Latest Blog Posts

<p>Comic-Con fans got to see the first new &quot;Veronica Mars&quot;&nbsp;movie footage, and now so can you.</p>

Comic-Con fans got to see the first new "Veronica Mars" movie footage, and now so can you.

Credit: Warner Bros.

'Veronica Mars' Comic-Con trailer

The first new footage from the Kickstarter-funded film

Yesterday,"Veronica Mars" made a successful return to Comic-Con with most of the core cast from the movie and creator Rob Thomas entertaining the huge crowd in Hall H with memories of the series and teases about what's going to happen in the film. I live-blogged the panel as it was happening, and was pleased with the bits of movie footage we got to see. Now the clip reel — including scenes from the movie, plus the actors and Thomas talking about the whole Kickstarter phenomenon that made the film possible — has been posted online. It gives some sense of where Veronica is in her life at age 28 and lets you see all the regulars (and a great joint interview between "Party Down" alums Ryan Hansen and Martin Starr), but doesn't give away much about the film's plot or some of the other casting surprises that Thomas hinted at on the panel. 


Read Full Post
<p>ABC's &quot;Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.&quot;</p>

ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."

Credit: ABC

Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'

Joss Whedon pilot generated Comic-Con buzz, but does it deliver excitement?

[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.]

[Note: This entry spoils a bit of casting that a number of media reports spoiled today. It's not really a huge spoiler and the character appears within the first 10 minutes of the pilot and I'm betting ABC will feature the character in trailers now. But you've been warned. And the picture spoils it too. But ABC hasn't released enough pictures from this show. So... Sorry. Like I said. Not a surprise.]

Show:"Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." (ABC)
Airs:Tuesdays at 8 p.m.
The Pitch:You see... Marvel. And... S.H.I.E.L.D. And... Joss Whedon. This is not a hard sell.
Quick Response: ABC was ultimately brilliant in holding back this pilot for a Comic-Con premiere. The response in Ballroom 20 was, from some quarters, rapturous. Hold your horses. Chill. Relax. I know that was impossible for a lot of people in Ballroom 20 and who can blame them? It's Marvel action for TV! It's Joss Whedon! And it's good. It's not great. I'm not even sure I'd put a "very" in front of "good," but the total number of new drama pilots for this year that I'd even categorize as "good" doesn't exceed the fingers on one hand. So take "good" as a compliment, but don't expect the hype from Ballroom 20 to carry over. It won't change your life or ABC's life, but it's got potential. I'll start with the negatives. "S.H.I.E.L.D." is a pre-sold property, but obviously there are fears that nobody connects this pilot to "The Avengers" (a problem for most people outside of San Diego), so the pilot spends a lot of time mentioning context from within the Marvel Universe in ways broad enough to make both Mike at Comic-Con *and* Joe in Omaha feel hip. That's fine, though it's a bit of a tease. I love Agent Coulson. You love Agent Coulson. We all love Agent Coulson. But maybe you let us love Agent Coulson without reminding us that we're missing Thor and Iron Man and The Hulk. So it has to play the "reminder" game, but it also has to play the much more complicated game of, "Since we're not *really* gonna see most of the people we know, what is the world in which this show takes place?" To that end, the pilot has as many as three point-of-entry characters in combat badass Grant Ward (Brett Dalton), mysterious hacker Skye (Chloe Bennett) and J. August Richards' character, who I won't describe. That's too many characters coming from too many outside points-of-view for any of their perspectives to actually sink in, much less for the pilot to feel like it's a wholly satisfying 44-minute story. I was interested in Richards' performance, but I don't know what's happening going forward. I liked Bennet, who's pretty much a prototypical Whedon leading lady, quick with a quip and easy on the eyes. And Dalton seemed OK, but probably a bit too pretty and not dangerous enough. Dalton's character needs a clearer pilot arc, or he probably just needed to already be a member of the team. Instead, it seems like the middle two-thirds of the pilot is people explaining to other people what S.H.I.E.L.D. does, which is a necessary evil, but it's not necessarily good drama. And most people still won't get what S.H.I.E.L.D. does or why Agent Coulson is hanging out with these people when he could be hanging out with Tony Stark and Nick Fury. Yes, he's got a cool vintage sports car and they have a nifty airplane, but after the fully populated Helicarrier from "The Avengers," everything in this pilot is comparatively claustrophobic and sparse. Having Cobie Smulders in the pilot helps and it's not a tiny role. They need to get more of her and I'd love to get some sense of what contractual magic will allow her to make at least occasional appearances until she gets liberated from "HIMYM." The show needs her and vice versa. Ming-Na is initially mysterious and then effectively nails her one action scene. Charming British scientists Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) are as Whedon-y as you'd like them to be. Lots of the pilot, in fact, is satisfyingly Whedon-y. At times the jokes are smart and well-constructed and literate. And then at times it panders in a way that played flawlessly in Ballroom 20, but probably not everywhere. As a director, Whedon doesn't overreach. That means that none of the action scenes are ruined by the frustration of limited TV budgets, but you also never go, "Wow. I've never seen anything like this on the small screen before." It does look like a TV show. It doesn't look like a $200-million feature. Weird, right? I do think Whedon made this pilot so that the subsequent show would feel mostly reproducible, rather than the legion of blow-your-wad-on-the-pilot dramas we see every year. This is a template and a cast that future directors and writers should be able to work with.
Desire To Watch Again: I think the above super-paragraph feels a little negative, but of the fall drama pilots, this is still the one that has me most jazzed for a second episode. There are a number of mythology-based things introduced in the pilot, particularly involving Coulson's return, that I'm interested in and, thanks to Gregg, invested in. I want to watch Bennet and Ming-Na and Henstridge and De Caestecker play around in this world. I think an awful lot is going to depend on Brett Dalton. I really do trust in Joss when it comes to casting, but Dalton's not there yet. "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." is not all the way there yet. But it's fun and sometimes exciting and everybody's trying to make it likable. 


