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Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

“How I Met Your Mother;” the alternative endings

Let me be upfront: I did not see the “How I Met Your Mother” finale last night. In fact, I haven’t seen an episode of the CBS sitcom in maybe two years. But it was in syndication. I have seen enough to be interested, but not enough to care whether I had the ending spoiled for me (which it was this morning).

Now that the show is over, some (on Twitter anyway) are calling it the worst series ending in all of television, right up there with “Dexter” and “Roseanne.”

Without spoiling it for others; the show’s premise was designed as a tease, and we got nine years of butterfly effect leading up to one moment that was never going have the emotional climax promised by the set up. By its nature, the show’s ending was going to be somewhat of a let down no matter what, though I think the writers took the easy (and somewhat obvious) out.

Which got me thinking: Could there have been a better ending?

This tweet from Ex-Beehiver Mike Oz proposed one that would have been fun to watch.

Rick Bentley’s idea was slightly more meta. In his ending Ted would have woken up in bed next to Barney.

“My God, I just had the worst heterosexual dream.”

I was thinking some kind of “Big Bang Theory” crossover.
If you were in charge of the world (this fictional one anyway) how would have ended things?

Meghan Ory’s fairy tale days not over

The RescueIt was a little disheartening to see >Meghan Ory on the new CBS action series “Intelligence.” It’s not that she does a bad job as the agent assigned to protect the show’s human computer (Josh Holloway). The Canadian actress can handle the action part of the job with ease. What made the casting seem so wrong is that she was just so good on the ABC drama “Once Upon a Time” playing Red Riding Hood/Ruby Lucas.

She tells me there’s nothing to worry about. There’s always a chance she could reprise her role on the ABC series when time permits. If the ratings of “Intelligence” don’t go up, she will have plenty of free time.

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CBS has bigger concerns than ‘Big Brother’

Chasing GhostsLes Moonves, President and CEO of the CBS Corporation, met with TV critics on the CBS portion of the TV critics tour to talk about the state of the network. It’s easy for an executive to face the media when you have as much success as CBS. But, despite being such a strong force in network TV, even CBS has some problems that Moonves has to face. Here’s what he had to say:

On some of the negative comments that have been made on the reality competition show “Big Brother”:
Leslie Moonves: “ ‘Big Brother,’ obviously, is a social experiment. It was established as a social experiment. Clearly that’s what’s happening this year. I find some of the behavior absolutely appalling, personally. What you see there, I think, unfortunately, is reflective of how certain people feel in America. It’s what our show is. I think we’ve handled it properly. Obviously, a lot of it makes us uncomfortable. We do discuss it quite a bit. I think we are handling it appropriately.

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There’s no mystery to why ‘Elementary’ works

Elementary episodeSummer TV programming is a mix of a few new programs and rerums of others. I’d like to suggest that if you didn’t watch the new CBS series “Elementary” during its initial run, catch the repeats. Jonny Lee Miller is incredible as a modern day Sherlock Holmes. What adds to the quality of the show is Lucy Liu’s equally strong performance as Watson.

The pair work wonderfully together. Miller says the chemistry developed with each episode until they had become a very strong acting team.

“And then you get to keep doing that. It’s not like we’re doing a run on a play where we do the same two hours every time, repeat that. It’s constantly evolving. So it’s extremely interesting, and it’s a wonderful thing to be able to help each other. It’s a real blessing to form a working relationship and a bond with someone that love and respect so much,” Miller says.

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CBS only adding five shows in the fall

PilotThe continued success of CBS means the network will be adding only five new shows in the fall — four comedies and one drama. And, those new shows will feature some big names: Robin Williams, Anna Faris, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Will Arnett, Toni Collette, Tony Shalhoub and Dylan McDermott.

Joining the network are: “Hostages,” a short-run series about a surgeon kidnapped before operating on the President; “Mom,” a comedy with Anna Faris playing a newly sober single mom raising two children; “We Are Men,” an ensemble comedy starring Shalhoub, Kal Penn, Chris Smith and Jerry O’Connell; “The Millers,” Will Arnett plays a man who must deal with his mother moving in with him; and “The Crazy Ones,” Williams and Gellar are a father-daughter team that runs an ad agency.

