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post #95701 of 95719 Old Today, 05:54 AM
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"Partners" on Fox starring Tate Donovan and Jon Cryer
"Partners" on CBS starring David Krumholtz and Michael Urie
"Partners" on FX starring Kelsey Grammer and Martin Lawrence

just trying to keep it straight ...
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post #95702 of 95719 Old Today, 06:22 AM
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TV Review
Revisiting the Facts, After the Convictions
‘The Newburgh Sting,’ on HBO, About Bronx Bomb Plot
By Mike Hale, The New York Times - Jul. 21, 2013

The case made — convincingly — by the documentary “The Newburgh Sting” is that the four upstate New York men convicted of plotting to bomb synagogues in the Bronx and destroy airplanes in 2009 were the fall guys in an elaborate, cinematic performance orchestrated by the F.B.I. The film, showing Monday on HBO, offers a competing narrative to the one presented at trial and in the news media by the government. So far, the government’s story is winning: The men are all serving 25-year sentences in federal prisons.

In a broader sense, though, the film builds a credible circumstantial case for the entrapment defense. It does so through the standard techniques of true-crime documentary: interviews with sympathetic, cogent relatives and acquaintances of the four men; an evocative depiction of life in a depressed Hudson River Valley town; the canny juxtaposition of just-folks black and Muslim Newburghers with a succession of suited, white law-enforcement officials, politicians and television talkers, often saying things we can see aren’t true.

Two characters stand out. Alicia McWilliams, aunt of David Williams, one of the conspirators, is magnificent in her anger, despair and dark humor. “How could you come in our community and prey on these damn fools?” she snaps. “David should have only got five years for not having common sense.”
Excellent and troubling documentary. Create a terrorist plot when one didn't exist to begin with. Then make up lies and sell it to the jury. And like the Iraq War; the media buys it and sells it to the public. All of this for governmental optics.
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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
TUESDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Network late night shows are preceded by late local news)

ABC:
8PM - Extreme Weight Loss (120 min.)
10PM - Celebrity Wife Swap: Tyler Christopher/Ronn Moss
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (John Stamos; comic Todd Glass; OK Go performs)
12:37AM - Nightline

CBS:
8PM - NCIS
(R - Apr. 29)
9PM - NCIS: Los Angeles
(R - Nov. 12)
10:01PM - Person of Interest
(R - Mar. 25)
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Ricky Gervais; Taylor Schilling; Eli Young Band performs)
12:37AM - The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson (Regis Philbin; model Irina Shayk; Switchfoot performs)

NBC:
8PM - Food Fighters (Series Premiere)
9PM - America's Got Talent: Best of Audition (120 min.)
* * * *
11:34PM - The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (Dwayne Johnson; TV personality Mel B.; Chronixx performs)
12:36AM - Late Night with Seth Myers (Kate Hudson; journalist David Remnick)
1:37AM - Last Call With Carson Daly (John Turturro; OFF! performs; comic Katie Crown; musical group Midlake)
(R - May 1)

FOX:
8PM - Family Guy
(R - Apr. 6)
8:30PM - Brooklyn Nine-Nine
(R - Feb. 2)
9PM - The Mindy Project
(R - Nov. 12)
9:30PM - The Mindy Project
(R - Apr. 1)

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Icon: Al Capone
9PM - History Detectives Special Investigations: Who Killed Jimmy Hoffa? (Season Finale)
10PM - Frontline: Poor Kids
(R - Nov. 20, 2012)

UNIVISION:
8PM - Mi Corazón Es Tuyo
9PM - Lo Que La Vida Me Robó
10PM - Qué Pobres Tan Ricos

THE CW:
8PM - Arrow
(R - Jan. 29)
9PM - Supernatural
(R - Feb. 4)

TELEMUNDO:
8PM - Reina De Corazones
9PM - En Otra Piel
10PM - El Señor de los Cielos

COMEDY CENTRAL:
11PM - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Director Richard Linklater)
11:31PM - The Colbert Report (Russian journalist Julia Ioffe)
12:01AM - At Midnight (Reggie Watts; Weird Al Yankovic; Tom Lennon)

TBS:
11PM - Conan (Gary Oldman; comic Gabriel Iglesias; The Hold Steady performs)

E!:
11PM - Chelsea Lately (Lela Loren)

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TV Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Jul. 22, 2014

FACE OFF
SyFy, 9:00 p.m. ET
SEASON PREMIERE:
This is one of those rare competition series – Project Runway is another – where, on good weeks, you can actually witness, and sometimes even be blown away, by the demonstration of talent on hand, creating amazing things under intensely difficult conditions. Every season, the makeup-and-prosthetics-loving contestants on Face Off have arrived with more impressive resumes and/or gifts, and it’s a one-stop-shopping TV destination for those interested in seeing imagination running wild, and made real. Regarding the initial challenge in tonight’s “Life or Death” season theme, a few of the finished designs are good enough to build a Hollywood horror film around – and the show’s just getting started. McKenzie Westmore hosts.

BUFFALO BILL
TCM, 9:45 p.m. ET

Joel McCrea has the title role in this 1944 movie, but the person to watch is Maureen O’Hara, who plays a woman Buffalo Bill Cody first rescues, then marries. Every Tuesday this month, it’s O’Hara’s night on TCM. Another reason to watch this particular movie biography: It spends time establishing not only Cody’s battles with Native Americans, but his respect for them.

