Tuesday, February 28, 2006

SPECIAL 'MARS' EDITION! Thoughts and Pictures from My Day in Neptune

I'm still recovering from the red eye flight back last night into this morning, so please excuse any unnecessary rambling. Yesterday was my big Veronica Mars set visit! I excitedly entered the set with 8 other bloggers with my pen and paper in hand as well as my digital camera and my audio recorder in toe. The excitement continued to grow as we approached the San Diego set and our first sight was the famous yellow Nissan Xterra driven by the one and only Logan Echolls. Yes, I knew then that my day in Mars would be like no other. Our first stop was Neptune High's outside cafeteria where we watched Kristen Bell (Veronica) and Kyle Gallner (Cassidy a.k.a. Beaver) rehearse and film several scenes. It was amazing to actually be there and watch all the hard work that went into each scene. After watching the filming, it was off to tour the sets. We saw the inside of Neptune High, including the famous bathroom where all of Veronica's big P.I. deals are made, the front office where Wallace worked as an office aid, Keith's office at Mars Investigations, Veronica's desk as Mars Investigations, the Mars apartment complete with Kitchen, living room and Veronica's room, the hotel suite at the Neptune Grand that is home to Logan (and formally Duncan), the sheriff's office, including Lamb's office and the interrogation room and a few surprises. Stay tuned to Pass the Remote all this week and next for pictures from the set.

We met a few of the show's stars along the way as well. Everyone was very welcoming and more than happy to field our questions. I'll be bringing more from my interviews with Kristen Bell (including her thoughts on that Maxim shoot) and Jason Dohring (Logan) later this week and next as well.

Kristen takes time out of her hectic schedule to speak with us

Jason talks about Logan's hilarious one-liners

Ryan (left) and Kyle (right) have fun on the set

We had plenty of time to chat with the show's executive producer/creator Rob Thomas, and he shared interesting trivia about the show and revealed which upcoming episode he is really excited about. Stay tuned to Pass the Remote for a full report from the interview and tour with him. I have to say, the group from Mars was absolutely wonderful. I couldn't have asked for a better bunch to spend the day with and watch how they put together one of the best shows on television. Kristen was very friendly (even giving us a big wave when she saw us at lunch), professional and she couldn't have been more gracious or nice. The same can be said for Jason, Ryan, Kyle and Percy Daggs III (Wallace). They were all a lot of fun. Rob Thomas was awesome and gave us all access and answered all of our questions. He was very welcoming and nice, and made the entire experience even better. So, a huge thank you to everyone in the world of Veronica Mars! It's nice to know that there's such a great group of people working on a very well done show.

As I have said, I will be bringing you lots more from my set visit, including more photos, interviews and trivia. Be sure to stay tuned to Pass the Remote all this week and next for all the dish! And be sure to tune in tomorrow for the return of the regular edition of Pass the Remote with thoughts on this past Sunday's Cold Case (You know I'm about to burst over this mysterious visitor from Lilly's past!) and the return of The Amazing Race (tonight at 9 p.m. EST on CBS!). Coming on Thursday, it's the return of the Scrubies! I'll be bringing you all the best lines from tonight's episode - that's Thursday on Pass the Remote! And as always, I'll have all the latest television news.

SAVE EVERWOOD NOW! Click HERE to learn how to help the show get another season

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

Friday, February 24, 2006

Thrills and Spills on the Ice! Plus, Relief and Tears on 'Idol'

Well, things didn't go quite as we had all hoped last night on the gold-medal final of the women's figure skating. All three of our skaters stammered and slipped through their performances, but Sasha Cohen did skate away with the silver, thanks to an uncharacteristic performance by Russia's Irina Slutskaya. Slutskaya missed some of her jumps and fell near the end of her program, clearing the way for Japan's Shizuka Arakawa to take the gold and for Cohen to take the silver. Slutskaya had to settle for the bronze. First on the ice for the U.S., though, was 17-year old Emily Hughes, who got the call to Torino after Michelle Kwan had to drop out due to an injury. Hughes skated a beautiful program on Tuesday, but struggled a bit in the beginning of last night's performance. She slipped during one of her required elements, but she recovered very nicely. The rest of her program was pretty solid and she seemed to keep her focus and still have a good time out there on the ice. I thought she did an excellent job and gave her fellow Americans plenty to be proud of last night with her 7th place finish. I can't wait to see Emily in four years because I think she's going to rock this competition! The same is true of Kimmie Meissner, who didn't fall, but had a few miscues of her own. While attempting some of the most difficult elements of the night, Kimmie stumbled a bit (very out of character for her) and wound up in 6th. An admirable feat considering this was her first Olympics and she's only 16 years old. Sasha had stumbled throughout her warm-up, so I knew things weren't going to go well when she finally took the ice for her routine. Right off the top, she fell while trying to land an element, but it was the second fall that made my heart sink. I figured, apparently along with Sasha, that she was out of medal contention at that point. But, she didn't give up and she went to skate a artistically beautiful and clean program that landed her the silver, proving that they're right when they say that you should never give up. The biggest shock of the night was seeing the usually rock-solid Irina Slutskaya fall near the end of her program. Japan's Arakawa skated a very technically clean program and earned her country its first ever gold medal in women's figure skating. You certainly can't say that last night's competition didn't bring plenty of surprises! What did you think about the gold-medal final last night? Were you disappointed for Sasha or happy to see her still walk away with the silver despite her errors? Leave me a comment with your thoughts.

It was elimination night on last night's American Idol, and two girls and two guys were sent packing. For the girls, Becky O'Donohue (she of recent Maxim magazine fame) and Stevie Scott received the lowest vote totals and were eliminated. Based on their respective performances the other night, I think these two were the right picks. Neither turned in a strong performance (in Stevie's case it was probably the wrong song, in Becky's it was more of her not having enough talent to compete with the others), so I was happy with these results. For the guys, Bobby Bennett's not-so-hot performance of "Copacabana" landed him in last place. Patrick Hall's forgettable take on "Come to My Window" garnered him the second lowest vote count. Again, I think these were good picks. I had predicted that Patrick would go, but I thought that Bobby would have fans calling in to save him because the judges made it apparent that he was in trouble. I think all of the contestants are going to have to step it up next week. What did you think about the four eliminated contestants? Did you agree with America? Or are you bummed to see some of them go?

About Last Night... Fox grabbed the first hour of the night with its live results show for American Idol, followed by NBC's Olympics coverage and ABC's Dancing with the Stars. At 9, NBC took over with its Olympics coverage, followed by the second hour of ABC's Dancing with the Stars and a rerun of CBS' CSI. The final hour of the night went to NBC's Olympics coverage as the Americans and Russian Slutskaya hit the ice, followed by ABC's Primetime and CBS' Without a Trace (r). For more on last night's ratings, visit Zap2it.

~Primetime Pass~
@8 p.m. - NBC's Olympics coverage continues with Figure Skating (Champions gala), Alpine Skiing (Women's giant slalom gold-medal final), Bobsled (Four-man competition) and Speed Skating (Men's 10,000m gold-medal final).

@8 p.m. - Coverage continues with Alpine Skiing (Men's slalom gold-medal final), Short Track Speed Skating (Men's 500m gold-medal final), Short Track Speed Skating (Women's 1000m gold-medal final), Short Track Speed Skating (Men's 5000m relay gold-medal final), Bobsled (Four-man gold-medal final) and Biathlon (Men's 15km gold-medal final).

@7 p.m. - NBC's Olympics coverage wraps up with the Closing Ceremony.

@8 p.m. - The team reopens the 2000 case involving the murder of a bank teller and Lilly gets an unexpected visitor on the return of CBS' Cold Case. ABC wraps up this season of Dancing with the Stars as Stacy Keibler, Drew Lachey and Jerry Rice compete one last time and the winner is revealed in this two-hour finale. Singer Mary J. Blige guest stars and the eliminated stars return to dance.

@10 p.m. - Meredith and George find themselves at odds at work, Bailey treats Addison and Alex becomes jealous of Denny on ABC's Grey's Anatomy.