The other big news is “Mike & Molly” will be a mid-season replacement.

Not returning to the CBS lineup are “Vegas,” “CSI:NY,” “Rules of Engagement,” “Golden Boy,” “Partners” and “Made In Jersey.”

Here’s what the 2013-2014 CBS schedule will look like:
Monday: “How I Met Your Mother,” 8 p.m.; “We Are Men,” 8:30 p.m.; “2 Broke Girls,” 9 p.m.; “Mom,” 9:30 p.m., “Hostages,” 10 p.m.
Tuesday: “NCIS,” 8 p.m.; “NCIS: Los Angeles,” 9 p.m.; “Person of Interest,” 10 p.m.
Wednesday: “Survivor,” 8 p.m.; “Criminal Minds,” 9 p.m.; “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” 10 p.m.
Thursday: “The Big Bang Theory,” 8 p.m.; “The Millers,” 8:30 p.m.; “The Crazy Ones,” 9 p.m.; “Two and a Half Men,” 9:30 p.m.; “Elementary,” 10 p.m.
Friday: “Undercover Boss,” 8 p.m.; “Hawaii Five-O,” 9 p.m.; “Blue Bloods,” 10 p.m.
Saturday: Repeated programming, 8 p.m.; “48 Hours,” 10 p.m.
Sunday: “60 Minutes,” 7 p.m.; “The Amazing Race,” 8 p.m.; “The Good Wife,” 9 p.m.; “The Mentalist,” 10 p.m.

Larry Hagman interview almost didn’t happen

I wasn’t covering television when “Dallas” was such a huge hit during the ‘80s. That was ill-spent time covering sports which meant I found out “Who Shot J.R.?” through a radio report that I heard coming home from covering a Friday night football game.

That means I never had the chance to talk to Larry Hagman during the original run of the CBS prime-time soap opera. When I moved into entertainment writing on a full-time basis, it looked like “Dallas” was dead an gone thus eliminating any chance to talk to Hagman.

He would have ended up being one of the big interviews that got away had not TNT brought the series back. The updated version is suppose to be about the next generation of Ewings but the main draw in the first season was Hagman, Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray. My chance to interview Hagman came when that trio showed up in January at the Television Critics Association tour.

Hagman was as spunky as ever fending off a question about why he would come back to the role after so many years with “How many people do you know working at 80?”

He was working on the show despite having to go through treatment for the cancer that would eventually take his life a few days ago. Hagman was able to work on the show because the producers grouped together scenes from several shows to make the best use of Hagman’s time.

As for his health at that time, Hagman said, “My treatment’s going along very well, and I’ve been fine. I worked yesterday. I had three major scenes yesterday and had a lot of fun.”

He’s one of a handful of actors who can say they made a career out of playing one of the best known characters in TV history. It was finally nice to get to talk with him about his days on Southfork Ranch.

‘Made in Jersey’ first to go of new TV shows

Television isn’t fair.

It’s amazing how shows that are painfully bad — I’m talking about you “The Neighbors” — can stay on the air while others get canned. I’m not saying “Made in Jersey” was that good. It started with potential but that faded fast. But the CBS legal drama didn’t deserve to be the first cancelation of the fall TV season.

That honor should have gone to “Partners” or “Malibu Country.” Yes, I know “Malibu Country” hasn’t started yet but it should be canceled before it gets started.

Maybe I gave “Made in Jersey” more credit than it deserved because the show’s star, Janet Montgomery, is so nice. The British actress deserves a good show and it wasn’t this one.

Montgomery did give it her all trying to make sure her New Jersey character wasn’t a caricature.

“I think it’s about having the right mix of her being different from everyone else in this world, and that’s got to be obvious. But at the same time, people don’t want to see a caricature because then she’s not relatable and people can’t sit there and be, like, ‘she’s believable.’ Because there’s enough kind of like Jersey reality TV shows,” Montgomery said back when the show had hope of making it. “This isn’t a reality TV show. I’m English. I’m creating this character, but there’s so much that I’m putting in of myself.

