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post #87271 of 93656
TV Review
HBO's TV Movie About Liberace Dazzles Like A Sequined Suit — With Two Shining Stars
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - May 23, 2013

More than just camp, and anything but dismissive, HBO’s new Behind the Candelabra telemovie takes Liberace seriously — and asks us to do the same…

Young viewers with no memories of the flamboyant pianist may be puzzled by the show-biz reign of Liberace, who at one point was the highest-paid entertainer in Vegas, and by the significance of his personal backstage story. So what if he wore outrageously flashy costumes on stage? So what if he had a younger boyfriend? What’s the big deal?

Well, the big deal that, in the 1950s and 1960s, Liberace blazed a trail of “embrace the excess” sensibility that, in Vegas and beyond, everyone from Elvis Presley to Elton John eventually emulated. And while presenting an on-stage persona that signaled a playful gay persona at almost every turn, Liberace kept his private life private, never came out as homosexual, and even sued a British newspaper, successfully, for calling him gay.

Behind the Candelabra, which premieres Sunday at 9 p.m. ET, focuses largely on one specific period in Liberace’s life, when he had a relationship with a much younger man, Scott Thorson (above right, with Liberace), eventually making room for him in his act as well as his home. Steven Soderbergh directs the telemovie, and casts, as the two leads, movie stars with whom he’s worked in the past. Matt Damon, of Soderbergh’s Ocean’s 11 movies and Contagion, plays Scott, and Michael Douglas, of Traffic, plays Liberace.

That casting could raise eyebrows, since both Damon and Douglas have movie careers dominated by rugged, even macho, tough-guy roles. But the actors take their parts, and this story, very, very seriously, while still having fun with scenes that allow for it. It’s a tricky dance, but they both pull it off. And not just barely — but confidently and impressively.

Before you see Behind the Candelabra, I recommend you do one piece of painless homework, to watch Liberace in his prime, and in a very knowing showcase. In 1969, Liberace appeared as a guest star on CBS’s The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour — not only playing the piano, but making fun of his image, his ornate costumes, even the candelabra atop his grand piano.

It’s a sequence that, at one point, marks one of the first appearances by Comedy Hour writer Bob Einstein as the motorcycle cop known as Officer Judy. When Liberace launches into a blistering version of Chopin’s Minute Waltz, Einstein drives on stage on his police motorcycle, siren blaring, and walks over to Liberace with his traffic-citation ticket book out.

“You know how fast you were playing?” he asks Liberace disapprovingly.

Here’s the complete set of sequences, showing both Liberace and Comedy Hour in fine form: [CLICK LINK BELOW]

Now back to Behind the Candelabra.

The script by Richard LaGravanese (who wrote the screenplays for The Horse Whisperer and The Fisher King) starts out with Damon as Scott, establishing his character as a wide-eyed innocent before sending him off to witness his first Liberace concert show. Soderbergh uses a long tracking shot so that we enter the Las Vegas Hilton along with Scott, and, like Scott, get hit with the Liberace musical and visual glitz in full force. When we first see Michael Douglas as Liberace, we’re scrutinizing an actor’s choices and performance. But even before that first number is over, we’ve accepted the characterization, and we’re enjoying Liberace.

For a full review of Behind the Candelabra, and a few audio excerpts, catch my review today (Thursday) on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, or read and hear it on the Fresh Air website.

http://www.tvworthwatching.com/BlogPostDetails.aspx?postId=5024
post #87272 of 93656
Nielsen Notes
Full 2012-2013 TV Season Series Rankings
By Dominic Patten, Deadline.com - May 23, 2013

The 2012-2013 TV season is officially over and there were some top spot shifts among the series rankings from last year. While NBC’s Sunday Night Football remained No.1 among adults 18-49 spot, it was tackled by CBS’ NCIS in total viewership, with the latter squeaking out a win for the period from September 24, 2012-May 22, 2013. Still, NBC is hyping a viewership victory by counting all 19 telecasts of Sunday Night Football starting September 5 and the 21.5 million they pulled in on average compared to NCIS‘ 21.3 million. The network is citing Nielsen’s allowance to broadcasters to track ratings results from a show’s debut even if it occurs before the season starts. Sticking to the boundaries of the season, the 26 scheduled airings of NCIS beat the 14 regularly scheduled broadcasts of SNF in the 2012-2013 season by just under 350,000 viewers. (See comprehensive series ranking lists for the 2012-2013 season according to both total viewership and Adults 18-49 after the jump)

Within the confines of the 2012-2013 season start and end dates, SNF was essentially the same in terms of viewership and ratings as last year. Coming off a strong 10th season, NCIS was up 10% in viewers and even in the ratings. Replaced by Big Bang Theory in the second spot among the 18-49s, the Wednesday airing of American Idol fell 25% from last season. Elementary, the now cancelled Vegas and The Following were the only new shows to make it into the Top 20 most watched series this season. NBC’s Revolution joined Fox’s Following as the only new shows to make it into the Top 20 shows among Adults 18-49. CBS’ Rules of Engagement was the highest rated show to be cancelled this year while Vegas was the most watched show to get the axe. Among the Big 4 networks, NBC’s Community was the lowest rated scripted show of the season to be renewed with CBS’ Undercover Boss as the lowest rated unscripted show of the season to be returning. The CW’s Nikita was the lowest-rated show overall to be coming back. Here are the full final rankings:

NETWORK PRIMETIME SERIES RANKINGS 2012- 2013 SEASON: ADULTS 18-49

NETWORK PROGRAM #TELECASTS RATING/SHARE


1 NBC NBC SUN NIGHT FOOTBALL 14 7.9/20
2 CBS BIG BANG THEORY 30 6.2/19
3 NBC THE VOICE 21 5.1/14
4 ABC MODERN FAMILY 32 4.9/13
5 NBC THE VOICE-TUE 20 4.6/13
6 FOX AMERICAN IDOL-WEDS 18 4.6/13
7 FOX AMERICAN IDOL-THURS 18 4.3/13
8 FOX THE FOLLOWING 15 4.3/11
9 CBS TWO & A HALF MEN 29 4.1/12
10 ABC GREY’S ANATOMY 28 4.1/11
11 CBS NCIS 26 4.0/12
12 NBC FOOTBALL NT AMERICA PT 3 14 4.0/11
13 NBC REVOLUTION 16 3.9/10
14 CBS 2 BROKE GIRLS 29 3.7/9
15 CBS HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER 29 3.7/10
16 FOX FAMILY GUY 21 3.6/9
17 ABC ONCE UPON A TIME 25 3.6/9
18 CBS SURVIVOR: PHILIPPINES 10 3.5/10
19 FOX X-FACTOR-WEDS 9 3.5/10
20 CBS NCIS: LA 27 3.4/9
21 CBS PERSON OF INTEREST 27 3.4/9
22 CBS CRIMINAL MINDS 29 3.3/9
23 ABC THE BACHELOR 10 3.3/9
24 FOX X-FACTOR-THURS 9 3.3/10
25 CBS MIKE & MOLLY 28 3.2/8
26 FOX GLEE 20 3.2/9
27 FOX NEW GIRL 25 3.2/9
28 CBS AMAZING RACE 21 11 3.1/7
29 CBS SURVIVOR: CARAMOAN 13 3.1/10
30 CBS ELEMENTARY 28 3.0/8
31 FOX THE SIMPSONS 20 2.9/8
32 ABC REVENGE 22 2.9/7
33 ABC SCANDAL 29 2.8/8
34 CBS CSI 27 2.8/8
35 FOX BONES 25 2.8/8
36 NBC PARENTHOOD 12 2.8/8
37 NBC BIGGEST LOSER 14 12 2.8/7
38 NBC AMAZING RACE 22 10 2.8/7
39 FOX HELL’S KITCHEN 9 2.7/8
40 ABC CASTLE 28 2.7/7
41 NBC THE OFFICE 28 2.6/7
42 CBS RULES OF ENGAGEMENT 13 2.6/7
43 FOX AMERICAN DAD 18 2.6/6
44 ABC THE MIDDLE 31 2.5/8
45 ABC DANCING WITH THE STARS 19 2.5/7
46 CBS HAWAII FIVE-0 30 2.5/7
47 ABC HOW TO LIVE WITH PARENTS 8 2.4/7
48 ABC SUBURGATORY 23 2.5/7
49 CBS THE MENTALIST 25 2.4/7
50 ABC GRIMM 19 2.4/7
51 ABC PRIVATE PRACTICE 12 2.4/7
52 ABC DANCING W/STARS RESULTS 16 2.4/7
53 ABC 666 PARK AVE 9 2.4/6
54 ABC SAT NIGHT FOOTBALL 8 2.3/8
55 NBC CHICAGO FIRE 29 2.3/6
56 ABC NASHVILLE 28 2.3/6
57 CBS PARTNERS 6 2.3/6
58 CBS 60 MINUTES 29 2.2/6
59 NBC GO ON 20 2.2/6
60 FOX BOB’S BURGERS 23 2.2/6
61 NBC LAW & ORDER: SVU 27 2.1/6
62 ABC CELEBRITY WIFE SWAP 3 2.1/6
63 NBC PARKS & RECREATION 24 2.1/6
64 ABC SHARK TANK 29 2.1/7
65 CBS THE GOOD WIFE 23 2.0/5
66 ABC LAST RESORT 13 2.0/6
67 ABC THE NEIGHBORS 23 2.0/6
68 NBC THE NEW NORMAL 19 2.0/5
69 NBC HANNIBAL 7 2.0/6
70 FOX FOX UFC SATURDAY 2 2.0/7
71 FOX THE MINDY PROJECT 25 2.0/5
72 FOX RAISING HOPE 18 2.0/6
73 CBS BLUE BLOODS 24 1.9/6
74 CBS CSI: NY 17 1.9/6
75 ABC BODY OF PROOF 12 1.9/5
76 ABC LAST MAN STANDING 18 1.9/7
77 ABC HAPPY ENDINGS 9 1.9/5
78 NBC 30 ROCK 13 1.9/6
79 FOX CLEVELAND SHOW-SUN 8:30 4 1.9/5
80 FOX SO YOU THINK CAN DANCE 2 2.0/6
81 CBS VEGAS 20 1.9/6
82 NBC APPRENTICE 13 11 1.9/6
83 NBC DECEPTION 11 1.8/5
84 ABC THE TASTE 8 1.8/5
85 CBS GOLDEN BOY 12 1.7/5
86 ABC MALIBU COUNTRY 18 1.7/5
87 NBC FOOTBALL NT AMERICA PT 2 14 1.7/5
88 NBC COMMUNITY 14 1.7/5
89 CBS UNDERCOVER BOSS 20 1.7/6
90 NBC UP ALL NIGHT 11 1.7/5
91 ABC 20/20-FRI 30 1.6/5
92 FOX FRINGE 11 1.6/5
93 ABC DON’T TRUST…APT 23 8 1.6/4
94 FOX THE CLEVELAND SHOW 16 1.6/5
95 ABC WHAT WOULD YOU DO? 3 1.6/5
96 NBC DATELINE FRI 24 1.5/5
97 NBC ANIMAL PRACTICE 5 1.5/5
98 NBC GUYS WITH KIDS 18 1.5/4
99 NBC 1600 PENN 10 1.5/4
100 FOX BEN & KATE 14 1.5/4
101 NBC OFF THEIR ROCKERS 8:30 10 1.5/4
102 NBC READY FOR LOVE 3 1.5/4
103 ABC SPLASH 8 1.5/5
104 NBC WHITNEY 17 1.5/5
105 ABC WIFE SWAP 7 1.5/5
106 ABC ZERO HOUR 3 1.5/5
107 ABC AMER FUNN HOME VIDEOS 29 1.4/4
108 NBC DATELINE-WED 5 1.4/4
109 NBC OFF THEIR ROCKERS 8PM 10 1.4/4
110 NBC SMASH 13 1.4/4
111 CW THE VAMPIRE DIARIES 30 1.4/4
112 NBC DATELINE SUN-7PM 6 1.3/4
113 ABC FAMILY TOOLS 3 1.3/4
114 FOX MOB DOCTOR 9 1.3/3
115 FOX KITCHEN NIGHTMARES 22 1.3/5
116 ABC RED WIDOW 8 1.3/4
117 ABC EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME ED 4 1.2/3
118 CW ARROW 29 1.2/4
119 ABC HAPPY ENDINGS-8PM 5 1.2/5
120 ABC WIPEOUT 2 1.2/4
121 CBS MADE IN JERSEY 2 1.1/4
122 CBS 48 HOURS 29 1.1/4
123 ABC HAPPY ENDINGS-8:30 5 1.1/4
124 CW SUPERNATURAL 30 1.1/3
125 NBC DO NO HARM 2 1.0/3
126 FOX COPS 2 16 1.0/3
127 FOX COPS 16 1.0/4
128 NBC ROCK CENTER 30 1.0/3
129 ABC SHARK TANK-FRI 8PM 2 1.0/4
130 FOX TOUCH 12 1.0/3
131 NBC WHITNEY-8:30 4 1.0/3
132 CBS CRIMETIME SAT 20 0.8/2
133 ABC 20/20-SAT 7 0.8/3
134 CBS THE JOB 2 0.8/3
135 NBC FASHION STAR 9 0.8/3
136 ABC ABC SAT MOVIE OF THE WEEK 9 0.8/3
137 CW HART OF DIXIE 25 0.8/2
138 CW BEAUTY & THE BEAST 28 0.7/2
139 CW AMERICA’S TOP MODEL 13 6 0.7/3
140 CW GOSSIP GIRL-MON 10 0.7/2
141 CBS CRIMETIME SAT 8PM 24 0.6/2
142 NBC AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR-SAT 8 0.6/2
143 CW CARRIE DIARIES 13 0.6/2
144 CW 90210 22 0.6/2
145 ABC BET ON YOUR BABY 5 0.5/2
146 CW EMILY OWENS MD 12 0.5/1
147 CW NIKITA 24 0.4/2
148 CW CULT 7 0.3/1
149 CW LA COMPLEX 1 0.3/1
150 CW OH SIT! 6 0.3/1
151 CW NEXT 2 0.2/1
152 CW NEXT – TUE 2 0.2/1


