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post #5191 of 25503 Old 09-21-2005, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
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TV SEASON PREVIEWS: WEDNESDAY
Invasion
alien encroachment and group hugs

By Kay McFadden Seattle Times

"Lost" returns at 9 this evening with the pressure on. What's in the hatch? Why can't anyone get off the island? And above all: Show me the monster.

The showing of the monster is a delicate matter. So far this fall, several new series "Supernatural," "Surface" and "Threshold" have demonstrated the merits of a striptease versus the perils of an immediate reveal.

"Lost" has leaned heavily on metaphor as a delaying tactic, which is another way to go. But even when the threat from without is matched by the demons from within, viewers eventually demand some tangible proof.

That brings us to ABC's "Invasion," which debuts at 10 tonight and is a companion piece engineered to keep the "Lost" audience from scattering to other networks.

"Invasion" cleverly proposes that the growing natural disasters the world has experienced of late actually mask the arrival of aliens. The plot that unfolds tonight follows the wake of a major hurricane that hits the Florida Everglades.

I'm not sure our withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol should be excused so easily. Regardless, it quickly becomes clear that "Invasion" hearkens to a 1950s mind-set in more than one way: It's an updated "Invasion of the Body Snatchers."

Shaun Cassidy, executive producer of "Invasion," told critics last July that he's never seen the atomic-age classic. Perhaps it's merely testament to the film's permeating appeal that he's come up with something remarkably similar.

"Invasion" begins with the onset of the hurricane. The show's location filming has a glorious, National Geographic-like intensity and you almost wish people and a story weren't necessary.

It's hard to avoid echoes of Hurricane Katrina, which has made unwilling bad-weather connoisseurs of half the TV audience. So when characters who should have boarded up their windows two days ago only get around to it at the height of gale-force winds, the opening of "Invasion" seems contrived. The characters, in this case, are the series' main focus. A tangled web of spouses, ex-spouses, siblings, kids and stepkids establishes itself against the storm's fury and sets the tale rolling.

At the head of the group is heroic U.S. Park Ranger Russell Varon (Eddie Cibrian). He has a beautiful brunette wife (Lisa Sheridan) and a beautiful blonde ex-wife (Kari Matchett), who's now married to local sheriff Tom Underlay (William Fichtner).

Let's pause for a moment. When Fichtner arrives on the screen with his haunted expression and wraparound shades, it's practically a guarantee that something rotten is in the state of well, Florida.

Nevertheless, the makers of "Invasion" had to make sure. As Underlay's teenage daughter frets about the coming storm, he tells her: "The roof's not gonna cave in." She asks how he knows and he ominously replies, "I know."

Cue the sawing bass notes. With the culprit established, a little suspense seeps away and a major flaw is exposed the series' use of overly coy delaying tactics coupled with a contradictory impulse to hammer home every foreshadowing element.

But "Invasion" has a "Lost" card to play. The arrival of aliens isn't a sci-fi adventure; it's a journey into the dark recesses of our souls. The changes occurring in some characters will test community trust and, by extension, the nation's fiber.

There's nothing wrong with this old scenario, except that "Invasion" doesn't bring much that's new to it. Unlike "Threshold," which updates a classic theme with modern technology and a contemporary heroine, "Invasion" is slack and familiar.

It also leans toward the therapeutically soapy. The excellent cast is hampered by dialogue that derives its rhythm from emotional melodrama instead of taut thriller.

The original "Body Snatchers" was a rush into terror based on never knowing who exactly was the culprit. It was anybody and everybody, and at the end, you perhaps stood alone.

In "Invasion," the identification of heroes and villains and the soft skew toward family allays our paranoia instead of feeding it. What's a little extra-terrestrial encroachment compared to working out our issues?

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi...&date=20050921
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post #5192 of 25503 Old 09-21-2005, 10:05 AM - Thread Starter
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TV SEASON PREVIEWS: WEDNESDAY
"E" is for entertaining

By Kay McFadden Seattle Times

He shoots, he scores. Jerry Bruckheimer is the most successful producer in television today, and NBC's "E-Ring," debuting at 9 tonight, is a good example of why.

I confess "E-Ring" is not my kind of program. It's an adventure tale set at the Pentagon and representing the military/covert-operative/CIA school of yarn-spinning. It also has the misfortune to air opposite "Lost."

But "E-Ring" is pretty superb as far as genre series go. If you want your throbbing fix of cinematically scaled, irreproachably timed action and a couple of ruggedly handsome leading men, this is the ticket.

"E-Ring" has the patented Bruckheimer rush: exotic locales, quick cuts, a pounding score and mano-a-mano conflict. It's also a technically interesting delve into the mysterious world of high-level decision-making the "E" stands for the outer ring where Pentagon calls are finalized.

Benjamin Bratt plays an Army major now assigned to special operations at the Pentagon after a 14-month assignment in Iraq. There, he meets his new officer, a crusty colonel portrayed by Dennis Hopper.

"E-Ring" basically works like this: Each week, a plot is afoot that involves some dicey operation requiring Bratt's moral persuasion. Tonight, it's rescuing a Chinese undercover agent; next week, it's the pursuit of a long-sought terrorist leader in Uzbekistan.

The sets and photography are terrific. To be sure, some dialogue is hard to swallow, as in: "It's not a matter of could we. We are America; we could do anything we want. It's should we."

Nevertheless, fans of the canceled "JAG" and "24"-style thrills should find plenty to enjoy here. NBC will be happy to take the demographic of old-school viewers who otherwise are neglected on Wednesday nights.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi...&date=20050921
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post #5193 of 25503 Old 09-21-2005, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
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TV SEASON PREVIEWS: WEDNESDAY
"E-Ring and Invasion

By Tim Goodman San Francisco Chronicle

On a night when Martha Stewart will bring her own brand of drama to the small screen, two other new shows prove that you can make a lot of noise in the kitchen, but if you can't cook, you can't cook.

NBC decided not to send out a review copy of "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart," most likely because in the past couple of years critics have been beating NBC fare over the head with a stick -- justifiably. There's also a rumor that NBC doesn't want critics to reveal what Martha's signature tagline will be -- whether it will trump Donald Trump's "You're fired!"

This assumes TV critics are so desperately vacuous and unaware that, post-Katrina, something as stupid as a tagline might be important in our universe. It also assumes we give a damn. What it fails to consider is how disappointed we'll all be if it doesn't top something we could have come up with on our own, like the Martha prison-time inspired "Now you're my (bad word!)" or "I've cooked dogs more worthwhile than you" or the slightly less abusive, "Die and make crafts in hell, (bad word!)."

But we digress.

After Martha lights the Wednesday 8 p.m. block on fire, NBC offers up what must have looked like a powerhouse series on paper -- "E-Ring," a drama about the Pentagon starring Benjamin Bratt and Dennis Hopper, produced by can't-miss Jerry Bruckheimer, with the pilot directed by Taylor Hackford.

Bruckheimer probably envisioned "E-Ring" as this really cool look at how military decisions get made because, well, this country is making them all the time now. Even liberal anti-military types got a secret thrill on "The West Wing" when the action shifted to the situation room. But reality being what it is -- and CNN's Wolf Blitzer having his own highly annoying "Situation Room" -- the lines between fantasy and life in the Big Stick country make a show like "E-Ring" more than a little queasy, like a 60-minute commercial for the United States armed forces.

Not that a little special ops lust doesn't go a long way, but "E-Ring" sells the World's Policeman thing a little too religiously, and the combination of Hopper's hawkish insider and Bratt's gung-ho willingness to put his finger in the pie of the world ends up being unseemly.