“I come from a working class background in England, and I have a big family. And a lot of that sort of plays into I come from a world that’s so different from being sitting here right now I mean, my dad’s a postman, and my mom works in a post office that kind of two world reality is very similar to Martina’s, I think.”

Despite her best efforts the show has been canceled after only a few episodes. Maybe if she drank like a fish, had the morals of an alley cat and made a fool of herself at every turn — like a certain person on “The Jersey Shore” — the series would have lasted a few more months.

TV tonight: Two top series launch

127688_4370_ful.JPGTwo of the better shows of the new fall season begin tonight.

“Last Resort,” 8 p.m. KFSN (Channel 30.1): The plot of this new drama about the crew of an American submarine who go into hiding after defying what seems to be false orders has some major holes. It’s hard to believe anything the size of a sub could evade capture in this era of advanced weaponry.

What makes this show work is the casting. Andre Braugher plays the ship’s captain and this incredibly talented actor is so good he could make you believe the sky is green if that’s what he had to do for the role. Braugher is reason enough to watch.

“Elementary,” 10 p.m. KGPE (Channel 47.1): There have been several updated versions of the Sherlock Holmes story. Just like “Last Resort,” what makes this one so entertaining is the casting of Jonny Lee Miller as the super sleuth and Lucy Liu as Watson.

Miller has that look that’s somewhere between genius and madman. That makes him perfect to play the detective who while brilliant, is also one step away from losing it. Liu’s Watson is not the comic relief but a character so strong she could have her own series.

Also, don’t forget the season opener of “Grey’s Anatomy” as it deals with the aftermath of the plane crash.

On TV tonight: ‘Vegas’

FIN01_VEGAS_Peoplead_FN_R03_BV09_BW1_Trim.JPG “Vegas,” 10 p.m. KGPE (Channel 47.1): This new crime drama is one of three new series launching tonight. The other two are the FOX comedies “Ben and Kate” and “The Mindy Project.”

“Vegas,” a series based on a true story, takes a look at the early days of the Nevada gambling center with the main focus being the efforts of rancher-turned-sheriff Ralph Lamb (Dennis Quaid). He’s a guy who would rather take care of his farm but gets pressed into helping out the growing community.

The series has good odds of surviving because of the two lead actors.

This is the first regular series role for Quaid and he brings a good ol’ boy grittiness to the performance that will make the character a favorite. Equally as entertaining is Michael Chiklis as mob boss Vincent Savino. Very few actors can play likable bad guys the way Chiklis can and he’s in prime form with this show.

CBS has had good success with 10 p.m. dramas and this looks like the next winner for the network.

On TV tonight: ‘Survivor: Philippines’

101649_D0779b.jpg “Survivor: Philippines,” 8 p.m. KGPE (Channel 47.1): The new season of contestants trying to outwit and outplay each other begins with some familiar faces.

Returning is Michael Skupin who left “Survivor: Australian Outback: in 2001 as the first ever medical evacuation on the series after he burned his hands after passing out into a fire from smoke inhalation on day 17. Jonathan Penner also returns. He had to leave “Survivor: Micronesia” in 2008 because of a knee infection on day 15. And, Russell Swan gets a second chace. He left “Survivor: Samoa” in 2009 due to dehydration on day 15.

You also might recognize Lisa Whelchel, who starred on the TV series “The Facts of Life” and Jeff Kent, who played for the San Francisco Giants.

It will be interesting to see if the returning players have an advantage because of their previous experience. It will also be interesting to see whether or not the celebrity contestants become early targets.

Jonathan Kite puts accent on CBS comedy

101493_D0060b-1.jpg Actors like Jonathan Kite are the unsung heroes of comedies. You probably don’t even recognize his name, but if you watch the CBS comedy “2 Broke Girls,” you’ve seen his work. He plays the lecherous short order cook Oleg.

Kite joins the long line of accent actors who aren’t necessarily the star of a scene but pop in to put an exclamation mark on the joke. It’s an art perfected by the likes of Christopher Lloyd on “Taxi,” Polly Holliday on “Alice” and Michael Richards on “Seinfeld.”

