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Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Chris Colfer tweet a hack job

Chris ColferChris Colfer’s Twitter acount was hacked today and the tweet reporting he would no longer be on “Glee” is a total lie, according to his publicist.

Colfer — who earned Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations for his portrayal of Kurt Hummel on the FOX series “Glee” — will be back on the show when the new season opens in 2015.

The Teet said “Due to personal issues, I have been let go from the cast of GLEE. Explanations will come shortly.”

 

FOX fall season will include six new shows

24 tv series (1)The 2013-2014 TV schedule for FOX won’t look that different as the only programs that have been canceled include “The Cleveland Show” and “Touch.” They join the previously axed “The Mob Doctor” and “Ben and Kate.” This was also the final season for “Fringe.”

After airing “Cops”  for 25 years, the reality show moves to Spike TV.

Once again, FOX will have a fall season lineup and then shuffle programming at mid-season.

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‘Arrested Development’ saga continues

EMMYSThe odd TV saga of “Arrested Development” continues later this month when on May 26, Netflix will post 15 new episodes of the long canceled series. It’s the fourth season that FOX opted not to make when it issued a death warrant in 2006 to the much heralded comedy.

If you don’t have “ADD” (Arrested Development Delirium), the comedy follows the messed up adventures of the Bluth family. It stars Jason Bateman, Portia de Rossi, Michael Cera, Alia Shawkat, Jason Bateman, Jessica Walter, Will Arnett and Jeffrey Tambor. Think “Modern Family” meets “Married With Children.”

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Observations from a grumpy old man

Lindsay LohanSaturday is “Free Comic Book Day.” Considering how bad some of the recent DC Comics have been, they should have a “Here’s a Dollar to Take Our Free Comic Books Day.”

It’s also the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. The race is called the most exciting two minutes in sports. The same could be said of all the good playing time by the Los Angeles Lakers in the recent playoffs.

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Networks announce finale dates

101362_D0030bIn case you want to make your TV viewing plans for the next two months, the networks have announced the season — and in some cases series — finale dates for their programs.

ABC
“The Neighbors,” 8:30 p.m. March 27
“Suburgatory,” 8 p.m. April 17
“Wife Swap,” 8 p.m. May 2
“Red Widow,” 10:01 p.m. May 5
“Splash,” 8 p.m. May 7
“Once Upon a Time,” 8 p.m. May 12
“Revenge,” 9 p.m. May 12
“Castle,”10:01 p.m. May 13
“Grey’s Anatomy,” 9 p.m. May 16
“Scandal,” 10:02 p.m. May 16
“Shark Tank,” 9 p.m. May 17
“America’s Funniest Home Videos,” 7 p.m. May 19
“Dancing with the Stars” (performance show), 8 p.m. May 20
“Dancing with the Stars the Results Show,” 8 p.m. May 21
“The Middle,” 8 p.m. May 22
“Modern Family,” 9 p.m. May 22
“Nashville,” 10 p.m. May 22
“Body of Proof,” 10:01 p.m. May 28

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Shawn Ashmore likes being in the dark

shawnShawn Ashmore’s as much in the dark about who’s good and who’s bad in his new creepy FOX series “The Following” as the fans of the show.

Each week, someone you would least expect turns out to be on the side of the serial killer who is giving the FBI — including his old nemesis Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) — major headaches through his loyal followers.

The question of whether his character is good or bad comes up while I’m talking to Ashmore — a lot about his days playing Iceman in three “X-Men” movies. Even if he knew whether his character is good or bad, he would never tell. The weekly surprises are a big part of what makes the show so fun to watch.

Each surprise also makes it fun for the actors.

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‘The Following’ killer new FOX series

It was beginning to look like cable was the only place to find great drama with programming such as “Breaking Bad,” “The Walking Dead,” “Dexter” and “American Horror Story.”

FOX shows with “The Following,” scheduled to launch at 9 p.m. Jan. 21 on KMPH (Channel 26.1), that’s there’s still some creative life in the networks. The new thriller is the most addictive network show to come along since “Lost” but while the mystery is as thick as a unkindness of ravens, it certainly isn’t as confusing. This is just a smart story about the battle between good and evil that will be your next TV addiction.

