Tuesday, January 31, 2006

More Information Comes to the 'Surface!' Plus, Navigate Tonight's TV Scene with Primetime Pass!

We're down to the very last episode of Surface of the season, and possibly ever, and things have been seriously heating up these past few episodes. Just when I think I have things figured out, the show goes in a different direction. I definitely thought that Lee was the same man on that old film that documented the discovery (of what, we're just not yet sure), and that he had not aged because of the creatures (they can survive gunshots, Nim saved Miles' life, etc.). I thought that, perhaps, the creatures had the ability to make one invincible and forever young. Then last night, we find out that Lee is a clone of the man in the film. Apparently, this Dr. Kessler discovered cloning long before the 1990s, and he experimented with all sorts of animals, including humans. Which begs the question, is Lee the only human clone walking around on this show? It seems that Kessler advanced his knowledge even further by creating an entirely new species, which brings us to the current creature crisis. The show has been answering a lot of our questions, as promised, but there are still more that I hope are answered next week. For instance, why is Miles becoming one of them? And why do the little Nim-like members of the species follow him around like a leader?

I think a lot of critics and viewers might have misjudged this show straight out of the gate. It had a slow start, but it has certainly stepped it up as the season has progressed. It still has its silly and cliched moments and storylines, but the overarching story is fascinating and a bit foretelling. The show is very topical, especially with all the exploding technology and scientific breakthroughs. It also raises some interesting dilemmas regarding the technology that allowed the current actions to be set in motion. As Laura told Rich while she walked away from the investigation, you can blow up a lab, but the technology is already out there and you can't stop it. The show is all about what happens when it falls into the wrong hands. Just when you think things couldn't get any worse, we get the shocking revelation at the end of the episode that a giant tsunami is heading toward the east coast of the United States after wiping out Puerto Rico. Hearing that report over the police officer's radio with all the evacuation orders was quite chilling! It seems that we'll need to buckle up and hold on tight for next week's finale!

About Last Night... Fox won the first hour of the night with Skating with Celebrities, followed by ABC's Wife Swap and CBS comedies King of Queens (r) and How I Met Your Mother (r). NBC's Surface landed in fourth. At 9, CBS took the lead with comedies Two and a Half Men and Courting Alex, followed by Fox's 24 and the ABC special InStyle Celebrity Weddings. The final hour of the night went to CBS's CSI: Miami, followed by ABC's The Bachelor and NBC's Medium (r). For more on last night's ratings, visit Zap2it.

~Primetime Pass~
@8 p.m. - Fox's American Idol continues to search for talent in Las Vegas with the best and worst auditions. Lorelai tries to pretend that the discovery of Luke's daughter is not having an impact on their engagement and Rory deals with Paris' lack of management skills at Yale's Daily News on WB's Gilmore Girls (postponed from an earlier date).

@9 p.m. - The big 4 networks switch off programming and turn on President Bush's State of the Union Address. Meanwhile, the WB airs a new episode of Supernatural. UPN reruns last week's excellent episode of Veronica Mars with special guest star Lucy Lawless.

@10 p.m. - The State of the Union coverage continues on the big 4 networks. Over on FX, Vic lawyers up on The Shield.


*ABC is benching Commander in Chief for a few weeks starting March 7th while it tries out new comedy Sons & Daughters with back-to-back episodes on Tuesday nights. The political show will return later in the spring with all new episodes. Also warming the bench for a few weeks is USA's hit comedy Monk. The show will take a three-week absence, after this week's new episode, while sister network NBC broadcasts its Olympic coverage. New episodes of Monk will resume March 3rd on USA.

*Oops, they're doing it again! NBC's Will & Grace is up to their old stunt casting antics with a recently booked appearance by Britney Spears according to entertainment television show Access Hollywood. The role is listed as a "cameo" right now, and a source told Access Hollywood that the pop diva will film her episode next month. No word yet on an airdate for the appearance.

*We have the first casualty of the newly formed CW network. New WB pilot Cult will not be moving forward in the development process. The WB picked up the pilot, which centered on a TV show that manipulates the lives of its viewers, just two weeks ago. The CW network, which will launch in September, is the combined effort of Warner Bros. and CBS Corp and will replace UPN and WB. The top series of both networks are expected to move to the CW, which leaves little room for new development.

*And finally, ABC is bringing big screen hit Mr. & Mrs. Smith to the small screen. The network ordered a pilot based on the popular movie starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as a husband and wife who find out that they're both assassins when they're each hired to kill the other. The show will not feature either Pitt or Jolie, but the movie's director and writer will serve as executive producers. The show is not expected to make the schedule until at least midseason next year.

That's all for today. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for the state of the television union (Do we actually have too many good shows on television that some get pushed aside for others?) and a special look at what Fox has planned for sweeps. Plus, all the latest television news!

Don't forget to help Veronica Mars with the $4,000 Shower Campaign! Click HERE for details

Monday, January 30, 2006

The 'Case' with a Stairway to Heaven! Plus, it's TV on DVD Monday

When it comes to consistency of quality episodes, Cold Case is pretty good. It's difficult to constantly present strong cases, character development, and the right amount of emotion from week to week, but this show does a very good job of giving us all three each episode. Last night's look at the world of debutantes and their ritualistic process of debuting fell nicely into this consistency contingent. In fact, I would classify it as one of the stronger outings this season, so far, right up there with the murdered deli worker ("Frank's Best") and the four murdered brothers ("Saving Patrick Bubley"). A combination of factors caused last night's episode to really stand out from the pack. First, there was the very sympathetic victim. How awesome of a person was Emma? She wasn't afraid to be who she was, even in the face of some of high society's biggest families. She was only invited to debut because her father was one of the finalists for the space trip to the moon, and she took another girl's (new money) place in the process. Even though she didn't want to be a part of the debutante thing, she knew it was important for her mother, who had grown up cleaning the home of one of the old money society members. Emma was a trooper, but she never lost sight of herself and what she believed in, which ultimately cost her life. The one weak link in last night's episode was the actual murder. I just didn't buy Travis as the doer because he loved her so much. I guess it was a heat of the moment argument, and possibly he didn't mean to actually shove her down the stairs to her death. It was tragic all the same. Did anyone else think that the actress who played Emma (Elizabeth Hendrickson) bore a striking resemblance to Jennifer Garner? I half expected her to break out some secret spy moves and send Travis down his own Stairway to Heaven!

If Alias is ever looking for someone to play a younger
version of Syd in a flashback, this is their girl!

The second thing that made this episode really strong was the excellent directing on the part of Tim Hunter. The flashbacks looked exactly like a movie from the 1960s, and the picturesque shots in the present, especially during the ending musical montage, really fit the 60s theme. The shot of the moon overlooking the quaint area of Philly as the boys went aspyin' on poor Kat looked like something straight out of a movie from that era as did the shot of Emma's mother walking out on her front porch with the leaves blowing and the moon shining on Emma at her telescope while the poignant "Moon River" played in the background. It was the perfect ending song for this episode. Usually, the overarching theme of the episode is contained to the flashbacks (think the Rocky Horror Picture Show episode or the different hues of black and white for the older cases), but Hunter decided to keep the theme throughout, and it worked really well for this particular episode. I always say that devices such as this are great, but should never be overused, and Cold Case is one show that knows when to use such devices and when to not. It's a delicate balance that this show has perfected.

Other random thoughts on last night's episode - Vera had me cracking up with all his quips, especially the highly ironic "We're coworkers. We should share our personal lives." As Scotty said, good luck with that Vera, especially when it comes to the closed off Lilly. Turns out, Kat's important Wednesday night thing relates to her daughter (?) and dance classes. I loved the look on her face when she caught all three boys red-handed when they followed her to find out where she goes. Vera looked a little embarrassed to say the least. Ok, raise your hand now if you totally thought that Lilly was up to her old jumping to conclusions and prejudging self when it came to Travis? I completely doubted her, and thought she was a bit harsh. My doubt grew to full-fledged no-faith-in-her-judgment when the autopsy results for his wife came back. The epilectic seizure that caused his wife to fall down the flight of stairs in a similar manner to Emma's death 38 years before was nothing more than mere coincidence. To her credit, Lil did seem completely caught off guard when she found out, and she immediately backed off. In the end, she was right about Emma, though. It was hard to believe that the two deaths were so similar, and yet, not the same circumstances, so I loved the reveal that Travis was responsible for only Emma's death. Overall, another strong episode for this show and a great way to send us off into this little repeat run we're about to get for February.

