Rhonda Shear during Up All Night's heyday
Rhonda Shear is about to go up all night again.
The comedian and B-movie actor, who now runs a fast-growing shapewear and intimates firm in St. Petersburg, became a cult classic in the ‘90s on the USA Network show Up All Night, a show that bookended comedy bits around truly awful movies like Vampires on Bikini Beach that played in the wee morning hours.
The show ran from 1989 to 1998 with Shear on Friday nights and comedian Gilbert Gottfried on Saturdays gloriously reveling in cult classics and B movies with comedy bits sprinkled throughout.
Shear Enterprises is resurrecting Up All Night and is quietly releasing the first episode at 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning on WTTA Ch. 38. It will feature the return of Shear, a spotlight on the Big Cheese, a St. Petersburg rapper who stumbled upon viral-video stardom in 2009 with his parody of Plies’ Becky, called Gimme Dat Bacon, which was featured on Web Soup and Comedy Central’s Tosh.0.
Saturday’s show will also have a comedy clip of the week, and clips from the movie Giant Balls from Outer Space. The producers are asking viewers for submissions and pulling videos from the “Rhonda Vault” including flashbacks to USA: Up All Night. …Full Story
CBS announced today that forthcoming Late Night host Stephen Colbert will sit down with current Late Night host David Letterman this week as a guest on the show. Gee, what ever will they talk about?
It'll be interesting to see whether Colbert shows up as his character "Stephen Colbert" or as himself, the guy who will be taking over Dave's show next year. It was announced last week that Colbert is replacing Letterman when Dave retires in 2015 after three decades as a late-night host. For what it's worth, we're obsessed with these glimpses at the "real" Colbert, which are being unearthed all over the Internet after last week's announcement.
And if you haven't seen it, check out Colbert's spot about Letterman's retirement on his Comedy Central show The Colbert Report: "I gotta tell you, I do not envy whoever they try to put in that chair. Folks, those are some huge shoes to fill and some really big pants."
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Although things are getting mighty chilly for Mad Men's Don Draper, actor Jon Hamm is in a far warmer place these days: Sesame Street! And with a rockin' manly beard, to boot! In what could be the cutest video of all time, the 43-year-old actor helps furry Murray with his "emotions," including what it looks like to feel guilty, which Hamm has had seven seasons of Mad Men to perfect. Full Story
FX had a tricky task when it set about creating its new series, Fargo: craft something in the same dark-comedy vein as the Coen brothers' 1996 movie while also creating a work that stands on its own.
The show, premiering 10 p.m. tonight on FX, seems to have pulled off something impressive, especially with the spot-on casting of Martin Freeman as pathetic sap Lester Nygaard and Billy Bob Thornton as drifter Lorne Malvo. That's what really sets Fargo apart.
We spoke to the actors via a conference call last week, and they were both confident that Fargo is its own creation. Click here for their thoughts on that, and for more excerpts about everything from Minnesota accents to how they approached the characters. Full Story
Billy Bob Thornton as Lorne Malvo in 'Fargo'.
Well, looks like we found our new favorite show: FX's Fargo. Yes, the drama debuting Tuesday is an adaptation of the Coen brothers' 1996 black comedy, but it more than stands on its own as a compelling creative work. It does a tremendous job re-creating the movie’s tone, that foreboding dread and Minnesota friendliness, but it builds on that with surprising writing, memorable original characters and some dynamite acting. Leads Martin Freeman and Billy Bob Thornton in particular turn in some fascinating performances.
Click here for our full review of Fargo. The show debuts 10 p.m. Tuesday on FX. Trust me, you don't want to miss it.
Oh, Peggy. Chin up, kid!
Grab a cigar and pour yourself an Old Fashioned. Each week, Times TV mavens Michelle Stark -- a young go-getter in the Peggy Olson mold -- and Sean Daly -- the Roger Sterling-esque, smiling-through-the-chaos smartaleck -- will vigorously debate Sunday night's episode of Mad Men.
Amid all the zombies and Scandals on right now, it’s easy to forget that Mad Men is still the reigning champ of quality TV. And Sunday night’s premiere was a great, if teasing, Mad Men episode, one that actually has us pumped for this final season (not a given, considering how morose and frustrating last season could be). Oh, sure, the episode was still dreadfully depressing at times (what's up with Don shivering on the icy balcony?), but the buzz of a new decade on the horizon, of change, gave it an exciting energy. Judging by President Nixon's inauguration speech, it looks like we're in January 1969 now, which means this last season will likely span the entire final year of the '60s. More thoughts on the season 7 premiere, Time Zones:
Tatiana Maslany in 'Orphan Black'.
Scandal heads to an explosive season 3 finale, Parenthood revives a character we thought would never appear again, and New Girl attempts to deal with life after 'Nick and Jess'. Plus, Tatiana Maslany resumes one of TV's most impressive performances when Orphan Black returns!
Click here for the full list of this week's top TV picks. Full Story
HBO's new show Silicon Valley is a hilarious send-up of techie culture.
In honor of Mad Men returning Sunday, we rounded up six other shows that should definitely be on your watch list this month. Okay, and one that's not out till May, but it's so good we had to include it.
Click here for the full list. Full Story
Don and Megan are up to new things in Sunday's 'Mad Men' premiere.
Mad Men definitely seems to be swinging into a new era for its final season, which starts Sunday on AMC with seven episodes this year and the final seven airing in 2015. Filled with fab fashions and a groovy color palette, the premiere is a showcase for all our major characters. Pete, Peggy, Joan, Roger - we get a chance to see what they're all up to, and some of it is not what you'd expect. That goes for Don Draper, too, who seems poised for a change as everyone gets closer to a new decade. As one character says in the episode's first few moments: "This is the beginning of something."
Click here to read our Mad Men preview. (Don't worry, no big spoilers ahead.)Full Story
It's time for some tough talk, Scandal. Ready?
I'm getting bored.
How much Olivia-Fitz back-and-forth can a viewer handle? How many more B613 agents can we keep track of? How many Russians does it take for us to actually care about the Mama Pope plot?
Scandal's shortened third season ends next Thursday, and while this season has contained some of the best moments of the series, it's also been one of the most convoluted and repetitive - and easier to lose interest in. Our advice for season 4? Get back to two or three major plot lines, and throw in some Case of the Week episodes.
The end of this episode (more interesting at least than last week's snoozefest) sets us up for a big, EXPLOSIVE (had to) finale, and we're actually on board with that. Wipe out a handful of characters, Scandal, and clear the slate. Also: Don't you dare kill Papa Pope!
In the spirit of envisioning a better show for season 4, here's our advice for what to keep/lose.
Don't care about anymore:
Still care about/want to see more of:
Well that was fast. Just days after David Letterman shocked fans and even family with his decision to retire from the Late Show in 2015, CBS has announced that Comedy Central satire king Stephen Colbert will take the desk when Dave departs.
Exactly a week after David Letterman announced his plans to retire, CBS anounced that Colbert, the host, writer and executive producer of The Colbert Report, will succeed Letterman.
"Stephen Colbert is one of the most inventive and respected forces on television," CBS Chairman and CEO Les Moonves said in a statement Thursday. "David Letterman's legacy and accomplishments are an incredible source of pride for all of us here, and today's announcement speaks to our commitment of upholding what he established for CBS in late night."
Colbert said in a statement "Simply being a guest on David Letterman’s show has been a highlight of my career," Colbert said. "I never dreamed that I would follow in his footsteps, though everyone in late night follows Dave’s lead." He added: "I’m thrilled and grateful that CBS chose me. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go grind a gap in my front teeth."Full Story
Now that we have digested the news that another white guy has been picked to helm a network late-night talk show, we will steal one of the Colbert Report's signature bits "Tip of the Hat, Wag of the Finger" to mull why Stephen Colbert has been picked to replace David Letterman on the Late Show. Read it here. Full Story
In August of 2013, this group of kids were given free range to explore their neighborhood. (Seriously, this is a big deal to some parents) Jewely Smith, 10, counts money that she and her friends, left to right, Morissey Montgomery, 7, Josie Smith, 7, and Asher Montgomery, 9, found hidden in a palm tree after following directions to a hidden treasure. CAROLINA HIDALGO | Times (2013)
Bravo just released news of its many reality series coming soon to the cable channel but the one that caught my eye was Extreme Guide to Parenting premiering in July.
Having been one of the mom bloggers on TampaBay.com's now-defunct Whoa Momma! parenting blog, I can tell you that judging a person's parenting choices have become a popular spectator sport.
This reality show aims for the heart of the mommy wars:
"From spoiling and severe punishments to helicopter and new age methods, this is parenting at its most extreme. Each episode gives a candid look at two different households with very unique styles of raising their children – and each family strongly believes their methods are superior."
Oh yeah, let the judging begin!
Each episode promises to feature two different families who practice very different parenting techniques. They've lined up all of the usual suspects: attachment parents who breast-feed past the age of 4, the free-rangers like this mom who let their kids wander at will, competitive Tiger moms, helicopter parents and more.
We get to smugly judge them all. But should we? …Full Story
As our colleague Steve Persall reports here, pop exploitation, like zombies, simply won’t die.So that means fans of The Walking Dead can now pay $150 to act like an undead VIP. And while it would be awesome if the audience had chairs that swiveled around, The Voice has just announced plans for a 31-date tour that will hit Tampa's Straz Center for the Performing Arts on June 25.
The Walking Dead Escape, an immersive obstacle course cashing in on AMC’s popular series, comes to the University of South Florida’s Sun Dome on May 10. Get details here. It's a bit pricey and it sounds like it's more fun to be a “Walker” ($75) where you will get professional makeup and terrorize the runners, than it will be to be a “Survivor” ($65) who has to run the gauntlet.
As Steve notes, "Timid or out-of-shape souls may choose to be spectators ($20)."
The pricier VIP package includes the option to run the course twice, as both a Walker and a Survivor, plus a T-shirt, a lounging area and behind-the-scenes access. Tickets are available at thewalkingdeadescape.com . …Full Story
This season of The Voice has been good to the Tampa Bay area. First there was Jake Barker, the 28-year-old St. Petersburg native on Adam Levine's team who made it past the Battle Rounds on Monday night and will find out next week whether he continues to the live shows.
Then, Team Blake's Sisaundra Lewis from Polk County made it past Tuesday's playoffs premiere. She's going to the live shows as part of the top 12 singers in the competition. And we have a good feeling she's going to be around for a while.
See, the thing about Lewis is she's one of the best singers The Voice has ever had, with the kind of voice that makes you wonder why she isn't already a huge star. Like one of the show's other greatest singers, season 4's Judith Hill, who was a backup singer for Michael Jackson, Lewis toured with Celine Dion for a couple years. She can sing anything. She also has a great attitude and an elegance about her that is so appealing. We have a real hard time seeing how she's not going to make it to the finals, and possibly take the whole thing. …Full Story