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October 2008 Archives

Wilco's goofy lil' song on 'The Colbert Report'

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Wilco was on "The Colbert Report" last night and performed a new song, one Tweedy -- whose low-keyness is mocked heartily by Colbert -- says you'll not hear again. It's allegedly called "Wilco the Song" ("like Joe the Plumber," Tweedy adds) and it appears to be a campaign song for the Chicago-based roots band ...

It's official, my friends: McCain's on 'SNL' tomorrow

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Sen. John McCain played stoned hippie art teacher "Pete Van Vliet" when he hosted "Saturday Night Live" back in 2002. (File)


I can see the NBC prop department now, scouring its shelves for plungers and wrenches and other Joe the Plumber paraphernalia. That's because -- as if Sarah Palin's presence wasn't enough -- Sen. John McCain will appear tomorrow on "Saturday Night Live."

McCain's campaign has confirmed he'll take a break from begging the battleground states to go for laughs at 30 Rock.

Ben Affleck is hosting, and he's an active and vocal Obama supporter. "Idol" winner David Cook is the "musical" guest.

Is Bravo shopping for 'Runway' replacements?

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The future of "Project Runway" remains unclear -- will it stay on Bravo, or will it move to Lifetime? -- but its current network is already pulling some new shows off the rack that might look just as good.

'The View' in presidential drag for Halloween

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The ladies of "The View" celebrated Halloween this morning in "Red, White and View" style -- all dressing as former Presidents of the United States: Whoopi as Franklin D. Roosevelt (make that "Whoop-D-R," from left), Joy Behar as rough rider Theodore Roosevelt, Sherri Shepherd as Abraham Lincoln on the copper penny, Elisabeth Hasselbeck as Ronald W. Reagan (complete with a jar of jellybeans) and Barbara Walters as George Washington.

TV Talk Today: Friday's chat-show lineups

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A selection of guests scheduled on today's talk shows:

Obama ad scores high Wednesday night ratings

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More people tuned in to watch Barack Obama's infomercial last night than usually watch TV at all on Wednesdays.

The Hollywood Reporter says: "The Obama special was seen by 26.3 million viewers across broadcasters CBS, NBC and Fox, according to preliminary Nielsen ratings. If you add Spanish-language broadcaster Univision, that total climbs to 29.9 million."

Wanted: another Doctor Who

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The iconic sci-fi role has been prone to changes of actor almost as often as the show has changed media, and now another Doctor Who is going off call.

The BBC announced that Scottish actor David Tennant will leave the current incarnation of the series next year.

TV Talk Today: Thursday's chat-show lineups

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A selection of guests scheduled on today's talk shows:

'SNL' comes to Chicago, looking for women

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"Saturday Night Live" is wasting no time searching out a replacement or two for new mom Amy Poehler.

We knew it: They're reviving 'Melrose Place,' too!

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The 1995 cast of "Melrose Place", from top left: Heather Locklear, Grant Show, Doug Savant and Thomas Calabro; seated from left: Andrew Shue, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Laura Leighton, Daphne Zuniga and Josie Bissett. (File)


Following their successful collaboration on reviving the ''Beverly Hills, 90210'' franchise with spinoff ''90210,'' the CW and CBS Paramount Network TV are taking on the original ''Beverly Hills, 90210's'' spinoff, ''Melrose Place.''

ABC misses out on Obama ad tonight

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Boy, you know someone at ABC is getting a drubbing. That's because tonight every major network will be airing a half-hour infomercial by the man of the hour, Barack Obama -- every major network except ABC, that is.

On ABC, you can watch "Pushing Daisies." Which is, really, a great show. Or, on the CW, there's "America's Top Model," to which we could probably draw some similarities to the campaign ...

Even ABC News reports the story with a bit of parenthetical tongue in cheek: "Tonight on Fox, NBC, CBS, Univision, MSNBC, BET and elsewhere (but not ABC -- feel free to check out the new season of "Pushing Daisies"!) Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., will air the first presidential candidate 30-minute infomercial ever since H. Ross Perot took to the airwaves with his famous charts in 1992."

How did ABC get left out? Here's apparently what happened ...

TV Talk Today: Wednesday's chat-show lineups

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A selection of guests scheduled on today's talk shows:

Cloris Leachman exits the 'Dancing' ballroom

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And just like that.... Cloris Leachman was told she was not coming back next week. The 82-year-old exited with grace and loads of humor, telling everyone she was not leaving -- and making peace with Carrie Ann Inaba who was, depending on which side of the argument you're on -- either very cruel Monday night, or very honest.

No need to rehash the past, it was simply time for Leachman to go. With only four weeks left, there was no way she could keep up with the demands of the coming weeks (she couldn't even participate fully in the group dance on Monday night). She can be very proud of her accomplishments. Yes, she has inspired many, many folks.

Susan Lucci -- looks like the clock is ticking on your ballroom stay. La Lucci has eluded the exit sign for two weeks in a row, and if things don't change too much, she is probably the next one out of the competition.

Odds and ends on results night: The video featuring a trainer, sports psychologist and a U.S. Marine was so blatantly "filler" it was embarrassing ... Gee, do ya think we really don't know it takes a lot of confidence, strength, hard work, determination, willpower and positive mental attitude to win any competition? Glad we got it from the experts.