*And finally, Nickelodeon's Spongebob Squarepants is celebrating its best ratings ever this week. More than 8 and a half million viewers tuned in for the cartoon adventures in Bikini Bottom on a special primetime broadcast Monday night. The episode was the second most watched program for the year to date among children, 2-11 years old, behind the Super Bowl. Spongebob's huge Monday ratings are Nickelodeon's highest in about 5 years.

That's all for today. I'm leaving for the set of Veronica Mars on Sunday! I'm hoping to have something up on here late Monday night while I wait for my flight back, but I can't make any promises. It won't be a normal edition, but it will be thoughts and ramblings on my trip to the set. One final reminder, if you have any questions for creator/executive producer Rob Thomas, send them to me via the comment link or email them to veronicaquestions@yahoo.com and I will try to get them answered. Also, if you have any questions for the America's Next Top Model folks, leave me a comment as well. Be sure to tune in next week for all the dish on my set visit and plenty of scoop from Mars. I'll have pictures, interviews and more!

SAVE EVERWOOD NOW! Click HERE to learn how to help the show get another season

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

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Guys Ace 'Idol!' And Make Room for Another New Network!

Last night's episode of American Idol was like a tale of two halves. The first group of guys was just a'right (to quote judge Randy Jackson), but the second group was great! Unlike poor Stevie from the ladies group, I didn't feel like any of them were terrible (I think that Stevie would have been much better on another song, but sadly, we probably won't get a chance to find out). As usual, many of the guys have that teeny-bopper/Paula likeability factor that I think will keep some of them in the competition longer than they may deserve. By the way, you've got to love Paula's reaction to some of the male contestants! She cracks me up! Simon, despite his abruptness, tends to have a lot of valid points. I don't always agree with him, but I do surprise myself at the times I do. And then there's Randy, who is my favorite of the judges because he balances the other two out nicely. I find myself agreeing with him a lot, and I felt that he was pretty dead on with my tastes last night. Anyway, here's a look at last night's highlights and lesser-lights (since I didn't feel that anyone was deserving of a lowlight honor).

BEST PERFORMANCES: Ace Young (pictured above) singing George Michael's "Father Figure" (as the judges pointed out, this guy is the total package - great voice, works the crowd, and good looking), Elliot Yamen singing Stevie Wonder's "If You Really Love Me" (he really rocked this song, and that was difficult to do considering the inevitable comparison to Wonder), Gedeon McKinney singing the Isley Brothers' "Shout" (he was full of energy and he has a smooth voice) and Chris Daughtry singing Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead or Alive" (this song was a perfect fit for him and he really shone singing it).

THE "BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME" PERFORMANCES: Bobby Bennett singing Barry Manilow's "Copacabana" (more than likely this was just the wrong song choice), David Radcliff singing "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" (this performance just seemed like a mess to me) and Patrick Hall singing Melissa Etheridge's "Come to my Window" (he has the wrong voice for that song, so it just didn't work).

Everyone else fell somewhere in between for me. I know I'm in the minority, but I wasn't loving Taylor Hicks' performance of Elton John's "Levon." Maybe it's just that I'm a huge Elton fan and no one is going to sing it as well as he does, but I thought Hicks' performance was just OK. I also thought that Kevin Corvais would do a better job than he did, so I was a little disappointed in his performance. It was good, just not great. Hopefully, he'll get a chance to stay in the competition and improve because I think he has great potential (Plus, aren't you dying to see what happens when they "Hollywoodize" him? Look at what they did to Clay Aiken!). Overall, I think that Ace and Elliot are the two to beat, but we'll see how things progress. As far as who will go tonight, that's a tough call since nobody really sounded too terrible, but I'm going to pick Patrick Hall (performance was forgettable and nobody really knows him yet) and possibly David Radcliff (he just wasn't as strong as the other competitors on his song and I don't see him getting enough votes, but you never know with this show). We'll find out for sure tonight on Fox with the live results show.

About Last Night...Fox won the first hour of the night with American Idol, followed by NBC's Olympics coverage and an hour of Still Standing on CBS. At 9, Fox's Idol stayed in front, followed by NBC's Olympics coverage and CBS' Criminal Minds (r). The final hour of the night went to NBC's Olympics coverage, followed by CBS' CSI: NY (r) and the second hour of ABC's Lost (r). For more on last night's ratings, visit Zap2it.

~Primetime Pass~
@8 p.m. - Talk about a jam-packed evening! NBC's Olympics coverage continues with the gold-medal final of the Ladies Figure Skating event, Freestyle Skiing (Men's Aerials Gold Medal Final) and Snowboarding (Women's Parallel Giant Slalom Gold Medal Final). Over on Fox, we find out which four contestants will no longer compete on American Idol. ABC has a two-hour episode of Dancing with the Stars as the final three teams (Stacy Keibler, Drew Lachey and Jerry Rice) face off in their final showdown. Each team will dance two dances including the freestyle. As if singing, dancing and skating weren't enough, there's also surviving tonight on CBS. A banished castaway thrives on Exile Island on tonight's Survivor.


*News Corp. is launching a new network of its own this fall. The mini-network will supply programming for the 10 News Corp. owned stations that will be left without an affiliate once UPN closes this fall. Initially, the new network, dubbed "My Network TV," will air two soap opera series that will air 6 nights a week (Monday through Saturday) for 13 weeks in a similar style to the Spanish-language channels' popular telenovelas. My Network TV will air in the 10 cities where the UPN affiliates are currently owned by News Corp.'s Fox Television Group including New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and Chicago. The channel is scheduled to launch September 5th, the same month as the new CW network.

*Fans of Bravo's Project Runway now have another way of getting the reality competition's episodes - via iTunes. The entire season-to-date episodes of the series will be available for download beginning February 28th. Today, though, you'll be able to download tonight's reunion episode before it airs on Bravo this evening. Joining Project Runway on iTunes next Tuesday is fellow Bravo show Inside the Actor's Studio, which will feature all episodes from this season and the most memorable ones from last season. All downloads are the iTunes standard $1.99 an episode.

*And finally, it's Nielsen Thursday (Nielsens were delayed due to the 3-day weekend)! Coverage of the Olympics fueled NBC to a first place finish last week in total viewers and the 18-49 year olds group. The Olympics grabbed the 5th, 6th, 7th and 9th spots of the top ten. American Idol finished 1st and 2nd, while Grey's Anatomy (3rd), Desperate Housewives (4th), Dancing with the Stars (8th) and House (10th) rounded out the top 10. To see the list of the top 20 shows, visit USA Today.

That's all for today. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for thoughts on the four Idol castoffs and the gold-medal final of women's figure skating (go Sasha!) Plus, all the latest television news. And don't forget to send me your Veronica Mars questions (via comment link or email them to veronicaquestions@yahoo.com) for the bloggers press day. You only have 4 days left! Also, if you have questions for the folks at America's Next Top Model, send them my way as well.

SAVE EVERWOOD NOW! Click HERE to learn how to help the show get another season

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

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Ladies Rock 'Idol' and the Ice! And the Emmys Get a Makover

"I would have worn a t-shirt under that sweater, but we all make mistakes."

And thus, the season-long jab-swapping between American Idol's Ryan Seacrest and Simon Cowell has begun! I loved that Seacrest retort to Simon's comment that contestant Heather Cox should have lied and said that she still wasn't 100% (after suffering from a bout with laryngitis during the Hollywood round). It's nice to see that, while the contestants may change each year, other things do not. Paula was in her usual nice mode and Randy was somewhere in between as usual. Yes, it was the Idol we love in its truest form. Here's a look at some of last night's highlights and lowlights as the top 12 ladies took the stage.

Best Performances: Katharine McPhee's soulful take on Barbra Streisand, Paris Bennett's powerful take on Gladys Knight's "Midnight Train to Georgia" and Lisa Tucker's beautiful rendition of a Jennifer Holliday song. Did anyone else think that Lisa's voice sounded like season 4's Latoya London?

Worst Performances: Becky O'Donohue's version of "Because the Night," Stevie Scott's take on Josh Groban's "To Where You Are" and Kellie Pickler's pitchy rendition of a Martina McBride song. I think all three ladies most likely just made poor song choices.