Kite says his character only works because the writers make his appearance in a scene feel organic. It’s not like he was added in after everyone was done.

While he’s not the star of the show, Kite works just as hard as “Broke Girls” Kat Dennings or Beth Behrs.

“When I am back in the kitchen, I’m actually doing something and not just waiting to come in,” Kite says. “People who have sat back there with me are amazed that I’m going through a routine I’ve worked out every single time.

“I’m not sitting back there because there’s not an organic nature to that. You have to be a part of what’s actually happening.”

It helps that Kite worked as a short order cook when he was in college.

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CBS in very good spot

Unforgettable.JPG Nina Tassler, president of CBS Entertainment, has plenty to brag about at the annual Television Critics Association summer tour. Her’s is the most watch network with shows like “NCIS,” “The Big Bang Theory” and “The Amazing Race.” Things have gone so well, the network will only launch four new shows in the fall — “Partners,” ‘Vegas,” “Made in Jersey” and “Elementary.” Three of those new shows have strong potential to be around for a second season.

CBS also picked up 60 Emmy nominations this year, up from 50 last year. That’s amazing considering how strong cable programs have become with the TV awards.

The most interesting thing is what Tassler isn’t saying. This is the first press tour in years that “Two and a Half Men” isn’t a major point of conversation.

In other words, news from CBS is rather light. Here are a few highlights:

On cancelation of “CSI: Miami” over “CSI: New York”: “Saying good-bye to a ‘CSI (Miami)” this year was a very big deal. That show has been extraordinarily successful for us. It was a jump ball. What we looked at was Friday night versus Sunday night. We looked at the flow on Friday night for ‘New York’ versus ‘Miami.’ So it was a very tough choice.”

On low ratings of summer reality show “3″: “It was a show we tried, we were excited about. It didn’t quite get traction. I think overall the summer has been a little bit soft for everybody. For us, we usually have a steady diet of repeats and reality, which is still good business for us. Even with repeats being a little bit softer, it’s still, for us, a real profit center for the company. I think reality is challenging and intriguing in so many ways. You’re obviously looking for a headline. You’re looking for something to get people talking.”

On the role of social media: ” I think for us social media has been an extraordinary experience. It’s given us insight and a window into sort of cultural and social topics, ideas to watch how topics are trending real time. To see what has really stimulated a social conversation has given us great information that we can use in the body of the shows themselves. For example, we had there’s a promo clip that you’re going to see on ‘Big Brother’ where Ashley and Ian are being tied to the Sheldon and Penny of reality television. That was generated by a tweet that came from one of our fans.”

On bringing back “Unforgettable” next summer: “When you think about that there was only one other show more highly rated that ‘Unforgettable’ at the time, which was ‘Castle,’ it was a really tough decision. We had a very strong schedule. We had very strong pilots going in. And we had very strong research on the show. So we did not want to let it go. We saw this as a window of opportunity to put the show on for next season and we jumped at it.

CBS orders four new shows

CSI MIAMI.JPG CBS has such a strong lineup the network has ordered only four new series for the 2012-2013 season. They include three dramas — “Elementary,” “Vegas,” “Made in Jersey” — and the comedy “Partners. The new shows join 19 returning series.

The biggest change is the cancelation of “CSI: Miami.” Network executives have been talking for months about losing one or more of the shows from the “CSI” franchise. Keep an eye on “CSI:NY” as it probably will be one of the next shows to go.

CBS is moving “Two and a Half Men” from its longtime home on Mondays to air behind “Big Bang Theory” on Thursdays. Considering the failures that have been in that 8:30 p.m. time slot, this is a strong move.

Other CBS shows getting the ax were the freshman series “How To Be a Gentleman,” “Unforgettable” and “A Gifted Man.” “Rob” and “NYC 22″ also got booted. There’s no word on the fate of “Rules of Engagement.”

As for the new shows, “Elementary” is a contemporary look at detective Sherlock Holmes in New York City starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu while “Vegas” has Dennis Quaid playing a Las Vegas sheriff who battled the mob in the ’60s.

