From AMC this afternoon:
“… a ‘first look’ photo from season two of its critically acclaimed original drama, The Walking Dead, currently in production in the greater Atlanta area. The hit series’ second season includes 13 episodes, and premieres this fall.
Executive Producer/Writer/Director Frank Darabont says, ‘At this moment, I’m standing on a stretch of post-apocalypse interstate in Georgia, littered with abandoned cars and blessing my good luck to be reunited with our amazing cast, and our fantastic directors and crew. Across the board, there are none better. It’s great to be shooting again. I think we’ve embarked on a great season.’
For additional information and photos on The Walking Dead season two, visit www.amctv.com.”
This spring, TVScreener.com was honored to become a member of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association, an offshoot of the Broadcast Film Critics Association. The BFCA hosts the annual Critics Choice Movie Awards that air on VH1, and our TV group will dole out our own set of accolades, via the first Critics Choice Television Awards.
The TV awards ceremony will be hosted by So You Think You Can Dance star Cat Deeley on June 20 at the Beverly Hills Hotel, and VH1.com will stream them live (June 20, 3:30PM ET), while on June 22, the ceremony airs on TV at the ReelzChannel (8PM ET).
And here, our first class of nominees. I think it’s a great mix of shows, including some truly fantastic series and actors and actresses who have been overlooked at other TV awards ceremonies. I am particularly thrilled that we have nominated It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia star Charlie Day, one of the funniest guys on TV, and one who’s still flying a bit under the radar, for Best Actor in a Comedy Series, as well as shows and stars of shows like The Middle, Sons of Anarchy, Raising Hope, Archer and Justified, all so deserving of being called out as among the best TV has to offer.
Sound off in the comments about our nominees … do you like the mix? Who would you choose as the winner in each category? Are there shows and stars you think we missed?
And be sure to tune in for the first annual Critics Choice Television Awards on ReelzChannel on June 22!
Best Drama Series
Boardwalk Empire – HBO
Dexter – Showtime
Friday Night Lights – DirecTV
Fringe – FOX
Game of Thrones – HBO
The Good Wife – CBS
Justified – FX
The Killing – AMC
Mad Men – AMC
The Walking Dead – AMC
Best Actor in a Drama Series
Steve Buscemi – Boardwalk Empire – HBO
Kyle Chandler – Friday Night Lights – DirecTV
Michael C. Hall – Dexter – Showtime
Jon Hamm – Mad Men – AMC
William H. Macy – Shameless – Showtime
Timothy Olyphant – Justified – FX
Best Actress in a Drama Series
Connie Britton – Friday Night Lights – DirecTV
Mireille Enos – The Killing – AMC
Julianna Margulies – The Good Wife – CBS
Elisabeth Moss – Mad Men – AMC
Katey Sagal – Sons of Anarchy – FX
Anna Torv – Fringe – FOX
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Alan Cumming – The Good Wife – CBS
Walton Goggins – Justified – FX
Shawn Hatosy – Southland – TNT
John Noble – Fringe – FOX
Michael Pitt – Boardwalk Empire – HBO
John Slattery – Mad Men – AMC
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Michelle Forbes - The Killing – AMC
Christina Hendricks – Mad Men – AMC
Margo Martindale – Justified – FX
Kelly Macdonald – Boardwalk Empire – HBO
Archie Panjabi – The Good Wife – CBS
Chloë Sevigny – Big Love – HBO
Best Comedy Series
Archer – FX
The Big Bang Theory – CBS
Community – NBC
Glee – FOX
Louie – FX
The Middle – ABC
Modern Family – ABC
The Office – NBC
Parks and Recreation – NBC
30 Rock – NBC
Best Actor in a Comedy Series
Alec Baldwin – 30 Rock – NBC
Steve Carell – The Office – NBC
Louis C.K. – Louie – FX
Charlie Day – It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – FX
Joel McHale – Community – NBC
Jim Parsons – The Big Bang Theory – CBS
Best Actress in a Comedy Series
Courteney Cox – Cougar Town – ABC
Edie Falco – Nurse Jackie – Showtime
Tina Fey – 30 Rock – NBC
Patricia Heaton – The Middle – ABC
Martha Plimpton – Raising Hope – FOX
Amy Poehler – Parks and Recreation – NBC
Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Ty Burrell – Modern Family – ABC
Neil Patrick Harris – How I Met Your Mother – CBS
Nick Offerman – Parks and Recreation – NBC
Ed O’Neill – Modern Family – ABC
Danny Pudi – Community – NBC
Eric Stonestreet – Modern Family – ABC
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Julie Bowen – Modern Family – ABC
Jane Krakowski – 30 Rock – NBC
Jane Lynch – Glee – FOX
Busy Philipps – Cougar Town – ABC
Eden Sher – The Middle – ABC
Sofía Vergara – Modern Family – ABC
Best Reality Series
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition – ABC
Hoarders – A&E
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills – Bravo
Sister Wives – TLC
Undercover Boss – CBS
Best Reality Series – Competition
The Amazing Race – CBS
American Idol – FOX
Dancing with the Stars – ABC
Project Runway – Lifetime
RuPaul’s Drag Race – Logo
Top Chef – Bravo
Best Reality Show Host
Tom Bergeron – Dancing with the Stars – ABC
Cat Deeley – So You Think You Can Dance – FOX
Ty Pennington – Extreme Makeover: Home Edition – ABC
Mike Rowe – Dirty Jobs – Discovery
Ryan Seacrest – American Idol – FOX
Best Talk Show
Chelsea Lately – E!
