There’s no way to write about the history of “Saturday Night Live” without including Kristen Wiig. Her overall place in that story is for individuals to decide, but to remove her from the conversation betrays a fundamental misreading of her overall importance to the history of the show. From 2005-2012, she quickly rose from “solid ensemble performer” to “the absolutely go to person week in and week out”. For her last few years, she was the center of the program, carrying the biggest workload and often getting the biggest laughs. The sheer number of characters that she created, the professionalism and integrity that she brought to each show, and the way she helped the show survive the loss of such female “SNL” standouts such as Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Maya Rudolph cannot be overstated.
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A quick review of tonight's "Doctor Who" coming up just as soon as we spend the night at Natty Longshoe's Comical Castle...
Christopher Guest's new HBO comedy series "Family Tree" starts off from an autobiographical place. Like the show's hero, Tom Chadwick (Chris O'Dowd), Guest once inherited a trunk of family mementos and became obsessed with tracing his own ancestry. Now Guest and co-creator (and Guest repertory player) Jim Piddock have turned that into an ongoing series (it debuts Sunday night at 10:30) that's a mix of Guest's usual absurdity and some more serious, even sweet talk of the meaning of family.
I reviewed the series earlier in the week, and I spoke with Guest about having a sane leading man, the key to telling stories about ridiculous people without being mean, ventriloquism, and more.
Lady Antebellum will land its third No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 next week as the country trio’s fourth set, “Golden,” has a commanding lead over the soundtrack to “The Great Gatsby” for the top spot.
“Golden” is poised to sell up to 155,000 copies, according to Hits Daily Double, while the soundtrack to Baz Luhrmann’s interpretation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel will move around 95,000 units.
They are joined by three other newcomers: “Now That’s What I Call Music 46” will likely be at No. 4, while Miranda Lambert’s side project, Pistol Annies’ “Annie Up,” will be at No. 5 and Rod Stewart’s “Time,” his first album of self-written material in nearly 20 years, will bow at No. 8.
Michael Buble’s former No. 1, “To Be Loved,” will be at No. 3, and Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience” continues to sell well enough to be at No. 6.
This week’s No. 1, Kenny Chesney’s “Life On A Rock,” slips to No. 6, while Blake Shelton’s “Based On A True Story” is at No. 9. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, who have the No. 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Can’t Hold Us,” will likely be at No. 10 on the Billboard 200 with “Heist,” although Bruno Mars’ “Unorthodox Jukebox” may steal that spot.
At this point, it's just funny that I've never done a formal sit-down interview with JJ Abrams.
After all, we've been colliding now for years. For a while, I made an accidental habit out of busting his biggest secrets wide opens months before they were supposed to be revealed, and in the case of his Superman script, before film had even rolled.
It was during the production of the first "Star Trek" that we called a truce, and since then, our e-mail correspondence has been somewhat cordial. Abrams is still playing the game, though, as should be perfectly clear to anyone who goes back to read this article after they see "Star Trek Into Darkness."
I don't blame him at all. That's what the modern world of film marketing is all about. These days, there is an illusion of transparency as the studios have created a system that brings journalists to almost every set and where the entire process is being written about, from development to release. There's still a ton of control being exerted over every part of that presentation, though, and in the case of the films that Abrams has been making, he has gone above and beyond in his quest to keep certain elements of his films secret until they are released.
ABC orders "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland"
Check out the first image from the "Once Upon a Time" spinoff.
NBC formally cancels "Smash"
The Broadway drama had been near death since moving to the Saturday death slot.
ABC renews "Modern Family," "The Middle and "Last Man Standing"
"Modern Family" was a shoe-in as the network's highest-rated show.
ABC orders James Caan, Malin Ackerman, Christian Slater series
Caan stars in "Back in the Game," Ackerman in "Trophy Wife" and Slater in "Mind Games," along with Steve Zahn. ALSO ORDERED: Ryan Seacrest's "Mixology," "Lucky 7," "Betrayal" and "Killer Women."
"Top Chef" is headed to New Orleans
Emeril Lagasse is sure to welcome the Season 11 news.
Randy Jackson: An appreciation of the "Idol" judge
From creating catchphrases to dropping names, Jackson will leave behind his own unique "Idol" legacy.
"Community" needs 16 more episodes to get to 100
Will NBC's renewal mean a perfect 100 for "Community"?
Univision announces a Spanish-language "Breaking Bad" -- to Sony's surprise
Sony, which owns "Breaking Bad," was taken aback by the announcement, since it made a Spanish "Breaking Bad" that hasn't been sold to any network.
Kim Dickens joins "Sons of Anarchy"
She'll play a madame who ruffles some feathers.
Nasim Pedrad staying on "SNL"? NBC passes on her pilot starring "SNL" writer "Mulaney"
The Lorne Michaels production -- also starring Martin Short -- looked like a slam dunk, but it appears Pedrad will stay put on "SNL."
"Biggest Loser's" Sam Poueu allegedly had multiple affairs
People magazine reports that Poueu and fellow "Loser" contestant Stephanie Anderson are breaking up, despite expecting a baby, because he confessed to cheating on her with multiple women.
"Boardwalk Empire's" Michael Shannon not a TV fan: "I don't even watch my own show"
"I don't watch any television," he says. "I don't even watch my own show. I find television tremendously uninteresting." He does, however, have one exception: "Dr. Katz."
"Game of Thrones": What influenced George R.R. Martin?