Everyone else fell somewhere in between for me. I thought Kinnick Sky's take on Oleta Adams' "Get Here" was probably the best of the in between group. I agree with the judges' assessment, though, that she picked a song that is difficult to separate from the original singer because Oleta Adams sang it so well. I'm never a big fan of the contestants with the huge attitudes that mouth off to Simon, so Brenna is not one of my favorites. It just shows immaturity and a refusal to grow through the experience to me. It's hard to predict which two contestants will go on Thursday, but I'm going to say most likely Stevie Scott and possibly Kellie. What did you think about ladies' night on American Idol? Who stood out for you? Who failed to catch your attention? Drop me a comment with your thoughts.

Now, from the stage to the ice - it really was a busy night for the women last night! Thanks to the magic of TiVo, I was able to catch the ice performances from last night's Olympics coverage. I have to say, the American woman really rocked the ice last night! I was very impressed with all three of them. Kimmie Meissner, the U.S. Silver Medalist in nationals, was up first and she skated a flawless, difficult program. Her level of difficulty raised her score enough to put her in first and keep her there for a large stretch of the competition. If the field wasn't overrun with so many strong competitors, I would watch for Meissner to walk away with a medal. After seeing the rest of the field skate, though, that may prove too difficult. Emily Hughes really wowed me with her amazing performance and personal best score. She really stepped up with no expectations on her. She had such confidence and she seemed like she was having a great time out there. Finally, Sasha Cohen took the ice (and I do mean finally because the girl was last to skate). The last time we saw Sasha, she was fumbling a bit in Salt Lake in the 2002 games, but this is a whole new Sasha. She had grace and poise and she nailed every element without hesitation! Artistically, I thought that she was the strongest of the night and technically she was right there with Russia's Irina Slutskaya, so I was a little disappointed to see the scores so close (especially since Sasha was strong throughout and Irina seemed a bit wobbly at times). I'm hoping she turns in a brilliant performance Thursday night and walks away with the Gold, but I'm not sure anyone will be able to overtake Irina's undeniable talent. One thing is for sure, with the scores so close, Thursday should be very intense!

About Last Night... Fox won the first hour of the night with American Idol, followed by NBC's Olympic coverage and CBS' NCIS (r). At 9, Fox's Idol kept its lead, followed by NBC's Olympic coverage and another episode of CBS' NCIS (r). The final hour of the night went to NBC's Olympic coverage (and it got its best rating yet), followed by a CSI rerun on CBS and ABC's Boston Legal. For more on last night's ratings, visit Zap2it.

~Primetime Pass~
@8 p.m. - NBC's Olympic coverage continues with Alpine Skiing (Women's slalom gold-medal final), Freestyle Skiing (Women's aerials gold-medal final), Speed Skating (Women's 1500m gold-medal final), Snowboarding (Men's parallel giant slalom gold-medal final), Short Track (Women's 3000m relay gold-medal final), Short Track (Women's 1000m competition), Short Track (Men's 500m competition) and Figure Skating (Ladies' preview). Over on Fox, the 12 men competing for a spot in the final 12 get their chance to show America they can sing on another two-hour episode of American Idol.


*Television's highest honor, The Primetime Emmy Awards, is revamping its nomination process. Under the old system, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences mailed out paper ballots for the acting awards to the "performer peer group that included the names of all actors eligible to compete in the category." The top 5 vote-getters in each category received a nomination. Now, a blue-ribbon panel will evaluate the work of the top 15 vote-getters and then decide the five nominated actors. In addition, directors and casting executives will also receive acting ballots in the mail, allowing more people in the industry to have a say in who should get the nod. ATAS officials also said Tuesday that the top drama and comedy series categories will get their own blue-ribbon panels to decide the nominations in their respective categories.

*And finally, the CW's untitled Aquaman project is getting a new leading man. Will Toale, who was previously cast to play the part when the WB was developing the show, is out and soap actor Justin Hartley is in. A CW spokesperson said in a statement that "We have made the decision to go in a different direction with the Aquaman role and wish [Toale] the best of luck in all of his endeavors." Yesterday, it was announced that actor Ving Rhames is joining the cast of the Aquaman project - an updated, reinterpretation of the DC Comics character.

That's all for today. Be sure to tune in tomorrow as the guys get their turn at Idol glory! Plus, all the latest television news. And don't forget to send in your questions (via the comment link or email them to veronicaquestions@yahoo.com) for Veronica Mars creator/executive producer Rob Thomas! I'll be on the set Monday! Also, if you have any questions for the folks at America's Next Top Model, leave me a comment and I'll try to get the answers next Tuesday.

SAVE EVERWOOD NOW! Click HERE to learn how to help the show get another season

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

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Music Makes the TV Show Come Together! Plus, 'Model' Strikes a Pose

Wow, I really wasn't going for a Madonna theme today with the title, but I suppose it's fitting considering the subject matter. Anyway, have you noticed that your favorite shows are becoming more and more musical? Everything from the younger, "hipper" shows like The O.C. and One Tree Hill to broader shows such as 24 and Cold Case use music to enhance or set a scene. A quick search at amazon.com produces over sixty pages of television soundtrack listings! That's a lot of musical airtime from your favorite shows, so much so that a trend has developed over the last few years that produces an interesting link between new artists and popular television shows. Singer Gavin DeGraw increased his visibility and record sales when his little known "I Don't Want to Be" got selected as the theme song for The WB's teen drama One Tree Hill two years ago. The same is true for Phantom Planet's "California" after Fox's The O.C. picked the track as its theme song. In fact, many up-and-coming artists have seen their careers get a huge boost after a popular show used one of their songs in a scene or two.

So, we know that television shows help music, but what does music do for television shows? Picture Veronica trying to get over Duncan after their big "break-up" without the sounds of The Virgin Suicides soundtrack playing in the background (specifically Al Green's "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?," the Hollies' "The Air that I Breathe" and Paula Cole's "I Don't Wanna Wait"). Sure, it's the same scene, but a lot quieter and it sure wouldn't pack the same emotional punch. Some shows use music to enhance a scene such as The O.C. or One Tree Hill, which tend to use the music more in the background and less as a focal point. And then there's the musically reliant Cold Case, which actually uses songs from the time period of the unsolved cases. Creator Meredith Stiehm has said in articles that the music is like a 7th character on the show. Not only would the flashbacks lose some of their authenticity (imagine an 80s episode without the rockin' music!), but the closing montage would not exist. With Cold Case, the music has to take on something that most other shows do not require - it must wrap-up the emotions that the characters and the audience are feeling right after the case is solved. Of course, we have the talented cast to show us how they are affected, but we don't get to hear their thoughts. That's where the music must come in, so selecting the perfect song, keeping cost and budget in mind, can't be an easy task, but one that pays off nicely for the viewers. In this show's case, the music does a lot more than enhance, it actually speaks for the characters and sets the mood in the episodes' flashbacks.

One thing is for sure, I find myself hearing songs on my favorite shows that I'm not familiar with and then running off to iTunes to download them. Everything from The Dandy Warhols' "We Used to be Friends" (Veronica Mars theme song) to various Cold Case oldies but goodies to Scrubs' often adult alternative soundtrack seem to fill my iPod. Music and television have an important relationship that I hope we get to watch develop for many years to come. What do you think about having your favorite tunes and shows together? Are you running to iTunes or your nearest CD retailer every time you hear a great track? Or are you indifferent to this television and music union? Drop me a comment with your thoughts.

The lovely ladies to your left are the 13 contestants vying to be America's Next Top Model (photo courtesy UPN. Not for use in any other blogs/sites). UPN's reality competition kicks off its 6th cycle in a little over two weeks with a 2-hour premiere on March 8th. You can also catch a new special, America's Next Top Model: Where the Girls Are, which takes a look at how the show has changed and shaped the careers and lives of some of its more memorable contestants, on March 1st. I'll be taking part in an online press conference with the show's executive producer Ken Mok, Nigel Barker and Jay Manuel next Tuesday, so if there are any questions about the show and its upcoming season that you would like answered, please leave me a comment with your questions. I'll have a report on the teleconference next week. Until then, here's a picture from the March 8th premiere (photo courtesy UPN. Not for use on other blogs/sites):

About Last Night... NBC won the first hour of the night with its Olympic coverage, followed by Fox's House and ABC's special Wife Swap Saved My Marriage. At 9, NBC continued its lead with its Olympic coverage, followed by Fox's 24 and the second hour of ABC's special. The final hour of the night went to NBC's Olympic coverage, followed by CBS's CSI: Miami (r) and ABC's The Bachelor: The Women Tell All. For more on last night's ratings, visit Zap2it.