And then there was Michael Flatley, who, in his prime could out-step dance anybody on this planet or the next. But his, ahem, performance was good, not great, and the fact that he had to pay tribute to his hometown Chicago, or as Samantha Harris stupidly blithered "gangsterland" -- was sadder still. Come on, aren't we WAY past the concept of tapping feet simulating the rat-a-tat-tat of machine guns?

Next week: "team dancing".... could be an interesting twist on the competition. AND ... the return of Edyta!!! TANtastic!

Your DVR isn't killing TV, it's killing the DVD

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By DEBORAH YAO

The rising popularity of digital video recorders seemed to spell doom for prime-time TV because the technology lets viewers skip ads, but a study to be released today shows DVRs are probably replacing DVD viewing, not television.

Obama on 'Daily Show' Wednesday night

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Gotta make time to laugh in a campaign -- and court the youth vote.

In the midst of a mad dash toward the election, Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama will make time Wednesday to appear on Comedy Central's ''The Daily Show'' with its host, Jon Stewart.

TV Talk Today: Tuesday's chat-show lineup

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A selection of guests scheduled on today's talk shows:

Bad night in the ballroom

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Where do I begin?

What a night it was indeed. Carrie Ann Inaba absolutely snapped at Cloris Leachman (and rightfully so) for an absolutely awful cha-cha-cha: "We lost Toni for this!" Inaba intoned, referencing the departure last week of Toni Braxton. And she was right. Leachman didn't dance the cha-cha-cha. She didn't dance at all. She stood there dazed and confused as Corky flitted around her. It was beyond stupid. Leachman also DID NOT DANCE during the group hip-hop dance later in the evening, instead posing with Corky atop the bandstand while the rest of the pack danced their legs off. How can she get enough votes to survive the elimination? Bruno Tonioli, exasperated at Leachman's uhm dancing, put it best: "You've got to be the only person in the world to sell that NONSENSE as a cha-cha-cha---- [pointing to the applauding crowd] and they BOUGHT IT!"
The madness HAS TO STOP. Leachman has to go home. No other way to say it: stop voting for her.

Just as reported earlier today, Julianne Hough is departing for appendix surgery and it's Edyta Sliwinsk who will step in to partner with Cody. Betcha her tan will be spectacular!

Brooke Burke also fell off her pedastal a bit due to an unfortunate disrupted tendon in her right foot. Ouch! Though guest judge Michael Flatley found Brooke "intoxicating" (a word he used several times during the night), Carrie Ann and Bruno knew better: she was off her game. But hopefully she'll be back next week!! And speaking of Flatley, it might have behooved him to watch tapes of the previous week so he had some idea of everyone's dancing prowess. And in case you were wondering, he's on tap to dance Tuesday night for the results show. "Lord" almighty! Hurry back, Len!

It was Lance and Lacey who came away big winners with a score of 27 for their fabulous jive! That week at Disney World paid off!

Julianne Hough slated for surgery

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"Dancing with the Stars" will lose one of its pros this week as Julianne Hough gets set for surgery to remove her appendix.

E! Online is reporting that the "Dancing" champ will have a minor procedure on Tuesday to have her appendix removed. This news comes after Hough made an emergency trip to the hospital last Tuesday complaining of stomach pains following a taping of the show. The source tells E! News Hough could return to Dancing as early as next week.


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Julianne Hough delivered a sprightly jitterbug
last week, but will be absent from the ballroom for the
near future due to impending surgery
to remove her appendix.
AP PHOTO


The insider also confirmed to E! News that despite the pending procedure, Hough will be dancing on tonight's show. Producers plan to reveal the news on the broadcast and explain that after this evening's performance, Hough's partner, Cody Linley, will be paired with another pro from the show until Hough feels well enough to return. www.eonline.com

So, who will it be? Edyta Sliwinska? Karina Smirnof? Anna Trebunskya?
Tune in tonight.

Obama on 'SNL' spoofs: Fey is OK, but my guy needs work

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Fred Armisen (left) plays the real Barack Obama on "Saturday Night Live." (AP file)


Sarah Palin may love Tina Fey's impersonation of her, but Barack Obama thinks his representation on "Saturday Night Live" is taxing.

"I've gotta say, compared to Tina Fey and what she's been doing with Gov. Sarah Palin, my imitator isn't doing as great a job," he told a Washington, D.C., TV station during an interview.

TV Talk Today: Friday's chat-show lineups

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A selection of guests scheduled for today's talk shows:

Lance and Lacey dance up a storm at Disneyworld

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Beings part of a show on ABC has its perks, in this case, a Disneyworld jaunt (Disney is the parent company of ABC, folks). Seems like Lance and Lacey were practicing some high-stepping moves today in Orlando. Who says rehearsal for 'Dancing with the Stars" has to take up every waking hour?

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Lance Bass and Lacey Schwimmer kick up their heels as they get into the Halloween spirit, Thursday, Oct. 23, 2008, at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. AP Photo/Disney, Gene Duncan

Watch the '30 Rock' season premiere here!