Kevin Bacon stars in his first TV series playing burned out FBI agent Ryan Hardy. He’s a broken man who gets called back to duty when charismatic teacher turned serial killer Joe Carroll (James Purefoy) escapes from prison. What makes this production from Kevin Williamson (“The Vampire Diaries”) so intriguing is that unlike a typical escapee story, Hardy captures Carroll in the first episode. This allows for the pair to square off in psychological battles as Carroll’s followers continue his dirty deeds.

The series gets an even darker tone by the use of Edgar Allan Poe’s work as a backdrop to all of the death and destruction. Poe’s twisted and macabre writings send a charge through each step of the mystery that is chilling.

But, it’s Bacon and Purefoy who make this work so compelling,. Bacon, who thought he was reading a script for a feature film when he first read “The Following,” has the gaunt features and tired eyes that make him look like a man who has faced the devil and paid the price for a victory. He knows no happiness, just a determination driven by duty to stop this man and his psychotic minions.

Purefoy’s the perfect foil. He plays the role as a man whose heart is evil, but there’s a charm about him that makes it easy to believe he could get a large group of people to do his bidding. He gets as much joy from watching Hardy struggle with the mystery as he does causing pain.

“The Following” will immediately have you doubting everyone. By the end of watching the third episode, there were moments where it seemed possible I could be the serial killer. There’s no way to be a passive observer as each tiny move by the characters could be a clue to their involvement.

This show pushes past what has been acceptable on network TV in terms of subject matter. It’s not as strong as a cable show, but this is not a series for the young or faint of heart. As to watching the new FOX series, those people should say nevermore.

Those who dare enter the dark world of “The Following” will find it a mesmerizing journey that will leave you craving the next episode.

Life’s a diamond jubilee for Mariah Carey

One of the most interesting moments in the TV Critics winter press tour was getting the chance to see the world that is Mariah Carey. She showed up with the other judges for the next edition of “American Idol.”

Considering the number of diamonds the singer was wearing, it was probably easy to pick her up on satellite images. Not only was she wearing earrings, a HUGE necklace and bracelets covered in more diamonds the number of sequins on a country singer’s jacket, she was wearing a ring so big it had to have had its own gravitational field.

No one was going to get near the walking jewelry store as Carey was surrounded by guards so big they blocked the sun. It would have taken a bulldozer to move these guys.

And then, while Carey was taking to critics, there was someone standing to the side who would reach over and brush Carey’s hair out of her eyes. You know you’ve made it when you have a Hair Mover.

She might have looked like a diva, but Carey was very honest with her comments. She got a little emotional when talking about her childhood and the musical acts that influenced her.

“I grew up in a household where everything was I heard everything. My mom’s an opera singer, and she made her debut at Lincoln Center. She was always singing. And that’s how she first knew that I had an ear for music, but my brother and sister, who are older than me, were always listening to R&B constantly. Stevie Wonder. We heard Al Green in my house night and day. Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin,” Carey says. “There’s a lot of favorites. I love a lot of gospel singers, the Clark Sisters. Our favorite was Kim Burrell.

“There are so many singers who I admire. I also love a lot of rock music that my brother played when I was a little kid. So it’s fun sometimes when we’re sitting here and we’re, like, oh, yeah, I remember that song.”

The song’s she probably remembered during the interview was “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.”

People’s Choice winners Colfer, Michele decorate set

The next time you watch an episode of “Glee,” play close attention to the apartment Kurt (Chris Colfer) and Rachel (Lea Michele) — winners last night at the “People’s Choice Awards” — share in New York. The actors had a lot of input into how the living space was decorated.

“We talk to the art director and said we would like to put up a ‘Funny Girl’ poster and a ‘Wicked’ poster. So there are some little things around the apartment that we wanted. I also wanted them to use some of the items that were in Rachel’s apartment,” Michele says.

