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Hot Off The Press: The Latest TV News and Information - Page 1458

post #43711 of 93671
Thread Starter 
There might be a tad more reason to expand the Christmas celebration.
post #43712 of 93671
Well their monthy rating will tell the story if was a good/bad move.
Thats what great about ratings....its a cold hard #....yeah they can be spun but u can tell the real deal about them.
post #43713 of 93671
Thread Starter 
On a cynical, business level you are probably, and sadly, right.

That was not the point Shales was making, however.

A month of hard core violence and mayhem may well get viewers. What it does to those viewers is something we won't know for a while.
post #43714 of 93671
Thread Starter 
Television Review
'Friday Night Lights' tackles Season 4 changes,
And scores

By Robert Bianco, USA TODAY

As every high school football coach knows, it's tough to replace great talent.

That goes double for Coach Eric Taylor, who lost not only his best players but also his team, having been maneuvered out of Dillon High and exiled to hard-luck East Dillon.

But it's also the task faced by TV's best slice-of-life drama, Friday Night Lights, a still-remarkable series that has prolonged if not quite improved its life by innovative cost-sharing and cost-cutting.

The sharing part is why this former NBC series will once again premiere on DirecTV, with NBC repeating the run sometime next year. As for the cuts, you won't notice them in terms of production values, because the show's shot-on-location, bare-bones, handheld look has always been integral to its reality-driven storytelling style.

But you will notice them in a cast that, while still centered on the excellent and Emmy-undervalued Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton, has gone through considerable changes in the supporting roles.

Though Zack Gilford (who plays Matt Saracen), Taylor Kitsch (Tim Riggins), Aimee Teegarden (Julie Taylor) and Jesse Plemons (Landry Clarke) remain, Adrianne Palicki's Tyra, Gaius Charles' Smash, Minka Kelly's Lyla and Scott Porter's Jason are either gone for good or reduced to guest status. In their places are some new East Dillon students (including actors Michael Jordan and Jurnee Smollett) who may someday pop, but don't tonight.

To be fair, while cash may be the main precipitating factor behind the shifts, it's not the only one. The change also reflects the show's desire, forced though it may be, to follow life's normal progression. Kids grow up, graduate and leave town. And that switch has been hastened by the plot upheaval that finds Eric trying to revive the football program at a new, dirt-poor, competing high school.

Even so, to think you can shrink and cut the cast without consequence is not just foolish, it's insulting. It's an insult to the writers, because it implies a character introduced in one hour can be as rich and real as one they've spent three years developing. And it's an insult to the actors because it implies their contributions were valueless.

Yet much that was great remains in the cast members who carry over, and in the show's desire to detail the struggles of everyday life in small-town America. Is Lights the show it was when it began? No. But it's still better than most anything else on the TV field.

Any coach would count that as a win.

post #43715 of 93671
Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

TV Notes
NBC books 3 more weeks of 'Trauma'

I think this show is just starting to hit its groove. After a very over the top pilot it has settled in and is becoming a good show, give it a chance NBC.
post #43716 of 93671
Thread Starter 
I think NBC will give it every possible chance.
post #43717 of 93671
Thread Starter 
Weekly Nielsen Notes
Big debuts for Dunham, 'White Collar'
By Gary Levin, USA Today

Collared. The premiere of USA's latest drama caper, White Collar, scored 5.4 million viewers Friday, holding all of its Monk lead-in and nearly matching the big summer opener of Royal Pains (5.6 million), which followed hit Burn Notice.

No dummy. Comedy Central's Jeff Dunham Show drew 5.3 million viewers Thursday, the biggest series premiere in network history. That follows the 6.6 million turnout for the ventriloquist's special last December, the channel's top telecast.

CHARTS: See how your favorite shows fared

Leno update. In its first in-season episode against a rerun, NBC's Jay Leno Show averaged 5 million viewers Thursday, down from 5.4 million the week before. It was opposite CBS' The Mentalist, which lost 3.3 million from the previous week's original episode.

Still not super.Friday's season premiere of ABC's Supernanny(4.5 million viewers) was up a bit vs. last fall's opener; Ugly Betty(4.4 million) dropped in its time-slot premiere.

Real-er Housewives. The season finale of Bravo's Real Housewives of Atlanta averaged 3 million viewers Thursday, up from 2.2 million for the first-season finish. With an average 2.8 million for the run, Atlanta 2 ranks as the Housewives franchise's top-rated installment.