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Why wait till next Thursday for the season premiere of "30 Rock"? It's already online. Yes, the whole show. Here 'tis ...

With Tina Fey and Megan Mullally in the same scenes, it's like Palinpalooza!

Lindsay Lohan axed from 'Ugly Betty'

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America Ferrera as Betty Suarez (left) in a scene with Lindsay Lohan (behind her) on ABC's "Ugly Betty." (ABC)


It's getting ugly for LiLo on "Betty."

A correspondent at E! reports that Lindsay Lohan is getting cut from her appearances on "Ugly Betty." They're not just not asking her back for more, they're axing the footage they already have, trimming her from six episodes to four this season.

'Dancing with the Stars" viewing party

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If you're in the mood to catch 'DWTS' amid a group of uber-fans just like you, check this out this viewing party, Mondays at 7 p.m. at Cityscape Bar, high atop the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza. No cover charge, but gorgeous views of the city and a great drink menu of $8 specialty martinis that features the Paso Doble (Bacardi O, Bacardi Limon, cranberry and orange juice), the Tango Tini (X-Rated Fusion Liqueur, Skyy Passionfruit, cranberry juice and Sprite) and the Waltz Tini (Zen Green Tea Liqueur, Melon Liqueur, Absolut Vanilia and cream). Call (312) 836-5000. The bar is located inside the Holiday Inn, 350 W. Mart Center Drive.

TV Talk Today: Thursday's chat-show lineups

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A selection of guests scheduled on today's talk shows:

Cloris outta control?

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Hey RichieB,
Was it just me or did Samantha Harris sound pissed last night when Cloris Leachman approached the kiddie dancers during their Q&A with the hostess? At one point, Harris looked angry as she shooed Leachman off, repeatedly telling the actress to leave the kids alone. Leachman, who seemed to be wandering about aimlessly, wasn't funny in the least, and the kids looked frightened.

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Is there no end to Cloris Leachman's stint on "Dancing with the Stars"? AP PHOTO

Obama dances on 'Ellen'

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They really will do anything to get elected.

At the end of a long campaign day Tuesday in Miami, Democrat Barack Obama had one more stop: ''The Ellen DeGeneres Show.''

DeGeneres got right down to business.

''Let's talk about dancing,'' she said. ''Your wife, Michelle, was on the show and she was talking some smack about your moves.''

DeGeneres played music and gave Obama 20 seconds to prove his spouse wrong. He complied, albeit in a decidedly awkward set of circumstances -- standing alone on a patch of concrete and looking into cameras that were to beam him into the studio, as supporters and reporters watched. Watch the clip here.

TV Talk Today: Wednesday's chat-show lineups

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A selection of guests scheduled on today's talk shows:

Katie Holmes 'Stoned'

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Was it just me, or was Katie Holmes channeling Catherine Zeta-Jones circa "Chicago" in the opening scene of "Eli Stone"? Just wondering. Gotta say, Mrs. Tom Cruise did turn in a good performance as Grace, Eli's mysterious love interest.

Toni Braxton outta the ballroom

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Even Samantha Harris couldn't hide her disbelief in the fact that Cloris Leachman moved on to the next phase of competition, when she quipped (leading in to the eliminations), "one couple is in for a MAJOR disappointment"...

and for Toni Braxton, it was. She was eliminated tonight, and that's a shame. I've not been a huge fan of her dancing, but she danced rings around Cloris and deserved to go on for a week or two more. Oh well, guess her fan base wasn't as big as La Leachman's.

Standing next to Toni in the "bottom two" was Susan Lucci ... perhaps a harbinger of next week's results?

In the "kiddie" ballroom competition, a fantastic young couple from Philadelphia, Maria and Mitchell made it onto the next round, trouncing the duo from Los Angeles, who might have sealed their fate with a very pompous attitude (yes, Carrie Ann Inaba pointed out the fact that their attitude was what they needed to "make it in this town.") But the ballroom didn't see it quite the same way. The applause was loud, but nowhere near the bombast of the ovation their competitors got. Oh well.

Leachman saved once again

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Twenty minutes into the Results show and it's official: Cloris Leachman will continue on in the competition. Prompting host Tom Bergeron to quip (and I'm loosely paraphrasing here): Seems like it's gonna be an upset tonight.

Hmmm, ya think even HE wants Leachman outta there?

There's no way she's dancing better than any of the other couples, even Lance with his flatlining routines. This is a dancing competition, and it's probably gonna come down to Brooke and ???

Honestly, does anyone really think Cloris can dance better than Brooke if it comes down to the two of them?

Michael Flatley newest 'Dancing with the Stars' judge

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Len Goodman needs a week off, so it's the Lord of the Dance himself, Michael Flatley, who joins the ballroom judges' panel next week. Goodman returns in two weeks. Stay tuned.

Fey and Palin weren't avoiding each other on 'SNL'

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Why didn't Sarah Palin and Tina Fey appear side-by-side last weekend on "Saturday Night Live?" Don't blame the governor -- or her lookalike. "SNL" boss Lorne Michaels said the bit just worked better that way.

"When someone's doing somebody's voice exactly, it's an impression," he told Entertainment Weekly. "So their talking wouldn't have had the same power as them passing each other by. I thought it was the most powerful way."