~Primetime Pass~
@8 p.m. - NBC's Olympic coverage continues as the ladies finally take the ice and skate their short programs (look for Americans Sasha Cohen, Kimmie Meissner and Emily Hughes and Russian stand-out/reigning world champion Irina Slutskaya). Also on tap tonight for the Olympics, Bobsled (Women's gold-medal final) and Speed skating (Men's 1500m gold-medal final). Over on Fox, the 12 female contestants perform to open the viewer-voting part of the competition on a 2-hour episode of American Idol.

@10 p.m. - Tom Selleck guest stars on ABC's Boston Legal.


*NBC and iTunes are giving you an exclusive sneak-peak at the new legal drama Conviction. The pilot episode of the Dick Wolf (Law & Order franchise) series is now available for download on iTunes for free. The show's television debut is scheduled for Friday, March 3rd on NBC. New episodes of the series will also be available on iTunes after its West Coast broadcast each week for $1.99 an episode. The show follows the professional and personal lives of young prosecutors in New York City. Law & Order: SVU alum Stephanie March stars, reprising her role as Alex Cabot.

*Fox is bringing back last summer's reality competition So You Think You Can Dance. The show will travel to New York, Los Angeles and Chicago to search for dancers to compete to be named the ultimate dancer. Last summer's host Lauren Sanchez is out on maternity leave, so UK TV host Cat Deely will fill her shoes. The show premieres May 25th on Fox.

*And finally, Actor Ving Rhames is signed on to star in the Smallville spin-off Aquaman for the new CW network. He'll play a a lighthouse keeper and mentor to A.C. Curry (Will Toale). The show is based on the DC Comics character.

That's all for today. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for thoughts on tonight's performances on American Idol and the Olympic ladies performances on ice. Plus, all the latest television news. And don't forget to send me your Veronica Mars questions via the comment link or email them to veronicaquestions@yahoo.com. I'll be on the set in less than a week!

SAVE EVERWOOD NOW! Click HERE to learn how to help the show get another season

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

Monday, February 20, 2006

Not-so-'Desperate'-ly Seeking a Surrogate! Plus, 'Case'-ing for Hot Spoilers

I've maintained all season that my favorite storyline on Desperate Housewives is the ongoing, dynamic one involving Carlos and Gabby's relationship. From her mini-skirt clad prison visits to his special relationship with Sister Mary Bernard and now to the renewed focus on his desire to have a child, this storyline has been the best this season. It continues to grip me, make me laugh, and even make me feel some compassion for a character that you weren't supposed to feel any for last season. Bringing Gabby's mom into the mix last night shed a lot of light on why Gabby is the way she is, and why she and her mother do not get along. And although it's not saying much, Gabby is a saint compared to her mother! I really couldn't believe it when her mother told Carlos that Gabby seduced her step father and "no one was raped." How horrible to think that your 15 year old daughter would do such a thing and not that the step father would have raped her. I was so glad that Carlos believed Gabby. I think he was in shock that a mother would think and say such things about her daughter. Since Gabby got so upset at the thought of her mother not believing her side of the story, it's best that Carlos didn't tell her what he discussed with her mother. It seems that Gabby was right all along and that her mother only wanted to be her surrogate so she could live off of Gabby and Carlos. Gabby has her flaws, but she tends to wear hers on her sleeve unlike poor Bree. Bree doesn't want to admit to herself that she has a problem, much less Lynette or anyone else. Luckily, none of Lynette's children was injured after escaping during one of Bree's drunk spells. The good news is that her drinking problem is no longer a secret, and perhaps, she will now let Lynette help her. Edie's Valentine's dinner was hysterical, and I loved the scene with her and Susan in the ladies' room. In fact, it was nice to see the housewives interacting more this episode. We had Bree and Lynette working a storyline together and Susan and Edie. I still maintain that Edie will find out about this fake marriage and the stuff will really hit the fan then. I can't wait!

Ugh, it has been 3 weeks since we've seen new episodes of Cold Case. I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm seriously missing my Lilly and her team of merry crimesolvers. There is good news ahead, though, as CBS has decided to air a new episode this Sunday! In the meantime, I've rounded up some spoilers for the next few episodes to tide you over. It sounds like a lot of interesting storylines are coming our way from TV's best crime show. Look for someone new (well, sort of) to enter Lilly's life, ghosts from Scotty's past and an "all-nighter." If you don't want to know the specifics, then don't read any further because there are SPOILERS ahead! Here's a breakdown of the next three episodes (all airdates are subject to change):

"Dog Day Afternoons" - Lilly reopens the 2000 case involving the murder of a bank teller after she finds a link to a recent string of robberies. This is also the episode where we finally meet this mysterious motorcycle man from Lilly's past. If you remember, this is the one that she almost married after riding off into the sunset with him, but even an impulsive side of Lilly isn't that impulsive! The story, based on what she told a witness in an episode last month, goes that they drove to the courthouse, but never went in. According to what series star Kathryn Morris told TV Guide's Mike Ausiello, we're going to "see a different side to Lilly that [we] didn't expect." AIRS FEBRUARY 26th

"Sanctuary" - Scotty comes face to face with his past when the team reopens the 1998 case involving a drug mule. Before coming to homicide, Valens apparently worked undercover on a high-profile drug case that has been haunting him ever since. He feels responsible for the victim's death because he may have gotten a little too close to her. Apparently, he becomes the focal point of the case. AIRS MARCH 12th

"One Night" - Lilly and the team must put together the pieces of a serial killer's demented puzzle before he hurts a young boy. This episode sounds like one of the most intriguing of the series because the entire thing takes place over the course of one night. From what the description says, it sounds like it's going to be an interrogation heavy episode with a lot of psychological elements (something that this show does best) much in the same tradition as last season's serial killer episodes. It should come as no surprise then that this one is also written by the same writer, Veena Sud, who also happens to be one of the show's stand-outs. This episode also promises to delve deeper into the detectives' lives, and Morris tells TV Guide that this serial killer
"knows a lot about the George thing" (George being the serial killer who Lilly faced off with last season). I can't wait for this one! AIRS MARCH 19th

I'm also hearing rumblings that there is a Cabaret-themed episode possibly in the works and that Lilly's mother will make an appearance in the 19th episode of the season (probably sometime in April). Nothing confirmed yet on either of those fronts, but some things to keep in mind. If Lil's wayward mother does appear, I hope someone slaps her for me and asks her why she made her poor 10 year old daughter walk to the store alone at night just so she could have her nightly alcohol fix!

END SPOILER WARNING. So, there's a few things to look forward to in Cold Case land for the coming weeks. What do you think about the upcoming episodes? Are you excited to have the show back (finally!)? Leave a comment with your thoughts. Also, don't forget to leave your thoughts on last night's episode of Desperate Housewives.

About Last Night...NBC won the first hour of the night with its Olympic coverage, followed by ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and CBS' Cold Case (r). At 9, ABC took the lead with Desperate Housewives, followed by NBC's Olympic coverage and CBS' movie Terminator 3. The final hour of the night went to ABC's Grey's Anatomy (which also had the biggest audience of the night), followed by NBC's Olympic coverage and CBS' movie. For more on last night's ratings, visit Zap2it.

~Primetime Pass~
@8 p.m. - NBC's Olympic coverage continues with
Figure skating (Ice dancing gold-medal final), Alpine skiing (Men's giant slalom gold-medal final), Freestyle skiing (Men's aerials competition) and Ski jumping (K125-large hill team gold-medal final). Over on Fox, House airs a new episode on a special night and time. House and his team treat a model for drug addiction, but discover surprising information about her in the process.

@9 p.m. - The terrorist mastermind intimidates the administration while autocratic CTU leader Lynn McGill comes under fire from President Logan in Fox's 24.

@10 p.m. - Former contestants from this season return to tell all in ABC's The Bachelor: The Women Tell All.


