This Guy’s Gonna Tell You How to Raise Your Kids

You know that book The Real Housewives of New York City stars Alex McCord and Simon van Kempen have been talking about writing, the one in which they’ll dispense the parenting wisdom that has helped them turn out the kid who stabbed their friend’s $30 burger, rendering it inedible, during a fancy dinner? Well, it’s a definitely go.

Alex and Simon have landed a deal with Sterling & Ross Publishers to pen their book Little Kids, Big City: Tales from a Real House in New York City (With Lessons on Life and Love for Your Own Concrete Jungle). Huh.

I actually think, as a couple, Alex and Simon take some unfair hits … yes, they are rarely away from each other (is that a bad thing?), but they do seem to genuinely love each other. And yes, I’m a little creeped out anytime Simon even says the word “Speedo,” but they appear to be a real, warm couple, which is more than you can say about any other couple on The Real Housewives of NYC, especially since most of the other couplings seem to revolve largely around all things financial.

Having said that, I probably would not go to the van Kempens for parenting advice. And I definitely would not go to Francois and Johan’s ‘rents for baby-naming advice.

How ’bout you? Do you love ’em, hate ’em, get skeeved out by ’em? And will you buy their book?

Talkin’ With … Sam Lloyd, ‘Scrubs’ Attorney Ted Buckland

Will it be the season eight finale or the series finale? That’s all up in the air, but word has it that whatever tonight’s hour-long episode of Scrubs (ABC, 8PM ET) turns out to be, it will be a fan pleaser. In the meantime, I had a chance to check in with Scrubs star Sam Lloyd, Sacred Heart hospital’s legal eagle Ted Buckland, about the finale and the show’s future (and his role in it if it does continue), as well as his musical career.

Scrubs fans know Ted isn’t just an attorney or a member of The Janitor’s Brain Trust … he’s also the leader of The Worthless Peons, a quartet of fellas who roam the halls, often breaking out into perfectly in tune a cappella versions of TV theme songs and commercials. The Peons are actually The Blanks, Lloyd’s real-life band, whose Scrubs tenure led to an album and a stage show. Lloyd’s also in a Beatles cover band called The Butties – yes, that was them playing at Carla and Turk’s wedding – and he played one of this Seinfeld fan’s all-time favorite guest characters, the mannequin-designing, TV Guide-lovin’, would-be Elaine suitor, Ricky …

So, how are things going with the season, maybe series finale, so close?
It’s pretty wild. We actually just got together, the cast, last week and did the group DVD commentary for the last episode, which was really a gas, because we actually finished shooting back in September. So it was kind of a fun reunion for everybody, and we saw the last episode. We were at the House of Blues (in Los Angeles) in a back room, just hanging out and had a lot of fun watching it.

Was that the first time all of you had been together since filming wrapped?
Collectively it was. I’ve seen a bunch of the guys here and there, but that was all of us together, with (Scrubs creator) Bill Lawrence. The only person who wasn’t there was Judy Reyes, who couldn’t get out of New York. But everybody else was there, and it was so much fun.

Was that the first time you had seen the season finale?
Yeah, it was, it was the first time, and – not that I saw it this time either, because everyone was talking and laughing while it was going on, and once and a while we’d go, ‘Oh yeah, check that out!’ But it’s really good. I think it’s a really good episode. It really came out great.

So, without any spoilers, does the season wrap up well for Ted?
Well, I think it kind of wrapped up well for Ted with his girlfriend, Gooch, which, actually, when we shot the episodes, those episodes were like the third and second to last episodes, but when they aired, they changed the order. So that was kind of his wrap up, I think, and it did end up kind of nice.

And will we see Ted sing in the finale?
No, you won’t see me sing, but you will hear me sing, at the end of the episode, they do a bunch of outtakes, and in the background they have The Blanks’ version of (the Scrubs theme song) “I’m No Superman.”

Aw, cool!
Yeah, it was cool, and it sounds really cool. I was really happy they used that.
…Read more

50 Things I Love About TV – 21-30

21. John C. McGinley
He reeeeeeeeeee-healllly has been shamefully overlooked for an Emmy nomination as the rantin’, ravin’, nickname-spouting Dr. Perry Cox on Scrubs. (Footnote: See for evidence)

22. Dennis Miller
How much do I love the obscure reference-filled rants of the comedian and sometime game show host? So much that I’m willing to sit through several blowharded Bill O’Reilly minutes on Wednesday nights to watch the ‘Miller Time’ segment during The O’Reilly Factor.