About Last Night... CBS won the first hour of the night with its combination of the end of 60 Minutes and the first 40 minutes of Cold Case, followed by ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and NBC's Dateline. At 9, CBS stayed in the lead with the end of Cold Case and the beginning of the CBS movie, followed by ABC's Desperate Housewives (r) and NBC's Law & Order: CI (r). The final hour of the night went to ABC's Grey's Anatomy, followed by the CBS movie and NBC's Crossing Jordan. For more on last night's ratings, visit Zap2it.

~Primetime Pass~
@8 p.m. - Rich and Laura set off to find Lee in order to get some answers about the creatures and the mysterious film they found on NBC's Surface. Over on Fox, the five remaining teams compete on Skating with Celebrities, and one team is eliminated at the end of the night.

@9 p.m. - Details are discovered and the terror threat stengthens on Fox's 24. Over on ABC, it's weddings, celebrity style on the annual special Instyle Celebrity Weddings.

@10 p.m. - Two college students write a screenplay that ends up mirroring a real-life murder on CBS's CSI: Miami.


*ABC's Lost and Desperate Housewives are the big winners from last night's Screen Actors' Guild Awards. Both series walked away with top awards for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a drama series and comedy series, respectively. Desperate Housewives' Felicity Huffman also garnered the outstanding performance by a lead actress in a comedy series award, and Will & Grace's Sean Hayes took the same award in the actor category. Keifer Sutherland won for outstanding performance by a lead actor in a drama series for 24, and Sandra Oh won the same award for the actress category for Grey's Anatomy. Members of the Screen Actors' Guild, an actor's union, vote on the awards.

*The teams are set, a multi-continent adventure awaits and Phil's funny lines are only weeks away, now all we need is the premiere of the next season of CBS's The Amazing Race! The network today released the identity of the 11 teams that will vie for $1 million on the adventure of a lifetime. Among them is a couple who has been married for 40 years, childhood friends, sisters, and a host of dating couples. The next installment of The Amazing Race begins February 28th on CBS.

*And finally, it's TV on DVD Monday! Look for seasons 1, 2 and 3 of Fox's cult favorite The X-Files to finally hit shelves tomorrow along with The A-Team (season 3),
Diff'rent Strokes (season 2), Hill Street Blues (season 1), Inked (best of season 1), Knight Rider (season 3) and Magnum P.I. (season 3). For a full list of tomorrow's releases, click on over to tvshowsondvd.com.

That's all for today. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for thoughts on Surface (Only two episodes left!). Plus, all the latest television news!

Don't forget to help Veronica Mars with the $4,000 Shower Campaign. Click HERE for details

Friday, January 27, 2006

'CSI:' Old School Vegas! Plus, 'Trace' tries to Break the Chain of Violence

Sometimes bringing a big name guest star to a popular show comes off as nothing more than a huge gimmick, and other times, it works like a charm. Last night's Faye Dunaway episode of CSI fortunately falls into the latter category. The reason Dunaway's appearance worked so well was because the entire show was written around it, and the role was absolutely perfect. She suited it so well that I completely forgot that the show had pulled off such a huge stunt. It was flawless and intricately planned, down to every last detail just like Dunaway's character's exit. It was a fun hour that transformed the Las Vegas we're used to seeing every week into another world filled with old money (quite literally), mob ties and one interesting former showgirl named Lois O'Neill (Dunaway). I have to admit that I wasn't sure who killed the waiter in the closet with the revolver (Was I the only one thinking of "Clue" during this episode?) until the final moments when they revealed the entire sequence of events. Lois' sudden departure completely caught me off guard as well, but it fit her character perfectly. Armed with the knowledge that she was dying from cancer, she arranged for the waiter to shoot and kill her as she lay on her bed during her glamorous birthday party. Things didn't go as planned, though, because the waiter got a little greedy, so Lois wound up shooting and killing him instead. She then enlisted the help of a good friend to stage her exit in the exact way that she wanted to go. I loved Greg's enthusiasm during this case. He was totally fascinated by all the old Vegas trappings and legends, and I loved how it all came into play when they tied the money and the gun together. This was a very interesting and well done episode.

Episode descriptions can be deceiving, but they usually make an episode seem better than it turns out to be once it's fleshed out on the television screen. Last night's Without a Trace was one of the rare instances when the episode is about a zillion times better than its description. I was so worried that this episode was going to try to capitalize on all these female teacher/male student romps that we constantly read about in the news. Luckily, it didn't go anywhere near there, deciding instead to allow our media-tainted assumptions about such relationships fuel the agents' investigation into the middle school teacher's and her student's disappearances. Turns out they were off together, but it had nothing to do with an inappropriate relationship. Claire was trying to get Ray to understand that he needed to report his abusive father before it was too late and someone wound up dead like her mother did at the hands of her abusive father. But in a shocking twist, it was not Ray's father that was abusive, but rather his cardiologist mother. Apparently she has been abused growing up and was continuing the chain of violence, the same chain that Claire was working to break in her life and Ray's. I absolutely loved Viv's interrogation with Ray's mother, especially the way she got so angry with her. It was good to see that Claire's actions, although not the best solution, did set the right things into motion for Ray and her as she realized that she was going to break the chain. Unfortunately, her father had one last violent act to carry out by taking his own life. This episode blended a lot of tragedy with a lot of hope, and it also earned its place among the other excellent episodes this season.

About Last Night... ABC easily won the first hour of the night with Dancing with the Stars, followed by CSI (r) on CBS and NBC comedies Will & Grace and Four Kings. At 9, CBS gained control with a new CSI, followed by ABC's combination of the final half hour of Dancing and Crumbs and NBC comedies My Name is Earl and The Office. The final hour of the night went to CBS's Without a Trace, followed by ABC's Primetime and NBC's ER (r). For more on last night's ratings, visit Zap2it.

~Primetime Pass~
@8 p.m. - The Pussycat Dolls perform and we learn which team will no longer compete on ABC's Dancing with the Stars results show.

@9 p.m. - A young man is incarcerated for the murder of an unborn child on ABC's In Justice. Over on CBS, Annabeth works a case involving a young woman who may have been raped by a recently paroled sex offender.

@10 p.m. - The FBI uncovers a black market organ trafficking ring after a young girl's death on CBS's Numb3rs.

@8 p.m. - Lilly reopens the 1968 case involving the mysterious death of a debutante on CBS's Cold Case. TNT airs the 12th Annual Screen Actors' Guild Awards.

@10 p.m. - Macy searches for his daughter after learning that she was at the scene of a gang related shooting on NBC's Crossing Jordan. Over on ABC, Seattle Grace is hit with a nurses' strike on Grey's Anatomy.


*Fans of NBC's now-canceled The Book of Daniel can catch the unaired episodes exclusively on nbc.com, series creator Jack Kenny tells TVGuide.com. The first unaired episode will air tonight at 8 p.m. on nbc.com. NBC closed The Book of Daniel earlier this week due to low ratings. The controversial show starred Aidan Quinn as a pill-popping minister who has regular conversations with Jesus.

*Matthew Perry is returning to television with the new untitled Aaron Sorkin drama. The show, which will focus on the behind-the-scenes stories of a fictional Saturday Night Live-like sketch show, also stars D.L. Hughley and Steven Weber. Perry will play a genius comedy writer who is forced out of his position as co-executive producer after a dispute with the network. The in-demand show will air on NBC, Perry's former home with the long-running Friends.

