The winner of this season’s “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice” will be announced May 19 and it all comes down to magician Penn Jillette and musician Trace Adkins.
Win or lose, Adkins is happy he’s been on the reality competition show twice. He’s convinced that its introduced him to people who weren’t fans of his music.
“They like the way I represented myself on the show and that made them start listening to my music,” Adkins tells me during an NBC party. It’s loud in the hotel lounge but Adkins has the kind of deep voice that can be easily heard. “I have people who come up to me in airports and the TV show is the only place they know me from.
It wasn’t a shock when NBC announced there would be no third act for “Smash” canceling it after only two seasons. Once original episodes of a show get moved to Saturday, the end is near. If you want to see what will now be the series finale, it will air at 9 p.m. May 26 on KSEE (Channel 24.1).
The series became a little confusing in the second season, especially for those of us who aren’t followers of the theater. Often, it felt like there comments made that only those who have love the theater would understand.
The biggest thing I got out of the two seasons was getting to see and hear Megan Hilty as Ivy Lynn. I never got to see her stage work in “Wicked” or “9 to 5: The Musical” but was lucky enough to get to be introduced to her through the TV series. When I ran into Hilty at an NBC party, I told her that there are three female artists who give me goosebumps when I hear them sing — Audra McDonald, Kristin Chenowith and her.
After thanking me for the compliment, we talked about TV, how tough it is to work on Broadway and her new album.
The networks will announce all of their new lineups for the 2013-2014 season starting Sunday with NBC. But, the Associated Press already is reporting a few of the changes for the Peacock Network.
It looks like Matthew Perry just can’t find the long-running success he had on “Friends” as his “Go On” has been canceled after one year. The cancelation follows one-year runs for Perry’s “Mr. Sunshine” and “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.”
During my interview with John Cho on Wednesday for the upcoming “Star Trek Into Darkness,” the actor who plays Sulu said he had not heard about the fate of “Go On,” where he was a series regular.
It looks like Randy Jackson will be leaving “American Idol.” Why shouldn’t he join the millions of viewers who have already left the show?
“The Great Gatsby” is getting such bad reviews, it will be release on DVD under the title, “The Not So Great Gatsby.”
Amanda Bynes wants to create a clothing line. I’ve seen the photos the former child actor has been releasing of herself. My question is — what clothing?
The networks will announce their 2013-2014 lineups next week. You only have a few days to begin really liking a TV show before it gets canceled.
Speaking of cancellations, a new photo of “The Walking Dead” was just released. It’s not a pic of the cast of “Community.”
Saturday 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.
Before this season’s “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice” started on NBC, several of the contestants met with TV critics to talk — in vague terms — about the show. The one thing that was clear was the dislike of many of the celebrity players for pseudo star Omarosa Manigault.
Correct that. Like Cher, Bono and Adele, Omarosa believes her star power is so bright she only needs to use one name. Oddly enough, some of her fellow players had other names for her.
It looked like the other players were ready to run her out of town when Omarosa said, “We have a rule called ‘Leave it in the boardroom,’ which means you go in the boardroom, you fight for your life, you fight for your charity, and you’re supposed to leave it in the boardroom.”
NBC has launched the new series “Hannibal.” Great. All we needed was another cooking show.
It’s official. Jimmy Fallon will replace Jay Leno next year. Conan O’Brien won’t believe it until he sees it. And even then, he’ll take a wait and see attitude.
It sounded like the Hallmark Channel was taking a weird direction in programming when it announced a new show that would include three hours of catfights. Come to find out, it’s the “Kitten Bowl,” a special where real small cats will frolic for three hours.
One of the worst things about television is how a series will end without revealing the truth behind some big mystery. I’m still trying to find out the secrets of the 1967 series “Coronet Blue.” Frank Converse played a man who was shot and his body dumped in the river. He doesn’t die, but loses his memory. The only thing he can remember is the phrase “Coronet Blue.”