The actors had to create the new space for this season because Kurt and Rachel are part of the story line on “Glee” that takes place in the Big Apple – post graduation. The stories may be different but the actors have never gotten that far away from the McKinley High School gang as the two different parts of this year’s series are filmed on sets that are side-by-side on the studio lot. Michelle says that when she’s not shooting scenes on her set, she will go over the the other set to hang out with other members of the FOX series cast.

The upside of having parallel stories going on is that the “Glee” cast isn’t being worked as hard as in the earlier seasons. There days are no longer filled with recording sessions, learning choreography and filming scenes. There are actually days off.

Rumors continue the Colfer/Michele story could become a completely different series. As far as Michele is concerned, as long as she’s working on “Glee,” she’ll be happy.

“I’m working with Chris Colfer and that makes me very happy,” Michelle says. “I really think this set-up is working. I can work on my own set or I can go back to McKinley.

The only downside of this year’s New York story line for Michele is that Rachel has been put in a very demanding dance class. She laughs and says, “I was like, why did they have to put her in dance class? Couldn’t they have put her in a singing class? A pottery class? But, I really think it’s been great for me because dancing’s not my strong point so it’s been a real challenge to me to do something that makes me feel uncomfortable. It’s good. You should go to work and do something that challenges you.”

FOX boss expects 2013 to be better

One of my favorite network executives is FOX’s Chairman of Entertainment, Kevin Reilly. He’s one of the few TV bosses who doesn’t treat what he’s doing like it’s curing cancer. He so fully understands that it’s all about entertainment that he’s even willing to poke fun at himself. After he tells TV Critics that everyone makes mistakes he adds “Just look at my fall schedule.”

He’s right. The FOX fall schedule was pretty lame. But, things are looking up for 2013 with the next edition of “American Idol” and the launch of one of the best new network TV shows to come along since “24” in “The Following.”

Here are a few of Reilly’s updates from the FOX session at the TV Critics Association winter tour.

A skeleton crew: The network has ordered a ninth season of the procedural drama “Bones.”

On the quality of network TV: Reilly says there’s a reason a film actor like Kevin Bacon comes to television to star in a show like “The Following” and its the “great work being done pound-for-pound on television.” Reilly adds, “The challenge in this day and age is, we are competing with television. And what I mean by that is we’ve always competed against the other broadcast networks. Every day we measure it. I like being first. But in the grand scheme of things, with TV right now, there are so many access points, so many different availabilities — the over the top services and the watching of our own product outside of the measurable window and the DVR stack and the binge viewing.”

Future fodder: Efforts to make a new version of “In Living Color” has been shelved. Reilly says the pilot episode that was shot just didn’t measure up to the standards of the original comedy series. The launch of another comedy series, “The Goodwin Games,” has been delayed. Reilly says that the comedy block the network has with “Ben and Kate,” “Raising Hope,” “The Mindy Project” and “The New Girl” has not been a resounding hit and a change right now would make matters worse.

A flying leap: Asked about whether the scheduling of a FOX special about celebrity diving was a way to kill interest in an upcoming reality series ABC will launch. Reilly would only say “It’s all fair.”

On the “Fringes”: The end of “Fringe” doesn’t mean an end to FOX looking at genre type programs for the network. He explains that “We’ve had some bad fall starts and broken some hearts. It was great to finally see one through and finish it in a great way for the fans and to not leave them hanging. But we’ve never left that business, and we always look for it. And, we set the standard many years ago with ‘The X Files.’”

Gridder Terrell Owens takes a dive

Terrell Owens has had no problem during his days playing for the San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals dealing with the frustration he would feel after a bad play. He took it out the aggression he felt on the opposing team with the very next play. He had a little trouble figuring out how to deal with what happened when things went bad with his latest sports endeavor.

Owens is one of the celebrities who slipped into a Speedo (or one-piece swimsuit) to compete in the FOX reality competition special “Stars in Danger: The High Dive” airing at 8 p.m tonight. The six-time Pro Bowl selection goes against Stephen “Twitch” Boss, David Chokachi, Jenni Farley (JWoww), Bethany Hamilton, Alexandra Paul, Kim Richards, Kyle Richards and Antonio Sabato Jr. in a competition that has the celebs trying to do the best dives. Think of it as a much wetter version of “Dancing With the Stars.”

