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Channel Surfing – October 26, 2009

All the tube news that’s fit to surf …

Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurwitz confirms that the big-screen AD will happen, he will direct it and much of its plot revolves around a jail. Can’t wait.

– The New York Post has a peek at some of the songs we’ll supposedly hear on 2010 episodes of Glee. Among them: “Proud Mary, “Endless Love,” “Imagine” and Kelly Clarkson‘s “My Life Would Suck Without You.”

– It looks like NBC’s discarded cop drama Southland will land at TNT, possibly as soon as November.

– NBC is developing two new series: One’s an African-American comedy described as “Mad About You-meets-The Cosby Show,” while the other’s a drama about two guys who can be inhabited by ghosts and who use this ability to solve problems for living and dead New Orleans residents. That may be the most high-concept plot of the year …

– If you’re up at 6AM, check out Al Roker‘s new Weather Channel series Wake Up with Al, where, this week, guests include Tim McGraw (Tuesday), Anthony Edwards (Wednesday), Tina Fey and Tracy Morgan (Thursday) and Dan Ackroyd on Friday.

– Hosting her own talk show could have potentially been Jennifer Aniston‘s most interesting career move ever, but, sadly, it’s apparently not happening, despite rumors to the contrary.

– One of the main questions table-tossing Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa always sparked for me was, how the heck were she and her husband affording that pimp mansion that they were building on the show? Turns out, they weren’t. Affording it, that is.

The Beek is back! Dawson’s Creek star James Van Der Beek will pop up as a baddie on ABC’s The Forgotten. The complete series DVD collection of the Creek, by the way, hits stores on Nov. 10.

Top Chef‘s getting another spin-off series: Just Desserts, which, like the title suggests, will be all about yummy sweet things. And the pastries they make. Bah dum dum! Thank you ladies and germs, I’m here all week, and there is a two-drink minimum.

– TV Land is developing a couple of original, scripted comedy series, one of which I think will be offensive to the fine folk of Cleveland, Ohio.

– Want a first gander at the assembled cast of the upcoming big-screen A-Team remake movie? The NY Post has it.

– That creepy, serial adulterer ESPN dude? He’s been fired by the sports network. And, of course, he’s using sex addiction as the excuse for his d-bag behavior.

– Who’s watching NBC’s Mercy? Who knows, but the beleaguered network ordered the back nine episodes of the medical drama anyway, along with nine more eps of Thursday night sitcoms Community and Parks and Recreation.

– And a second season of TLC’s fabulous Cake Boss, about New Joisey baker Buddy Valastro, debuts tonight at 10PM ET. Among the highlights of the season: Buddy and his team fashion a NASCAR car cake, life-sized.

Channel Surfing Weekend – October 16, 2009

All the tube news that’s fit to surf …

– Take that, NBC and Macy’s! The Glee cast may have been uninvited from performing in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but several cast members will perform the national anthem before game three of the World Series.

– Season three of The Real Housewives of New York City will include two new cast members, er, housewives.

– ABC … Skating With the Stars? Really? It wasn’t good when it was on Fox, and called Skating With Celebrities.

Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood is a go for a fifth season on Oxygen.

– Fox Reality Channel is dunzo, and it will be replaced by a new channel, National Geographic Wild.

Liza Minnelli and Penelope Cruz are popping up in the Sex and the City movie sequel, with Cruz playing a banker who gets a little too frisky with Mr. Big (Chris Noth). The movie hits theaters on May 28, 2010.

Jon & Kate Plus 8 will end in November, and TLC is suing Jon Gosselin. Please let this also spell the end for the Gosselin fam’s constant media presence.

David Duchovny says there will be another X-Files big-screen movie.

– Newark, New Jersey mayor Cory Booker takes his Conan O’Brien feud to The Tonight Show Friday night.

– Which TV characters turn you off? readers say Izzie and Meredith from Grey’s Anatomy, Mohinder from Heroes and Cuddy from House. Can’t argue with any of those, but Miss Piggy? Really? Who do you think should have been on the list?

– Benjamin Bratt has signed on to play the ex-husband of Gloria/father of the adorable Manny on Modern Family.

– The new Bachelor is Jake Pavelka, a cast-off from Jillian HarrisBachelorette season.

– HBO announced a premiere date for the fourth season of Big Love: Jan. 10. 2010.

