Quarterlife by Elisabeth Caren/NBC
The when: The series makes its broadcast premiere on NBC Tuesday, Feb. 26. at 10 pm/ET. (Also see related story in Interviews & Features.)Why watch?: If you want to see where original TV content is headed in the next few years, Quarterlife will be a perfect introduction. Developed for the Internet in eight-minute webisodes that began airing last November on MySpace, Facebook and Quarterlife.com (among other sites), Quarterlife explores the trials and angst of six twentysomethings in Los Angeles. Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick, who are known for their sensitive and accurate portrayals of characters from shows like thirtysomething and My So-Called Life (isn't that enough reason for you to watch?), have created a world of blogging, modern technology-savvy people that grow on you with each episode. If you're in your twenties (or remember them well), you'll be able to relate to Dylan and her unrequited love and crazy boss issues, Debra's unhealthy dependence on her family problems,...
Ghost Whisperer by Vivian Zink/ABC
Now that the WGA strike has ended, Ghost Whisperer will be among the first to film new episodes. In fact, the ink was barely dry on the new writers' contract when executive producer/head writer P.K. Simonds reported to work, rested and committed to his mission of making the remaining five episodes of this season the most compelling and groundbreaking yet. We were fortunate enough to catch up with Simonds in the midst of his heavily scheduled day to chat about what it's like to be back at work post-strike. Zoë Alexander TV Guide: I'll bet you're excited that the strike is over, when do you officially report to work?P.K. Simonds: I'm a producer and a writer so the union encouraged me to go to work this past Monday to fulfill my producer duties, and I went back to work with the writers when they all started working on Tuesday after everything was signed.TV Guide: What was going back to work like? Any fresh, bold, new ideas for the show?Simonds: Well, you know it's funny bec...
Brenda Strong by Andrew Eccles/ABC
Speaking with TV Guide Wednesday night at the Bebe Lingerie Launch Party, Brenda Strong (aka the dearly departed Mary Alice) confirmed that which Ausiello reported a few weeks back: When Desperate Housewives resumes its season in April/May, a significant amount of time will have passed since the Jan. 7 episode. "A lot of storyline got dropped because of [the strike-shortened season], so we're going to consolidate it [into seven episodes]," the actress shared. As such, look for the balance of episodes to feature picket-fence-to-picket-fence drama. "It will definitely be worth watching," says Strong, "because a lot of the juicy stuff will be jam-packed into every episode. You don't want to miss it."The super-soapiness, she says, will "tie up Season 4 in a nice bow, so we can start fresh with Season 5." Or as Mary Alice, queen of the well-placed homily would say, "What's old is what's new again."
Jericho by Andrew Cone/CBS
The when: Season 2 premieres Tuesday, Feb. 12, at 10 pm/ET.Why watch?: The brave citizens of Jericho cling to the hope of normalcy after the country survives a nuclear attack on 23 of its most prominent cities.Who's who: Jericho has a large ensemble of characters, but with the show's high mortality rate, that number is steadily diminishing. The show's main characters are Jake Green and Robert Hawkins. Jake Green returned to Jericho just prior to the attack on the neighboring city of Denver. Once an irresponsible troublemaker, Jake has grown into the leader of Jericho. Much of Robert Hawkins' past is shrouded in mystery. As an affiliate of the black-ops sector of the government, he tried unsuccessfully to prevent the nuclear attacks from taking place. He responded by extracting his family from Washington, D.C., and taking them to Jericho where they would be safe. Robert also averted another attack by stealing a nuclear bomb from the enemy, bringing it with him to Jericho. What's next...
CSI by Cliff Lipson/CBS
As you sit down this Thursday night to watch the "Chick Chop Flick Shop" rebroadcast of CSI, keep the following fun facts in mind:1) The character of director Zack Putrid is played by John Asher, who is himself an accomplished director as well as an actor. The name "Zack Putrid" is a nod to current horror-meister Rob Zombie.2) John Ventimiglia, who guest-stars in this episode as producer Stanley Vespucci, is best remembered as Tony Soprano's longtime friend and restaurant owner Artie Bucco on The Sopranos.3) Carla Orlandi, who plays horror diva Weatherly Adams, has been seen before on CSI. She played "Bubbles," the wife of chicken slaughterhouse owner Ike Mannleigh in Season 7's miniature-killer episode "Loco Motives."4) In the episode, horror-movie posters adorn the walls of the studio, including "I Have to Axe My Mother" "Can I Lick the Spoon?," "Vortex of Evil," "Into the Mouth of Hell" and "Chop Chop Fizz Fizz." Each of these was considered (and rejected) as the title of the epi...