FRONTLINE: "POOR KIDS"
PBS, 10:00 p.m. ET

Poor, little children, desperate for a better life than the one in which they find themselves. It's the hottest of topics right now at the U.S.-Mexico border – but it also affects kids deep within our country, native born or not, as this timely new Frontline establishes. Check local listings.

TYRANT
FX, 10:00 p.m. ET

In tonight’s fictional story line, unrest in the city leads to demonstrations in the public square, and threats of revolution. In real life, this series found its shooting locations, in Tel Aviv, so volatile because of real-life political clashes and violence that producers have moved their cameras, crew and actors to Istanbul for the duration of the season.

REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL
HBO, 10:00 p.m. ET

Real Sports is one of those nonfiction cable shows that delivers installment after installment, as reliably and entertainingly as any of its fictional scripted counterparts. Bryan Gumbel hosts – and tonight, one of the pieces he presents focuses on some eye-opening gimmicks the powers that be in the golf world are thinking about adopting to increase the sport’s popularity in this new century. One idea: foot golf, allowing soccer balls on the fairway and greens, opening up the valuable real estate the way ski resorts eventually did with snowboards. Another idea: what Gumbel calls “pizza-pie-sized holes”: 15-inch cups to make pitching and putting a lot, lot easier, and to speed up the average round of golf by an hour. That sound you hear is that of TVWW contributor Gerald Jordan spinning in his grave - and he's not even dead yet.


http://www.tvworthwatching.com/

* * * *

TV Notes
Quotes from the TCA Homestretch
By Ed Bark, TVWorthWatching.com - Jul. 21, 2014

BEVERLY HILLS, CA -- As the latest Television Critics Association "press tour" heads for the homestretch, here's a broad sampling of answers in mass interview sessions generated by questions from TV Worth Watching. They run the gamut from ABC touting its richly diverse fall lineup to a defense of vomiting as a great comedy gag to the NFL restoring a network's "manhood." Here we go:

* * * *

ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee, a Britisher by birth, will be presiding over a fall lineup that passes with flying colors in terms of ethnic diversity. Producer Shonda Rhimes, who is African-American, will be in charge of the network's entire Thursday night lineup with Grey's Anatomy, Scandal and the new How to Get Away with Murder, fronted by Viola Davis.

Other ABC freshmen series include Black-ish (spotlighting a prosperous suburban family and starring Anthony Anderson), Cristela (featuring Cristela Alonzo in the title role) and Selfie (John Cho plays the co-lead as a thinly disguised Professor Henry Higgins). ABC also has a midseason comedy, Fresh off the Boat, about an Asian-American immigrant family in the 1990s. So, all in all, is the network making a conscious "mission statement?"

"It is a mission statement to reflect America," Lee said. "We think that's our job. And, in a way, that's not so much diversity as authenticity if you're reflecting America. We went out of our way to approach some of the best storytellers...When they bring you authentic, relatable stories, you really have no other option than to pick them up. When I watch Fresh Off the Boat or Black-ish or Cristela, I am one of those families."

Answering a same-themed follow-up question from another TV writer, Lee said, "If you look at shows now that seem to lack diversity, they actually feel dated because America doesn't look like that anymore. People want to see what they live, and they want to see voices that reflect the America they know."

* * * *

The first episode of ABC's Selfie includes a scene in which its modern-day Eliza Doolittle vomits into two airline sickness bags, only to have them burst in unison while she's later walking down a passenger aisle. The creator/executive producer of the show, Emily Kapnek, was asked about what's lately become something of a puke-fest on comedy and drama series.

"You want us to cut the vomiting?" she asked in turn. Perhaps not entirely, she's told. But surely the twin vomit bag eruption could hit the cutting room floor lest viewers hit their remotes.

"Look, it's true," Kapnek said. "You have to really like vomit to enjoy that moment. But I do. I like a good vomit gag. Also, it was incredibly cinematic. There was a slow chuck-out, and we also worked very hard on the vomit, getting the right consistency. A day's work was spent."

"There were special buttons on the bag I had to press," added co-star Karen Gillan.

* * * *

Perhaps you've heard. CBS will be televising NFL games on Thursday nights through the early part of the upcoming season as well as retaining its full slate of Sunday afternoon games.

Once upon a time, the network relinquished the NFL because it supposedly couldn't make a profit. But CBS got pro football back in the late 1990s. And at a very lively party on "press tour" that night, CBS head Leslie Moonves crowed that the network had reacquired its "manhood." Remember, Les? And how has the profit picture changed over the years?

"I said that? I don't remember saying exactly that," Moonves said to laughter. "I never had that problem -- getting it back. By the way, I like having it (the NFL) back a lot, but not that much."

"Your manhood or the NFL?" commissioner Roger Goodell wondered.

"Anyway, yes, it was a very significant event for CBS," Moonves conceded. He recalled going to St. Patrick's Cathedral and "literally lit candles to get the NFL back. And fortunately, it worked. As a Jew, I did not go to synagogue, but I would next time."

