Grab a mug of hot cocoa, wrap a scarf around your neck, and make sure to crank the air down real low in your house because it’s probably not actually cold enough outside to do any of that: Christmas TV has officially arrived! Real talk: Some of this has been going on since Halloween. (Giving you serious side eye, Hallmark Channel.) But the glut of holiday programming kicks off in the next few days, with the start of ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas, network specials like the Rockefeller Center tree lighting and Peanuts Christmas classic, and this year’s crown jewel, the Grumpy Cat Christmas movie. Here are the highlights: …Full Story
Courtesy of Paul Wilson
Actor Patrick, left, and John Wilson on the set of Big Stone Gap.
DVR alert! Fox's WTVT-Ch. 13 promises a "big show" at 6 p.m. with some surprises, Good Day Tampa Bay morning anchor Russell Rhodes tweeted to send off longtime news man John Wilson, who is retiring after 33 years as Tampa Bay's best known news anchor.
But first, read this touching story by our colleague Jay Cridlin who followed along in Virginia when the Wilson family played parts big and small in the indie film Big Stone Gap starring his movie star son, Patrick, and Cridlin finds the one thing that can make this seasoned anchor cry.
Hankies may be needed tonight as Wilson hands over the desk to his son Mark Wilson, the Emmy Award-winning reporter who will take over his dad's slot. *sniff* I think there's some dust in my eyes or something, excuse me.Full Story
What better day is there to curl up on the couch and watch TV than Thanksgiving? You’re stuffed, you’re sleepy from all that tryptophan, you’re trying to avoid annoying family members — whatever the reason, you need some solid viewing options. The Peanuts’ Thanksgiving classic gets a head start Wednesday, but most of these (including some off-the-wall marathons) will be perfect for relaxing in that post-feast malaise. …Full Story
This week's list of top TV is all about the holidays, with Thanksgiving shows leading the way, and Christmas sneaking in toward the end. Plus, the top 10 perform on The Voice, Dancing with the Stars wraps up its current season (go Alfonso!) and there's a frightening show airing called When Turkeys Attack.
Click here for the full list. Full Story
There are two kinds of human evil in The Walking Dead's zombie apocalypse. We're well-acquainted with the obvious breed: the one-eyed Governor, the dreamboat cannibal - both bigger monsters than the corpses limping through the streets. But this season, we've had a brush with a different brand of bad guy: the powerful coward. There's Officer Dawn Lerner, clinging so desperately to her dystopia that she enables lollipop assaults and much, much worse because "the wards keep my officers happy." And there's Father Gabriel, who chose to lock himself in his church with a lifetime supply of Beanee-Weenee while allowing droves of his help-seeking parishioners to become a zombie buffet. Everyone has a weakness. It’s how you deal with that weakness – yours and others' – that makes all the difference. …Full Story
Yes, this is Tom Hardy. And yes, he is going to be on your TVs soon.
Two new shows announced today, two wildly different concepts, two reasons to get very excited.
First up is the news that FX has ordered the drama Taboo, with Ridley Scott producing and intense British actor Tom Hardy (Dark Knight Rises, Inception) starring. We'll pause here for excited Hardy fan-girl squealing.
The eight-episode series is actually being produced for the BBC in the U.K., with production starting in mid to late 2015. Look for it to debut sometime in mid 2016. The period drama is set in 1813 and based on an original story by Hardy and his father, Chips Hardy, which is like the best name we've ever heard. Hardy plays "a rogue adventurer who returns from Africa with 14 ill-gotten diamonds to seek vengeance after the death of his father." He sets out to build his own trade and shipping empire, which is apparently a lot more dangerous than it may sound.Full Story
On the other side of the TV spectrum (so far, in fact, that it's not even on a television network), streaming service Hulu has picked up a series from producer Amy Poehler. (Again, pausing for fan-girl squealing.) …
Look both ways, Carol. She’s the character to whom we should never have to say that. But there it was at the end of “Consumed,” the sixth episode of The Walking Dead's fifth season, Carol hurdling out in front of traffic and getting gurneyed away as Daryl and Noah (Tyler James Williams) jaw about what next. It was a quiet episode, mostly “Caryl” (lacks that Brangelia titillation because heck, they barely shared a moment of bunk bed time in the hour) walking through a disquieting urban landscape. All that wide open space and concrete set the teeth on edge in a way that harkened back to season one of The Walking Dead.
Ostensibly looking for Beth, they head into gorgeously burned-out Atlanta, following a patrol from the hospital regiment, winding up with a van swarmed by walkers. Solution: Go Thelma and Louise off a bridge. Carol and Daryl stick the landing only to have a rain of walkers mess up the van’s paint job. …Full Story
Carell and Stewart, embracing.
Do you like Steve Carell? Do you like Jon Stewart? Do you like old pals palling around like adorable old pals? Well then this is the clip for you. Last night, Stewart had former Daily Show correspondent Carell on The Daily Show to promote his new movie Foxcatcher. Stewart is so smitten with Carell and his success, and Carell with Stewart's kindness and new directorial debut Rosewater, that they have no choice but to have a "fawn off." It really is the cutest. Also: How incredible does Foxcatcher look?
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Duck Dynasty is being adapted into a musical. Yes, as if you hadn't seen enough of the Robertsons, soon you can pay good money to see actors portray the Louisiana family in a 90-minute tale of their path to fame.
According to the New York Times, Jersey Boys producer Michael David is developing the show based on the 2012 book The Duck Commander Family: How Faith, Family, and Ducks Built a Dynasty, penned by Willie and Korie Robertson. The goal is to open in February at the Rio hotel and casino in Las Vegas.