NETWORK PRIMETIME SERIES RANKINGS 2012-2013 SEASON: TOTAL VIEWERS

NETWORK PROGRAM #TELECASTS P+2(000)


1 CBS NCIS 26 21344
2 NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL 14 21002
3 CBS BIG BANG THEORY 30 18680
4 CBS NCIS: LA 26 17306
5 CBS PERSON OF INTEREST 27 16072
6 FOX AMERICAN IDOL-WED 18 15040
7 ABC DANCING WITH THE STARS 19 14853
8 FOX AMERICAN IDOL-THU 18 14649
9 NBC THE VOICE 21 14167
10 CBS TWO & A HALF MEN 29 13788
11 ABC DWTS RESULTS 16 13782
12 NBC THE VOICE-TUE 20 13239
13 CBS BLUE BLOODS 24 13167
14 CBS ELEMENTARY 28 12652
15 CBS 60 MINUTES 29 12385
16 ABC MODERN FAMILY 32 12306
17 ABC CASTLE 28 12256
18 CBS CRIMINAL MINDS 29 12153
19 CBS VEGAS 20 11935
20 FOX THE FOLLOWING 15 11867
21 CBS SURVIVOR: PHILIPPINES 10 11851
22 CBS THE MENTALIST 25 11816
23 CBS CSI 27 11633
24 CBS CSI: NY 17 11266
25 NBC FOOTBALL AMERICA PT 3 14 11152
26 ABC GREY’S ANATOMY 28 11070
27 CBS THE GOOD WIFE 23 10987
28 CBS SURVIVOR: CARAMOAN 13 10815
29 CBS AMAZING RACE 21 11 10683
30 CBS 2 BROKE GIRLS 29 10627
31 NBC REVOLUTION 15 10499
32 ABC BODY OF PROOF 12 10386
33 CBS HAWAII FIVE-O 30 10362
34 CBS MIKE & MOLLY 28 10300
35 ABC ONCE UPON A TIME 25 10235
36 CBS AMAZING RACE 22 10 10173
37 CBS GOLDEN BOY 12 9688
38 FOX X-FACTOR-WED 9 9651
39 FOX X-FACTOR-THU 9 9488
40 FOX BONES 25 9483
41 ABC THE BACHELOR 10 9475
42 CBS HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER 29 9022
43 ABC REVENGE 22 8871
44 ABC SCANDAL 29 8456
45 ABC THE MIDDLE 30 8423
46 CBS UNDERCOVER BOSS 20 8365
47 ABC LAST RESORT 13 8113
48 CBS MADE IN JERSEY 2 8044
49 FOX GLEE 20 7999
50 ABC LAST MAN STANDING 18 7929
51 NBC CHICAGO FIRE 29 7784
52 CBS RULES OF ENGAGEMENT 14 7690
53 NBC LAW & ORDER: SVU 28 7296
54 NBC BIGGEST LOSER 14 12 7279
55 ABC SAT NIGHT FOOTBALL 8 7265
56 ABC HOW TO LIVE…PARENTS 8 7138
57 NBC PARENTHOOD 12 7094
58 ABC PRIVATE PRACTICE 12 7027
59 ABC MALIBU COUNTRY 18 7011
60 ABC ZERO HOUR 3 6954
61 NBC GRIMM 19 6947
62 FOX FAMILY GUY 21 6943
63 ABC SHARK TANK 29 6920
64 ABC NASHVILLE 28 6862
65 ABC SUBURGATORY 23 6804
66 ABC THE NEIGHBORS 23 6626
67 CBS PARTNERS 6 6513
68 ABC 666 PARK AVE 9 6504
69 ABC AMER FUNN HME VIDEOS 29 6354
70 FOX THE SIMPSONS 20 6274
71 FOX HELL’S KITCHEN 9 6086
72 ABC SPLASH 8 6051
73 NBC DATELINE SUN-7PM 6 6009
74 ABC CELEBRITY WIFE SWAP 3 5956
75 NBC DATELINE FRI 24 5943
76 ABC RED WIDOW 8 5898
77 FOX NEW GIRL 26 5847
78 NBC DATELINE-WED 5 5725
79 NBC GO ON 20 5720
80 ABC 20/20-FRI 30 5665
81 NBC APPRENTICE 13 11 5635
82 CBS 48 HOURS 29 5615
83 ABC EXTREME M/OVER:HE 4 5390
84 FOX AMERICAN DAD 18 5239
85 ABC THE TASTE 8 5183
86 NBC OFF THEIR ROCKERS 8:30 10 5145
87 ABC FAMILY TOOLS 3 5132
88 NBC THE OFFICE 28 5028
89 NBC ANIMAL PRACTICE 5 4988
90 NBC OFF THEIR ROCKERS 8PM 10 4937
91 NBC FOOTBALL AMERICA PT 2 14 4926
92 NBC DECEPTION 11 4925
93 ABC WHAT WOULD YOU DO? 3 4859
94 FOX SO YOU THINK/DANCE? 2 4815
95 NBC NEW NORMAL 19 4780
96 NBC HANNIBAL 7 4744
97 FOX BOB’S BURGERS 23 4606
98 ABC HAPPY ENDINGS 9 4593
99 NBC 30 ROCK 13 4562
100 FOX RAISING HOPE 18 4560
101 ABC WIFE SWAP 7 4480
102 NBC SMASH 13 4475
103 FOX MOB DOCTOR 9 4417
104 CBS CRIMETIME SATURDAY 20 4393
105 FOX FRINGE 11 4274
106 ABC SHARK TANK-FRI 8PM 2 4245
107 NBC WHITNEY 17 4194
108 NBC ROCK CENTER 30 4160
109 FOX FOX UFC SATURDAY 2 4103
110 ABC WIPEOUT 2 4079
111 NBC PARKS & RECREATION 24 4063
112 NBC GUYS WITH KIDS 18 4050
113 FOX CLEVELAND-SUN 8:30 4 4031
114 CBS CRIMETIME SAT 8PM 24 3972
115 ABC 20/20-SAT 7 3902
116 ABC DON’T TRUST…APT 23 8 3820
117 CBS THE JOB 2 3810
118 FOX THE MINDY PROJECT 25 3709
119 CW ARROW 29 3676
120 NBC READY FOR LOVE 3 3648
121 FOX TOUCH 12 3647
122 NBC UP ALL NIGHT 11 3641
123 NBC COMMUNITY 14 3576
124 NBC 1600 PENN 10 3561
125 FOX KITCHEN NIGHTMARES 22 3383
126 NBC DO NO HARM 2 3377
127 ABC HAPPY ENDINGS-8PM 5 3362
128 FOX COPS 2 16 3305
129 FOX THE CLEVELAND SHOW 16 3229
130 FOX BEN & KATE 14 3210
131 FOX COPS 16 3166
132 NBC FASHION STAR 9 3057
133 CW VAMPIRE DIARIES 30 2972
134 NBC WHITNEY-8:30 4 2951
135 ABC HAPPY ENDINGS-8:30 5 2833
136 ABC SAT MOVIE OF THE WEEK 9 2757
137 CW SUPERNATURAL 30 2460
138 ABC BET ON YOUR BABY 5 2424
139 NBC AMER NINJA WARRIOR-SA 8 2012
140 CW BEAUTY & THE BEAST 28 1784
141 CW AMERICA’S TOP MODEL 13 6 1722
142 CW HART OF DIXIE 25 1702
143 CW EMILY OWENS MD 12 1598
144 CW CARRIE DIARIES 13 1475
145 CW NIKITA 24 1376
146 CW GOSSIP GIRL-MON 10 1273
147 CW 90210 22 1149
148 CW CULT 7 886
149 CW OH SIT! 6 848
150 CW NEXT 2 704
151 CW LA COMPLEX 1 618
152 CW NEXT-TUE 2 616


http://www.deadline.com/2013/05/tv-season-series-rankings-2013-full-list/
post #87273 of 93656
Lets not forget Franklin and Bash - June 19, Falling Skies - June 9, and Royal Pains - June 12.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Critic's Notes
TV Spreads Its Blanket for Summer Viewing
‘Ray Donovan,’ ‘Graceland’ and 32 Other Summer TV Shows
By Mike Hale, The New York Times - May 24, 2013
]
post #87274 of 93656
Quote:
Originally Posted by jim tressler View Post

Lets not forget Franklin and Bash - June 19, Falling Skies - June 9, and Royal Pains - June 12.
And also The Glades, May 27th.
post #87275 of 93656
Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

Here's where they live:

http://www.bobsofmilford.com/

I wish I could find one of their spots online...