Darel Jevens

World Series broadcasts could be lowest-rated ever

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With Sunday night's seventh game of the American League Championship Series drawing record ratings for TBS, Fox Sports is hoping some of that magic rubs off on the World Series.

Good luck.

The matchup between the Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays, however exciting in terms of baseball purism, isn't likely to set the TV ratings world afire. In fact, some fear it could be the lowest-rated World Series ever.

'DWST' judges get tough; dances get tougher

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GREAT night on "Dancing with the Stars," most nobably because it was the night that four new dances were introduced: the Hustle (go figure), the West Coast Swing (still don't know what that one's about), the Salsa (hot and sexy) and the jitterbug (loads o fun).

Great because the pros had to each learn the dances as well as choreograph a routine for their celeb partners who then had to learn the dance. Frustration reigned supreme! Tempers flared. Pompadours towered!

The dancing was good and bad. I won't say a word about Cloris' and her salsa. Nothing left to say. Except backstage during her inane "interview" with Samantha Harris, Leachman did manage to shock everyone into uncontrollable laughter. When asked by SH what "character" Cloris channeled in order to get into the mood of the salsa, the sprightly 82-year-old searched for just the right word then blurted out "skanky 'ho." Just what salsa dancers around the world loved to hear. Thanks Cloris for bringing the show to an all-time lowpoint.

Susan Lucci's hustle was a yawner, no matter how many times she mentioned being part of that whole Studio 54 scene. Warren Sapp, on the other hand, did one mean, groovin' hustle. Even though the judges loved it, he still got a lousy 24 points. Come on!

Maurice and Cheryl turned in a sizzling salsa, even if Cheryl called him "lazy" during a frustrated rant in the rehearsal studio.

When it came to the West Coast swing, Lance, who in the rehearsal video proclaimed that he was always called the "worst dancer in NSYNC," which led to serious self-doubt throughout his career. Oh puleeeze. Lacey's proud papa actually introduced the West Coast swing into Americana, so she turned to her proud papa for instruction. Seemed nothing helped except that she showcased her swing prowess against a statue-like Lance who did little more than stand there while she danced rings around him. In the end, they got a proper 21 points for it all. (And it had little to do with Lance's sliding fall onto the dance floor). Toni Braxton and Alec Mazo didn't do much better with their West Coast trip. Seems judge Bruno didn't like the insertion of Michael Jackson's moonwalk, even though they danced to Jacko's song.


When it came to the jitterbug, it was sibling rivalry in the ballroom. Julianne and her partner Cody squared off against her brother Derek and his partner Brooke, and both teams turned in some pretty kicka-- jitterbuggin'!! But who's hair was more HIGHlarioius? Derek's pompadour, or Julianne's take on Lucy Ricardo? Loved 'em both. Alas, Brooked snagged a 29 to Cody's 28, but at least they made the ballroom sparkle! It was about time. Seems this season is suffering from a severe case of "every dance is starting to look the same" syndrome. This was the first time in a long time that FUN permeated the ballroom.

TV Talk Today: Tuesday's chat-show lineup

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A selection of guests scheduled on today's talk shows:

Lance Bass' bandmate says he'll win it all

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Considered by some to be this season's Dancing with the Stars ringer, Lance
Bass wasn't always so smooth on the dancefloor, says his former 'N Sync
bandmate Chris Kirkpatrick.

"We used to joke with Lance because he was the worst dancer in the group,"
Kirkpatrick told PEOPLE Wednesday at the Justin Timberlake Shriners
Hospitals For Children Open in Las Vegas, "but he's amazing on the show."

"He's got such poise and he's really confident in his dancing," Kirkpatrick
added. "He's really good, surprisingly good."

So good, in fact, that Kirkpatrick thinks his pal has a real shot at
winning. "I think he does. I don't know if he thinks he does. He's really
hard on himself," said Kirkpatrick.

Sarah Palin appears on 'SNL' -- and jacks the ratings

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Apparently, this lil' clip helped "Saturday Night Live" earn its best ratings in 14 years -- with 14 million people watching!

Anyone can do Sarah Palin's voice, says comedian Tina Fey, who has done a pretty good job of it herself.

''Not since 'Sling Blade' has there been a voice that anybody can do,'' Fey said. ''Anybody can take a swing at this voice.''

Appearing on CBS' ''Late Show with David Letterman'' scheduled to air tonight, Fey shared her formula for having spoofed the Alaska governor in recent ''Saturday Night Live'' sketches.

Leachman 'livens' up 'Dancing with the Stars'?

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Seems La Leachman has fans....

By TERRY MORROW

All hail Cloris Leachman.
As the oldest contestant to compete on ABC's ''Dancing with the Stars,'' the 82-year-old actress is single-handedly bringing a spark to the mega-hit that it's never had.

Technically, she's one of the worst dancers in the show's history - if you believe the judges' scores. But despite that, the audiences have embraced her every week.
She's still in the competition because the at-home audience vote for her and loves to see what she'll do or say next. That's the beauty of live TV.