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


Read Full Post
<p>Sara Bareilles' &quot;The Blessed Unrest&quot;</p>

Sara Bareilles' "The Blessed Unrest"

Can Sara Bareilles topple Jay-Z from the top of next week's Billboard 200?

Who are the five debuts in the top 10?

Jay-Z will remain atop the Billboard 200 next week, as “Magna Carta Holy Grail” will be the only title to top the 100,00 mark.

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of activity: five of the Top 10 titles will likely be debuts. Coming in at No. 2 will be Sara Bareilles’ “The Blessed Unrest,” with sales of up to 70,000. No. will be the latest edition from Kidz Bop Kids at 65,000. Rapper Ace Hood’s “Trials & Tribulations” and pop star Cody Simpson’s “Surfer’s Paradise” are neck and neck for No. 4, with each predicted to sell between 28,000 and 32,000, according to Hits Daily Double.

The other newcomer will be “Last of the Great Pretenders” from singer/songwriter Matt Nathanson;  it’s slated to sell up to 24,000 to land at No. 10.

Holdovers include Imagine Dragons’ “Night Visions” and Florida Georgia Line’s “Here’s To The Good Times,” both of which too close to call for No. 6,  J. Cole’s “Born Sinner” at No. 8 and Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience,” which looks good to reenter the Top 10 at No. 9.

Read Full Post

Jesse & The Rippers perform the 'Full House' theme on Jimmy Fallon

Jesse & The Rippers perform the "Full House" theme on Jimmy Fallon
John Stamos' "Full House" band reunited, with Bob Saget and Lori Loughlin in attendance.

Watch as "Mythbusters'" reenacts a scene from "Breaking Bad"
Here's a first look at the special episode, featuring Aaron Paul and creator Vince Gilligan.

How "Orphan Black" pulls off those clone scenes

The BBC America show hit up Comic-Con, and the cast and crew said the show will be back in April.

See the trailer for "Vikings" Season 2
The History channel series was at Comic-Con today.

Read Full Post
<p>Andrew Garfield practically radiated joy when we spoke today and why not?&nbsp;The dude is <em>Spider-Man</em>.</p>

Andrew Garfield practically radiated joy when we spoke today and why not? The dude is Spider-Man.

Credit: HitFix

'Amazing Spider-Man 2' star Andrew Garfield talks about being starstruck with Jamie Foxx

The star seems just as excited to play the role again as he was the first time

SAN DIEGO - Evidently, Andrew Garfield spent his day charming people.

I wasn't in Hall H during today's presentation of footage from "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," but I did have a chance to sit down with Garfield pretty much the second I stepped off stage from moderating the "Kick-Ass 2"/"Riddick" panel.

While I wasn't crazy about "The Amazing Spider-Man," I think highly of the casting in the movie, and I was very clear in my review that I look forward to seeing if they can turn the sequel into the slam dunk that it should be. When I was asked if I wanted to talk to Garfield even though I wouldn't get to see the presentation, I didn't even hesitate. Of course I did.

