Channel Surfing – May 18, 2010

Channel Surfing – May 18, 2010

All the tube news that’s fit to surf …

– Some media types hate them, but I kind of love the annual upfront week, when the networks unveil their schedules for the fall TV season. Here’s my take on yesterday’s NBC presentation, and brief previews of some of the network’s new shows. My fave of all the previews we saw of NBC’s new series: The Event, a 24-ish thriller starring Blair Underwood as the President of the United States and Jason Ritter as a regular dude who gets caught up in a major conspiracy plot. The worst: The Cape, a midseason cop/superhero/circus-themed drama. Yes, that’s right … circus. Check out clips of The Cape here and The Event here.

– As for the fall plans of Fox, which also presented its upfront show on Monday, the American Idol results show will shrink to 30 minutes (yay!), finding Simon Cowell‘s replacement is one of the network’s biggest priorities of the summer and Keri Russell, Will Arnett and The Shield creator Shawn Ryan are returning to the tube at Fox next season. (Check out clips of new Fox shows here).

– Happy 40th birthday today to Tina Fey, one of the funniest writers and performers ever. This week’s 30 Rock season finale (Thursday, 9:30PM ET) finds Fey’s Liz Lemon getting flirty with guest star Matt Damon, but Fey promises that Liz and boss/pal Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) will never hook up on the show, even in the series finale.

– Radar Online has a sneak peek of Bret Michaels‘ first post-brain hemorrhage interview, which airs on Oprah‘s show on Wednesday. VH1 will also air a sneak peek at Michael’s new reality series, Bret Michaels: Life As I Know It, on May 31. The new show drops the Rock of Love schtick and shows the Poison rocker at home with his daughters. And Michaels will also be competing for the Celebrity Apprentice title in Sunday’s season finale on NBC (9PM ET).

– The other big TV happening this weekend, of course, is the Lost series finale. But the penultimate episode airs tonight (9PM, ABC), and buzz is that there is going to be another pretty big death. After Sun and Jin, I’m pretty much okay with anyone being killed off, except Hurley (Jorge Garcia) and Sawyer (Josh Holloway). Hurley and Sawyer, the show’s greatest characters, must survive the island adventure. Anyhoo, take a look at one critic/Lost fan’s prediction for tonight’s installment.

– Awesome news for Curb Your Enthusiasm fans: Much of the upcoming eighth season will film in New York City. We know the genius Larry David helped create with the New York-set Seinfeld, so imagine what predicaments Larry will get himself into in the Big Apple.

New Weeds faces for season six: Linda Hamilton, who plays a weed grower who meets up with Nancy in Seattle, and Peter Stormare, who plays Andy’s (the Emmy-worthy Justin Kirk) new boss. The new season finds Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) and her fam on the lam to Seattle after Shane (Alexander Gould) took out Pilar in the season five finale. Season six, by the way, debuts on Aug. 16 on Showtime.

– Reeg! TV legend Regis Philbin will host the 37th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards on CBS on June 27. The big guy’s own Live With Regis and Kelly is nominated for Outstanding Talk Show. PS – Send good vibes Reeg’s way today, as he undergoes surgery to have a clot removed in his leg, something he has wrung for a lot of comedy in the last week.

Glee: Champion of high school misfits or exploiter of stereotypes? Two Daily Beast writers duke it out, and while they both make compelling arguments, I’m gonna go with champion of misfits, though, I think to a large audience, the show’s just a fun, feel-good hour of TV every week.

– Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) in that exoskeleton suit, finally showing Charles Logan (Gregory Itzin) to be the wuss we know him to be, in last night’s penultimate 24? Classic. And with the countdown on to the — sniff, sniff — series finale on May 24 (8PM ET), I’m doing a series of 24-themed features at TV Squad this week, beginning with the Top 5 24 heroes of all time. Do you agree with the list?

Charlie Sheen has re-upped for Two and a Half Men. Yay? As if, with his life in yet another state of disaster, he had so many other options.

– And speaking of 2.5 Men, that show’s kid star, Angus T. Jones, is the highest-paid kid in primetime, earning $250,000 and episode. Crazy. And even crazier that he makes that much more dough than Modern Family‘s Rico Rodriguez (Manny) and the kids on The MiddleCharlie McDermott (Axl), Eden Sher (Sue) and Atticus Shaffer (Brick) – who are easily the most talented, and least annoying, under-18 stars on TV.

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