*ABC is benching new comedy Crumbs indefinitely. The series, starring Fred Savage, had become the network's most watched comedy, but did not hold onto a significant amount of the audience from its Dancing with the Stars lead-in. The network plans to expand Thursday's edition of Dancing with the Stars to two hours and has movies scheduled for the following weeks until its two-hour premiere of the new inventor reality show, American Inventor. The following week, the network begins a four-week run of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (After the Storm) in that slot. No word yet on whether Crumbs will return or what will happen to its 8 unaired episodes if it does not.

*And finally, it's TV on DVD Monday! Look for the 3rd season of NYPD Blue to hit shelves tomorrow as well as 3rd Rock from the Sun (season 3) and Spongebob Squarepants (Lost in Time). For a complete list of tomorrow's releases, visit tvshowsondvd.com.

That's all for today. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for a look at what happens when music and your favorite shows collide and an announcement of Model proportions. Plus, all the latest television news! And don't forget to send me your Veronica Mars questions (via comment link or email me at veronicaquestions@yahoo.com). I'll be on the set one week from today!!

*Photo from abc.com

SAVE EVERWOOD NOW! Click HERE to learn how to help the show get another season

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

Friday, February 17, 2006

'Chris' Shows us What Happens When you Come Between a Woman and Chocolate! Plus, 'Dancing' Steps it Up

I'm still laughing hysterically at Rochelle's crack-like addiction to chocolate on last night's Everybody Hates Chris! As Chris Rock's narration so eloquently put it, "Chocolate had nothing on crack!" The lengths that Rochelle went to, to get her sugar fix (stealing candy from Tanya and Drew, searching under the couch cushions for stray candy, etc) had me in stitches. I almost fell out of my chair when she whipped out that bottle of maple syrup like it was a flask of alcohol. Her rock bottom scene with Julius was so well done that the only scene that out did it was the dinner table scene later. I just loved the way she kept taking spoonfuls of sugar and adding it to her glass of Kool Aid, food, etc. And then she claims that her Kool Aid didn't have enough sugar! The incident stemmed from Julius' decision that the family needed to cut back on expenses in order to pay the bills. Since Rochelle's ever-present chocolate turtle treats were putting quite a strain on the family budget, they had to go. Rochelle agreed to give them up if Julius gave up his never-ending quest to win the lottery (there was a hysterical sequence that explained how Julius used a dream decoder to pick his lottery numbers). They both agreed, and thus, were on the path to withdrawal. In other Chris happenings, Chris lost Greg's money gambling on the arcade game "Asteroids," which Rock's narration explained was a big deal "back before everyone had PlayStation in the back of their seats." He vowed to get it back the old fashioned way - earning it. He then used the money his father gave him to buy a lottery ticket (with numbers he derived from Chris' dream) to buy quarters to play a round of "Asteroids" in order to regain his high score status. And wouldn't you know the numbers he was supposed to play ended up winning the lottery, leaving Chris not in his father's good graces.

It was the semifinals and the contestants had two dances to learn in a mere week's time last night on Dancing with the Stars. All of the teams seemed to step it up last night, but as far as I'm concerned, this is a two-team race between Stacy Keibler and Drew Lachey. Both of them and their respective partners are just amazing. Stacy was a little stiff during her second dance last night, but I thought overall she pulled it off nicely. Drew had a good first round dance, but really stepped it up for his second one. He and partner Cheryl Burke move very well together. Jerry Rice is probably the weakest link, but I don't feel that he is as bad as the judges make him out to be. I thought he and partner Anna Trebenskaya were given scores that were too low (20/30 and 21/30) and didn't match their performances. Lisa Rinna is very good as well, but she isn't quite on the same level as Stacy or Drew. I casually watched last summer's edition as I have been casually watching this edition, but I feel that the teams this time are leaps and bounds above those over the summer and they continue to amaze me. I think it's going to come down to Stacy versus Drew, but Drew's tremendous female popularity will probably propel him to the win. Who are you rooting for to win the competition? Who do you think is out tonight? Leave a comment with your thoughts.

About Last Night...ABC danced away with the first hour of the night with Dancing with the Stars, followed by CBS' Survivor and NBC's Olympic coverage. Dancing's win over powerhouse Survivor is the second in as many weeks. At 9, NBC took the lead with its Olympic coverage, followed by a CSI rerun on CBS and the combination of the final half hour of Dancing (which easily won its half hour) and a Grey's Anatomy rerun on ABC. The final hour of the night went to NBC's Olympic coverage, followed by CBS' Without a Trace (r) and ABC's combination of the last half of Grey's Anatomy (r) and Primetime. For more on last night's ratings, visit Zap2it.

~Primetime Pass~
@8 p.m. - NBC continues its Olympic coverage with Figure Skating (Ice Dancing Competition), Snowboarding (Women's Snowboard Cross Gold Medal Final), Alpine Skiing (Women's Combined (Downhill & Slalom) Gold Medal Final), Skeleton (Men's Gold Medal Final) and Ski Jumping (K125-Large Hill Individual Competition). Over on ABC, find out which team gets eliminated next on Dancing with the Stars with special guest star singer Michael Buble.

@9 p.m. - A mentally impaired man faces execution for killing a priest at the church that gave him shelter on ABC's In Justice.

@8 p.m. - NBC's primetime coverage continues with Alpine skiing (Men's super-G gold-medal final), Short track speed skating (Men's 1000m gold-medal final), Short track speed skating (Women's 1500m gold-medal final), Speed skating (Men's 1000m gold-medal final), Ski jumping (K125-large hill individual gold-medal final) and Bobsled (Two-man competition).

@7 p.m. - NBC's Olympic primetime coverage continues with Figure skating (Ice dancing competition), Alpine skiing (Women's super-G gold-medal final), Speed skating (Women's 1000m gold-medal final), Cross country (Men's 4x10km relay gold-medal final), Bobsled (Two-man gold-medal final) and Freestyle skiing (Women's aerials competition).

@9 p.m. - Gabby's mother (special guest star Maria Conchita Alonso) comes to town unannounced and Bree's drinking problem comes to a head on ABC's Desperate Housewives.

@10 p.m. - Someone from Derek and Addison’s past arrives in Seattle and shakes things up on ABC's Grey's Anatomy.


*UPN is benching new reality show Get This Party Started for the rest of sweeps. The series, hosted by Laguna Beach alum Kristin Cavallari and Ethan Erickson, enlists party planners to help throw elaborate surprise parties to mark milestones for deserving recipients. The show has only aired two episodes, but got an extremely low 0.4 rating in the 18-49 year old group this past Tuesday night. The network is not saying whether Party will return to the schedule once the sweeps period is over.

*And finally, let the gambling begin! Online bookies are already laying down their bets on who will be voted the next American Idol. PinnacleSports.com has 25-year old Ace Young as the favorite, while British bookie Paddy Power has 21-year old Katharine McPhee and 17-year old Paris Bennett equally favored to take the coveted title. Neither seems to like 16-year old Kevin Covais' chances at winning - both have him at the very bottom. We'll get our first chance to see how accurate these oddsmakers are next Thursday on Fox when the viewers' votes are tallied from next Tuesday and Wednesday nights' performances and two contestants from each group (male/female) will go home.

That's all for today. Be sure to tune in Monday for Desperate Housewives (Seeing Bree in a state other than her usual under control self should be amusing!). Plus, all the latest television news!

