Movies & TV / Columns

Two Tivos To Paradise 02.15.13: The Walking Dead, Community, Happy Endings, The Vampire Diaries, and more!

February 15, 2013 | Posted by Al Norton

Hello friends. I hope everyone made it through Nemo unscathed. We got more snow than I’ve ever shoveled before – more than two feet of it!!! – and spent multiple hours over three days outside making sure my sidewalk and driveway were clear as well as digging Mrs. Tivo car out from the street (the big SUV goes in front of the house). The twins LOVED it as this was the first big storm since they’ve been big enough to really go outside and play in it. The downside was being (for the most part) stuck inside for four days; I am not sure what exhausted me more, the snow cleanup or the kids running around all day. Thankfully we had no damage and never lost power but friends and family who live close by had all sorts of electricity and heating issues, so if you were a part of that at all, I hope you are back to full strength.

Here’s a new look at Showtime’s upcoming Ray Donovan

And a teaser for the new season of Game of Thrones

And finally, here’s the first trailer for NBC’s upcoming relationship reality show Ready for Love

Don’t you worry, don’t you worry child, see heaven’s got a plan for news.

Everybody Sing, Everybody Dance, Lose Yourself In Wild Romance
In one of the more shocking developments in recent TV history, Christina Applegate announced last Friday she is leaving Up All Night. The show is currently in the middle of a huge behind-the-scenes shift, going from a single camera show to a multi-camera show that shoots in front of a live studio audience. Series creator Emily Spivey left over creative differences earlier in the year and the most recent showrunner left earlier in the year. Applegate statement said the she had enjoyed working on the show but it was going in a different creative direction and she thought it a good time to leave.

The original plan was to film 5 episodes of Up All Night in the new, multi-camera/live studio audience format, the departure of series stat Christina Applegate has caused NBC to cut that order to one, with legendary TV director James Burroughs in charge of the half hour. There is no word yet on if Applegate’s role will be recast, although there was much buzz last week that Lisa Kudrow was being pursued. The cast is going to push for a decision on the future of the show being made sooner than later as Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph would be much in demand for pilot season if they were available. Applegate’s agent’s phone has likely been ringing off the hook since she quit the show last week as she has jumped to the top of the comedy pilot wish list for most networks.

I’ve written extensively about the wasted opportunity that is Up All Night. The pilot was one of the best I’ve seen while writing TTTP, an incredibly real and incredibly funny look at a couple in their 30’s raising their first child. One those parents worked at a PR firm and happened to have a bit of a crazy boss, who was featured in an entertaining supporting role in that first episode. I watched it in the summer and by the time it got to air the focus of the show had shifted and it was now about a woman who worked for a crazy talk show host and who also happened to be a new parent.

I have always blamed Lorne Michaels, an executive producer on the show, for trying to inject WAY too much 30 Rock into a show that should have been grounded in reality, the latter being a realm Michaels has never show a talent for/interest in. Maya Rudolph’s Ava, a clear caricature who belonged in an SNL sketch, became front and center and the show never recovered. The switch to a multi-camera format came with rumors that the show would become even more based at the talk show (and less at home, less about parents, less having anything to do with the actual original concept of the show).

NBC has spent a lot of money converting the studio the show was filmed in to allow for the multi-camera format, including adding space for a live studio audience, so I get why they want to at least film one episode to see what they have. I would say I would be truly shocked if the show came back in the fall in any form but this is TV, so anything can happen.

Hello World, Here’s The Song I’m Singing
ABC has pulled Happy Endings from Tuesday nights at 9pm, scheduling the remaining episodes to air in a one hour block on Fridays at 8pm starting March 29th (after Last Man Standing and Malibu Country have finished their seasons). Next week a special episode of The Bachelor airs Tuesday at 9 and then as of 2/26 it will be Celebrity Wife Swap at 8pm, with The Taste moving back to 9pm. Later in March Tuesdays 8 – 10 will be filled with Splash (the celebrity diving show) and the DWTS results show.

