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Archive for the ‘TNT’ Category

Thursday’s Upfront Frenzy: The Renewals, Pickups, and Cancellations

Thursday was a pretty quiet day in terms of upfront news as it is fast approaching. That statement worked until tonight when the craziness started!

Matthew Perry in Mr. Sunshine

It all started with the report by that the staple Law & Order was cancelled by NBC because of a dispute with creator Dick Wolf. That was quickly called out too soon as reports of troubles are true, but negotiations are still ongoing but unlikely to change by Monday. NBC reversely picked up the David E. Kelly/Kathy Bates starring vehicle Kindreds for midseason and according to THR, the intelligent Garza legal pilot which is a chance for Jimmy Smits to shine. But the best news from NBC, CHUCK IS RENEWED. Enough said. (The other bubble show Heroes, may get a limited pickup to finish the series.)

ABC took to the waves by announcing six new pickups of series following the announcement of the first drama No Ordinary Family.

First up the new comedies, the fantastically written by star Matthew Perry and pals pilot Mr. Sunshine and starring Allison Janney was one of the three laffers. Mr. Sunshine focuses on a sports center manager (Perry) and his friends, think of it as the male-led Cougar Town). Second is Happy Endings, starring Elisha Cuthbert and Eliza Coupe, and centers around an almost married couple and their eclectic friends. I have read the script by David Caspe flows nicely and is a good adult sitcom. The last official pickup is the only multi-cam by the network, Better Together, which features Joanna Garcia and Jennifer Finnigan as sisters who are both in a relationship as well as their parents. Debra Messing’s ABC pilot Wright vs. Wrong is very close to a pickup as well.

The Cast of ABC's Detroit 1-8-7

The new dramas on ABC (more pickups to come tomorrow) include the Michael Imperioli fronted cop drama, Detroit 1-8-7, which had a solid script and a very nice cast including the underrated Aisha Hinds, and The Whole Truth which brings back Joely Richardson to the Jerry Bruckheimer drama, that focus on both sides of the law, with the other side shown by Rob Marrow. Joely is one of my favorite actresses and the script was a refreshing legal concept. The third drama pickup is My Generation (also called Generation Y), written tremendously by Noah Hawley (The Unusuals), focuses on a class of kids that were in a documentary in high school, and now are being looked at once again 10 years later. The class includes actors such as Mechad Brooks, Jamie King, and Kelli Garner.

In terms of current shows at ABC, a personal favorite V has been renewed for a second season, and now multiple sources including EW, are reporting that Better off Ted, Romantically Challenged, Scrubs, and FlashForward, are all cancelled.

CBS picked up their first freshman entry today, Mike and Molly. The pilot about a couple that meets at a meeting for “larger” people is from their favorite creator Chuck Lorre (The Big Bang Theory) and stars the wonderful women Melissa McCarthy and Swoosie Kurtz.

Lastly on the cable side, partner networks TBS and TNT, who are both doing presentations next week, picked up new series. TBS greenlit Glory Daze, which stars a crew of unknowns that play 80’s college students in Wisconsin. Finally in a pilot started at TBS, Franklin and Bash moved to TNT and Lynette Rice at EW is reporting has been okay-ed for series. The pilot about street smart lawyers stars Breckin Meyer and Mark-Paul Gosselaar.

Stay tuned throughout the night, tomorrow, and the weekend for the latest in advance of the Upfronts next week.


New Partners, New Cases, New Network: My Review of Season 2 of TNT’s Southland

In the last few years, the difference it makes to have passionate fans has been no more prevalent, from the campaigns to save Jericho and Chuck, the cancelled Southland of NBC after it was ordered to a 2nd year, was saved by TNT because of the fans. Was it worth it as new episodes begin this week….

What TNT Says about the first two new episodes:

“Phase Three” (First New Episode) – Premieres Tuesday, Mar. 2 at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)
Lydia and Russell’s replacement, Rene Cordero, investigate a possible abduction of an elderly man by a known drug addict. Nate and Sammy investigate a freeway shooting and wind up threatening the integrity of a major undercover operation. And Chickie finds herself in the middle of a mini-riot after her new partner shoots at a 13-year-old boy.

“Butch & Sundance” – Premieres Tuesday, Mar. 9 at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)  John and Ben are the first responders to a gruesome triple homicide in Hancock Park, where a mother is bludgeoned to death and her young daughters are found bound, gagged, raped and dead in their bedrooms. In investigating the case, Lydia and Rene realize they have two very different styles of doing detective work. Sammy continues to have problems with his wife, who seems unable to complete even the simplest of tasks. And Ben confronts John about his increasing reliance on pain pills.

