Even in the midst of a ratings freefall, American Idol is done with gimmicks and is sticking with its likable panel of judges. Fox announced that current judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. will be returning for Season 14, as will host Ryan Seacrest.
“Their interaction, warmth and experience made them an absolute joy to watch,” said American Idol creator and executive producer Simon Fuller. We were among the critics crushing on Connick, with his knee-slapping quips, sharp musical criticism and warm baiting of the ego balloon that is Jennifer Lopez.
The show has been trying to find the right mix to put some vroom back in the former ratings juggernaut. For its 12th season, Idol replaced Lopez, Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler with three new judges: country star Urban plus the toxic duo of Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj. The undisguised hostility between the two divas proved to be ratings poison. …
Another week, another handful of shows premiere, including two high-profile dramas: a new show on FX from the guys responsible for Homeland (Tyrant) and a new HBO drama that marks Lost mastermind Damon Lindelof's return to TV (The Leftovers). Plus, a show that takes place in Pasco County featuring nudists looking for houses. Because of course.
Okay, first the good news, because it's Friday, and we could all use some: AMC's Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul has already been renewed for a second season, before it's even aired. The bad news? It's not actually going to air until some time in early 2015, instead of the originally announced November 2014 date.
The spinoff, actually a prequel to the events that take place in Breaking Bad, which ended its run in September, will focus on Bob Odenkirk's shady lawyer Saul Goodman. The first season will be 10 episodes, and season 2 will be 13. An AMC press release also said the show is scheduled to run alongside the next two seasons of The Walking Dead. The Feed's own Sean Daly is surely very happy about this. …
The cast of 'The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story'
When you hear the words "Saved by the Bell movie," what do you think about? Perhaps an epilogue to the beloved '90s series that catches up with all our favorite Bayside High alums? Maybe it'll star the erstwhile AC Slater himself, a still ridiculously fit Mario Lopez; or maybe Mark Paul-Gosselar will take a break from his TNT show Franklin & Bash to play preppy Zack Morris again?
Well, you'd be wrong. Lifetime is producing a Saved by the Bell movie that'll air on Labor Day, but it's not what you think. Called The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story, it's a "What really happened behind the scenes" story centered on the experiences off-camera of the six young actors involved in the show. That means the TV movie will star six fresh-faced (relative) unknowns as the people who played the Saved by the Bell characters. Weird!For what it's worth, Dylan Everett (Degrassi: The Next Generation) is playing Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Julian Works (Paranormal Activity) is Mario Lopez, Sam Kindseth (Shameless) is Dustin Diamond, Alyssa Lynch is Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, Tiera Skovbye (Supernatural) is Elizabeth Berkley and Taylor Russell McKenzie is Lark Voorhies. …
Let’s be honest: Fargo the TV show had no right being as good as it turned out to be. The FX miniseries based on the 1996 Coen Brothers movie attempted to remake a beloved (cult) classic, which is always tricky, not to mention that movie walked a tightrope with its tone between pure dread and pitch-black comedy.
And yet, somehow, as its first season came to an end tonight, it’s clear FX's Fargo has become its own wonderful thing. These past 10 episodes are a terrific example of how to take an existing piece of work and turn it into something that feels original and necessary. Sadly, this is all we’re going to get of this version of Fargo; the show's second season isn't expected to have the same cast. But, with any luck, it’ll have the same jaw-dropping ability to weave a compelling tale.
Five months after he took over as host of the Tonight Show, it looks like Jimmy Fallon is still the nicest guy in late-night TV. Case in point: He couldn't even properly make fun of Florida during his first of four Tonight Show tapings in Orlando. He's at Universal Orlando Resort this week, in part to hype Universal Studios' new Diagon Alley expansion, expected to open very soon.
Dance fans have a feast ahead of them and it might as well have called it So You Think You Can Dance With the Stars. And this time the audiences gets into the act by voting live.
