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Tvcritic The coolest thing about being a TV critic -- well, besides getting paid to watch TV -- is the fact that your TV viewing is at least two weeks ahead of everyone else's.

Indeed, that's the biggest problem I have with the start of the fall season. Desperate to pimp their newest, freshest rides, the TV powers that be have flooded my mailbox with pilot episodes, secondary episodes and more.

Already, I've seen every pilot episode of every new show, the first episode back of Desperate Thecritic Housewives and Inside the Actors' Studio (with Housewives' star Teri Hatcher!), the second episodes of Studio 60 and Jericho, and the entire season -- all 13 episodes -- of the best series on TV since Tony Soprano decided not to smother his mother in her nursing home bed, The Wire.

What I can say so far: Marc Cherry and his compatriots haven't yet regained Housewives' original stride, though Alfre Woodard is nowhere to be seen and the first episode back focuses entirely on the core women (Cherry has said many times, his biggest mistake in Second Season was centering a major storyline on a woman who was not one of the core characters -- Woodard.) Instead, Marcia Cross' Bree gets closer to Kyle McLachlan's suitor with a questionable past and Hatcher finds herself falling for a guy who also has a significant other in a coma.

Studio60 Studio 60 is as snappy, witty and fast-paced as the commercials suggest -- easily the best new series this fall. Watching Matthew Perry play a smart, talented neurotic writer is even more enjoyable than watching him play a smart, neurotic loser on Friends.

And Hatcher has one nostril which seems so much larger than the other in her Actor's Studio interview, you wonder if she's already filed suiit against her plastic surgeon (even the master of obsequiousness, James Lipton, couldn't make Hatcher's spotty career -- "first I was in a Superman TV series, then I was a Bond girl, then i joined the TOURING version of Cabaret, then I lucked into this hit TV series!" -- sound like an artistic achievement).Gilmores2

On deck right now: the first new episode of America's Next Top Model and Gilmore Girls.


It's good to be the king.

(click photos to enlarge)

Sure She Can Banter with Richard Simmons, But Does She Have Gravitas?

Vieira In a desperate attempt to find something fun about the media overkill which is accompanying Meredith Vieira's move to the Today show Wednesday, I listed some of the more, um, unorthodox jobs other straitlaced news-types had before joining the ranks of the Voice of God Club.

Yeah, I should have come up with some funny lines. But isn't the thought of Peter Jennings making like Dick Clark on a Canadian version of American Bandstand enough? Or the notion of Hannah Storm taking requests from lovesick Poison fans while working as a DJ in Corpus Christie, Texas?

One thing I stumbled on but didn't put in print involved Julie Chen -- or the Chenbot, as not-so-affectionate viewers of the Big Brother series have named her -- and her ever evolving look.

Turns out, the Chenbot had some work done between her early days working as a reporter in Dayton and her current perch as trophy wife of CBS president Les Moonves and scourge of reality TV purists everywhere.

Check it:

Oldjulie Juliechen

Shameless Pandering for More Hits

Nosuriwedon27tmeanmaybethumb The Internet powers that be have given me a newly detailed report on the traffic for this web page -- which showed that our highest traffic day last week was, surprise, the day Katie Couric debuted on the CBS Evening News.

So in an effort to learn from the master -- or, um, mistress -- I'm shilling for pageviews by turning to a sure magnet for attention: Tom, Katie and Suri Cruise.

Up next: Some kind of excuse to put Debra Lafave on my pages. I'm sure I'll think of something.

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 2:37pm]


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