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July 2012 Archives

Sept. 30 is when "Homeland" debuts its season two premiere on Showtime. I've just seen the episode, and it reminded me realize how much I missed this crazy-good program.

Season two picks up about six months after season one left off. Congressman Brody's (Damian Lewis) political career is going gangbusters and his wife, Jess (Morena Baccarin), seems to be really digging their Jackie/JFK existence (although they're still living in their old house). As for poor Carrie (Claire Danes), she seems to have settled into her new, much less exciting life outside the CIA -- a life that seems to entail a lot of gardening. (I'm not giving away anything that isn't shown in the first few minutes.) She's still tormented by the fact that she was wrong about Brody, even though we know she was right.

The younger-skewing broadcast network CW paraded its new fall shows to TV critics in Beverly Hills on Monday.

On tap: a new take on the 80s show, "Beauty and the Beast," where the beast is a really good looking guy (Kiwi actor Jay Ryan) with a small scar on his face; "Arrow," starring another really good looking guy (Stephen Amell) with scar tissue allegedly covering 20 percent of his body; and "Emily Owens MD," starring Meryl Streep's daughter Mamie Gummer, who gives people scars in the OR.

If Charlie Sheen's "Anger Management" continues to do as well as it's doing, it will get picked up for a "back 90" and Martin Sheen will join the cast as a series regular playing Charlie's dad.

Papa Sheen will make an appearance in an upcoming episode that Charlie calls "the best episode we did. "He brings a whole different energy to it," he said. Martin also did an episode with Charlie on "Spin City" and "Two and a Half Men," but it looks like he'll have a steadier gig on Charlie's new show should it have an extended run, which looks likely.

The news came from FX President John Landgraf at the TCA summer press tour.

"I am happy creatively with the show," Landgraf said.Charlie.jpg "The Martin Sheen character will give an extra dimension to the show" and make it more of a multi-generational show. Program will still deal with Charlie's relationships with his patients and women, too.

ABC unveiled the "Dancing With the Stars" favorites who will get another go at the mirror ball trophy in the series' first ever all-star edition.

Season 15's cast of alumni includes:
Actress Kirstie Alley, a second-place finisher season 12; "Baywatch" babe Pamela Anderson (season 10); season five winner and Brazilian race car driver Helio Castroneves; actor and singer Joey Fatone, who finished second in season four; season eight winner and Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson; singer and actor Drew Lachey, season two champ; season eight runner-up, French-American actor Gilles Marini; Olympic gold medalist speed skater and season four victor Apolo Anton Ohno; soap star and season one winner Kelly Monaco; Bristol Palin, who came in third in season 11; another third place finisher, Melissa Rycroft from season eight; and football star Emmitt Smith, season three winner.

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The "Today" show continues to show signs of weakness against ABC competitor "Good Morning America," and Ben Sherwood, president of ABC News, essentially did a victory lap Thursday at the TV critics' semiannual meeting in L.A.

"If this were the Olympics, for 852 consecuvitve races, the "Today" show won the gold medal," Sherwood said, adding that the gold has gone to his "GMA" for eight of the last 15 weeks. "They've done that 4 weeks in a row," he said.

"How do you spell woo hoo hoo hoo?" chimed in "GMA" co-host Robin Roberts via satellite from New York.

It's not quite the magnitude of the shake up ousting Ann Curry from the "Today" show hosting couch, but the "CBS This Morning" show is shifting people around, too.

CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Norah O'Donnell has been named co-host of the program, it was announced by CBS News Chairman and 60 MINUTES Executive Producer Jeff Fager and CBS News President David Rhodes. O'Donnell will join co-hosts Charlie Rose and Gayle King beginning this fall.


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Sarah Palin dropped by the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills this week for NBC's poolside party celebrating its upcoming fall schedule, which includes the new competition show "Stars Earn Stripes." (That show actually bows a bit before fall, on Aug. 13.)