The Daily Show – Comedy Central
The Ellen DeGeneres Show – Warner Bros.
Jimmy Kimmel Live! – ABC
The Oprah Winfrey Show – Harpo
Will Kristin shoot J.R. again and end up floating in the Ewing pool? Will Pam dream that Bobby was murdered by her crazy, jealous half-sister, only to find him stepping out of her shower the next morning, again? Will Sue Ellen still be a drunken mess? Will J.R. still be a tomcattin’ snake? Will Lucy again have an uber-icky affair with the man who turns out to be her uncle?!
All questions we’ll soon have answered, as TNT has given the thumbs up to a pilot for an updated version of the 1978-91 classic TV drama Dallas. No casting info yet – more on that in a sec – but the show is being created by Cynthia Cidre, who wrote the screenplay for the movie The Mambo Kings and created the all-too-short-lived Jimmy Smits/Nestor Carbonell CBS drama Cane. According to the official press release from TNT, Cidre’s do-over sounds like it’ll be generally faithful to the original, as the story “focuses on the offspring of bitter rivals and brothers J.R. and Bobby Ewing, who clash over the future of the Ewing dynasty while the fate of Southfork itself weighs in the balance.”
Now, back to casting … again, no word yet about who’s on TNT’s list, but here are my suggestions for the new J.R. Ewing and his younger brother/rival Bobby:
J.R.: Gary Cole. Okay, partly, I think Gary Cole should be cast in almost everything, because he’s so awesome. In particular, I think he’d be especially good as J.R. He’s great as a good guy, and I think that’s probably the way most people see him, but he’s played his fair share of more villainous characters (evil Wayne on Desperate Housewives, real-life convicted family killer Jeffrey MacDonald in the made-for-TV movie classic Fatal Vision and, of course, the terminally lame Lumbergh in Office Space, for example). And though he’s got a fine head of hair (seriously, check out that photo), and it might seem like a shame to cover it with a big ol’ Stetson, I think he can handle it. Particularly if his brother is played by …
Ron Livingston. Yep, the Office Space dudes, Lumbergh and Peter Gibbons, together again, this time as oil baron Texas brothers. Aside from the cool factor of the Office Space reunion, I think Livingston would be a good little bro to Cole’s J.R., and it would be nice to see him finally land in a series that has a shot at sticking around for a while if the pilot works.
Or perhaps you all have other ideas about who should don the tall hats as the new J.R. and Bobby? Or suggestions about who should be the new Sue Ellen, Pam, Lucy, Miss Ellie, Jock, Ray, etc.? Let’s hear ‘em if you do …
Who else was completely bummed out by that Rescue Me season finale last night?
It was a downer of a capper to a sixth season that was a letdown overall. It often felt like some of the show’s funnier moments, which have always been so clever and sometimes outrageous, in the past, were strung together like one-liners, and the ongoing bit with Garrity (Steven Pasquale) and Mike (Mike Lombardi) trying to help doomed firefighter Pat (Will Chase) slipped into farce more than once (and not particularly good farce).