23. Soaps
Sure, it seems to be a dying genre, but I’ve been watching ’em off and on since I was a kid, when I watched them with my grandma during the summer. And I love the fact that you can go years – really, years in some cases – without watching, and within a few days, catch right back up on who’s who and what’s what. I’m completely bummed about the cancellation of The Guiding Light, the first soap I ever watched (back when Kevin Bacon was on the show!), especially now that my all-time favorite soap actor, Grant Aleksander, is back as Phillip Spaulding.

24. Books about TV
From the autobiography of Aaron Spelling and a terrific, funny and heartbreaking bio of Chris Farley to Season Finale, a book about the rise and downfall of the WB and UPN networks, and the TV bible, The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present, I love reading books about TV, TV shows, TV history, TV stars. TV book coverage will, in fact, be a regular part of TV Screener.

25. Tim Gunn
The Big Gunn, so cool, collected and classy. The man could wear socks with sandals and a fanny pack and still be the most fashionable dude on TV.

26. Lost
Could I explain most of the action of the past five seasons? Uh, the plane crashed. The Gilligans fought with The Others, found a hatch, did some time travelling and Hurley (Jorge Garcia) still rules. Nope, I’m not as into the minutiae and various theories of the show’s plots as the most devoted fans, but when there’s so much programming on TV that’s easy to watch and forget, Lost continues to be great storytelling, slowly unfolding (sometimes maddeningly so) week after week with lots of endearing characters and some truly creepy characters. BenLinusthismeansyou.

27. The ExterminatorsBilly Bretherton and his fam are the coolest pest control agents (okay, exterminators) in all of Louisiana … maybe anywhere. And though I spend half the show covering my eyes (much like I used to do when I watched Oz, though for different reasons), Billy is so charming as he tries to wrangle the spiders, snakes, wasps, bats and other creepy crawlies, that the show has earned a Season Pass on my TiVo.

28. Big Love
A little concerned about season four now that they’ve killed off Roman, but the show’s recently concluded third season was better than season one and two, a rare occurrence for a drama.

29. Craig Ferguson
Hilarious, charming, self-deprecating and a great interviewer. Plus, how can you not love a guy who, unlike all those celebs who keep threatening to move to another country when they don’t like a certain politician, Ferguson actually became an American citizen and wrote an upcoming book about it.

30. Mad Men
Love the retro duds, the blast from the past office politics and ad campaigns, the characters, the Emmy-winning writing and, not gonna lie, the suave, handsome Jon Hamm.

Channel Surfing – May 6

All the tube news that’s fit to surf …

– I love me some Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick), but New York magazine is crediting Monday night’s episode of Gossip Girl with coining the phrase “fauxialite,” and it’s simply not true. I interviewed The Real Housewives of New York City star Bethenny Frankel back in February, and she used the phrase back then.

– HBO is officially moving forward with Treme, the post-Katrina New Orleans drama from The Wire‘s David Simon and Eric Overmyer, and starring The Wire‘s fantastic Wendell Pierce. The show will begin filming in the fall in New Orleans, after hurricane season.

– Meanwhile, Peter Dinklage will star in another HBO series, Game of Thrones, a fantasy series based on author George R.R. Martin‘s Songs of Fire and Ice novels. And another alum of The Wire, Tom McCarthy, will direct the pilot. McCarthy, an actor/writer who penned The Station Agent, starred in the final season of The Wire as Stephen Glass-ish newspaper reporter Scott Templeton.

The Office star/writer Mindy Kaling has signed a deal to create her own series for NBC. She’s incredibly talented, but can’t say I’m sad about the prospect of there eventually being a Kelly Kapoor departure from Dunder Mifflin Scranton.

Seth MacFarlane says a big-screen Family Guy movie will happen … someday.

Leonard Nimoy – as Spock – will deliver the top 10 list on Letterman Thursday night (May 7).

Elizabeth Edwards‘ interview with Oprah airs tomorrow, giving us all the final bit of proof we need that John Edwards is officially one of the bigger douchebags in history.

