Christine Ebersole

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Weekend Review: HBO's Olive Kitteridge, Revisiting The Affair

Frances McDormand

To know Olive Kitteridge is not easy. Many would likely argue it's not worth the risk of being exposed to her harsh, judgmental New Englander's scorn. Suffer fools gladly? Not this curmudgeonly math teacher who, when her husband insists she's not depressed, snaps back, "Yes, I am. Happy to have it. Comes with being smart." Prompting her long-suffering son to wonder, "Is that why you're so mean all the time?"

And yet, in HBO's oddly moving and melancholy-shrouded two-night adaptation of Elizabeth Strout's Pulitzer-winning novel Olive Kitteridge (Sunday-Monday, 9/8c), a remarkable Frances McDormand makes Olive a fascinating, tragicomic study in human stubbornness, contrariness and contradiction.... read more

The Wednesday Playlist: Milestones for Middle, CSI; World Series Begins

Jen Ray

Aw, heck. