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Channel Surfing – June 5

All the tube news that’s fit to surf …

- The fact that Neil Patrick Harris is hosting this year’s Tony Awards (Sunday, CBS, 8PM ET) makes it the first Tonys show I’ve had any interest in watching, and the “Top 10 Signs You’ve Hired a Bad Tony Awards Host” list that NPH delivered on Late Show with David Letterman last night made me that much more excited to see how the How I Met Your Mother star can liven up the event. The list, BTW, was one of the best recent Top 10s, particularly the cheeky nods to the Eminem/Bruno brouhaha and the Jeremy Piven Broadway scandal.

- Speaking of award show hosts, Craig Ferguson as Emmy host? Yes, that should definitely happen.

- Ovation TV will air a documentary tribute to the late Heath Ledger this summer.

- Kung Fu star David Carradine‘s death may have taken a turn from sad to sad and creepy.

- Were the Dawson’s Creek kids really “four monstrous actors” once they got crazy famous on the show? A DC showrunner says so.

- If you haven’t read producer Josh Friedman‘s blog post about the end of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, check it out now. It’s hilarious, and sad, and is a reminder of how, no matter how much a fan base may love a show, it always comes down to business.

- The Shield leads all nominees for the Television Critics Association Awards, and if that makes you realize how much you miss Vic Mackey and the gang, check out what the cast says about the possibility of a big-screen Shield movie. Do we dare to hope?

- Guess who’ll be back on the island – or somewhere in the Lost universe – for the sixth and final season? Aaron’s mama Claire.

- And an article in Newsweek about how reality TV makes women look stupid makes some interesting points, though I’d suggest the author watch a couple of episodes of The Hills. From Spencer Pratt to Justin Bobby, and almost every other dude in between, these aren’t exactly flattering portraits of the American male, either. Not to mention Jon Gosselin, at least half the male Real World-ers, Danny Bonaduce, Flavor Flav, Survivor‘s “Johnny Fairplay” …

Channel Surfing – June 3

All the tube news that’s fit to surf …

- IGN.com’s counting down the “25 Funniest Will Ferrell Characters.” It’s a great list (when Roger Klarvin, Ferrell’s character in the funny “luv-ahs” skits on Saturday Night Live, only merits a spot at number 20, you know there are some great ones coming up). This is a big week for Ferrell – not only does the big-screen makeover of Land of the Lost open on Friday, but he’s nominated for a Tony Award on Sunday.

- VH1′s upcoming miniseries The Great Debate is sorta like Lewis Black’s Root of All Evil in reverse. Instead of debating which of two pop culture ideas is the worst, The Great Debate will feature talking heads like Omarosa, Jerry Springer and Tila Tequila debating which is better – Star Wars or Star Trek, Rocky or Rambo, Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune … you get the idea. The week-long series kicks off on July 6, and fans can weigh in now by voting on such topics as “Funny or Not?” (including Adam Sandler, Dane Cook and Kathy Griffin), “Sibling Rivalry” (Kevin or Matt Dillon? Owen or Luke Wilson? Paris or Nicky Hilton?) and “Hot or Not?” (including Michael Phelps, Fergie and Zach Braff). Sounds like a fun summer series, though you have to wonder, weren’t any of the Best Week Ever peeps available? Omarosa and Tila Tequila aren’t exactly, to play off the title, the great debaters.

- So you wanna be a star? Auditions for American Idol, season nine, kick off in Boston on June 14.

- The ratings are in, and the season premiere wasn’t a fluke. Plenty of people are still rubberneckin’ at the trainwreck that is Jon & Kate Plus 8. More Gosselin news: US Weekly is featuring the fam on its cover for a sixth consecutive week. Almost makes you nostalgic for the days when Britney was doing something crazy every week, huh?

- Claire (Hayden Panettiere) is getting a college roommate on Heroes next season, and she’s being played by Californication‘s Madeline Zima.

- The Jay Leno Show will debut on NBC on Sept. 14.

- Breaking Bad‘s second season just ended, but there’s already a preview clip for season three.

- And Grandma Gilmore, a.k.a. Gilmore Girls (and Dirty Dancing!) great Kelly Bishop, will guest star in the new season of Army Wivesas a cougar!

‘Man’ vs. Wild Will Ferrell

He may be a comedy A-lister, but on Tuesday’s episode of Discovery Channel’s Man vs. Wild (10PM ET), Land of the Lost star Will Ferrell feasts on a dinner of reindeer eyeballs and his own urine.

Host Bear Grylls and Ferrell parachute off a helicopter and into the Swedish hinterland, where they’ll rappel down a hundred-foot frozen waterfall, get crafty by fashioning their own snow shoes out of twigs and, yes, drink their own urine.

CBS may want to keep Ferrell in mind if they ever get that all-star version of Survivor off the ground …

The Next ‘Buffy’?

Don’t call it a remake. Don’t call it a sequel or a prequel (especially since Buffy papa Joss Whedon isn’t involved). Instead, like J.J. AbramsStar Trek, the upcoming Buffy the Vampire Slayer big-screen movie will be a reboot of the franchise, one that could lead to a series of movies and maybe even a new TV series.

But, who’ll fill Sarah Michelle Gellar (and to a lesser extent, original Buffy movie star Kristy Swanson‘s) shoes? The Hollywood Reporter throws out Megan Fox, Kristen Stewart, Jessica Stroup, Amanda Seyfried and Teresa Palmer as candidates, but if I were the Buffy producers, I’d take a look at seasons one and two of Chuck on DVD …

Yvonne Strahovski, as tough spy chick Sarah Walker, is the best TV action heroine since Jennifer Garner left the tube in Alias. In fact, Chuck premiered on NBC during the same season as the network’s ill-cast Bionic Woman remake, and I think if Strahovski had been the titular star of that show, it would have been a runaway hit.

As Chuck devotees, particularly the male ones, will tell you, Strahovski is one of those rare actresses who can serve up a side of vulnerability with her kick-assedness, which is an endearing quality and a key to playing the often emotionally tortured Buffy.

So Buffy fans, let’s hear it: Who should be cast as Buffy 3.0? Megan Fox? Big Love star Seyfried? Twilight‘s Stewart? Or do you agree that Chuck star Yvonne Strahovski should stake (pun totally intended) a claim to the role?

Channel Surfing – May 21

All the tube news that’s fit to surf …

- The Sunday New York Times magazine has a great profile of Conan O’Brien, as he prepares to begin his stint as the new host of The Tonight Show. And yes, he too was surprised that Leno‘s getting that nightly 10PM timeslot.

- The next edition of The Real World, The Real World: Cancun, debuts on MTV on June 24. It’s the show’s 22nd season.

- Even reality TV stars are haggling for more money. The New York Post reports that the Real Housewives of New York City want more than the $50,000 per episode they received for season two (up from $5,000 per ep for season one). Whaddaya think? Are they worth it?

- Wanna keep up with all those celebrities are Tweeting about? E! will begin running a crawl of celebrities’ Twitter postings at the bottom of the screen during its programming.

- Just what every desk needs: a Jeff Probst bobblehead.

- TBS might save My Name Is Earl.

- Chuck creator Josh Schwartz says not to worry about those rumored cast cuts; he thinks we won’t even be able to tell where the budget cuts are being made when we watch the show next season.

- MacGruber, the movie, is an idea whose time should definitely come.

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