– CBS is considering remakes of Let’s Make a Deal and The Dating Game to replace The Guiding Light. Still can’t believe that show’s being canceled. Sniffle, sniffle.

Farrah’s Story, a two-hour documentary chronicling Farrah Fawcett‘s battle with cancer, will air on NBC on May 15.

Jay Leno‘s promising to be funny in a promo for his new 10PM timeslot next season. I so doubt that will happen, and hope this experiment, which really only means there’s even less room for quality scripted shows now, is a short-lived one at NBC.

50 Things I Love About TV – 11-20

Another 10 things I love about TV …

11. FX
Sons of Anarchy is one of my favorite new shows of the last few seasons, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is the funniest show to revolve around mostly repulsive characters since Seinfeld. Throw in Rescue Me, Damages, The Shield, Nip/Tuck, not to mention reruns of The Bernie Mac Show and Malcolm in the Middle, and it’s no exaggeration that FX’s recent history of shows is right up there with HBO.

12. Michael J. Fox
Here’s my theory on why there are so many talented, funny thirtysomethings and fortysomethings in Hollywood: They grew up watching Saturday Night Live, Bugs Bunny cartoons and Michael J. Fox as Alex P. Keaton on Family Ties. Of course there’s also the Back to the Future flicks, but Fox as Reagan-loving Ohioan Alex, who was rebelling against his hippy ‘rents, was a genius of comic timing, and one of the most endearing TV actors, playing one of the most endearing sitcom characters, of all time. And it’s a pure treat to see him back in action, and playing very much against type, as Tommy’s salty, bitter romantic rival on Rescue Me, as well as his on his new TV special, Michael J. Fox: Adventures of an Incurable Optimist, which airs May 7 on ABC (10:02PM).

13. The Real Housewives of … Anywhere!
The Atlanta ladies were the ones who got me hooked on the franchise, the New York City women have turned out to be the feistiest, most dramatic, and I’ve even come around to enjoying the spoiled shenanigans of the Orange County chicks (well, except for Vicki … oooh, that Vicki!), but the bottom line is, they’re all guilty pleasure goddesses. Can’t wait for the Real Housewives of NYC reunion special next week (May 12, Bravo, 10PM), which is so full of catfighting that they had to split it into two episodes, as well as what may turn out to be the best spin-off of all, The Real Housewives of New Jersey (season premiere May 12, 11PM).

14. The Biggest Loser
It’s a feel good show, and a testament to the amazing things people can do, often starting from a pretty hopeless place, when they put their minds and bodies to it.

15. VH1 reality shows
Rock of Love, Tough Love, I Love Money, Flavor of Love, Breaking Bonaduce, Celebrity Rehab, Charm School, My Fair Brady, The Surreal Life … I’m not proud, but I’m even watching Daisy of Love.

16. Simon Cowell
Yes, sometimes he’s a tool, and yes, sometimes you might even disagree with him (though less and less frequently with each season). But the bottom line is that, no matter who wins American Idol each season, Simon is always the star of the show. American Idol without Simon is like … American Idol with only Randy and Paula. See what I mean?

17. The Cottonelle puppy commercials
I know, some people hate them, and hate that Zach Braff is voicing them, but puppy on a treadmill, puppy in a hot tub, hundreds of puppies on a staircase … cuteness gold.

18. The Bad Girls Club
From the same producers who gave us The Real World comes this reality series where several strangers are picked to live in a house, work together and have their lives taped, to find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real … real skanky, real trashy, real potty-mouthed and real prone to smacking each other and dousing each other with various liquids. It’s good stuff.

19. Regis Philbin
He’s a great storyteller and charming host, but Regis’ best moments are the ones when he’s interviewing a guest he doesn’t know, or whose project he doesn’t know, and he doesn’t bother to pretend he does. He’s Regis damn it, and really, why would Regis know about some reality TV show Nick Lachey is producing? Reeg has earned the right not to know.

20. DIY Network
Still doin’ the NYC apartment thang, but when the hubs and I do buy a house, we’ll know how to regrout it, install cabinets and flooring in it, feed and water its lawn and be experts on its retaining walls, all thanks to the DIY Network. And, thanks to DIY Net’s arts and crafts shows, I’ll also know how to knit things for it, bead jewelry to wear in it and scrapbook the photos I take of it.

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