But what about the profit picture? Moonves said CBS has made money "just about very single year" since regaining the NFL. "It's the best game in town, and in this era of the DVR and people watching it (live) in all sorts of places, the NFL gets great advertising rates."

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who also sat on this power-broker panel, said that networks quickly learn to re-covet pro football.

"This is my 21st season in the NFL," he said. "And when I came in, Rupert Murdoch had just come in with Fox and CBS has given up the NFL. And one thing I've learned is every broadcast partner we've had...wished they had never given it up and always come back, and are happy that they've come back. It might not quite be their manhood, but it's very close."

* * * *

Seth Meyers, who will host the annual prime time Emmy Awards ceremony on August 25th, is asked what approach he'll take. "You're not Ricky Gervais. You're not Seth MacFarlane. But where are you on that scale, do you think?"

"Coming up under the Lorne Michaels umbrella," as Meyers put it, "he always stresses to try not to tell a joke about somebody that you then would want to leave the cocktail party if they showed up. So try to be fair enough about it. So even if it's maybe a little negative, you can get away with it...You want to have a couple of jokes that, when you walk out, you don't know exactly how they're going to play. That makes it fun, sort of walking on the tightrope with material like that. So I think we'll have some of that. But it's more playful certainly than cutting or biting or anything like that."

* * * *

Finally, the fall Showtime documentary film, Kobe Bryant's Muse, will "look at his life as he gears up for the start of the Lakers' new season," said the network's president, David Nevins. That includes his rehab from a second serious injury in as many seasons.

Bryant, affable and conversational -- as well as an executive producer of the film -- was asked whether his renowned self-confidence had been shaken by those back-to-back setbacks. "Or are you not wired to think that way?"

"No, I am," he answered. "Matter of fact, I'll tell you a story (about) when I was six years old. My mother thought that karate class would give me good discipline, right? So I was in karate class, and I was a white belt... So I wind up going against a brown belt who was a couple years older than me. And I remember crying my eyes out before I fought him. I was like, petrified of this guy. And my mom says, 'Just step in there. Just do your best. Just go after it.'

"So I get into this ring and I get my butt kicked. And I remember after, going, 'Damn, that wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be.' And the light bulb went on instantaneously. Because from that point I always remembered that your imagination makes situations much worse than they actually are. So if you can control that and look at things as realistically as possible, then you can come out of any situation.

"My confidence has been shaken throughout the years, even when I played -- just like everybody else. But I can step back from it and look at it as a challenge and say I'm not going to let my imagination kind of drive me crazy. Now I'm just going to chop the tree one swing at a time and go from there.' "

http://www.tvworthwatching.com/BlogP...px?postId=7812

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MONDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media Insight's Blog.
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Nielsen Overnights (18-49)
Fox wins Monday with two servings of Ramsay
'MasterChef' jumps to a season-high 2.1 in 18-49s
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Jul. 22, 2013

Foul-mouthed British chef Gordon Ramsay cooked up a win for Fox last night.

His competition show “MasterChef” hit a summer high, while his returning reality show “Hotel Hell” came back from a two-year absence to decent numbers.

“MasterChef” averaged a 2.1 adults 18-49 rating at 8 p.m., according to Nielsen overnights, up 17 percent from last week and finishing as the night’s top show.

“Hotel,” airing at 9 p.m., posted a 1.5, down 21 percent from its debut two years ago but still one of the night’s higher-rated shows.

Two other reality shows, ABC’s “The Bachelorette” and NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior,” also saw gains last night. “The Men Tell All” episode of the long-running ABC show posted a 1.8, growing 6 percent over last week.

And “Warrior” drew a 1.9, behind only “MasterChef” for the night, airing from 9 to 11 p.m. and up 12 percent from last week.

CBS’s “Under the Dome,” meanwhile, took a big hit from last week, falling 21 percent to a series-low 1.5. The show has been seeing hefty gains in seven-day DVR playback, though.

Fox finished first for the night among 18-49s with a 1.8 average overnight rating and a 6 share. NBC was second at 1.6/5, ABC third at 1.5/5, CBS and Univision tied for fourth at 1.2/4, Telemundo was sixth at 0.6/2 and CW seventh at 0.4/1.

As a reminder, all ratings are based on live-plus-same-day DVR playback, which includes shows replayed before 3 a.m. the night before. Seven-day DVR data won’t be available for several weeks. Forty-nine percent of Nielsen households have DVRs.

At 8 p.m. Fox led with a 2.1 for “MasterChef,” followed by ABC with a 1.7 for “Bachelorette.” Univision was third with a 1.1 for “Mi Corazon es Tuyo,” CBS fourth with a 1.0 for repeats of “2 Broke Girls” and “Mom,” NBC fifth with a 0.8 for a rerun of “Last Comic Standing,” CW sixth with a 0.6 for “Whose Line Is It Anyway” and Telemundo seventh with a 0.4 for “Reina de Corazones.”

NBC moved to first at 9 p.m. with a 1.9 for “Ninja,” while ABC remained second with a 1.8 for more “Bachelorette.” Fox was third with a 1.5 for “Hotel,” Univision fourth with a 1.4 for “Lo Que La Vida Me Robo,” CBS fifth with a 1.0 for repeats of “Mike & Molly” and “Two and a Half Men,” Telemundo sixth with a 0.6 for “En Otra Piel” and CW seventh with a 0.2 for “Seed” (0.2) and “Backpackers” (0.2).