That, plus CBS' "NCIS" is infinitely better.

Also this: "E-Ring" is boring. Outside of a few faux-location shots that "Alias" does a whole lot better, "E-Ring" doesn't make Bratt likable or sexy (the original pilot had him with a wife, but they scrapped that in a hurry so he could take his shirt off with some added value). Bruckheimer may think the Pentagon is the coolest place on the planet but the location doesn't translate. There are all these admiration-filled musings about "the building," but the context isn't there. You never feel like you're in the inner workings of a building that could decimate a foreign country at the flip of a switch.

"E-Ring" is also mysteriously flat. The action is lifeless outside "the building." Inside, there's only Hopper chewing scenery to shreds and Bratt's pent-up energy and man-in-uniform sexuality left to smolder pointlessly. Who is the audience for this thing anyway? Two full episodes prove "E-Ring" to be a failed experiment by Bruckheimer to turn militarism into some kind of porn for fat dads addicted to Tom Clancy video games on their PlayStation.

One hour later (ostensibly you could watch three new series tonight -- but the feeling here is, no, don't do it), ABC has a better go-round with its paranormal phenomenon series, "Invasion." Ah, the trouble with titles. Could be that aliens are coming. Could also be -- judging by the weird behavior of star William Fichtner, who plays a sheriff in a Florida town recently hit by a major hurricane -- that aliens may already be here.

The first obstacle "Invasion" needs to overcome is that its pilot revolves around a hugely devastating hurricane. That's bad timing. Do viewers want a fanciful sci-fi version of Katrina? We'll see. The second obstacle is that it follows "Lost" (same network ripping itself off), and people might be exhausted by the notion of suspending belief all season long for another series big on mysteries. Then again, they may crave more -- and what better series to follow than a monstrous hit?

Although "Invasion" has battled fellow freshman series "Threshold" for the buzz crown in this year of the paranormal, there is something too pat, too telegraphed in "Invasion" to rile up the blood. Eddie Cibrian plays Russell, a divorced father who's new girlfriend (pregnant) is the local TV reporter Larkin (Lisa Sheridan). He's just trying to take care of his two kids and restart a new life, but it's awfully annoying when your bossy ex-wife Mariel (Kari Matchett) is a hotshot doctor recently remarried to Fichtner's hotshot sheriff and the two of them are telling you how to parent.

Then the hurricane comes and your daughter gets lost in the storm (bad parenting!) and sees a whole bunch of bright lights falling into the water while everybody else is huddling under furniture. Russell's conspiracy theorist brother-in-law, Dave (Tyler Labine, who pretty much steals the pilot), immediately thinks, well, invasion. But he drinks too much.

"Invasion" has none of the initial pizzazz and storytelling hooks that "Lost" had, but in this genre it's hard to count out (or in) a series based on one episode. The good news for "Invasion" is that outside of this too-telegraphed pilot there's a cause for hope and trust. "Invasion" is the brainchild of Shaun Cassidy, whose earlier works ("American Gothic," "Cover Me," "Cold Case") were intelligent, creative and well-conceived. At a recent press tour with TV critics, his was the most thoughtful, authoritative take among all producers in this genre on where the series was headed and what it was all about.

That's helpful (and hopeful), because the first episode is mostly hot air blown over water.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...type=printable
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post #5194 of 25503 Old 09-21-2005, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
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TV SEASON PREVIEWS: WEDNESDAY
"E-Ring

By Charlie McCollum San Jose Mercury News

I wasn't ready to turn critical cartwheels over it, but the original pilot of this drama about the Pentagon's covert operations branch did seem to have some things going for it. That included a nice little husband-wife relationship with Benjamin Bratt as black-ops expert Jim Tisnewski and Sarah Clarke (``24'') as his CIA agent-wife. But now the pilot has been revised, and things seem to have gone from OK with potential to not-so-great. (Clarke and her character have vanished, for one thing.) Both tonight's opening episode and next week's installment are predictable, loaded with cliched dialogue and lacking in the tension you want in this kind of show. It's still amusing to watch Mr. Easy Rider, Dennis Hopper, play a career military guy, but that's hardly a compelling reason to tune in.

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercu...printstory.jsp
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post #5195 of 25503 Old 09-21-2005, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
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TV SEASON PREVIEWS: WEDNESDAY
Tonight's New Show Premieres

By Aaron Barnhart Kansas City Star

Invasion . Through no fault of its own, Invasion has lost a bit of its appeal in the last month. That's because this enticing new thriller is set in the aftermath of a powerful hurricane. And just as 9/11 didn't seem like appropriate story fodder in late 2001, neither does anything wet and destructive in the wake of Katrina.

Still, of all the new mystery-driven dramas aspiring to be this year's Lost and there are four of them Invasion is the most absorbing and least hokey.

The first episode isn't as skillfully drawn as Lost's Emmy-winning premiere last year. The characters are not as racially diverse nor as interesting. Still, the hints Invasion throws out about what's to come are all intriguing.

That hungry swamp creature that appears after the storm the spectacular if ominous light show coming from the heavens that fish-eyed sheriff (William Fitchner), his wife (Kari Matchett) and their extremely precocious little girl (Ariel Gade), who seem to have gotten a visit from the Pod People during the big rain there's a lot going on inside the laboratory run by Shaun Cassidy, the former teen heartthrob who created Invasion. Of course, his experiment may go awry in a few weeks. But for now this and Lost are a solid one-two on Wednesdays.

The Apprentice: Martha Stewart. I have not seen the first hour of this spinoff, but I am willing to make a prediction: Martha Stewart will make Donald Trump look like a neighborhood bully.

As anyone who has been watching her daytime talk show knows, Stewart is undergoing a rather painful on-air transformation from aloof homemaking expert into everyone's Aunt Martha, that starchy but good-natured relative from Connecticut who just wants to be part of the family, insofar as she is emotionally equipped to be like us, which is to say not much.

But at least she's trying. I was watching the synidacted Martha the other day and there she was, sitting on a stool chatting with a group of ordinary homemakers, all of them self-professed bad cooks that were flown in for a cooking lesson from Aunt Martha and her culinary friends. Stewart was working so hard at relating to her guests and trying not to sound like she was reading everything straight off her blue cards that she flubbed a cue. And she didn't even ask for a retake! That would never fly with the old Martha.

So if not her, who's going to play the bad cop on tonight's Apprentice? My money is on Alexis Stewart, who will be at her mother's right hand during the show, along with the chairman of Stewart's business empire, Charles Koppelman. At a press conference this summer Martha was explaining why she wouldn't be using anything like You're fired as her line to departing contestants. Not very convincingly, she said, I don't think I've ever said you're fired' to anybody.

Just then Alexis, who hadn't made a peep all day, said, Even when you should have.

Well, she is her mother's daughter.

E-Ring. Remember when you settled in to NBC for a night of The West Wing and Law & Order? Times change.

And doesn't Ben Bratt know it. The former L&O stud is seen riding a bicycle to the Pentagon, just one of several hoot-worthy scenes in this surprisingly brain-dead series from Jerry Bruckheimer, the producer who brought us CSI and The Amazing Race (but also the execrable Skin, billed as a modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet in a porn empire).

Dennis Hopper plays Bratt's superior inside the military-intelligence complex, but the writing is distinctly inferior. And Bratt is just out of his element.

To compensate, E-Ring seems willing to push the catastrophe meter to 11 every week. In the middle of next week's episode comes the Ultimate Storyline: terrorists with nukes!

Weapons of mass destructions might end up in Iraq after all, Hopper mutters. Oh boy.