Janet Montgomery plays a first-year lawyer in “Made in Jersey.” And, “Partners” is a comedy about two very different life-long best friends and business partners and their significant others. It stars David Krumholtz and Michael Urie.

“Undercover Boss” will return later in the year.

The new 2012-2013 schedule is as follows:

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More network shows on chopping block

GCB.JPG There’s no official word on what CBS, ABC and the CW have planned for the 2012-2013 TV season, but here’s an unofficial look at what the networks will be dropping.

CBS canceled “How to Be a Gentleman” weeks after it launched. Also on the list to get the boot are “A Gifted Man,” “Rob,” “Unforgettable,” “NYC 22″ and veteran cop drama “CSI: Miami.” No word on the what’s happening with “Rules of Engagement.”

ABC dumped “Man Up!” and “Charlie’s Angels” a long time ago. “Pan Am” also didn’t take off for the network.

The surprise is that “GCB” won’t be back. It looked like the successor to “Desperate Housewives” but now both shows are gone.

Also leaving the lineup will be “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” “Work It,” “Missing” and “The River.” “Cougar Town” leaves ABC for new life on the cable channel TBS.

“H8R” died early for the CW and viewers knew this was the last season for “One Tree Hill.” Add to the departing list “The Secret Circle” and “Ringer.”

On TV tonight: ‘Two and a Half Men’

TAHM_922P_1077r.jpg “Two and a Half Men,” 9 p.m. KGPE (Channel 47.1): The departure of Charlie Sheen from the CBS Monday-night comedy was such a nasty affair, the only way he would ever make a return to the show is over his own dead body.

That sort of happens tonight.

After Alan (Jon Cryer) suffers a minor heart attack, he’s visited in the hospital by Charlie’s ghost. No, Sheen doesn’t return to offer words of wisdom from beyond. It is Academy Award winner Kathy Bates, who takes time away from her NBC series “Harry’s Law,” portraying the departed Charlie Harper.

It would have been nice to see Sheen back on the show. But, the idea of Bates playing Charlie is a far more interesting casting.

Matt Quinlan booted from ‘Survivor’

100764_D002652.JPG Fresno’s ties to the latest “Survivor” ended quickly. Matthew Quinlan, who lived in Fresno from 1992-1996 while his father was vice president of marketing at Zacky Farms, was eliminated Wednesday night. The Bullard High School graduate follows Fresno’s Nina Acosta who was voted out last week.

In last night’s episode, it appeared Colton Cumbie was in danger despite having the immunity idol. Fellow player Greg Smith, known as Tarzan, argued Cumbie was important to the tribe because he had made alliances with the women that can help them when the teams merge.

When the ballots were tallied, Cumbie got one vote and Quinlan got five votes.

“Survivor: One World” airs at 8 p.m. Wednesdays on KGPE (Channel 47.1).

Nina Acosta voted out of ‘Survivor’

acosta.JPG Nina Acosta’s run on the CBS reality competition series “Survivor: One World” came to an end Wednesday night as the Clovis resident was the second player eliminated from the show.

It wasn’t as much Acosta’s game skills as an alliance of five other players on her team that spelled her doom. Acosta argued in the tribal council before the voting that she had the life skills as a Los Angeles Police Department officer would make her a strong player.

The argument by the 51-year-old failed to sway the other players and she was voted out of the game.

That’s the bad part about “Survivor.” Good players often get bounced if they have not formed the right alliances.

Fresno still has a connection to the show. Matthew Quinlan, who lived in Fresno from 1992-1996 while his father was vice president of marketing at Zacky Farms, has emerged as one of the stronger players. The Bullard High School graduate is part of the all-male team that has dominated the first two episodes.

Quinlan’s quest continues Wednesday night.

Quinlan, Costa survive first episode

SURVIVOR1.JPG Fresno’s two connections to the CBS reality competition program “Survivor: One World” made it through the opening show. It helped that one of the female competitors was injured during the first challenge and had to withdraw from the game. That meant no one got sent home during the elimination ceremonies.