Palin's husband, Todd, is one of the stars of the show. Here's what she has to say about it, her daughter's reality show, and one reality show you won't find Sarah on: http://suntm.es/OkDqwq
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Ukrainian Village fashionista April Francis and Arlington Heights mom Rachel Harley are two of the three women looking to make a love connection on the new CBS dating show, "3," which premieres Thursday night before sliding into its regular Sunday night time slot.

Here's the story: http://suntm.es/LP1OHj3.jpg

It's been a busy year -- and it's going to get busier -- in the Windy City when it comes to television.

A number of unscripted shows were or are being filmed here: "Mob Wives Chicago," "Chicagolicious," CBS' new dating show, "3" (debuts Thursday). Bigger-budget projects have been drawn to Chicago, too. You would have thought there was a fire given how quickly the cast of NBC's "Chicago Fire" had to get out of the TV critics' summer press tour in L.A. to fly back to Chicago and start filming episodes.ChicagoFire.jpg

NBC and Sky Living unveiled plans Tuesday for "Dracula," a new drama series based on the Bram Stoker classic.

Jonathan Rhys Meyers ("The Tudors") will play the lead role. The show is from the producers behind the PBS juggernaut "Downton Abbey."

NBC will take full advantage of its captive Olympics audience to launch its new fall shows.

A commercial-free episode of the Matthew Perry comedy "Go On" will air an episode on Aug. 8 while the Summer Games are still in full swing. Another comedy, "Animal Practice," will have a sneak peek Aug. 12 following the closing ceremonies (starts in its regular day and time on Sept. 26).

"I don't think NBC has ever run full pilots during the Olympics," NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt said Tuesday at the semi-annual gathering of TV critics in L.A.


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Mariah Carey.

Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly confirms it to the press by giving her a call on his cell and putting her on speaker phone.

"I'm so excited to be joining Idol," Carey said. "I can't wait to get started in a couple months."


One of the best things about Fox's late-night sketch comedy series "MADtv" was former Chicago funny man Ike Barinholtz, who also starred as a Russian pitcher on the cable comedy "Eastbound & Down."

This fall, Barinholtz will be back on the small screen with a recurring role as a male nurse on "The Mindy Project," where he's also a writer.Ike.jpg

"American Idol" isn't just looking for new judges to replace Steven Tyler and J. Lo. The singing competition is expanding its audition opportunities, launching a small town audition bus tour, a 10-town nationwide mobile tour that will hit the road next month. Towns that will be visited: Idaho Falls, Idaho; Billing, Mont.; Casper, Wyo.; Rock Rapids, Iowa; Iowa City, Iowa; Bowling Green, Ky.; Clarksdale, Miss.; Joplin, Mo.; Dodge City, Kansas and Grand Junction, Colo. Specific locations and dates TBA.

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Much of the cast of the PBS hit "Downton Abbey" was on hand at last night's TCA dinner, and boy do they know how to work a room. Hugh Bonneville (who plays Robert Crawley) stripped off his shirt to reveal a T that said "Free Bates," a reference to his beloved, incarcerated valet, Mr. Bates. Brendan Coyle, the Emmy-nominated actor who portrays him, graciously posed with said T-shirt while I took this blurry photo iPhone photo.

Oak Parker Peter Sagal, host of NPR's popular "Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me" show ill star in a new TV show on PBS next spring called "Constitution USA with Peter Sagal."

He's hitting the road on a Harley Davidson to travel the country and find out how the U.S. Constitution lives, how it works, and how it doesn't, according to an announcement made by PBS on Saturday.

I'm headed to LA for the annual Television Critics Association summer press tour, where broadcast and cable network big-wigs and talent give us a glimpse of what's in store for the fall (and ply us with cocktails, I'm told).

I'll be blogging and tweeting the news while I'm there (please follow me @lorirackl if you're not already). Any questions you have about your favorite TV shows? Send 'em my way and I'll do my best to get answers for you.

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This page is an archive of entries from July 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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