The first two episodes showcase the gritty nature and realism of the series that makes it so unique. Back last April in the show premiere it was praised for its style of shooting with handheld, the use of locations in and around LA, and the cast that makes you think they are making up the dialogue on the spot. None of that is lost in the second year that was to air on NBC, if it had the curses would still be bleeped but now on cable it gets even more real with cursing and more. I can only imagine, how much dark the show can get if TNT produces new episodes.

Last year we were left with Lydia’s (Regina King better than ever) partner Russell (Tom Everett Scott) getting shot and Ben (Benjamin McKenszie) moving up in his training. The season begins as Russell is in the hospital and Lydia is given a new parter played by Prison Break’s Amaury Nolasco, who butts heads with Lydia who is hesitant of replacing Russell. Also present in the new series is as storyline revolving around sexism in regards to the wonderful Chickie (Arija Bareikis) who is not liked with her male colleagues. It is a testament to show that in any story they tackle it never feels out of placed and artificial.

The new episodes begin airing on the new network TNT, tonight at 10/9c.

First Look: My Review of TNT’s Men of A Certain Age

TNT is set to have 7 dramas on the air in 2010 including “The Closer” which returns tonight at 9/8c, and the newly acquired Southland (January 12th). Tonight, TNT launches not a crime drama but a drama/comedy apporiatly titled “Men of a Certain Age.”

It stars Ray Romano (who is also the co-creator), Andre Braugher, and Scott Bakula as middle age men who are best friends and are all at a different point in their lives. Joe (Romano) is newly divorced with his beautiful wife (Penelope Ann Miller) in which he has two kids with, Owen is married and works at his dad’s car lot, and Terry, is a struggling single actor.

I have seen 5 out of the first 6 hours, and after watching them I felt surprisingly good about the show. The premise when I read it did not grab me but after spending time with each of these guys you get to know there quirks and problems and you connect. I particularly enjoy Joe, who owns his one party supply story and injects some needed humor. One episode has him going on his first date in years with 24‘s Sarah Clarke, which employs a great story strategy. Other guest stars include Cynthia Watros (Lost) as Terry’s “wife” in an acting gig that is not that conventional.

Men of A Certain Age premieres tonight on TNT at 10/9c. It is a well crafted and executed simple drama. Nothing special, but something worth tuning in for.

First Look: My Review of TNT’s Wedding Day and HawthoRNe

TNT is chalk full of new and returning series this summer, seven to be exact. Three more premiere Tuesday and here is my review of the new two (Saving Grace starts its third season at 10/9c, however it is not my kind of show. I tried the first year.)

Wedding Day - Jaenelle and Nyk - Hosts Alan and Diann.1 - PH Jeremy P Freeman_9446_2380Wedding Day –

Description from TNT: Every couple dreams of having the perfect wedding. For many, it’s the most important and emotional day of their lives. But for some, insurmountable obstacles create barriers to making their dream day a reality. This new TNT series, the network’s first-ever unscripted drama, comes from producing giants Mark Burnett Productions and DreamWorks Television. The show gives deserving couples a helping hand to ensure the most important day of their lives is also the most magical. Each week, celebrity event planner and food expert Alan Dunn (For Better or Worse) and celebrity wedding producer and designer Diann Valentine (author of Weddings Valentine Style) host as family, friends and community come together to create a dream wedding. Along the way, viewers will learn each couple’s compelling story, from their first date to their wedding day.

Wedding Day - Christina and Shawn - Christina and Shawn - PH Ian Johnson_9905_2365

Fun Tidbit: If you are a fan of So You Think You Can Dance you might recognize one face in the second episode, with a season 5 audition favorite tapper Bianca Rebels is the sister of a bride.

The Good: This is not the typical TNT show. The network is know for powerful character dramas, and this show is not that. However it is about the characters. The show is such a joy to watch. It shows touching stories in a fun and supporting way. The hosts, Diann and Alan are upbeat and fun and always provide interesting wedding themes and tasks for the family and friends. And that is the best part. The show prides itself on how it integrates the family and friends of the couple in creating the perfect wedding, and well it is just perfect in doing so.

The Bad: Nothing that I can see, but sometimes it might border the cheesy side.

Overall: A great summer cry-fest in the vein of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. I loved it all the way through.

