman) are shipped off to an exotic locale. Once there, they strip down, meet one another for the first time, and try to survive without food, water, tools, fire or anything useful (with the exception of one personal item each) for 21 days. Sort of like Adam and Eve if there were no apples, the snakes were poisonous and the Garden of Eden was filled with thorns and hungry hyenas. 

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