Obviously this is not good news for fans – like me – of the very funny comedy. I thought it was a bad move when ABC, Fox, and NBC all scheduled comedies for Tuesdays from 9 – 10, as it was clear not all of them would survive despite all of them being of decent or better quality. New Girl has done solidly and Go On has been an up-and-down performer, but Don’t Trust the B- in Apt 23 has already been cancelled, The Mindy Project and The New Normal are bubble shows (although both more likely to come back than not), and now Happy Endings is banished to Fridays to finish its run. There is a slim chance that strong numbers on Friday could cause the show to get another life but at this point I think fans should start to prep for an Endings-less existence come the end of the spring.

If You’re Blue And You Don’t Know Where To Go To Why Don’t You Go Where Fashion Sits?
On April 22nd G4 becomes Esquire Network, with current G4 general manager Adam Stotsky working with Esquire editor in chief David Granger to shape the image/style of the channel. American Ninja Warrior will be back for a 5th season, and they will air reruns of Parks and Recreation and Party Down, with the likes of Drew Barrymore and Anthony Bourdain working as executive producers on new programming.

I know some readers are disappointed that G4 is gone and I feel they’re pain – never a good thing to lose a part of your TV world, whether it’s a specific series or an entire network – but I like the direction they are heading. There are multiple networks that target women as their primary audience, some going more high brow than others, but right now Spike is just about it when it comes to men’s networks, so why not a channel that aims a bit higher?

First off, Parks and Recreation & Party Down reruns are a brilliant start to any network. The show Barrymore is working on is called Knife Fight; hosted by Top Chef winner Ilan Hall, it’s a reality show where high quality chefs do battle in an underground party scene setting in front of a live audience that includes celebrities. Bourdain’s show, currently titled The Getaway, finds famous folks taking the audience on a tour of their favorite cities, showing their favorite restaurants, hang outs, places to stay, and hot spots for entertainment.

The network is part of the NBCU umbrella so it will have plenty of financial backing as well as time to find its audience, and I see no reason to think this can’t become as successful for them as, say, Oxygen has. I think men will respond well to something that doesn’t insult them or peg them as all violence loving, video game playing, sex obsessed mouth breathers. At least I hope they will.

Like A Coin In Your Mint, I Am Dented And I’m Spent With High Treason
For the past few months we’ve told you about new programming the big five networks have in development but now we’ve entered the next stage, with pilots being ordered for the 2013-2014 season…FYI – Any show listed below has been given said order…

Maggie Lawson (Psych) has been cast as the female lead opposite James Caan in an untitled ABC comedy about a former pro baseball player whose life is turned upside when his daughter and grandkids move in with him…

Emma Roberts and TTTP fave Billy Campbell are starring in Delirium; set in a future world where love is illegal, Roberts is 95 days away from the procedure that procedure that erases the concept from your brain when she falls for someone. Campbell plays the head of the group pushing for world to be love-sterilized as it leads to a more peaceful, orderly society. The show is based on a bestselling series of books by Lauren Oliver and is executive produced by Karyn Usher (Bones, Touch, Prison Break)… Emmy winner Andre Braugher has been cast as Andy Samberg’s boss in an untitled Fox comedy from the creators of Parks and Recreation. Braugher is once again playing a cop, the Captain in charge of the precinct on the outskirts of NYC that Samberg is a detective at, with Terry Crews and Stephanie Beatriz (she just played Sofia Vergara’s sister on Modern Family) also in the cast…

TTTP fave David Walton (Bent, New Girl) will play the lead in About a Boy, an adaptation of the Nick Hornby novel of the same name that will be written and executive produced by Jason Katims (Parenthood, Friday Night Lights) and directed by Jon Favreau. Golden Globe winner Minnie Driver will play the boy in the title’s newly divorced Mom…Jonathan Banks (Breaking Bad), Norty winner KaDee Strickland (Private Practice), and XX (The 9 Lives of Chloe King) have landed a lead role in Bloodline, a pulp noir drama about a young woman caught between two warring families of assassins…Christina Ricci will play the lead in Girlfriend in a Coma, a comedy about a young woman who wakes up after being in a coma for 18 years to find she has a 17 year old daughter (she was pregnant and didn’t know it when she was in the accident that caused her coma). Nurse Jackie co-creator Liz Brixius is executive producing along with Dick Wolf…Parker Posey and JK Simons will play Mom and Dad in an untitled comedy from DJ Nash where a family seems to come together as a stronger unit once the parents have divorced…Mike O’Malley has joined the cast of Welcome to the Family, a comedy about two very different families who come together when a pregnancy occurs involving one young member of each. O’Malley plays the grandfather-to-be of one of the families