Channel Surfing – October 5, 2009

All the tube news that’s fit to surf …

– Production on the Bones set has been shut down thanks to an outbreak of the swine flu.

– MTV has scheduled the premiere of Gone Too Far, the reality series starring the late DJ AM, for Oct. 12.

– Bravo is cooking up a seventh season of Top Chef.

– Showtime has already ordered a fourth season of David Duchovny‘s Californication, after the show’s huge season three premiere on Sept. 27.

– It’s up and down with progress on that Arrested Development movie, which has been languishing in development hell forever, but a bit of solid good news about the movie’s prospects: Series creator Mitch Hurwitz is definitely at work on a script, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

– More TV remake news: Fantasy Island is becoming a reality series, thanks to Mark Burnett.

– As much as I liked the five-year flash forward on Desperate Housewives last season, I’m bummed that creator Marc Cherry keeps going back to the mystery-of-the-season plot, this year with Drea de Matteo and her Wisteria Lane newbies. And now it looks like Cherry is going back to the neighborhood disaster well, following the tornado of season four with a neighborhood plane crash this season.

The O.C. star Rachel Bilson has been cast for the 100th episode of How I Met Your Mother, setting off speculation that she might just be the titular Ted’s babymama we have yet to meet.

– Fans of Lifetime movies – and really, who isn’t? – should check out the Lifetime Movie Network Website, where viewers can now pick which made-for-TV flick will air on Friday nights. PS – This week’s best bet: Maid of Honor, a real psycho love triangle guilty pleasure gem.

– Ratings woes continue for Joss Whedon‘s Dollhouse, which got a surprise second-season renewal on Fox after a less than stellar premiere season: SyFy’s premiere of Stargate Universe had more viewers than Dollhouse.

Kansas City Star TV critic Aaron Barnhart (one of the best TV critics in the country) has an interesting take on the Late Show audience reaction to David Letterman‘s mea culpa last week, especially the laughter and applause that followed Letterman’s confession. CBS, meanwhile, is trying to make the video of Letterman’s confession difficult to find.

Defamer and its readers are being snarky about the pseudo Seinfeld reunion that began on last night’s Curb Your Enthusiasm … what did you think? I loved it. Short of an actual Seinfeld reunion, which probably isn’t a good idea yet, the Curb storyline is as clever as a reunion storyline could be.

– Premiering tonight on BET: The Mo’Nique Show, a late-night talk show hosted by comedienne/actress/reality TV hostess Mo’Nique.

– Also premiering outside primetime: Sherri Shepherd‘s new Lifetime sitcom, Sherri, based on her real-life divorce from her cheating husband. Unfortunately, the sitcom is much less funny than Shepherd’s many riffs about the divorce on The View.

– And tonight in primetime:

– Barney wants Robin lessons from Ted on How I Met Your Mother (8PM ET, CBS)
– Angela takes Nathan through his past on Heroes (8PM, NBC)
– Nathan’s scandal hits the public on One Tree Hill (8PM, The CW)
James Earl Jones guest stars on House (8PM, Fox)
– Cassie and Charles look for his dad on Lincoln Heights (8PM, ABC Family)
– It’s the third week of performances on Dancing With the Stars (8PM, ABC)
– New Accidentally on Purpose on CBS (8:30PM)
Hilary Duff and Tyra Banks stir up some trouble on Gossip Girl (9PM, The CW)
Buffy alum James Marsters guests on Lie to Me (9PM, Fox)
– Cappie tries to get a date with Lana on Greek (9PM, ABC Family)
– Jake blackmails his uncle with a photo on Two and a Half Men (9PM, CBS)
Trauma‘s trauma (9PM, NBC): a car that crashes into the crowd at a street fair
– A new Unwrapped episode is all about honey (9PM, Food Network)
– Howard and Raj try to meet women at a Goth nightclub on The Big Bang Theory (9:30PM, CBS)
CSI: Miami (10PM, CBS) is all about the cougar, this one in the form of Charlie’s Angels alum Cheryl Ladd
Taylor stews while Brad and Rachel enjoy Fashion Week in Paris on The Rachel Zoe Project (10PM, Bravo)
Jamie Foxx is the guest on The Jay Leno Show (10PM, NBC)
– A model’s murder leads Castle (10PM, ABC) into the fashion industry
– On Ultimate Cake Off (10PM, TLC), the chefs have to create fancy, five-foot-tall wedding cakes in nine hours

