Lucy Lawless sports a shiner on Burn Notice.
Lucy Lawless as a damsel in distress? Say it ain't so! In a wild departure from her usual badass roles, the former Xena: Warrior Princess star will appear on USA Network's Burn Notice (tonight, 10 pm/ET) as a weepy, needy, emotionally frazzled mom who hires Michael (Jeffrey Donovan) to track down her missing husband and son. A much ballsier Lawless plays herself on Curb Your Enthusiasm in an episode airing Oct. 21. We gave the actress a call to discuss both gigs, plus the one that got away — the disastrous American version of Footballers' Wives.
TVGuide.com: It's downright surreal seeing you — a fem
Heroes' Takezo Kensei
Can't wait for Season 2 of Heroes? Hardcore addicts can get a quick fix right now with Sword Saint, a new five-part NBC Web series that's currently streaming on YamagatoFellowship.org.
"It's a fake documentary — actually it's more like a Ken Burns mockumentary — that explores the legend of Takezo Kensei," says Heroes creator Tim Kring, referring to the iconic samurai whom Hiro (Masi Oka) will encounter this fall in 17th-century Japan. "Like Burns, we use academic professors, only ours are actors, and they share their historical insight against a background of paintings, tapestries and graphics. It's a chance to dig a little deeper into the new season. Part of the social currency our fans trade on is their kn
Gina Holden and Eric Johnson, Flash Gordon
Space aliens have invaded Maryland. Innocent citizens are being liquefied into goo. Space-time rifts are opening up everywhere and could trigger the destruction of the universe. Yes, a whole lotta hell breaks loose on the new Sci Fi Channel series Flash Gordon (premiering this Friday, Aug. 10, at 8 pm/ET), but the titular hero — played by Smallville vet Eric Johnson — is fiercely determined to save mankind from doom. Just not right now.
On the show's Vancouver set, Flash, who is wearing a dog collar, is friskily engaged in a boudoir wrestle with Princess Aura (Anna Van Hooft). She's the spoiled-brat daughter of Ming (John Ralston), evil ruler of the planet Mongo, and she only has eyes for Flash. But
Masi Oka, Heroes
The characters on NBC's Heroes will leap forward four months when the show returns Sept. 24 — everyone, that is, except Hiro. The time-tripping fanboy, played by Masi Oka, was suddenly teleported to 1671 Japan in the cliff-hanger of last May's finale. The Season 2 premiere will find him right where we left him, stuck in the middle of a nation of samurai who are about to wage war. TV Guide spoke with the Emmy nominee about tripping time, wooing the Japanese Kelly Clarkson and getting Smart.
TV Guide: Immediate danger aside, isn't this Hiro's dream come true?
Masi Oka: Mine, too. It's the dream of many Japanese boys. We grow up playing samurai like kids in the U.S. play cowboys. Even the crime procedurals on Japanese TV are set in feudal Japan.
TV Guide: Will you spill
Stan Lee, Who Wants to Be a Superhero?
You're the man, Stan! As master of the Marvel Comics universe, Stan Lee cocreated Spider-Man, the Hulk, Fantastic Four and X-Men. But that's not enough for the 84-year-old wunderkind. He's just signed a mega-deal with Disney. He's developing a Paris Hilton cartoon series for MTV. Hasbro is about to issue a Stan Lee action figure (complete with his trademark specs, khakis and windbreaker). And this week he returns for his second season as judge on Sci Fi Channel's Who Wants to Be a Superhero? (premiering tonight at 9 pm/ET).
TV Guide: What sets Superhero apart from the other reality contests?
Stan Lee: It's really about heart, and being an empathetic human being. There's genuine crying and caring among the competitors when someone is eliminated. Yo
Tony Shalhoub and Sarah Silverman, Monk
Outrageous twists! Shocking revelations! Not on Monk!
Most returning hits feel compelled to tinker with success, even when doing so only screws things up. Monk, the USA Network series back this Friday, July 13 (at 9 pm/ET), for its sixth season, stays true to its quirky title character by playing it safe. Obsessively, compulsively safe.
"People expect us to try to keep Monk fresh, but I think freshness is highly overrated," cracks Tony Shalhoub, who plays the hyperphobic, OCD-afflicted detective Adrian Monk. "I believe in fermentation, and we're fermenting like a cheap wine." Monk creator Andy Breckman admits he's "quite frankly scared" to mess with this proven, family-friendly formula. "We're still playing by strict 1974 TV rules and have no desire to pu
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