*And finally, CBS' Yes, Dear will bow out early this season. The network set the comedy's sixth season finale for next month. In the episode, Greg and Christina master the art of manipulation when they learn they can get what they want from each other. The episode is scheduled to air Wednesday, February 15th on CBS.

That's all for today. Be sure to tune in Monday for thoughts on Cold Case (debutantes, the 60s, and murder - Oh my!). Plus, all the latest television news!

Don't forget to help Veronica Mars with the $4,000 Shower Campaign. Click HERE for details

Thursday, January 26, 2006

'Mars' Makes a Run for the Border! And Charlie Feels a Little 'Lost'

(Photo courtesy UPN/Warner Bros. Not for use on
other sites/blogs)

How, you ask, can a television show continue to shock our socks off without us ever getting wise to it? The answer is really quite simple - excellent writing. Last night's episode of Veronica Mars was one of the best hours of television that I have seen in sometime. This show manages to take episodes where the sole purpose is to set up storylines for future episodes and turn them into first rate outings in their own right (contrast Desperate Housewives' set-up episode from a couple of weeks ago, which was slow, or even last night's Lost, which I'll get to later). First, I was thinking during Veronica and Duncan's "break up" scene that the whole thing was feeling a little forced and out of the blue, but I quickly dismissed it when Veronica's wallowing montage took over. In fact, I forgot all about how forced the entire thing felt until we learned that it was all a set-up! I definitely didn't see the big twist coming, and when it did, I thought maybe it was all just a dream sequence. Creator/Executive Producer Rob Thomas wrote and directed this episode, and he sure pulled the wool over my eyes! I loved the return of Vinnie Van Lowe and his eventual involvement with Veronica and Duncan's plans. His scenes with Veronica were hysterical! Speaking of hysterical, Sheriff Lamb's ego deflation was priceless. I loved how Veronica played to his ego and sent him to Mexico with Duncan secretly in his trunk thinking that he had scored some huge tip that would lead him straight to Duncan and win the praise of the visiting FBI. The irony that he was actually taking Duncan safely across the border was just too clever! So, the big question is, what will become of Duncan now that he and baby Lilly are living the fugitive life in Mexico? To answer a question from yesterday's comments section, I have not heard anything about Teddy Dunn (Duncan) leaving the show. I would imagine that he will continue to be a part of the show somehow, but you never know what to expect from Veronica Mars. Speaking of which, it seems that Wallace has gotten himself into a bit of a bind back in Chicago. He should have gone to the police right after his star teammate was involved in the hit and run, and now it seems that the entire thing is going to come back to get him. If you saw the preview for next week's episode, then you know that best-selling author Stephen King can now be added to the list of Veronica's famous fans. In a column for Entertainment Weekly, he says, "I can't take my eyes off the damn thing." All I can say is, welcome back Veronica Mars!

If last night's Veronica Mars was the pinnacle of greatness, then last night's Lost fell severely short. It was a rare moment of mediocrity from a show that always seems to bring its "A" game. I was interested to learn more about Charlie's past, but the flashbacks were not too revealing. I really hope that Charlie stays off the heroin, but the possibility for him to relapse is still there because Locke didn't destroy the remaining stash, and Charlie could have another supply stashed somewhere else on the island for all we know. The interesting storyline of the evening was also the one that was barely visited - Hurley and Libby. Beyond their cute interaction was an underlying question of whether or not they knew each other from before the island. Libby seemed to panic a bit when Hurley made the suggestion, and then quickly dismissed it as nothing more than a brief encounter when Hurley stepped on her foot as they boarded the plane. The question is, is there something to Hurley's assertion that they met before beyond the chance meeting and toe-stepping on the plane? We know that Hurley spent some time in a mental hospital, and Libby told us that she is a mental health professional, so is it possible their paths have intertwined and Libby is upset because she may not be what she's claiming to be? And what's up with the newer looking washer and dryer that Libby pointed out? The computer is from the early 80s, but the washer and dryer are like a million times nicer and newer than my 2003 models? There's obviously something to this new bit of information, but trying to figure it out is an impossible task.

About Last Night... Fox easily dominated the first hour of the night with more American Idol auditions, followed by CBS comedies Still Standing and Yes, Dear and ABC comedies George Lopez and Freddie. At 9, ABC took over with Lost, followed by CBS's Criminal Minds and Fox's Bones. UPN's Veronica Mars, with the faltering South Beach as its lead-in, landed in last behind a Beauty and the Geek rerun. The final hour of the night went to CBS's CSI: NY, followed by NBC's Law & Order (r) and ABC's Invasion. For more on last night's ratings, visit Zap2it.

~Primetime Pass~
@8 p.m. - The remaining seven teams compete in the paso doble and the foxtrot on ABC's Dancing with the Stars. Over on the WB, Smallville celebrates its 100th episode with a shocking death.

@9 p.m. - Faye Dunaway guest stars as a former showgirl as the team goes into the world of old world Las Vegas on CBS's CSI. Over on NBC, Earl tries to cross #18 ("told an inappropriate
story at Hank Lange's birthday party") off his list on My Name is Earl. Fox's The O.C. shows Kaitlin's true colors as she begins to stir up trouble.

@10 p.m. - The team searches for a missing middle school teacher and a student who may be having an inappropriate relationship together on CBS's Without a Trace.


*And finally, more television shows are heading to iTunes. MTV's Laguna Beach and Beavis and Butt-head, Comedy Central's South Park (seasons 1 & 2) and Drawn Together, Nickelodeon's Spongebob Squarepants and The N's South of Nowhere will be available for download for $1.99 an episode beginning today. Comedy Central will also premiere a new episode of Drawn Together on iTunes January 30th before it hits the television airwaves. That episode will be available for free for one week. The latest crop of shows now offered on iTunes joins popular ABC, NBC and Disney Channel programs already offered through the popular music download service.

That's all for today. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for CSI (Faye Dunaway - hype or hyper-awesome guest star?) and Without a Trace (please don't be too ripped from the headlines, please don't be too ripped from the headlines...). Plus, all the latest television news!

Don't forget to help Veronica Mars with the $4,000 Shower Campaign! Click HERE for details

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

'Scrub'-ing In to See the Wizard! Plus, Find out which Show Landed on Top of the Nielsen Heap!

Any show that manages to pay homage to something like The Wizard of Oz with the perfect blend of subtlety and the more apparent mixed in without making it seem forced, deserves a tremendous round of applause! What a wonderful way for Scrubs to celebrate its 100th episode! From the moment it began last night, I knew it was going to be good. I know I wasn't the only one rockin' out to Toto's (Wizard of Oz reference #1) "Africa!" I'm a music dork because I LOVE that song, and it's on heavy rotation on my iPod too, JD. Moving along, the episode went from awesome to hilarious when JD drove his scooter into that ginormous puddle in the parking lot! I almost fell out of my chair laughing at him, especially when he came out the other puddle. The Oz references kept rolling in, but some of my favorites were Dr. Cox continuously calling JD Dorothy, JD's ruby red sneakers, the overarching theme of JD just wanting to go home, Janitor's muffled oil can plea, Jordan's "melting" scene (complete with her silicon expanding lips), the man behind the curtain, and of course, all of the characters quests along the yellow brick road. It was pure genius and it reminded me why this show is leaps and bounds above others.

The second episode had a more solemn tone as the Morbidity and Mortality Conference worked to uncover who was responsible for a patient's sudden death, but that didn't stop the show from putting all of the characters into hilarious situations along the way. In the end, it was these hilarious actions that left the patient unattended when he started to crash. Elliot was duct taped to the wall by the wife of a man she made out with, Carla was crossing her fingers and watching the lotto drawing to see if she and her co-workers won, and JD and Turk were trying to get a thank you from a patient (guest star Jason Bateman) that owned several attack ostriches. JD and Turk got treed by a pack of ostriches! It was classic. Luckily for each of the characters, the conference discovered that it was a radiologist's mistake in not seeing a pulmonary embolism on the films, but as Dr. Cox pointed out in the end, they all shared a piece of the responsibility. The ending moments with each of them walking around with the dead patient following them really hit the point home and brought in some of the tremendous heart that this show manages to convey along with all its silliness (like JD's mic trouble during the conference).

