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Channel Surfing – March 11, 2010

All the tube news that’s fit to surf …

– It’s looking more and more like the current season of 24 could be the show’s last one, at least on Fox. It’s my all-time favorite TV drama, but even I have to admit that the show just isn’t as compelling as it once was (though the last few episodes have picked up the pace). A big-screen 24 is almost certainly going to happen, and the idea has even been floated that another network might be interested in the Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) action series if Fox does pull the plug after the May season eight finale.

– Fans took it to Facebook, and Lorne Michaels listened: Betty White will host the May 8, Mother’s Day, edition of Saturday Night Live, which will also include a reunion of SNL alums Tina Fey, Molly Shannon, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Ana Gasteyer and Rachel Dratch.

– It’s official: Conan O’Brien and “The Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour” is coming soon to a city near you. Tickets are already on sale.

– Coming soon to a bookstore near you: Night of the Living Trekkies, a novel about zombies and a Trek fan convention.

– Sad news from sports and TV lands: NFL Hall of Famer and Little House on the Prairie and Father Murphy star Merlin Olsen died earlier today after a battle with cancer. He was 69.

Survivor and The Apprentice producer Mark Burnett is producing a new game show that will feature two hosts.

– Rejoice Felicity fans: Keri Russell is headed back to primetime.

– As is Jimmy Smits.

– This should be cool: CBS is going to broadcast the NCAA men’s basketball final four tournament games and the national championship game in 3D, in movie theaters all across the country.

– And, just in time: Panasonic sold the world’s first 3D home entertainment system in New York City on Wednesday. Cost: $2,900, and that only includes one pair of special 3D glasses.

– Among the new shows Bravo announced in the network’s annual upfront presentation in New York on Wednesday: The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Fashion Masters (sort of an all-star Project Runway) and Hitmakers (sort of an American Idol for singer/songwriters).

– And the 14th season of South Park premieres on Comedy Central on March 17 (10PM ET), and Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker talked to the New York Times about what’s ahead for the series, including their unique spin on the clip show, which will be the theme for the show’s 200th episode on April 14.

Channel Surfing – February 23, 2010

All the tube news that’s fit to surf …

– Bravo has announced the dates for the two-part Real Housewives of Orange County reunion special (March 10 and 11), and teases that Tamra “drops a bombshell” in the season five finale on March 4. I’m guessing we already know what it is since her soon-to-be-ex-husband Simon spilled the details in a Bravo Website blog.

– Speaking of the Real Housewives, cast members from all the spin-offs are making guest appearances on the Meredith Viera-hosted syndicated version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire this week.

Kathy Griffin as the leader of a lesbian rights org, Mischa Barton as a hooker, Jaclyn Smith as a cop and Sharon Stone as a D.A. … just some of the upcoming guest stars for Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Katee Sackhoff, who’s been mucking up the new season of 24 with her wooden acting, has signed on to star in an ABC crime pilot next season, which hopefully means she won’t return to CTU (assuming CTU, or rather 24, returns to Fox) next season.

Growing Pains actor Andrew Koenig is still MIA, and one of his friends’ description of his recent behavior makes his disappearance sound all the more troubling. But the latest: Radaronline.com reports that police in Vancouver believe Koenig is still alive.

– The First Lady and First Daughters are reportedly big Glee fans, which is why the cast will likely be performing at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll in April. By the way, beginning on Thursday, you can submit your entry to try and snag tickets for your 12-years-old and younger kids to the Easter egg event.

Jamie Foxx, Lindsey Vonn, Sarah Palin and the cast of Jersey Shore will be among Jay Leno‘s guests during the first week of his return to The Tonight Show.

Conan O’Brien fans, meanwhile, think he should be the first guest on the new (or is that the new, old?) Tonight Show. I’d rather see this rumored live show Coco is putting together.

– I love the Twitter musings at Shit My Dad Says and I love William Shatner, so here’s hoping when the two meet, it will result in a hilarious sitcom.

– On the flip side, Jim Belushi as a Las Vegas defense attorney with a bad marriage and a drinking problem in a CBS hour-long legal drama? Just sounds painful.

– It’s likely that Scrubs is really headed to that big sitcom graveyard in the sky after a pair of March episodes air on ABC. Oh well … we’ll always have the Turk “Poison” dance. And in honor of The Todd, cancellation high-five.

– And, sure, Pam and Jim are having their baby next week on The Office (March 4, 9PM ET, NBC), but when V returns to the ABC line-up at the end of March, human Valerie is going to give birth to a lizard.