Popular dancers from Dancing With The Stars, So You Think You Can Dance as well as dance champions from around the world will dance off against each other when Dancing Pros: Live! comes to the Ruth Eckerd Hall stage Feb. 19.
Using electronic voting remotes attached to every seat, audience members will get a chance to vote for their favorite couples in the show featuring American Idol singers, glamorous sets and costumes, group numbers and, of course, lots of dance moves. Karina Smirnoff, above, and Edyta Sliwinska of Dancing With The Stars will judge the live competition show hosted by TV host Alan Thicke.
Tickets are $52.75-$150 and they go on sale Saturday at noon at the Ruth Eckerd Hall ticket office, (727) 791-7400 or RuthEckerdHall.com.
Not only does this season of Jeopardy mark Alex Trebek's 30th hosting the show (and subsequently making me feel like a moron), but it's also a Guinness World Records year for the Ontario-born smartypants.
Today's half-hour installment is his 6,829 episode -- earning the 73-year-old Trebek the coveted Guinness title of "Most Game Show Episodes Hosted by the Same Presenter (One Show)." Jeopardy also holds the Guinness trophy for most Emmy awards won by a TV game show: 30. (Wow, they really dig Guinness stats, huh? I get Guinness confused with Ripley's. Which one has the overweight twins on mopeds?) Anyway, "America's Favorite Quiz Show" -- their words, not mine, I prefer Match Game -- finishes its 30th season on Aug. 1; the 31st season begins Sept. 15.
What, you thought we’d wait until the holiday season to share this juicy bit of TV news? No way.
Grumpy Cat is coming to the Lifetime channel to herald in the worst Christmas ever. Just what we always wanted!
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Internet sensation with the wobbly walk, big blue eyes and frowny face will play a chronically overlooked pet-store cat. The twist, according to the cable network, is the 12-year-old girl who can communicate with her.
The live-action movie is aptly named Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever, and the human to voice the four-legged star has not yet been cast. It will shoot this summer. The script will be written by Tim Hill (SpongeBob SquarePants) and Jeff Morris, the Reporter said.
With her own agent, Grumpy’s YouTube videos have racked up millions of hits. She has T-shirts, calendars, gift wrap and a best-selling book available in 14 languages. In real life, Grumpy is named Tardar Sauce (yes, Tardar Sauce) and lives in Arizona.
For Ted Hoornstra, the road to becoming a contestant on Wheel of Fortune (something he calls a "bucket list item") was a long one. Hoornstra, a 45-year-old financial adviser based in the Old Northeast area of St. Pete, first auditioned for the show when the Wheelmobile stopped at the Mahaffey Theater -- way back in 2012. He got a chance to go up on stage and answer a question, but the experience didn't lead anywhere -- not until six months later, when he recovered an email from his spam folder about another Wheel of Fortune tryout in Clearwater. After a day of tests, he was among a dozen remaining potential contestants. This was around April 2013, and he was told he'd get a chance to be on the show some time in next 18 months.
In March of this year, he finally got the call, just one week ahead of filming: Can you come out to California to be a contestant on the show?
Hoornstra's episode will air tonight as part of a week celebrating fathers. He has two daughters, a senior at St. Pete High and an 8-year-old who got to come to the filming with him. He can't say much about the results, but he did give up these backstage tidbits: …
"Exploding golf balls, that would just be a little appetizer."
With the 114th U.S. Open Golf Championship happening this weekend at the No. 2 Course at North Carolina's Pinehurst Resort (and being broadcast on ESPN and NBC), Will Ferrell helps make golf more enjoyable for EVERYBODY.
Jack White digs old suits, old guitars, old scuzzy licks. The Pale Riffer cuts his own vinyl records in his Third Man shop, an indie valhalla in Nashville. He likes old words, too. His 2012 Grammy-nominated LP, Blunderbuss, was named after an 18th century muzzle-loading firearm, a no-nonsense weapon just like the dude himself. His latest LP, Lazaretto, refers to a quarantine hospital, a place for outcasts, a place he’d no doubt feel at home.