The Scrubies
"You never went to assface school, but you seem to be an expert at that." Elliot to Dr. Cox after he calls her on her limited knowledge of Endocrinology because she thinks she's an expert after her couple-month fellowship

"I didn't know what I was high five-ing. I've got to stop doing that." JD after Dr. Cox tells him he made a big mistake high five-ing Elliot for her above comment

"I love religion." JD to Turk after discussing their plans to meet in heaven on the lesbian cloud

"My scooter Sasha was assassinated this morning." JD explaining his bad mood to a patient after his scooter was involved in a police shoot-out

JD (narration): With the Morbidity and Mortality Conferences, the first question sets the tone for the whole day.
DR. KELSO: Who the hell ate my scone?
DR. COX: That would be me Bob-O, and it was DE-licious! My compliments to the little lady.
DR. KELSO: I made those.
DR. COX: I know

"Oh no Turk, they're organized!" JD after encountering the group of ostriches

"I'm starting to see why Leon outsmarted you." Mr. Sutton (guest star Jason Bateman) to Turk after learning that Leon the ostrich got the better of him


DR. COX (to Carla): And the category is.....DING! Things that have a better chance of happening than you winning the lottery. Ted-ski, put 10 seconds on the clock for me.
TED: Go!
DR. COX: Brain transplants, Britney Spears having another hit record, the Rolling Stones going on a farewell tour and actually meaning it, me caring about anything that happens on Wisteria Lane, Jessica Simpson winning an Oscar, Jessica Alba winning an Oscar, Jessica Simpson becoming Jessica Alba-Simpson...
TED: Time!
DR. COX: Oh!

There's a look at some of last night's funniest lines. As always, if you have a line that you would like to nominate, leave me a comment and I'll post it here in a later edition.

As usual, here's the link to this week's Gilmore Girls recap from TVGuide.com's Watercooler feature. Click HERE to read what they had to say about the episode.

About Last Night... Fox easily captured the first hour with American Idol, followed by CBS's NCIS and ABC comedies According to Jim and Rodney. At 9, Fox's Idol continued its dominance in its second hour, followed by CSI: Miami (r) on CBS and Commander in Chief on ABC. NBC's hour of Scrubs landed in fourth. The final hour of the night went to ABC's Boston Legal, followed by NBC's Law & Order: SVU (r) and CBS's Love Monkey. For more on last night's ratings, visit Zap2it.

~Primetime Pass~
@8 p.m. - The auditions (good and bad, but mostly bad) continue on Fox's American Idol.

@9 p.m. - UPN's Veronica Mars finally returns! Tonight, Lucy Lawless guest stars as an FBI Agent hot on the trail of one of Neptune's most wanted after said character is involved in a kidnapping and goes on the run.
Lawless invades Mars tonight on UPN (photo courtesy
UPN/Warner Bros. Not for use on other sites/blogs)

Over on ABC, Locke begins to think that Charlie might be using again and Sawyer persuades Hurley to act on his attraction to Libby on Lost. Fox moves Bones to its new, temporary timeslot with a case that brings Brennan and Booth to Los Angeles.

@10 p.m. - Underlay is shot and he finds himself reliving the 1996 plane crash that triggered his "rebirth" on ABC's Invasion. Over on CBS, Danny must stop a moving train before it hits a body on the tracks on CSI: NY.


*Cold Case's Kathryn Morris is spilling some secrets to TVGuide.com's Mike Ausiello. In today's Ask Ausiello column, he reveals that he ran into Morris at CBS's Winter Press Tour party last week. She told him that [STOP READING NOW IF YOU DON'T WANT TO BE SPOILED] Lilly's old flame (the motorcycle man that she ran off with, but didn't marry) will show up in an upcoming episode. According to Ausiello, actor Brennan Elliot will play the part. Morris told Ausiello that we will "see a different side to Lilly that [we] didn't expect." She also told him that Lilly will face a serial killer in episode 16 (this Sunday's episode is #13) who's quite familiar with her experience with George Marks last season[END OF SPOILER WARNING]. Cold Case airs Sundays on CBS.

*And finally, it's Nielsen Wednesday! Fox snagged the weekly ratings crown away from CBS last week as more than 19 million viewers tuned in on average. Leading the pack for Fox was American Idol (Tuesday) (#1), NFL NFC Championship (#2) and American Idol (Wednesday) (#3). CSI (#4), Desperate Housewives (#5), Without a Trace (#6), Grey's Anatomy (#7), Lost (#8), Dancing with the Stars (#9), and The Golden Globe Awards (#10) rounded out the top 10. For the full top 20 list, visit USA Today.

That's all for today. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for the return of Veronica Mars (we can all do the happy dance because it's BACK!!!!) and thoughts on Lost (how cute would a Hurley/Libby romance be?). Plus, all the latest television news!

Don't forget to help Veronica Mars with the $4,000 Shower Campaign! Click HERE for details

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A 'Medium' with a Moral Crisis, NBC Goes for Gold and News on 'Surface' and 'Joey!'

We've seen Medium's Allison have dreams that she later realizes aren't supposed to come true for a few years, but last night's episode was a twist on that idea. Her dreams were about the future, or rather, what the future would look like if Tyler's life didn't change. His mother was so consumed with thoughts that her son was evil, that she would have pushed him that way had she not taken her own life at the end. The point of Allison's dreams was to let her know that Tyler's mother was a poison that would have destroyed, not only his life, but the lives of his future classmates as he terrorized them in an all too familiar school shooting scene. Allison was actually seeing Tyler's mother's dreams, but misinterpreting them at first. This mother was so deranged that she kidnapped and attempted to kill her own child because she thought he was evil. When Allison confronted her about her dreams, she realized that she was the problem and not her son. She took her life to spare Tyler any future damage, and as we saw in Allison's final dream, it seemed to work because Tyler was at his high school graduation making his valedictorian speech. This episode was another variation on a formula that I thought would prove to run out of variations very quickly. It still amazes me how this show manages to come up with original plots and storytelling tactics without being gimmicky.

Next month's sweeps period will be a little different for NBC. The peacock network will feature more hours of coverage and live coverage than any past Winter Olympic games, which will leave little time for the network's usual programming. Here's a look at what you can expect from NBC next month. As always, I will try to keep the plans as spoiler-free as possible, but be warned that the following may contain minor spoilers. All dates are subject to change.

Thursday, February 9th is Valentine's Day for NBC
Will & Grace - Taye Diggs guest stars in an episode that promises a wedding and life-changing news for someone.

Four Kings - Barry and Bobby are big hits at a society party when they escort two older women, but Barry learns that his date may have more on her mind than companionship.

My Name is Earl - Christine Taylor guest stars as a woman who causes Earl to fall in love for the first time this season.

The Office - Michael heads to the New York corporate offices where he and Jan are in for a big surprise. Meanwhile back in Scranton, the staff celebrates Valentine's Day grade school style.

The Olympics Highlights
Opening Ceremonies - Friday, February 10th 7-11 p.m.
Figure Skating (Pairs Short Program) - Saturday, February 11th 8-11:30 p.m.
Snowboarding (Men's Half Pipe Final) - Sunday, February 12th 7-11 p.m.
Figure Skating (Pairs Free Skate Final) - Monday, February 13th 8-11:30 p.m.
Snowboarding (Women's Half Pipe Final) - Monday, February 13th 8-11:30 p.m.
Alpine Skiing (Women's Downhill Final) - Wednesday, February 15th 8-11:30 p.m.
Figure Skating (Men's Free Skate Final) - Thursday, February 16th 8-12 midnight
Women's Hockey Gold Medal Game - Monday, February 20th (LIVE) 1-6 p.m.
Figure Skating (Ladies Free Skate Final) - Thursday, February 23rd 8-12 midnight
Men's Hockey Gold Medal Game - Sunday, February 26th (LIVE) 8-11 a.m.
Closing Ceremonies - Sunday, February 26th 7-11 p.m.