It was also with a heavy-handed dose of foreshadowing that the writers kept letting us know something, something really bad, was going to happen to Damien. Actor Michael Zegen talked to the Los Angeles Times about the fate of his character, and hints at what will happen in the show’s seventh, and final, season, which kicks off next summer and is scheduled to wrap right around the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
Appropriate time to end the show, but I still think a better, wholly more appropriate ending would have been to end the series with the fifth season finale, when Uncle Teddy (Lenny Clarke) shot Tommy (Denis Leary) and left him bleeding on the floor of the bar. Sure, it would have been devoid of the show’s lighter elements, but it also would have been a fitting ending for a character who’s caused so much trouble, for so many people who love him, throughout the series, and The Sopranos-esque ending of leaving Tommy’s dead-or-alive fate hanging might have angered fans initially, but, again, would have been better than what’s already happened in season six.
The cast and crew have already filmed the nine episodes that will make up season seven, so expect spoilers to leak before they find their way to air on FX in June 2011.
In the meantime, what do other Rescue Me fans think about the just-concluded season? Was Damien’s accident a shocker? And what about Lou (John Scurti)? Is the lovable fireman skating away without taking his fair share of the blame for what happened to Damien, since it might not have happened had he retired, as his doctor suggested? And what do you want to see happen, ultimately, to the Gavin clan?
Star Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Stars: Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill and Caitlin Blackwood
The Big Idea: In Doctor Who: The Eleventh Hour, the baton is passed from David Tennant to Matt Smith as the latest incarnation of the enigmatic Doctor, who crash lands in a tiny English village after his violent regeneration lays waste to the controls and interior of his TARDIS. “The Eleventh Hour” is a British expression meaning “a time which is nearly too late,” and showrunner Steven Moffat returns to this theme throughout the premiere … the eleventh Doctor scrambles with seconds to spare to save his beloved TARDIS from imminent destruction; he races against a worldwide countdown to zero to save the Earth; and he finds himself nearly deprived of his newest companion not once, but twice, after committing the sin of arriving late (Tsk tsk, Time Lord. You’d think in 903 years you’d learn not to keep a woman waiting. Someone just might show up with a better offer … ).
To Watch or Not to Watch: Let’s start with the actors. I had my doubts about Matt Smith when he was announced – he’s appallingly young and light on experience, with his main qualification being the ridiculous hair seemingly required of all Doctor Whos. But I’m happy to admit I was dead wrong. Smith was born to play this role, with a performance that is somewhat reminiscent of Tennant’s frenetic energy, but which already has more nuance, more hint of the alien behind the face, than the 10th Doctor ever conveyed.
Karen Gillan is likewise a real find as his fiery Scottish companion – and she’s a ginger (Britspeak for redhead, which is funny because the Doctor’s one, oft-expressed regret about his varied regenerations is that he’s never been a ginger). While she’s not yet as comfortable in her role as Smith is, she goes from good to even better as the premiere progresses, and there’s a palpable sense that the circumstance of their meeting may make her the ideal companion to our interventionist hero. And from the male perspective, it doesn’t hurt that this ex-model is very, very easy on the eyes.
Finally, but definitely not least, Caitlin Blackwood plays a seven-year-old Scottish girl, home alone for the evening, whose backyard is demolished by the run-amuck TARDIS and similarly out of control, “not yet fully cooked” Doctor. It would be too big a spoiler to elaborate about the character, so suffice it to say she’s unafraid as she engages with this magical stranger and feeds him “Fish Custard” (you read that right) in a hilarious, not-to-be-missed comic sequence. Blackwood (the real-life cousin of Karen Gillan) is adorable and nearly steals the scenes right out from under Smith. Memo to Hollywood: This, not the endless parade of Dakota Fanning clones, is how child actors should present.
Meanwhile, the premiere’s plot is engaging, and bears up well under the burden of introducing so many different characters and backstories, while still maintaining continuity with Who happenings of the past. Old Tennant catchphrases such as “timey whimey” and “wibblely wobbly” get affectionate nods, the sonic screwdriver gets worked to (literal) exhaustion, and we find out that the TARDIS has a library in the swimming pool (or vice versa) after the crash.
The only misstep: the music. It’s jarring, usually at the most inappropriate points. Music should be counterpoint to a scene, secondary to the writing, not an overly loud insurance policy to alert the viewer that a character is in danger.
TV Screener Tidbit: Smith says he prepared himself for his Who gig by writing Doctor Who-themed short stories before he stepped into the role.
Doctor Who, season five, premieres Saturday, April 17 at 9PM ET on BBC America
Charlie Sheen, Russell Brand and Louis C.K. are getting most of the attention, but I’m most excited that one of the best new shows of last TV season — Wilfred – returns for its second season on FX tonight (10PM ET). Season one of the series ended with a cliffhanger — had Ryan (Elijah Wood) [...]
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