At 10 p.m. NBC was first again with a 2.0 for more “Ninja,” with CBS second with a 1.5 for “Dome.” Univision was third with a 1.3 for “Que Pobres Tan Ricos,” and ABC and Telemundo tied for fourth at 1.0, ABC for “Mistresses” and Telemundo for “El Señor de los Cielos.”

ABC was first for the night among households with a 3.9 average overnight rating and a 7 share. CBS was second at 3.3/6, NBC and Fox tied for third at 2.9/5, Univision was fifth at 1.6/3, Telemundo sixth at 0.8/1 and CW seventh at 0.7/1.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/fox...rvings-ramsay/

* * * *

TV Notes
Good question: ‘Who Killed Hoffa?’
'History Detectives' explore one of America's greatest mysteries
By Louisa Ada Seltzer, Media Life Magazine - Jul. 22, 2013

Twenty-nine years ago next week, Jimmy Hoffa disappeared, and he hasn’t been heard from since.

Tonight on the season finale of “History Detectives: Special Investigations,” airing at 9 p.m. on PBS, detectives Tukufu Zuberi and Wes Cowan and host Kaiama Glover sort through new information trying to solve this very old mystery.

Hoffa, of course, was a former Teamsters president who helped grow the American trucking industry. But his ties to the mob and allegations of pension fund corruption made him a lot of enemies, and on July 30, 1975, he went missing.

His body has never been found, and his disappearance has never been solved.

Many have tried to find his final resting place. The “Detectives” crew uses recently declassified FBI files, combined with new interviews with Hoffa experts and friends.

Did they find the answer to this mystery?

Well, you’d think if they had you might have heard about it before now, but they do claim to have come to some new conclusions about Hoffa’s end.

The show probably won’t draw huge ratings. PBS has a small number of very dedicated viewers, and big ratings surges are reserved for programs like Ken Burns’ semiannual documentaries.

For that reason, don’t be surprised if PBS airs promotions for Burns’ upcoming miniseries, “The Roosevelts,” which debuts this fall, on tonight’s broadcast.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/goo...-killed-hoffa/
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Summer TCA Tour Notes
Guillermo del Toro's ‘The Strain’ Will Take Major Detours From the Books
By Tim Kenneally, TheWrap.com - Jul. 21, 2014

The Television Critics Association panel on FX's new drama “The Strain,” about a mysterious strain of vampirism that invades New York City, touched on a number of scary topics, but one of the more amusing moments of the discussion occurred when series co-creator Guillermo del Toro described how vampires treat their victims just like a package of Capri Sun.

Responding to a question about how the vampires are introduced in the series’ pilot, the filmmaker, who directed the first episode of the series, dropped his beverage-related comparison.

“I think it was important in the first episode so you knew … you need to see the first feeding and see the vampire like you would drink a little box of Capri Sun,” del Toro said. “What do you with a Capri Sun? You don't drink it and say, ‘Now I will give you my love forever'; you crush it and throw it away.”

So there's one way the vampires of “The Strain” differ from Edward Cullen…

How the series compares to the books it's based on was a prominent topic of the panel. The show's producers addressed the dilemma of people who've read the books thinking that they know where the series is headed — and sharing upcoming storylines on the internet.

Both del Toro and showrunner Carlton Cuse said that the series takes frequent detours from the book, with some highlights arriving earlier, other much later and some not at all.

“[W]e will get there in a much more baroque way [than the books do],” del Toro offered.

“If you read the books and think that's the way its going to happen on the show, then you're wrong,” Cuse added.

http://www.thewrap.com/guillermo-del...rom-the-books/

* * * *

Summer TCA Tour Notes
‘The Bridge’ Showrunner Explains the ‘Most Scary Thing’ They've Done With the Show
By Tony Maglio, TheWrap.com - Jul. 21, 2014

Season 2 of “The Bridge” will be nothing like Season 1 or its Danish predecessor, showrunner Elwood Reid promised journalists at Monday's Television Critics Association panel — in between a ton of well-placed F-bombs, of course.

While familiarity is important for the narrative of a TV series, the uncensored Reid says he can't stand to be a repetitive storyteller. He told reporters: “If you come in every week and go, ‘Oh, it's back to the same old Marco [Ruiz, Demian Bichir] and Sonya [Cross, Diane Kruger]‘ … shoot me, I didn't get into the business to do it. I've done it. I don't want to do it.”

The big pivot for the series came around Episode 11 of the first year, when Reid met with FX brass to discuss what the show would be going forward. He didn't want to do a serial killer plotline every year, and the cable network eventually gave Reid the greenlight to show them what he could do.

“That was perhaps the most scary thing to do: resetting the show in the middle of your freshman season,” Reid said.

That said, there was originally a bit of a push-and-pull between the two parties, considering the success of Danish-Swedish series “Broen/Bron.” Reid admitted that he's received notes from FX CEO John Landgraf imploring him to go back to original series.