NBC will split coverage of the 17-day event with sister networks USA, MSNBC, and CNBC for a total of 418 broadcast hours. For a full schedule of the entire coverage, click on over to MSNBC.com.

Sticking with NBC for a moment, the network sure knows how to make a Winter Press Tour appearance! Yesterday, I brought you all the scheduling changes, cancellations and renewals. Today, I have news on Surface and Joey, both of which were addressed at the event Sunday. Surface has only two episodes left, but are they the last two ever? Not necessarily according to NBC Entertainment President Kevin Reilly whose says, "The reaction is that the show has done a pretty good job over on Monday. I think it's creative. It's got a very loyal audience." He goes on to say that the show is at a wait-and-see juncture, "so we'll reassess in May, and we'll look at the rest of the product, but no decision is made right now one way or the other." He did promise, however, that the February 6th season finale will wrap-up the current season's storyline. Joey hasn't aired a new episode since before Christmas as it is currently on a hiatus while the network tries out comedies Will & Grace, Four Kings, My Name is Earl and The Office on Thursday nights. Will the show ever return? Reilly said that the network does not have any plans for the show right now, but they will go into March and "see how the schedule settles in, and then we'll reassess as to where Joey can come back on." Reilly was also asked about the future of the show and said, "I think we've got to see when it comes back on the air." Stay tuned to Pass the Remote for all the latest on both shows' futures.

About Last Night... CBS won the first hour of the night with comedies King of Queens and How I Met Your Mother, followed by Fox's Skating with Celebrities and ABC's Wife Swap. At 9, CBS stayed in the lead with Two and a Half Men and new comedy Courting Alex, followed by Fox's 24 and NBC's Las Vegas. The final hour of the night also went to CBS with CSI: Miami, followed by Medium on NBC and The Bachelor on ABC. For more on last night's ratings, visit Zap2it.

~Primetime Pass~
@8 p.m. - Lorelai tries to pretend that the discovery of Luke's daughter is not having an impact on their engagement and Rory deals with Paris' lack of management skills at Yale's Daily News on WB's Gilmore Girls. Over on Fox, it's more auditions as night 3 of American Idol sings on.

@9 p.m. - Scrubs celebrates its 100th episode with an homage to The Wizard of Oz. At 9:30, the show continues its back-to-back run with guest star Jason Bateman. Over on ABC, Air Force One is held hostage on Commander In Chief.

@10 p.m. - Michael J. Fox and Betty White guest star on ABC's Boston Legal. Over on CBS, Tom tries to enlist a picky pop star to headline a benefit concert on Love Monkey.


*As I reported earlier today in a special edition, the WB and UPN are shutting down and merging into a new network. The merge is a joint venture between Warner Bros. and CBS Corp., with each owning 50% on the new network called The CW. In today's press release, shows including Veronica Mars, Gilmore Girls, Everybody Hates Chris, Smallville, America's Next Top Model, Reba, Girlfriends, Beauty and the Geek, Supernatural and WWE Smackdown are all included. No word yet on other WB and UPN favorites. The new network will launch in September and will be carried in 95% of the country.

*Commander in Chief and Will & Grace lead the crop of television shows nominated for a GLAAD Media Award. The awards "recognize and honor mainstream media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and the issues that affect their lives" according to the organization's web site. Chief will compete in the Outstanding Drama Series category along with The L Word, Queer As Folk, Six Feet Under and South of Nowhere. Will & Grace will compete in the Outstanding Comedy Category along with Out of Practice and Shameless. Competing for Outstanding Individual Episode (in a series without a regular gay character) are (click on the episode names for descriptions) Law & Order: SVU (for "Alien"), Cold Case (for "Best Friends"), My Name is Earl (for "Pilot"), What I Like About You (for "Someone's in the Kitchen with Daddy") and Without a Trace (for "Transitions"). The awards will be broadcast on April 15th on Logo and April 16th on VH1.

*NBC is closing The Book of Daniel after only three weeks. The peacock pulled the show off the air, effective immediately. Also getting pink slips today, ABC's Jake in Progress (according to co-executive producer Jane Epenson's blog) and TNT's Wanted. Jake starred John Stamos and aired after the now canceled Emily's Reasons Why Not. TNT announced that Wanted will not return for a second season. For more all three cancellations, visit The Futon Critic.

*And finally, My Name is Earl is temporarily shutdown while star Jason Lee recovers from a bout with chicken pox. NBC announced the news during its Winter Press Tour Sunday. The show is expected to resume filming in a couple of weeks with Lee appearing in all of the episodes. NBC recently picked up the show for a second season.

That's all for today. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for the Scrubies and thoughts on the 100th episode! Plus, all the latest television news!

Don't forget to help Veronica Mars with the $4,000 Shower Campaign! Click HERE for details

BREAKING NEWS! WB, UPN Shutting Down to Form Unified Network

Warner Bros. and CBS Corp. announced today that both the WB and UPN will shut down and merge into one network called CW starting next fall. The new network will air 30 hours of programming a week, with shows coming from both UPN and WB's current line-up. It will be a joint venture between Warner Bros. and CBS, with each owning half of the new network.

Plans are to include UPN's America's Next Top Model, Veronica Mars, and Everybody Hates Chris. The WB's Smallville, Beauty and the Geek, and Gilmore Girls will also be included on the new network that will debut in September. No further information was released regarding other UPN and WB favorites. Stay tuned to Pass the Remote for the latest on this breaking story. Be sure to tune in later today for the regular edition with thoughts on Medium and NBC's sweeps plans.

Monday, January 23, 2006

A 'Desperate' War is Brewing! Plus, UPN Sweeps out its February Episodes!

I had a feeling that last week's episode of Desperate Housewives was setting us up for some great future storylines, and last night's episode proved me right. This episode was classic Housewives, and all of the members of Wisteria Lane were in true, funny form last night. Let's tackle Gabby's hilarious showdown with Sister Mary Bernard. I never did figure out why this woman was so hell-bent on breaking up Carlos and Gabby, but her annulment stunt would have been the last straw for me as well. I'm going to have to take Gabby's side on this whole baby thing, anyway. It's not fair of Carlos to demand a baby from Gabby when she's not ready, especially since she just suffered a miscarriage. I loved her scene with Sister Mary Bernard at the church that ended with an old-fashioned knock out, drag down fight between the two of them. It was classic Gabby! In the end, after Carlos told her that he cares more about her than having a baby; Gabby admitted that she would also like to have a baby with him. So, all's well that ends well - for now anyway. Next, we have Susan and her silly attempt to dump Dr. Ron after he got mad at her for not wanting him as her surgeon. I'm siding with Susan on this one, so I was really glad when Dr. Ron came around and realized that operating on Susan would have been a bad idea to say the least. Like he said, they have rules against these things for a reason. I thought Susan's admission that she'll do anything to keep a guy from leaving was a very honest assessment, and I was glad to see her stand-up for herself even if she did do the silly snap thing in the process.

Lynette has been grating on my nerves lately, which is a shame because I adore Felicity Huffman. She just hasn't been a nice person since she started working again, especially when it comes to Tom. Mix in her constant jealousy issues, and you have the perfection potion of annoyance, but she got back on my good side last night. At first, I wanted to smack her when she was sitting in the kitchen working on her ad pitch because she was so mean to Tom. Then, things got better because Tom applied for the open position at Lynette's firm, and wowed her boss during the interview despite Lynette's attempts to thwart him. This scene was one of the best from this show in recent memory. I was rolling laughing at these two compete with each other during the interview. Since Tom got the job, I am interested to see how things will progress for these two, but I don't see them going well. The truce they called at dinner later that evening did show some promise, though. And finally, we have Bree, who is in quite a pickle. She and Betty Applewhite have found themselves in the middle of a raging war that, I can only imagine, will get bigger and bigger in the coming weeks. All I can say is this Applewhite storyline is finally getting interesting! Last night's episode was fantastic, and if the show continues on this path, then I think everyone will forget about its slow start this season.