Channel Surfing – September 29, 2009

All the tube news that’s fit to surf …

– From TLC’s press release about Jon & Kate Plus Eight becoming Kate Plus Eight with a series relaunch in November: “Given the recent changes in the family dynamics, it only makes sense for us to refresh and recalibrate the program to keep pace with the family. The family has evolved and we are attempting to evolve with it; we feel that Kate‘s journey really resonates with our viewers. Additionally the network is in development on a Kate project for 2010.” In other words, people may still want to watch Kate and the kids, but Mr. Gosselin has become such a doofus that, the less we see him, the better …

– Monday night ratings winners: House and The Big Bang Theory. Losers: NBC’s medical drama premiere Trauma and Fox’s season two premiere of Lie to Me, which was down 41 percent from its cushy post-American Idol series premiere numbers from last season.

Survivor uber-producer Mark Burnett is developing a new scripted drama, about an attorney who gets a second chance at life after almost being killed in a car accident.

– No official word yet, but it appears that Darrell Hammond is no longer a regular on Saturday Night Live.

Pushing Daisies producer and Men in Black director Barry Sonnenfeld is developing an ABC comedy about a busy mom who transforms into Supermom when she puts on a special suit.

Cake Boss and Ultimate Cake Off will get second seasons on TLC, while the network has also planned a new reality show about the drama in the world of “competitive grilling.”

Stephen King‘s novella The Colorado Kid is being developed as a TV series, by the team who brought his story The Dead Zone to the tube. The show will be called Haven and will revolve around a female FBI agent who’s sent to a Maine town populated by cursed people.

– Gunther (James Michael Tyler) from Friends says a big-screen movie sequel to the hit NBC series is on, though points out that the news should be taken with a grain of salt since the source was a supporting actor on the show.

Miley Cyrus, meanwhile, has been written into a scene in the Sex and the City movie sequel.

– As soon as I finish Kathy Griffin‘s new autobiography, Official Book Club Selection, Craig Ferguson‘s American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot is at the top of my bedtime reading list.

Mad Men star Jon Hamm was “caught” buying copies of his show on DVD in Boston. He says they were a gift for someone; either way, thumbs up to him, as The Boston Globe points out, for stimulating the copy instead of taking freebies.

– And, Happy 40th Birthday, Brady Bunch.

– And tonight in primetime:

– Gibbs gets news on Ziva on NCIS (8PM ET, CBS)
– The contestants face their first temptation on The Biggest Loser (8PM, NBC)
– Naomi learns the truth about prom night on 90210 (8PM, The CW)
– The five finalists have to make a dish that looks as good as it tastes on Hell’s Kitchen (8PM, Fox)
– An Indiana college student tries to swim in the Shark Tank (8PM, ABC)
– Jane Mancini (Josie Bissett) is back on Melrose Place (9PM, The CW)
– New NCIS: Los Angeles (9PM, CBS)
Dancing With the Stars results show at 9PM (ABC)
– Fourth round of auditions on So You Think You Can Dance (9PM, Fox)
– Gemma decides it’s time for revenge on Sons of Anarchy (10PM, FX)
The Hills returns (10PM, MTV) with new episodes and an old bee-otch, as Kristin Cavallari rejoins the fun
Jeff‘s got friendship woes on Flipping Out (10PM, Bravo)
– It’s Chopped all-stars on Food Network (10PM)
– Rock groupies are the subject of Secret Lives of Women (10PM, WE)
– Alicia represents a stripper on The Good Wife (10PM, CBS)
– New ep of The Forgotten on ABC (10PM)
Andrew visits the World Bodypainting Festival in Germany on Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre World (10PM, Travel)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Billy Crystal guest on The Jay Leno Show (10PM, NBC)
– Meanwhile, Lauren Conrad‘s pal Whitney is back with new eps of The City (10:30PM, MTV)

Channel Surfing – September 23, 2009

All the tube news that’s fit to surf …

– One of the biggest questions of the new tube season is how The Jay Leno Show experiment will work out for NBC. The early results aren’t good for the network: From his premiere on Monday, Sept. 14 to his Monday show this week, Leno has lost two-thirds of his audience. has a great piece on the vetting process – or lack thereof – for reality TV contestants, particularly timely in light of the recent Megan Wants a Millionaire scandal.

