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December 2008 Archives

TV Talk Today: Wednesday's chat-show lineups

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

Your complete guide to TV (new and old!) in January

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"American Idol" judge ponders whether she should completely flip out on set this year or keep it to the regular freakish level. (AP file)


New Year's, big parties, bowl games, sure -- but what some of us are really waiting for in the coming days is the return of old TV favorites and new mid-season shows. From the return of "Lost" and "24" to the premieres of "True Beauty" and "The Beast," January's TV offerings will make staying in from the cold really easy.

Here's a run-down of the new and the returning shows next month ...

TV Talk Today: Tuesday's chat-show lineup

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

Watch the 'Flight of Conchords' season premiere here!

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Hey, Bret. The eagerly anticipated second season of the hilarious sitcom "Flight of the Conchords" returns to HBO on Jan. 18, but we've got the whole first episode of the new collection right here for your pre-premiere pleasure ...

Ashlee and Pete don't want the dingo to get their baby

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Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz turn to Cesar the Dog Whisperer in an upcoming episode -- filmed when Ashlee was still seven months pregnant -- for help in calming down their aggressive bulldog before the baby arrives. Indeed, we don't want the dog, Hemingway, to take a bite out of Bronx Mowgli. Though maybe they could have a chat together about their silly names.

Here's a sneak peek at the new episode ...

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: Thursday's chat-show lineups

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

TV Talk Today: Tuesday's chat-show lineup

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

Merry Christmas, from Kenneth the NBC page!

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TV Talk Today: Monday's chat-show lineups

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

The most melodious phone number in Chicago

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Sing it with me: 800-588-2300, Empire!

Local commercial fixture Empire Carpet has seized upon its own cultural kitsch value and created an online gallery of its tuneful ads. Well, tuneful at the end, anyway.

'Dancing with the Stars' contest winners announced

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Thanks to all of you who participated in our "DTWS" live tour ticket give away.
Two winners were selected, Migdalia Bulnes of Chicago, and Lidia Targosinska of Milwaukee.

Here's to season eight of 'DWTS'!!!!

A great holiday season to one and all!

The latest victim of the DVR box: TV Guide

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Days are numbered for the iconic scroll of the TV Guide Channel. The New York Times reports that TV Guide's owner, Macrovision, is selling the network of TV listings, adding, "And one of the buyers, the TV producer Allen Shapiro, says the network's famous scroll will eventually stop, a consequence of viewers' preference for on-screen and online television guides."

And how much are printed TV listings worth nowadays? Macrovision recently sold off the TV Guide magazine for the whopping sum of $1.

TV Talk Today: Friday's chat-show lineups

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

TMI about Jim Carrey's private time

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Just watch to the end.

TV Talk Today: Thursday's chat-show lineups

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

No more 'Canadian Idol,' eh?

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Yes, there's a "Canadian Idol," or was, and here's last year's winner, Eva Avila. (AP file)


Canada's version of "American Idol" won't be produced in 2009 because of the slowing economy.

"Canadian Idol" is being put on the shelf, CTV says. The program finished its sixth season this fall and remained a Canadian TV ratings success. It scored an average of 1.47 million viewers in September.

Rx for broadcast TV's dire illness

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Oprah's announcement yesterday that she's moving her Harpo Films alliance from ABC to HBO was yet another nail in the coffin for broadcast TV networks -- which can't seem to get a break these days (whooped at the Emmys, and the Globe nominations, even the ratings ... down 13 percent from last year in the all-important 18-49 demographic for ABC, CBS, CW, Fox and NBC.

Here, Boston Globe TV critic Matthew Gilbert prescribes nine things the old networks could do to have a fighting chance against the cable networks ...

Michelle wins 'The Biggest Loser'

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There's a reason, I guess, that Justice is depicted with a set of scales. Michelle Aguilar served up some poetic smackdown last night, beating out two conniving contestants, Vicky and Heba, to win this season of "The Biggest Loser."

TV Talk Today: Wednesday's chat-show lineups

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

Sneak peeks into season five of 'Lost'

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Almost a month before new "Lost" episodes return (Jan. 21 on ABC)! The inevitable sneak-peek videos are beginning to crop up ...


Jack and Ben have a moment of shared jealousy about who Locke loved more.

More after the jump ...


NBC trying another talk show in primetime

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NBC has announced it's moving another of its talk-show chestnuts into primetime ...

TV Talk Today: Tuesday's chat-show lineup

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

Kanye West performs "Love Lockdown" on "Saturday Night Live."


More "SNL" scuttlebutt from the weekend is brewing around Chicago rapper Kanye West's two performances during the show. They were ... well, certainly heartfelt. But also alarmingly, er, debatable ...