Instead, Reid stopped watching his show's ancestor, “radically” departing from everything except its core DNA, he said.

“If you're going to survive in this TV market … you can't keep tracing something else,” Reid explained. ”This show that we have this season is the show that ‘The Bridge’ was aiming to be.”

http://www.thewrap.com/the-bridge-fx...-diane-kruger/
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Summer TCA Tour Notes
'Fargo' Season 2 Moves to the '70s, Bringing Back at Least One Character
By Michael O'Connell, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Jul. 21, 2014

A rare example of instant gratification: Producers of FX's Fargo outlined details of the miniseries' 2015 return just a few hours after the network picked it up for another season.

Noah Hawley and Warren Littlefield appeared at the Television Critics Association on Monday evening — and though it's too early to say too much on Fargo's return, what they did say gave away the time period, locale and even one character: Keith Carradine's Lou Solverson.

No, Carradine will not be reprising the role. Instead, the show will cast a younger man to revisit the 1979 Sioux Falls incident referenced in "A Fox, a Rabbit, and a Cabbage" when Molly's (Allison Tolman) father was still a state trooper. Action in the season, according to Hawley, will take place in Fargo, N.D., Sioux Falls, S.D., and Luverne, Minn.

"I spoke to Allison Tolman this morning and told her that unless she can channel her four-year-old self, we wouldn't be able to have her in season two," said Hawley, insisting that no cast would be returning. "Lou [is now] a 33-year-old man, recently back from Vietnam. We would meet Molly's mother, and we may learn what happened to her."

With a scheduled shoot from January through May, Fargo will likely return in the fall — and some of the trademark snow may be absent.

"I think going forward it would be fun to start in a wintry environment and change over the course of the season," said Hawley. "That region is a character in the show. That's part of the personality."

Speaking of personality, there will likely be a slight shift in the Coen Brothers' sensibility. Hawley said that the tone of his original source material also is shifting: "If the first season, the three [influences] were Fargo, No Country Old Men and A Serious Man, this year we are in Fargo, Miller's Crossing and The Man Who Wasn't There."

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/liv...ves-70s-720127

* * * *

Summer TCA Tour Notes
FX's Divisive 'Tyrant' Still Talking With Muslim Groups

One month into its run, Tyrant was trotted out by FX for a second visit with the Television Critics Association — after many of its members gave the drama a cool reception for both the pilot episode’s treatment of female characters and its depiction of the Middle East.

Executive producer Howard Gordon, joined onstage by five experts in Arab and Muslim relations and policy, took the opportunity to discuss the rather unorthodox dialogue surrounding the project. A panel intimately acquainted with the Middle East was part of a focus group for the pilot, and edits based on the group’s feedback continue to find their way into the series as it readies the final two episodes of the season. (The remaining episodes will be filmed in Turkey, with production displaced from Israel due to the ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip.)

"We’ve been the beneficiaries of this dialogue,” said Gordon. "And I suspect it’s only the beginning of how fruitful that can be. This was just really good for us…and good for us as storytellers.”

All parties onstage seemed interested in showing more of what younger people are doing to fight back in countries ruled by real-life tyrants. "After reading the reviews, I expected [the show] was going to be horrendous,” said Tahrir Institute of Middle East Policy assistant director Ramy Yaacoub, who first screened it in April. "Honestly, a lot of things that Howard and his team have promised to fix, they have. I want to see the real agents of change in the Middle East."

With the seventh and eighth episodes of Tyrant still in postproduction, and most critics only screening one episode before reviews came out, the long play of the story is something that some in the group pointed to as an obstacle for many viewers.

"There was a lot of negative press [initially] because much of the story hadn’t unfolded,” said Muslims on Screen and Television co-director Michael Wolfe, "and I think maybe that’s still true.”

On the subject of violence against women — there are three acts of sexual abuse in the pilot episode — the group remained more divided. The Iraqi Cultural Center's Aseel Albanna said she was surprised to see one rape scene appear in the final cut of the pilot that was not in the version she screened.

"The thing that struck me most was [three Arab women]. Where are these characters going?” added Albanna. "To [Howard’s] credit and to the writers' credit, they are elevating these characters to show the strength of Arab women. I think the characters are pretty well portrayed.”

President of the Muslim Public Affairs Council Salam Al-Marayati, who did not serve on the show in any formal capacity other than as a friend of Gordon's, summed it up thus: "I think any show that deals with tyranny in the Middle East, if it can humanize the struggle against tyranny, in the end, it will be good.”

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/liv...talking-720055
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Summer TCA Tour Notes
‘Sons of Anarchy': Cast and Creator on the Final Season, Emmys and Guest Stars
By Shelli Weinstein, Variety.com - Jul. 21, 2014

Going into the final season of “Sons of Anarchy,” creator Kurt Sutter isn’t changing his strategy very much.

“I’ve learned that over seven seasons now, the looser I grip that idea, the better the seasons are, and this season really isn’t any different,” he said at the show’s panel at the Television Critics Assn. press tour on Monday. Sutter also described his process of coming into seasons with larger blueprints for the story arcs and “mile markers” for the characters.

“I came in with how I wanted the season to end, but things change with different story ideas. So it’s always sort of been heading in the same direction, but the way I’m getting there is continuously changing,” Sutter said of the show’s upcoming seventh and final season.