There have been other shows that have caused such anguish. What was really going on in “Tru Calling?” Where was “FlashForward” headed? Did Alf escape?
Jay Leno’s leaving his late-night NBC talk show job again — and this time it looks like he’s done for good. NBC announced Leno, longtime host of NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” will be leaving in spring 2014 after 22 years.
Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC’s “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” will take over “The Tonight Show” duties. Fallon’s replacement on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” at 12:35 a.m. has not been announced.
In an NBC press release regarding the change, Leno says, “Congratulations Jimmy. I hope you’re as lucky as me and hold on to the job until you’re the old guy. If you need me, I’ll be at the garage.”
As part of the change, after decades originating from the West Coast, “The Tonight Show” will return to New York where it will be executive produced by Lorne Michaels, the man behind “Saturday Night Live.”
In 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.
“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
One of my favorite network shows returns at 9 p.m. tonight when new episodes of “Grimm” begin airing on KSEE (Channel 24.1). If you haven’t been watching, the series takes a modern look at classic Grimm Brothers’ Fairy Tales as told through the “Grimm,” Portland Homicide Detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli), whose job it is to keep all the weird creatures in line.
The Grimm has been dealing with his own problems at home as his fiancée, Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch), has become bewitched by Burkhardt’s boss. That’s where tonight’s story line begins.
Tulloch has had to deal with extremes during the first two seasons of ‘Grimm.” In the first year, she was Burkhardt’s loving support. This year, she’s been a woman obsessed — not of her own free will — with another man. The actress liked the first season because she was then only person on the show who wasn’t in law enforcement or had a weird power.
NBC kicked off the network portion of the TCAs and actually had a few things to brag about, something that’s not been the case in recent years. The success of new shows such as “Revolution” and “Go On” combined with winning ratings performances by “The Voice” have the networks talking in positive terms.
Here are a few highlights of the NBC executive session.
Fountain of ratings youth: NBC is the only broadcast network that’s getting younger. The average age of NBC viewers is now at 48.4 years old, down from 49. CBS is at 56.4, which is up from 54.9. ABC is at 53.2, and Fox is at 45.7, which is up from 45.6. Even The CW is up to 41.2, which is almost four years higher than last season.
On Jimmy Kimmel’s move at 11:30 p.m. on ABC: The network execs wouldn’t predict how the ratings wars would go but admitted it will be a very competitive late night not just because of all the late-night network talkers but also because of the cable talk shows. As expected, the NBC brass expect Jay Leno to remain strong.
If you make it, they will come: No one at NBC is worried about the huge gap between the end of the first group of episodes for “Revolution” and the return in the spring. There should be some concern as there have been of shows that lost audiences – remember “Alcatraz”? – because of huge breaks.
Silence of the critics: The NBC executives went on the defensive about how the networks seem to be in love with stories about vicious killers. The topic came up because NBC will add “Hannibal,” this year, a TV telling of the Hannibal Lecter story. This goes along with FOX launching “The Following” and all the creepiness of “Criminal Minds” on CBS. Chairman of NBC Entertainment, Robert Greenblatt, said, “Look, I’m not a psychologist, so I’m not sure you can make the leap from a show about serial killers has caused the sort of problem with violence in our country and there’s many, many other factors, from mental illness to guns.”
On life support: NBC’s “Up All Night” has never garnered great ratings. But, instead of just killing the Will Arnett-Christina Applegate show, the series keeps getting tweaked. More changes are coming.
The new NBC mystery-drama “Deception” starts tonight and most of the attention will be on the murder and figuring out who is the killer. If you had to place a bet, put some money on Katherine LaNasa’s role as Sofia Bowers. Her hard-drinking, social-climbing character certainly comes across as someone who would consider murder if it proved beneficial to her. She describes the way she’s playing Sofia – the family matriarch – as “three degrees — low hell, half drunk, and having a hot flash. When I feel like I’m in that zone, then I’m Sophia, and it was about kind of finding that stormy sea that is this person.”