Bullard High School graduate Matthew Quinlan, a 33-year-old San Francisco attorney, has emerged as an early favorite. When the competitors were divided into two teams – men vs. women – Quinlan quickly took the role of leader. He’s formed an alliance with four other strong male players that should keep him around for a few weeks.

Nina Acosta, a 51-year-old retired Los Angeles Police Department officer who now lives in Clovis and is the secretary to the chancellor of the State Center Community College District, played under the radar in the first episode. The most screen time she got was after a fell during the first challenge left her with multiple injuries to her face.

The competition continues Feb. 22 on KGPE (Channel 47.1).

On TV tonight: ‘Survivor: One World’

100764_D002652.JPG “Survivor: One World,” 8 p.m. KGPE (Channel 47.1): Fresno has two connections to this latest edition of the CBS reality competition program. Nina Acosta is a 51-year-old retired Los Angeles Police Department officer who now lives in Clovis and is the secretary to the chancellor of the State Center Community College District.

There’s also Bullard High School graduate Matthew Quinlan, a 33-year-old San Francisco attorney.

It’s a battle of the sexes when the contestants are separated into men versus women and given tribe names Salani and Manono. The twist for the season opener of “Survivor” is that they must share one beach.

Later, the castaways learn a tribe’s true colors in an immunity challenge.

CBS enjoying ratings success

THE BIG BANG THEORY.JPG It’s executives and stars from CBS talking with critics today at the TCA Winter Tour. Because of all the success CBS had with the fall launches, the only new program on the schedule is “Rob!” Here’s what CBS boss Nina Tassler had to say about some of the other shows on the network.

On moving “The Good Wife” to Sundays: “The show feels like a better fit on Sunday night. We’re thrilled with the critical response and the awards and the attention the show gets. More importantly, the audience that does watch the show on Sunday night, it’s very upscale. It’s very female. And they’re very engaged. So we feel it was a very good move.”

As the to future of reality competition shows on the network: “We’re in the fortunate position of having successful, long running franchise shows. That is the reality of reality. And so as those shows, ‘Survivor” and “Race” and “Big Brother” had ratings growth, they continued to. We have a very, very heavy development slate this year in alternative, not only for summer, but next year as well. Our goal has always been in reality, you know, not necessarily follow the same path that everybody else follows.’

Impact of NBC’s “The Voice” on CBS Monday night lineup: “I don’t know what that matchup is going to do. I know that we have an unbelievably devoted fan base for our comedies. I think that there’s as we’ve seen from viewership across the board, there are a lot of people watching TV this season, and I think that’s going to continue into next year as well. So the hope is everybody will continue to get maximum audience exposure.’

The role of social media: “As far as social media, we know it plays an important role. We have certainly with the bigger brands and the more successful shows, there is a lot of chatter in social network. We see that as a great promotional platform for many of our shows, so, yes, it is important.

Struggles to find companion series for “The Big Bang Theory”: “Part of the challenge of ‘Big Bang’ is it is a monster hit. And looking for a show that is a companion isn’t limited to just another multi-camera show. It can be a single camera show. And the challenge has been, as I said, when you’re following a show that has that loyal a following and ratings as large as “Big Bang” has, it may take time to find its right companion. But, you know, we’re dedicated to doing it, and we’ll get there eventually.”

On the future of “Person of Interest”: “We have reached no decisions about next fall. The show is performing very well for us. It’s one of the top two dramas of the fall. I would say that’s a great achievement. We are extremely pleased with the show.”

Attention book lovers: Big book sale benefits public libraries

booksale.jpgCBS47 is hosting a gigantic book sale at Sierra Vista Mall this weekend to benefit our public libraries and literacy programs. My buddy Zara Arboleda from Channel 47 showed off the selection this morning on her Twitter account. Most books are under $5. Looks like I need to head to the mall to shop.

The sales is today through Sunday. Here are the hours:

  • 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. today and Friday
  • 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday
  • 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday
  • Photo: @ZaraTV

    CBS says no ‘$#*!’ in the fall

    emerson_ful.jpg CBS will add five new programs to its lineup for the 2011-2012 season. They include the dramas “Person of Interest,” “Unforgettable” and “A Gifted Man.” The network’s new comedies are “2 Broke Girls” and “How to Be A Gentleman.”