Deadly Fox's 'Til Death plunged to a series-low 1.9 million viewers Friday, sandwiched by near-low turnouts for Brothers (2.3 million) and Dollhouse (2.1 million). All three shows have been yanked for the November sweeps race.

Unloaded. Showtime's gun-shop documentary Lock 'n Load didn't open with a bang, scoring 114,000 viewers Wednesday. Sunday's Dexter did better, notching a series-high 2 million. And that night's finale of VH1's My Antonio claimed 1.6 million.

Bigger bite. The season finale of ABC reality competition Shark Tank notched a series-high (but still fourth-place) 5.9 million viewers Tuesday.

post #43718 of 93671
Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

Even if you have never heard his name (Kuralt), run, don't walk, to buy or rent this DVD set.

Amem. He perfected the "road" stories many of the local stations adopted in the 70's and 80's. He also is from North Carolina and is a grad of UNC. (sorry, had to do that!)
post #43719 of 93671
Thread Starter 
That is OK, foxeng.

The local stations may have tried to duplicate his stories, but I never saw one that came close. (In fairness, the local reporters probably got an hour to shoot and 30 minutes to prepare the stories....but still.)

Kuralt's writing was brilliant and unmatched -- although Charles Osgood comes awfully close.
post #43720 of 93671
Thread Starter 
TV Notes

By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- FOX isn't giving up on "'Til Death" just yet.

Network sources have confirmed the series will head to Sundays beginning January 10 with back-to-back episodes starting at 7:00/6:00c.

The perennially low-rated comedy will assume said slot from "Brothers," which wraps its 13-episode run on December 27.

In addition, "'Til Death" will air a special four-episode mini-marathon on Friday, December 25, replacing repeats of "Dollhouse" on the night.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: FOX's initial advisory about the aforementioned stunt indicated the invalid date of Thursday, December 25. With back-to-back encores of "Dollhouse" previously slated for Friday, December 25, the assumption was "Death" would air that Thursday, December 24. We've subsequently confirmed that "Dollhouse" will no longer air on December 25 with the "Death" originals airing in its place. Programming for Thursday, December 24 is yet to be announced.]

"Dollhouse," following its double runs on December 4, 11 and 18, will return to its regular time period on Friday, January 8 at 9:00/8:00c.

To recap:

Sunday, November 8
7:00/6:00c - "Brothers" (New Time Slot)
7:30/6:30c - "American Dad" (Special Time)

Sunday, November 15 (West Coast Only Due to NFL)
7:00/6:00c - "Brothers" (Repeat)
7:30/6:30c - "'Til Death" (Repeat)

Sunday, November 22
7:00/6:00c - "Brothers"
7:30/6:30c - "The Simpsons" (Repeat)

Sunday, November 29 (West Coast Only Due to NFL)
7:00/6:00c - "Brothers" (Repeat)
7:30/6:30c - "'Til Death" (Repeat)

Sunday, December 6 (West Coast Only Due to NFL)
7:00/6:00c - "Brothers" (Repeat)
7:30/6:30c - "'Til Death" (Repeat)

Sunday, December 13
7:00/6:00c - "Brothers"
7:30/6:30c - "Brothers" (Special Time)

Sunday, December 20 (West Coast Only Due to NFL)
7:00/6:00c - "Brothers" (Repeat)
7:30/6:30c - "'Til Death" (Repeat)

Friday, December 25
8:00/7:00c - "'Til Death"
8:30/7:30c - "'Til Death"
9:00/8:00c - "'Til Death"
9:30/8:30c - "'Til Death"

Sunday, December 27
7:00/6:00c - "Brothers"
7:30/6:30c - "Brothers" (Season Finale, Special Time)

Sunday, January 3 (West Coast Only Due to NFL)
7:00/6:00c - "'Til Death" (Repeat)
7:30/6:30c - "'Til Death" (Repeat)

Fridays (as of January 8)
8:00/7:00c - (To Be Announced)
9:00/8:00c - "Dollhouse"

Sundays (as of January 10)
7:00/6:00c - "'Til Death" (New Time Slot)
7:30/6:30c - "'Til Death" (New Time Slot)

post #43721 of 93671
Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

Kuralt's writing was brilliant and unmatched -- although Charles Osgood comes awfully close.