Well, another sweeps month is right around the corner again, so it's time to take a look at what you can expect from your favorite shows. First up, UPN. As always, I will try to keep these plans as spoiler-free as possible, but be warned that the following section may contain minor spoilers. Also, all dates are subject to change.

Veronica Mars - In the February 8th episode, Veronica finds herself investigating who stole the funds for the senior class trip. The following week, Laguna Beach's Kristin Cavallari guest stars as one of Neptune High's closeted gay teens, who turn to Veronica for help after someone threatens to out them.

Everybody Hates Chris - In the February 2nd episode, Chris tries to find the perfect new outfit for the school picture. The following week, Chris develops a crush right before Valentine's Day and Drew and Tanya gets lots of Valentines attention. On February 16th, Chris meets his match as Asteroid Champ at the local store and Rochelle and Julius decide to cut back on their guilty pleasures in order to save money.

America's Next Top Model - On March 1st, the reality competition airs a one-hour look at where some of the show's former contestants are now.

That's a look at what you can expect from some of your favorite UPN shows. To see what the network has planned for all its series, click on over to The Futon Critic. Tomorrow, we'll take a look at NBC's sweeps plans, which include the upcoming Olympics.

About Last Night... Fox won the first hour of the night with its coverage of the NFC Championship game, followed by ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and CBS's Cold Case (r). At 9, ABC took over with Desperate Housewives, followed by the final hour of the NFC Championship game on Fox and NBC's Law & Order: Criminal Intent. The final hour of the night went to Grey's Anatomy on ABC, followed by Crossing Jordan on NBC and Without a Trace (r) on CBS. For more on last night's ratings, visit Zap2it.

~Primetime Pass~
@8 p.m. -Laura and Rich decide to get to the bottom of who funded the experiment that built the mysterious creatures on NBC's Surface. Over on Fox, Skating with Celebrities moves to its permanent timeslot.

@9 p.m. - CTU is forced to investigate its own staff while a touching reunion between Jack and Audrey turns awkward on Fox's 24. Over on NBC, the Montecito runs into trouble when they go to renew its gaming license and $2.9 million in irregularities is discovered on Las Vegas. CBS premieres its new Jenna Elfman comedy Courting Alex at 9:30.

@10 p.m. - Allison saves a missing child, but she soon learns that he will wreak all sorts of havoc in the future on NBC's Medium. Over on CBS, Horatio and his team face off against the Mala Noche gang again on CSI: Miami.


*NBC is ending The West Wing after seven seasons. The network made the announcement yesterday during its Winter Press Tour in Los Angeles. The show will end with a special two-hour send off that will include a one-hour retrospect, followed by the one-hour finale. During its seven-year run, the show garnered multiple Emmys, a Peabody, Golden Globe, and three Television Critics Association Awards. The show will air its final episode May 14th on NBC. In other NBC news, My Name is Earl and The Office both earned another season. The network announced that the comedies will return for a second and third season, respectively.

*Sticking with NBC, the network also announced yesterday that it is shuffling its post-Olympics schedule. Las Vegas will move from Mondays to Fridays at 9 p.m. starting March 3rd, followed by new Dick Wolf drama Conviction. The next installment of The Apprentice will inherit Las Vegas' old slot, with the return of Deal or No Deal preceding it on Monday nights starting March 6th. Wednesday's original Law & Order will start an hour earlier starting March 22nd, and it will face off with ABC's Lost and CBS's Criminal Minds for a share of the over-crowded timeslot. The move is designed to make room for new drama Heist, which starts up March 22nd. The Office will end its season on March 30th to make room for new comedy Teachers, which premieres April 6th.

*Apparently, there were just too many reasons why not to keep Emily's Reasons Why Not on the air. In a move that shocked no one, ABC announced Saturday at its Winter Press Tour that the show is now canceled. Entertainment President defended the cancellation after only one episode saying, "Once we saw it was not launching, we felt like unfortunately it was not going to get better and we had to make a change." There are six unaired episodes of the Heather Graham series, but ABC has not said what they plan to do with them.

*And finally, it's TV on DVD Monday! Look for the fourth season of Dallas to hit shelves tomorrow along with Saturday Night Live (The Best of Alec Baldwin and The Best of David Spade) and Lifetime's 1-800-Missing (season 2). For more of tomorrow's releases, visit tvshowsondvd.com.

That's all for today. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for Medium (sounds like Allison is gonna have an internal crisis!) and a look at NBC's sweeps plans. Plus, all the latest television news!

Don't forget to help Veronica Mars with the $4,000 Shower Campaign. Click HERE for details

Friday, January 20, 2006

'CSI' Spy Another Icky Family Relationship! Plus, Even Therapists Need Therapists Sometimes

What is up with the icky family relationship episodes this week? Is it Inappropriate Family Relationships Awareness Week and I missed the memo? First, we had that vomit-inducing sexual relationship between a confused college coed and her sicko father on Law & Order: SVU, and now we have CSI's take on a family that's a little too close. In the latter, the mother and daughter relationship was a little strained after the daughter (Bianca) learned that her mother (Chelsea) was borrowing more than her tight, black clubbing dress. It seems Mom had a little too much Ecstasy and wound up sleeping with her daughter's boyfriend. Although Bianca was a little upset when she walked in on mommy dearest and her man (and who wouldn't be a little upset, really?), she seemed to get over it really fast because she told her boyfriend that they should move to Colorado together and live in her wealthy father's cabin. Unless the girl was planning on taking him to the cabin and shooting him, I really thought it was a bit of a stretch to think she would have been over the whole you-slept-with-my-mother thing, but it was necessary in order to set up the motive for his eventual murder. Which brings me to the telephone repair man, who went all Fatal Attraction on Bianca with the help of her mother. It turns out mommy was a little jealous of her daughter, so she hired telephone man to chase the men away. So, the moral of the story is a family that goes clubbing together, doesn't stay together.

I found the second murder story to be very confusing. Too much time has passed between Nick's abduction in last season's finale for me to remember all the nitty-gritty details. Plus, isn't Vegas a decent sized city? What are the chances Nick would end up investigating the murder of a woman who was involved in his kidnapping? It all seemed too coincidental to me, but I guess that book is now closed. Just a quick note about next week's episode, can you believe they got Faye Dunaway to guest star??? Faye freakin' Dunaway of Chinatown and Bonnie and Clyde fame! First Quentin Tarantino, and now this!

I'm having a hard time deciding whether or not I liked the missing person last night on Without a Trace. Since she went missing not on her own accord she gets a sympathy point, but her cheating romps with a skeevy ex take the point away. She gets one back for turning the gun on said skeevy ex/kidnapper, but I'm going to have to take it away for the sheer fact that she dated the loser in the first place, which set her whole kidnapping into motion. So as you can see, I'm torn. I did love the irony that this woman was a therapist, and yet, she needed one of her own more than most people. She did have one and she seemed to be turning a corner with her commitment issues, but the girl still has a long way to go. Speaking of having a long way to go, what is Martin thinking? And why is an excellent show like this going down the popping pills road, which is so well traveled by characters on television that I'm sure its formal name is Cliche Lane! I guess every season (except the first) has to have one overused and tired storyline in it, and this season's is Martin's prescription drug addiction. Does everyone who goes on pain meds end up addicted to them? It seems that way based on television. Anyway, I figure he has to hit bottom soon (and may have last night when he stole the pills from our missing person's bathroom), so this storyline can't last too much longer.