Lipstick Jungle by Andrew Eccles/NBC Photo
The when: Enter the Jungle Thursday, Feb. 7, at 10 pm/ET on NBC.Why watch?: If you were a devoted Sex and the City fan then you'll love Lipstick Jungle, as both began as novels written by Candace Bushnell. With hip and powerful females at the center of the plot it's sure to become a staple on your TV schedule or at least on the DVR. Lipstick also has a lot of buzz surrounding it and both critics and viewers have been wondering for months whether it will be better than its competitor, Cashmere Mafia, which was created by SATC scribe Darren Star. Sure, it's catchphrase "It's a jungle out there, dress accordingly" is a little cheesy, but the show promises not to be, with its chic wardrobe, sexy plotlines and witty dialogue. Who's who: Three powerful women who are best friends Wendy, Nico and Victory have just been named among New York's 50 most powerful women. Wendy Healy, a film executive, is played by Brooke Shields. Victory Ford, a fashion designer, is pl...
Survivor: Micronesia---Fans vs. Favorites by Monty Brinton/CBS
The when: Premieres Thursday, Feb. 7, at 8 pm/ET on CBS.Why watch?: Generally good-looking people with worsening hygiene sharing cramped, sandy quarters, subsisting on a couple of grains and rice, and buckling under the pressure of a win-or-go-home scenario what's not to love? Survivor has managed to come up with new conflicts, new challenges and new locations for 16 seasons now, and this one is no exception: Some of the best-liked players from seasons past are back, and this time they're taking on their biggest fans.Who's who: Jeff Probst has been the host of Survivor since Season 1, when the contestants were cast away in Borneo. This season, familiar faces return to the competition, like last season's gentle giant James, the gravedigger, Cook Islands' likable jack-of-all-trades Ozzy, and Fiji's sympathetic underdog Yau-Man.What's next: With new challenges and a brand-new premise, this season should be one to remember. Will it work to the favorites' advantage or disadvantage...
William Petersen by Robert Voets/CBS
As you sit down this Thursday night to watch the "Lying Down with Dogs" rebroadcast of CSI, keep the following fun facts in mind: 1) The PSA at the end of the episode for the ASPCA (the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) features William Petersen's dog Bruno. Bruno has appeared in episodes of CSI as Grissom's dog. 2) The "fighting dogs" were actually playing, and it was through editing and sound that aggressive behavior was portrayed. These two dogs were brought up together and trained to do this all under the supervision of the American Humane Society.3) The dog attacking and biting the other dog in the fight was actually biting a doll.4) The blood used was a mixture of Karo-type syrup, and the dogs loved it. (Producers had to film quickly before the dogs ate it all!)5) The dog graveyard was made up of all foam-cast animals. Production had to bury a bone under the rubber-cast body of the woman so that the dogs would "attack" it, otherwise they would just run...
Idiocracy courtesy 20th Century Fox
Monday, Feb. 4, at 2:45 pm/ETGimme Shelter | SUND It's been said that the '60s came to a crashing halt at California's Altamont Speedway where, in 1969, the Rolling Stones at their most satanic played "Sympathy for the Devil" while the Hell's Angels rampaged and a young man died. You'll get no argument from me: This classic concert film from the Maysles brothers captures the dark twilight of the Age of Aquarius.Tuesday, Feb. 5, 8 and 9:45 pmEnter the Dragon | AMC Bruce Lee is a legend for a reason, and even if you don't think you like "chop-socky" flicks, you need to check this one out. Lee stars as a martial-arts expert who enters a contest held in a remote island fortress, a setup that's been copied endless times ever since. This was Lee's last completed film before his untimely death in 1973, and he's spectacular.Wednesday, Feb. 6, 8 pmVertigo | TCMI still personally prefer Notorious and Shadow of a Doubt, but I certainly won't throw down with anyone who contends that this dark a...
Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Hamish Linklater in The New Adventures of Old Christine by Mitchell Haddad/Warner Bros. Television/CBS
The when: Mondays at 9:30pm/ET. Season 3 premieres Feb. 4.Why watch?: Remember back when traditional sitcoms were funny? Turns out some still are, and The New Adventures of Old Christine is one of them. You don't have to be a Seinfeld lover (or even a Seinfeld tolerator) to appreciate Julia Louis-Dreyfus' Emmy-winning work as the titular "Old" Christine Campbell, a woman whose bizarrely close relationship with her ex-husband and his twentysomething girlfriend (also named Christine, get it?) is eclipsed only by her even more bizarre relationship with her live-in brother. While she's more likely to vote for the next American Idol than for president, and she repeatedly confuses racism with anti-environmentalism, she's also managing to raise a (semi-) well-adjusted son and run her own business. And though the New Christine/Old Christine dynamic can be trying at times, the scenes between Old Christine, ex-husband Richard and their close friend Barb (a truly dynamic Wanda Sykes) can be gu...