I think you could argue that Osgood was Kuralt's understudy for years, intentionally or not. Kuralt also was cut from that "reporter" cloth. You know, the kind you see in the movies with the fedora and the press card in the band? Hard smoking and drinking kind. That is where that writing style came from. No one does that kind of reporting anymore. And I truly believe we are the worse for it.
post #43722 of 93671
Thread Starter 
I am not so sure, foxeng. I think both Kuralt and Osgoodf were cut from a stroy teller's cloth. So many reporters seem to forget that telling the story is what their function really is, after all.

Charlie was working for CBS radio, as I recall, before Kuralt hit the road, and his essays (back in the earliest days of WCBS all-news radio in 1967) were as erudite and thought-provoking then as his Sunday Morning and radio spots are today.

But I am sure Osgood paid attention to Kuralt.

Heck, everyone at CBS did.

I remember working for the CBS affiliate in Washington DC in the late 60s, and we would watch Kuralt's "On The Road" pieces in total silence, many of us with our mouths open, stunned by the quality of each word and picture in every piece.
post #43723 of 93671
Thread Starter 
TV Notes
More on Letterman

One of the few women to ever write for the David Letterman show has a fascinating piece (to me at least) in the new issue of Vanity Fair.

I don't want to get into discussing the Letterman case here on the thread (or Steve Phillips or what's-his-name, the old Dolphis QB, either) but of you are interested in the story from a new perspective, click below:

post #43724 of 93671
Thread Starter 
TV Notes
More on Leno

Rick Ellis, founder and managing editor of allyourtv.com (a pretty nice site, by the way), tweeted a few minutes ago that:

How bad are things for Leno at NBC? I just had a publicist from the network tell me I was crazy for writing my defense of this show.

post #43725 of 93671
Thread Starter 
Critic’s Notes
Coach Taylor faces a challenge as 'Friday Night Lights' returns

By Maureen Ryan, Chicago Tribune TV critic, in her blog “The Watcher”

Coach Eric Taylor of “Friday Night Lights” (8 p.m. Central Wednesday, DirecTV's 101 Network; three and a half stars) has had his share of ups and downs, but Season 4 of the show finds him as down as he has ever been, professionally speaking.

Even when things weren’t going well for the Dillon Panthers, the high school football team he led with sternness and compassion, Taylor (Kyle Chandler) still had excellent facilities and an extensive staff at his disposal. Money wasn’t really a problem for the Panthers, a perennial powerhouse in Texas football.

Of course, “Friday Night Lights” has always been about much more than football: This fine ensemble drama has used sports as a vehicle for telling nuanced stories about race, class and family. Though the Panthers, occasionally get their moments in the sun, Dillon is usually a place of reduced expectations and limited options.

So it comes as no surprise that the new season of “FNL” sees Taylor going through the kind of involuntary retrenching that many Americans are experiencing. The nice stadium, the lavish equipment budget and the extensive staff are gone. Thanks to redistricting and some maneuvering by his detractors, this season Taylor is coaching the East Dillon Lions, a poorly equipped and unskilled squad.

You can judge Taylor's contentment level by how much he stalks around with his jaw clenched, and there's a lot of sideline stomping as the season begins. But as usual, Kyle Chandler makes the charismatic Taylor's frustration compelling. And the question of the season, as always, isn't limited to whether Taylor can make the team competitive. It's also about whether he can turn undisciplined boys into men. Dramatically speaking, it's all to the good that the coach has his work cut out for him.

Taylor's wife, Tami (Connie Britton), has her own set of challenges -- as principal of Dillon High School, she receives an avalanche of criticism about the redistricting (parents see East Dillon as a second-rate high school). As if that's not enough to deal with, prominent Panther boosters think they run the Panther football program. Despite her down-home friendliness, the shrewd Tami isn't about to allow that.

It'll be interesting to see how "FNL" manages the post high-school era for several of its characters -- a transition that has often led to choppy, disjointed stories on other shows that have featured characters navigating those years. This season, both Tim Riggins (Taylor Kitsch) and Matt Saracen (Evanston's Zach Gilford) are still kicking around Dillon, where their prospects seem less than exciting.

"How does it feel to be the guy who used to be Tim Riggins?" a high schooler asks the former Panther star, who seems unmooored without Taylor's guidance.

