That role in Bridesmaids is really paying off!
Erin from The Office is headed back to television, except this time she'll be coming from somewhere even stranger than Scranton. Ellie Kemper will star in a new sitcom written and produced by 30 Rock team Tina Fey and Robert Carlock on NBC. No, NBC isn't the strange place.
Kemper will play a woman who “escapes from a doomsday cult and starts life over in New York City," Entertainment Weekly reports. The show is moving straight to series, without a pilot, so the network either has a lot of confidence in the product, or Tina Fey's agents are just that good.Full Story
Oh PBS, how you tease us so -- releasing a Season 4 trailer of Downton Abbey when you know m'lady can't step into the drawing room of the dowager countess until Jan. 5. Those lucky Brits got to start watching Sept. 22 (That's when we Yanks had to stay off Twitter and the interwebs for fear of UK spoilers). Watch the trailer below.
Will Mary move on? What's in store for Edith? Who is Cousin Rose kissing? There appears to be lots of kissing in the new season, so will there be some new secrets and scandals on the horizon?
One piece of good news is that PBS plans to pair Downtown with Sherlock, it's other excellent British import, making Sunday must-see TV night in the new year.
You can look here for a video PBS released today on the producers previewing the coming season. Producer Julian Fellowes and other Abbey producers talk about how they decided to deal with the cast changes. They try to keep it upbeat, promising the story will veer into new and unexpected directions.Full Story
Josh Groban raises us up and tickles our funny bone -- what a man!
Even Josh Groban calls his music "as serious as a heart attack." And yet, in the wake of You Raise Me Up, the dreamy poperatic belter has revealed himself to be funny as a whoopee cushion too, spoofing his solemn, so-earnest image in movies (Crazy Stupid Love) and on television (Glee, The Office, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia).
Groban, who plays the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Nov. 8, had his top ha-ha moment on Jimmy Kimmel Live, doing a subversively hilarious bit that has since garnered more than 5 million YouTube hits: "Josh Groban's The Best Tweets of Kanye West," in which the straight-faced crooner makes music out of such loopy, and real, Kanye Twitter musings as "Man...whatever happened to my antique fish tank?"
During a 20-minute phone interview, I told Groban that his uplifting take on "I make awesome decisions in bike stores" could have been a big hit. "I gave up some of my best melodies for that bit!" he said. "They literally put the tweets in front of me and gave me a mike and a piano and said go. Every one of those melodies was off the cuff." Full Story
CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL GROBAN PROFILE.
Marcus "The Creature" is a regular on AMC's Freakshow
The AMC reality show Freakshow — about a guy who runs a freak show in Venice Beach — has gotten renewed for a second season so naturally they are taking the show on the road to Gibsonton, Tampa Bay’s community of sideshow performers. Want to see a bearded lady and a guy who drills into his face? These are your people, and the show will be filmed for television Saturday.
They will have 10 acts, including the Rubber Girl, sword swallowers, fire eaters, the Electric Lady, The Human Blockhead and The Indestructible Woman. The AMC show follows the daily travails of Todd Ray, owner of the Venice Beach Freakshow in California, a family business that includes his daughter, Asia, the youngest female sword swallower in the world. The LA Times called the show both exploitative and sleazy. But freak shows have always been controversial, and they’re certainly not everyone’s cup of tea.
The show, which will be taped for the TV show, is 6 p.m. Saturday at the American Carnival Museum, 6992 Riverview Drive in Riverview. Admission is free.Full Story
Killer couple alert? Daryl and Michonne?!
It took exactly 49 Hershel-happy minutes for Episode 3 of The Walking Dead's sluggish Season 4 to go from chitty-chatty to holy-bleep-did-you-see-those-6-million-zombies?! It was worth the wait, as Us Weekly's No.1 Killer Couple to Watch -- Daryl and Michonne, gruntingly flirty ("He's already given me fleas") -- plus a percolating Tyreese went looking for drugs to combat the Super Flu.
The scene went a lil' something like this (I'm paraphrasing here): "Hey Zack's hot rod is pretty shiny for being parked in a dusty prison for so long!" "Wait -- is that a voice on the radio?" "Look out for those six million zombies!" "Ewwww, you're totally spinning the car out on their gooey heads!" "Tyreese, stop lollygagging!" "Look at Tyreese, now he's going all Thor with that bloody hammer!" "Tyreese is dead!" "No he's not!" "Where the hell are we?"