“When I would have a bad dive it did no good to try to take it out by aggressions on the water because the water always when,” Owens tells me during a FOX party.

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Even stars like Chris Colfer get silly around some celebs

One of the perks of starring on a show as popular as “Glee’ is the number of big name guest stars the show attracts. Clovis East grad Chris Colfer generally tries to play it pretty cool when he meets the celebrities but there have been two cases where he let his fan boy out.

The first was Whoopi Goldberg.

“When I was young boy, she was my hero because of movies like ‘Sister Act.’ Getting to work with her was a dream come true,” Colfer tells me during a recent interview to talk about his new movie “Struck By Lightning.” “As soon as she got on set, I pulled up a chair and just started talking to her.”

Colfer was so excited about Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth being on the show that he often had to leave the room before he embarrassed himself. You have to remember that “Wicked” is one of Colfer’s all-time favorites. So getting to work with her would be like a football fans getting to toss a ball around with Peyton Manning.

His excitement was so pronounced, the “Glee” cast had to come to his rescue.

“The first day Kristin was on the set, the other cast members had a code word for me which was ‘cupcake’ so I would know she was on the way and I wouldn’t pee my pants,” Colfer says.

He learned to deal with his excitement and proudly says that now he can text the singer whenever he wants.

FOX puts out hit on ‘The Mob Doctor’

FOX’s drama “The Mob Doctor” will be swimming with the fishes come January.

The series, that has struggled in the ratings since it debuted in September, will end with the last four episodes being burned off by Jan. 7. This opens the time slot for the new Kevin Back thriller “Touch.”

The end of “Mob Doctor” isn’t technically a cancellation. FOX entered 13 episodes of the medical.crime drama and will broadcast all of them. But, no new episodes are being ordered. That’s a bit like saying someone isn’t dead but they have stopped breathing and no more days of life have been ordered.

Although the series wasn’t the right fit for star Jordana Spiro, the actress should get another series soon. She’s very talented especially when it comes to comedy. Check out episodes of her former series “My Boys” for proof.

The end of “The Mob Doctor” is the sixth new show to get the ax following ABC’s cancelation of “Last Resort” and “666 Park Avenue,” NBC’s booting of “Animal Practice” and the CBS ousting of “Partners” and “Made in Jersey.” A total of 21 new shows launched on the 2012-2013 schedules for the four networks.

The next to go should be ABC’s “The Neighbors.”

Kopi Sotiropulos returns to work after surgery

KMPH (Channel 26.1) morning anchor Kopi Sotiropulos returned to work this morning on a limited basis. He’s been away from the local Fox affiliate since mid-September after doctors found nodules on one of his vocal cords. The local newsman went through a four-hour procedure at the UCLA Medical School on. Sept. 21 done by the team was the same that helped Celine Dion when she had a similar problem.

“I didn’t talk for three weeks. That was hard,” a still raspy sounding Kopi Sotiropulos says. “They told me that people who use their voices a lot — like singers — can get these nodules.”

He first noticed the voice problem when it became hard to finish the station’s five-hour morning program without having throat problems.

Because the nodules weren’t cancerous, Sotiropulos has been recovering through a limited use of his voice and some changes in his diet. The one thing he stresses is that while the vocal problem had to be addresses and he appreciates all of the kindness that’s been shown to him since the procedure, he doesn’t want anyone to think that he’s looking at what he went through as a “woe-is-me” situation. Sotiropulos says that there are a lot of people dealing with far more serious problems that what he faced.

Station management is allowing Sotiropulos to set his own work schedule. He hopes to be fully recovered by early next year. Since it was the same doctors who help Dion, that means the career of the personable local newscaster will be able to go on and on.

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: ‘Revolution’

NUP_149335_7320.JPG “Revolution,” 10 p.m. KSEE (Channel 24.1): You’ll have to forgive me if I’m a little gun-shy about watching “Revolution.” Don’t get me wrong, I like the concept: a world without electricity. That makes it a modern-day western.