Saracen decided to stay in Dillon and care for his grandmother rather than attend art school in Chicago, and dealing with the outcome that choice is proving difficult. But then Saracen's life, especially, has consisted of tough choices and a narrow range of options. Four seasons in, I still find myself wanting the world to give this hangdog kid a break.

Julie Taylor (Aimee Teegarden) and Landry (Jesse Plemons) are still in high school, and a new roster of young characters joins the cast this season. If a few of them prove as memorable as Riggins or Saracen, "FNL" will be in good shape.

The show certainly has a lot of ground to cover in its 13-episode fourth season (which is set to air next summer on NBC). This year, the challenge is to create fresh, interesting story lines for new and returning high school characters, integrate the post-high school crowd into the show and mix the stories of the East Dillon team with those of the Panther players. It’s a tall order, but in the early going, the show seems up to it.

Besides, haven’t we learned that “Friday Night Lights” is usually pretty good at pulling off the underdog win?

post #43726 of 93671
Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

...or what's-his-name, the old dolphins qb, either...

post #43727 of 93671
Thread Starter 
Glad someone follows the thread closely, Larry!
post #43728 of 93671
Thread Starter 
(Sorry, I missed this last week. But it still is of interest, I believe.)
Critic’s Notes
The state of the late:
With Leno off ‘Tonight,’ is there a new king of the night?

By Aaron Barnhart, The Kansas City Star TV critic

When Americans are looking to soothe their frazzled nerves after a long day, late-night TV shows have always been happy to oblige. But these days, the world of late night is as topsy-turvy as the real world we’re trying to tune out.

Just one year ago, Jay Leno was cruising along as the undisputed king of late night. Five million faithful watched the “Tonight” show host, as reliable as his restored Model T, night after night delivering A-list guests, John McCain jokes and wacky headlines.

A million viewers behind him was the urbane David Letterman, still considered the best in show by many, and everyone else followed in the wake of these two old pros. Conan O’Brien, Craig Ferguson, Jon Stewart and Jimmy Kimmel all had their multitudes, but the pecking order in late night was clear and it was unalterable.

Then it all came undone. Leno left NBC’s “Tonight” to prepare for his new 9 p.m. show. Conan moved to L.A. to take his place and promptly lost half of Leno’s audience. Back in New York, Jimmy Fallon took over Conan’s spot and lost a third of his audience.

That cleared the path for Letterman to reclaim the top spot in the ratings after surrendering his crown to Leno 14 years ago.

But how long will Dave be around to enjoy it? He has gotten himself into an unflattering, highly publicized romantic drama that might cost him support among the 58 percent of his audience that is female. And now we learn, courtesy of Newsday, that the “Late Show” host has yet to sign an extension to his CBS contract, which runs through 2010.

It no longer seems implausible that Dave might actually hang it up, settle down with his wife and raise their child out of the limelight. That would make Ferguson the most likely candidate to take over “Late Show” just about a year from now, not bad for a guy who until recently wasn’t even a U.S. citizen. (His memoir, “American on Purpose,” debuted last week at No. 4 on the New York Times best-seller list.)

The most stable part of late night has been the lowlands, where Kimmel, Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Charlie Rose and Chelsea Handler (look, a woman!) continue to draw smaller but still lucrative audiences. Hoping to join their ranks are Wanda Sykes, whose weekly show airs at 10 p.m. Saturdays on Fox starting Nov. 7, and George Lopez, whose “Lopez Tonight” launches at 10 p.m. Nov. 9 and will air weeknights on TBS.

Indeed, the more you look at the growing menu of late-night options, the more clear it becomes that there are no more kings in late night. There are only senators, each with a well-heeled constituency.

That said, there always seems to be a sentimental desire among many TV critics to declare Letterman the leader again. He has by far the most viewers, averaging about 4.7 million a night, or nearly twice O’Brien’s audience. However, as far as advertisers are concerned — and they are the ones who actually determine a show’s success — Conan is king.

Why? Because even with half the audience, he still outdraws Dave among people in their 20s, 30s and 40s. Advertisers pay dearly to reach those viewers.

Letterman, of all people, can appreciate this. In the 1980s NBC discovered that beer companies and movie studios preferred to advertise on his “Late Night” show, which was watched by college kids, instead of “The Tonight Show,” which was watched by their parents.