Gov. Patterson not amused by 'SNL' send-up

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Did you laugh at the "Weekend News Update" bit on "SNL" this weekend making fun of New York Gov. David Paterson? The guv did not.

Watch it after the jump ...

TV Talk Today: Monday's chat-show lineups

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A selection of guests on today's talk shows:

'SNL' Blago sketch about as stiff as his hair

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"Saturday Night Live" opened its last show of the calendar year with a sketch about the alleged audacities of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. G-Rod was depicted seeking a bailout from Congress, lest he appoint an insane person to the Senate. It went over like a lead balloon, wasn't very funny and can't even be found on NBC's sites today.

This, however, was pretty funny ...


TV Talk Today: Friday's chat-show lineups

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

Snubs and drubs: Globes hint at broadcast TV's demise

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"That was my agent on the phone. He says the Globes screwed us!" Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey on "Grey's Anatomy." (File)


Today's Golden Globes nominations contained few real surprises -- though the "Tropic Thunder" nods reminded us why we like this awards show so much better than the Oscars, who never would have deigned to honor such wacky comedies.

But one message is clear after one look-see at the nominees list: broadcast TV is doomed.

Golden Globes continue love fest for TV

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Golden Globes nominations came in this morning. The TV side slathers love on HBO -- "In Treatment," the "Recount" movie, more love for "John Adams" -- as well as the continuing love fest for Tina Fey's "30 Rock." Check it all out on our Gold Rush blog.

TV Talk Today: Thursday's chat-show lineups

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

Broadcast networks are hemorrhaging viewers

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Broadcast TV's fall season is going so poorly that four out of five returning programs have a smaller audience than they had in 2007.

A top TV researcher said today that it's shaping up as a historically bad season for ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. Only eight of the 66 returning shows have gained viewers, five of them on CBS. Five shows have no change. "Heroes," "Private Practice" and "Prison Break" are among the big losers.

CBS chief: 'CSI' will whoop Leno's butt in primetime

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CBS Corp. Chief Executive Leslie Moonves challenged Jay Leno to a ratings duel when the late-night talk show host moves his NBC show to a prime-time slot of 9 p.m. next fall.

"I will bet anybody who would like to bet that 'CSI: Miami' on Monday night at [9] o'clock will beat Jay by a lot. Remember that. By a lot," Moonves said Wednesday at an investor conference hosted by UBS.

What do you want to see on Jay Leno's new show?

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NBC and Jay Leno are keeping quiet except to announce that he'll be starting a new show in primetime. No details, no descriptions of what the show might be like, nothing. Will it be the same basic chat-show format? Will it start turning into "The Daily Show"? Or "The Gong Show"?

(And wouldn't you be more than a little miffed if you were Conan O'Brien right about now?)

Most important: What do you want to see in Jay's new show?

Click in and tell us ...

Blago bust fuels late-night chat show funnies

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As expected, late-night talk-show hosts had fun skewering Gov. Rod Blagojevich's Tuesday arrest for fraud allegations.

Jimmy Kimmel, for instance, suggested: "He's supposed to appoint somebody. But he's in Chicago -- he has Barack Obama's seat for sale -- shouldn't he go directly to Oprah? Who would pay more for the seat than her?"

Here's a run-down of some of the yuks at Blago's expense ...

More after the jump ...

TV Talk Today: Wednesday's chat-show lineups

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

The boys in the 'Dancing' band come to town

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Catch Mark Ballas and Derek Hough and their band at the Abbey while the boys are in town for "Dancing with the Stars: The Live Tour" at the Allstate Arena. The Ballas Hough Band (they also play on "Dancing with the Stars" live show) are on the bill at the Abbey, 3420 N. Grace at 9 p.m. Jan. 9. Tickets are $15 and go on sale Saturday at noon. Call (773) 478-4408.

Set the DVR for today's missed 'Y&R'

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Coverage of the Blago arrest bumped several soap operas this afternoon. CBS says it will re-air the full episode of "The Young and the Restless" late tonight at 1:37 a.m.

T.R. Knight wants out of 'Grey's'?

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A person with direct knowledge of the situation has confirmed that T.R. Knight has asked to be released from his contract with "Grey's Anatomy."

A terrible fall season at NBC is forcing the network to consider scaling back the number of hours it airs programming, Chief Executive Jeff Zucker told an investor conference.

While NBC will continue to fund the creation of pilots, Zucker told analysts at a media investor conference sponsored by UBS on Monday that NBC is considering cutting the number of hours or perhaps even the number of nights it provides programming.

"Can we continue to program 22 hours of prime-time? Three of our competitors don't. Can we afford to program seven nights a week? One of our competitors doesn't," Zucker said. "All of these questions have to be on the table. And we are actively looking at all of those questions."