What worries me is getting involved with another series with a secret. There have been too many network shows in recent years based on some big secret that never got revealed because the program was canceled. That’s VERY frustrating.

If you decide to take the gamble and watch tonight, you won’t be disappointed. Giancarlo Esposito makes a great villain and Billy Burke an equally interesting hero. The key will be how Tracy Spiridakos, who plays the spunky teen hero at the middle of the story, grows into her role. That’s assuming it stays on the air long enough to find out.

Also starting tonight is “Mob Doctor,” the worst named show of the new season. All I can think about when I hear the title of the show that launches at 9 p.m. on KMPH (Channel 26.1) are the inane movies Susan Lucci use to make. That’s not fair because this is actually a decent show because of series star Jordana Spiro. If you can get past the goofy name, the show is worth a look.

Also, the new season of “Bones” begins at 8 p.m. tonight on KMPH.

William Forsythe’s acting is criminal

Thumbnail image for md_06-william-drama-singles_0638_LY.jpg Some of my favorite actors are those who can play a variety of roles. They’re the kind of actors you know as soon as you see them but may not know their name. One of the best examples was Charles Napier. I got to know while working in Bakersfield because Napier lived just outside the city. His career included such diverse parts as Adam in the original “Star Trek” series to the judges in “Philadelphia.”

William Forsythe is one of those actors. He’s played a huge mix of roles and gets to put on his bad guy look for the new FOX drama “The Mob Doctor.” His character has nothing to do with the medical profession so you can guess the kind of guy he plays. Portraying a guy who is running the illegal side of Chicago is nothing new for Forsythe as he played Al Capone in the syndicated series “The Untouchables” from 1993-1994.

“I’m the king of Chicago again. So it’s great,” Forsythe says of the latest credential on a résumé that goes back to the ’70s.

Not only is he playing another Chicago mob boss but his new role is loosely linked to his old “Untouchables” days.

“In the very last episode, they put me in prison. And the very first episode of this, I’m getting out of prison. And it’s exactly 18 years later, which is the story line. So I feel like I’m continuing the story,” Forsythe says.

On TV tonight: ‘Glee’

glee_43-kate-hudson-01_5535_jw1.jpg “Glee,” 9 p.m. KMPH (Channel 26.1): The new season of the FOX musical series opens with major changes. The focus will be split between the high school glee club as it tries to regroup after the graduation of most of its biggest stars and the efforts by Rachel (Lea Michele) to survive her first weeks in New York.

The members of New Directions compete amongst themselves to determine who will be the next star but it looks like that role is going to go to the latest additions to the group. Melissa Benoist, who plays the lunch lady’s daughter, and Jacob Artist, who plays Puck’s half-brother, both have big voices and could quickly make fans forget the graduates.

The weirdest moment in tonight’s season opener of “Glee” is a confrontation between Rachel and her demanding dance teacher played by Kate Hudson. As typical of this show, there’s a moment where the dance teacher breaks into song and dance. The performance by Hudson is weirdly similar to her “Cinema Italiano” number from the feature film “Nine.”

It will be interesting to see if fans of “Glee” stick with the show considering all the changes that were made or move on like so much of the cast.

On TV tonight: ‘The X Factor’

TV-X Factor-Voice Showdown.JPG “The X Factor,” 8 p.m. KMPH (Channel 26.1): The new season of the music competition series begins with two new judges — Britney Spears and Demi Lovato — joining Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid. The show has already been making headlines because former judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger were sent packing. Look for Spears and Lovato to jump into their judging duties with great enthusiasm.

Now that the judges have been set, the attention can be turned to the musical hopefuls — both solo artists and groups — as they build toward the grand prize of a $5 million recording contract with Syco/Sony Music.

If “X Factor” isn’t enough musical competition for you, NBC has schedule another night of blind auditions on “The Voice.” That musical judging begins at 8 p.m. tonight on KSEE (Channel 24.1).