HawthoRNe –

HawthoRNe Cast_ David Julian Hirsh, Christina Moore, Jada Pinkett Smith, Michael Vartan, Hannah Hodson, Suleka Mathew PH Robert Trachtenberg 17866_00956_R_9176_2362Description from TNT: Jada Pinkett Smith (The Women, The Matrix trilogy) is the latest talented actress to join TNT’s line-up of strong, complex female characters, following in the footsteps of Kyra Sedgwick on The Closer and Holly Hunter of Saving Grace. In this character-driven medical drama, Pinkett Smith plays Christina Hawthorne, a compassionate and headstrong Chief Nursing Officer heading up a group of dedicated nurses at Richmond Trinity Hospital who spend long days and nights on the hospital’s front lines. Hawthorne is the kind of nurse you want on your side when you or someone you love is in the hospital. She is the kind of nurse who fights for her patients and doesn’t let them slip through the cracks. When necessary, she takes on doctors and administrators who are overworked, distracted or just unable to see the human being behind the hospital chart. Joining Pinkett Smith in HAWTHORNE is Michael Vartan (Alias) as Dr. Tom Wakefield, the oncologist who treated Christina’s husband and who serves as director of medicine for the hospital. The cast also includes Suleka Mathew (Men in Trees) as Bobbie Jackson, a fellow nurse and one of Hawthorne’s best friends; David Julian Hirsh (Lovebites) as Ray Stein, a nurse struggling with being accepted in a female-dominated profession; Christina Moore (90210) as Candy Sullivan, a nurse with a unique sense of duty; and Hannah Hodson (TNT’s The Ron Clark Story) as Camille, Hawthorne’s daughter. In addition, special guest star Joanna Cassidy (Six Feet Under) portrays Amanda, Hawthorne’s mother-in-law, who also happens to be a member of the hospital board.

Fun Tidbit: Some very well know stars pop up in the first three episodes like Cloris Leachman as well herself practically and Michael Jamal Warner as a dying patient.

Hawthorne101_5 David Julian Hirsh, Jada Pinkett Smith, Suleka Mathew PH Karen Neal 18047_1677_R_9818_2365The Good: The show is just one of many nurse shows coming in the coming season. First Nurse Jackie and in 2010, NBC’s promising Mercy. The show has a great cast and you cannot deny it that. First and the biggest Jada Pinkett Smith can be a strong woman on Television, but it is the supporting cast that is the best part. Alias’s Michael Vartan and Men in Tree’s gem Suleka Matthew are fun and strong characters especially the later who has a very big hinderance. HawthoRNe has very emotional cases however,…

The Bad: It does not gel and that is thanks in part to Jada’s over acting and is always trying way to hard to be the boss. It is very unappealing which is sad because the character has such an interesting past with her husband’s death that happened only a year ago. The show also tries to be fun but often fails because the relationships are not back by something substantial that makes us want to root for the people.

Overall: It is a mixed bag. The supporting cast is very nice, but Jada tries way to hard and it is very off putting. I am just not a fan, which I was really hoping to be.

Wedding Day airs on Tuesday at 9/7c with HawthoRNe and Saving Grace following.

First Look: My Review of TNT’s Raising the Bar

Back to my easy to read review format for a show I was not expecting to review at all:

RTB_Currie Graham Melissa Sagemiller Johnathan Scarfe Jane Kaczmarek Mark Paul Gosselaar Gloria Reuben Teddy Sears Natalia Cigliuti and J August Richards PH Art S_9539_2365TNT’s Raising the Bar Season 2

What TNT Says:  This season’s cases tackle such issues as hate crimes, drug dealing and child pornography as the lawyers face off against each other in the courtroom.  In addition to the difficulties they confront in Judge Kessler’s court, they now have to endure the draconian rules of Judge Albert Farnsworth (John Michael HigginsBest in Show).  And with Roz missing the hands-on aspect of public defending and Balco determined to reach new political levels, they’ll both find themselves in the courtroom more and more, alongside their talented staff members.

 In RAISING THE BAR, Gosselaar plays idealistic public defender Jerry Kellerman, driven to do everything he can to secure a verdict of not guilty or a decent plea deal for his clients.  Reuben plays his passionate and protective boss, Rosalind “Roz” Whitman, who loves her work overseeing the public defender’s office but frequently wishes she could spend more time in the courtroom defending the underprivileged.  Kaczmarek plays imperious Judge Trudy Kessler, who has dreams of becoming the next district attorney.

 RAISING THE BAR also stars Natalia Cigliuti (All My Children) as Bobbi Gilardi, a new lawyer from Brooklyn who has a flirtatious relationship with Kellerman; Melissa Sagemiller (Sleeper Cell) as Michelle Ernhart, a prosecutor who doesn’t mind playing games in order to get what she wants; J. August Richards (Conviction) as Marcus McGrath, whose prosecutorial skills are matched by his overwhelming sense of right and wrong; Teddy Sears (Ugly Betty) as Richard Woolsley, a lawyer who could have a big job at his father’s multi-million-dollar law firm but chooses instead to help indigent defendants; Currie Graham (Boston Legal) as Nick Balco, an assistant district attorney with a penchant for hard ball and sexual innuendo; and Jonathan Scarfe (Into the West) as Judge Kessler’s loyal aide, whose personal feelings and relationships sometimes interfere with his work.