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The dynamic Leachman will get another chance to perform (7 p.m. Monday, ABC) before the next cast-off vote (8 p.m. Tuesday, ABC). As a dancer, she isn't long for this competition, but let's enjoy her while she's around.

Leachman is whacky, totally inappropriate and occasionally crude. She's one of the few stars the show must bleep because of her colorful language. She has perched her leg high up on a table (while wearing a dress) to get the judges' attention. She's thrown her breasts in their faces and offered them monetary bribes to get better scores.

The audience loves her zany comedic ways in a contest that, sometimes, takes itself too seriously.

''Dancing'' is a live show that doesn't act like one. It could stand to loosen up. ''Dancing'' is too smoothly produced and executed for its own good sometimes. Leachman changes that. She is unpredictable and off the grid. I only hope the audience keeps her around.

''Dancing'' needs her in more ways than one.

She's a real spitfire. But, then, her antics are really not anything new to those who follow her career. Leachman was the pointy-breasted nurse of Mel Brooks' ''High Anxiety'' and the crone of the same producer's ''Young Frankenstein.'' On ''The Mary Tyler Moore Show'' and its spin-off ''Phyllis,'' Leachman was able to make the stuck-up Phyllis Lindstrom a woman to love and despise at the same time. Leachman is a showstopper, always has been and always will be. She hasn't mellowed with age.

As long as she keeps on ''Dancing,'' she gives audiences every reason to keep on jumping for joy. Scripps Howard News Service


Updated: McCain makes it to Letterman, brings high ratings

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Watch McCain make peace with Letterman, who then grills him a little and brings up G. Gordon Liddy -- over on Lynn Sweet's blog today!

Also ...

Palin confirmed for "SNL" this weekend

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Leaks last week suggested VP candidate Sarah Palin would be on "Saturday Night Live" next week -- but today reports confirm she'll be on tomorrow night!

Palin will appear Saturday on the show. The host for that night? Josh Brolin, who plays President Bush in director Oliver Stone's new movie, "W." Perfect!

TV Talk Today: Friday's chat-show lineups

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A selection of guests scheduled on today's talk shows:

Stand up Letterman again? No way, says McCain

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John McCain has learned the hard way not to risk the wrath of David Letterman.

That's why the Republican presidential nominee flew this afternoon by helicopter to New York to tape the ''Late Show'' with David Letterman'' after a weather delay grounded his campaign plane.

'Battlestar Galactica' begins its end on Jan. 16

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The Sci Fi network finally announced a return date for its acclaimed series, "Battlestar Galactica." The show's final 10 episodes will begin airing Jan. 16 and run weekly to the series finale on March 20.

Converting to digital? From analog? ... What's analog?

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Confused by next year's national conversion to digital-only TV? You're not the only one. Here's a funny skit (from Fox's "Talkshow with Spike Feresten") illuminating the generational disconnect, which is a very real problem for the upcoming switch ...


First look at Swayze's Chicago show, 'The Beast'

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"Entertainment Tonight" has a short preview reel up of "The Beast," the new Patrick Swayze FBI drama filmed in and around Chicago. It's dark, gritty, vaguely spooky and has some of the best noir-ish shots of the L trains we've seen in a long time. Watch it here.

'Project Runway' ends season five by doing the wave

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Well, no great surprise, the winner of season-five "Project Runway" is ...

TV Talk Today: Thursday's chat-show lineups

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A selection of guests scheduled on today's talk shows:

Bye-bye Rocco, bye-bye

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The chef wonder is gone.Rocco DiSpirito got a one-week reprieve and then promptly exited the ballroom to no one's surprise.

The Junior Ballroom Competition returned with two adorable pairs of moppets dancing to everyone's delight. I'm still not convinced that it's cool to vote one of them off on national television.

And just WHAT was that flamenco troupe that appeared to be a cross between "Lord of the Dance" and "Thunder from Down Under." Oh puleeze. They had little coordination and very little flamenco flair. And could they have more blatantly mirror Michael Flatley? Right down to their "golden heeled" boots? (okay, Flatley's were silver, but you get my drift).


Ne-Yo delivered an exciting set, thank goodnes, infusing some much-needed sparkle into the evening's events.

Gotta admit, I loved the "political ads" created by the competitors, slamming one another with mock insults, then stating they "approved this message."

Next week.... four new dances.... get out your disco duds now!

TV Talk Today: Wednesday's chat-show lineups

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A selection of guests scheduled on today's talk shows:

Tina Fey as Sarah Palin again? Maybe, maybe not

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Real or imitation? Tina Fey as Sarah Palin. (NBC)


It's the question dominating the political scene: When will Tina Fey be back on ''Saturday Night Live''?

''I don't know,'' Fey said.

Over coffee Tuesday during a rare morning off from her NBC sitcom, ''30 Rock,'' Fey noted that ''SNL'' will be on live this Saturday, as well as airing a 8:30 p.m. Thursday edition, but as to whether she will take part in either broadcast, ''I haven't heard.'' (A spokesman for the NBC late-night comedy show echoed her comments.)

Katie Holmes' cabaret scene on tonight's 'Eli Stone'

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Here's a sneak peek at Mrs. Tom Cruise's sassy introduction as the object of Eli's unintentional fantasy when the dreamy series returns tonight on ABC ...