*Picture from upn.com*

SAVE EVERWOOD NOW! Click HERE to learn how to help the show get another season

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

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Sayid the Torturer! Plus, Lorelai Loves the Vineyard in the Winter

The hatch is back! I can't even begin to express my complete elation over the return of the hatch on last night's episode of Lost. And we were so close to finding out what happens if you don't push the button in time. I so wanted to know, but they pulled a fast one on us as Locke hit the "execute" button right after the weird red and black images appeared and warning sounds began to flare. Bummer! Was anyone able to make out what those images were of? I rewound my TiVo and did a frame-by-frame analysis, figuring that I was missing something, but you could only see three of the five images clearly, and it wasn't too clear as to what they were. I could make out something that looked like a bird, another that looked like a rifle or stick and another that seemed like a flame or razor (depending on which way you saw it). I'm sure there's some sort of meaning to it all, but I haven't a clue as to what it could be. The whole almost-meltdown happened because Locke was preoccupied with Jack who was angry that he had changed the combination to the now-empty armory in order to allow Sayid privacy and time to properly interrogate the strange captive who claimed to have crashed on the island with his wife in a hot air balloon. Whew! So, is this captive one of The Others? Hard to tell, but he definitely seems to be lying about something. Plus, actor Michael Emerson seems to play a lot of bad guys (anyone remember him as the psychotic killer in The Practice?). The crux of the episode hinged on Sayid's past as a torturer for the U.S. military during the first Gulf War. He started out working in the intelligence division of the Iraqi army until the U.S. captured him and showed him that his commanding officer was responsible for the sarin gas attack on a village where his loved ones lived. Armed with that knowledge, Sayid tortured his former commanding officer to learn what had happened to an American pilot who was shot down. He had made a pact with himself that he would never torture again, but an American agent promised him that there would be a time when he would need to use the skills he learned from torturing his former commanding officer. Enter the time when he needs the skills and he began to revert back. While he was working with the Americans, Sayid actually met Kate's dad. We see a U.S. soldier looking at a photo of his daughter, and then we see the photo is of Kate, so yet another connection before these survivors met on the island. One last thought on last night's outing, the show lost a few points and Sawyer is now on my dislike list for squishing that poor, innocent frog. I'm still not over it!

As promised, I watched Tuesday's episode of Gilmore Girls last night. I have a question for all the ladies reading this, are you OK with Luke's improvised gift? Because if I found out that my fiance hadn't brought a gift for me on our Valentine's weekend in Martha's Vineyard, but my daughter's boyfriend had bought two gifts for her, and therefore, my fiance accepted one of them to give to me, I'd be not-so-happy. I would much rather said fiance just didn't give me anything, especially since Luke's not a big proponent of the holiday, than give me a gift that was not intended for me. I'm only a casual viewer of this show, but I have a feeling that Lorelai is not going to be happy either if she finds out. It did set up a funny scene, though, with Rory pointing out how similar her tennis bracelet is to "Lorelai's" necklace, and just the look on Lorelai's face when Luke knew that it was a tennis bracelet. Luke's assertion to Lorelai that they will get married was really sweet, and I liked the way the writers have Lorelai wanting to be OK with the revelation that Luke has a daughter, but not quite pulling it off. You can tell that she's telling herself that she's fine, but realizing that she's not. The ending scene with Lorelai checking her messages and finding out that her mother had, in true Emily Gilmore style, placed the wedding announcement in the paper set up an interesting dilemma for future episodes. Now that her extended family thinks the wedding will take place June 3rd, what will Lorelai do? It should be interesting to watch it unfold. As I mentioned above, I'm only a casual viewer, but I don't get Logan. Sometimes he seems OK, and other times he seems a little snooty and completely devoid of a backbone when it comes to his father. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Asia isn't happening, so I hope Rory doesn't get too married to the idea because she'll just end up disappointed.

About Last Night...Fox won the first hour of the night with American Idol, followed by NBC's Olympic coverage and CBS comedies Still Standing and Yes Dear. At 9, NBC took over with its continued Olympic coverage, followed by ABC's Lost and Fox's Bones. The final hour of the night went to NBC's Olympic coverage, followed by CBS' CSI: NY (r) and ABC's Invasion. For more on last night's ratings, visit Zap2it.

~Primetime Pass~
@8 p.m. - NBC's Olympic coverage continues with Figure skating (Men's free skate gold-medal final), Snowboarding (Men's snowboard cross gold-medal final), Speed skating (Women's team pursuit gold-medal final), Speed skating (Men's team pursuit gold-medal final) and Skeleton (Women's gold-medal final). Over on ABC, the four remaining teams compete in two more dances on Dancing with the Stars. UPN's Everybody Hates Chris finds Chris defending his title as the neighborhood "Asteroids" champion.

@9 p.m. - The beauties must ask the geeks out on dates on the WB's Beauty and the Geek. ABC reruns last Sunday's conclusion of Grey's Anatomy beginning at 9:30.


*Fox's American Idol is down to 24 finalists (12 men, 12 women) after last night's episode. The 12 women include the 17-year old granddaughter of Ann Nesby (former lead singer for the gospel choir Sounds of Blackness) from Fayetteville, GA; a 17-year old basketball player with a athletic scholarship to Boston College from Wrentham, MA and a 16-year old former member of the Los Angeles cast of The Lion King musical from Anaheim, CA. The 12 men competing for a spot in the combined final 12 include a 27-year old diabetic on an insulin pump from Richmond, VA; a 16-year old who has sung for two presidents from The Woodlands, TX and a 16-year old Clay Aiken-type with a similar big voice from Levittown, NY. The women open the next round of competition next Tuesday on Fox, and the men begin next Wednesday. The live results shows, where two people will be eliminated, will air every Thursday.

*And finally, the second season finale of Sci Fi's popular Battlestar Galactica win run 90 minutes. In keeping with the show's style, it will also end in a cliffhanger. Production on the third season will begin in April with Lucy Lawless set to appear for a 10-episode arc. The second season finale airs Friday, March 10th at 10 p.m. For more on the finale (including spoilers), click on over to The Futon Critic.

That's all for today. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for thoughts on Everybody Hates Chris and Dancing with the Stars (It's down to the final four!). Plus, all the latest television news. And don't forget to send me you questions for Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas either through the comment link or email them to veronicaquestions@yahoo.com so I can ask them on my visit to the set at the end of this month!

*Lost picture from abc.com

SAVE EVERWOOD NOW! Click HERE to learn how to help the show get another season

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

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Accentuating the Positives of the CW Merger! Plus, Big News for 'Veronica' and 'Joey'

I know we're all still recovering from the shocking news that the WB and UPN will no longer be in service come September since they are merging into one, new network. Remember how stunned we all were last month when we read this? I remember my heart racing as I wondered what would happen to my favorites, but losing two networks in order to form one can be a good thing, right? I mean, having many of your favorite shows all together on one network can't be a bad thing. And it's not, it's just that the merging of two networks, each with their own programming and development in the works, means that some shows aren't going to make the cut. That leaves us, the fans, in limbo over whether our personal favorites will live to see another season. Some of these favorites seem a little more secure than others, but nothing will be set in stone until the new network announces in May its fall 2006 schedule. In the meantime, it's fun to play network executive and plan out what shows you would keep and where they should air. Here's my night-by-night idea of how the new CW should look (using all of the currently "safe" shows and some others that I would keep). Note, if I were in charge, I would most likely scratch new development for this season since there are so many shows already on the air vying for a spot on the crowded schedule.

8 p.m. - Beauty and the Geek/One Tree Hill
9 p.m. - Everwood
Everwood used to flourish in this timeslot before the WB moved it to the Thursday slot this season. The show returns to the slot on March 27th, so I would keep it here next season. Beauty and the Geek, like all reality shows, doesn't run for a full season, so why not let One Tree Hill occupy the slot (and run uninterrupted like Fox's 24) for the other part of the season? I know it's not what One Tree Hill fans want to hear, but it's better than taking the show off the air completely. Plus, Hill might be able to bring a younger audience to the wonderful Everwood, which is never a bad thing. Both shows are nice counter programming to the night's usual tour-de-force: the CBS comedies.

8 p.m. - Gilmore Girls
9 p.m. - Veronica Mars
This one seems like a match made in television heaven, so much so that even CBS Corp.'s Les Moonves paired the two shows together in his preliminary idea for the CW's schedule. Both shows are witty, well written and acted and highly touted by critics. The network could even bill the evening as the most critically acclaimed night of television. Gilmore Girls is the WB's second most watched show (behind 7th Heaven), so I would leave it in its current slot and pair Veronica with it in hopes of luring more viewers to the wonderful world of Mars. Just the thought of having these two shows back-to-back makes me all warm and fuzzy inside!

8 p.m. - America's Next Top Model
9 p.m. - Everybody Hates Chris
9:30 p.m. - Girlfriends
ANTM is already an established hit in this timeslot (and a guaranteed pick up for the CW according to new CW entertainment president Dawn Ostroff), so I wouldn't change its slot. I'd pair Chris with it in hopes that ANTM would bring new viewers to this hilarious comedy the way it did for Veronica Mars this season. Girlfriends would make a nice pairing with Chris. The biggest problem with the slot is its fierce competition from ABC's Lost, but Mars was able to gain viewers with ANTM's help, so Chris/Girlfriends might be able to do the same.

