Channel Surfing – June 30, 2010

All the tube news that’s fit to surf (in this incredibly slow TV news week) …

– Broadway and 30 Rock star Cheyenne Jackson will be making a guest appearance on the next season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, which is filming in New York City this summer.

Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood is heading to the tube, for the first time, in an odd new FX comedy.

– Potential Larry King replacements: Ryan Seacrest, Piers Morgan and … Joy Behar? No, CNN. Just no.

– The new season of Weeds, which kicks off in August, will find Nancy Botwin and her family on the lam, in a Winnebago.

– Is The Big O ending her daily talk show just in time? Because her ratings are down. Way down.

Craig Kilborn also didn’t grab such hot ratings in his return to TV on Monday.

Eminem and Christina Aguilera will guest star on the season finale of Entourage, which is also suffering from a ratings downturn: The season premiere last Sunday was down 26 percent vs. the previous season’s premiere.

– Coming soon to a network near you: Susan Sarandon‘s ping pong reality show. For reals.

– All those people who were on the receiving end of Gordon Ramsay‘s sometimes harsh criticisms on Kitchen Nightmares might not be feeling a lot of sympathy for the chef, who had to close down one of his own eateries in London.

– This is a buzzkill: Starz has canceled Party Down, one of the funniest shows on cable.

– And check out big-screen (and Freaks and Geeks) star James Franco‘s goofy return to his General Hospital guest stint today, including the monkey toy that I’m assuming is a little shout out to the James Dean toy monkey scene in Rebel Without a Cause, since Franco played Dean in a TNT biopic. If not, it’s a really cool coincidence, no?

In Case You Missed It …

This is Chris Brown, at the BET Awards on Sunday night, breaking down after dancing his way through most of a tribute to Michael Jackson.

Whatcha think? Pretty amazing dancing, but did it do the trick of redeeming Brown at all?

Channel Surfing – June 24, 2010

All the tube news that’s fit to surf …

– Yes, they’ve broken up and a he said/she said drama continues to unfold, but Bachelor Jake Pavelka and his ex-fiancé Vienna Girardi will reunite on the July 5 episode of The Bachelorette to dish their relationship for the audience that watched them hook up in the first place.

PS – If you want to know who the infamous “Reality Steve” says current Bachelorette Ali picks – or doesn’t – this season, click here. Biiiiig spoilers if you do. In fact, spoilers so big that you won’t need to even watch the rest of the season.

– GQ.com has a fun interview with How I Met Your Mother and Freaks and Geeks star Jason Segal, including his take on his upcoming Muppets movie, his dream project.

– Check out this preview of the Lost complete series DVDs. Gonna be on lots of holiday wish lists this year.

– As if there aren’t already enough cop shows on the air (check out my feature on this summer’s new crop of ’em), Lifetime alone is adding three new police dramas to the mix.

– By the way, the most successful of the new summer cop shows so far: Jason Lee‘s post-My Name Is Earl return to the tube in TNT’s Memphis Beat, in which he plays an Elvis-lovin’ Memphis cop.

– This sounds like the infamous Joan Collins/Linda Evans pond fight on Dynasty: ’80s pop stars Tiffany and Debbie Gibson will duke it out – in a swamp – in an upcoming Saturday night cheesefest flick on Syfy.

Sex and the City‘s Cynthia Nixon has signed on for a recurring role in Showtime’s new August drama The Big C, where she’ll play the friend of star Laura Linney‘s Cathy, an unhappy wife/mother/teacher who finds out she has cancer and decides to make some big changes in her life.

– Disgraced New York governor Eliot Spitzer is going to co-host a new CNN talk show. Will you watch, or is he just too big a creep? Or will you watch because he’s a big creep (that has to account for at least a portion of Bill O’Reilly‘s audience)?

– The next big trend in primetime might be mob dramas: Starz is developing one, Oscar winner Jamie Foxx is developing one and the New York Daily News reports that the son of a real-life mobster is pitching a reality show in which he would star.

– And, Betty White is not the only Hot in Cleveland cast member in the midst of a comeback. Valerie Bertinelli is not only one of the gang on Cleveland, but she also taped the pilot for a talk show that may replace As the World Turns when the daytime soap airs its series finale in September.