Barry Sonnenfeld will direct CBS’ Beverly Hills Cop pilot. Sonnenfeld has directed Get Shorty, Men In Black, and The Addams Family on the big screen and his TV resume includes Pushing Daisies (he won an Emmy for the pilot), The Tick, and Notes From the Underbelly…James Wolk (Lone Star, Political Animals, Happy Endings) has signed on the cast of The Crazy Ones, David E Kelley’s comedy where Robin Williams plays an advertising executive who is partnered with his daughter…Catherine Hardwick (Twilight) will direct Reckless, a legal drama from the creative team behind The Ghost Whisperer, focusing on a Northern lawyer teaming up with a Southern attorney to help uncover police corruption in Charleston, South Carolina. The attraction between the two is a large part of the show, as is the show’s location…Patrick Warburton will star in Jacked Up, a comedy about a major league baseball star having a tough time adjusting to being retired. Obviously this is in second position to Rules of Engagement…Tad Quill (Bent) is writing and executive producing a comedy about a widower who is raising his 12 year old son and starting to date again…Nate Corddry (Harry’s Law, Studio 60) has signed on to Chuck Lorre’s Mom, playing the married boss that Anna Farris’ character is having an affair with. Emmy winner Alison Janney is also in the cast as Farris’ Mother…Josh Holloway (Lost) has been cast in the CBS pilot Intelligence, about a team working out of US Cyber Command where one agent has had a chip put in his head so he has access to the entire electromagnetic spectrum – think Chuck minus the laughs. The pilot is written by Michael Seitzman (North Country) and will have Emmy nominated director David Semel (Homeland, Life, Heroes, House, Studio 60) behind the camera…Dylan McDermott and Toni Collette are set to star in the Jerry Bruckheimer produced Hostage. Written by Jeffrey Nachamanoff (Homeland, Chicago Fire, The Day After Tomorrow), the show is an adaptation of an Israeli show, with Oscar/Emmy/Golden Globe nominee Collette playing a surgeon who is set to operate on the President of the United States when her family is taken hostage. Golden Globe winner McDermott plays an FBI agent trying to unravel the conspiracy… Rupert Grint, best known for playing Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter films, will star in the CBS comedy pilot Super Clyde, playing a fast food employee who decides to become a superhero. Greg Garcia (Raising Hope, My Name is Earl) is writing and executive producing, with Mike Fresco, whose directing resume includes such diverse titles as Better Off Ted, The OC, LA Law, Northern Exposure, JAG, and Aliens in America, behind the camera for the pilot as well as executive produce…

The CW
Aimee Teegarden (Friday Night Lights) will star in Oxygen; a spaceship crash lands on earth, with the passengers held in confinement for years before a few are released into society for integration, with Teegarden playing a teenager who falls in love with one of them…

It’s Time To Play The Music, It’s Time To Light The Lights
The Muppet Show video of the week…

But You Were Up To Your Old Tricks In Chapters Four Five And Six
Ratings Notes From The Last Seven Days…

Impractical Jokers, a show that has some passionate fans among the TTTP readership, hit a new series high last night with just over 2 million viewers. The show is enjoying ratings increases across the board from season one, with the average viewership up 36% in total viewers and a whopping 49% in the demos…Community opened up 10% from its season three premiere (an episode that did NOT air opposite American Idol) and jumped an impressive 38% from the season finale last spring, giving NBC its best demo performance in the Thursday at 8pm slot in almost a year…Parks and Recreation hit a season high in the demos…Do No Harm was down 22% from its already dangerously low premiere numbers, finishing last on the night…,B>The Big Bang Theory was up 13% in the demos, winning the night in that measure as well as in total viewers…Scandal hit a series high in the demos, winning 10pm in that measure handily (again)…Grey’s Anatomy was up 11% but still finished second to Person of Interest in totals and demos…

Shark Tank won the night in demos while Blue Bloods was the most watched show of the night…Nikita was up 25% in the demos to a season high…Last Man Standing was up 14%, with Malibu Country up 8%…The season premiere of Touch was down 23% from last spring’s finale…CSI: NY tied a season high in the demos…The Job premiered with less than half the demos that Undercover Boss’ season premiere put up in the same spot in November…