As for Leno, he’s still hosting a late-night show, no matter what NBC calls it. And he’s still more popular than Letterman, though with “The Jay Leno Show” airing five nights a week in prime time, it had better be.

post #43729 of 93671
Thread Starter 
TV Notes
Wednesday’s TV Talk Show Lineups:
'Charlie Rose' interviews Carrie Fisher

From the Los Angeles Times’ “Show Tracker” blog
(Note: times are generally ET/PT. Sports are Pacific Time. For PBS show start times please check your local listings.)

The Early Show Artist Stephen Wiltshire. (N) 7 a.m. CBS

Today Author Margaret Russell ("Style and Substance"); previewing the New York City Marathon; Carly Simon performs. (N) 7 a.m. NBC

Good Morning America Patrick Dempsey; Reese Witherspoon. (N) 7 a.m. ABC

Live With Regis and Kelly Patrick Dempsey ("Grey's Anatomy"); Brody Jenner ("The Hills"). (N) Syndicated

The View Edward Norton; fashion designer Carson Kressley. (N) 10 a.m. (11 a.m. ET) ABC

The Dr. Oz Show People born with ambiguous gender. Syndicated

Rachael Ray An Emmy- and Grammy-winning mystery taster. (N) Syndicated

The Martha Stewart Show Chef John Barricelli. (N) Syndicated

The Bonnie Hunt Show Mackenzie Phillips; George Stephanopoulos. (N) Syndicated

Oprah Winfrey Fans discuss the premiere of "Michael Jackson's This Is It"; winners from "The Price Is Right," "Deal or No Deal," and Publishers Clearing House. (N) Syndicated

Dr. Phil Anthony Pope and Gina Barreca discuss stories of revenge. (N) Syndicated

The Ellen DeGeneres Show Katie Couric; Kate Gosselin; Gabourey "Gabby" Sidibe. (N) Syndicated

The Tyra Show Testing how people fall for flattery; testing the audience's knowledge of the opposite sex. (N) Syndicated

Larry King Live (N) 6 and 9 p.m. CNN

Tavis Smiley Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; Tim McGraw. (N) 7 and 11 p.m. PBS

The Jay Leno Show Chelsea Handler; Brian Williams. (N) 10 p.m. NBC

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Dr. Mustafa Barghouti; Anna Baltzer. (N) 11 p.m. Comedy Central

Charlie Rose Carrie Fisher; author Sam Tanenhaus. (N) 11:30 p.m. PBS

Late Show With David Letterman Patrick Dempsey; Bud Selig; Sting performs. (N) 11:35 p.m. CBS

The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien Chris O'Donnell; ski racer Lindsey Vonn; Uncle Kracker performs. (N) 11:35 p.m. NBC

Nightline (N) 11:35 p.m. ABC

Jimmy Kimmel Live Atticus Shaffer; Flyleaf performs. (N) 12:06 a.m. ABC

The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; Rodrigo y Gabriela perform. (N) 12:37 a.m. CBS

Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Edward Norton; Hulk Hogan; "Weird Al" Yankovic performs. (N) 12:37 a.m. NBC

Last Call With Carson Daly Kate Flannery; Kevin Christy. (N) 1:36 a.m. NBC

post #43730 of 93671
Originally Posted by foxeng View Post

Amem. He perfected the "road" stories many of the local stations adopted in the 70's and 80's. He also is from North Carolina and is a grad of UNC. (sorry, had to do that!)

And it's probably no coincidence that WRAL has it's own version of On The Road called the Tar Heel Traveler. Kuralt was before my time, but the WRAL version is one of the best parts of their newscast.

post #43731 of 93671
Here in Texas our version was the long running (1969-1999) "The Eyes of Texas." Featuring, for most my memories, the late, great Ron Stone on Sunday afternoons.

Charles Kuralt's show was a great way to start Sundays. I remember some weird stuff after his death, but I don't think for one moment that altered my memories of those terrific stories.

Sundays used to be pretty educational back in "the old days."
post #43732 of 93671
Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

TV Notes

By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC) http://www.thefutoncritic.com/news.aspx?id=8359

What kind of TV world do we live in where Southland gets canceled before its season premiere while Till Death won't die?