“We’ve enjoyed the process of making a musical alongside the team who is interested in telling the Robertson family story from an outside perspective,” Willie told the Times.
“The Robertsons are so unusual, their story so juicy, and theater shouldn’t be limited to telling stories about people you resemble or revere,” said David.
The news comes a year after the family drew criticism — and a ton of support — when Phil Robertson's anti-gay comments were published in the December 2013 issue of GQ. Ratings subsequently tanked. Season 6 opened with a 46% decline in overall viewers.Full Story
On the surface, the fact that Pharrell Williams is the best judge to ever grace The Voice’s red-chair-flanked stage may surprise you. Mr. Williams seems rather quiet and unassuming on the show. Before this year’s mondo hit Happy, he didn’t have great name recognition with the average person. And what about all the other judges? That vapid Maroon 5 stud Adam Levine, or perpetually boozy country guy Blake Shelton? How about all those times Shakira was a sweetheart? Surely all of the bizarre things that came out of Cee Lo Green’s mouth make him a contender, right?
Wrong. Pharrell is the best.
The dude is a bonafide music master, serving as writer, producer (along with his producing group the Neptunes) or singer on some of the biggest hits of the past decade: Britney Spears’ I’m a Slave 4 U, No Doubt’s Hella Good, Nelly’s Hot in Herre, Justin Timberlake’s Rock Your Body, Snoop Dogg’s Drop It Like It’s Hot, fellow Voice coach Gwen Stefani’s Hollaback Girl. Not to mention two teeny tiny singles from 2013, Daft Punk’s Lucky and Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines, plus Pharrell’s own Happy. The hits! They just don’t stop! …Full Story
This week is jam-packed with new TV, including a handful of top contenders airing each night through Friday. The Voice's live rounds kick things off tonight, Dancing With the Stars host Tom Bergeron pops up on Nashville on Wednesday, and comic goddess Wendi McLendon-Covey joins Whose Line is it Anyway? later in the week.
Click here for our full list of this week's top TV picks. Full Story
Williams, left, and Walken.
NBC has posted a new promo for its live musical event Peter Pan Live!, which reminds us that the darn thing is now less than a month away. It also makes us realize that we'd rather watch a backstage making-of documentary about Peter Pan Live! than the actual Peter Pan Live!. Because this thing is going to be a hot mess. Look, we'd love to be proven wrong, but we just don't see how this will be good. (Note: It WILL be good for our Twitter feeds.) It kinda looks worse than even last year's Sound of Music debacle. Still can't get handle Marnie from Girls as THE BOY Peter Pan. Still can't deal with Christopher Walken's terrible, terrible Captain Hook makeup, or how his specific Walken-ness is going to distract from everything else on stage.
Honestly, I'm a huge fan and supporter of musical theater, and watching live musicals on TV is not something I'm opposed to. But this seems poised to drown in its own cheesiness, with the odd casting being the thing yanking it down to the ocean floor. Full Story
Before we get to supposed savior Eugene Porter and the lies and deception he stored in his "Tennessee top hat" (my new fave term for a mullet), I have to be a total dude here and say this: I wanna party with Sgt. Abraham Ford! Sure, in Sunday's pretty dang awesome episode of The Walking Dead -- titled "Self Help' -- the fire-headed soldier who speaks only in T-shirt slogans ("I am stressed and depressed") showed an unhinged side. In fact, in a series of flashbacks (including one where he bludgeoned a Publix-aisle's-worth of people with a can of SpaghettiOs), Abraham might have lost his family because of his anger issues. Then again: Rosita in the library!! Wocka-wocka! Abraham can never complain about the zombie apocalypse again. NEVER.Full Story
Okay, okay, we have serious work to do here. Abraham's sole purpose has been to get the ape-draped Eugene, who claimed to know the classified cure to the zombie flu, to Washington, D.C. Saving the world and all that. The Rick Grimes & Co. crew was even fractured so Abraham, Eugene, vavoomish library-advocate Rosita, Glenn, Maggie and That Girl Whose Name I Can Never Remember could splinter off to the nation's capital, where scientific salvation was believed to be waiting. But alas, Eugene is a fraud...and an incredibly well-spoken Peeping Tom Pervo. But after the guilt of his deceit became too much (he sabotaged an escape bus early on), his big reveal was a doozy: "I am not a scientist. I don't know how to stop it." Commence a bloody beat-down by the mangled hand of the bamboozled Abraham, who now needs a new purpose to live. (Although, in a poignant coda, we learn that sniveling con-artist Eugene kinda-sorta saved Abraham, who was about to blow his head off over his dead family...and then he met the Mullet. Great storytelling there.) …
If you think the pop-culture critics at the Tampa Bay Times can write all fancy-like, just wait 'til you see them shine in the new video series "Tampa Bay in a Minute." Performance arts dazzler Stephanie Hayes (watch this), movie guru Steve Persall (watch that) and pop-music babbler Sean Daly (if you must...) have all filmed snippets. Now TV maven Michelle Stark weighs in quickly on MasterChef Junior, Lisa Kudrow's Comeback and a new series from troublemaker Katherine Heigl, State of Affairs. Full Story
Truth be told, I wasn't quite sure how to start my recent interview with Phillip Phillips, who plays the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Nov. 11. I really hadn't watched American Idol in ages (he was the Season 11 champ); I liked his mondo hits Home and Gone Gone Gone just fine, but I wasn't sure those songs, neither of which he wrote, said anything about him, you know? Then I found out he was a rabid fan of The Walking Dead. Boom. Things took off from there. He's a cool dude. ENJOY OUR UNDEAD CHAT.Full Story