The character’s a contradiction the way LaNasa’s plays her: “I think she has a lot of integrity despite being an alcoholic.”
Those of you who have been putting off watching the new NBC drama “Revolution” because you were certain the network would pull the plug on the show — about a world where every plug’s been pulled — before the end of the season.
NBC has made a full-season commitment to “Revolution” and the comedies “Go On” and “The New Normal” to keep them on the air for the entire 2012-13 season.
“Revolution” has been drawing almost 10 million viewers if you add up those who watch the series live and those who watch at a later time. The Matthew Perry comedy “Go On” is averaging 8.6 million viewers, good news for the “Friends” star who’s struggled to find a new show. “The New Normal” is struggling with an average of 6 million viewers.
The launch of new network TV shows continues tonight with three series.
“Animal Practice,” 8 p.m. KSEE (Channel 24.1): Generally, any show where a monkey is the most interesting character would not be worth a look. But, this is a very funny monkey. And while the new comedy about a pet vet (Justin Kirk) has some problems, it is far better than many of the so-called comedies still on the air at NBC.
“Guys With Kids,” 8:30 p.m. KSEE: Keep the guys. Drop the kids. This new comedy starring Anthony Anderson, Jesse Bradford and Zach Cregger is at its best when the adults are the room. There are only so many diaper changing, weird food eating, trouble causing jokes about babies that can be made.
“The Neighbors” 9:30 p.m. KFSN (Channel 30.1): A family moves to a suburban community where all of the other residents are visitors from another planet. The biggest joke is that the aliens have taken the names of famous athletes. It’s like “ALF” but without all the sophistication.
You can see the season openers for three NBC comedies tonight on KSEE (Channel 24.1)
“Up All Night,” 8:30 p.m. p.m.: Reagan (Christina Applegate) and Chris (Will Arnett) have new reasons to lose sleep: a new houseguest and changes in their careers.
“The Office,” 9 p.m.: The final season of the office-based comedy opens with Andy Bernard (Ed Helms) taking charge. It wouldn’t be “The Office” if things went smoothly.
“Parks and Recreation,” 9:30 p.m.: Keep an eye out for Sen. Barbara Boxer in this episode called “Ms. Knope Goes to Washington.” Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) and Andy Dwyer (Chris Pratt) take a trip to Washington, D.C., to visit Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) and April Ludgate (Aubrey Plaza) at their new jobs. John McCain guest stars.
“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.
Hollywood’s dark side is filled with so many stories of young actors who ended up in such bad shape after their early acting days end, it’s always nice to see someone like Tempestt Bledsoe. She was only 11 when “The Cosby Show” became such a huge hit. When the highly touted series ended, the 39-year-old actress continued to work from TV to talk shows.
She’s got two projects going on right now with the new NBC comedy “Guys With Kids” and as the voice of Sheriff Hooper in the animated film “ParaNorman.”
Bledsoe says there something very familiar about “Guys With Kids.” It might be that it films in front of a studio audience like “Cosby,” that there are a bunch of little ones on the set, the show’s on NBC or that it’s a comedy. No matter the reason, Bledsoe feels like she’s come home to do this show.
Another thing that might become familiar is how the young stars — just like she did while on “Cosby” — will grow older with each passing year. Bledsoe jokes negotiations have started with the babies and their people to keep the toddlers from aging too fast.
The voice work she did on “ParaNorman” was something new for her but she enjoyed the process just as much as her TV days.
“They don’t care what you come to work in as long as you can speak,” Bledsoe says. “It’s very freeing. You do have to focus on using your voice for everything you are trying to convey. I love it.”
It’s just nice to see a former child actor who is on TV in programs other than “TMZ.”
