At 86, Mel Brooks is still the life of the party, a consummate ham and peerless joke-spinning storyteller. "I've come to stop the show," announces the irrepressible comic dynamo as he does just that, breaking into song mid-interview and reinforcing why PBS' American Masters titled its latest must-see career profile Mel Brooks: Make a Noise (Monday, check tvguide.com listings). His brilliant career in TV (Your Show of Shows, Get Smart), the movies and Broadway makes him an overdue American Masters subject, and his unflagging comic energy keeps everyone amused — including an intrusively visible camera crew. "I'm head over heels in love with myself," Brooks says, only half-joking.
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Question: Looking at the Best Drama shortlist from last year as an example, do you think many of the usual suspects like Mad Men and Breaking Bad may have their best days behind them (maybe not so much objectively as much as in short-attentioned minds of many voters), along with Homeland seeming to have edged ever-so-slightly into ludicrousness (get pacemaker serial number and induce heart attack, all without Chloe opening a socket), Downton Abbey now having a "perennial obligatory nominee" vibe, and Boardwalk Empire maybe not even deserving to make the final cut anymore, could this be the year that Game of Thrones finally breaks out of the fantasy ghetto and gets enough votes to have its name called when the big envelope is opened?
Just two episodes in, Sundance Channel's first original scripted series Rectify has been renewed for a 10-episode second season, the network announced on Wednesday.
"The response to Rectify has been incredible," Sundance Channel President and General Manager Sarah Barnett said in a statement. "We feel as though this story has tapped into something truly unique, with both critics and audiences using their platforms to share such strong, personal reactions to this very distinctive TV series. There's so much drama and character that's been set up in the first season, it will be electrifying to see where Rectify goes in season two."
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Even with the clock ticking on a looming medical apocalypse, a worldwide pandemic of fatal "English Sweating Sickness" initiated by the unleashing of a magical Black Orchid thingamabob, Syfy's quirky fan fave Warehouse 13 manages to find time to crack wise about the end of the world.
"It's always 'ultimately death,'" Agent Pete (Eddie McClintock) bemoans when clued in about just how nasty the disease is that has infected the entire team and much of the rest of the planet. "Artifacts never release a plague of tickles or an epidemic of kittens." A plague of tickles: not a bad way to describe this tongue-in-cheek supernatural lark which pulls out all the guest-star stops in an eventful episode (Monday, 10/9c) by Drew Z. Greenberg that kicks off the second half of Season 4 with Evil Artie's (Saul Rubinek) life and soul also in jeopardy.
Here's something you may not know about actor Ray McKinnon: He won an Academy Award for writing and directing the 2001 short film The Accountant. He's also the writer-creator of the new drama Rectify (Mondays, 10/9c, Sundance Channel), in which Aden Young stars as Daniel Holden, a man who is released from prison after serving 19 years for the rape and murder of his girlfriend. DNA evidence appears to clear Daniel, but plenty of folks in his hometown still believe he's guilty. McKinnon answered our showrunner survey to explain why viewers will be captivated by Rectify.