RTB203_03_John Michael Higgins and Mark-Paul Gosselaar PH- Karen Neal_9605_2365Changes from last season:  The biggest change is Mark Paul Gosslear’s hair. HE CUT IT. Finally that awful looking cut is down to a normal length and is actually a focal point of the season’s first episode. The episode surrounds Jerry’s birthday where each of his friends comment on what is most meomeroble about Jerry and of course it is his hair.

Another nice change this season is that Gloria Reuben’s Roz character is in the courtroom instead of the office. She fights with all the usual judges and fights with a new one played by John Michael Higgins as a great new addition.

RTB201_16_Melissa Sagemiller and Gloria Reuben PH Karen Neal_9587_2365The Good:  Last year I was so excited for a new refreshing young NYC law show after the void left by the great but never appreciated Conviction on NBC a while back. The show disappointed. I love interest after a couple hours and never looked back but when the screener arrived many weeks ago I was hesitant to watch again but I did. I was so glad I did. The show in the 2 of the first three episodes had heart, compassion, humor, and drama. The cutting of Jerry’s hair brought a weird sense of revival and a new start to the series. The show balances the humor of the friendship with serious issues like gay bashing among others. The actors are as good as they can be with the best being of course Gloria Reuben and Jane Kaczmarak. These two almost veteran actress bring a respect to the show that is much needed, but still….

The Bad: The show feels forced and the friendship unreal. The love triangle of Bobbi-Jerry-Michelle is unneeded and does not gel with the rest of the production and who really cares.

And Overall…:  The series is now for me a enjoyable summer show that hopefully will keep up its momentum.

Raising the Bar airs after a new season of The Closer at 10/9c on TNT. It is part of 7 original series on TNT this summer.

Alias Alum Michael Vartan back on TV

One of the best shows in recent memory for me was JJ Abram’s hit ABC drama Alias. The show was so much fun and I have great memories of the missions that happened on the with the amazing Jennifer Garner and Michael Vartan. Now at least one of those is back on my TV (I am not counting Big Shots).

michael-vartanThe Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Michael Vartan is going the cast of TNT’s new drama series Time Heals. Time Heals centers around a North Carolina nurse (Jada Pinkett Smith) who deals and sees with the tough stuff.

Michael will play the Chief of Medicine at the hospital where she works. Time Heals will premiere later this year.

What I Will Be Watching – January 26th, 2009

This weekend was a busy weekend for me. I did manage to check out Flashpoint, which was a amazing emotional hour of TV, Monk, one of the best episodes in a while, and BSG, I posted my thoughts early.  I will post a recap of my thoughts in depth on these and last night’s TV in a bit, but first here are my favortie choices from tonight’s lineup….

Trust Me

Trust Me – 10/9c on TNT  TNT is at it again with original programming. This time with Eric McCormack and Tom Cavanugh as to best friends in an ad agency. This is not like Mad Men, just to make that clear, it is set in modern times. The show centers around the two, and how they work and created the ads even with there personal lives. The drama also shows the home life, including Sarah Clarke (Nina on 24), and I love her. I think this could be another hit for TNT.

The Last Templar – 9/8c on NBC  When I am writing this I have yet to see the first two hours of the miniseries. From all that I have heard, the reaction has been negative, but I love the premise and I am definitely going to check out this section of the show starring Victor Garber, Mina Sorvino, and Scott Foley.

The Closer

The Closer

The Closer – 9/8c on TNT This cop drama has been recommended to me over and over again but I have failed to watch. It is also on my catch up during the summer list. The drama returns tonight for five episodes to help launch Trust Me. This week, the unit is renamed Major Crimes Division and they investigate teen that could be related to a planned massacre. Not fun stuff.

24 – 9/8c on FOX  This season is on fire. Last week’s episode was an amazing episode and the silent clock ending was shocking and cool. Also, what is up with the First Gentlemen? Is he dead? What will happen? I don’t know. Tonight, we get the one o’clock hour to straighten things out.  Dubaku is getting impatient about his demands and Jack is making a plan, and hopefully a good one.

House – 8/7c on FOX  This medical drama is great, but I don’t watch. I watch House when it repeats on USA all the time, but never on FOX. I don’t know why but I just do. But you should! Tonight, Cuddy hands over her day-to-day things to Cameron, and a child is spitting blood.