    Although there had been speculation that one of the “CSI” shows would go, all three will return. But, “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” moves from its long-time Thursday night time slot to make room for “Person of Interest” starring “Lost” cast member Michael Emerson.

    Canceled CBS programs include “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior,” “$#*! My Dad Says,” “The Defenders,” “Mad Love” and “Chaos.”

    Returning shows include “How I Met Your Mother,” “Two and a Half Men,” “Mike & Molly,” “Hawaii Five-0,” “NCIS,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “The Good Wife,” “Criminal Minds,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “CSI,” “The Amazing Race,” “Survivor,” “Blue Bloods,” “48 Hour Mystery,” “Rules of Engagement,” “The Mentalist,” “CSI: NY,” “60 Minutes” and “CSI: Miami.” “Undercover Boss” will be a midseason replacement.

    Here’s the CBS 2011-2012 lineup.

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    On TV tonight: ‘Rules of Engagement’

    RULES OF ENGAGEMENT.JPG “Rules of Engagement” 8:30 p.m. KGPE (Channel 47.1): This show’s one of the big mysteries of TV. Despite having one of the better comedy casts, the series has been on and off the schedule since it launched in 2007.

    CBS has finally showed the program some respect and moved it into the time slot behind “The Big Bang Theory.” The combination of the two solid comedies with “CSI” and “The Mentalists” gives CBS a strong Thursday night.

    If you haven’t been watching “Rules of Engagement,” don’t worry. The concept isn’t complicated. It’s about two couples and their often obnoxious friend (David Spade). From Patrick Warburton’s dry sense of humor to the surprising comedy skills of Oliver Hudson, the show is funny.

    Maybe CBS will leave it in the time slot so it can grow the audience it deserves.

    Let’s keep fighting hunger, with or without Walmart

    Community Food Bank.jpg

    It’s lunch time and you’re probably thinking about quenching your own hunger. But how about helping the hungry in our community? Today, there’s a food drive for Community Food Bank happening until 7 p.m. at the CBS 47 studios, on First just south of Shaw.

    It’s inspired by the clicking frenzy that was the last week’s Fighting Hunger campaign. While we await word from Walmart on which city gets the $1 million — the announcement is supposed to come Wednesday — Fresno hunger fighters have taken matters into their own hands.

    Today’s food drive was organized by volunteers, chiefly Debbie Zamora of Sanger. She told The Bee: “I didn’t want that positive energy to turn negative. I realized we can help ourselves.”

    If online donating is more your speed, the Fresno Regional Foundation has set up its own online campaign at fightinghungerfresno.org. Its goal is to get 100,000 people to donate $10. You can read more about both efforts in this story from today’s Bee.

    Take these as tangible signs that the Walmart contest — no matter your opinion on it — gave us the positive upshot of uniting the community and invigorating them to care more about fighting hunger in our community. Well done, Fresno!

    Once again, Rumble in the Park is taking hits like a punching bag

    rumbleintheparkposter.jpg

    Did anybody go to Rumble in the Park 3 this weekend? Was it as bad as all the TV news reports led me to believe?

    CBS 47′s and ABC 30′s stories made the event sound like a major disappointment. The story by 47′s even called it a “downtown disaster,” while saying people felt “disgusted” and “ripped off.” Ouch.

    But it wouldn’t be Rumble in the Park without a little bit of controversy, right?

    As you might remember, the first two Rumble in the Parks were in Woodward Park. Having MMA in Fresno’s serene park caused a big fuss and ultimately turned into a campaign issue for Mayor Ashley Swearegin, who vowed to stop it.

    This time around, the controversy is a little bit different — apparently the event just didn’t live up to the hype. The two-day event, organized by your favorite polarizing promoter Rick Mirigian, promised 60 MMA, boxing and wrestling matches, but fell way short of that. It was fight promoter Jason Wiener, however, who booked the MMA matches that never materialized.

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