8 p.m. - Smallville
9 p.m. - Supernatural
These two shows seem meant 2B, so I would pair them together for audience flow reasons (as will the WB next month). Smallville has been generating a nice audience for the WB in this slot and the similar nature of both shows attracts similar fans. It seems that many Smallville viewers would stick around for Supernatural as well. The problem with Thursdays is that it is extremely crowded, especially at 9 p.m. There's CSI, Dancing with the Stars, The O.C and the NBC comedies already vying for viewers. Anything the CW puts in this slot will have an uphill battle, so picking a similar show to Smallville makes the most sense to me.

8 p.m. - WWE Smackdown
This one is all but set in stone. Ostroff has said that she plans to keep this one on the air.

No CW programming

8 p.m. - Reba/companion comedy
9 p.m. - Charmed
With the merge, Reba will not be able to keep its Friday night slot because of the WWE coverage, so why not move it to Sunday nights and pair it with another comedy? The WB still has two new comedies that haven't even premiered yet this season, so either one (or both) could be big hits for the network and earn a slot here on Sundays. Charmed currently occupies this 9 p.m. slot, so I wouldn't change it.

As I mentioned above, my line-up does not include new development because I would put a hold on it until at least midseason. It also doesn't include shows that haven't premiered yet or just barely premiered such as the WB's The Bedford Diaries (March 29th), Modern Men (March 17th) and Pepper Dennis (April 4th) or UPN's Get this Party Started because none of these shows has had a chance to prove whether it deserves a spot. What shows would you like to see paired together on the new CW? How would you play programming director? Leave a comment with your ideas.

I know I promised thoughts on last night's Gilmore Girls, but I lied - at least for today. I didn't get a chance to watch the episode, but I have it saved on my TiVo, so I will bring you thoughts tomorrow instead. Blame it on the restaurant that didn't have reservations available until 8:30 p.m. last night! I do apologize, but here is the link to TV Guide's thoughts on the episode via its Watercooler column to tied you over.

About Last Night... Fox won the first hour of the night with American Idol, followed by NBC's Olympic coverage and CBS' Price is Right special. At 9, NBC took the lead with its continued Olympic coverage, followed by Fox's House and CBS' Dr. Phil special. The final hour of the night went to NBC's Olympic coverage, followed by ABC's Boston Legal and CBS' NCIS (r). For more on last night's ratings, visit Zap2it.

~Primetime Pass~
@8 p.m. -NBC's Olympic coverage continues with Alpine Skiing (Women's Downhill Gold Medal Final), Freestyle Skiing (Men's Moguls Gold Medal Final), Short Track Speed Skating (Women's 500m Gold Medal Final), Men's 5000m Relay Semifinals and Men's 1000m Competition Luge (Men's Doubles Gold Medal Final). Over on Fox, the top 24 contestants are revealed on American Idol.

@9 p.m. - Rousseau returns and leads Sayid to a mysterious captive that may be one of the Others on ABC's Lost (NOTE: this episode runs until 10:03 p.m.). Over on Fox, Booth and Brennan investigate an El Salvadoran gang member after he is stopped with a dug-up corpse of a young woman in the trunk of his car. UPN reruns a pivotal episode of Veronica Mars as Keith makes a startling discovery on the remains of the bus that went off the cliff. Buffy creator Joss Wheden guest stars. Don't forget to send me your Veronica Mars questions for creator Rob Thomas and the rest of the gang. I'll be visiting the set on February 27th, so leave me a comment with your questions or email them to veronicaquestions@yahoo.com.

@10 p.m. - Curiosity and frustration get the best of Kira as she searches for the truth about her father, Mariel and what is happening to the people of Homestead on ABC's Invasion.


*Joey is finally on NBC's spring schedule. The network announced yesterday that it plans to bring back the Matt LeBlanc comedy on March 7th, where it will move to its new Tuesday night timeslot to finish out its sophomore season (replacing Fear Factor, which will return to the schedule this summer). The network also announced that fellow comedy The Office will no longer wrap up its season at the end of March, but will get an extra episode and bonus material that will carry it through May 11th. New comedy Teachers will premiere on March 28th where it will occupy the 9:30 slot on Tuesday nights. Scrubs will move to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays on that same evening. NBC will fill the 8:30 slot between Joey and Scrubs with encore presentations of Joey (March 7-21) and Scrubs (beginning March 28th).

*An update to a story that I brought you yesterday regarding the next three weeks of reruns for UPN's Veronica Mars. The network released a statement saying that the decision to air the repeats through the end of February is designed to help the series. The statement says, "Veronica Mars is facing a lot of competition in February, so to protect the series and to make sure that as many people as possible can watch the original episodes, we're going to air repeats for the next few weeks." The network goes on to say that when Veronica does return in March, it will air all original episodes leading up to the second season finale. In other news from Mars, series star Kristen Bell tells AOL Television that she's excited about the new CW network and what it could mean for her critically acclaimed show. She says, "I look at it as a really positive move. They'll both be looking at their line-ups and saying 'let's take all of our best shows.' So I think that the CW is going to have really good programming because it's going to take the crème de la crème of both UPN and WB, and fortunately, I consider our show one of those shows." For more with Kristen, including some spoilers for this season and next, visit AOL Television.

*UPN is releasing the list of contestants for the next cycle of America's Next Top Model. The 13 women vying for modeling contracts with Ford Models and Cover Girl and a fashion spread in Elle magazine include a 21-year old translator from Tampa, Florida; a 20-year old house painter from Brevard, North Carolina; a 24-year old chemist from Houston, Texas and a 24-year old retail assistant manager from New Orleans. The 6th cycle of America's Next Top Model begins March 8th with a special two-hour episode.

*CBS will shuffle its Monday and Wednesday night schedules next month to give its new Julia Louis-Dreyfus comedy The New Adventures of Old Christine the prime spot between Two and a Half Men and CSI: Miami. The decision pushes Courting Alex out of its 9:30 slot, but the show will move to Wednesday nights along with fellow former timeslot holder Out of Practice beginning March 22nd when the ratings-challenged Still Standing and Yes Dear go off the air. Christine premieres March 13th on CBS.

*And finally, it's Nielsen Wednesday! An Olympics-fueled NBC won the week in total viewers led by Saturday and Sunday's Olympic coverage (tie #6) and Friday's Opening Ceremonies (tie #8). American Idol - Tuesday (#1), American Idol - Wednesday (#2), CSI (#3), Grey's Anatomy (#4), Desperate Housewives (#5), House (tie #8) and Without a Trace (#10) rounded out the top 10. To see the list of the top 20 shows from last week, click on over to USA Today.

That's all for today. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for thoughts on Lost (With the return of Rousseau!) and belated thoughts on Gilmore Girls. Plus, all the latest television news!

SAVE EVERWOOD NOW! Click HERE to learn how to help the show get another season

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

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A Look at this Season's Biggest Movers and Shakers and Tonight's Primetime Offerings

Overall, this has been a very exciting season for television. We've learned what's in the mysterious hatch and we've gotten more dirt on Wisteria Lane. We've watched Lilly fall to pieces and slowly put herself back together again and we witnessed Veronica aid Duncan's great escape. We've seen relationships blossom (Bright and Hannah, Susan and Dr. Ron, Mac and Beaver) while others have fallen apart (Susan and Mike, Keith and Wallace's mom). And we're all still wondering who's responsible for the bus crash, what happened to Desmond, what happens if someone doesn't push the button on that antiquated computer, what really happened to Vaughn, will the Abbotts adopt a child and will Lilly finally meet a nice guy (I have on good authority that the answer to that last one will come sooner rather than later)? There are just so many reasons to love this TV season, and I have only scratched the surface. Here are my awards for the biggest movers (improved) and shakers (least improved) of this television season so far.