The Walking Dead returned last night to record numbers, with the 12.3 million who tuned in representing a new series high (the previous high was 10.9 million for the season premiere last October). The demos were the best for a basic cable series EVER. As we frequently mention here when calling The Walking Dead the biggest show on TV, the demos they put up easily topped anything on network TV, including mega-hits like The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, and NCIS. Combined with the replays later in the night the total viewership for the episode reached 16.6 million, a number that will grow even higher when Live + 24 hours and Live + 3 Day stats are factored in…The 55th Annual Grammy Awards were down from last year – to be expected as last year’s ceremony drew much higher than usual numbers due to the death of Whitney Houston – but the 28.4 million viewers made it the second most watched telecast in the last 20 years and easily won the night in totals and demos…Once Upon a Time and Revenge were each down 10% to series lows…Family Guy was down 17% but still came in with the highest demos for any regularly scheduled program on the evening…

The Bachelor hit season highs in totals and demos…Hawaii 5-0 won 10pm in totals and demos…Deception was up 18% in the demos but still finished last at 10pm…2 Broke Girls was the evenings top demo performer…The Following was down 17% in the demos but is still up 30+% from what Alcatraz was doing in that spot last year as well as in huge amounts from Mob Doctor earlier this year…Overall a down night, with HIMYM, Rules of Engagement, Mike & Molly, 2 Broke Girls, Hawaii 5–0, Bones, Carrie Diaries, and 90210 down from their previous demo performances…

The State of the Union was down double digits from last year, with ABC being the broadcast network most watched during the address and Fox News being the top cable outlet…Cougar Town took full advantage of the lack of network competition to post season highs in totals and demos. Despite the less than stellar season premiere numbers, the show has been steady so far for TBS, and much as the same with ABC, it enjoys large gains when the Live + 3 Day numbers are calculated.

Survivor opened down 23% from last fall’s opener, putting up the lowest demos in series history for a season premiere…American Idol won the night in totals and demos but with the lowest totals and demos for a Wednesday episode since 2002 (the show’s first season)…SVU was up 7% from last week…Arrow jumped a smidge in the demos…Modern Family was up 3% and won the night in scripted demos…The Middle hit a season low, as did Guys with Kids