It was adrenaline-pumping stuff -- just what this talky episode needed -- featuring the three most dynamic characters on the show. (By the way, that FX shot of the 6 million zombies looked expensive, but all in all, doesn't the show appear a little cheaper this year? Sheesh, I'm surprised they had the money to buy Rick a new shirt.) …Full Story
Whew. Excuse me while I start breathing again.
(If you missed Sunday's night The Good Wife, go watch it now. Then come back here, because plenty of spoilers to follow.)
Sure, The Good Wife isn't the flashiest show on TV. Even in its time slot on Sundays at 9 p.m., there are other things to grab viewers’ attention (ahem, The Walking Dead). But Sunday night’s episode was a breathless triumph for the show. Plotwise, this is the episode that changes the show permanently. By the end, nothing is the same: Alicia and Cary don’t work at Lockhart/Gardner, Alicia and Will are effectively enemies, Diane’s judgeship is in question. But some of the most rewarding parts for longtime fans was what wasn’t said; all of those allusions to things that happened two, even four, years ago. …Full Story
A Charlie Brown Christmas
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
Watch it: 8 p.m. Thursday, ABC
This classic Halloween episode kicks off all the seasonal Peanuts specials, and rightfully so: It's clearly the best of the three. Sure, the Christmas one has the snow and the twinkling lights and the dancing, but the Peanuts Halloween adventure is hilarious and heartwarming. It all starts and ends with hopeful Linus, whose fervent belief in the Great Pumpkin and refusal to listen to the naysayers (Lucy, you meanie!) is downright moving. Hold on to those innocent dreams, Linus! I mean, he’s convinced the Great Pumpkin will choose his pumpkin patch to appear in because of its sincerity. Good grief, where's that sentiment on TV these days?
Classic Snoopy moment: Has to be when good ol' Snoops inadvertently appears as the Great Pumpkin after spending the night in "enemy territory" as a World War I flying ace intent on taking down the Red Baron.
Favorite line: "I went trick or treating and all I got was a bag of rocks!" – Charlie "I had a little trouble with the scissors" Brown. …Full Story
If you checked out of The Good Wife last season around the time Kalinda's long-lost British husband arrived, it's time to start watching again. And be sure to catch up from last season's finale, when the whole mess of Alicia and Cary splitting from Lockhart-Gardner to start their own firm really got going. Since then, the show has been on fire.
Sunday night's episode is one of the very best the show has ever done, and a total and complete game-changer. Relationships are ruined, new ones are created, and the actors, as always, are at the top of their game. (Special shout-outs to Christine Baranski (Diane) and Josh Charles (Will), who just destroy.)
I'll be back Monday morning with some thoughts on Sunday's episode.Full Story
This was a mellow week for Scandal, as Thursday night's episode mainly served to set up some more big plot pieces coming down the line, most importantly the introduction of Lisa Kudrow's (Phoebe!!) Democratic congresswoman Josephine Marcus, who has her eye on a presidential run.
It was a nice break for the show and a welcome return to the procedural format that the series favored in its first season. Of course, because this is Scandal, we got plenty of Operation Remington chatter (and actually some answers this time!) and the beginning of a Huck/Jake partnership, but no real gasp-worthy moments.
Some other thoughts about Thursday's episode:
Fitz Alert: Fitz just barges on in to Papa Pope's office, like just because he's the president he's safe from the man's reign of terror. Good luck with that, Fitz. Even Pope's own daughter is scared of him. We also learn President Fitz was flying the plane in Operation Remington, which seems all kinds of wrong. …Full Story
Pete Holmes has one guest at the top of his wishlist for his new late-night talk show.
“I’m looking at a picture of Gosling right now,” laughs Holmes, calling from his office in Los Angeles. “I’m not joking. I have a still from Drive in the office. We are out to Gosling, and I can certainly say that he’s the biggest get for me. And if he reads this, Daddy Gos, please, make our dreams come true.”
Holmes may not be a household name, but there’s not much that his fans don’t already know about him — his fascination with Ryan Gosling, his obsession with spirituality, how his marriage dissolved when his wife had an affair, how he lost his virginity in, as he puts it, “six pumps.” He’s laid every facet of himself bare on his podcast, You Made It Weird, a series of deep, lengthy and remarkably candid conversations about comedy, sex and religion with pals and fellow stand-ups like Jon Hamm, Zach Galifianakis, Aziz Ansari and Dane Cook.Full Story
It will have a sense of humor. With Spencer, it would have to.