Most Essential New Character - Det. Lee Scanlon from NBC's Medium. If you're going to add another character into the mix, then said character should improve the show and add a new element. Det. Scanlon (played by David Cubitt) is the cool-talking, easy-on-the-eyes homicide detective that not only believes Allison's visions, but relies on them to help solve his cases. Scanlon brought a different element to the show, one where we get to see more of the police work involved with relying on a psychic's visions as well as the DA office's work. It's a nice balance that has kept the show fresh and aided its undeniable creativity. Runners Up: Libby (Lost), Mac (Veronica Mars) and Elena (Without a Trace)

Most Essential New Storyline - The Hatch. No other storyline has thrilled me more this season than the hatch storyline on ABC's Lost. In fact, I find the episodes that center on other storylines to be less engrossing and entertaining as the hatch episodes. This season's opener was one of the best season premieres in recent memory because it was loaded with hatch mythology that I just couldn't get enough of, and I'm eagerly awaiting our next dose. This is the type of storyline that keeps you up at night long after you've watched the episode. Runners Up: Bus Crash (Veronica Mars), Carlos: Man of God (Desperate Housewives), Prophet 5 (Alias), Karma (My Name is Earl) and Who Framed Logan Echolls? (Veronica Mars)

Biggest Back with a Bang Show - NBC's Scrubs. Maybe it's just the fact that the sitcom category severely missed Scrubs, even though the genre made huge strides this season, but this show is funnier than ever. How do you keep a show fresh and hilarious in its fifth season? You take the divinely gifted John C. McGinley, give him incredibly well-written lines, add additional talented cast members and sprinkle it with the creative and clever mind of series creator/executive producer Bill Lawrence and you can't stop laughing. The Wizard of Oz tribute episode was one of the series best and an appearance by Mandy Moore stayed true to the show's core: A spoonful of laughter and a tablespoon of heart help the medicine go down.

Most Improved Show - CBS' Without a Trace. This show had me on the verge of tuning out forever at the end of last season. Everything from interoffice romances to a complete loss of focus bogged this show down so far that I couldn't imagine it would be able to pick itself back up. Luckily, I was wrong. The show has done a 180 this season with a return to focusing on well-written and executed cases, less personal drama and it even had new life breathed into it with the arrival of Agent Elena Delgado (Roselyn Sanchez). It's a complete joy to watch this show again, and I find myself looking forward to Thursday nights at 10 p.m. Even when the show does focus on the personal side, it does so with stories that are interesting (Jack's final moments with his father versus last season's Jack's divorce episode). Let's hope the trend continues. Runners Up: Desperate Housewives (from the ridiculous earlier this season to the hilarious current state) and Surface (the show ended it first season on a thrilling and thought-provoking note)

Least Essential New Character - Any new detective that CBS brings to Cold Case. Josie Sutton almost single-handedly brought down one of the best shows on television. The character added absolutely nothing to the show and managed to steal storylines from other characters, leaving fans upset about their favorites and asking, "Where's Lilly?" After they wrote Sutton out, the show did a 180 and returned to its former glorious self. With the more recent addition of Kat Miller (Tracie Thoms) things are going more smoothly, but I still don't understand the need for a sixth detective on a show that perfectly integrated the cases with the 5 detectives' personal lives. Runners Up: The Applewhites (Desperate Housewives) and Ana Lucia (Lost) who has added nothing since the two sections merged

Least Essential New Storyline - The Applewhites. It's a crime to waste the amazing talent that is Alfre Woodard, but it seems that someone forgot to tell this to ABC's Desperate Housewives. Her character's storyline has been bland and severely lacking. Some life was recently breathed into it with the advent of Bree integrated into the storyline, so hopefully things will pick up. Maybe I'm just missing the humor in locking up a mentally disabled young man or in a mother that finds it acceptable in order to "protect him." But the lack of humor isn't this storyline's only problem. It just isn't interesting. I don't find myself pondering what happened, and last week's revelation barely registered a blimp on my interesting radar. Runners Up: Susan's Spleen (Desperate Housewives) and Charlie's Recluse Behavior (Lost)

Why Did They Bring Back This Show? - ABC's Jake in Progress. In a head-scratching move last season, ABC renewed Jake in Progress despite its low ratings and after star John Stamos had committed to a new role on NBC's ER. But the show was only renewed for midseason, leaving Stamos with a multi-episode arc on ER instead of cast addition. Midseason rolls around and ABC brings out Jake with the new heavily promoted Heather Graham comedy Emily's Reasons Why Not as its lead-in. Emily tanked, bringing Jake down with it. Now, the show is back off the air and stuck in limbo. The question is, why didn't the network just cancel the show to begin with and allow Stamos to move to ER? I don't think too many viewers would have objected.

Least Improved Show -ABC's Lost. This one pains me more than you know because I love Lost. It had an awesome start this season and it was looking even better than last season, but it has slowed down considerably lately and so has my interest. Last week's Sawyer-centric outing was better than most of late, but it was still no match for the episodes from earlier this season. Yes, Lost is a character show, but it only succeeds when the characters are given something interesting to do, and they haven't lately. I can only hope that things will pick up again soon, it certainly seems that way from the previews.

So, there's a look at this season's movers and shakers across several categories. What shows top your movers list? How about your shakers list? Leave a comment with your thoughts on how your favorite shows are progressing.

About Last Night... NBC started out on top with its Olympic coverage, followed by CBS comedies King of Queens (r) and How I Met Your Mother (r) and ABC's Wife Swap (r). At 9, NBC stayed in the lead with the second hour of its Olympic coverage, followed by CBS comedies Two and a Half Men (r) and Courting Alex and Fox's 24. The final hour of the night went to NBC as well with its Olympic coverage, followed by CBS' CSI: Miami (r) and the second hour of ABC's The Bachelor. For more on last night's ratings, visit Zap2it.

~Primetime Pass~
@8 p.m. - NBC continues its Olympic coverage with Figure Skating (Men's Short Program), Alpine Skiing (Men's Combined (Downhill & Slalom)) and the Gold Medal Final for Speed Skating (Women's 500m Gold Medal Final). Over on Fox, it's the final day of the Hollywood round on American Idol. The WB's Gilmore Girls finds Rory and Logan spending a Valentine's weekend with Lorelai and Luke at Logan's family's house in Martha's Vineyard. Finally, CBS airs The Price is Right Million Dollar Spectacular.

@9 p.m. - House and his team have to resort to new tactics to treat a man with severe burns on Fox's House (NOTE: the start time on this episode is 9:03 p.m. and the end time is 10:03 p.m.). Over on CBS, it's A Dr. Phil Primetime Special: Love Smart.

@10 p.m. - Alan Shore files a discrimination suit against a private school that refuses to admit a gifted nine-year-old girl with nerve damage that makes it impossible for her to smile on ABC's Boston Legal.


*UPN is holding new episodes of Veronica Mars for now. The network sent out press releases for the next few weeks' episodes, and all three are repeats. Tomorrow night's scheduled new episode with special guest star Kristin Cavalleri is out for now and a rebroadcast of "Rat Saw God" is in. The network will rerun "Nobody Puts Baby In A Corner" on February 22nd and "Ahoy, Mateys!" on March 1st. The following week is the two-hour premiere of America's Next Top Model, making March 15th the earliest possible new episode return date for the series. One good piece of information, the return of America's Next Top Model should help Veronica Mars, which has struggled lately due to a weak showing by lead-in South Beach.

*It looks like the stars will not align properly for series creator J.J. Abrams to direct the final episode of ABC's Alias. Abrams wanted to helm the series finale, but the international press tour for his film directorial debut (Mission Impossible III) coincides with the episode's filming schedule. Abrams tells Zap2it that he's disappointed saying, "I wanted to direct the last episode of 'Alias,' but I have to go on the international tour for this, so I won't get to do that, which is a very sort of heartbreaking idea that the show will end without me there." Alias is currently on hiatus and ABC has not given the show a return date, but it is expected to resume this spring to finish its 5-year run.

*And finally, if you're craving more answers from last week's Surface season finale on NBC, TV Guide has just the cure. The magazine's web site asked co-creator Josh Pate some of our big questions like were the creatures responsible for the tsunamis and what does the show have planned for a second season (should NBC pick it up for one)? To get the answers to these questions and others, click on over to TVGuide.com's Insider column.

That's all for today. Be sure to tune in tomorrow for thoughts on Gilmore Girls (Yes, I do manage to catch this delightful show from time to time) and what the new CW's schedule should look like. Plus, all the latest television news!

SAVE EVERWOOD NOW! Click HERE to learn how to help the show get another season

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