Along with executive producer and director Paris Barclay, Sutter noted that it’s a challenge to develop “Sons of Anarchy,” though he doesn’t think the heavy stories are truly unbelievable even though they are set in extreme circumstances. Barclay described the dark episodes as “pulp novels,” and praised Sutter for the work: “I think one person trying to shoulder that is virtually impossible,” he said.

Sutter also commented on the upcoming, and seemingly out-there guest cast for season seven, which includes Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson.

“I like to do some casting that’s a little bit outside of the box,” remarked Sutter. He and Manson had met through mutual friends when Sutter learned that Manson is a fan. According to Sutter, Manson wore him down to get involved with the show. “We found a great role for him and he’s great.”

Throughout its run “Sons of Anarchy” has only been Emmy-nominated once, and has taken home one Golden Globe. Barclay believes the lack of accolades is possibly due to its very specific, biker gang genre, however the entire panel said that working on the drama is not about the awards. “It doesn’t matter. At all,” said Charlie Hunnam, emphatically.

The rest of the present cast nodded in agreement — the show is for the people who watch and enjoy it each week.

The seventh and final season of “Sons of Anarchy” will bow Sept. 9 on FX.

http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/sons...rs-1201266260/

* * * *

Summer TCA Tour Notes
'Horror Story' neither as campy or dark as past seasons
By Gary Levin, USA Today - Jul. 21, 2014

BEVERLY HILLS--American Horror Story began production in New Orleans last week for an October return, and the fourth season of the anthology series will fall somewhere between its previous versions in tone. And it might feature Neil Patrick Harris.

"It's going to have a really different look from a design and the cinematography standpoint than any of the previous incarnations," FX Networks chief John Landgraf told TV critics about the new version, dubbed Freak Show and set in 1950s Florida, from producer Ryan Murphy.

"The characters are really distinctive, really original, some of them very strange, but, I think, really compelling. Some years it's going to be big and bright and brash and campy, the way (last season's witch-friendly) Coven is. And the other years, it's going to be sort of very dark and brooding the way (second-season) Asylum was. I guess I'd put Freak Show sort of maybe halfway in between the two. It's not quite as brooding and formal and Hitchcockian as Asylum. It's got a little bit more humor and a little bit more camp. But it has a kind of very brooding, period feel to it also."

Jessica Lange and Sarah Paulson are back, and it's looking like Harris might find a part in Freak Show, a studio executive confirms. He's said to be a fan and also appeared in Murphy's Glee.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/t...rphy/12969873/

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post #95710 of 95719 Old Today, 10:11 AM
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Summer TCA Tour Notes
The Gritty Reality Of Sex On FX’s ‘Married’ & ‘You’re The Worst’
By Anthony D'Alessandro, Deadline.com - Jul. 21, 2014

Talking with Deadline after the panel, Gurland said: “The show will became less about their sexual relationship. I found that a good jumping-off point for the series would be a husband saying, ‘We don’t have the intimacy we use to have,’ and there’s this element of, ‘Well, go have sex with other people.’ I wanted to put that to rest by the pilot because that’s not really the answer. That’s not a long-term solution if you want intimacy from your wife, so moving forward we wanted to keep the intimacy between the two of them but not restricted to their sexual relationship. I wanted to keep the show grounded and not go to this paper reality of here’s all this crazy stuff that this normal married guy is going to do.”

Part of that grounding, and even a nod to the ’90s sitcom Mad About You, entailed adding its co-star Paul Reiser as the much-older husband to Jenny Slate’s character Jess. The gist behind the pairing entailed getting to the heart of the drama experienced by married couples from two different age groups: Jess is the breadwinner and has a baby, but Reiser’s hubby is out of work. Said Reiser, “When I first sat down with Andrew and heard the show was called Married, I thought, ‘I’ve done that show.’ But neither this show nor my NBC show were the first comedies to explore marriage. Marriage is an endless field day for comedy. This show is adult in the best sense of the word. We’re not shying away from anything. We take marriage to not-comfortable places and accept it as an uphill struggle.”

While Married isn’t playing sex front and center, You’re The Worst is fearless in its approach as a rom-com about two F-buddies, Gretchen (Aya Cash) and Jimmy (Chris Geere). In the pilot, before the halfway the show, the couple get into some compromising positions that would make David Duchovny’s Hank Moody blush on Californication.

Asserted Worst creator Stephen Falk: “I wasn’t out to shock or titillate. The show is about the beginning of relationships where love isn’t at the center, rather sex. For now, they’re having fun.”

Cash chimed in on the sex topic, observing that Worst isn’t any more graphic than those bed scenes in The Bridge and The Americans. “Before this show, I never did sex scenes, and it’s much less scary in the doing than in the thinking. Sitting in my bra on top of(Geere) wouldn’t be realistic.”

When Cash’s husband found out that she was cast in a sex-themed comedy series on FX, his response per Cash was, “We’re buying a new car.”