All The Young Dudes, Carry The News
Industry News, Notes, and Hot Rumors…The CW gave early 2013-2014 pickups to The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, and Arrow…NBC pulled Do No Harm from their lineup after two episodes, replacing it for the time being with SVU reruns. The premiere episode set a record for lowest in-season premiere of a scripted series in the history of the big 4 and last night’s demos were down 20+% from there, so this news is hardly a shock. Hannibal will take over the time slot come April. The remaining 11 episodes of Do No Harm are not likely to air, perhaps being available on the network’s website at some point down the line…FX has given a 13 episode first season order to The Bridge, an adaptation of a Danish/Swedish show the follows two law enforcement officials – one from El Paso, TX and the other Juarez, Mexico – who pair up to track a serial killer who is active on both sides of the border. The show is written by Meredith Stiehm (writer & executive producer on Homeland, creator of Cold Case) and Elwood Reid (Hawaii 5-0, Cold Case) and stars Oscar nominee Demian Bichir and Diane Kruger (Inglorious Bastards)…The NCIS: LA spinoff being launched via a backdoor pilot this spring is rounding out its cast; we told you earlier in the week that John Corbett and Edwin Hodge were part of the team, and now comes word that Kim Raver (Grey’s Anatomy, Revolution, 24) has landed the female lead, with Jericho alumni Kenneth Mitchell also on board. Miguel Ferrer, currently a regular on NCIS: LA, will be appear on both shows should the spinoff get picked up (who are we kidding; how is CBS NOT going to pick up another NCIS?!?!)…Jonathan Groff (Glee, Boss) will star in an untitled HBO pilot about modern day gay life in San Francisco…Oscar winner Chris Cooper has signed to star in Discovery Channel’s first scripted project, the mini-series Klondike…HBO has ordered a pilot for The Leftovers, an adaptation of Tom Perrotta’s novel about the folks left on the earth after the rapture; Damon Lindelof (Lost) and Perrotta will executive produce…Showtime has ordered a pilot for The Affair, a series that looks at both sides of an extra-marital affair. Sarah Treem is writing the pilot, with Hagai Levi executive producing, reuniting the two from their work on In Treatment. The pilot will be directed by Mark Mylod (Shameless, Entourage)… Ridley Scott is executive producing a four part mini-series adaptation of Phillip K Dick’s novel The Man in the High Castle for Syfy, written by Frank Spotnitz (also executive producing), whose writing and producing resume includes The X-Files, Millennium, The Lone Gunman, and Hunted…The CW has signed all three of “the originals” – Clare Holt (Rebekah), Joseph Morgan (Klaus), and Daniel Gilles (Elijah) – to guest on the April 25th episode of The Vampire Diaries that will serve as the backdoor pilot for The Originals, a spinoff series the network is considering for its 2013 – 2014 lineup. The show would be set in New Orleans and the launch episode is written by Diaries co-creator Julie Plec…AMC is developing The Terror, an adaptation of Dan Simmons’ 2007 bestselling novel about an 1847 Royal Navy expedition to the Northwest Passage that uncovers a vicious monster that threatens to destroy the region and its people…Tommy Dewey, fresh off a stint on The Mindy Project (he played her sports agent boyfriend for a few episodes) has landed one of the leads in Fox’s Dads, a comedy executive produced by Seth MacFarlane and written by Ted co-writers Alex Sulkin and Wellesly Wild that the network bypassed the pilot stage with and gave a six episode order for. Dewey plays one of two highly successful guys whose lives change dramatically when their Dads move in with them…Peter Sarsgaard has joined the cast of The Killing for the AMC drama’s upcoming third season, his first foray into the world of series television…Lisa Edelstein, who begins what appears to be a steamy run on House of Lies this week, has signed on for a guest turn on Scandal later this season. The House alum has been busy this year, with appearances on The Good Wife and Elementary as well…Busy week for Style, ordering three new shows plus putting a 4th in development; Pop Style (the network’s first live show, a weekly roundtable discussion about all-things fashion), Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous (a new version of the 80’s classic), and Luxe Life Miami (Apprentice alum Katrina Campins runs high profile real estate company with her ex-husband, her Mom, and her younger sister) all got first season orders while Glam Squad (executive produced by Oscar winner Charleze Theron follows hairstylists and makeup artists competing for Hollywood jobs) is in development with an eye towards a spring pickup…Nick Kroll (The League, Kroll Show) has been cast as Nick’s brother on New Girl, with Bill Burr signed on to play Nick’s cousin. Kroll, who was back on Parks and Rec last week, is clearly getting some momentum as a guest actor and while Burr is best known for being a very funny standup comedian, he had a great turn on Breaking Bad last season…

Turns Out Not Where But Who You’re With That Really Matters
The Best of What’s Around AKA The Best Thing I’ve Watched In The Last Seven Days…
My excitement for the return of Community made it virtually impossible for the show to meet expectations, which is why it is so stunning that not only was the show as good as I had hoped, it was even better, one of the best half hours of network comedy of the season. I have said many times that no current show – perhaps no show in history – has simultaneously mocked and loved television with as much sharpness and passion as Community, and the season premiere was yet another example. The show in Abed’s head was as brilliant and dead-on as anything the show has ever done, and Greendale Babies was truly inspired.

There have been a lot of critics and fans saying the show was not the same without Dan Harmon overseeing the series but I am fairly certain that if we lived in a world where a change in showrunners was not publicized, no difference in the show would have been noticed.

And if that weren’t enough for last Thursday’s entertainment, Joel McHale did a great guest appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon as well…

People Say I’m Crazy Doing What I’m Doing. Well, They Give Me All Kinds Of Warnings To Save Me From Ruin
What’s flashed before my eyes the last seven days…