Decisions, decisions: What will you watch Wednesday night?

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Polls, schmolls. You wanna know what lies in the heart of America? Look at what we watch on TV. And few primetime evenings will be as revealing of our interests as Wednesday this week.

Head-to-head on the tube are the third and final presidential candidate debate (8 p.m., most networks and cable news channels -- watch and blog along with us or play debate bingo!), the season-five finale of "Project Runway" (8 p.m., Bravo) and Game 5 of the major-league baseball playoffs (7 p.m., WFLD-Channel 32). (The fabulous "Pushing Daisies" is on right before, but we know no one's watching ABC on Wednesdays this fall ...) So many people to root for and against!

Which will you be watching first, and which will you catch up with on a recording later?

Leachman really CAN dance

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Well, thought I'd never type these words, but after seeing Cloris Leachman tango on Monday night, she really does deserve to come back next week. There. I said it. She and Corky really did perform a good tango. Here's the link.... (just get past the really REALLY BAD footage from last week's dance)....



At the other end of the spectrum, Rocco proved why he was at the bottom of the heap last week: he really can't dance. That's a shame because he can be very charming.

The goth tango from Lance and Lacey proved "Dancing" might just turn into "So You Think You Can Dance?" I know they're trying to inject some "youth" into the show, but does every dance need to be an affirmation of this?

I thought Susan Lucci sparkled in her tango, and for once didn't look like a frail waif. And Tony's cameo on "All My Children" as a guy on crutches was just hilarious.

Toni Braxton is giving Edyta Sliwinska fans a great fashion show. Too bad Edyta is already gone for the season, it would have been cool to see which of the two could wear the least amount of costume. Yes, they have sensational bodies.

Warren and Kym did look like they didn't incorporate a lot of choreography in their samba. Come on Warren, I'm rooting for you!

Next week: they introduce four NEW dances to the show: the jitterbug, the West Coast shuffle, the Hustle and the salsa. Aren't these (except for jitterbug and salsa) more "gimmicky" kind of dances? And when did the dances already on the bill become passe? Oh well, can't wait to see the Hustle. Yep, that's a way to inject some youthful vigor into the show. At least they'll make ample use of the mirror ball hanging in the rafters over the ballroom.

TV Talk Today: Tuesday's chat-show lineup

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A selection of guests scheduled on today's talk shows:

TV Talk Today: Monday's chat-show lineups

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A selection of guests scheduled on today's talk shows:

'Dancing' Leachman tapped for Rose Parade duties

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From AP, much happier news....

"Dancing with the Stars' " very own Cloris Leachman has been chosen as grand marshal for next year's Rose Parade.

The actress, who has an Oscar and eight Emmys, will head the 120th Tournament of Roses on Jan. 1 in Pasadena. The parade's theme is ''Hats Off to Entertainment.''


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Pasadena Tournament of Roses President Ronald H. Conzonire (Corky) announces Cloris Leachman as the 2009 Tournament of Roses Grand Marshal for the 120th Rose Parade and the 95th Rose Bowl Game. (PRNewsFoto/Tournament of Roses)


The 82-year-old ''Dancing With the Stars'' contestant said Friday she's thrilled to be grand marshal of a parade that -- in her words -- ''is older than I am.''

Leachman won an Oscar as best supporting actress for the 1971 film ''The Last Picture Show''; her Emmy wins span from Mary Tyler Moore's classic sitcom in the '70s to ''Malcolm in the Middle'' in 2006. AP

Mel B gets an earful at London's Heathrow Airport

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TMZ.com exclusively reports that former "Dancing with the Stars" star had a harrowing experience at Heathrow on Saturday:

"Lunatic to Mel B and Hubby: I'll Stab You


A man was arrested at Heathrow airport in London today for going ballistic on Mel B, Stephen Belafonte and a group of photogs.

At around 3 PM, Mel, Stephen and their baby arrived at Heathrow and were greeted by a few photogs. As they were exiting the airport a random man approached them and started talking to Belafonte. We don't know what was said between the two, but the man suddenly went crazy, screaming things like "I'll get a knife and stab you" at Stephen.

We're told a still photographer told the man to leave them alone -- which incited the guy to attack the photog, grabbing his clothes and trying to punch him.

Mel, Stephen, the baby and the photogs returned inside the airport to escape the situation, which is where they got the attention of a cop. A pile of officers suddenly appeared and arrested the man.

The photogs gave statements to police, and we're told cops will be looking for Mel B and her hubby to submit statements." TMZ.com

TV Talk Today: Sunday's news shows

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The guest lineup for the Sunday TV news shows:

Deja vu: More TV remakes in the pipeline

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The late Ralph Edwards and his magic "This Is Your Life" book. (File)


It's a cliche now when the TV screen goes all wavy, usually accompanied by a strumming harp -- it's a flashback! And coming TV seasons might be full of that effect. In recent weeks (amid a season that already includes a new "Knight Rider" and a new "90210"), the TV news has been dominated by announcements of one remake after another.

Early look at MTV doc on Britney Spears

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MTV's preparing a 90-minute documentary about Britney Spears' last few years, titled "For the Record." It's due to air Nov. 30, but here's a trailer/sneak peek:

Love it: "I'm a smart person, but what the hell was I thinkin?"