Probably the biggest influence was the Wars of the Roses. PLUS: "Thrones" meets Saul Bass, get ice wall climbing gear, spend $10,500 on a "Thrones" watch, and Maisie Williams vs. Arya.
WEtv orders its first scripted show, reuniting 2 stars from "The Wire"
Clarke Peters and Seth Gilliam will play supporting roles in an untitled legal drama that will also feature Aunjanue Ellis and Damon Gupton.
"Two and a Half Men" deserves props for a well-made bad sitcom
"As a TV show," says Darren French, "it's not that great, but as a bad-joke delivery system, it's a smooth product, with no rough edges." Compare it to Charlie Sheen's "Anger Management," and you'll be impressed since Sheen's FX comedy is truly awful.
Could "Homeland" help shape a "24" reboot?
"Homeland" exec producer Howard Gordon would likely return to "24" -- and bring his pay cable experience with him.
Maybe "Mad Men" wasn't built to handle 1968
The AMC series can't ignore the events of that tumultuous year, but so far it's not having success tying storylines around it. PLUS: What should the new agency be called?
This week's "The Office" was the last episode as we know it
The final episode before the documentary is revealed was pretty terrific. PLUS: "The Office" has come full circle, the show is saying goodbye perfectly.
Is the "Teen Mom" sex tape aimed at young women?
Young women may be more interested in the "Backdoor Teen Mom" than young men, especially since it features porn star James Deen.
Nicole Kidman signs on for another HBO movie
She'll produce and star in "Reconstructing Amelia."
"Inside the Actors Studio" special celebrates 250 episodes
The James Lipton show, which has been on since 1994, will makr 250 episodes on May 29 with a two-hour special.
A J.J. Abrams TV show isn't guaranteed to have success
Fox and NBC are each betting on an Abrams series. Of the 10 shows he's produced, four have been outright failures.
"Amazing Race" winners: "We're not the smartest bunch"
"We were smart enough, I guess," says Anthony of Bates & Anthony. PLUS: Max & Katie on coming in 2nd.
"Revenge" death: Here are the odds
Creator Mike Kelley says: "For the first time, one of our core cast members will not survive the season."
Heather Locklear's daughter pops up on Disney Channel
Ava Sambora, 15, will guest on "Good Luck Charlie."
"Beverly Hills 90210's" "Donna Martin Graduates" episode turns 20
Tori Spelling remembers the show's most iconic line.
Happy Mother's Day!: Here are the best worst moms on TV
From Victoria on "Revenge" to Gemma on "Sons of Anarchy." PLUS: TV's best working moms.
How "Sesame Street" got its name: It was "the least bad title"
Almost everyone on staff hated the name "Sesame Street," but nobody could think of a better name. PLUS: "Sesame" adds 3rd Spanish-speaking character.
Fashion designer Betsey Johnson's reality show debuts this weekend
Style's "XOX Betsey Johnson" is better than average thanks to the "kooky punk-princess designer."
Lauren Graham talks "Parenthood" and the possibility of a "Gilmore Girls" movie
Graham has been on a media blitz promoting her debut novel. PLUS: Jimmy Fallon reenacts "Gilmore Girls" with men.
Simon Cowell kisses the butt of a fellow "Britain's Got Talent" judge
Amanda Holden got a "bum deal."
Christopher Guest's "Family Tree" is surprisingly sweet
The HBO mockumentary starring Chris O'Dowd isn't too heavy with its jokes. "Because of this, says Andy Greenwald, "the humor of Family Tree isn't biting; the effect is cumulative and softer, more like being gummed to death." PLUS: "Tree" works on multiple levels, and Guest stopped watching TV in high school.
We can now qualify "unqualified success": NBC has canceled "Smash."
Long the pet project of NBC president Bob Greenblatt, who brought it with him when he arrived from Showtime, "Smash" was instead a very expensive disappointment in its first season and an embarrassing failure in its second. Its modest season 1 ratings were entirely a creation of airing after "The Voice," and left to its own devices in season 2, it tanked so quickly that NBC shuffled "Smash" off to Saturdays to die quietly. Because it was beloved by Greenblatt — who called the show "an unqualified success" after season 1 (after creator Theresa Rebeck and a number of actors were replaced) — there was always a slim chance it might return, but NBC announced tonight that the series won't continue next season.
Amidst all of today's cancellation news (including the death of "Happy Endings," which happened while I was putting my kids to sleep), I wanted to write this one up mainly because I'm curious to hear from people who have stuck with the show through the rest of season 2. I stopped four or five episodes in, once it became clear the new creative team had no idea how irritating Jimmy was, and that most of the other problems hadn't been fixed. For those who've stuck with it, how has it been? I have a very vague sense of what's been happening with "Bombshell" and "Hit List," but has any of it been good?
One of the five films nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar last year was Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg's "Kon-Tiki." It was the first Norwegian film to be nominated for both an Oscar and a Golden Globe and it was actually filmed in both Norwegian and English. The latter version was released on two screens stateside two weeks ago and is platforming out slowly, moving into more markets today.
CBS rejects "Beverly Hills Cop"
The TV reboot from Shawn Ryan with the participation of Eddie Murphy will likely be shopped to other networks.
ABC cancels "Body of Proof," "Red Widow," "Malibu Country"
Dana Delany's "Proof" lasted three seasons.
NBC cancels "The New Normal"
This is the Peacock's 7th cancelation in the past 36 hours.
Would you accept five seasons and a movie? NBC has renewed "Community" for another season, against all odds.