We have a Milford. I could just rip the real commercial.
post #87276 of 93656
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhufnagel View Post

And also The Glades, May 27th.

They forgot also "Save Me" aired last night
post #87277 of 93656
Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - May 24, 2013

MEAN GIRLS
Showtime, 8:00 p.m. ET

On Showtime, this 2004 comedy film will be presented without edits, and without looped-over “cleaner” dialogue, so Tina Fey’s story about nasty high school cliques will be presented with all its sharp edges intact. That’s a good thing – and so is Lindsay Lohan’s central performance, her last film role before starting to go off the rails a bit, or a lot, in her private life.

INSIDE DAISY CLOVER
TCM, 8:00 p.m. ET

Natalie Wood already had clocked several seminal film roles, including the female leads in Rebel without a Cause and West Side Story, before playing a future movie star in this 1966 drama, opposite Robert Redford. But Redford’s real star-making role, in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, was, for him, just around the corner.

NBA PLAYOFFS: MIAMI HEAT VS. INDIANA PACERS
TNT, 8:30 p.m. ET

Wednesday’s Game 1 of the NBA’s Eastern Conference final was, in a word, ridiculous. (Well, for clarity, make it two words: Ridiculously dramatic.) The Indiana Pacers came back at the last minute to force an overtime period – then, after the last minute, in literally the last two seconds of overtime, the Miami Heat’s LeBron James bolted down the lane to shoot a soft layup and steal the win, 103-102. Tonight is Game 2 – and while the Heat will be pumped, it’ll be interesting to see whether the Pacers show up frustrated, or even more determined.

LIVE FROM LINCOLN CENTER: “AUDRA MCDONALD IN CONCERT: GO BACK HOME”
PBS, 9:00 p.m. ET

Audra McDonald has a new album out, called Go Back Home – and to promote it, she goes home, or at least to Lincoln Center (where she usually hosts Live from Lincoln Center) and Avery Fisher Hall, to embrace her Broadway roots and show off her glorious singing talents. Check local listings.

MERLIN
Syfy, 10:00 p.m. ET

Next week is this show’s series finale, and tonight’s episode sets up the final conflict: a battle for supremacy with, on the one side, Merlin and Arthur and the knights of Camelot, and, on the other, evil sorceress Morgana. Keep an eye on her: She’s played by Katie McGrath, who, come fall, will slide into another fantasy genre series, starring as Lucy Westenra in NBC’s new Dracula.


http://www.tvworthwatching.com/
post #87278 of 93656
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhufnagel View Post

And also The Glades, May 27th.
And also Rizzoli&Isles, June 25.
post #87279 of 93656
Quote:
Originally Posted by humdinger70 View Post

And also Rizzoli&Isles, June 25.
and...
MAJOR CRIMES (TNT, June 10)
COVERT AFFAIRS (USA, July 16)
post #87280 of 93656
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Nielsen Notes
Full 2012-2013 TV Season Series Rankings
By Dominic Patten, Deadline.com - May 23, 2013

NBC’s Sunday Night Football remained No.1 among adults 18-49

With the NFL feeding NBC a most excellent schedule each year + the last 7 weeks flex game option its really hard to see any show in the foreseeable future topping SNF for #1.
post #87281 of 93656
THURSDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media Insight's Blog
post #87282 of 93656
TV Notes
Best tube bets this weekend
The top draws on broadcast and cable and in sports
By Louisa Ada Seltzer, Media Life Magazine - May 23, 2013

FRIDAY

Best bet on broadcast
: NBC, “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” 12:35 a.m.
Paul Walker and Joss Whedon both guest, and the band They Might Be Giants performs.

Best bet on cable: Discovery Channel, “Wild West Alaska,” 10 p.m. The gun shop has a sale, which ends up attracting customers who are even stranger than the usual crowd.

Top sporting event: TNT, “NBA Basketball,” 8:30 p.m. Game two of the Eastern Conference finals between Indiana and Miami.

SATURDAY

Best bet on broadcast
: ABC, “Ultimate BBQ Cookout Countdown,” 9 p.m.
An hour-long special looking for the best barbecue in the U.S.

Best bet on cable: Nickelodeon, “Sanjay and Craig,” 10:30 a.m. Series premiere. New animated series about a boy and his best friend, who happens to be a snake.

Top sporting event: Fox, “Major League Baseball,” 7 p.m. Primetime regional matchups include Cardinals-Dodgers and Phillies-Nationals.

SUNDAY

Best bet on broadcast
: Fox, “NASCAR Racing,” 5:30 p.m.
Will likely finish as the top-rated program on broadcast on Memorial Day Eve.

Best bet on cable: HBO, “Behind the Candelabra,” 9 p.m. Movie in which Michael Douglas plays Liberace and Matt Damon plays his much-younger lover, directed by Steven Soderbergh.

Top sporting event: ABC, “Indy Racing,” 12 p.m. The 97th running of the Indianapolis 500, won last year by Dario Franchitti.


http://www.medialifemagazine.com/best-tube-bets-this-weekend-380/
post #87283 of 93656
Nielsen Overnights
‘Hannibal’ Hits Low, ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ Rises, ‘Save Me’ & ‘Does Someone Have To Go?’ Debut Low
By Dominic Patten, Deadline.com - May 24, 2013

The 2012-2013 TV season ended on Wednesday and here comes the new shows. With the exception of season winner CBS, who ran repeats last night, everyone had a premiere on Thursday. Having said that, CBS’s The Big Bang Theory (2.2/6) was the highest rated and most watched show of the night with 8.84 million viewers. On NBC, the long delayed Save Me finally saw the light of day with a double debut. The series stars Anne Heche as a suburban housewife who becomes a conduit for the Divine. With an early series pick up last May, the comedy was originally scheduled for midseason but has ended up in the burnoff slot with duel episodes over the early summer. Both the 8 PM premiere and the 8:30 PM episode last night got a 0.7/3. That’s the lowest series debut NBC has had since the 0.7/2 Saving Hope received on June 7, 2012. Hannibal (1.0/3) was the only other original on NBC on Thursday. Hitting a season low. The freshman Silence of The Lambs prequel was down 9% from last week’s show, which was abbreviated because of The Office series finale running to 10:15 PM.

With American Idol having wrapped its latest season, Fox debuted its new workplace reality show Does Someone Have To Go? (1.3/4) on Thursday at 9 PM. The series, which has employees, take over as the bosses and cut loose people from the company, got a pink slip of its own last night as it was down 28% from the June 7, 2012 debut of dating show The Choice last year. Before DSHTG, there was more reality on Fox in Hell’s Kitchen (2.1/7) last night which the usually understated Gordon Ramsey loudly declaring the dinner “the worst service we ever had,” as he threw several contestants off the ovens. Premiering in the former Idol slot, Kitchen heated up 17% from its last show on May 13. With 6.630 million watching its repeats, CBS was No. 1 among total viewers on Thursday while Fox won the night among adults 18-49.

ABC actually had a full slate of shows on Thursday with the majority of them Canadian imports. Toronto-based police drama Rookie Blue (1.2/4) was back for a fourth season. Down 14% from last year’s season debut, Rookie Blue hit a premiere low. Having debuted soft on May 20 in a preview after Dancing With The Stars, ABC’s other Canadian show Motive (1/2.4) slipped into its permanent slot last night at 9 PM with a mere 8% dip from Monday’s show. ABC started the night with Wipeout (1.2/4), which was up 20% from the series low of last week.

http://www.deadline.com/2013/05/tv-ratings-hannibal-hits-low-hells-kitchen-rises-save-me-does-someone-have-to-go-debut-low/
post #87284 of 93656
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Critic's Notes
TV Spreads Its Blanket for Summer Viewing
‘Ray Donovan,’ ‘Graceland’ and 32 Other Summer TV Shows
By Mike Hale, The New York Times - May 24, 2013

When it comes to television, we’re in a bull market for doomsayers. It’s the end of the broadcast networks, as their signals are pirated and their quality is eclipsed by cable and online shows. It’s the end of commercial TV, as the advertising dollars move to the Internet. It’s the end of entertainment, as attention spans shrink to the length of a YouTube video.

And yet the shows keep coming. The 2013 summer season, which got under way this week, presents worthwhile options even beyond the 34 new and returning series, mini-series, movies and online originals listed in this preview.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/24/arts/television/ray-donovan-graceland-and-32-other-summer-tv-shows.html?ref=television&_r=0

And not a word about A&E's "The Glades" which begins its 4th season at 9pm ET/PT on Memorial Day Monday.
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TV Notes
Fox President Of Alternative Programming Mike Darnell To Depart
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - May 24, 2013

EXCLUSIVE: The reality TV landscape will never be the same. After 18 years at Fox, the dean of unscripted TV executives, Fox’s president of alternative programming Mike Darnell, is stepping down. He will stay on though the end of June, when his current contract is up, and help with the transition. Darnell was offered a new long-term deal at the network but, after long deliberation, decided it was time to move on. Darnell faced similar agonizing soul-searching five years ago when he was offered rich producing deals elsewhere but ultimately opted to stay at Fox where he’s had free reign on the unscripted side. This time around, he decided to leave the network, which he helped build, first with noise-making reality specials like World’s Scariest Police Chases and When Animals Attack! and then with tentpole series like American Idol and Family Guy. The colorful, cowboy hat-wearing Darnell never shied away from controversy, relishing in the blockbuster attention projects like the Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire? special and hit series Joe Millionaire brought on. In a testament to Darnell’s importance to Fox and parent News Corp., News. Corp chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch has weighed in on his departure. “Mike took risks at a critical time and was a pioneering force in shaping the reality programming genre that exists today,” Murdoch said. “He’s a smart and fearless executive who will be missed.”

Darnell is expected to take some time off before making his next move, which I hear will likely be in the producing/entrepreneurial arena. “I’m extremely grateful that Fox has offered me a new long term contract (and anyone who knows me won’t believe I’m saying this), but I’ve decided it’s time for a change,” Darnell said. “With my current deal ending in June, and having been here for 18 years (kind of a record in Hollywood), I had to make a decision: either stay (and basically admit to myself I was going to retire at FOX…not a terrible choice) or leave and try something new. I’ve been in ‘Reality’ since before it was even called that, and it has truly been an amazing ride. However, the world has changed drastically over the last few years and now with hundreds of channels and limitless ways to watch television, I’ve decided this was the perfect time to take advantage of the rapidly changing marketplace. To say I am going to miss everyone here and that the people at Fox are like a family to me would be the understatement of the decade. I have so many people to thank (and I will call all of you!), but first and foremost, I want to thank Kevin Reilly, Peter Rice, Chase Carey and Rupert Murdoch for all their amazing support over these many years.”

Fox is expected to begin search for Darnell’s successor who will get to navigate veteran American Idol and The X Factor through their upcoming changes. “Mike has been a trailblazer for the entire industry and has made innumerable contributions to the growth and success of the network over the past two decades. His passion for – and dedication to – television knows no bounds,” said Peter Rice, Chairman of Fox Networks Group. “He is like a member of the family, and Fox won’t be the same without him. While we wish he would’ve stayed forever, we regretfully accept his decision.”

Darnell joined Fox in 1994 as Director of Specials after working for eight years at the network’s Los Angeles affiliate KTTV and the Fox Television Station Group. Some of the other series and specials he ushered in include The X Factor, So You Think You Can Dance?, Gordon Ramsey’s Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares and MasterChef, Futurama, Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?, Nanny 911, Don’t Forget the Lyrics!, Guinness World Records Primetime, The Simple Life, My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancé, The Moment of Truth, Trading Spouses, Temptation Island, The Billboard Music Awards, The Teen Choice Awards, The Primetime Emmy Awards, The American Country Awards, The Swan, Alien Autopsy: Fact or Fiction?, Man vs. Beast, Busted on the Job and Breaking the Magician’s Code: Magic’s Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed.

http://www.deadline.com/2013/05/tv-ratings-hannibal-hits-low-hells-kitchen-rises-save-me-does-someone-have-to-go-debut-low/
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TV Notes
NBC to Air Blake Shelton's Tornado Relief Concert Next Week
By Tim Molloy, TheWrap.com - May 24, 2013

NBC will air Blake Shelton's benefit concert for Oklahoma tornado relief next week, the network announced.

"The Voice" coach will headline the telethon "Healing in the Heartland: Relief Benefit Concert" on May 29, to take place at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City. Shelton's wife, Miranda Lambert, will perform, as will Reba McEntire and Vince Gill. More guests will be announced shortly.

The concert will be televised live at 9 p.m. ET/PT Wednesday on NBC. It will also air on cable networks Style, G4, Bravo, E! and CMT.

"Everyone has their way to help, and mine as an entertainer is to perform to help raise money and awareness for this tragedy," Shelton said. "This is why I want to do this special and especially hold it in Oklahoma City, which is near ground zero."

The concert will raise money for the United Way of Central Oklahoma May Tornadoes Relief Fund, which will use it for immediate and long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts in the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, which was devastated by tornadoes Monday.

R.A. Clark is executive producing, while Rob Paine will serve as supervising producer and Gregg Gelfand will direct. Gene Pack is the writer for the special.

Shelton and McEntire also hosted the 2011 "Tornado Relief Concerts," which raised $500,000.

Tickets for Wednesday's benfit concert will go on sale at 10 a.m. CT on Saturday for $25, and can be purchased at the Chesapeake Energy Arena box office, all Ticketmaster locations, by phone at (800) 745-3000 and online at Ticketmaster.com.

http://www.thewrap.com/tv/article/nbc-air-blake-sheltons-tornado-relief-concert-next-week-93761
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TV Review
Soderbergh’s Behind the Candelabra: Swan Song or Not, an Impressive Work
By Matt Zoller Seitz, Vulture.com (New York Magazine) - May 24, 2013

Whether the biopic Behind the Candelabra (HBO, May 26, 9 p.m.) ends up being a swan song for director Steven Soderbergh or merely the last entry in one phase of a long career, it’s an impressive work. This story of superstar pianist Liberace (Michael Douglas) and his young lover Scott Thorson (Matt Damon) is dark stuff.

Liberace, who goes by “Lee,” dictates their relationship be completely private; he won’t take the teenage Scott out in public. Scott was abandoned as a child by his addict mother and grew up in foster homes; after a while he starts to feel like a concubine, a prisoner in an opulent jail, and his fears of abandonment and neglect are reawakened. At one point, Lee has his face remade to create a more youthful appearance (Rob Lowe plays his plastic surgeon; his makeup suggests Jocelyn Wildenstein by way of a Disney cartoon prince) and ends up with muscle damage that makes it impossible for him to completely close his eyes. Lee encourages Scott to get surgery, too, so that he’ll look more like the pianist as a young man. (The Freudian implications for their lovemaking are so obvious as to require no comment, and the film wisely refrains from offering any.) Over time, Scott develops a cocaine habit, and Lee drifts away, losing himself in porn and in new trysts. The end of the story isn’t merely tragic, but wrenching. If you’ve ever felt saddened by the death of somebody who treated you like ****, you’ll see yourself in this movie. Sequins or no sequins, it will speak to you.

And yet for all its frank sex and drug use, gory plastic surgery and moments of pain and humiliation, and the specter of AIDS looming just beyond the film’s disco-era time frame, Behind the Candelabra often feels like a great old Hollywood film — the sort that might have been directed by George Cukor or William Wyler or another unselfconscious master. Debbie Reynolds as Liberace’s mother and Dan Aykroyd as his manager bring a touch of Old Hollywood professionalism as well. Every scene seems carved from marble. A few play out in long takes, with few cuts, at times from medium distance. The tale’s elegant purposefulness suggests that Soderbergh and his screenwriter Richard LaGravanese (The Fisher King, Living out Loud) came into the project knowing what they wanted to say and how they would say it. There’s a solid, patient, confident quality to this movie that’s rarely seen in modern mainstream cinema. It’s better than most American films playing in theaters, and better than most of HBO’s films, too.

The story begins in 1977 with Thorson and his then-lover Bob Black (Scott Bakula, mustachioed and grinning) attending a Lee concert in Las Vegas. From minute one, the film’s confidence impresses: It creates a world and immerses us in it, secure in the knowledge that we’ll feast on the details and think our way into the heart of the story. The first section of Candelabra spends several minutes at the concert, letting Lee’s technical virtuosity and wry showmanship take the film’s spotlight; it’s as if you’re sitting there at the same table as Scott and Bob.

As you watch the master work the keys and the audience, you get a sense of the delusion in which Lee and many of his fans were engaged. They’ve all decided to pretend he’s a heterosexual male love object — a charming gentleman who could make any woman’s life complete, or at least charm her mother. Although the outward signifiers would seem to make any other interpretation impossible (the gaudy rings and sequined clothes; the overall aura of musical-theater queenery, the beautiful but sullen young men cycling through Liberace’s orbit), his straightness has become a lie collectively agreed upon. “People only see what they want to see, Scott,” Lee says, and he’s right — up to a point.

When Lee first lays eyes on Scott, he already has a young lover (his duet partner Billy Leatherwood, played by Cheyenne Jackson as a man embittered by the knowledge that his days are numbered), and we’re given to understand that this is how he operates: Like a lot of powerful older men, he treats younger boy toys as mirrors reflecting his long-gone youthful self back at him. Lee seduces Scott physically, emotionally, and economically; Scott succumbs not just because it’s Liberace, for heaven’s sake, but because he’s a parentless boy at heart, and sees Lee as a father figure–mentor as well as a boyfriend, somebody who’ll make him feel protected and adored.

Lee is not the boy wonder he once was. He’s terrified of decrepitude and obsolescence. He admits to Scott that he’s had penile implant surgery to create a larger endowment than he had at birth and make his sexual performance match his drive. And he’s at the point where every word out of his mouth sounds like the reiteration of a life narrative that he came up with years earlier — as if he’s an actor saying lines with feeling, but perhaps not always truly feeling them. “I never know whether people like me for me, or for what they can get out of me,” Lee tells Scott, with a typically gentle, accepting tone that suggests he’s learned to accept the things he can’t change, and decided not to fret over them too much. The tone is one aspect of the performance that is Lee’s life. He’s only truly happy when he’s playing. He’s only really himself when he’s playing. When Liberace steps away from the keyboard, he’s Lee. Liberace is the candelabra. Lee is what’s behind it. Liberace is in control. Lee only pretends to be. Liberace knows who he is. Lee doesn’t — not really.

Is there a “there” there anymore inside Lee? Was there ever? Does Scott see something authentic in Lee, something beyond what Lee represents — beyond the fame, the money, the rings, the sequins? Does Lee see something authentic in Scott, beyond what Scott represents: blond hair, young flesh, a kind of innocence? The movie doesn’t answer these questions with “yes” or “no,” preferring to let the characters slip in and out of different psychological states. Sometimes they’re using each other, obviously. Other times they seem to have bonded because each completes the other, in some horrible, wonderful way.

Douglas’s performance is as extraordinary, as you’ve heard. It goes far beyond impersonation. I suspect that the movie star in him understood the importance of maintaining a façade, and that his age allowed him to see the fears that plagued Liberace quite clearly. There’s great empathy in every choice he makes, and yet at the same time, it’s an unmerciful performance, with no special pleading. Damon is just as strong in a much more reactive role. It takes great talent and concentration to play such an opaque soul while still letting us think that we can see into his heart. He’s too old for the part (though the makeup helps sell the illusion a bit), but it doesn’t really matter because Damon seems to remember what it was like to be a teenager, and lonely, and unformed as a person, and that knowledge infuses the performance. The character’s neediness comes through without ever being overbearing, and the more jaded Scott becomes, the harder it is to watch Damon’s disappointed face. This is what it means to be ground down by age and experience.

There’s a huge danger in choosing Liberace in the seventies and eighties as the subject of a biographical picture, and viewing him mostly through the eyes of a man who was locked in a horrifically dysfunctional relationship with him for years. The Los Angeles Times’ Mary McNamara puts her finger on the downside: The film, she says, “paints such a narrow portrait of the man who was for a time the most famous entertainer in the world that it comes dangerously close to realizing Liberace's greatest fear — that he would be remembered simply as ‘a crazy old queen.’”

I don’t think Candelabra succumbs to that tendency, though. It has sympathy for Lee and Scott, and for everyone around them, even when they’re behaving abominably. Soderbergh and LaGravanese have taken the most retrograde material imaginable — this world is in some ways a homophobe’s fantasy of what it’s like to be gay, creative, and rich — and treated it as another set of storytelling circumstances. As strange as it might sound, their attitude feels like a great advance in pop storytelling sophistication. This film about two gay men, one much older and richer than the other, is not explaining anything or apologizing for anything or putting anything in politically correct context. It’s saying, “Here is what happened, and here are the people involved, and here is how they thought and felt about it.” Period.

The approach expects audiences to look at the material and translate it into their own personal terms, whatever those may be. Behind the Candelabra’s greatest gift is its facility for finding the universal within the specific. When Lee patiently and meticulously seduces Scott for the first time — over the course of many hours and days — it’s not an anthropological study of gay male rituals; anyone who’s ever been in a sexual relationship with a power differential will recognize certain actions and inflections and situations. When Lee begins a long slow physical decline from HIV, and it’s represented in the press as “heart problems,” it’s not just a commentary on how AIDS was covered up and misrepresented during an era of rampant ignorance and homophobia; it’s an example of a man desperately trying to maintain a false image as he lays dying.

When Scott reads Liberace’s autobiography in a bookstore, hearing the man’s gentle voice speaking lie after lie, it’s not just the lie of Liberace’s straightness that feels tragic. He pretended to be something he wasn’t, yet he was what he was. Damon’s face in this moment says it all: anger, pity, love. For all the misery Liberace put him through, he loved Lee, and he misses him.

http://www.vulture.com/2013/05/tv-review-beyond-the-candelabra.html
post #87288 of 93656
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

(quoting Tim Molloy on TheWrap.com)

The concert will be televised live at 9 p.m. ET/PT Wednesday on NBC.
Not possible, unless there are two concerts starting three hours apart.
post #87289 of 93656
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Critic's Notes
TV Spreads Its Blanket for Summer Viewing
‘Ray Donovan,’ ‘Graceland’ and 32 Other Summer TV Shows
By Mike Hale, The New York Times - May 24, 2013

When it comes to television, we’re in a bull market for doomsayers. It’s the end of the broadcast networks, as their signals are pirated and their quality is eclipsed by cable and online shows. It’s the end of commercial TV, as the advertising dollars move to the Internet. It’s the end of entertainment, as attention spans shrink to the length of a YouTube video.

And yet the shows keep coming. The 2013 summer season, which got under way this week, presents worthwhile options even beyond the 34 new and returning series, mini-series, movies and online originals listed in this preview.


http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/24/arts/television/ray-donovan-graceland-and-32-other-summer-tv-shows.html?ref=television&_r=0
...and yet, exactly 5 of those shows are from any of the big 4 networks....and one is likely a burn-off before cancellation (Unforgettable).

Yep, the broadcast networks are really ramping up that year 'round programming schedule.

As usual, cable is leading the way in summer programming (including several series not listed in the article) - all while giving the broadcast networks a run for their ratings during the regular season.

The broadcast networks have no one but themselves to blame for lowering ratings.
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TV Notes
Mike Darnell: For TV Critics, the Gift That Kept on Giving
By Brian Lowry, Variety.com - May 24, 2013

Mike Darnell leaving Fox? After all the hell he put multiple entertainment chiefs — including Sandy Grushow, Peter Roth and Gail Berman — over the years? Say it ain’t so.

Years ago, somewhere between “When Animals Attack” and “Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?,” I suggested that some struggling network, like UPN back when it existed, should hand its programming schedule over to Darnell, with this disclaimer: “Try not to get anyone killed.” Given a free rein beyond that, my guess was he could substantially improve their audience, in the same way Faye Dunaway’s character did in the movie “Network” (which appears especially prescient in terms of certain Darnell-developed titles.)

In truth, nobody is meant to hang around in one of these jobs for close to two decades, and even with the enviable freedom he was granted by Fox, Darnell’s “golden gut” (to use a description once used in connection with Fred Silverman) had begun to look a little rusty. Sure, critics dutifully bashed his most recent unscripted escapade, the should-we-fire-somebody-series “Does Someone Have to Go?,” but almost nobody bothered to watch.

Perhaps that’s because where Fox was once easily the most outrageous broadcaster around, it now has plenty of company. That’s especially true of cable networks who make no bones about airing “structured reality,” which, obviously, isn’t really reality at all.

Still, I suspect critics who have teed off on Darnell’s most outlandish concepts through the years will miss having him at Fox. For starters, he was remarkably good-natured about getting flayed alive, and had an almost infectious enthusiasm for his most devilish constructs. Moreover, some of the shows were so eager to invite critical condemnation the reviews practically wrote themselves. You didn’t need to work particularly hard to come up with six good putdowns of “Temptation Island” or “The Chair” or “Trading Spouses” (or was that “The Chamber” or “Wife Swap?” At a certain point, all the crazy ideas and Fox’s instant knockoffs to piss off rivals began to bleed together).

Darnell will no doubt find a next act to occupy him, so this isn’t meant to read as a eulogy. Still, nobody announces their exit on Friday of Memorial Day weekend if everybody is eager for the news to get a lot of press, which suggests some sort of push-leap proposition.

Yet while Darnell would have never done it, I can sort of see him channeling the Jack Nicholson character in “A Few Good Men,” addressing a jury of TV critics: “Deep down in places you don’t like to discuss at parties, you want me in that job. You need me in that job.”

And with that, cue the golden parachute. Of course, if this were a Fox show in Darnell’s heyday, there would only be a 50 percent chance the ‘chute would open, and you’d have to tune in next week to find out.

http://variety.com/2013/voices/biz/mike-darnell-for-tv-critics-the-gift-that-kept-on-giving-1200487891/
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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
SATURDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Late night shows are preceded by late local news)

ABC:
8PM - Bet On Your Baby
9PM - Ultimate BBQ Cookout Countdown
10PM - Body of Proof
(R - Mar. 5)

CBS:
8PM - The Mentalist
(R - Nov. 4)
9PM - 48 Hours Mysteries
10PM - 48 Hours Mysteries

NBC:
8PM - NHL Hockey: Detroit Red Wings at Chicago Blackhawks, Game 5 (LIVE)
* * * *
11:29PM - Saturday Night Live (Jamie Foxx hosts; Ne-Yo performs performs; 93 min.)
(R - Dec. 8)

FOX:
7PM - MLB Baseball: Regional Coverage (LIVE)
* * * *
11PM - Hell's Kitchen
(R - Jul. 17)
Midnight - Ben and Kate
(R - Jan. 22)

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Austin City Limits: Radiohead (R - Oct. 6)

UNIVISION:
8PM - Sábado Gigante (3 hrs.)

TELEMUNDO:
7PM - Movie: Max Payne (2008)
9PM - La Voz Kids
(R)
post #87292 of 93656
Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - May 25, 2013

RESERVOIR DOGS
Flix, 8:00 p.m. ET

Reservoir Dogs is an adult now – 21 years old. And though that somehow makes me feel a lot more ancient, watching Quentin Tarantino’s breakout movie, even now, makes it still seem fresh. Harvey Keitel and Tim Roth, in particular, are great, and Michael Madsen’s Mr. Blonde is truly unforgettable. He may even be unwatchable, except through the cracks between your fingers.

MAGIC MIKE
HBO, 8:00 p.m. ET

Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey play male strippers in this 2012 comedy-drama – which I highlight here because it’s directed by Steven Soderbergh, who tomorrow presents his latest film, HBO’s Behind the Candelabra biopic about Liberace. So consider this an appetizer to Sunday’s main meal, with both Memorial Day weekend courses serving lots of beefcake.

FRIENDLY PERSUASION
TCM, 8:00 p.m. ET

Gary Cooper, four years after starring in the seminal High Noon, starred as a Quaker farmer in this 1956 drama by William Wyler. It’s set in 1860s Indiana, so maybe it’s a Western – but mostly, it’s a thoughtful, gorgeously photographed character study of a tight-knit family and some tough times. Dorothy McGuire, Anthony Perkins and Marjorie Main co-star.

THE ULTIMATE BBQ COOKOUT COUNTDOWN
ABC, 9:00 p.m. ET

Chew on this: This new prime-time ABC offering features the stars of ABC’s The Chew traveling the country seeking some of the best cookout BBQ. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to the search, other than to introduce The Chew crew to those who have never seen the show (which is mostly everybody) – but if you tune in, you will get to see, for example, Mario Batali showing up to check out the fare at a Talladega tailgate party.

ORPHAN BLACK
BBC America, 9:00 p.m. ET

Tonight is the penultimate episode for this initial season of Orphan Black – and by now, it’s tricky to decide which characters should be rooted for, and which ones should be rooted against. Tonight, for example, one character cages another and threatens her at gunpoint – and both roles are played by Tatiana Maslani.


http://www.tvworthwatching.com/
post #87293 of 93656
TV Notes
CW Schedules Unaired Episodes Of ‘Cult’
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - May 24, 2013

Cancelled midseaosn CW drama Cult will return on the air June 28, with the six unaired episodes slated to run in two-hour blocks from 8-10 PM over three consecutive Fridays. The show’s creator Rockne S. O’Bannon shared the news on Twitter last night.

With Cult’s scheduling, all serialized freshman dramas which had been pulled this past season are getting a chance to air all produced episodes. ABC recently slated burn-off runs for 666 Park Ave. and Zero Hour.

http://www.deadline.com/2013/05/cw-schedules-unaired-episodes-of-cult/
post #87294 of 93656
TV Notes
Bananas, Anyone? The Bluths Are Back
By Brian Stelter, The New York Times - May 26, 2013

In 2003, when “Arrested Development” had its premiere on the Fox network, the country’s biggest comedy hits were the broad, safe “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “Friends.” Social networks like Twitter and Tumblr hadn’t been invented yet. Only 30 percent of American households had DVD players; only 3 percent had digital video recorders. Bingeing was a term associated with food, not television.

And there was Mitch Hurwitz, the creator of “Arrested,“ toying with the boundaries of television comedy through self-referential humor, cutaway gags and setups to jokes that sometimes only made sense a season later. For Mr. Hurwitz, he said, “the joy of it became the detail.”

But viewers didn’t have the tools to play along. So all of the in-jokes that he and his colleagues delighted in, all of the recurring lines about making a “huge mistake,” the foreshadowing about Buster’s real father and the references to an Aztec Tomb, well, they were about as inside as jokes can be. In fact, they may have turned Fox viewers off — or at least discouraged new ones from giving it a chance. “Arrested” was canceled in 2006 after three seasons.

Yet much like the jokes that took time to play out, “all that effort paid off years later,” Mr. Hurwitz said in an interview, as viewers with DVD box sets or Netflix accounts pored over the episodes and appreciated the mentions of hop-ons, never-nudes and banana stands. In retrospect, his show was made for Netflix streaming before Netflix started to stream.

Now “Arrested Development” has met its moment. And its medium.

Birthed and buried by Fox almost a decade ago, belatedly discovered by new viewers through DVDs and Web streams and beloved by a fan base that most other shows only wish for, “Arrested” will start its second life on Sunday as a Netflix original series, available to subscribers of the streaming video service at 3:01 a.m. Eastern time. All 15 of the new episodes about the dysfunctional Bluth family will be released at the same time, allowing the most loyal fans to watch — and pause and rewind and rewatch and screen-grab and tweet and recontextualize — until the sun comes up and sets again.

When the show was on Fox, some of this was impossible, and none of it was easy. “We were right on the cusp of a sea change in how people watched television,” said Michael Cera, who plays George Michael Bluth and who returned for the Netflix revival along with the rest of the original cast.

Television consumption has become more personal since America first met the Bluths. Seeing characters on a tablet or smartphone screen makes it that way, and so does having the ability to pause, rewind and rewatch at one’s leisure. Yet television has also become much more public. People who identify as “Arrested Development” fans can connect with thousands of others just like them on- and offline. Case in point: the hundreds of fans in their 20s and 30s who patiently lined up in Midtown Manhattan this month at a replica of the show’s famous frozen banana stand. When BTIG Research interviewed 427 of them, 86 percent said they subscribed to Netflix, and half of the others said they probably would sign up to watch the show.

Sounding a lot like Jason Bateman’s character, Michael Bluth, Mr. Hurwitz said the groundswell of attention had spooked him a bit. “Hey everybody,” he joked, “let’s not make a superbig deal out of this.”

Too late. “Arrested Development” is poised to outperform Netflix’s first original series of the year, “House of Cards,” which was released the same way in February. “Arrested” is a known quantity, something that Hollywood (and many viewers) tend to gravitate to. The producers make it sound like a purer strain of the Fox show, with even more metacomedy and an even higher total of jokes-per-minute. As with the Fox iteration, the callbacks (the comedy equivalent of a flashback) and call-forwards won’t all be apparent at first, Mr. Hurwitz said, “but if anybody gets past Episode 3, they’re everywhere.”

If? Some viewers will be well past that episode by 6 in the morning on Sunday. Netflix will not release television-like ratings for any of their original shows, but the “Arrested” actors say they feel the audience now is both bigger and more committed than it ever was in the 2000s. (On Fox the series drew nearly eight million viewers when it started, but lost more than half by the time it ended.)

At a promotional event in London, “we got out of our cars and I thought I was a Beatle,” said Jeffrey Tambor, who plays the Bluth family patriarch, George Oscar Bluth Sr. (as well as his twin, Oscar).

The episodes will be released concurrently in all parts of the world where Netflix streams its service, including Scandinavia, where Mr. Cera went on a press junket this month. “It’s totally strange and uncanny to have people be asking about this show and interested in it,” he said by phone from Denmark. “It’s completely opposite the experience we had the first time around.”

Of course, the actors and producers have said almost nothing about the new season — secrecy has been so paramount that even the television critics who championed the original show haven’t been allowed to review any of the new episodes in advance. So the stars have been talking a lot about past seasons and about how the show came to Netflix.

“Everything has timing,” Mr. Tambor said. “This is the right time for it. This is the right timing and the right engine.”

For Netflix, “Arrested Development” is a way to make its 36 million subscribers happy and a way to sign up even more. In April, when the company released its first quarter earnings (revenues and profits were up by double digits), its chief executive, Reed Hastings, predicted that “Arrested” would be an “absolutely spectacular phenomenon.”

Amanda Lotz, a University of Michigan professor of communications studies, predicted an outcome like this in a 2007 book, “The Television Will Be Revolutionized.” By then, “Arrested” was off Fox. Ms. Lotz wondered if video-on-demand viewers in the future would buy a subscription for the show, given its cult hit status. The key, she said in an e-mail message this month, was “the emergence of alternatives to advertiser support.”

For years that alternative looked to be a feature film. There was a hint dropped in the finale on Fox, when the narrator (Ron Howard, also one of the show’s executive producers) said, “Maybe a movie.”

“I had a story all mapped out,” Mr. Hurwitz said. He also had ideas for nine TV episodes, one for each of the major characters, that would reintroduce them in preparation for a film. If that sounds unworkable, that’s because it was; as it turned out, the way forward was Netflix, a service known for both film and TV. After the deal was struck in late 2011, Mr. Hurwitz homed in on how he could take advantage of the on-demand nature of the platform.

“Wow,” he said he thought to himself, “this is a new media where you get to see all the episodes at once. Maybe they should all happen at the same time.”

That’s what the new season became: a sequence of overlapping stories that seem independent at first, but are actually tightly connected.

“After you see it once, watching it a second time will be a completely different experience,” Mr. Cera said. “You’ll have all this new information, you’ll see all these angles that people were working, people’s agendas.”

In the minds of some, these 15 episodes are a final curtain call — but Netflix won’t rule out the possibility of more, and neither will actors like Mr. Tambor, who predicted there would be a movie, then another season, then maybe another movie. “Do I know anything?” he said. “No. I just feel it.”

“This is all still effectively Act I of a bigger story,” Mr. Hurwitz said. “The story that I have held back is still out there waiting. There’s tons of stuff I’ve set up in this show that will either just seem like jokes, or, if we get to do more or do a movie, people will say, ‘Oh, I get this now.’ ”

Contrary to a suggestion by another of the actors, Portia de Rossi (Lindsay Bluth Fünke), that the new episodes can be watched in any order, they are meant to be watched from No. 1 to No. 15.

“With comedy, it turns out order is everything,” Mr. Hurwitz said. “It’s all about when you reveal information.”

He’s aware of which way the wind’s blowing, though — toward further viewer control. “You know what we ought to do?” Mr. Hurwitz’s longtime producing partner, Jim Vallely, remarked to him recently. “We ought to get Netflix to put the drives online that have all the media, and say, ‘O.K., now everybody, you cut it the way you want. How do you want to tell the story?’ ”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/26/business/media/arrested-development-returns-on-netflix.html?ref=television&_r=0
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Business Notes
Hulu Bid Pileup: Yahoo, KKR, Silver Lake Latest to Join the Fray
By Lucas Shaw and Tony Maglio, TheWrap.com - May 24, 2013

Yahoo and private equity firms KKR and Silver Lake Management have all made bids to acquire Hulu, an individual with knowledge of the company told TheWrap. That brings the total number of bids to seven.

Hulu owners Disney, News Corp. and Comcast will spend the next few weeks evaluating the different suitors, the individual said.

All of the bids are for the whole company except for Time Warner Cable's bid for an equity investment.

Silver Lake's bid is of special interest in Hollywood due its 31 percent stake in talent agency William Morris Endeavor. Silver Lake, a leading investor in technology companies, is working with WME on its bid. A WME spokesman declined to comment on the bid.

The prices vary quite a bit because it also involves bidding for rights to the TV shows that make Hulu so valuable. Hulu's owners have made new episodes of their shows available on Hulu shortly after airing.

Hulu declined to comment about any potential deal.

Hulu's owners began exploring a sale earlier this year, meeting with various companies about a potential acquisition. These bids are non-binding, but the suitors should find out in the next few weeks which one of them made it to the next stage of the process.

At that point, the suitors and the owners will delve into the content side of the equation, determining which shows will still be available and how much it would cost a new owner to keep the rights.

The bids are not public, though Bloomberg cites sources with knowledge of the situation that claim Chernin offered at least $500 million. Chernin declined to comment. Hulu, which offers both a free service and a subscription-based one, increased revenue by 65 percent last year to $695 million.

http://www.thewrap.com/tv/article/hulu-bid-pileup-yahoo-kkr-silver-lake-latest-join-fray-93756
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Business Notes
Ed Asner, 15 Others Sue SAG-AFTRA Over Unpaid Funds
By Dave McNary, Variety.com - May 24, 2013

EXCLUSIVE: More than a dozen members of SAG-AFTRA — including former SAG president Ed Asner — have sued the actors union, alleging extensive misconduct in its handling of foreign levies and residuals they are owed.

The suit, filed Friday in federal court in Los Angeles by the United Screen Actors Committee, alleges that SAG-AFTRA has improperly withheld funds and stonewalled requests for information about $110 million held in trust by the union. Those funds, the suit alleges, have been collected by the union through foreign collecting societies without authorization or knowledge of union members.

SAG-AFTRA brushed off the suit, which was assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Manuel Real.

“We are very proud of, and confident in, our unclaimed residuals and foreign royalties programs which distribute millions of dollars to performers every year,” a union spokesperson said. “The foreign royalties program has successfully distributed to performers more than $14 million — money that would otherwise go uncollected and be lost to them forever.”

The spokesperson noted that the foreign royalties program was previously subject to a class action lawsuit, filed in 2007 by “Leave It to Beaver” actor Ken Osmond, leading to a resolution favorable to the union after “intense scrutiny” of the program.

“While we have not been provided with a copy of the current complaint, the claims as presented in the plaintiff’s earlier correspondence have been thoroughly reviewed and are completely without merit,” the spokespeson said. “We will vigorously respond in the appropriate forum in due course.”

The 52-page action seeks a jury trial, damages and a court order that would prevent SAG-AFTRA from continuing to collect foreign levies and set up an indepedent body to handle those funds.

“With foreign royalties, injunctive relief is sought for issuance of an order authorizing an independent body to collect and pay all monies received from foreign collecting societies, subject to court supervision, as SAG-AFTRA is clearly incapable of acting as a collecting society, not only on behalf of its own members, but non-members as well,” the suit said.

The suit alleges that SAG-AFTRA has often claimed an inability to locate the actors to whom it owes money and that such funds should have escheated to the state of California. Additionally, the action alleges that the union has withheld information by filing incomplete LM-2 annual reports with the U.S. Dept of Labor and by seeking to seal court records.

The action also accuses SAG of operating a slush fund via collected foreign royalties on behalf of AFTRA and other show business craft unions.

“Because of their actions and the deliberate withholding of said monies, while refusing to account for all receipts and disbursements involving foreign royalties, plaintiffs have reason to believe that SAG-AFTRA has now amassed a substantial slush fund that does not belong to the labor organization but instead belongs to members and non-members, and/or their estates, on covered and uncovered works,” the suit said.

Additionally, the action alleges that residuals and foreign royalties have been used for “increasing salaries to executive officers, to pya for first class travel and lavish parties” along with substantial retainers to outside consultants, legal counsel, accounting and information technology firms and other companies “purportedly” engaged in distribution of the funds.

The suit was filed eight months after most of the United Screen Actors Committee plaintiffs served the union with a “demand for accountability” letter seeking a “full and complete accounting” on foreign royalties and residuals.

The union strongly denied the allegations in September, reiterating its insistence that it had done nothing wrong in how it handled the funds — which began to flow two decades ago as compensation for reuse, such as taxes on video rentals, cable retransmissions and purchases of blank videocassettes and DVDs.

At issue is how SAG-AFTRA, which was created in March 2012 from the merger of SAG and AFTRA, accounts for and distributes funds it receives from foreign collecting societies.

The lawsuit filing comes three years after SAG settled the class-action suit by Osmond, who alleged that the guild lacked the authority to collect the funds and had mishandled them.

Besides Asner, the plaintiffs in the lawsuit include former board members Steve Barr, Clancy Brown and George Coe along with Tom Bower, Terrence Beasor, Dennis Hayden, Alex McArthur, Ed O’Ross, William Richert, Russell Gannon, Stephen Wastell, James Osburn and Eric Hughes. Richert (“Winter Kills”) filed a similar suit against the Writers Guild of America in 2005 and settled in 2011, and Hughes consulted on the suit.

Asner served two terms as SAG president from 1981 to 1985. Coe was awarded the guild’s Ralph Morgan award for service in 2009.

When the demand letter was served in September, SAG-AFTRA general counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland denied the assertions and noted PricewaterhouseCoopers audits the union’s distribution of the funds — which total $14.2 million since 2007 with $7.4 million to distribute.

“These claims are baseless and false,” he said at the time. “SAG-AFTRA’s foreign royalties program has been tremendously successful. We put significant time and energy into creating an automated system to track and speed up payment of the foreign royalties we collect on behalf of performers. The system is more efficient than ever.”

Crabtree-Ireland asserted at the time that the funds would not have been collected had SAG not pursued them.

“The court decided the settlement was fair and appropriate, so I don’t know what more anyone can expect,” Crabtree-Ireland said at that point. “If we hadn’t gone and collected the money, the money would have been lost to our members forever.”

The Directors Guild of America was also sued over alleged mishandling distribution of the foreign levies and reached a settlement in 2008. In a ruling last August, a judge found the DGA was in line with the class-action settlement, and there was no cause to modify it — over strenuous objections that the DGA has been stonewalling over how it handles millions in funds.

The DGA said last year that it had distributed more than $121 million in foreign levies, including over $13 million to more than 3,400 non-members. The WGA reported last year that it had collected nearly $130 million in foreign levies over the past two decades and distributed $104 million of those funds.

The suit was filed by Helena S. Wise. The case number is CV13-3741.

http://variety.com/2013/film/news/ed-asner-15-others-sue-sag-aftra-over-unpaid-funds-1200487548/
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Critic's Notes
Farewell, Smash
By Michael Schulman, The New Yorker - May 24, 2013

This Sunday night, a two-hour television event will celebrate the allure and corruption of show business: the egos, the betrayals, the excesses, the furtive couplings in the wings—everything that anyone who has ever walked onstage to play Motel the tailor in a high-school production of “Fiddler” while carrying on a backstage affair with one of the Cossacks (happened to a friend!) knows is transformative and bewitching and heartbreaking about the stage.

And that event is “Behind the Candelabra.”

But for those of us who’ll be DVRing Liberace, there’s also NBC's “Smash,” whose season finale (and, to the dismay of literally tens of people, series finale) is airing at the same time, 9PM. (Seriously, the same time? And they say homophobia is dead.) If you, too, have stuck with “Smash” since the beginning, this weekend marks the end of a wild ride, one that started with so many beguiling promises. That the show would bring Broadway into living rooms across America. That it would save NBC from certain doom. That it would “introduce” Katharine McPhee.

If most of those promises ended up, well, smashed, the show’s two seasons still offered a Minnelli of delights (it’s like a flock of seagulls) for theatre lovers, who regarded it with fascination and skepticism. As exciting as it was for Steven Spielberg, of all people, to executive-produce a network TV show about the making of a Broadway musical (which, it was suggested in happier times, might even become a real Broadway musical), even more fun was pointing out what the show got wrong. Unlike “Glee,” which trades in fantasy, “Smash” was a musical series set in something resembling reality, which meant that its plausibility suffered a death by a thousand cuts. Prednisone-fuelled hallucinations? An evil assistant who poisons the star’s smoothie? A train that leaves for Boston from Grand Central?

The biggest problem, though, was the central plot: the rivalry between Karen (McPhee) and Ivy (Megan Hilty), both of whom wanted to play the lead in “Bombshell,” the ersatz Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe. The show kept telling us to root for Karen, a wide-eyed Iowan with that special something, while Ivy was doomed to life in the chorus. But our eyes and ears told us that McPhee was a blah actress with a too-pop-for-Broadway voice, while Hilty was a powerhouse belter and the natural Monroe. McPhee was for “American Idol” fans; Hilty was for connoisseurs. Her talent was off-message.

The toxic offstage atmosphere that made the first season such a train wreck also created a compelling meta-narrative: like “Bombshell,” “Smash” was a show with huge potential that descended into creative chaos. The original creator and show-runner, Theresa Rebeck, is a Broadway playwright herself. Her semi-avatar was Julia Houston (Debra Messing), a successful lyricist who lived in a Brooklyn brownstone, yearned to adopt a Chinese baby, and wore a seemingly endless array of scarves. Rebeck was replaced in season two by Joshua Safran, of “Gossip Girl,” who nixed a slew of characters (so long, Evil Ellis) and added new ones (hello, Jerky Jimmy). He also introduced a hunky, rich dramaturge (Hey, America! Our show’s got dramaturges!), who made bedroom eyes at Julia while telling her why her script writing was incompetent. In the season première, Julia’s writing partner, Tom (Christian Borle), even told her to “lose the scarves.” Ouch.

Safran’s “Smash” has been a smoother operation by far—it’s had stirring moments, including “Bombshell”’s opening night—but that didn’t save the show from a rapidly dwindling viewership. Somehow, “Smash” went from hate-watch target to guilty pleasure to that show you think should be getting better ratings. Just as it was finally finding its footing, NBC moved it from Tuesday to Saturday nights: television hospice. Of course, the new season had its own implausibilities. Do dramaturges really live in palatial Manhattan apartments? Would the arts editor of the Times really cover “Bombshell” only if they stunt-cast Ivy’s mother (Bernadette Peters), instead of just reporting on its duelling divas, poisoned movie star, illegal funds, and warring divorced producers? And would the arts editor write all the arts stories himself? Where’s bizarro Patrick Healy?

Still, for all its flaws, there’s much that I’ll miss about “Smash,” including:

--The songs of Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, the team behind “Hairspray” and “Catch Me If You Can,” who at times seemed be the only ones with chops. “Bombshell” had some first-rate numbers, including “Let Me Be Your Star,” which has been stuck in my head for a year and a half.

--The cameos: slumming movie stars (Uma Thurman), Broadway legends (Liza, Bernadette), theatre insiders (Jordan Roth, Michael Riedel).

--Anjelica Huston, who brought a poise and a strangeness to her role, even when her lines were hacky or absurd (“I’ll call the Shuberts and the Nederlanders!”). She’s the undisputed queen of throwing Martinis in people’s faces.

--The Bollywood number.

--The parody Twitter accounts and phantasmagorical fan fiction.

--The gosh-darndest answer to a marriage proposal of modern times: “I’m in tech.”

Do I wish “Smash” had succeeded? Do I wish it had gotten Broadway right? Do I wish to go to the festival and that the cow was full of milk? Of course I do. I’ve been praying for a third season ever since Julia told Tom, “I’ve said it before, but a musical could be built around the poetry of Ezra Pound.”

Nevertheless, I’m grateful for the “Smash” we had, even if it got smooshed.

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2013/05/smash-nbc-finale-broadway-drama.html
Edited by dad1153 - 5/25/13 at 6:34am
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TV Review
A Walk on the Wild Side of Liberace
By Nancy DeWolf Smith, Wall Street Journal - May 24, 2013

"Behind the Candelabra," a snapshot from the last decade of the pianist and showman Liberace, is sublimely entertaining. The glitter and kitsch, and jaw-dropping performances by Michael Douglas as the middle-age Liberace and Matt Damon as his much younger boy-toy Scott Thorson, make this a wild ride without compare. In retrospect, an underlying forlornness and some flaws inherent in biopic storytelling become apparent. The first time around, though, it's a gas.

At 68, Mr. Douglas is about a decade older than Liberace was circa 1976-77 when he first knew Scott Thorson, an 18-year-old animal trainer and former vet-clinic worker staying with his foster parents on a California ranch. Blond and beefy, Mr. Damon's Scott is the prototypical cornfed innocent. Not entirely, because he is found and apparently procured for Liberace in a gay bar. Yet he seems to be a gentle soul, not graced with great intellect but born without guile. Taken to Las Vegas to see Liberace play, he beams like a happy child.

Fortunately, Mr. Damon is about 25 years older than the real Scott was at the time, so movie-Liberace's delectation of his latest find, while weird, does not seem tragic. The way the seduction unfolds, in an extended tour of Liberace's garishly ornate Vegas house—where a houseboy in tight white trousers serves pigs-in-blankets and a sulking lover on the verge of being dumped glides by clad only in a towel—is a masterpiece.

Director Steven Soderbergh (working from a screenplay by Richard LaGravenese that drew from a book by Mr. Thorson) makes every detail, every glance, give up its meaning. What could have been high camp, à la "The Bird Cage," is elevated to a portrait of a time and place and hidden subculture that is gay but above all interesting as an ecosystem, teeming with toy dogs, gold jewelry, mink trench coats and lonely men, here trying to make the best of the hand they believe nature dealt them.

By the time Liberace—clad in gold slippers and a white caftan like some aged Sebastian Flyte—leads Scott to his boudoir, we are beyond making taste judgments. This Liberace is self-aware and funny, pointing out his Roman marble columns, "Ionic," and closets of sparkling suits, explaining, "I personally support the entire Austrian rhinestone business."

The two men begin to bond over Liberace's sickly poodle Baby Boy, and wind up in a hot tub, baring their souls and eventually discovering that they are both Wisconsin-born Midwesterners—Liberace a Polish-Italian Catholic, Scott deluding himself that he is bisexual.

Some will want to see their relationship of several years as a love story, and perhaps it was in a fragile, mangled way. Scott used to dress up in a white chauffeur's uniform and cap covered with silver spangles, and drive Liberace and his voluminous fur coat with the 16-foot train and 100 pounds of crystals onto the performer's stage. When Liberace asked him to undergo plastic surgery to make himself look more like Liberace, Scott went under the knife. He also took diet pills as directed, and wound up an addict with a cocaine sniffle. When a new lover displaced him, Scott was forcibly ejected but not roughly, and then sued for palimony, effectively outing Liberace but walking away with only a little money, and a few of the pets.

All this is fascinating. The sight of Liberace picking up dog-doo with a Kleenex in a gilded house where the yapping never stops, of Scott with his postsurgery chiseled cheeks and pointy nose; or the spectacle of Mr. Damon in a BVD-style white bathing suit straddling Mr. Douglas on a squeaky metal poolside lounge chair: These are all part of a sideshow that never stops.

Sometimes it's wonderfully creepy. A nearly unrecognizable Rob Lowe plays plastic surgeon and pill provider Dr. Jack Startz, with an eerie overbite and narrow eyes so stretched that he looks like a petrified hybrid of Kirstie Alley and Fu Manchu. Debbie Reynolds appears with a prosthetic nose and Polish-Austrian-style accent as Liberace's mother.

Swirling capes with vampire collars, Kruggerand rings and crucifixes on gold chains, poppers and papillons, the microbe-laden backroom of an adult bookstore—all these were part of Liberace's world. Mr. Douglas has a juicy role here, and makes much of it. Compared with the real Liberace, though, he's a different animal. While virtually everybody knew or sensed that Liberace was not heterosexual, he moved like a fit, athletic man on stage, and spoke without much of an accent. Mr. Douglas makes him more twinkle-toed than he seemed in public, and adds a nasal Midwestern-yenta accent.