The new NBC drama “Revolution” looks at a world where there’s no electricity. Insert gasp here. That means no computers, cell phones, cars or lawn mowers. Yes, there are push mowers but I refuse to accept their existence.
This raises the question of what would the cast members miss the most if they weren’t just playing in an electric bill free world.
Billy Burke, whose character comes across like the offspring of Lara Croft and Zorro, initially says he would spend his days aimlessly asking “can you hear me now?” because of the loss of his cell phone. Then he adds that it would be the razor that keeps his beard at the proper tough guy length.
Since many of you only know him as Bella’s dad, Charlie Swan, in the “Twilight” movies, Burke has played some tough guy roles over the year. He was a wickedly bad character on several episodes of “The Closer.” But, he didn’t get to wave a sword in either of those two projects. Getting to go all Conan the Barbarian is why Burke was so happy to be part of NBC’s “Revolution.”
“This is one of those roles, when I saw it on the page, I immediately went back to my childhood and said, as I was growing up watching movies and television, that’s what I wanted to do. I have never been given the opportunity to do things like that,” Burke says. “I’ve been hanging around a long time. Doing a lot of stuff. And, I’ve been very grateful for it.
“But presented with this, it was the biggest gift I’d been given in a very long time. So couldn’t be happier about it.”
You might not be familiar with Brett Gelman now, but that’s about to change. His character, Mr. K, in the new NBC comedy, “Go On,” is a the kind of strange role that stands out especially in an ensemble comedy.
Strange might not be the right word to describe Mr. K. He appears to be a total lunatic who will say and do the weirdest things as part of the show’s therapy group.
“He’s not a sociopath, but he’s not somebody who’s used to being around people very often. And so I think it’s really a big thing with him is that he wants friends, but he doesn’t really know the proper way to go about acquiring them. So it gets pretty awkward,” Gelman says.
It gets really awkward when the sports talk radio host, played by Matthew Perry, joins the group. His overt efforts to get the new guys attention are definitely strange, but harmless.
“Unless you consider it harmful seeing me in my underwear, which you might,” Gelman says. If you saw the first episode NBC has repeatedly shown, Mr. K was in his undies and carry a sword. He also was in a Lamaze class despite not having a pregnant partner.
“He loves people, but maybe too much at times,” says Gelman.
This certainly will go down as the year of the female archers. I’m not talking about those women who competed with bows and arrows at the Summer Olympics in London. It’s the entertainment world that has seen the influx of heroes with stringed weapons.
It started with Jennifer Lawrence’s portrayal of Katniss in “The Hunger Games.” If you missed her skills with the bow and arrow when the film was in the movie theaters, it’s now available on DVD. That was followed by the animated feature film “Brave” with Merida as the sharp-shooting hero.
Now, it’s Tracy Spiridakos who fights with arrows in the new NBC series “Revolution.” The series is about a world where there is no more electricity and everyone must go back to using the basics even with weapons. Spiridakos plays Charlie, a spunky, arrow-shooting young woman who ends up the central figure in the electricity mystery.
Spiridakos understands there will be those who think of “The Hunger Games” when they see her with the crossbow but stresses that there was never any intentions to draw comparisons between Charlie and Katniss.
“I think every character, in any type of show, you can always find a relation to everybody,” Spiridakos says. “The bow and arrow is what it is. But, at the same time, what would you use in a situation when you are down to the basics.”
Charlie is a fighting to save her brother while in “The Hunger games,” Katniss volunteers to be part of the blood sport to save her sister. Despite the similarities, Spiridakos stresses there are far more differences between the two projects.
“Overall, ‘Revolution’ is unique in its own way. It’s about hope.”
“Grimm,” 10 p.m. KSEE (Channel 24.1): NBC is trying to lure viewers to the sophomore series by starting it more than a month before the new fall TV season launches. The push is needed as “Grimm” had respectable ratings in the first season but those numbers could use some improvement.