Speaking of problems at NBC, here's a curveball none of us saw coming: The network is retooling Angela Lansbury's Murder, She Wrote for the modern age. As if the constant repeats on basic cable weren't enough for you.
This time the series pilot will cast Octavia Spencer in the J.B. Fletcher role, this time as a hospital administrator who self-publishes a mystery novel, Deadline Hollywood says. Wow, e-books really have changed the way we think of writers. Full Story
We see what he's saying, but criticizing your network isn't a good idea unless you're 'The Simpsons'.
While Sean Hayes' new sitcom Sean Saves the World is an eyelash away from being canned from NBC, the former Will & Grace star blames the network -- or rather, its miniscule market share -- for his show's lack of success. It doesn't sound like he'll be on much longer, if that's the case.
“To me, (the show) is working,” Hayes told TheTVPage.com. “It’s just the struggle of the elephant in the room which is ‘how do you get viewers to NBC?’ NBC programs great shows, it just doesn’t have the eyeballs CBS does.”
The show averages about 3.4 million viewers per week, but still has been approved for at least four more episodes. NBC even bumped Parks & Recreation to get Sean and The Michael J. Fox Show some focus with some lead-ins from The Voice and a Saturday Night Live Halloween special (ironically setting in motion some potential bad returns from confused Parks fans). Full Story
Jonathan Rhys Meyers plays the Artist Formerly Known as Vlad with a slithery, Prince-like sexuality
Breaking Vlad? Game of Throats? NBC's new Dracula reboot, which makes its debut Friday, rarely misses a chance to bite from the most life-rich of today's pop-culture veins. Rootable anti-hero (Breaking Bad), hardcore gore (The Walking Dead), upper-crust British period setting (Downton Abbey), a host of hottie blood-suckers (True Blood) — all checked off and shoehorned in with less panache than the progenitors.
And yet, Dracula is saved from mediocrity, and maybe even swift cancelation, by its vital vampire: Irish actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers (The Tudors), who plays the Artist Formerly Known as Vlad the Impaler with an ambiguous, Prince-like sexuality. If he could sing, he'd definitely bust out a slinky Purple Rain... READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE.
Redemption Island is once a grudge match as Tampa attorney Brad Culpepper faces off against John Cody and Laura Morett, who appears to have been sent there because her mad puzzle skills may be the ticket of finally boot Brad from the island.
Uh-oh, another puzzle for Brad. And this time, the puzzle got the best of Brad Culpepper in a grudge match on Redemption Island. The Tampa lawyer and former Tampa Bay Buccaneer is off Survivor: Blood vs. Water after 14 days. He couldn’t walk a balance beam and complete a number puzzle faster than rivals John and Laura M, who had been sent there specifically with the hope that she could finally knock off Brad with her mad puzzle skills. It worked. That leaves Brad’s wife, Monica, to make her own way on the game, which this season shakes up the the strategy by featuring pairs of loved ones. How far can Monica go?
The ex-Buccaneer has been a lightning rod both in the game and among fans, even prompting this essay that takes Survivor to task for "the most distastefully bro-worshiping, wife-fearing season yet." What do you think of how Culpepper was portrayed, readers? And how do you score Monica's chances now? I suspect she's better off with him off the island because that solidfies her alliance with Gervase and Tyson, who also no longer have a loved one to play with. …Full Story
Chris Hardwick, left, has said his Comedy Central show @midnight "is really just a structured reason to bring comics together to make fun of all the topical things they saw that day that came up in various social-media outlets."
Maybe it's because I'm in a house full of boys but I was gasping-for-air laughing at Comedy Central's new Chris Hardwick late-night offering @midnight. Turns out, it is already making its mark with guys, scoring a higher rating than the Colbert Report among the network's target young male viewers, Deadline.com reports. It also scored strong sentiment on Twitter last night as measured by SocialGuide's new Late Fringe category, taking the No. 1 entertainment spot on Twitter from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. (when dudes are up channel surfing and tweeting?) and No. 2 overall, following ESPN2’s SportsCenter. So what makes it so funny? Let me break it down.Full Story