About Last Night... ABC opened the night on top with Dancing with the Stars, followed by a CSI rerun on CBS and NBC comedies Will & Grace and Four Kings. At 9, CBS took the lead with CSI, followed by ABC's combination of the last half hour of Dancing and Crumbs and NBC comedies My Name is Earl and The Office. The final hour of the night went to CBS's Without a Trace, followed by NBC's ER (r) and ABC's Primetime. For more on last night's ratings, visit Zap2it.

~Primetime Pass~
@8 p.m. - We find out which team is the next to be eliminated on the now extended 1-hour addition of the Dancing with the Stars results show on ABC.

@9 p.m. - Conti works to free a 15 year old boy convicted of killing his sister on ABC's In Justice.

@10 p.m. - Reverend Daniel Webster is forced to draw a hard line with his son after he gets detained by the headmistress in NBC's Book of Daniel.

@8 p.m. - Bartlet faces his biggest challenge in office yet when a nuclear emergency develops in California on NBC's The West Wing.

@9 p.m. - Gabby and Sister Mary Bernard get into a full-fledged war and Tom gets a job at Parcher & Murphy on ABC's Desperate Housewives.

@10 p.m. - Jordan and Woody investigate the murder of a military officer, but find themselves in the middle of a corporate cover-up on NBC's Crossing Jordan. Over on ABC, Meredith and Cristina lie to each other about their respective relationships on ABC's Grey's Anatomy.


*Actress Maria Conchita Alonso will guest star on ABC's Desperate Housewives. She'll play Gabby's (Eva Longoria) mother, who drops into Wisteria Lane unexpectedly after leaving her latest husband. The episode is tentatively scheduled for February 19th on ABC.

*And finally, this week's premiere episodes of Fox's American Idol scored some of the show's largest audiences to date. More than 35 million people tuned in for Tuesday's premiere, and more than 31 million stuck around for Wednesday's continuation of the audition phase of the show. Wednesday's episode gave a huge boost to Skating with Celebrities, which opened with more than 18 million viewers following Idol. That show moves to its normal timeslot on Monday. Overall, Tuesday's outing was the second most watched episode in the series' history, lagging behind only the second season finale that revealed Ruben Studdard as the new American Idol over runner-up Clay Aiken. American Idol airs Tuesdays and Wednesdays on Fox.

That's all for today. Be sure to tune in Monday for Desperate Housewives (Holy catfight!) and a preview of your favorite UPN shows' February sweeps plans (yes, it's getting to be that time already!). Plus, all the latest television news!

Don't forget to help Veronica Mars with the $4,000 Shower Campaign! Click HERE for details

Thursday, January 19, 2006

'Lost' with the Others! Plus, a Sneak Peek at Next Week's New 'Veronica' Episode!

Do you ever wonder if the characters on Lost have the same questions that we do, but are too afraid to ask them? I ask this because Jack, Sawyer and Locke finally had a chance to sit down with the apparent leader of the mysterious Others, and not one of them asked a vital question such as, who are you, why are you here, how long have you been here, why do you take children and terrorize the rest of us, or even what is this place! I know, I know, what fun would it be if all of our questions were answered, and the Others probably wouldn't have answered any of these questions anyway, but it never hurts to ask. When you think about it, the three (four with stowaway Kate) walked away with no new knowledge and about five fewer guns. We did learn that the Others are extremely territorial, and even went so far as to literally draw the line in the sand concerning where the survivors can and can't go on the island. Of course the big question is, where is Michael? It sounded like the Others captured him. It seems more plausible now that they were behind the whole mysterious IM from "Walt." Whatever the rest of the message said last week must have been a trap for Michael. I think it led him somewhere and the Others easily captured him. In Jack's flashback story, there was a telling clue according to TVGuide.com's Watercooler writer Angel Cohn, who paused the frame that contained the patient's X-ray. On the X-ray was the date November 16, 2005, as in the November 16th that we just passed! Couple this with the producers hint that they have never released any information that would indicate the current year for the survivors on the island, and you have to start wondering if this show tales place some time in the future. Hmmmm. One of the most interesting developments came at the end of the episode when Jack decided to talk to Ana-Lucia about training an army. It sounds like that whole Lord of the Flies allusion is coming into play. I can't imagine things going well for Jack and crew because "The Others" have such an advantage with their knowledge of the island and their numbers. I'm excited to see how it plays out, though.

I know you're missing our girl V as much as I am, but never fear, new episodes of Veronica Mars begin next week! In the meantime, I have some advanced pictures from next week's episode "Donut Run" featuring Lucy Lawless as an FBI Agent. In the episode, one of the characters commits a kidnapping and goes on the run. The FBI is called in to track said character down and locate the kidnapped child. Lawless' character is described as a "tough, seasoned agent." The episode was written and directed by series creator and executive producer Rob Thomas. Also, expect Kendall Casablancas (Charisma Carpenter) and Celeste Kane (Lisa Thornhill) to make appearances. I can' wait to check this one out!

Lawless' character is described as a "tough,
seasoned agent," and she looks it here! (Photo
courtesy UPN/Warner Bros. Not for use on
other sites/blogs)

Is Veronica sitting in an interrogation room? Lamb
doesn't look too pleased, that's for sure! (Photo courtesy
UPN/Warner Bros. Not for use on other sites/blogs)

About Last Night... Fox easily captured the first hour of the night with American Idol, followed by a tie between NBC's E-Ring and CBS comedies Still Standing and Yes, Dear. At 9, ABC took over with Lost, but it barely beat Fox's Skating with Celebrities that opened big thanks to Idol. CBS's Criminal Minds landed in third. The final hour of the night went to CBS's CSI: NY, followed by NBC's Law & Order and ABC's Invasion. For more on last night's ratings, visit Zap2it.

~Primetime Pass~
@8 p.m. - Chris learns the value of a dollar when he goes to work with his father on the return of UPN's Everybody Hates Chris. Over on ABC, the remaining eight teams compete in the jive and tango on Dancing with the Stars.

@9 p.m. - The team investigates the case of a man found dead in his girlfriend's garage after a wild party on CBS's CSI. Over on NBC, Giovanni Ribisi guest stars as Earl's friend who helped him steal a hot dog stand years before, and now the two work to cross it off the list. Fox's The O.C. welcomes back Marissa's younger sister Kaitlin (now played by Willa Holland) from boarding school just in time to wreak some havoc.

@10 p.m. - The FBI missing persons team searches for a therapist who was abducted from her office building's parking garage.


*Chris Rock will get a little more hands on for an upcoming episode of UPN's Everybody Hates Chris, which is based on the actor's life growing up. The actor/comedian will direct an episode of the hit comedy. In the episode, Chris decides to take manners in his own hands when his parents refuse to let him switch to the neighborhood school. Actor Will Smith will also step behind the camera for an upcoming episode of UPN's All of Us, which is based on Smith's domestic life with actress Jada Pinkett Smith. Look for both episodes to air later this season on UPN.

*Staying with UPN, singer/actress Michelle Williams (Destiny's Child) will guest star in a three-episode arc of that network's Half & Half. She'll play an HIV positive record executive. The storyline supports the KNOW HIV/AIDS Initiative, which is a joint venture between CBS and Viacom, in partnership with the Kaiser Family Foundation. Williams' first episode airs Monday, February 13th on UPN.

*CBS is bringing back its reality competition Rock Star this summer. The network has not chosen which band will replace last summer's INXS in the search for a new singer. The show had a strong following last summer with its competition segments airing on CBS and the more Real World-type ones airing on sister station VH1. No return date has been set for the series.

*UPN's hit reality competition America's Next Top Model will premiere its new season March 8th. Thirteen new women will compete for a modeling contract. Prior to the sixth cycle's launch, UPN will air a special on where some of the past contestants and winners are now. The special, America's Next Top Model: Where the Girls Are airs Wednesday, March 1st, followed by the premiere of the sixth cycle on Wednesday, March 8th on UPN.