Chris Colfer busier than ever

63rd Primetime Emmy Awards - Arrivals.JPGChris Colfer’s life is busier that ever. He’s headed back to work on “Glee” and will see his film “Struck By Lightning” go into broad theatrical release sometime near the end of the year. He’s also doing a quick book signing tour for his children’s book, “The Land of Stories.” The tour will hit San Francisco and Los Angeles but not Fresno.

Colfer had nothing to do with putting the tour schedule together but if it had included a Fresno stop, it would have been an awkward moment for him.

“It would really just seem weird seeing people I’ve known all my life in line to get me to sign their book,” Colfer says.

If a Fresno stop had gone the way of his other signings, Colfer might not have had time to see any of his friends. Thousands are showing up to buy the book. The one thing that’s surprised him the most is that most people don’t want to talk about ‘Glee” but have questions about the book.

His first children’s book took six months to write but Colfer had been formulating the book for 10 years in his head. He’s started work on the second book but only has a few chapters written. His process is to write between shooting scenes on the TV series. Even that time is getting shorter as Colfer’s career continues to explode.

Don’t look for Colfer to slow down. He said he knows that while things are going well now, things can change in show business in a blink.

FOX president talks Mariah Carey, ‘Fringe’

anna torv.JPG FOX’s President of Entertainment, Kevin Reilly, got the network portion of the Television Critics Association summer tour to a positive start. The TV executive has every right to be positive as FOX has had ratings hits with shows like “American Idol” and “The X-Factor.” The network failed to make any waves in the drama category of the recent Emmy nominations. He wouldn’t say which new shows had the potential to change that next year but expects FOX to see more success with its dramas.

During his announcement that Mariah Carey would become a judge on “American Idol,” Reilly called the singer and put her on speaker. Carey said, “I am so excited to be doing ‘Idol.’ First of all, I wanted to be there today, and I wish I could have been there myself to tell you, but I think you know the show just sort of just happened quickly. So I can’t wait to get started in a couple months, and everybody have a great TCA, and I will see you in January.”

Here are a few other highlights from Reilly’s meeting with the TV critics:

On the upcoming season of “Glee”: “Now that I’ve read the first three scripts, I am very happy with how seamless it is. There’s going to be thematic links between the two. Although we have not severed relationships with anyone, obviously we’re not going to be servicing that large a tapestry of characters. We are adding some characters in New York. We’ve cast two guys already, one in New York, one in Ohio. We have fresh faces joining Ohio, so this is sort of the natural, almost a mirror of real life that people graduate and new faces come in. But I think also like real life, this is set in a small town in Ohio with very important and close relationships. Just as in real life, people tend to not stray too far away from that. Some people settle down in their hometowns. Some people go away, but they come back for holidays. They come back for reunions. And because we have a very good relationship with all the actors, some of whom have very vibrant careers now on the outside, the idea is to kind of keep that relationship where it can be fluid and for the audience in terms of who is going to show up when.”

On giving “Fringe” one final season: “I don’t like to just pull the plug on any show, because many of our failed shows, most of them have many, many millions of fans. But ‘Fringe’ has a particular fan base. We have a checkered history with genre at best because we’re one of the only networks that has consistently tried genre. Genre is hard. It’s been a really contemporary show for which most of the fans are there, but they’re there on their DVRs. I’m hoping this puts to bed the ‘ghost of Comic Con’ sentiment, if you will, which is, ‘Damn you, FOX. You put these shows on and then break our hearts.’ I think, at least hopefully, we’ve got a little bit of cred for seeing one through that really deserved it.”

On the affect of DVRs on ratings: “All of the top shows tend to shift in proportion. So what you’re seeing right now is the penetration of DVRs particularly, and the demo has now gotten around 50% and you’re watching people learn how to use them, and that’s the way they like to watch television. So we’re not fighting that.”

On Britney Spears joining “The X Factor”: “I think they’re going to be surprised at just how feisty she is. She is not afraid to lay it on the line. She’s tough. She knows what she’s doing. She’s been around, she’s seen it all, and she definitely lays it on the line.”