More like oh brother. Yeah, WMD might be in Iraq and viewers might keep watching this sorry excuse for a show. And Dennis Hopper might be forgiven for taking NBC's money. But don't bet on it.

http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansas...t/12695294.htm
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post #5196 of 25503 Old 09-21-2005, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
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TV SEASON PREVIEWS: THURSDAY
Everybody Hates Chris

By Rick Kushman Sacramento Bee TV Columnist

This is Chris Rock's story and has 12-year-old Tyler Williams playing young Chris, who's something of a hard-luck kid. His younger brother is cooler, his younger sister is his dad's favorite, and he gets sent to a Brooklyn middle school where he's the new guy and the only African American. Rock supplies a voice-over, "Wonder Years" style.

What's What: Rock's slightly skewed, slightly slapstick, very smart take on childhood is handled with some bite and some heart. And a lot of funny. The writing, from co-creator Ali LeRoi, is sharp, surprising, sometimes plain weird, and Rock's voice-overs have all of Rock's usual snap. UPN thinks this will be the Thursday comedy of the future. Might happen.

Rickster Scale: 4

4http://www.sacbee.com/content/lifest...14413378c.html
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post #5197 of 25503 Old 09-21-2005, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
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TV SEASON PREVIEWS: WEDNESDAY
Invasion

By Rick Kushman Sacramento Bee TV Columnist

A cool park ranger (Eddie Cibrian) on the edge of the Florida Everglades begins to suspect something strange might be happening when his ex-wife (Lisa Sheridan) - who now lives with the creepy local sheriff (William Fichner) - disappears during a hurricane and is found later naked and, somehow, different. Not that she was a picnic before the storm.

What's What: This show takes some risks with a big mystery that's something of a mess at first, and it may take some time to become appealing. If it does. The storm, it seems, was a diversion for whatever is out there in the Everglades, but that may be less an appealing idea, too, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Rickster Scale: 2.5

http://www.sacbee.com/content/lifest...14413378c.html
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post #5198 of 25503 Old 09-21-2005, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Murdoch Moving Ahead With Biz Channel Launch

By Jay Sherman TVWeek.com September 21, 2005

News Corp. Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch said Wednesday that his company is negotiating with cable operators to launch a business-themed cable channel, though the arrival might come later than he has predicted previously.

Speaking at a Goldman Sachs investor conference in New York, Mr. Murdoch said the launch of the Fox Business Channel would likely not happen in the early months of 2006, as he has indicated in the past, "but certainly soon."

Mr. Murdoch's comments were the clearest sign yet that he remains committed to launching a rival to NBC Universal's CNBC. There have been mixed signals about whether the company would press ahead with a plan to launch a business channel, in large part because Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes, who would oversee the project, reportedly has been unsure whether a business channel could replicate the out-of-the-box success of Fox News Channel, particularly given the challenges facing the business news space.

Meanwhile, Mr. Murdoch said his company was "99 percent there" in terms of inking a content distribution agreement with telephone company Verizon Communications, which continued to beef up its programming offering by striking a deal earlier Wednesday with The Walt Disney Co.

http://www.tvweek.com/news.cms?newsId=8589
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post #5199 of 25503 Old 09-21-2005, 05:14 PM - Thread Starter
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TV SEASON PREVIEWS: WEDNESDAY
For NBC, tonight is all about Martha
If she's hot, the network could edge out ABC

By Toni Fitzgerald MediaLifeMagazine.com

The big question on Wednesday nights, when it comes to gauging how the broadcast networks will do this fall, is just how many people are still interested in Martha Stewart.

The answer will go a long way to determining how NBC's entire season goes.

Her The Apprentice: Martha Stewart, debuting tonight, anchors NBC's Wednesday lineup at 8 p.m., and its performance will set the pace for new lead-out E-Ring as well.

Wednesday is really anyone's night, with Fox's American Idol off the air until January, and each network has made at least one primetime change to gain an edge going into January.

If Stewart's "Apprentice" edition is strong, pulling at least a 5 rating in 18-49s, that should bolster "E-Ring" and give NBC a solid lead for the night. If Stewart falters, doing only okay, ABC will take the night on the power of its hit "Lost."

If NBC can nudge ahead, it could help the network offset weakening lineups on Thursday and Sunday.

At the beginning of the summer, how people felt about Stewart would have seemed a silly question. She was getting lots of positive buzz over her two new shows and tons of public support in blogs, chatboards and opinion polls.

But after months of Martha saturation and not-so-hot initial ratings for her daytime talk show, media buyers are less certain that her Apprentice will become quite the hit many thought earlier in the summer.

Most think it will win its timeslot, which lacks a big hit. It will push NBC above last year's fourth-place 3.3 nightly average, but the question is how much above.

By moving Lost' to 9 p.m., ABC gave NBC an opening for the new Apprentice: Martha Stewart.' While not as strong as even a fading Apprentice' with Donald Trump (particularly among men and upscale viewers), this edition should manage to win its hour among most adult age groups, predicts Magna Global USA's Steve Sternberg in his fall primetime preview.

Even if Martha debuts big tonight, the real test is how much of that audience is still watching four weeks from now, when November sweeps loom.

Media buying agency Carat forecasts that, based on Martha's strength, NBC will lead Wednesday in 18-49s. A more conservative guess is that ABC will maintain its pre-Idol lead thanks to Lost, even if new lead-out Invasion doesn't perform well.

ABC comedies George Lopez and Freddie will probably average below a 4.0 at 8 p.m., but Lost's 5.8 rating from last season helped balance weak timeslot performers, too. ABC averaged a 4.6 on Wednesday last year.

CBS, which finished third on the night last year, will probably stay there at least during the fall. Booting 60 Minutes II for comedies Still Standing and Yes, Dear at 8 p.m. will give it a slight uptick in 18-49s, and 9 p.m.'s new Criminal Minds makes a much better companion for 10 p.m.'s CSI: NY than last year's comedy block.

Fox won't be a factor Wednesday until Idol returns. That 70s Show leads off at 8 p.m., but its ratings are expected to fall with the departures of series stars Topher Grace and Ashton Kutcher. Stacked at 8:30 will dip from its lead-in, and the new Head Cases at 9 p.m. had an anemic debut last week. Until January, Fox will be in fourth place.

UPN has America's Next Top Model, coming off a very strong season, at 8 p.m., though 9 p.m.'s Veronica Mars isn't a very compatible lead-out. Many media buyers, who love the quirky high school sleuth show, worry that facing Lost could hurt Veronica among 18-34s.

The WB nudges One Tree Hill, a show that steadily grew behind Gilmore Girls on Tuesday, into the 8 p.m. anchor slot. Though it should maintain its audience in a weak timeslot until Idol returns, 9 p.m. rookie Related, which was reworked after the pilot was shot, may struggle.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/New...wednesday.html
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post #5200 of 25503 Old 09-21-2005, 06:52 PM - Thread Starter
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TV SEASON PREVIEWS: THURSDAY
Everybody Hates Chris
Finding the humor in a tough situation:
Chris Rock's sitcom, like his stand-up, keeps a sharp lookout


By Paul Brownfield , Times Staff Writer Los Angeles Times Staff Writer September 22, 2005

The larger world of "Everybody Hates Chris" is the comedy of Chris Rock. This makes his new UPN comedy either as promising as "Seinfeld" or as limited as "Seinfeld" could have been.

Like early episodes of that benchmark show, the pilot of "Everybody Hates Chris" is an evocation-of-a-sitcom that crackles with Rock's comedic point of view, in this case on his Brooklyn childhood. If it leaves you a tad dubious about just where the conflicts and ongoing stories will arise, so did "Seinfeld," which at first seemed like little playlets based on his comedy routines, too static for the contemporary demands of TV.