Addressing critics’ concerns that Gretchen and Jimmy were unlikable protags, Falk disputed the label saying, “I don’t mean to be callous, but my job is to make entertaining characters.”

http://www.deadline.com/2014/07/your...x-nude-scenes/
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post #95711 of 95719 Old Today, 10:35 AM
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TV Notes
‘Food Fighters,’ a right decent chew
NBC amateur vs pros cooking competition seems real enough
By Tom Conroy, Media Life Magazine - Jul. 22, 2013

In competition reality shows, the secret is the amount of one ingredient: misdirection. Even if one contestant is way ahead, the editor has to throw in some details suggesting that he or she could lose, just to keep us guessing. But if there is too much such misdirection, we get sick of being jerked around.

The difference with shows about cooking, as opposed to, say, fashion or interior design, is that we can’t judge the results. So we have to trust that the outcomes aren’t faked.

NBC’s new competition series “Food Fighters” feels relatively trustworthy and is thus relatively entertaining. It sets up a David vs. Goliath contest that manages to convince us that the underdogs have a chance. Throw in the inherent appeal of watching someone else cook, and we have a pleasant time killer.

Premiering tonight at 8, “Food Fighters” pits an amateur “home cook” against five pros who one by one make the same dishes as the amateur.

Tipping the balance in favor of the home cook is two things: He or she gets to choose both the five dishes and the order in which the dishes are made, thus potentially avoiding a pro’s specialty.

The premiere episode features Elisha Joyce, a stay-at-home mother from Oregon. She picks five dishes based on the cuisine of Guam, where she grew up. She says she hopes to use her winnings to take her husband and kids to visit her family there.

Each segment has an increasingly higher dollar value; the fifth could double the contestant’s winnings so far. If the contestant wins all five rounds, the prize is $100,000.

The five pros in the episode all have reality-TV experience and do their best to deliver catchy sound bites. This is harder for the foreign-born ones.

Chef Jonny Giordani says, “Bring it on!” twice. Chef Lorena Garcia says, “I think she is going to have to run for her money.”

Elisha’s first opponent is Kevin Belton, whom the host, Adam Richman, calls “the king of Cajun.” Belton tells Elisha, “I’ll even teach you how to cook alligator and get you a pair of shoes at the same time.”

Selecting a dish that’s as far as possible from Louisiana, Elisha decides to start off with egg rolls. Belton uses bacon and crabmeat in his stuffing.

In the first example of misdirection, Elisha frets that her wrappers are tearing and the rolls might be too oily. But the panel of five regular folks gives her a 3-2 win.

Next facing Giordano, whom Richman calls “the singing chef,” Elisha chooses a very non-Italian dish: fish tacos. This time, she’s worried because her fish is sticking to the grill. Giordano nonchalantly uses egg roll wrappers because, he says, “I didn’t find the tortillas.”

As the show progresses, the judges’ votes don’t always jibe with what we see of the cooking process or the contestants’ sound bites. But they’re not so far out of whack that we get frustrated.

The final round, with the possibility of doubling Elisha’s earnings so far, naturally gets the most dramatic treatment. The remaining dish is salmon with quinoa, which is in the wheelhouse of Elisha’s opponent, Garcia, whom Richman calls “the Latin legend.”

Garcia dances around her kitchen while Elisha frets in hers, worried that she overcooked one side of the salmon.

Without spoiling the ending, we can say that the results don’t feel too cooked.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/foo...t-decent-chew/
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post #95712 of 95719 Old Today, 10:50 AM
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Critic's Notes
Why Aren’t You Watching Face Off?
By Margaret Lyons, Vulture.com (NY Magazine) - Jul. 22, 2014

Syfy's competitive prosthetic makeup series Face Off returns for a seventh season tonight at 9, as glorious and tenderhearted as ever. The show is one of my favorites, but despite actual years of insisting that everyone I know at least give the series a try, it appears some have not yet been persuaded by my persistence. I am at a loss — the show is everything there is to love about a reality contest show, without any of the bloating and awkwardness of other series. Perhaps there are other reasons keeping you away? Allow me to dismantle them.

I thought it was related to the Nicolas Cage movie Face/Off. A shocking number of people assume that it is. It is not! For better or worse, not everything has to be related to Nicolas Cage, even though the internet loves him sooooo much. I will admit, however, that Face Off leaves a little to be desired in the naming department: It's not as obvious as Top Chef or Best Ink, but it seems like "makeup" or "sculpture" in the title would be a turnoff to some.

I don't know if I even care about makeup. However you feel about the mainstream cosmetics industry, this isn't that. (Though if someone wanted to make a competitive show about traditional makeup artists, I myself would absolutely watch. C'mon, Style Network.) This is monster makeup — your Beetlejuice-like character designs, some aliens and ethereal creatures and stuff.

Reality shows are not my jam. Face Off belongs to the subgenre of reality contest shows, but even among that relatively higher-quality group, the show stands out for having very little forced awkwardness, comparatively little repetition, and next-to-zero infighting. The contestants all seem relatively competent, too, compared to shows like American Idol, where a huge percentage of the finalists are not meaningful contenders. A lot of the humiliation that's built in to most reality shows is absent from Face Off.