One of the most charming moments I've ever seen in Hall H took place the first year Garfield came here for "The Amazing Spider-Man," and I wrote about it that year. It convinced me that no matter what, Garfield really did believe that it was an honor to be tapped to play the iconic character. Now he's gone through the entire process once, and he's just wrapped up his second time playing the character, and I was curious to see if it was starting to feel like just another job to him.

Read Full Post
<p>Forest Whitaker in &quot;The&nbsp;Butler&quot; -- I mean, &quot;Lee Daniels' The&nbsp;Butler&quot;</p>

Forest Whitaker in "The Butler" -- I mean, "Lee Daniels' The Butler"

Credit: The Weinstein Company

MPAA relents and allows Weinsteins to use 'Lee Daniels' The Butler' in title dispute (UPDATED)

But we'll all just keep calling it 'The Butler' anyway

Well, this whole silly, overblown, maybe-about-something-else mess has finally seen a solution…and everyone's going to just keep calling it "The Butler" anyway.

It's been revealed today that the MPAA has overturned its original ruling in the case of Lee Daniels' upcoming film "The Butler," which stated that The Weinstein Company had to change the title due to a nearly 100-year-old short film of the same name in the Warner Bros. archives. It is now accepting, however, something of a compromise, as the title can now be "Lee Daniels' The Butler," if TWC so chooses -- and I imagine they will.

Read Full Post
"Orphan Black"

"Orphan Black"

Credit: BBC America

Comic-Con 2013: 'Orphan Black' back April 2014, and more clones?

The panel talks Paul's butt, mourn Helena and more

Anyone who waited even a few moments too long to get into the line for the panel for the "Orphan Black" panel at Comic-Con 2013 probably didn't get into the crowded (and undersized) room. While some people still don't know about the BBC America break-out hit (many of them Emmy voters), it's not a good idea to underestimate the loyalty of the fan base.

Read Full Post

'Sharknado's' 2nd airing tops the 1st airing by half a million viewers

"Sharknado's" 2nd airing tops the 1st airing by half a million viewers

About 1.9 million tuned in to last night's encore, compared to 1.4 million last week. PLUS: Ian Ziering almost rejected "Sharknado" because of holes in the plot.

"Beverly Hills Cop" is officially dead
The CBS-rejected drama pilot from Shawn Ryan and Eddie Murphy couldn't find a new network.

Cory Monteith's formerly estranged dad speaks out

Joe Monteith, who divorced the "Glee" star's mom when Cory was 7 and who got back in his son's life when he was on "Glee," says his death hasn't suck in yet. PLUS: Did "Glee" cast party hard with Monteith?, and reporter recalls Monteith's drug confession.

Here are 6 revelations from "Marvels Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." Comic-con pilot screening
The Joss Whedon series is funny and looks expensive.

At Comic-Con, "The Walking Dead" promises a more "insane" 4th season
"It's like we’re in the Superbowl and we want to bring the best season ever for the fans," says exec producer Gale Anne Hurd.

Are we living in the golden age of "awesome female characters"?

Female characters have never had it better, from "Orange is the New Black" to "The Americans."

Watch the 1999 "That '70s Show" remake made for British TV

Titled "Days Like These."

ESPN snags Nate Silver

The New York Times statistician, famous for predicting last year's presidential election, will likely contribute to Keith Olbermann's show while doing some work with ABC News.

What do real TV news people think of "The Newsroom"?
Says CNN's Candy Crowley: "Any suggestion you can drop new audio into a package a few seconds before air is definitely unrealistic; make that impossible." PLUS: Olivia Munn says "Newsroom:" has no women problem.

"Scandal" is back at work
Shonda Rhimes tweeted a photo from today's season premiere table read. PLUS: Meet the woman who dresses Olivia Pope, and can Quinn's character be rehabbed?

"Phineas and Ferb" is making a special "Star Wars"-themed episode
Airing in 2014, the episode will be set in the "Star Wars" universe.

Conan O'Brien-produced "The Pete Holmes Show" premieres Oct. 28
The talk show airing after "Conan" was previously called "The Midnight Show."

Why are Washington, D.C-set TV shows so dark?
From "House of Cards" to "Scandal" to "The Americans" and "Homeland," James Walcott says, "the Beltway has displaced Manhattan and Los Angeles as the indisputable capital of noir." PLUS: Comparing D.C. shows.

"Parenthood" adds "Drop Dead Diva's" Josh Stamberg

He'll move into Sarah's building.