If you haven’t been watching, it’s easy to catch up. It seems all of those Grimm Brothers’ Fairy Tales were based on real creatures. Portland Homicide Detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) is a descended from a long line of Grimms who track and deal with the creatures.
His life’s gotten complicated because his fiancÃ©e (Bitsie Tulloch) has become a sleeping beauty and is a coma at the same time a family member shows up for a visit.
Burkhardt gets help from the best sidekick since Robin first donned a mask in Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) who is on of the creatures usually hunted by the Grimms. Monroe offers an insight into a world with which Burkhardt is still unfamiliar.
The series works both as a crime drama and a fantasy tale. Take this early opportunity to watch this show where living happily ever after is a real quest.
It was almost 20 years ago that I first got to interview Giancarlo Esposito. He was playing Detective Paul Gigante on the short-lived FOX series “Bakersfield P.D.” It was a show that didn’t really get a fair opportunity but was on the air long enough to show how strong Esposito is as an actor. Since then he’s gone on to make a variety of TV shows and movies and has always turned in amazing work.
His next TV role will be on the NBC series “Revolution.” The show deals with what happens when there’s no more electricity. Esposito plays a former office drone who relishes the new power he’s acquired as the top lieutenant for a war lord. No matter how tough the character gets, it will be able to top the evilness of his Gustavo “Gus” Fring on the AMC masterpiece “Breaking Bad.”
Many of you may recognize Lauren German, star of the new NBC series “Chicago Fire,” from the time she spent on “Hawaii Five-O” playing Lori Weston. Her departure from that CBS crime drama was almost as surprising as her being invited to stay past the original four-episode arc for which she was originally hired.
“They decided to bring me on as the next detective. I don’t know anything about the weird politics that went on but I think there were lot of women who didn’t like my character,” German says.
It looked like her character was being added as a potential love interest for series star Alex O’Loughlin. That made some viewers a little jealous.
The actress loved being on the show and remains close friends with the cast. German would reprise her role if asked. If things go well for German’s new series, there won’t be time to head back to the islands to be on the CBS show.
“But, if ‘Five-O’ is still on when this show ends, I would hope they would have me come back,” German says.
Others of you may recognize German for a couple of horror films she made. German was one of the few survivors of “Hostel II” but didn’t have the same luck with the 2003 remake of ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” Her death scene in that movie is considered a horror classic as the camera starts in front of her, goes through the hole in hear head and continues 300 yards into a cornfield. The gunshot is self inflicted. If you want to know where she was hiding the gun, you’ll have to rent the movie.
The two biggest stars at NBC’s party Tuesday night at the TCA summer press tour were Crystal, the monkey from the new comedy series “Animal Practice,” and the former candidate for Vice President, Sarah Palin.
Crystal was at the event because she’s got the new series. Palin showed up to be with her husband, Todd, because he’s in the the new NBC reality show “Stars Earn Stripes.” The series matches celebrities with members of the military and law enforcement to be trained to participate in challenges based on real military and police actions.
Palin says it would take a lot of work if she were do be on a second season of “Stars Earn Stripes.”
“I would have to be doing a whole lot of push-ups,” Palin says. “I don’t think physically I would be able to handle what they have gone through. It will blow you guys away when you see what they have to do. I was witness to the bumps and bruises at the end of some of the days.
“I was really happy Todd got to participate in such a worthy cause.”"
She understands the demands of the military as her son, Track, is in Afghanistan. Palin says that what her son and the other members of the military go through is far beyond the TV show.
As for which was tougher — politics or the military — Palin laughs and says politics can be very brutal.
That’s why it was a little odd to see both Palins at NBC’s press day considering how tough the network’s “Saturday Night Live” was to her during the campaign. Todd says that wasn’t even in his mind when he said he would participate. He agreed to be part of the show because it brings attention to the brave men and women who protect this country.
He did more than just stand by quietly when Palin was on the campaign trail. He learned the right way to answer a question.
Crystal had no comment.