Channel Surfing – June 22, 2010

All the tube news that’s fit to surf …

– One of the things I like least about American Idol is the younger contestants, who, while they may be vocally talented, almost always lack stage presence and real performance skills. So the fact that AI producers’ first change for the first AI season that will be sans Simon Cowell is to lower the minimum age requirement to 15 … eh. They should really be putting all their efforts into finding a fantastic Simon replacement, especially since lowering the age requirement isn’t going to help distinguish them from America’s Got Talent or Simon’s new show, X Factor, and for AI to continue to be successful, producers need to give us a reason to watch it, as opposed to all the other talent-search series, no?

– Another one bites the dust, and I have to admit, it happened faster than I thought it would: Most recent Bachelor Jake and his fiancée Vienna have already broken up, and the split is getting uglier by the hour.

Mary Steenburgen is starring in the upcoming FX drama Outlaw Country, which kinda sounds like The Sopranos, set in the world of country music.

– Starz is developing a new drama that people are also comparing to The Sopranos. Hey, if you’re gonna be a copycat, copy a great show.

– That Mad Men season four poster off to the side is pretty cool, right? Click here and take a look at a few photos from the new season (which kicks off on July 25), including one of a slightly aged Peggy (Elisabeth Moss), lending some evidence that those rumors about season four jumping ahead in time might be on the money.

– I love Burn Notice, but this collage that spoofs some of the show’s, um, recurring themes, is pretty clever.

– No stinkin’ power outage is going to keep Jimmy Kimmel or his talk show down. He shot tonight’s episode with his MacBook.

– ABC’s new medical reality drama Boston Med is going to feature a face transplant.

– NASCAR … in 3D … awesome.

– Here’s a refreshing story from a former child star: Family Matters‘ Urkel, Jaleel White, says playing his uber-geeky teen was a great experience.

– Syfy is giving viewers a chance to contribute to one of its original Saturday night cheesefest movies.

– You think you love True Blood? Not as much as Snoop Dogg.

– Wondering what happened to that Bret Michaels autobio that was supposed to come out last summer? With all the drama in his life since then, the book has been pushed to February 2011, so he has time to add chapters on recent events.

Oz star and 30 Rock recurring guest star Dean Winters has just revealed his own health drama-plagued year.

– And, speaking of 30 Rock, Tina Fey is among the celebs who will get stars on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood this year, along with the fabulous Neil Patrick Harris, Danny DeVito (can you believe he doesn’t already have one?!), Oprah (ditto) and Married … with Children/Modern Family star (and Ohio University alum – go Bobcats!) Ed O’Neill.

‘Entourage’ Season 7: Video and 5 Things You Need to Know

Last season of Entourage? Meh. Not fun, and pretty forgettable.

But the new season, which premieres on HBO on June 27, looks to be a return to the Entourage of old, with Vince (Adrian Grenier, sporting a very becoming new, shorter ‘do) in the cast of a big-budget apocalyptic drama movie, Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) starting his own car service business, Ari (Jeremy Piven) heading what has become the most powerful agency in Hollywood, Eric (Kevin Connolly) planning his wedding to Sloane (Emmanuelle Chriqui) and Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon), as always, looking to recapture the success he experienced with his show-within-the-show hit Viking Quest.

Check out the trailer below for a brief preview of the new season.

And here are five more scooplets on what to expect in season seven:

1 – Gary Cole returns as Ari’s fellow agent Andrew, Scott Caan joins the cast as Eric’s co-worker Scott, Beverly D’Angelo returns as Ari’s partner Babs and Debi Mazar is back as Vince’s publicist Shauna.

2 – Season seven guest stars include Nick Cassavetes, Stan Lee, Bob Saget, Jerry Jones, Jessica Simpson, Aaron Sorkin, John Stamos, Mike Tyson and Maria Menounos.

3 – In the season premiere, Ari and Eric wig out because the director of Vince’s new action flick wants him to do his own driving stunts, which leads to an accident and a new ‘tude for Vince.

4 – Vince gets a new girlfriend, played by porn star Sasha Grey.

5 – Season seven will include 10 new episodes, and following an additional six episodes that are scheduled to air in 2011, the series will conclude and executive producer Mark Wahlberg — whose life inspired the series — says a big-screen Entourage movie will follow.

Are you excited for the new season? Whose storyline are you most anxious to see unfold? Do you think E and Sloane will make it down the aisle? And are you still loving Ari Gold, or have his antics grown tiresome?

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