*And finally, it's Nielsen (Thursday)! Due to the three-day weekend, the weekly ratings were delayed, so Nielsen Wednesday is Nielsen Thursday this week. Anyway, CBS regained its dominance this week in total viewers. The eye network was led by AFC Divisional Playoffs (#1), CSI: Miami (#4), CSI (r #6), Two and a Half Men (tie #8), and NCIS (tie #8). Desperate Housewives (#2), Lost(#3), Grey's Anatomy (#5), Dancing with the Stars (#7), and 24 Special Preview(#10) rounded out the top 10. To see the entire top 20 shows, click on over to USA Today.

That's all for today. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for CSI (a night of wild partying - isn't that every night in Vegas?) and Without a Trace (this has all the markings of an intense episode). Plus, all the latest television news!

Don't forget to help Veronica Mars with the $4,000 Shower Campaign! Click HERE for details

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Turk and the Colon of Doom! Plus, the 'Law' on Family Relations

You know how you sometimes don't realize how much you miss something until it returns and it's even better than ever? Well, enter the last three weeks of Scrubs. Is it just me, or is this show getting funnier? Cheryl Hines as Perry's sister was a hoot! I loved how he used her Born Again Christian status to mask the real reason he didn't like it when she came to town. It sounds like those two went through a lot as kids. Maybe now that he has addressed his real issue with her, they can bond over the trauma. Nah, this is Perry we're talking about! Wouldn't it be weird if he were like that? Loved that Jordan punch line. How funny was Elliot's revelation that she names her eggs ("Cassie sounds pretty." "Oh she would have been JD")? The second episode was equally as funny. Loved the fact that Gary Busey actually appeared after Elliot referenced him, and he was looking as crazy as ever! Loved the Arnold Palmer exchange between JD and Dr. Cox and JD thinking that Palmer is famous for a drink. Absolutely loved the Indiana Jones parody (hence the reference in my title today), especially Turk's comment that it always has to be the colon (like Indiana with the snakes). The entire segment was brilliant! Also loved Turk's brain freeze at lunch. There are so many small hilarious things in each episode (e.g. "Dr. Acula," Gizmo, the staff photo) that you have to watch each episode carefully to ensure you don't miss something funny. Now that's good writing! And now it's time for a look at some of last night's funniest lines.

The Scrubies

"Maybe the TV was broken one day and she picked up the Bible and found it to be just a darn good read." Dr. Cox on why his sister may have become a Born Again Christian

"Can I speak to you in the stop-filling-my-patients-with-false-hope ward?" Dr. Cox to his sister after she tells a family that prayer would save their loved one

"Mark my words. When that little bastard is dipped in water, I'll be there." JD to Dr. Cox after trying to figure out where the baptism will take place

"You're pretty tolerant of everyone except Hugh Jackman." JD to Dr. Cox on why he doesn't tolerate his sister's Born Again Christian status

"You two stop fighting or I will turn this church around!" Elliot to the feuding Carla and Turk during Perry's son's baptism

"You are a strange young man, aren't you?" Patient to JD
"I was a preemie." JD

"You're lucky we're not back in olden times. I'd make a necklace out of your teeth!" Dr. Cox to JD after he made a rookie mistake

"Were you gadget shopping?" JD to Dr. Kelso after learning he had recently been in Brookstones
"If that's what you call trolling for mall ass, then yeah." Dr. Kelso

As usual, feel free to nominate your own quotes for a Scrubie. Leave a comment with your selections and I'll print then in a future edition. Also, don't forget to leave a note with your thoughts on last night's episodes.

The Law & Order franchise loves to do these "ripped from the headlines" episodes, and I wince every time they do this tired gimmick. Last night's episode of SVU was so "ripped from the headlines" that it was preceded by a disclaimer that it was, in fact, just a work of fiction. Problem is, I still can't figure out which headline it was ripped from. Sure, we hear stories about teens and college coeds abandoning newborns in the worst places on earth (it's common enough that many states now have Safe Haven laws), but I don't remember reading about such a case that involved a baby that turned out to be the product of incest (if someone does remember, please leave me a comment about it because I'm curious to know which real-life story this case was based on). This episode was icky for obvious reasons and it certainly redefined the father-daughter relationship. Ella had created this idealistic image of her unknown father for so long that she wasn't going to let anything tear it down, including the fact that he slept with her and their union (ick!) produced at least two children. I spent the entire episode trying to figure out whether I felt sorry for Ella or whether I felt that she was just a sociopath. Olivia's obvious connection to her was nicely played, if not a little anvilous (when writers make their point so obvious that they might have well have dropped anvils explaining the connection), but most shows seem to lack subtlety when it comes to characters' personal connections to cases, so I tend to overlook this misstep (for an example of a completely non-anvilous character connection, see last Sunday's Cold Case where Scotty's obvious connection to the victim's assumed suicide and his parents guilt was played out with a quick glimpse at his emotional state through a subtle look on his face during the interview). Besides, Olivia's connection was only a bit anvilous - a huge improvement over most shows. I was glad that Olivia and Casey took the baby from his icky father/grandfather. I thought this was a strong episode as usual, but the subject matter was a little too shock-factor for me.

For a look at last night's Gilmore Girls episode, click on over to TVGuide.com.

About Last Night... Fox dominated the first hour of the night with the return of American Idol, followed by NCIS on CBS and ABC comedies According to Jim and Rodney. At 9, Fox stayed in the lead with hour two of American Idol, followed by CSI (r) on CBS and Commander In Chief on ABC. The back-to-back episodes of NBC's Scrubs landed in fourth. The final hour of the night went to NBC's Law & Order: SVU, followed by ABC's Boston Legal and the premiere of CBS's Love Monkey. For more on last night's ratings, visit Zap2it.

~Primetime Pass~
@8 p.m. - It's more squawking and squealing that contestants try to pass for singing on night 2 of the American Idol audition phase on Fox. Over on NBC, JT and his team risk their lives in Sarajevo on E-Ring.

@9 p.m. - Michael takes off into the jungle to look for "The Others" in hopes of finding Walt on ABC's Lost. Fox premieres its latest reality competition Skating with Celebrities featuring Deborah (a.k.a. Debbie) Gibson, Dave Coulier and Kristy Swanson. UPN repeats an interesting episode of Veronica Mars. Our favorite private detective helps Jackie unravel a case of credit card fraud.

@10 p.m. - Russell discovers that Underlay has taken the children on vacation without his or Mariel's permission on ABC's Invasion. Over on NBC, the detectives work a case of apparent suicide, but the victim might have had a little help from his friends on Law & Order. CBS delves into the world of runway modeling when one of the models collapses to her death during a fashion show on CSI: NY.


*Fox is finally revealing who the killer most likely would have been on the now-cancelled Reunion. The network hosted its Winter Press Tour yesterday and fielded questions about the murder mystery. According to Fox's Entertainment President Peter Ligouri, the decision was still somewhat up in the air, but Sam's daughter was (at that juncture) the killer. Also at yesterday's event, Ligouri said the chances of Arrested Development returning for another season are not good, saying "it is highly unlikely the show is coming back but no definitive final answer has been made on that." You can get the full scoop of yesterday's Press Tour here.

*NBC is bringing back its reality series Last Comic Standing this summer. The reality competition will once again pit comedians against each other as the audience decides which one is the funniest. No word yet on a premiere date for the series.

*And finally, ABC is revising its plans to bring back Emily's Reasons Why Not and Jake In Progress next week, deciding instead to bench the two shows along with Hope & Faith for the rest of January. The network is now scheduling Emily's and Jake's returns for February 6th, the night after the Super Bowl. No return date was released for Hope & Faith as Dancing with the Stars results show has been permanently expanded to a full hour on Fridays during the show's former slot.

That's all for today. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for thoughts on Lost (Did anyone else get a Lord of the Flies vibe from the preview?). Plus all the latest television news!

Don't forget to help Veronica Mars with the $4,000 Shower Campaign! Click HERE for details