Anthony Michael Hall, The Dead Zone
Armageddon is so last week. USA Network’s The Dead Zone (Sundays at 10 pm/ET) ended its first season in 2002 with a hook as fresh as it was horrifying: Psychic Johnny Smith (Anthony Michael Hall) had a vision of Washington, D.C., in nuclear ruin. The man responsible? Ambitious politico Greg Stillson (Sean Patrick Flanery).
Five years later that plot’s still playing out, but now many shows spin on the fear of an apocalypse (Heroes, Sleeper Cell) or have nukes that actually do detonate (Jericho, 24). What was once unfathomable is now almost ho-hum. So how will The Dead Zone — back for its sixth season — keep us hooked on its doomsday scenario? By twisting it, turning it and sending it in
What a way to go. Heroes didn't just kill off Isaac Mendez in the April 23 episode: The prophetic artist was crucified atop one of his own paintings by the evil Sylar who then lopped off the poor guy's skull and took his brain. Still, for all its ghoulish gore, this was a profoundly moving exit.
"Isaac stood up to Sylar and went out a hero despite his fears and torment and heroin addiction, and I'm very proud of that," says Santiago Cabrera, who played the troubled heartthrob. "I'm sad to go, but was prepared for it. I always said that if this day came, I'd bow my head in thanks because it's been an amazing ride."
Cabrera says he realized Isaac was on "very tricky moral ground" after he accidentally killed his former lover Simone (Tawny Cypress) in the F
Malcolm McDowell and Ali Larter, Heroes
Welcome back to Monday Night Smackdown. When the last new Heroes episode ended seven weeks ago, Mohinder (Sendhil Ramamurthy) was telekinetically pinned to the ceiling like a piñata while Peter (Milo Ventimiglia) was having his head sliced open by the brain-snatching Sylar (Zachary Quinto). This epic battle between good and evil culminates when the show finally returns April 23. And it's not even the epic battle.
"We've positioned Peter and Sylar as the two mythic superpowers of the show, so this is merely Round 1," promises creator Tim Kring. "It's not their ultimate showdown — it's more like the trailer for things to come." Still, it's a doozy. Though the entire sequence
Joy Behar, The View
That feud-fueling, headline-breaking, must-see yap-fest The View (weekdays at 11 am/ET) has nabbed 10 Daytime Emmy nominations. It's not a record for the decade-old show — it scored 12 nods way back in Season 3 — but this could be the year it finally gets the gold for best talk show and best hosts. (The awards air June 15 on CBS.) TVGuide.com checked in with Joy Behar to see if the raucous redhead is feeling lucky.
TVGuide.com: Congrats on the nominations. Think you'll make it to the podium this time?
Joy Behar: Are you kidding? We never win! Our show might win this year, but the host thing is the problem. The judges don't go for multiple hosts because there's always someone to hate. The only time Regis Philbin won was when
Ali Larter, Heroes
It ain't easy being the scariest gal on TV. When Ali Larter has a day off from NBC's Heroes (Mondays at 9 pm/ET), in which she plays dual personalities Niki and Jessica, she isn't kicking back. She's studying martial arts and taking striptease classes. Larter needs to master the "Kill Bill" stuff now that Jessica is an assassin for the shadowy Vegas mob boss Linderman. And the stripping? That's for a secret Heroes twist to be revealed later this season.
"The blessing and curse of being on Heroes is that you never know what they'll throw at you," says Larter, 31. "You have to be ready. Luckily for me I'm a kick-ass kinda gal. I'm also a bit schizophrenic — I need to change and reinvent myself a lot."
She came to the right show. When Heroes debuted last fall, we were first introduced to Niki,
Tawny Cypress, Heroes
If a girl's gotta go, this is the way to do it. The Feb. 19 episode of NBC's Heroes (Mondays at 9 pm/ET) ended with the accidental shooting of Simone Deveaux, played by Tawny Cypress. The sexy art dealer died cradled by her two heartthrob boyfriends, Isaac (Santiago Cabrera), who fired the fatal shot, and Peter (Milo Ventimiglia). A surprisingly chipper Cypress called to give TVGuide.com the lowdown on her outta-nowhere demise.
TVGuide.com: Condolences, babe. How long have you known about this?
Tawny Cypress: Since mid-December. [Heroes creator/executive producer] Tim Kring called me per
Heroes' Hayden Panettierre, Adrian Pasdar
Nathan is the babydaddy! The Feb. 5 episode of NBC's Heroes ended with a stunning and super-sudsy twist: Viewers learned that cheerleader Claire Bennet (Hayden Panettiere) is the out-of-wedlock offspring of trailer-park mama Meredith Gordon (Jessalyn Gilsig) and ambitious politico Nathan Petrelli (Adrian Pasdar). Are we gearing up for a Kennedy-esque scandal here? Series creator Tim Kring gave TV Guide the lowdown on this wild development.
TV Guide: Was it always your plan to have Nathan be Claire's father?
Tim Kring: Yes, from before Day 1. When the show was just a diagram on paper, I
Genevieve Cortese, Wildfire
It's not just the little show that could. ABC Family's Wildfire (Mondays at 8 pm/ET) is the little show that changed an entire cable network. Despite a premise that sounds sappy — troubled girl befriends horse and starts a new life — this series doesn't shy away from the hard topics (drugs, sex, suicide) and has pulled strong ratings, especially with teens and young women, since its 2005 debut. It proved that the channel could be more than just a repository for sugary repeats, and soon ABC Family was launching more original programs with edge (Kyle XY, Fallen, the new Lincoln Heights). Wildfire, which kicked off its third season this month, has already been renewed for a fourth.
George Takei, Heroes
Does stunt casting get more brilliant than this? On this week's episode of NBC's Heroes (Mondays at 9 pm/ET), Masi Oka's Hiro Nakamura — a Star Trek-crazy fanboy — will come face-to-face with his father, a powerful Japanese industrialist. The role will be played by the beloved Trek icon George Takei (aka Sulu), with whom TV Guide recently spoke as part of its current Heroes cover story.
TV Guide: This is a Trekker's wet dream!
George Takei: Isn't it marvelous? I'm a big fan of Heroes. In fact, I like to think we bla