Mr. Damon had less to work with, although it's not clear whether this is because Scott really was an uncomplicated person, or just portrayed himself as uncalculating in his autobiography. While Liberace gets a string of Woody Allen-esque gags ("I look like my father in drag," he complains about aging. "I look like my father in 'Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte'!") Scott progresses from shy quietude to inchoate anger without much in between. That Mr. Damon still manages to make his character the poignant center of all this is what keeps it from being a glorified freak show.

In the way of all biopics, the film does chug along on a trajectory that feels familiar, with no way to show character growth or change. The fact that in his day, Liberace had to hide his sexuality does not add much dramatic significance. Decades later the closets among Hollywood performers especially are still chock full.

BEHIND THE CANDELABRA
Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO


* * * *

The tough Wyoming sheriff Walt Longmire is finally back on A&E this week, and what a long, hard wait it has been for this wonderful show, where the mysteries are good and the main characters all look and act like adults.

Set under the big Western sky, sometimes in the heat and sometimes in the snow, the series is based on the Walt Longmire books by Craig Johnson. It revolves around Robert Taylor as the widowed lawman in a county that includes a Cheyenne Indian reservation. While Sheriff Longmire has some loyal deputies, one of whom wants his job, his oldest friend is Henry Standing Bear (Lou Diamond Phillips).

The season begins with a prisoner escape that sends Longmire on a dangerous journey into the wilderness to find a serial killer of children, with only spirit guides and some personal demons for company. As always, figuring out what makes the sheriff tick is the best puzzle of all.

LONGMIRE
Mondays at 10 p.m. on A&E


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324659404578500801250775988.html?mod=WSJ_ArtsEnt_LifestyleArtEnt_6
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TV Sports
Gus Johnson’s Crash Course
By Sam Borden, The New York Times - May 25, 2013

LONDON — Just after noon Thursday, Gus Johnson walked into the Back Room, an English tavern on Old Park Lane here. He sat at a table by the window beneath framed newspaper pages and old album posters, and began rummaging through his backpack.

He dumped out a pile of markers — blacks, blues, greens and reds — and took out a ruler and a large manila folder. He spread the folder open and drew lines on it, dividing it into two sections. “This is the bible,” he said.

On Saturday at 2:00 p.m. ET, Johnson will do the play-by-play for the Champions League final at Wembley Stadium, the biggest assignment in what he calls his freshman year as a soccer broadcaster for Fox. The two sides of the folder are his “boards.” All sports announcers use some variation of this setup as their chief reference during a game. The boards will be laid out in front of him at the stadium, with information on Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund at his fingertips.

Johnson is a self-admitted soccer novice — “I didn’t know a 4-4-2 from a 747 when I started this,” he said — so creating the boards has become a critical part of his preparation. He began digging through the markers, searching for a few other colors. As he did, he fell into what has become his way to pass the time this week: rattling off the names of the players, drawing out their pronunciations in an attempt to train his tongue.

“Ilya GOON-de-wahn. GOON-de-wahn. GOON-de-wahn,” he said, referring to Ilkay Gündogan, a Dortmund midfielder. He kept going. “Schweinsteiger. Le-van-doski. Subotic. Subotic. Subotic. Schmelzer. Schmelzer. Schmelzer. Santana. That’s easy.”

He hesitated. “PEEZ-check. PEEZ-check. Blaszczykowski. Yup, that’s going to be the tough one,” he said. “That and Grosskreutz.”

As a waiter brought a soda, Johnson said the Dortmund player’s name several more times. “GROSS-kroitz. GROSS-kroitz. GROSS-kroitz,” he said. Finally, he looked around, laughing. “Look at this,” he said. “We got Austrian, Spanish, Swiss, French, Croatian. I’m like James Bond over here.”

Earlier this year, Johnson was viciously criticized on social media after he repeatedly mispronounced Barcelona midfielder Andrés Iniesta’s name in a match (as EE-ya-nesta), and he takes responsibility for the misstep. If anything, it has motivated him to work harder as he readies himself to call a game that is the rough equivalent of soccer’s Super Bowl, if the Super Bowl routinely featured players with multiple Z’s, umlauts and diereses in their names.

He shrugged and cackled. “Could I get a Smith from Detroit? Please?”

Johnson understands the seeming absurdity of the situation; he was a star basketball and football announcer, known for his spasmodic eruptions during CBS’s coverage of the N.C.A.A. men’s basketball tournament. Then he left for Fox and in his second year was thrust into an international sport with a rabid and passionate fan base that was used to hearing a British accent call the action. “I knew I’d get shot before I walked in the door,” he said. “Maybe justifiably.”

He went on: “But it’s like the Jack Kent Cooke quote, ‘Criticism is like walking in the rain — once you’re wet, what’s another drop?’ Plus, all I can worry about is preparing. ...” He trailed off, focusing on the contents of his bag.

He pulled his hand out of the backpack suddenly. “Ha!” he said. “Yellow!”

Johnson pointed to his boards. “I’m doing Dortmund now and I think they’re going to wear the yellow-and-black uniforms, so I want to do this side in the bumblebee,” he said. Then he went quiet for a few minutes as he began to scrawl over the folders.

Still in a Learning Phase

While preparing to broadcast a Southern California-Syracuse football game in 2011, Johnson was visited in the booth by Eric Shanks, the president of Fox Sports. Shanks casually mentioned that Fox was planning to make an aggressive bid to acquire the television rights to the World Cup in 2018 and 2022.

Johnson, unsuspectingly, said, “That’s great, good for us.” But then Shanks asked if Johnson would ever be interested in calling soccer. Johnson looked up.

“I said: ‘Soccer? SOCCER?’ ” he recalled. “I definitely wasn’t expecting it.”

Johnson, understandably, was unsure, especially because global travel would take him away from his 9-year-old son. But Nick Bernstein, a close friend of his since the late 1990s, and others encouraged him to accept the challenge. The network was clearly taking a risk, eschewing a British voice or an established American soccer announcer like J. P. Dellacamera in the hope that Johnson would develop quickly and become its signature voice on soccer.

Johnson recognizes he is still in the learning phase, and he recruited Bernstein, who played soccer at Dartmouth, to be his primary teacher.

“I knew it was going to be hard as soon as he told me what was going on,” Bernstein said. “But I said to him, ‘How do you not go on this journey?’ It’s a chance to see the world. I was honored to come along.”

Bernstein signed a part-time contract with Fox (he said his title was associate producer), and he is essentially Johnson’s right-hand man: tutor, counselor, study guide preparer, fact checker.

They spent much of their first flight to Europe more than a year ago wading through a five-page memo produced by Sky Sports on soccer’s murky offside law. They muddled through the first few broadcasts with Bernstein continually sliding pieces of paper in front of Johnson as prompts. They sat with the famed English broadcaster Martin Tyler last month, watching the Real Madrid-Dortmund second leg semifinal match from a hotel in Barcelona.

That evening, both men said, was important in Johnson’s development. Tyler was gracious in answering Johnson’s questions about calling a game, and Bernstein said he recalled Johnson asking Tyler where he focused his eyes during corner kicks. Tyler said he quickly identified who was taking the kick, but then looked away from the ball and scanned the penalty area, looking particularly for players who might be trying to time a run and sweep in at the near post.

About two weeks later, Wigan won the F.A. Cup final with a stunning 91st-minute goal by midfielder Ben Watson, who sprinted to the near post, met a looping corner kick and headed the ball into the net. Johnson, clearly prepared for the possibility, delivered a dramatic, ecstatic call that met the gravity of the moment. For Johnson, and everyone who has helped him, it was rewarding.

“He’s really impressed me with his retention,” said Jamie Trecker, a senior editor at FoxSoccer.com who has worked with Johnson here and at other game sites. “A lot of people have criticized him because he doesn’t speak with an English accent. He would get a fairer shake if people actually listened to what he was saying.”

A Sense of Isolation

There is an element of loneliness to Johnson’s new job. When he was doing the N.C.A.A. tournament, if he sat in a coffee shop in Louisville or Kansas City, fans would come up to him and shout one of his catchphrases like “Rise and fire!” or “I get buckets!” Johnson loved it.

In Europe, though, he works in relative anonymity. He has been recognized just once, he said — “We were in Manchester and there were some Man United fans who were visiting from America, and they said, ‘Hi, Gus!’ ” — but otherwise he receives little feedback from the public, save for the reviews of his performances, many of which have been scathing and can be found on the Internet. (One Web site, EPLTalk.com, noted that 69 percent of tweets about Johnson’s performance on a Barcelona-Bayern Munich game were negative.)

Like many American journalists and broadcasters, Johnson quickly realized that working conditions in Europe are far different from those in the United States. Climate-controlled press boxes with midfield views are rare; at Camp Nou, Barcelona’s stadium, Johnson and other commentators were essentially on the roof, and a large speaker next to Johnson partly obscured his view.

Ian Darke, a veteran British soccer announcer who calls games for ESPN, said navigating the gantry — essentially a mount for a crane, where broadcasters often work — can be a challenge. “You don’t necessarily know what you’re going to get,” Darke said. “It certainly isn’t the same in every stadium.”

There is also little to no access to players and coaches before or after games in Europe, making it difficult for a newcomer like Johnson to increase his institutional knowledge of the teams he is covering. Before calling an N.F.L. game, even one involving the New England Patriots and their monosyllabic coach, Bill Belichick, Johnson could spend time at practice and talk to people involved in the game, gaining fresh material to use in the broadcast. In European soccer, that notion is laughable. Johnson will call Saturday’s game having spent zero time talking with either team.

“There are no excuses,” Johnson said. “It’s just different. And that’s something I’m figuring out.”

There is a history of American announcers being castigated by American soccer fans, most notably in 2006, when ESPN made Dave O’Brien, a baseball announcer, its lead voice for the World Cup with little time for him to prepare. Not surprisingly, he was flayed for his performance. In recent years, Darke has been the (British-sounding) voice of the United States team for ESPN.

“For me, I think most fans believe that it doesn’t matter whether the announcer came from the U.K. or the U.S.A. or Timbuktu, as long as they’re good,” Darke said. “I don’t know Gus, but I respect what he’s trying to do because it isn’t easy; it’s a 90-minute ad-lib, really. Just think about that.”

Sitting at the Back Room, his boards filling up, Johnson agreed with that description. Soccer is unlike any other sport, he said, because “there are no commercials, no ins and outs, no dumb graphics.” Johnson expects to return to college football in the fall and is likely to do college basketball for Fox, too, since the network will broadcast the Big East next season.

But soccer remains his primary focus. Fox has been supportive in this early stage, Johnson said, and there will be more Champions League next season, and the F.A. Cup, too. Fox also broadcasts the Gold Cup and the Women’s World Cup in 2015, and the 2018 World Cup is not so far off.

It is a lot for any broadcaster to consider, let alone one who, for the moment, just wants to say Grosskreutz correctly as he brushes his teeth each morning.

“You can’t hide in soccer,” he said. “For 90 minutes you just get to broadcast the game with hardly any break built in.”

Johnson turned back to his boards.

“It’s nice,” he said. “Nice, and scary.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/25/sports/soccer/learning-on-the-job-gus-johnson-prepares-for-broadcast-of-soccer-final.html?hp
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