All those shows are so fake. Who even cares? Everything is a farce, all identity is mere performance, and authenticity is a made-up idea designed to sell you powdered packets of brown gravy.

http://www.vulture.com/2014/07/why-a...-face-off.html
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post #95713 of 95719 Old Today, 11:13 AM
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Nielsen Notes (Cable)
Lifetime’s ‘The Lottery’ Debuts OK
By Dominic Patten, Deadline.com - Jul. 22, 2014

A dystopian reproductive drama on Lifetime from Children Of Men scribe Timothy J. Sexton does seem to have all the right ingredients. However, it also needs an audience to show up and that was a bit of a struggle for the debut of The Lottery last night. With a new Witches Of East End as a lead-in, the Warner Horizon-produced conspiracy thriller debut to 1.1 million total viewers last night at 10 PM. That’s down from the 1.93 million who tuned in for the 10 PM Season 1 premiere of the supernatural soapy Witches on October 6 last year.

The Lottery’s launch was also down from the viewership of Lifetime’s other most recent drama debut. The June 23, 2013 premiere of the Marc Cherry-created Devious Maids drew an audience of 2 million. In fact, the Danny Cannon-directed pilot, which he EP’d along with Sexton and Dawn Olmstead, was much closer to the Season 2 debut of Witches on July 6. That 9 PM airing had 1.12 million viewers. Lifetime has ordered 10-episodes of The Lottery so far — let’s see if it turns out to be a winning ticket.

http://www.deadline.com/2014/07/the-...othy-j-sexton/

* * * *

Nielsen Notes (Cable)
'The Leftovers' Audience Climbing to 8 Million Viewers
By Michael O'Connell, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Jul. 22, 2014

Good news for The Leftovers: four weeks into its first season, the HBO drama is finding a stable audience — and quite a bit of growth across platforms.

Sunday's outing for the drama fetched 1.6 million viewers, its most-watched original telecast since the June 29 premiere. Though that number is certainly modest compared to many HBO dramas, including lead-in True Blood, it's not even a quarter of how many viewers The Leftovers is finding over the course of a week.

The first two episodes of The Leftovers are currently averaging more than 8 million viewers across all telecasts, HBO Go plays and On Demand. That's not far off from the gross viewership the most recent drama launch, True Detective, was averaging at the end of its run (11 million viewers).

True Blood remains a bit bigger — especially where live-plus-same day is concerned. The half-way point in the vampire drama's final season averaged 3.6 million viewers during its first-run telecast this past week. Across all platforms, its earning 10 million viewers every week.

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver is also proving to be just as solid without a comedy lead-in. The talk show pulled nearly 1 million viewers during its Sunday premiere, averaging 4 million viewers across plays during its freshman season.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/liv...limbing-720281
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Critic's Notes
Why Aren’t You Watching Face Off?
By Margaret Lyons, Vulture.com (NY Magazine) - Jul. 22, 2014
I love Face Off! It's one of the very few reality shows I watch and some of the creations the artists come up with are amazing. It is definitely worth watching .

I'm a 'hooker' and a knitter. I guess that makes me bi-stitchual :). Crap I say
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TUESDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
10PM - Frontline: Poor Kids
(R - Nov. 20, 2012)
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TV Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Jul. 22, 2014

FRONTLINE: "POOR KIDS"
PBS, 10:00 p.m. ET

Poor, little children, desperate for a better life than the one in which they find themselves. It's the hottest of topics right now at the U.S.-Mexico border – but it also affects kids deep within our country, native born or not, as this timely new Frontline establishes. Check local listings.

According to TMS/TiVo listings, this is indeed a repeat, not a “timely new” show.
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post #95716 of 95719 Old Today, 03:33 PM
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Yaris?
I wouldn't stake my life on it, but I believe she said Versa. The Yaris is a Toyota brand.

"But I didn't do it...!"
"I knew you'd say that"...*BLAM!*
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Nah, the worst one ever has to be in Monk where he talks to a real estate agent about her Buick Lucerne, and in the process she extolls the virtues of the Northstar system.
Worst one EVER? Not quite ...

Try to find some videos of kinescopes from the early 1950's. In the era of live television, commercials were worked into the scripts all the time.
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post #95718 of 95719 Old Today, 07:27 PM
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Worst one EVER? Not quite ...

Try to find some videos of kinescopes from the early 1950's. In the era of live television, commercials were worked into the scripts all the time.
Have you seen the episode "Mr. Monk, Private Eye"? I remember that particular Monk episode well, just for the egregious promotion.

Sharon Lawrence does a literal, full walkaround of the car pointing out all the features in what is a blatant commercial. The difference between that and the old spots is that they were clearly presented as commercials. They didn't try and hide a marketing sponsorship by pretending it was a natural character moment.


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Have you seen the episode "Mr. Monk, Private Eye"? I remember that particular Monk episode well, just for the egregious promotion.

Sharon Lawrence does a literal, full walkaround of the car pointing out all the features in what is a blatant commercial. The difference between that and the old spots is that they were clearly presented as commercials. They didn't try and hide a marketing sponsorship by pretending it was a natural character moment.
Yeah, there's something charming about being boldly blatant and audacious about shilling for the sponsor. Viewers of "Burns and Allen" knew Harry von Zell as the announcer for the show, so when the character Harry suddenly started talking about Carnation milk or Goodrich tires, that was no surprise at all.
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