Brian Williams visit to The Soup last week was perhaps the best celebrity cameo in series history, and that includes the history of the franchise (so yes, I am including Dustin Hoffman giving the juice to John Henson)…This week’s Suits was yet another high quality episode in the show’s march to a Norty nomination for Best Drama Series. Rick Hoffman continues to bring new levels to Louis; I genuinely believed his threat on Daniel’s life in that remarkable elevator scene. Speaking of Daniel, is there a better real-life villain on TV right now? David Costabile deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Jimmy Smits, Walton Goggins, and Ray Romano when discussing the season’s best guest performances…I gave VH-1’s new Jenny McCarthy Show a try last night, lasting all of 8 minutes before realizing I was just not going to find it in any way entertaining. On the other hand, if you are someone who thinks Chelsea Handler or Whitney Cummings is not a top level performer, watch Jenny’s new show and then episodes of Chelsea Lately and Love You Mean It and you’ll be starting a grassroots Peabody campaign for the E! girls in no time…Was thrilled beyond belief when Glee covered the late 80’s gem Make No Mistake She’s Mine, a # 1 country duet from Kenny Rogers and Ronnie Millsap; I got to show the twins that I still know every word. Solid episode with very good music; Santana’s Girl on Fire at the end was the very definition of a showstopper…The last two weeks of Raising Hope have been the best four episodes in a row the show has done in its three seasons, high praise for a show I already greatly admired. Hope actually has a lot in common with Community in that it, too, recognizes its audience watches and loves TV and uses that common point of interest as a way of bonding with the audience…Really enjoyed the breast feeding episode of The New Normal, which once again takes a pop culture issue and then looks at all sides of it, poking fun at all the various points of view. Laughed out loud more than once, and I got some Stamos, too…Ruby selecting The Mysterious Island as a reading choice for Belle (Emilie de Ravin aka Lost’s Claire) on Sunday’s Once Upon a Time made me laugh out loud, likely the TV in-joke of the week…Last week’s Justified was a master class in economical scene stealing, with Jere Burns, Mike O’Malley, Patton Oswalt, Gerald McRaney, Rick Gomez, Natalie Zea, and Stephen Tobolowsky all making very strong impressions in small amounts of screen time. Even better, Raylan and Boyd shared the screen for the first time this season. That was followed this week with an episode that was further evidence in my argument that Ava and Boyd are one of the best couples on TV…Continuing to enjoy Arrow; even when the “person on the list” of the week isn’t all that interesting, they always provide some sort of insight into an aspect of one of the regular character’s personality. I also like that Oliver’s best friend is getting a solid B story and that John Barrowman’s Malcolm Merlyn is becoming a more rounded arch-nemesis. I still find Oliver’s sister to be a pretty useless character but I assume they have bigger plans for her…Still haven’t decided how I feel about Mike Tyson’s HIMYM cameo this week – Great use of one of the most familiar faces of the last 20 years of pop culture or yet another example of TV casting folks having an odd obsession with a convicted sex offender?..I found the two hour season premiere of Smash to be solid – certainly not winning any new fans over but I don’t think any returning fans are going to stop watching either – but the real takeaway to me was Katharine McPhee in that red dress; I don’t have a list of the 10 Hottest Looks of the 2012-2013 season but if I did, she and that dress would be on it…This week’s Modern Family was overall high quality, with a great look at the true strength of Claire & Phil’s relationship and a VERY funny Jay – Gloria segment that demonstrated how two way that attraction is as well. The Cam – Mitch portion of the show felt a little tacked on and mostly played for laughs, as opposed to the earlier parts of the episode that offered the audience more insight into the different couple’s dynamic, but at least we got a new Dylan song out of it…I mentioned the closing number of last week’s Glee earlier so here I present it as the latest example of why I think Naya Rivera is going to be the cast member with the biggest career once the show goes off the air…

TV Pick Of The Week
First off, Cult is nothing like The Following, so don’t let your feelings on the latter influence your decision to watch the former one way or the other. Cult is to me the very definition of a CW drama series; a concept people will think is either super cool or idiotic (in this instance the concept is a show on The CW about a cult that may be a lot more than just a show), some decent acting mixed in with one or two way too wide eyes performances, and a mix of taking themselves super seriously and at times winking at the audience as well.

I sort of liked Cult but wished they had gone a bit slower, giving us scenes where we got to actually know the characters instead of chunks of expository dialogue to introduce back story and motivation. It certainly is interesting but could easily become a sea of endless twists and “they’re in on it, too!” moments. I will watch week two and go from there.

Don’t miss the series premiere of Cult, Tuesday at 9pm on The CW.