"The Wonder Years," "Annie Hall," "A Christmas Story," "The Cosby Show" (the original, on NBC) there's something of a little of each in the pilot of "Everybody Hates Chris," but the show thus far feels more observational than story-driven; it relies on our desire to listen to Rock talk.

And we do want to listen, because Rock is hilarious; he has the great comedian's ability to infiltrate our minds, getting us to re-see the world through his eyes. What Rock and longtime writing partner Ali LeRoi have done, in the warmhearted pilot, is conjure a single-camera family sitcom that cannily voices Rock's tough-love attitude about ghetto childhood, the stuff he's been saying onstage for years, packaging it in a half-hour as tenderly amusing as "Annie Hall's" Alvy Singer recalling his childhood home underneath a Coney Island roller coaster.

We're conditioned to view a comedian's childhood as a window into the reasons for the later life onstage (Were you the class clown? Picked on as a kid? Did you fight back with humor? seem to constitute the troika of predetermined queries every big-time comedian continues to be asked), but "Everybody Hates Chris" is not about why Rock became a comedian.

As Rock and LeRoi have set it up, the whole show is an extended riff on that classic Rock routine about black men who talk about parental responsibility as if it's an elective, bragging that "I take care of my kids" or "I never been to jail."

Rock's retort: "What do you want, a cookie?"

"Everybody Hates Chris," which stars Tyler James Williams as a 13-year-old version of Rock or perhaps more accurately as a 13-year-old onto which the adult Rock projects his reminiscences is most vivid in its portrayal of two working-class parents who've moved their three kids out of the projects in Brooklyn and over to Bedford-Stuyvesant, where, Rock tells us, a crack epidemic is on the way; the motto in 1982 was "Bed-Stuy: Do or Die."

Young Chris, the oldest of three, is a repository of his parents' admonitions and fears. His mother (Tichina Arnold) has "100 recipes" for whuppin' you-know-what ("I will slap your name out of the phone book and call Ma Bell and tell her I did it .... "), while his father (Terry Crews), a truck driver holding down two jobs, hounds his family about the cost of their every ounce of spilled milk but is also in their lives, to be believed when he comes by his son's bedroom before leaving for work at night and says: "I'll see you in the morning."

"He was one of four fathers on the block," Rock narrates. " 'I'll see you in the morning' meant he was coming home. Coming home was his way of saying, 'I love you.' "

Rock has said "Everybody Hates Chris" is not a literal version of his childhood, but it is a pretty literal version of his comedy; many of the scenes in the pilot play like illustrated Rock routines, as in: "Much like rock 'n' roll, school shootings were also invented by blacks and stolen by the white man."

It's his mother, the show makes clear, who's really working the system ("I run this house the way they run the country on a deficit," she lectures her husband, explaining why you don't simply pay an entire bill).

The father's the sweet one, the mother fiercely protective, forcing Chris to take two buses to a white school in Brooklyn Beach populated by working-class Italian kids. There predictably, in scenes you've seen a million times, just not with Chris Rock narrating Chris gets bullied.

But he doesn't so much fight back with humor, he just fights back, losing his lunch money but recovering his bus pass, and when he comes home from school he gobbles the piece of chicken meant for his father but doesn't tell him why he was so hungry.

He doesn't tell him about the fight because "my dad went to school during the civil rights era," Rock says. "After hoses, tanks and a dog bites on your, ... , somehow Joey Caruso didn't compare."

As he talks we see newsreel footage of the hoses, the tanks and the dogs. A sitcom without earned comedic authority wouldn't be able to pull off this moment without seeming treacly. But even in its first half hour, "Everybody Hates Chris" has more than established its voice. Now it has to keep its story spinning outward.

http://www.calendarlive.com/tv/cl-wk...l-tv-top-right
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post #5201 of 25503 Old 09-21-2005, 06:56 PM - Thread Starter
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TV SEASON PREVIEWS
Criminal Minds and Killer Instinct
New police shows on CBS and Fox have similar characters, plots

By Robert Lloyd Los Angeles Times Staff Writer September 22, 2005

It strikes me as sad somehow that we are faced this season with two new shows as similarly titled and constituted as "Criminal Minds," which begins tonight (moving next week to Wednesdays) on CBS, and "Killer Instinct," which comes for you Friday on Fox. It's not just that the police procedural has reached such epidemic proportions that it may be time to get the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention involved, but that even in trying to break the mold their producers demonstrate how very little there is left to say on this subject.

In "Criminal Minds," Mandy Patinkin ("Chicago Hope") plays a spectacularly intuitive FBI profiler specializing in psychologically disturbed lawbreakers who is brought back to active duty after a nervous breakdown occasioned by the death of a colleague. There is some question as to whether he is really ready to return. In "Killer Instinct," Johnny Messner ("The O.C.") is a highly intuitive police detective specializing in psychologically disturbed criminals, who returns to active duty after a nervous breakdown occasioned by the death of his partner. There is some question whether he is ready for it. In an unusual and surprising twist, the pilot episode of "Criminal Minds" involves not a single serial killer but, as the authorities slowly realize, a pair of them, one older and controlling and one younger and submissive. In an unusual and surprising twist, the pilot episode of "Killer Instinct" involves not a single serial killer, but as the authorities slowly realize, a pair of them, one older and controlling and one younger and submissive. In "Criminal Minds," Patinkin frees a girl from a cage, just in time to save her from being the killer's next victim. In "Killer Instinct," Messner frees a girl from a cage, just in time.... Well, you get the idea.

Their makers would doubtless protest that their shows are not the same at all the first girl in a cage has duct tape over her eyes, for example, while the second girl in a cage is covered in bugs. "Criminal Minds" will roam the country like the "X-Files," while "Killer Instinct" will exploit the hotbed of depravity that is San Francisco Babylon (read: Vancouver dressed with trolley cars). And it's true that a premise, although it is the hook upon which a series is sold, is in some ways the least distinctive thing a television show has to offer mood and character and the particular flavor of the dialogue being what will ultimately distinguish it from the competition. And though both shows adopt similar strategies in their attempts to invigorate the form making the perps crazier, and the cops crazier too each accessorizes, as it were, in its own way.

Both series are good at being what they are, though I am not sure they are "good" in any broader or more meaningful sense of the word. "Criminal Minds," which is executive-produced by Mark Gordon ("The Day After Tomorrow") is the more "realistic" of the two, in its not particularly realistic fashion. Patinkin, an actor who goes over the top just sitting quietly in the chair, leads a more restrained ensemble cast that includes Thomas Gibson, late of "Dharma & Greg," Shemar Moore ("The Young and the Restless"), Lola Glaudini ("The Handler"), Matthew Gray Gubler and post-pilot addition AJ Cook. They are all geniuses and full of facts and statistics: Their dialogue often has the flavor of a Mensa mixer.

"Charon that's the Greek mythological ferryman of the dead."

"It's also the name of Pluto's only moon."

From the first couple of episodes, I learned, among other things, that Moloch was the demon sun god of the Canaanites, that one in 7.4 drivers in Seattle drives an SUV, and that when you're flustered it's more difficult to control the articulatory musculature of the face. It makes you wonder what they're doing working for the FBI when they could be on "Jeopardy!" setting up their retirement funds. Patinkin's character, meanwhile, to show his depth quotes Emerson, Beckett, Faulkner, Conrad, Churchill and Nietzsche: "When you look long into the abyss, the abyss looks into you." Not sure what that means; perhaps he said "abbess."

"We're all evil," says Messner, meanwhile, over on "Killer Instincts." "Some of us choose to fight it." And he hints that he has personal reason to know. This series is actually the creation of a "CSI" executive producer, Josh Berman, suggesting that the wormy apple does not fall far from the tree. With its soundtrack full of metal and techno and its killers packing imported deadly spiders and home surgery kits, it aims for a Gothic moodiness not unrelated to the season's scary-monster shows: There is an inhuman something out there that means you no good.

Assisting Messner fighting the evil without him and within him are sensitive partner Kristin Lehman ("Century City"), who says of one troubled organ-stealer, "I know she's a homicidal maniac, but I feel sorry for her," and immediate superior Chi McBride, more or less reprising his role on "Boston Public," but with a gun. Characters in both series are forever crabwalking into dangerous situations with weapons drawn in that familiar two-handed grip; Patinkin looks especially unnatural in these scenes just give that man a song to sing, I say, and let him do what he was born to.

http://www.calendarlive.com/tv/cl-wk...?coll=cl-tvent
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post #5202 of 25503 Old 09-22-2005, 08:16 AM - Thread Starter
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TV SEASON PREVIEWS: THURSDAY
Everybody Hates Chris
A Boy Grows in Brooklyn, With a Voice-Over

By ALESSANDRA STANLEY The New York Times September 22, 2005

Comedians are angry people. Everybody knows that. And that is why "Everybody Hates Chris" on UPN is such a surprise. Chris Rock's new series, a memoir that he narrates, paints an affectionately wry portrait of a 13-year-old growing up in Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn.

The show is not subversively funny or profane the way Mr. Rock's stand-up routines usually are. Instead, it is charming.

Whatever it was that shaped Mr. Rock's comic persona, it wasn't hate or neglect.

Humiliation, however, must have played a part. Tyler James Williams plays Chris and is delightful in the part of the eldest child who is saddled with the role of "emergency adult" to his younger, cooler brother, Drew (Tequan Richmond), and bratty baby sister, Tonya (Imani Hakim). Worst of all, his mother thinks the local school "breeds hoodlums," and she forces him to take two buses to one in an Italian neighborhood where he is the only African-American. "Those white kids, they get an education," she says in a voice that brooks no contradiction.

On the show, the school is named "Corleone Junior High School."

Chris's parents are loving but strict, and they don't have much money. When Chris, famished because a bully stole his lunch money, comes home from school and eats his father's big piece of chicken, there isn't anything else in the fridge.

There are no perfect childhoods on television anymore. By the 1970's and 80's, father not only did not know best, he was often dead. On many of the most popular sitcoms, from "One Day at a Time" to "Full House," at least one parent was absent. Nowadays, the fashion has swung back toward two parents raising their children under one roof, but the adults tend to be nutty and dysfunctional, as on "Malcolm in the Middle" or "Everybody Loves Raymond." (On that show, the adults were the children; Ray's small fry were basically props.)

And there is still an appetite for shows about single parents: on "Two and a Half Men," a divorced father moves in with his bachelor brother, and together they raise his son.

By contrast, "Everybody Hates Chris" is almost a throwback to "The Cosby Show," a series where even teenagers respect and appreciate their parents. "The Cosby Show" was considered a breakthrough in the 80's because it defied the stereotypes of "The Jeffersons" to depict an upper-middle-class black family. Chris's parents are not doctors or lawyers, and their neighborhood is at the center of the crack epidemic. "Much like rock 'n' roll, school shootings were also invented by blacks and stolen by the white man," Mr. Rock says in a voice-over.

His father, Julius (Terry Crews), works several jobs, including driving a truck at night, and his mother, Rochelle (Tichina Arnold), has a part-time clerical job. Chris feels oppressed at home and at school, but he understands why his parents are so strict. He is resigned to their foibles, not resentful.

His father is frugal. He can calculate the cost of wasted food or electricity down to the last penny, and does so at the top of his voice. "That's 49 cents of spilled milk dripping off my table," he hollers at no one in particular. "Somebody is going to drink that milk."

Chris's mother has an even more menacing way with her children. Warning her boys that she never wants to catch them spray painting graffiti on a wall, she says, "I'll put my foot so far up your behinds you'll have toes for teeth." Another time, she says, "I will slap the caps off of your knees."

Most comedies about the collision of parents and children are set in cozy middle-class America, where the adults are the protagonists at war with children who roll their eyes, talk back and fearlessly mock their parents' values. "Everybody Hates Chris" is the first show in a long time centered on a teenager whose main problem is not adolescent angst, but real life.

And Mr. Rock makes it funny, not maudlin or mean.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/22/ar...gewanted=print
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post #5203 of 25503 Old 09-22-2005, 08:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Nip/Tuck Premiere Sets Record for FX

By Jon Lafayette TVWeek.com

The season premiere of FX's "Nip/Tuck" on Tuesday drew a 4.4 household rating and 5.3 million viewers, making it the most-watched episode of any series in the network's history despite airing during the broadcast networks' premiere week.

"Nip/Tuck" attracted 3.7 million adults 18 to 49, beating shows on ABC, UPN and The WB. Ratings for the premiere of "Nip/Tuck" have increased in each of its three seasons. The special 90-minute episode was presented with limited commercial interruptions by Sony Pictures, which aired trailers for several of its films.

http://www.tvweek.com/news.cms?newsId=8590
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post #5204 of 25503 Old 09-22-2005, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Wednesday's network prime-time ratings - and Marc Berman's analysis of the first night of the 2005-2006 network prime time TV season --have posted near the top of Latest News the first item in this thread.
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post #5205 of 25503 Old 09-22-2005, 11:54 AM - Thread Starter
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TV SEASON PREVIEWS: THURSDAY
Everybody Hates Chris
UPN's hopes hitched to star

By Ed Bark Dallas Morning News September 22, 2005

LOS ANGELES - It only takes one star to lure an unusually large media gaggle to UPN's fall season press party on the Paramount Studios lot.

Not only that, Chris Rock's publicists are making him accessible rather than dropping him in and then quickly pulling him out.

"I'm glad to be here," Mr. Rock says when told that pumped little UPN is primed to have a "game-changer" this season with Everybody Hates Chris. "I like situations like this, where basically you're in a small college kind of setting. So you get better taken care of."

He's collaborating on his first broadcast TV series with longtime friend Ali LeRoi, who "knows me comedically better than anyone."

"He's my Larry David," Mr. Rock adds, referring to the off-screen co-creator of Seinfeld.

They're intent on making Everybody Hates Chris a "crossover" show.

"I don't think there's any such thing as white people's humor or black people's humor," Mr. Rock says. "When I was a kid, I didn't watch Rodney Dangerfield and go, 'Man, that white guy is funny!' Everybody on my block loved Rodney Dangerfield. In the 'hood, we thought he was the funniest thing ever."

While narrating Everybody Hates Chris, he's also hoping to make "the quintessential" sequel-worthy Chris Rock movie.

"I don't have one yet," he says. "I think I did pretty decent in Dogma and in The Longest Yard I did my thing as they say. But I still don't have anything like a Beverly Hills Cop."

Whatever happens, he won't take it home with him.

"I don't sit around and watch my stuff with my family. You go to my house, there are no awards anywhere and no show business pictures of me. That's not my style. You go to some stars' houses and it's like a shrine to them. I hate that stuff. It's just weird!"

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcont....18c8dba7.html
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post #5206 of 25503 Old 09-22-2005, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Martha's 'The Apprentice' lays an egg
NBC Trump knockoff scores a 2.5 in 18-49s

By Diego Vasquez MediaLifeMagazine.com Sep 22, 2005
For a new show, a 2.5 adults 18-49 rating is bad. For a new show that received as much hype as "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart," it's shockingly low.


The premiere of Stewart's new NBC reality spin-off averaged just a 2.5 Nielsen overnight rating among viewers 18-49 last night, tying for No. 2 in the timeslot with Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance."


ABC's "Destination Lost," a primer leading into the second season premiere of "Lost," was No. 1 in the 8 p.m. timeslot with a 5.6 average. For sure, the "Lost" special took a bite out of "Martha's" numbers, and she'll usually compete with the much lower-rated ABC sitcoms "George Lopez" and "Freddie."


But consider this: "Apprentice: MS" was just a slight 8.7 percent better than a 2.3 overnight rating for the premiere of "Hawaii" last year in the same timeslot. "Hawaii" was canceled after only a few weeks. Stewart's rating was a staggering 75.5 percent lower than the 9.4 overnight rating the first episode of Donald Trump's version of "Apprentice" averaged in January 2004, though that aired out of "Friends."


Stewart averaged 7.7 million total viewers, barely a third of "Lost's" 23 million at 9.


Many media people expected "Stewart" to win her timeslot among 18-49s this season if not post stunning numbers. That looks like it may not happen after week one.


The 9 p.m. "Lost" premiere came away as the night's top-rated show among 18-49s with a 10.0 average, a 53.8 percent increase versus a 6.5 overnight rating for its series premiere last year.

http://medialifemagazine.com/artman/...rticle_258.asp
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post #5207 of 25503 Old 09-22-2005, 12:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Coming, NBC's bigger Thursday hurt

By Toni Fitzgerald MediaLifeMagazine.com Sep 22, 2005

Two decades ago, NBC invented Thursday night as we've come to know it, Must See TV. Now, with the network in decline, all the others are mounting their most aggressive efforts to take what's left of NBC's audience.

It won't be pretty.

Since the upfront, all the buzz has been about the debut of UPN's Everybody Hates Chris, but NBC is at risk of losing viewers to a range of other shows as well.

Last season, its first without Friends, NBC's Thursday 18-34 audience fell by a third, hurt further by sharp declines for "Joey" and "Will & Grace" as the season wore on.

The network remained No. 1 for the night, but those declines were not lost on its competitors. This season, ABC, Fox and the WB, along with UPN, are counter-programming with shows very much aimed at 18-34s.

In this squabble, CBS has the least to worry about, since it targets an older viewer. Standing above the fray, it will easily remain No. 1 among 18-49s for the night.

When the nets unveiled their schedules for the fall season ABC, Fox, WB and UPN had all made major Thursday night changes, putting some of their strongest prospects for next season on a night where most of them have historically not been aggressive, notes the fall preview from media buying agency Carat.

Sensing NBC's vulnerability, UPN put its most-buzzed-about show ever on Thursday instead of, say, Monday. Chris will hurt Joey while buoying the network's other programs that night.

By contrast, the other three networks are pitting established shows opposite NBC's struggling ones, much the way CBS did so successfully with Survivor five years back.

They see vulnerabilities not only with Joey and Will & Grace but with Apprentice, which also lost audience last season.

ABC is moving cult hit Alias to Thursday at 8 p.m. The show won't do nearly as well as last season, when it followed Lost, but it does have an extremely loyal core audience that will follow the show anywhere on the schedule.

ABC learned last year, as ratings for Alias fell in late spring, that it would probably never be a mainstream hit, so why not throw it onto a night where the network has struggled for years? Even a diluted Alias will better what ABC had there last year.

The same can be said for the WB and Smallville, which moves to 8. Fox's The O.C. proved last year that younger-skewing shows can indeed thrive opposite NBC and CBS at 8.

As for Fox, it finally has a good companion for The O.C. in Reunion, which held most of the latter's 18-34 audience in its debut two weeks ago. That will hurt Apprentice.

Whither NBC in all this? That will surely be the big question on the minds of media buyers in these coming several weeks. Buyers were shocked at May's upfront when the network returned its waning Thursday schedule intact. Many wondered why the network didn't move Will & Grace or Joey to Tuesday night and instead lead off Thursday with the promising My Name is Earl.

Further, they couldn't figure out why a fading Apprentice was returning along with a new Martha Stewart version.

Several scenarios are possible. One is that the network thinks Donald Trump's edition won't last much longer anyway and is hoping to get a few more miles out of the show as it transitions viewers to its newest mogul, Martha Stewart, and her Wednesday edition. If Martha is a huge hit, the decline of Trump will be an acceptable loss.

Another is that the network is hoping that if Stewart is a hit, it will revive interest in the fading Trump edition, or at least stem the losses. A third is that NBC simply lacked anything to slide in place of Trump.

Regardless, Apprentice will be weaker, and that in turn will hurt 10 p.m.'s ER. NBC will fall out of first place among 18-34s on Thursday behind CBS and perhaps one of the other four upstarts, something that seemed unimaginable even last year.

http://medialifemagazine.com/artman/...rticle_239.asp
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post #5208 of 25503 Old 09-22-2005, 12:35 PM
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I really enjoyed Earl. I think it's going to provide me with some great laughs this season.

Did anyone notice any issues with the picture? It looked kind of soft with some ugly blocks in some scenes.

Lost started out with a bang. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed that show. Only thing missing is my Amazing Race and Smallville. Then it's on to 24 and Idol.

rather be lucky than good.
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post #5209 of 25503 Old 09-22-2005, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Psss! Snooper 'CSI' returns on the QT

By Diego Vasquez MediaLifeMagazine.com Sep 22, 2005

There has been some buzz about a good amount of shows heading into this fall TV season. We've heard all about Jason Lee's new show on NBC, Chris Rock's new show on UPN, Martha Stewart's new show on NBC and Martha Stewart's other new show in syndication.

But what we haven't heard much about is fall's top returning scripted show, CBS's "CSI." The show finished second only to the Tuesday night edition of Fox's "American Idol" in terms of total viewers last season, bringing in an average of 26.58 million each week.

It also finished No. 4 for the season with a 9.2 rating among viewers 18-49, behind the two "American Idols" and ABC's surprise hit "Desperate Housewives." And it has its season premiere tonioght at 9 PM ET/PT on CBS.

Coming off last year's kidnapper-driven, Quentin Tarantino-directed season finale, Grissom and the crew are back, investigating the deaths of two people found inside a burning trailer. Later, Catherine and Warrick look into the murder of a stripper then, in "CSI" fashion, come across even more bodies, giving viewers three times the murder cases for their bother.

Producers have promised that this season we'll find out what makes Grissom tick. Here's hoping it wasn't some long-past murder a la "CSI: Miami's" Horatio.

http://medialifemagazine.com/artman/...rticle_230.asp
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post #5210 of 25503 Old 09-22-2005, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
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TV SEASON PREVIEWS: THURSDAY
Not much to love in UPN series Love, Inc.

Tom Jicha Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel TV and Radio Writer September 22 2005

Matchmaking has come a long way since Fiddler on the Roof -- the wrong way, if you pay attention to Love, Inc. Fortunately, few people will. The lethal combination of a stupid show and a suicidal time slot makes this UPN series the early favorite to become the least watched of the fall's newcomers.

Busy Philipps, a secondary player as a tease on Dawson's Creek, gets star billing as Denise Johnson, a sparkplug at a full-service dating firm. Services include come-on lines to use and avoid; wardrobe and grooming hints, and conversation starters and stoppers.

The employees go so far as to serve as wingmen and women. For the un-hip, wing people go to clubs and, pretending to be strangers, build up their client's desirability to targets of their interest. It's as inane as it sounds.

Philipps, whose real first name is Elizabeth, inherited the role when Shannen Doherty was let go after the pilot was shown to advertisers last spring. Apparently the notion of the tempestuous Doherty helping people with relationships struck somebody as being as ridiculous as Ted Bundy lecturing on the dangers of hitchhiking.

In a sitcom this mindless, it practically goes without saying that all these dating experts have no love lives of their own.

Denise is still pining for the guy who dumped her in college.

Clea, who runs the company, is despondent because her husband just ran off with a younger woman.

Viviana, in a stereotypical characterization insulting to Latinos, has been trolling without success for any male who can help her get her green card.

Barry is the obligatory wacko, a space cadet so paranoid about the world around him that he doesn't trust store-bought toothpaste.

Holly Robinson Peete, who's far better than this role, plays Clea. Ion Overman is Viviana and Vince Vieluf is Barry. By this time next year -- maybe next month -- they all will be wishing you don't remember this.

http://www.southflorida.com/movies/s...e-tv-headlines
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post #5211 of 25503 Old 09-22-2005, 12:41 PM - Thread Starter
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TV SEASON PREVIEWS:THURSDAY
Love, Inc.

By Rick Kushman Sacramento Bee TV Columnist

A full-service matchmaking operation - it offers advice on what to eat on a date and even provides a "wingwoman" - is run by the newly divorced Clea (Holly Robinson Peete), who could use a match herself, and by her wacky gang who could use, I dunno, less wackiness.

What's What: Not as bad as it sounds. No, really. True, it's not great, but it has its moments and a bit of chemistry among the cast mebers. Guess that's worth something.

Rickster Scale: 2

http://www.sacbee.com/content/lifest...14413378c.html
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post #5212 of 25503 Old 09-22-2005, 12:42 PM - Thread Starter
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TV SEASON PREVIEWS:THURSDAY
Love, Inc.

By Amy Amatangelo The Washington Post

The tagline you'll never see: And starring Shannen Doherty as Denise!

The basics: Newly divorced Clea (Holly Robinson Peete) runs a matchmaking service with the help of her best gal pal, Denise (Busy Philipps). The ladies fancy themselves "wing women" -- out to find girlfriends for the most desperate of men. Clea, Denise, and Francine (Reagan Gomez-Preston) rid hapless men of their bad pickup lines, pocket protectors and sci-fi obsessions. The only problem is that unlucky-in-love Denise seems to be able to help everyone else but herself.

The lowdown: Usually Doherty leaves a series amid a rumors of on-set strife ("Beverly Hills, 90210" and "Charmed"). This time "Love, Inc." avoided possible conflict by booting Doherty soon after the show was picked up. The newly brunette Philipps ("Freaks and Geeks") brings more charm and less edge to the role. The entire cast seems to have followed her lead and taken their performance down a notch. And some of the best lines go to goofy Barry (Vince Vieluf), whose oddball observations ("Why are movie stars on the cover of 'TV Guide?'") could become the show's signature moment.

Reality check: "Love, Inc." has one of the few seamlessly integrated casts on TV. Alas, Ion Overman's Viviana is reduced to a one-note character. Every man she meets, talks to or hears about is a potential husband. Our advice for the lovelorn? Lose that shtick fast. The show has the potential to be much more clever.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...301184_pf.html
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post #5213 of 25503 Old 09-22-2005, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
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TV SEASON PREVIEWS:THURSDAY
Love, Inc.

By Melanie McFarland Seattle Post-Intelligencer TV Critic

With: Holly Robinson Peete, Busy Philipps, Reagan Gomez-Preston, Ion Overman and Vince Vieluf

Premise: A matchmaking business founded and owned by Clea (Peete) takes a hands-on approach to helping clients find love by sending them out with wingwomen and/or a wingman. Topping the ranks is Clea's partner Denise (Philipps), who excels in hooking up others but can't get lucky herself. Also populating the office is fellow wingperson Francine (Gomez-Preston), Viviana, the unnaturally funny receptionist (Overman), and Barry the wingman (Vieluf).

The Word According to Us: Philipps was a late addition to the cast, replacing Peete's original co-star Shannen Doherty. We wonder whether the problem isn't in the casting but the paper-thin punch lines. No, wait, we don't wonder ... we know that's the problem.

Would We Watch Again? Life's too short, and the second half of "CSI" is on. Translation: no.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/printe...0677_tv15.html
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post #5214 of 25503 Old 09-22-2005, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
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TV SEASON PREVIEWS:THURSDAY
Love, Inc.

The Los Angeles Times

Stars: Reagan Gomez-Preston ("Beauty Shop"), Ion Overman, Vince Vieluf ("Grind"), Holly Robinson Peete ("For Your Love," "Hangin' With Mr. Cooper"), Busy Philipps ("Dawson's Creek," "Freaks and Geeks").

The premise: Robinson Peete and Philipps (replacing Shannen Doherty) run a dating service, though each is herself unlucky in love. (Yentas, match thyselves!) Wacky co-workers and crazy clients fill out the picture.

http://www.calendarlive.com/printedi...rint.htmlstory
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post #5215 of 25503 Old 09-22-2005, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
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TV SEASON PREVIEWS: THURSDAY
Everybody Hates Chris

Whuppin' With Laughter

By Chip Crews Washington Post Staff Writer September 22, 2005

If you like Chris Rock -- and you really ought to -- you should be more than happy with "Everybody Hates Chris," the comedian's wonderfully original and very funny new sitcom. The UPN series, premiering tonight at 8 on Channel 20, depicts Rock's growing-up years, so he doesn't appear on it, but he narrates it to great effect. And the whole speedy half-hour is suffused with his rueful-quirky-goofy sensibility.

"Before I was a comedian, I thought the coolest thing that would happen to me was to be a teenager," Rock muses at the outset of tonight's episode. "Boy, was I wrong."

His remembrance is interrupted by the first appearance of his mother, Rochelle (Tichina Arnold).

"Chris! Get in the bathroom and wipe the pee off the toilet seat! Disgusting!"

Rochelle is scary -- a rough customer, more than able to stand up to her penny-counting husband, Julius (Terry Crews). ("That's 49 cent of spilt milk dripping all over my table," he cries after a kitchen accident. "Somebody gonna drink this milk!") It's Rock's gift, and the show's, that the two are depicted affectionately, but it's always clear that they weren't easy people to be around.

Young Chris is played by Tyler James Williams, who really seems as if he could grow up to be Chris Rock. The character can be mouthy with people his age, but even when he's living stoically through a siege of adult oppression, you can see the wheels turning -- this kid is smart and cunning. And Williams is a true discovery.

Chris is the firstborn, but his brother, Drew (Tequan Richmond), is taller and "so cool, he got girls at 10 that I couldn't get till I was 30." Their little sister, Tonya (Imani Hakim) -- Dad's favorite -- rounds out the brood. "Since I was the oldest, I had to be the emergency adult," Rock tells us.

The story opens in 1982, "the year I turned 13," and Rochelle has engineered a move from the projects to the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. The neighborhood turns out to be tougher than anybody realized, but Rochelle is ferociously determined that her three kids grow up the right way. Observing a graffiti artist at work, she announces, "If I ever catch any of y'all spraying on anybody's wall I'm gonna stick my foot so far up your behind, you'll have toes for teeth!"

Rock's narration sums it up: "She had a hundred recipes for whuppin' ass."