Updated: Palin scheduled for 'SNL' 10/25?

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Well, despite all the rumors and expectations -- no Sarah Palin on last night's prime time special for "Saturday Night Live." But the New York Post reports Palin has been booked on the regular "SNL" for Oct. 25.

TV Talk Today: Friday's chat-show lineups

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A selection of guests scheduled on today's talk shows:

Michelle Obama on 'The Daily Show'

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If you missed it, here 'tis -- in two parts ...

Cheryl Burke fat? Absolutely not!

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Cheryl Burke has had to deal with a LOT of negative press lately, none of it for her dancing ability. Viewers (who are cruel) think the sensational dancer has put on a few too many pounds. Some of the criticism has been unbelievably harsh. (I guess being healthy and active and muscular is not a good thing?????) You can check out photos sand more on the cover of the latest People magazine. And for the record, she is a size 4!!!

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If an extra five pounds looks this good on Cheryl Burke (dancing with partner Maurice Greene). . . . AP PHOTO


This morning on Good Morning America, Cheryl finally spoke up and set the record straight. All I can say is, "YOU GO GIRL"

TV Talk Today: Thursday's chat-show lineups

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A selection of guests scheduled on today's talk shows:

'Last Comic Standing' tour sits down here this weekend

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Fans of "Last Comic Standing" can laugh all the way to Governors State University this weekend for the reality show's comedy tour.

TV Talk Today: Wednesday's chat-show lineups

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A selection of guests scheduled on today's talk shows:

'DWTS' hits all-time low

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Just when you thought things couldn't get anymore ridiculous on "Dancing with the Stars," along comes tonight's results show. Yep, Cloris Leachman is saved to dance another day. Yep, Misty May-Treanor's surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon went well. And yep, no one was eliminated (remember the Sara Evans debacle a few seasons back?).

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Rocco DiSpirito and partner Karina Smirnoff in "happier" "DWTS" days. AP PHOTO

'Pop' goes her tendon!

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In case you missed Monday's night's show, here's the video of Misty May and Maks rehearsing last Friday, and when you hear that pop-thud sound, that's her Achilles' tendon!!! Yikes.

Let's just say 'Kim no way!'

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Okay, since Misty May-Traenor is gone, rumors have been swirling that Kim Kardashian might be brought back? In case you missed HER wonderful dancing prowess, here's a reminder of just why she got voted off in the first place.

Do we really need more of her bored looks in the ballroom? Here's hoping the show just does exactly what it did when Sara Evans departed: Nobody gets booted tonight. There. I said it.

Variety reports that the next British-to-America TV remake is ... "Absolutely Fabulous"!

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Jennifer Saunders (Edina, left) and Joanna Lumley (as Patsy) broke the mold as hedonistic vice-ridden middle-age chums in the BBC sitcom "Absolutely Fabulous."

Chicago-set 'My Boys' picked up for third season

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The cast of "My Boys," hanging out at their hoodie bar (inspired by Guthrie's Tavern in Wrigleyville).


The romantic tension between PJ and Bobby will, indeed, go on! TBS has finally ordered a third season of the critically acclaimed sitcom "My Boys," which follows the misadventures of a fictional Sun-Times sports columnist who's in love with, yes, a Tribune sports columnist.

TBS has ordered nine episodes of the series, which is set to return first quarter 2009.

When did this become 'Clowning With the Stars'?

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It was an odd Monday night of competition, filled with hits and misses and not much sparkle (very few standing-Os to speak of).

And then there was the Misty May-Traenor moment: She tore her Achilles tendon during last Friday night's practice run with partner Maksim Chmerkovsky. We had to wait all night to hear the news from the lovely and graceful Misty who hobbled onto the dance floor via crutches with 20 minutes left in the show.

Misty is down and out in 'Dancing with the Stars'

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It was confirmed FINALLY tonight. Torn Achilles tendon.

Misty update: Kim returning to 'Dancing"?!

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A new report at E! suggests that recently eliminated contestant Kim Kardashian might return to the show in place of injured Misty May-Treanor.

"If they ask me to, I'm available," Kardashian says.

Say it ain't so, Misty!

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The news continues to swirl about the Web: "Dancing with the Stars" contestant Misty May-Treanor is probably out of the competition. The Olympic gold medalist volleyball player, who scored a 21 out of 30 with professional partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy for their paso doble routine last week, allegedly suffered a torn Achilles tendon. Devastating on so many levels, not the least of which is its impact on her volleyball career.
ABC says it won't confirm or deny her continuing on with the show but everything points to her departure. That's sad, considering she and Maks displayed some of the best dancing prowess this season.

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Misty May-Traenor and partner Max Chmerkovskiy perform Sept. 29. AP PHOTO

Ne-Yo on 'Tyra': Code Blue! Here comes R. Kelly!

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R&B superstar Ne-Yo is a guest on Tyra Banks' chat show this Wednesday, and he discusses "the truth behind why he sued R. Kelly including spilling a few secrets about R. Kelly's eccentric backstage behavior."

Some sneak peeks ...