Whitney Cummings recalls nearly having a "Whitney" meltdown

She also tells Howard Stern that the show hired an animator to remove the bags under her eyes.

"Glee's" Mark Salling sues State Farm for not covering him in his sexual battery case
Salling claims his homeowner's insurance should help with legal bills.

Which movie had the most "SNL" stars?

It's "Coneheads" with 16, beating out "Grown Ups 2," which had 15 former or current "SNL" cast members.

Rory Gilmore read 340 books on "Gilmore Girls"

One writer is trying to repeat that feat with the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge.

More Food Network reality TV fakery?
"Mystery Diners" is accused of using actors, scripts and re-staged scenes.

"Axe Cop" and "High School USA!" get a Fox preview Sunday night

Both will be part of Fox's Animation Domination High-Def Saturday block.

"Orange is the New Black": The best TV show about prison ever made?
Is the Netflix series better than "Oz"? PLUS: Does "Orange" have a Jewish problem?, and "Orange" makes transgender history.

"One Tree Hill's" Bethany Joy Lenz makes her "Dexter" debut on Sunday
"I'm a huge fan of the show," she says, "so I was beside myself when I got the part.

Check out Jack McBrayer's recent L.A. house

The former "30 Rock" star has sold his Hollywood Hills home for $2 million.

"CSI: Miami" returns as an app
Horatio Caine lives in animated form.

Rebecca Romijn isn't following John Stamos after joining Twitter
The "King & Maxwell" star's 2nd tweet was: "New to this. Ok to follow ex husbands on here?"

Andie MacDowell stars in "Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove"

The Hallmark Channel series, debuting Saturday, has MacDowell playing a judge in a scenic coastal community in Washington State.

Is a "Big Brother" showmance for real?
What to make of "McManda"?

Disney Channel hopes "Teen Beach Movie" recaptures "High School Musical" magic
The film premiering tonight relies of the old "High School Musical" formula, as Mike Hale puts it: "a large, mostly white cast, anonymous outside of its key demographic, doing energetic summer camp versions of Broadway production numbers."

Read Full Post
<p>Joss Whedon</p>

Joss Whedon

Credit: John Shearer/AP

Comic-Con 2013: Joss Whedon in Ballroom 20 Live-Blog

Will we get 'Avengers,' 'Dr. Horrible' and 'Firefly' teases?

Get ready for all-Joss all-the-time!

I already live-blogged the panel for "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," in which almost nothing was revealed, but at least we saw the pilot.

And now, the "Buffy," "Avengers" and "Dr. Horrible" icon will be greeting the Ballroom 20 faithful for a solo panel on Friday (July 19) night and we'll be live-blogging the heck out of it. Or I will, though you can't spell "Whedon" without "We" or "Whe."

Keeping in mind that Joss talks in long, long sentences that almost never end where they seemed to be beginning, I apologize in advance for whatever I'm not able to catch perfectly.

Follow along!

Read Full Post
"Sleepy Hollow"

"Sleepy Hollow"

Credit: Fox

Comic-Con 2013: 'Sleepy Hollow' has witches, presidents, rapture, oh my

The Fox fall show does more than modernize the story

The screening of the new Fox show "Sleepy Hollow" took up most of the session, but the audience clearly didn't mind. Producer Alex Kurtzman introduced the show by saying, "We are so excited you are the first full audience to see the show." After the episode ended and the crowd roared with enthusiasm, I'm sure he was, if anything, more excited.

Read Full Post
<p>Travis Beacham at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con</p>

Travis Beacham at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con

Credit: Legendary Pictures

Watch: Travis Beacham reps for 'Pacific Rim' at Comic-Con 2013

Yes, I'm living vicariously here...

I kinda feel compelled to post this because, look, I'm not in the tank for "Pacific Rim" or anything, but I'm SUPER happy for a guy like Travis Beacham, a former film school classmate, making it so big that he's signing autographs for adoring fans at Comic-Con and soaking it up and just, well, I guess I'm living vicariously. Sue me.

Read Full Post

'Game of Thrones' uses Comic-Con to delve into the Red Wedding

"Game of Thrones" uses Comic-Con to delve into the Red Wedding

Michelle Fairley and Richard Madden were in attendance, as was Jason Momoa, who stormed the stage to complain to George R.R. Martin for writing his character out. PLUS: More details of the "Thrones" panel, and watch the Boyz II Men "In Memoriam."

"The Following" is bringing back James Purefoy
Purefoy was a surprise guest at today's Comic-Con panel.

Read Full Post