All the tube news that’s fit to surf …
– The New York Post claims Simon Cowell has been offered around $144 million per season – more than triple his current salary – to return as an American Idol judge. Is he worth it? Is anyone worth that much money for any job? Still, I don’t think I could sit through the show every week if it were Simon-less.
– Discovery Channel will go ahead with its plans for a Pitchmen marathon on July 1 (beginning at 11AM ET), leading up to the show’s season finale at 10PM. The show, of course, stars the late Billy Mays and shines the light on how his $1 billion business, with partner and fellow pitchman Anthony Sullivan, works.
– Mays, by the way, apparently suffered a heart attack and died in his sleep.
– Law & Order: Special Victims Unit stars Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni, who had been in reportedly contentious salary negotiations, have both signed on to return to the NBC drama next season. Christine Lahti is also joining the show as an ADA for four episodes.
– Former Saturday Night Live star Chris Kattan has signed on to be a regular on the new ABC comedy The Middle, which stars Patricia Heaton and Scrubs‘ Neil Flynn.
– CBS will premiere its reality series There Goes the Neighborhood on Aug. 9. American Idol alum Matt Rogers will host the show, which finds eight families stuck behind a 20-foot wall in their ‘hood, without electronic communication or entertainment (No TV! No videogames! No Internet!). The fams have to work together and compete against the other fams to win the $250,000 grand prize.
– Among VH1’s upcoming series: Reality shows starring Chili from TLC, Pepa from Salt n’ Pepa and Frank “The Entertainer” Moresco, the I Love New York and I Love Money alum who currently lives with his parents. The Entertainer will find Moresco looking for love. Line up, ladies … it’s not every day you get the chance to hook up with a 32-year-old who lives in Mom and Dad’s basement. I hope it isn’t, anyway.
– It’s official: the sixth, and final, season of Lost will include 18 hours of island drama.
And tonight in primetime:
– Fox is showing Legally Blonde (8PM ET), one of my all-time fave chick flicks
– Stars Reflect on the Man in the Mirror (8PM, TV Guide Channel), features celebs talking about Michael Jackson‘s impact on music and pop culture
– Catch Farrah Fawcett‘s chilling, Emmy-nominated performance in the 1984 TV flick The Burning Bed on Encore Drama (9:35PM)
– There’s more bratty teen drama on Bravo’s “real-life Gossip Girl” docudrama NYC Prep (9PM)
– Sean gets a surprise visitor in the hospital on Rescue Me (10PM, FX)
– More early auditions on America’s Got Talent (9PM, NBC)
– Linda has to move into Ted’s office after some toxic substance runs amuck on Better Off Ted (9:30PM, ABC)
– The BET Awards repeat (6:30PM, BET) in case you missed all the Michael Jackson tributes
– William’s father/son bonding weekend is interrupted when a pair of alcoholics need William’s help on The Cleaner (10PM, A&E)
– One smokin’ dude gets a cigar lounge on a new ep of Man Caves (9PM, DIY)
– And Dr. Mike tests leech therapy in India on Bite Me with Dr. Mike (10PM, Travel Channel)
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 Wives … as a cougar!
All the tube news that’s fit to surf …
– Did Izzie and George really die in the Grey’s Anatomy season finale? Meh. I find it more interesting that series creator Shonda Rhimes is living in denial about how ridiculous much of the show has become, including this season’s “ghost sex.”
– Time magazine TV critic James Poniewozik makes an excellent point about how the best comedy on TV is not necessarily always the funniest comedy on TV, using last night’s Alan Alda gem on 30 Rock as a jumping off point. Alda’s quip that referred to the classic M*A*S*H series finale is, hands down, the best, most clever quote of the whole TV season.
– More from SNL: Sunday night’s SNL: Just Shorts special (9PM ET, NBC), a round-up of the show’s most memorable short films, including, of course, “Dick in a Box,” and one of my early favorites, the classic synchronized swimming clip with Martin Short and Harry Shearer.
– And another series finale: tonight’s Prison Break send-off (8PM ET, Fox).
– It makes me love Jonah Hill even more that he riffed on gruesome twosome Heidi and Spencer in a new Harper’s Bazaar interview and photo spread.
– “I want to go to there” is not the only 30 Rock catchphrase that originated with Tina Fey‘s daughter Alice, apparently.
– Thanks, Neal McDonough, for spoiling the Desperate Housewives season finale. Oh, okay, the fate of his Dave character wasn’t really a surprise, though he did also confirm in his appearance on The View Thursday that the rumor of a DH spin-off with Mrs. McCluskey (Kathryn Joosten) is true.
– Farrah Fawcett‘s documentary on her battle with cancer, Farrah’s Story, is set to air tonight on NBC (9PM ET), but as the Charlie’s Angels star is reportedly on her deathbed, a producer and her on-again, off-again love Ryan O’Neal are fighting over the video.
– USA Today has a good rundown of where the networks stand as they head into Upfront Week next week. Among the shows likely to be on the air next season: The Melrose Place remake, an NCIS spin-off and the return of Scrubs, while the fates of My Name Is Earl, Chuck, Medium, The Unit, Cold Case and Without a Trace are still up in the air.
– And somehow, I doubt Jon Stewart is really worried about Jim Cramer, through Cramer seems to suggest in a new Time magazine interview that he should be.
I’ve recently become bored with my WALL-E action figure, my Dwight Schrute bobblehead and my talking Napoleon Dynamite pen. In other words, I am in need of some new desk toys, which sent me on a hunt for a few craptacular TV-themed tchotchkes to help bring the fun to my workspace and, most importantly, give me the oh-so-important procrastination tools that every person who works at a desk every day needs.
So, my top 10 TV desk toy finds …
The Chef Duff Minimate
A 2-inch representation of Ace of Cakes master baker Duff Goldman, with 10 accessories, including two mini cakes, a spatula, a guitar and a chainsaw (hey, it’s Duff).
Cost: A mere $8. (Hours of procrastination it will provide: Priceless).
30 Rock Kenneth the Page Talking Bobblehead
Says phrases like “Frankly, LaDonica, you have not been real helpful,” “It’s gonna get raw in here like sushi, so haters to the left” and “I just love television so much.” Amen, Ken.
SNL More Cowbell Kit
“Guess what?! I’ve got a fever, and the only prescription … is more cowbell!”
Psych Pineapple Stress Toy
Because squeezing a real pineapple could be considerably more painful.
Lost Dharma Rubik’s Cube
Easier to solve than the show’s intricate plotlines!
Dayman Heat Sensitive Mug
Add hot water, and The Nightman appears. Brilliant! Don’t just want this It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia mug. I need to own this.
Jack Bauer 12-inch Action Figure
A foot-tall Jack Bauer. He’ll make sure all the other desk toys toe the line.
Talking Hurley Reyes Action Figure
American Idol Microphone Pops
They light up, they play music, they have a lollipop and fruit-flavored gum inside and are shaped like microphones. It’s the toy that has it all. Good favors for an AI finale party, too.
Jack Bauer iPod Shuffle
I’d like one in pink. What … are you suggesting a real man like Jack Bauer would be uncomfortable spinning tunes from a pink device? Say that to his face, punk.
Still thinking about those skits from Saturday Night Live, aren’t ya? It was another stellar Justin Timberlake hosting performance (seriously, can’t they just get him to join the cast for a season?), with far more hits than misses among the skits. The best? “Mother Lover,” the sequel to “Dick in a Box,” though again, there wasn’t really a big clunker in the whole episode. See below …
Moishes Samberg. Hilarious!
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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