K-Fed is among the stars, ahem, who will compete on the next edition of Celebrity Fit Club. His co-stars: Bobby Brown, Baywatch star Nicole Eggert and Shar Jackson, K-Fed’s other ex.

– On Oprah‘s show today: One Day at a Time star Mackenzie Phillips talks about her new autobiography, in which she says she had a 10-year-long incestuous relationship with her father, Mamas and Papas singer John Phillips.

Steven Spielberg is reportedly developing a Showtime TV series about creating a Broadway show, and that show-within-the-show would eventually hit Broadway. No, that’s not at all confusing.

J.J. Abrams is producing a medical comedy for Fox.

Charlie Sheen‘s chatter about quitting Two and a Half Men seems to be little more than a contract negotiation ploy, but at $875,000 an episode, how much more does he need to see in his pay envelope?

Jennifer’s Body and Juno scribe Diablo Cody will write and produce a big-screen adaptation of the Sweet Valley High books that are a big teen years memory for a lot of us chicks. The books were already adapted into a TV series in 1994, so this also becomes the latest boob tube-to- big screen makeover.

– More scoop from on Heather Locklear‘s return to Melrose Place: Her Amanda Woodward will be an exec at the PR firm where Katie Cassidy‘s Ella works. In fact, Amanda will be Ella’s boss, meaning: catfights ahead.

– Another sad bit of fallout from Michael Jackson‘s death: People are continuing to pretend LaToya isn’t a whackadoo.

– And tonight in primetime:

Patrick Swayze will be honored on the first Dancing With the Stars results show of the season (8PM ET, ABC)
The New Adventures of Old Christine premieres season five at 8PM on CBS
– New America’s Next Top Model at 8PM on The CW
– It’s the third round of auditions on So You Think You Can Dance (8PM, Fox)
Jay Mohr‘s back for season two of Gary Unmarried at 8:30PM (CBS)
– It’s the season five kick-off for Criminal Minds (9PM, CBS)
– On Glee, Kurt tries out for the football team (9PM, Fox)
– The CNBC special The New Age of Wal-Mart (9PM) examines efforts by the superstore’s execs to re-invent itself
– The snarkfest that is Whatever, Martha premieres season two at 9PM on the Fine Living Network
Law & Order: SVU begins season 11 (9PM, NBC)
– New ep of The Beautiful Life: TBL on The CW at 9PM
CSI: NY, season six, begins at 10PM (CBS)
Vince Vaughn guests on The Jay Leno Show (10PM, NBC)
Penn & Teller guest star on Top Chef: Las Vegas (10PM, Bravo)
– New Black Gold ep on truTV at 10PM
Adam hits Philly and noshes on ice cream and cheesesteaks on Man vs. Food (10PM, Travel Channel)
– Newark, NJ mayor Cory Booker announces budget cuts in part three of the Sundance Channel miniseries Brick City (10PM)

MERCY (8PM, NBC) Medical drama focusing on the nurses of a New Jersey hospital.
VERDICT: Eh. Forgettable, and also easily confused with the other single-monikered new medical drama (which is also on NBC), Trauma.

MODERN FAMILY (9PM, ABC) Ed “Al Bundy” O’Neill is Pritchett family patriarch Jay, who’s titular modern family includes an uptight daughter and High School Musical-loving son-in-law, a much younger wife and her son, and a gay son who has just adopted a Vietnamese baby with his lover.
VERDICT: It’s the funniest new show of the season.

COUGAR TOWN (9:30PM, ABC) Courteney Cox is a recently-divorced mom of a teenage son who frets that the only dating options in her small town are much younger guys.
VERDICT: It’s worth a few viewings, but the pilot’s laughs come mostly from jokes you’ve either heard elsewhere or will see coming before they leave the actors’ mouths.

EASTWICK (10PM, ABC) A TV update of the 1987 movie, with Rebecca Romijn and Lindsay Price in the witches roles and Due South star Paul Gross in the Jack Nicholson role.
VERDICT: Better than the average remake (yes, I’m looking at you 90210 and Melrose Place), and has the potential to get even better as the season wears on.

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