Seriously, has Till Death been on every night of Fox's schedule except for Monday now? Shall we call it According to Jim Jr.?
post #43733 of 93671
Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; Rodrigo y Gabriela perform. (N) 12:37 a.m. CBS

That interview is going to be beyond great.
post #43734 of 93671
Thread Starter 
TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
Wednesday Network Prime-Time Options

(All shows are in HD unless noted as being in Standard Definition: SD)

It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (R, Oct. 27, 1966) SD
8:30 The Middle
9 Modern Family
9:30 Cougar Town
10 Eastwick

The New Adventures of Old Christine (R, March 11)
8:30 Gary Unmarried (R, March 11)
9 Criminal Minds (R, April 8)
10 CSI: NY (R, December 10, 2008)

8 Monsters vs. Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins From Outer Space. When mutant pumpkins try to take over Earth on Halloween, the monsters must combat the gourds and try to end their wicked scheme.
8:30 Monsters vs. Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins From Outer Space.
9 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
10 Jay Leno Show: Comic Chelsea Handler; journalist Brian Williams

World Series, Game 1: Philadelphia Phillies at New York Yankees

The Botany of Desire: Four species -- apple, tulip, marijuana and potato -- evolved to satisfy human yearnings for sweetness, beauty, intoxication and control; narrator Frances McDormand. (two hours)
10 Art in the Twenty-First Century: Systems. Artists who realize complex projects include John Baldessari, Kimsooja, Allan McCollum and Julie Mehretu.

The CW:
8 America’s Next Top Model SD
9 Vampire Diaries (R)
post #43735 of 93671
Thread Starter 
TV Notes
Wednesday’s TV Highlights:
Two Returns: World Series, “Friday Night Lights”

From the Los Angeles Times’ “Show Tracker” blog
(Note: times are generally ET/PT. Sports are PT. For PBS show start times please check your local listings.)


America's Next Top Model: The models head to Hawaii for the rest of the competition where they get surfing lessons from Buzzy Kerbox. Kirsty Hume serves as a guest judge (8 p.m. KTLA).

Gary Unmarried: After Gary (Jay Mohr) vetoes Allison's plans (Paula Marshall) for Louise (Kathryn Newton) to take Chinese lessons, Allison pulls the plug on golf lessons. Jane Curtin and Martin Mull guest star in this new episode (8:30 p.m. CBS).

Friday Night Lights: Season 4 begins with Coach Taylor trying to put together a football program at East Dillon High, while, back at Dillon, Tami fights those who conspired to get him fired. (9 p.m., DirecTV Channel 101).

MythBusters: The team tests potential kitchen catastrophes (9 p.m. Discovery).

Top Chef: Las Vegas: The remaining chefs visit Tom Colicchio's Craft Steak restaurant in Las Vegas to cook for Natalie Portman and friends in this new episode (10 p.m. Bravo).

South Park: Stan leads Cartman and the gang on a crusade to save dolphins and whales in a new episode. (10 p.m. Comedy Central).


Monsters vs. Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins From Outer Space: In this special, mutant pumpkins try to take over Earth on Halloween (8 and 8:30 p.m. NBC).

The Botany of Desire: Academy Award winner Frances McDormand narrates this eye-opening special, based on a book by Michael Pollan, that explores the human relationship with the plant world -- from the perspective of four species: apple, tulip, marijuana and potato -- which evolved to satisfy human yearnings for sweetness, beauty, intoxication and control (8 p.m. KCET).


Alfie: Michael Caine earned an Oscar nomination for his unforgettable performance as a handsome cockney womanizer who goes relentlessly from conquest to conquest, oblivious to the emotional devastation he leaves in his wake. Shelley Winters, Millicent Martin and Vivien Merchant costar in this surprisingly dark 1966 comedy (3 p.m. TCM).

Get Smart: Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway assume Don Adams and Barbara Feldon's classic television roles as Agents 86 and 99 in this 2008 action-comedy (6 p.m. HBO).

Harold and Maude: Long a cult classic, director Hal Ashby's dark, highly original 1971 comedy is the kind of movie you want to sit all your friends down to watch. Bud Cort and Ruth Gordon play the title characters, a death-obsessed young man and a 79-year-old woman who teaches him to love life (7 p.m. TCM).

Hocus Pocus: Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy star as a trio of 17th century witches who are accidentally summoned to the present in this ghoulish 1993 comedy (8 p.m. ABC Family).

Burn After Reading: John Malkovich plays a newly resigned CIA agent whose secrets are swiped by his divorce-seeking wife (Tilda Swinton) and ultimately land in the hands of gym workers (Brad Pitt and Frances McDormand). George Clooney also stars (10 p.m. Cinemax).