In related news, Lazaretto debuted as the No. 1 album on iTunes today, a sign that for all his retro insistence, the 38-year-old iconoclast is very much a modern salve for today’s music fans weary of digital artifice. Jack’s never been a dull boy; from the White Stripes to the Raconteurs to the Dead Weather, the Detroit native has always been a restless creative spirit with little use for subtlety. But great chunks of Lazaretto, his second solo album, show White unhinged and unfettered by modern restraints like never before, an old-school guitar god whippin’ up some rock ’n’ raunch.
We are totally on board for this: The Jimmy Fallon-loving Citrus County Visitors & Convention Bureau is encouraging the Tonight Show host to make the two-hour trip over to the west coast when he's in Orlando next week filming his show. The bureau has put together this video inviting Fallon to come hang out with the manatees in Citrus County, complete with clips from the show and Thank You Notes music. Fallon and the Tonight Show crew are filming special episodes of the show at Universal Orlando June 16-19. We're particularly fond of the Photoshop job in the photo above that got Jimmy's head onto a merman's body. Come on Jimmy, how can you resist?!
Good news, Orange Is the New Black fans: Now you too can be "Pornstache"! The only thing we here at the Feed love more than Netflix-only-women-in-prison-dramedies are gloriously silly smartphone apps that celebrate Netflix-only-women-in-prison-dramedies. And Orange Is the New App is a free downloadable time-suck (available on iTunes and Google Play) that's more comforting than Taco Night at Litchfield Correctional. Just in time for the launch of the hit Netflix show's second season, you can superimpose your face into select scenes, create whimsical memes and send ready-made cards ("Waiting for Season 2 is Like Being in the Shu") to fellow fans. Oh, and there's a Crazy Eyes emoji!! Go have fun, smart chickens!!!!!
Tony Awards host extraordinaire Hugh Jackman bounced his way through his opening number Sunday night, stopping only to make small talk with Neil Patrick Harris in an elevator and sing a little diddy at the very end. So yeah, it's official: Hugh is the most talented (and in shape) celebrity there is.
Or maybe it's Harris, who stole Sunday's show with a sexually charged number from Hedwig and the Angry Inch and then went on to win Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical. And all in heels!
Or how about Bryan Cranston, a three-time Emmy winner who's now halfway to an EGOT with his Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play win for his show All the Way, in which he plays Lyndon B. Johnson.
Oh wait, it's got to be Audra McDonald, who won another Tony last night for her performance as Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill and made history: She's now the first actress to win six Tonys, and the first person to win in four different performance categories, ever. …
The Feed is your source for television news, reviews and commentary. A group of Tampa Bay Times writers will blog about everything from their current TV obsessions to the changing TV/media landscape (binge-watching galore!). Let's all geek out over our favorite shows together.
As a wee TV fanatic, Times pop music critic Sean Daly first learned to tell time via Lee Majors classic The Six Million Dollar Man. On family trips, instead of asking "Are we there yet?" he would inquire of his parents: "How many more Six's?" Thus, the concept of an hour. Not nearly as cute: An adult Sean wears a Tigers hat not to support Detroit but because Tom Selleck wore one on Magnum, P.I.
Michelle Stark is a Times writer, editor, designer and unabashed TV nerd. Her millennial TV-watching habits rely on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon instead of traditional cable, but she never misses her favorite shows, which include everything from Girls, Parenthood and New Girl to high-minded dramas like Mad Men and Homeland. She never met a reality dance show competition she didn’t like.
Sharon Kennedy Wynne is a Times writer and editor part of that first generation of toddlers raised on Sesame Street. She's still a big fan of Sesame Street, but also darker fare like American Horror Story and Scandal. As our resident reality TV fan (though she's ashamed to admit it), she has complex theories on Survivor, Amazing Race and Big Brother strategies.