Fresno not a stop on Chris Colfer’s book tour

colferbook_SS500_.jpg Clovis East graduate Chris Colfer will go on a 12-city tour to promote “The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell,” a book aimed at 8-12 year old readers. It is the first of of two books the “Glee” star will write for publisher Little Brown Books for Young Readers. “The Land of Stories” will be released simultaneously in hardcover and e-book.

“The Land of Stories” combines modern day world with classic fairy tales to tell the story of twins Alex and Conner Bailey. Through the strange powers of a beloved book, the twins find themselves in a magical foreign land.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for ENTER SAG-AWARDS 7 LA.JPGIn a press release to announce the book, Colfer says, “When I was ten years old, I promised myself that if I ever had the opportunity to write this book, I would jump at the chance. This book has been at the core of my imagination for a long time and I’m excited and nervous to share it.”

The tour starts July 17, the day the book is scheduled to be released, in New Jersey and wraps July 29 in Cincinnati. He will make four stops in California – Los Angeles, San Francisco, Petaluma and LaVerne. There will be no stop in Fresno.

It is a shame the people putting together the tour didn’t consider putting Fresno on the itinerary. It’s hard to believe there will be more fans turn out in Skokie, Ill. than would have shown up here. Maybe such a visit was not meant to be. Colfer has talked about how he has bad memories of high school bullies here. I hope the stupidity of a few won’t get in the way of such a public event in the future.

Here’s the full schedule:

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On TV tonight: ‘American Idol’

Judgesseason11a.JPG “American Idol,” 8 p.m. KMPH (Channel 26.1): After weeks of singing and voting, Phillip Phillips and Jessica Sanchez are “American Idol’s” two finalists.

“I’m just a normal guy who loves to play music,” says Phillips. “I just happened to get lucky and I’m so blessed by it. I’m so excited.”

“Being in the position I’m in now is more than I could have ever asked for,” says Sanchez. “I’ve been looking forward to auditioning for ‘American Idol’ ever since the first season. And now, the first season that I’m eligible, I’ve made it to the top two. It’s crazy what you can do when you put your mind and heart to it. I don’t know what could be better than this.”

Last night Phillips and Sanchez battled it out. Now all they can do is wait for the final vote.

To fill the rest of the more than two hour telecast, Rihanna, Season 10 winner Scotty McCreery and others will perform. There will also be a Top 12 reunion.

On TV tonight: ‘Glee’

glee.JPG “Glee,” 9 p.m. KMPH (Channel 26.1): It seems like just yesterday a group of baby-faced teens – or at least some twentysomethings trying to look like teens – appeared on our TV screens to sing and dance their way to stardom. Tonight, a few face their final act.

It’s graduation night at William McKinley High School and that means some of the high school singers — oops, make that seniors — will be out the door. Series creator Ryan Murphy has been mysterious about what graduation will mean for some of the actors but you can bet there are several “Glee” stars who either won’t be back or make limited appearances next year.

As with any graduation, look for a lot of emotional moments. Unlike most graduations, look for those emotional moments to trigger song-and-dance numbers.

Please note the 9 p.m. time start is different as the season finale will air after the first part of the two-night “American Idol” finals.

On TV tonight: ‘House’

house_f.JPG “House,” 9 p.m. KMPH (Channel 26.1): After eight seasons, the misadventures of Dr. Gregory House come to an end. The pill-popping doc will see his last patient with tonight’s series finale.

Although the FOX series fell into a pattern of 52 minutes of the team incorrectly guessing what was wrong with the patient of the week and then in the last minutes House hitting upon the solution, the show offered plenty of interesting medical mysteries. I have to admit there were lots of times when the diagnosis made no sense to me but teaching medicine was never the point of the show.

The series was a character study played out against a medical background. Each week’s medical malady was never as interesting as watching the way House manipulated people. He occasionally showed his softer side but rapidly hid it from view as if such emotions would be looked at as a sign of weakness.

Laurie’s performance has been the kind that should have been showered with Emmy wins. He’s been nominated five times but never won the award. Maybe the series finale will be enough to get him the honor he so richly deserves.

There will be a one-hour retrospective starting at 8 p.m.