Baseball: The World Series, Game 1: Philadelphia Phillies visit the New York Yankees (4:30 p.m. Fox).

NBA basketball: The New Orleans Hornets visit the San Antonio Spurs (5 p.m. ESPN); the Utah Jazz visit the Denver Nuggets (7:30 p.m. ESPN).

post #43736 of 93671
Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
Wednesday Network Prime-Time Options

It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (R, Oct. 27, 1966) SD

Wait, this isn't new? I'm shocked by this revelation....
post #43737 of 93671
Thread Starter 
Television Review
'Friday Night Lights':
The Dillon Jungle

By Matt Roush, TV Guide Senior Critic

There are no miracles in Dillon, Texas. A star quarterback gets paralyzed, he stays in the wheelchair (but he does eventually find a way out of town). The star coach gets dethroned by deep-pocketed opponents, he doesn’t find an easy landing across town. That’s the way of the world, and why Friday Night Lights is so special. You want reality TV? This show delivers the dramatic goods with painstaking authenticity each week, and even when it isn’t trying to make you cry, you can’t help but get emotionally involved in the lives of these instantly recognizable and compelling characters.

The real miracle about Friday Night Lights is that I’m still writing about it as it enters its fourth season. Consider it a gift from the satellite-TV gods as DirecTV continues its support of a show that NBC would have jettisoned after its second year because of poor ratings, worse scheduling and a lamentable apathy among the viewing public for TV that doesn’t conform to traditional high-concept formula. Even better, we don’t have to fret all season long about the show’s fate, because DirecTV has committed to a fifth season of 13 episodes. (This season’s episodes will air later on NBC, though maybe not until next summer. NBC’s prime-time real estate being so valuable these days, don’t you know.)

This season of transition gets off to a powerful start as all of Dillon is rocked by a redistricting plan that will find some of the former Panthers joining Coach Taylor, against their will, in the relatively shabby “hellhole” of East Dillon High, home of the forlorn and ragtag Lions. A town meeting overseen by the coach’s wife Tami, Dillon High’s beleaguered principal, is about as civil as your average health-care-reform town hall.

Tempers are raw everywhere, in town and on the practice field, and short fuses detonate frequently in this brawling season opener as we rejoin the lives of (among others) recent graduates Matt Saracen and Tim Riggins, who are coping with life outside the high-school spotlight about as well as you’d imagine. Especially when a rich-kid punk like J.D. McCoy (Saracen’s QB replacement, who still hasn't gotten over Coach Taylor taking him out of a pivotal game) starts crowing, “This is my Dillon now.”

There’s conflict aplenty this season, but the heart and soul of Friday Night Lights, as always, can be found in the struggles of the Taylors: Coach Eric (Kyle Chandler, commanding and careworn), wife/principal Tami (Connie Britton, always a breath of fresh attitude) and even their daughter Julie (Aimee Teegarden), torn between two schools and clashing loyalties.

As Eric labors to build a team, which means instilling discipline and self-esteem that is in dreadfully short supply, there’s none of that fake, forced uplift you find in clichéd sports movies. When he lays down the law to his unruly new players, not everyone wants to hear it. The locker-room pep talk before the first game is as stirring as you’d hope, all about the glories of Texas football, “the pride that it gives us and the respect that it demands,” but that doesn’t make it any easier to take the field when the odds are so stacked against you.

There are no miracles in Dillon, Texas, except for the one that allows us to keep watching this profoundly moving series about a small town that feels so real you can almost smell the chili. As the first episode ends, on a brutally uncompromising note, hearts are heavy with burden but also full with promise.

I can’t say how the Lions will ultimately fare, but I predict another championship-quality season for Friday Night Lights.

(Friday Night Lights airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on DirecTV’s The 101 Network.)

post #43738 of 93671
Originally Posted by VisionOn View Post

And it's probably no coincidence that WRAL has it's own version of On The Road called the Tar Heel Traveler. Kuralt was before my time, but the WRAL version is one of the best parts of their newscast.