Misty may not be competing on 'Dancing'

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It's all over the Web and am waiting official word from ABC (which probably won't happen until tonight's show), but TMZ.com states the case thusly:

Misty May Be Off "DWTS"
Misty May-Treanor's mantle may only big enough for her gold medals, now that she may be forced out of "Dancing with the Stars" due to an injury during a Friday rehearsal.

Treanor was practicing with partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy, when she had to be taken to Cedars Sinai hospital.

ABC has released a statement regarding Misty's condition, "Dancing with the Stars contestant Misty May-Treanor sustained an injury on Friday and received immediate medical attention. Despite previous reports, she did not break her ankle. She is resting comfortably at home. Doctors will reevaluate her condition on Monday and determine the outcome of her participation on the show."
TMZ.com

Misty's injury removes her from 'Dancing'

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"Dancing With the Stars" loses another high-stepper -- but you didn't vote this one out.

Brooke Burke apparently confirmed today that injured beach volleyball athlete Misty May-Treanor will be sitting out the televised ballroom dance reality TV show.

TV Talk Today: Monday's chat-show lineups

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A selection of guests scheduled on today's talk shows:

Our now weekly 'SNL' Tina-Fey-as-Sarah-Palin video post

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OK, we're back with "SNL" and yet another Tina Fey send-up of vice prez candidate Sarah Palin. Anyone starting to tire of this?

Biden-Palin debate scores huge ratings

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Watch the full debate here ...


Who's running for president, anyway?

Far more people watched Thursday's vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin on television than watched the first presidential debate.

'Wonderfals' to flow into 'Pushing Daisies'

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For fellow fans of the wonderful "Wonderfalls" -- yet another series the impatient Fox canceled after four episodes (but which lives on DVD with all 13!) -- there's reason for joy. Creator Bryan Fuller now crafts "Pushing Daisies" for ABC, and he says in a recent interview that he's put together an episode of "Daisies" this season that intersects with the characters and storyline of "Wonderfalls":

Q. Now you had "Wonderfalls" on Fox for a short period of time before it got abruptly cancelled, but you gained "Pushing Daisies." It must be a bit of a bittersweet feeling.
A. Very bittersweet because I loved ["Wonderfalls"] and the cast. So much so, that I had to do a "Wonderfalls" crossover in this season of "Pushing Daisies." That happens in episode eight of the second season and I'm really excited about it.

Here's a "Wonderfalls" clip -- the introduction between Jaye and Eric -- so you can bask in a sliver of its greatness ...


Helio Castroneves faces tax crime charges

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Alas, what has befallen our beloved Helio?

Today's news wires spell it all out, and it ain't pretty for the former "Dancing with the Stars" champ.... thought you'd want to read it here....

TV Talk Today: Friday's chat-show lineups

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A selection of guests scheduled on today's talk shows:

Rosie's returning to TV to host a variety show

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As tipped by Sun-Times celebrity columnist Bill Zwecker back in July, Rosie O'Donnell is indeed returning to TV as host of a variety show for NBC.

NBC will air ''Rosie's Variety Show'' as an hourlong live special the night before Thanksgiving, with an eye toward expansion to a full series order should viewers embrace the project.

TV Talk Today: Thursday's chat-show lineups

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A selection of guests scheduled on today's talk shows:

'Runway' judges cop out on final elimination ... again

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Aaaaargh! For the second year in a row, the judges on "Project Runway" couldn't make the hard choice and copped out on the final elimination ...

TCM schedules 24-hour Paul Newman marathon

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Paul Newman as Brick Pollitt in the 1959 film version of Tennessee William's Pulitzer Prize-winning play ''Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.''


As we were hoping, Turner Classic Movies has announced a 24-hour marathon of Paul Newman films to celebrate the phenomenal career of the recently passed acting legend. It's a fine look at the actor's early film roles, but it's hardly comprehensive and lacks many of Newman's greatest moments.

Another Chicagoan is ready to get cookin' on 'Top Chef'

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Radhika "Rad" Desai, executive chef at Between Boutique Café & Lounge, is the next Chicagoan to compete on "Top Chef." (Bravotv.com)


Last season, the winner of "Top Chef: Chicago" was a top chef in Chicago, Stephanie Izard. When the next season of "Top Chef" starts Nov. 12 (this time from New York), another aspiring Chicagoan will be trying to bring the bacon home to Chi town once again.

Anne Hathaway explains relationship on Letterman

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David Letterman simply asked about "what everyone's thinking about," meaning to clear the air. And this time we're not talking about John McCain.

Last night he questioned (some say "grilled") actress Anne Hathaway about her relationship with Raffaello Follieri, who turned out to be a con man -- arrested in June on charges of wire fraud and money laundering.

Letterman seemed to simply wipe the slate of all the tabloid speculation, but Hathaway was clearly uncomfortable with the questions.

Come on, can we get happy with a 'Partridge' remake?

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If you loved watching VH1's "I Love the '70s," then you'll love some upcoming TV projects being dredged up directly from that disco decade -- the return of "The Partridge Family" and the return of Norman Lear.

TV Talk Today: Wednesday's chat-show lineups

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A selection of guests scheduled on today's talk shows:

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from October 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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