Hope You Need My Love, Babe, Just Like I Need You
Most of the week’s major programming is covered about but here as some other noteworthy viewing options from the next seven days…

*The Psych slumber party starts tonight at midnight on USA…

*This is NBA All-Star weekend, with the celebrity game tonight at 7pm on ESPN followed by the Rising Star Challenge (first and second year players) at 9pm on TNT. NBA All Star Saturday Night kicks off at 8:30pm on TNT, with musical performances as well as the 3 point shootout, the dunk contest, and the skills challenge. The game itself begins Sunday at 8pm on TNT.

*Planet of the Apes – the original – airs Saturday at 8pm on AMC and it totally holds up; whatever cheesiness there is comes across as quite funny, so everything works!

*Killing Lincoln is an adaptation of the NY Times bestseller co-written by Bill O’Reilly that premieres Sunday at 8pm…

*Downton Abbey wraps up its current season this Sunday at 9pm but don’t start to go through withdrawal just yet because you’ve still got the Christmas episode to look forward to.

*Monday’s Hawaii 5—0 (10pm, CBS) uses the annual Pro Bowl game that takes place in the state as a backdrop. Even better, former Magnum P.I. star Larry Manetti guests.

*Whitney Young, Jr. may not be as familiar a name as other heroes of the civil rights movement but he should be and Monday’s Independent Lens feature The Powerbroker will help change that…

*Seth Rogen guests on The Mindy Project this Tuesday at 8:30pm.

*Body of Proof has been gone so long you may have forgotten it was on but it’s back for season three this Tuesday at 10pm, now with TTTP fave Mark Valley in the cast.

*Necessary Roughness brings its current season to a close this Tuesday at 10pm on USA.

*TTTP fave Sarah Shahi begins a multi-episode run as an ass-kicking special ops agent on Person of Interest this Thursday at 9pm.

*Suits wraps up season two this Thursday at 10pm. Don’t worry, it’s already been renewed for a third season!!!

Two Tivos To Paradise
3 Days to Open with Bobby Flay, 24 Hour Restaurant Battle, 30 Rock, After the Catch, American Idol, Antiques Roadshow, Archer, Arrow, Around the World in 80 Plates, Auction Hunters, Baby Daddy, The Big C, Boardwalk Empire, Being Human, Betty White’s Off Their Rockers, Bones, Breaking Bad, Bunheads, Burn Notice, Cake Boss, Cake Boss: Next Great Baker, Chicago Fire, Chopped, Comic Book Men, Community, Cougar Town, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Deadliest Catch, Deception, Destination Truth, Don’t Trust the B- in Apt 23, Fact or Faked, Falling Skies, Family Guy, Fast Food Mania, Flipping Out, Food Network Challenge, Food Network Star, The Franchise, Ghost Hunters, Ghost Hunters International, Ghost Lab, Glee, Great Food Truck Race, Grey’s Anatomy, Happy Endings, Haunted Highways, Haunted Treasure, Hawaii 5-0, Hollywood Treasure, House of Lies, How I Met Your Mother, Inside Comedy with David Steinberg, Interior Therapy with Jeff Lewis, Iron Chef America, Justified, Key & Peele, Last Resort, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Law And Order: Special Victims Unit, The League, Longmire, Lost Girl, Louie, Mad Men, Major Crimes, Men at Work, The Middle, Mike and Molly, The Mindy Project, Modern Family, Monster Man, Nashville, Necessary Roughness, New Girl, The New Normal, Next Iron Chef, The Office, Outside the Lines, Parks & Recreation, Project Accessory, Project Runway, PSYCH, Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook Off, Raising Hope, Real Time With Bill Maher, Restaurant Impossible, Revenge, Revolution, Royal Pains, Rules Of Engagement, Saturday Night Live, Shark Wranglers, So You Think You Can Dance?, Sons of Anarchy, The Soup, Suits, Suburgatory, Supernatural, Top Chef, Top Chef Just Desserts, Top Chef: Masters, Top Design, Tosh.0, The Vampire Diaries, The Voice, The Walking Dead, Warehouse 13, Worst Cooks In America,

People Love You When They Know You’re Leaving Soon
Here ends another Two Tivos To Paradise.

We’ll be back next week with all the headlines from the last seven days plus our picks for the 10 most intriguing pilots in development this season.

Sources for this week’s column include Daily Variety, Entertainment Weekly, TV Guide, and Hollywood Reporter (plus the web sites for those publications) as well as, &


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Al Norton

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