TV Talk Today: Tuesday's chat-show lineup

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

Case closing tonight on 'Boston Legal'

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"Boston Legal" bows tonight with a two-hour series finale. While we admit to being lured to the show by William Shatner playing crazy, sexist attorney Denny Crane, we confess to sticking around because of James Spader's increasingly nuanced performances as Alan Shore -- even though he was often the one saddled with creator David E. Kelley's most laborious political sermons in the courtrooms -- and the initially tender but eventually slapstick freindship that developed between the two on that fabulous set piece: the balcony.

To reminisce, here are few favorite moments from the show we found on YouTube:

A gaseous explanation of Scientology

More after the jump...

New Year's Eve will be 'Rockin' ' with Taylor Swift, JoBros

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Dick Clark lives, and he'll be back for his annual gig again: "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve." But at the other end of the generational scale is Clark's groomed successor, co-host Ryan Seacrest, and this year's crop of young teen stars, which will include performances by the Jonas Bros. and Taylor Swift.

It's a Nick and Starr Spangler banner finish

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It's been an "Amazing Race" indeed for Nick and Starr Spangler.

The brother-and-sister team took first place and the reality show's $1 million prize in the finale aired Sunday on CBS.

TV Talk Today: Monday's chat-show lineups

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A selection of guests on today's talk shows:

Grammys concert show wasn't a hit, but wasn't a bomb

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CBS' Grammy nominations special wasn't a breakaway hit with viewers Wednesday night, but it didn't play off-key.

The concert-and-announcements show attracted 7.1 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research. This meant a fourth-place position among programs that were separated by only a million.

Read Jim DeRogatis' review and report from the show, and more coverage on our Gold Rush awards-season blog.


TV Talk Today: Friday's chat-show lineups

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

Kanye West booked on 'SNL'

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Fresh off his six new Grammy nominations, Kanye has another reason not to feel so much "Heartbreak" -- he's scheduled as the musical guest Dec. 13 on "Saturday Night Live's" last live show of the year.

TV Talk Today: Thursday's chat-show lineups

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

'ER' finale set for March 12

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The "ER" closes on March 12. NBC announced today the long-running drama series will wrap with a two-hour series finale.

Live blogging the Grammy concert tonight!

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Join us, over on our Gold Rush blog, for live chat throughout tonight's primetime TV special -- "The Grammy Nominations Concert Live! -- Countdown to Music's Biggest Night." They're performing huge hits! They're announcing nominees! There's nothing else on TV on Wednesdays!

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LL Cool J -- one of tonight's Grammy concert co-hosts -- says, "Be there, brother!"

TV Talk Today: Wednesday's chat-show lineups

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

'Jericho' fan loyalty has a very long half-life

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No one beats fans of the canceled CBS drama "Jericho" for loyalty, dedication -- and possibly absurd uses of their personal fortunes during hard economic times.

A group of them, through a grassroots campaign Web site, pooled enough dough to put together a 30-second TV commercial, which is airing on the NBC Universal HD cable network throughout December. The ad pleads for more support for the campaign to resurrect the nuclear-aftermath series ... again. The commercial likely will reach beyond the original billboard.

Good luck, you nuts. Watch the spot after the jump ...

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William Shatner's back on TV tonight, and it ain't "Boston Legal." He's not even acting (well, maybe). It's his new talk show -- yes, talk show -- called "Shatner's Raw Nerve," and it debuts at 9 tonight on A&E.

Stephen Colbert vs. Kanye West: Who will prevail?

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Stephen Colbert launches Operation Humble Kanye to prove that he -- not Chicago's own self-assured rapper -- is the "voice of this generation of this decade." At least tomorrow ...

Miley's coming back as Hannah Montana

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Don't throw out the blond wig quite yet -- Miley Cyrus will be back for a few more new episodes of Disney's hit sitcom "Hannah Montana."

Britney brings 'Circus' to TV, later on tour

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Happy birthday, Britney, via YouTube.


Britney Spears kicked off the circus over "Circus" -- her sixth album, out today -- by showing up on ABC's "Good Morning America" for two reasons:

1. To celebrate her 27th birthday -- which "GMA" did by foisting a giant, inedible-looking cake on her and including pre-taped birthday wishes from celebrities Hugh Jackman, Reese Witherspoon and Taylor Swift.

2. To perform two songs from the new album, and announce her new tour coming next spring. Opening for her will be: the Pussycat Dolls.

Watch the performances after the jump ...

TV Talk Today: Monday's chat-show lineups

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A selection of guests from today's talk shows:

About this Archive

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

November 2008 is the previous archive.

January 2009 is the next archive.

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