Channel Surfing – February 15, 2010

All the tube news that’s fit to surf …

– In honor of President’s Day, here’s MSN‘s list of the top TV POTUSes, which includes, of course, West Wing‘s Josiah Bartlet (Martin Sheen) and 24‘s David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert), my pick for the best TV POTUS of all time. Who did MSN forget about? Glen Allen Walken (John Goodman) on The West Wing, Mike Brady (Gary Cole) in the made-for-TV flick The Brady Bunch in the White House and Lisa Simpson, who, in the “Bart to the Future” episode of The Simpsons, becomes POTUS and appoints slacker brother Bart the “Secretary of Keeping It Real.” Now, of course, we can also add 24‘s President Allison Taylor (Cherry Jones) to the list.

Madonna, Larry David, Tina Fey and Ricky Gervais are among the celebs who will act as guest judges for Jerry Seinfeld‘s new reality series The Marriage Ref. The show, which premieres March 4 on NBC, will find the celebs helping to mediate disputes – some really wacky disputes – between real-life husbands and wives.

– Speaking of Tina Fey, the Emmy-winning 30 Rock star is the Vogue cover girl for March, and she brings her irreverent humor to the uptight fashion mag, saying, “… at awards shows, I wear a deep V. Because it makes the triangles go the right way. Not good on me? Spaghetti straps. It looks like when you tie up a roast before you put it in the oven.” The article also includes Fey’s explanation – autobiographical, of course – of how she coined the phrase “mom jeans.”

– Get well soon wishes to Kiefer Sutherland … even Jack Bauer is susceptible to kidney cysts, apparently, as production on the season ender of 24 has halted for a week while Sutherland has surgery for a ruptured cyst.

– Do you love her or hate her? Either way, you have to admire Real Housewives of Orange County star Vicki Gunvalson for her work ethic, which she talks about in an interview in the Los Angeles Times.

– We’re not even through Hollywood rounds yet, and already an American Idol contestant’s legal woes are creeping up. Danielle Harris, who wowed judges in Denver with her tales of struggling to make it as a singer and her performance of Melissa Etheridge‘s “I’m the Only One,” has been kicked off the show because she’s on probation.

– By the way, TVGuide.com reports that a partial list of the top 24 contenders will be revealed on Tuesday night’s Idol episode, with the remainder announced on Wednesday’s ep.

– Actress Beau Garrett, who’s guest starred on Entourage and House, will be the female lead of CBS’ upcoming Criminal Minds spin-off.

– Oscar winner Kate Winslet will star in HBO’s miniseries remake of Mildred Pierce, the movie that won Joan Crawford a Best Actress Oscar in 1946.

The Biggest Loser trainer Jillian Michaels is standing by her self-named diet supplement, which is the subject of a false advertising lawsuit.

– Is your favorite show on the bubble for next season? Ratings and buzz reports mean Scrubs, Better Off Ted, Cold Case and FlashForward are amongst the shows most in need of fan support to survive another season. Most insiders agree that Heroes will mercifully be put out of its convoluted storyline misery, and even 24 isn’t a lock for the 2010-11 season.

– One show we know will end this season: Ugly Betty. And show star Ana Ortiz dropped some scoop on what will happen in the series finale. If you want the spoiler, click here, but a hint: Someone’s setting married.

– And World Wrestling Entertainment hopes to have its own cable network in play within the next year and a half.

‘Real Housewives’ News: (Another) O.C. Catfight, an NYC Preview and a Soap Star Joins the Atlanta Cast?

Don’t miss tonight’s new Real Housewives of Orange County (10PM ET, Bravo), not only for the OC cast’s own drama, but for a sneak peek at the new season of The Real Housewives of NYC, which premieres on March 4.

On RH: OC, the women have a sleepover and Lynne confronts Gretchen about her chat with Lynne’s daughter, which Lynne took as Gretchen suggesting Lynne is a bad mom. As if having mother-daughter plastic surgery didn’t speak volumes on her parental fitness …

Meanwhile, the RH: NYC clip hints that not only are old rivalries still going strong – i.e. Ramona calling The Countess out on her fakeness – but it looks like one-time BFFs Bethenny and Jill may still be verbally girl-slapping each other, too. Bethenny, by the way, will also star in a RH: NYC spin-off series, Bethenny’s Getting Married?, which follows the preggers chef as she prepares for the arrival of her first child and a wedding to babydaddy Jason Hoppy.

And in one more potentially delicious bit of Real Housewives news, SoapCentral.com reports that Victoria Rowell, the former The Young and the Restless‘ Dru Winters, may join The Real Housewives of Atlanta next season.

Rowell is notoriously outspoken, about her life and the showbiz industry, so just the possibility of a NeNe Leakes/Rowell meet-up … one reality show might not be able to contain two divas of that magnitude. And oh, just imagine the possibility of an Andy Cohen Watch What Happens Live episode with NeNe and Rowell …

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