One of our most anticipated shows of the summer is back for its second season Friday: Orange is the New Black. The Netflix original series was a huge hit when it debuted last year. How will season 2 shape up? Can't wait to binge-watch and find out.
Click here for this week's full list of top TV.Full Story
Tampa Bay area native Francis Biondi grew up in the kitchen, sitting at the counter and watching his parents whip up Italian dishes with thick fettuccine noodles in creamy sauce. When he was 10, he made his first dish — pasta, of course.
Now he's bringing that lifelong culinary passion to a bigger kitchen: Biondi, 25, is a contestant on Gordon Ramsay's competitive cooking show MasterChef, which airs its second episode Monday on Fox. We talked to him about his passion for cooking, how he got onto the show, and what he thinks of Ramsay.
Click here for our full interview with Biondi, and look for him Monday night on MasterChef.Full Story
Fox announced Thursday that its broadcast chairman Kevin Reilly is leaving the network at the end of June. The news comes at a weird time, given that Reilly presented at Fox’s upfronts presentation just a few weeks ago.
Reilly joined Fox in 2007 as its entertainment president after a stint at NBC. Prior to NBC, he was a key player at FX. The network has already begun a search for his successor, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Fox didn’t have a great year under Reilly, with declining ratings and an inability to win the coveted 18-49 demographic this season despite having the top ratings in that demo for nearly a decade. Previously under Reilly, Fox developed big hits like 24, House, Bones and Glee.
The network ended this TV season in fourth place in overall viewers, mostly due the large ratings for NFL football games. But its entertainment branch struggled, particularly shows like the once-huge American Idol, which had its lowest-rated episode ever this season. Fox also failed to launch a big hit, aside from the breakout Sleepy Hollow. …Full Story
You can't keep a good smarta-- down: Mad Men's Roger Sterling (aka the great John Slattery)
Bless you, Vulture: The sly pop-culture aggregators have collected an exhaustive (and hilarious) (and brilliant) (and words to live by) list of the all-time best quips, put-downs, seductions and smartalecky defense mechanisms of Mad Men's Roger Sterling, a suave gray fox who's never short on wit and wordplay. Portrayed with equal parts dry debonair and randy rapscallion by John Slattery, Sterling zings his way through good times and bad (both his own and the '60s in general). In other words, he's nothing less than my spirit guide. …Full Story
John Malkovich in 'Crossbones'.
Last week, it was all about season finales. This week, it's all about premieres, as a bunch of shows get started for the summer. Once a TV wasteland, the summer months are now overflowing with reality shows (MasterChef, So You Think You Can Dance), silly new series (Crossbones, The Night Shift), and more.
Click here for this week's list of top TV.Full Story
WTVT news anchor John Wilson, left, and his son, Mark Wilson, pose for a photo in the Fox 13 news studio in Tampa in 2011. John says retiring in November will provide more time with family.
Reagan was president, Doug Williams led the creamsicle-colored Tampa Bay Buccaneers as quarterback and in 1981 a new news anchor named John Wilson arrived on WTSP-CH. 10. He spent the next three decades in Tampa Bay living rooms, the last 20 years on the Fox affliate WTVT-Ch. 13. But now an era is passing with the news that Wilson, one of the most respected journalists in local television, is retiring this fall.
In that time he has delivered stories on Romanian orphans, reported from Guantanimo Bay, Cuba, and witnessed the execution of serial killer Ted Bundy. He was there when local media stations made the "big switch" in 1994 when Ch. 10 switched from an ABC affiliate to a CBS affiliate, WFTS-Ch. 28 became an ABC affiliate and Ch. 13 went from being a long-time CBS affiliate to part of the then-rising Fox network. John Wilson was at the helm on that first Fox newscast at 6:30 p.m. Standing behind one of two black marble-top podiums, he unveiled Ch. 13 Eyewitness World News in a thoroughly modern set, complete with a high-tech, nine-panel video wall. As promised, he related national stories to Tampa Bay. …Full Story
Bert Cooper goes out in style.
“And we can have the connection that we’re hungry for.” - Peggy Olson
It’s fitting that Sunday’s mid-season finale of Mad Men, “Waterloo,” opens on Bert Cooper watching in amazement as the Apollo 11 mission begins. It ends with us watching in amazement as Peggy Olson delivers her beautiful Burger Chef pitch and Cooper dances off into the twilight.
There’s not much in this episode that we didn’t see coming, but Mad Men has always been more about the execution of its ideas than spoilery plot points. “Waterloo” is a perfect example of the affecting way these stories (Cooper’s death, the moon landing, Don’s potential firing) were handled: Roger and Joan’s tearful embrace as they mourn Cooper; Don’s anger when he learned he could be ousted; those powerful images of Mad Men’s various families gathered around their TVs.
At its best, Mad Men is a show that doesn’t feel like a TV show. When it's reaching heights other series can't match, it’s because you can’t feel the plot machinations or the actors reading a script or the decisions behind the immaculate set design. Mad Men goes deep with its characters and its themes and, in turn, can reach out to the deepest parts of its audience. …Full Story
As a fellow big-boned fella and hair-metal aficionado, I applauded huskily when Caleb Johnson took home gold at the end of this year's American Idol. But what about Bradenton's Sam Woolf, you ask angrily? Shouldn't proud regional bias overrule the fact that you eat too many Funyuns and you know all the words to Welcome to the Jungle? Good question, but alas, a question for another time. For now, let us simply celebrate the 22-year-old golden throat from Johnson City, Tenn. Caleb has a lot of stuff in the works: a self-titled debut album is due Aug. 12 and will feature first single, and Idol finale song, As Long as You Love Me (not to be confused with anything done by Bieber), which you can enjoy below. He'll be appearing on Live! With Kelly and Michael and the 25th annual PBS National Memorial Day Concert. An he'll be a big part of the American Idol Live! 2014 tour, which comes to Clearwater's Ruth Eckerd Hall on July 18. Go get 'em, Caleb! Full Story
"Do you play for the Lukewarm Chili Peppers?"