We have one too called "Roy's Folks" that is also syndicated to a few stations around the region. Roy has been doing them for at least 25 years and even though he has retired from full time TV, he still comes by 3 times a week to do "Roy's Folks." Saw him and Weatherly yesterday heading out to do another one.
post #43739 of 93671
Thread Starter 
Television Review
'Friday Night Lights'
Still tops in its field

By David Hinckley, New York Daily News TV Critic, Wednesday, October 28th 2009
★★★★(out of five)

Not since the fall of the Alamo have things looked bleaker in Texas than they do for coach Eric Taylor as the fourth season of "Friday Night Lights" kicks off Wednesday night.

That's bad news for Dillon, Tex., and great news for "Friday Night Lights," which is rather brilliantly reinventing itself on the fly.

It's introducing a new set of dramas while retaining most of what has worked in the past.

Wednesday night also starts the second season of a joint production deal in which DirecTV gets the show first and NBC runs it later, perhaps in spring or early summer.

While that kind of split carriage is awkward, we can hardly complain, because it ensures at least two more seasons for one of TV's best dramas.

When we left "FNL" last season, much of the original cast was graduating from Dillon High. At the same time, rich businessman Joe McCoy (D.W. Moffett) orchestrated the firing of football coach Taylor (Kyle Chandler) because McCoy wanted the team run in a way that would showcase his son, promising quarterback J.D. (Jeremy Sumpter).

As a consolation scrap, Taylor gets the coaching job at East Dillon, the run-down, poor-sister school across the tracks.

That's a challenge, since the team he inherits couldn't beat the cast of "Project Runway."

But what makes "FNL" such a good show is that it's not about football. Football is played here, but the show is about families and American towns, and that's where this year's new blood is being pumped.

While a few kids from past seasons are still on the scene, including Matt Saracen (Zach Gilford) and Tim Riggins (Taylor Kitsch), tonight's episode starts breaking in the next generation. That includes, for instance, Vince (Michael B. Jordan), who has breakaway speed and a police record.

Meanwhile, coach Taylor's wife, Tami (the superb Connie Britten), remains the principal at Dillon, which puts her in the middle of a nasty covert war between the two schools.

That battle, which again involves much more than football, also may create something "FNL" has never really had before, which is bad guys. Joe McCoy and his smug accomplices think they hold all the cards and have stacked the deck, which makes the East Dillon community into sympathetic underdogs and repositions coach Taylor as Rocky.

It's a brand new ballgame. It looks to be a winner.

Wednesday night at 9, DirecTV Channel 101
post #43740 of 93671
Thread Starter 
Critic’s Notes
On The Air Tonight:
'Friday Night Lights' on Satellite

By Roger Catlin, Hartford Courant TV Critic, in his “TV Eye” blog, October 29, 2009
(Note: All times are ET)

As a new season starts for "Friday Night Lights" (DirecTV, Channel 101, 9 p.m.) Coach Taylor is in exile, over at sad sack East Dillon High School, trying to create a football team out of the shambles of a program (and a town redistricting).

Some of the characters from past seasons, who have graduated, find a reason to still be around. There are also a few new characters introduced. Best of all, the series, whose season premiere is directed by Peter Berg, who did the original film, continues to show a natural ease between cast members - as if they really enjoy talking to one another instead of saying lines.

Like Coach, the show itself is somewhat in exile as well for the second season running, playing its episodes first exclusively on DirecTV before they're seen on NBC in the winter. But you know what they say, "Clear eyes, full hearts ..." and all the rest.

Michael Pollan makes a pretty good tour guide of his own book "The Botany of Desire" (PBS, 9 p.m.), a beautifully made film explicating his theory of the development of tulips, marijuana, potatoes and apples over the centuries. It's the products who are domesticating humans, he argues, and not the other way around. Frances McDormand narrates.

The final installment in the current series "Art 21: Art in the 21st Century" (PBS, 10 p.m.) features four artists who create their own systems of logic -- Julie Hehretu, John Baldessari, Kimsooja and Allan McCollum.

Opposite a replay of the standard "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" (ABC, 8 p.m.) is its first real competition in years, a new animated Halloween special to sample, "Monsters vs. Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins from Outer Space" (NBC, 8 p.m.) from the movie of the same name, with voices provided by Seth Rogen, Reese Witherspoon and Hugh Laurie.

Halloween themes abound, as usual, in week thrills, though, in shows like "Ghost Hunters" (SyFy, 9 p.m.), "American Haunts 3" (Travel, 8 p.m.) and "Destination Truth" (Syfy, 10 p.m.) .

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