Rochelle's foot isn't the only threat to young Chris's behind. Disapproving of the nearby junior high, she sends her eldest to an otherwise all-white school in a distant part of the city where, he tells us, he could receive "not a Harvard-type education, just a not-sticking-up-a-liquor-store-type education." There he is beset by a pudgy and popular bully named Joey Caruso. "Nice shoes, Bojangles," the kid calls out to him -- an early salvo in what will become a very personal war.

Rock created the show with writer Ali LeRoi, and the two clearly cohabit the same wavelength. You could argue that the characters of Rochelle and Julius revert at times to stereotype, but only if you were determined to find fault. The cast is uniformly strong, and the foibled characters feel rooted in real life.

Through the history of the medium there have been classic TV families -- the Ricardos, the Petries, the Bunkers, the Huxtables, a few others. It's too early to say that the "Everybody Hates Chris" quintet will join that list. But it's a mark of the show's promise that the idea does come to mind.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...102405_pf.html
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post #5216 of 25503 Old 09-22-2005, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
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TV SEASON PREVIEWS
'Criminal Minds'

The Los Angeles Times

Stars: Mandy Patinkin ("Dead Like Me," "Chicago Hope"), Thomas Gibson ("Dharma & Greg," "Chicago Hope"), Shemar Moore ("Diary of a Mad Black Woman"), Matthew Gray Gubler, Lola Glaudini, A.J. Cook.

The premise: The constitutionally intense, helplessly rabbinical Patinkin is well cast as the latest in what is turning into a long line of uncannily accurate, slightly disturbed criminal profilers, back in the saddle for the FBI from an unscheduled hiatus after the death of a partner. Gibson is the team's cool head, Gubler the misfit genius full of facts and statistics some of them actually quite interesting.

http://www.calendarlive.com/printedi...rint.htmlstory
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post #5217 of 25503 Old 09-22-2005, 12:54 PM - Thread Starter
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TV SEASON PREVIEWS
'Criminal Minds'

By Scott D. Pierce Salt Lake City Deseret Morning News

CRIMINAL MINDS is not only one crime-drama too many for CBS, but it's the most reprehensible show of the year. Gross, gratuitous violence makes this nothing short of stomach-churning exploitation.

It's about a group of FBI "mind hunters," who piece together portraits of horrific killers. (The cast includes Mandy Patinkin of "Chicago Hope," Thomas Gibson of "Dharma & Greg" and Shemar Moore of "The Young & the Restless.")

Thursday's premiere is excessive in its portrayal of a woman who's been kidnapped and held in a cage. But that's nothing compared to the second episode (which airs in "Mind's" regular time slot on Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 8 p.m.) that's nothing short of horrific in its repeated footage of people being burned to death.

Again, the most applicable word here is reprehensible.

http://www.desnews.com/dn/print/1,14...152287,00.html
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post #5218 of 25503 Old 09-22-2005, 12:55 PM - Thread Starter
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TV SEASON PREVIEWS
'Criminal Minds'

By Amy Amatangelo The Washington Post

(Previews Thursday at 10 PM ET/PT on CBS; regular time is Wednesdays at 9 PM ET/PT starting Sept. 28)

The tagline you'll never see: CSI Minus DNA.

The basics: Yes, another CBS crime procedural, but not from the Bruckheimer factory. This one is set at the FBI Academy in Quantico and features a team of agents who deconstruct the psyches of evildoers, hoping to derail their violent track records. Leading the squad is Jason Gideon (Mandy Patinkin), whose superior skills and smarts may be strained by his recovery from a job-related nervous breakdown. ("They don't call them that anymore," he reminds a colleague.) Aided by fellow agents (played by Thomas Gibson, Shemar Moore and Lola Glaudini), Gideon puzzles out the actions of arsonists, killers and sadists, collecting clues as he quotes Churchill and Nietzsche. He also likes to cut to the chase: In a standoff with a suspect, he repeatedly insults the guy's manhood, prompting the perp to shoot Gideon instead of a female hostage.

The lowdown: Ed Bernero, one of the executive producers, told critics he is not fascinated by serial killers, but by those who "dedicate their lives to spending time around the worst-possible human beings." Storylines are based on real criminal cases, including that of the 1970s Trailside Killer in San Francisco. Once it settles into its regular time slot, "Criminal Minds" goes up against ratings-grabbing "Lost" -- and at that point, it will be lost.

Reality check: Patinkin's methodical intensity is believable, as is the profilers' brainstorming to unravel a depraved thought process. But it's hard not to recoil from the vicious nature of the crimes, even if most of the brutality occurs off camera.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...301184_pf.html
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post #5219 of 25503 Old 09-22-2005, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
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TV SEASON PREVIEWS
'Criminal Minds'

By Chip Crews Washington Post Staff Writer September 22, 2005

Even the most elusive serial killers are going to be in trouble on CBS this season now that the "Criminal Minds" team is on the scene. This pompous, rather absurd hour-long drama, premiering tonight at 10 on Channel 9 (but airing henceforth on Wednesdays at 9), features a crew of crime-stoppers so brilliant they'd be the marvel of a Mensa meeting.

Mandy Patinkin, in what will presumably be a non-singing role, plays Jason Gideon, head genius of an FBI unit devoted to solving serial murders. (We know he's a genius because he's forever offering up enigmatic quotes from Emerson, Beckett, Churchill and Nietzsche.) He's been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder for a few months -- something about a case in Boston that went sour -- but is lending his expertise to other agents.

He's just figured out that an at-large Virginia murderer known as the Footpath Killer probably has a stutter because he employs surprise, isolation and great force to overcome his victims. The stutter, Gideon concludes, prevents him from using charm and guile to lure them into harm's way.

Gideon is pulled off the footpath and back to the field by the case of the Seattle Strangler: Four women abducted and murdered over the preceding four months. This killer is particularly monstrous, keeping his victims alive and abusing them for a week or so before dispatching them. The imprisonment allows for some ugly and sadistic footage as the hour wears on.

So it's off to Seattle with a team of fellow agents, all young and beautiful, chief among them Aaron Hotch (Thomas Gibson, late of "Dharma & Greg"), Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore) and Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler). They occasionally express concerns about Gideon's state of mind, but they also marvel at the lightning mental connections he's always making.

That's really saying something, because they all seem to be geniuses, too. When Hotch and Reid interview the boyfriend of the latest victim, they notice some Datsun Z-car literature in the apartment. Did she drive a Datsun? No, the boyfriend replies, but she wanted to buy one. In less time than it would take to type their lines, the two have ascertained -- correctly, of course -- that the killer lured her to meet him by advertising a Datsun online and promising her a test drive.

These boys could find Jimmy Hoffa on their lunch hour.

The atmosphere of the show is generally dark and portentous. Tonight's victim is displayed from time to time, sitting terrified and degraded in a cage, her eyes taped shut as the kidnapper taunts and bullies her. At one point, sickeningly, he takes her hand and trims her nails very short. These sequences are brief, and the creative team undoubtedly believes it's showing a lot of restraint. But you may find yourself asking, with so many TV crime-solvers to choose from, is this particular trip necessary?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...102405_pf.html
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post #5220 of 25503 Old 09-22-2005, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
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TV SEASON PREVIEWS
Criminal Minds

By Rick Kushman Sacramento Bee TV Columnist

Still another crime procedural from the Jerry Bruckheimer stable. An elite squad of FBI profilers goes after some of the most-dangerous, least-stable criminals in the country. They're led by a brilliant guy (Mandy Patinkin) who's got his own stability issues.

What's What: Smart, energetic, well-produced, like so many shows from Bruckheimer. Not a lot new here, but anything with Patinkin is worth a try.

Rickster Scale: 3

http://www.sacbee.com/content/lifest...14413378c.html
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