It's downright shocking how much Will Ferrell, 46, and RHCP drummer Chad Smith, 52, are basically twinsies; it's even more shocking that it took 'em this long to have a little fun with the resemblance. On Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show Thursday, the yukster and the timekeeper, dressed identically no less and often riffing as the other, staged a drum-off (but not really) for their respective charities: Chad's Little Kids Rock and Will's Cancer for College (where you can buy a commemorative T-shirt!). The whole thing devolves into shenanigans, of course, with a surprise kicker that nods to Ferrell's classic "More Cowbell" SNL skit. Love this!!! Full Story
From left, Margo Martindale, Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys
Wow, what a punch to the gut.
Yesterday, I mentioned this has been an impressively confident sophomore season for The Americans, and this finale really demonstrated why. "Echo" - written by series creator Joe Weisberg and executive producer Joel Fields - has all the elements of an effective season closer: It ties off loose ends (Jared killed his parents! Larrick dies!) and brings this season's plots and themes full circle. But, because this is The Americans, the episode also manages to be constantly surprising; it never feels like the show is just checking off boxes. Best of all, it points to a new direction for season three, broadening the scope beyond Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth (Keri Russell)'s individual missions. …Full Story
After weeks of performing, it came down to Team Usher's Josh Kaufman, Team Adam's Christina Grimmie and Team Blake's Jake Worthington, and The Voice crowned a winner:
Soul singer Kaufman, a 38-year-old Sarasota native, won the NBC singing competition's sixth season Tuesday night, with Worthington coming in second place and Grimmie somewhat surprisingly coming in third. This is the first win for Kaufman's coach Usher.
Kaufman's performance of an Adele song Monday night fell victim to an iTunes glitch after Monday's show and, consequently, host Carson Daly announced during Tuesday's finale that all iTunes downloads had been thrown out and would not count toward crowning a winner.
The two-hour finale extravaganza saw the return of former Voice contestants, performing in every combination imaginable, and performances from Tim McGraw, Coldplay and Ed Sheeran.
The seventh season of The Voice is scheduled to air in the fall with new coaches Gwen Stefani and Pharrell replacing Usher and Shakira.Full Story
Olympic gold-medal winning ice dancer Meryl Davis can add another victory to the list: She won Dancing with the Stars on Tuesday night, to no one's surprise. She and partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy, a longtime DWTS pro, went into the finale with a perfect score. It's the first win for Maks, who indicated Monday night's show might be his last time competing on DWTS.
Amy Purdy, a paralympian who had both of her legs removed as a teenager, came just one point shy of Meryl and Maks' perfect score and placed in second with her partner, five-time winner Derek Hough. Candace "DJ Tanner" Cameron Bure, who was paired with Mark Ballas and had the lowest score heading into the finals, came in third.
The eventful and emotional two-hour finale (Davis reuniting with her Olympic partner Charlie White was our fave part) capped what's been a surprisingly great season, full of memorable partnerships and ridiculously talented and inspiring dancers. During Meryl and Maks' final dance, head judge Len Goodman hinted this might be his final season. But we hope that's not the case. Season 18 proved, if nothing else, just how entertaining Dancing With the Stars can be.Full Story
Consider this your TV PSA of the week: If you're not caught up on FX's spy drama The Americans, I highly recommend doing so now. Wednesday's season 2 finale is a must-see.
The Americans heads into this episode as calculated and thrilling as ever. This has been a remarkably confident sophomore season, even for a show that seemed to have a grand sense of where it wanted to go right out of the gate. And Wednesday's finale, "Echo," is a master class in tying off loose ends and bringing things full circle. It's constantly surprising and efficient, addressing long-gestating themes, revealing answers to plot points introduced in the season's first episode, and adding new, shocking developments to the mix for next season. The episode is also a showcase for the show's incredible actors, led by Matthew Rhys as Philip and Keri Russell as Elizabeth. The places both of them take their characters in this final episode is astonishing.
I won't spoil any of the particulars of the episode now - check back here tomorrow night for a review - but prepare to watch this one through your fingers.Full Story
Late-night host Jimmy Fallon is spending part of his summer vacation in Orlando. Oh, and he's bringing the Tonight Show with him. NBC's The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon announced Monday that it's taping shows at Universal Studios in Orlando June 16-19.
Guests Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull, Tracy Morgan and more will be on site, too. It gets better: The show is promising that audiences will get a "first look at the brand new Harry Potter Diagon Alley theme park," which is almost as exciting as getting to sit mere feet from Fallon and the Roots (we're big fans, okay?). If you live in the area (or, you know, are willing to make the one-hour trek up I-4 from the Tampa Bay area), you can go see the shows - if you can get a ticket. Tickets for the Orlando shows will be released later this week via the show's normal ticketing website, and we have a feeling it's going to be a popular event. Keep an eye on @FallonTonight for more info.
Watch Jimmy make the announcement on Monday's Tonight Show. Full Story
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.Full Story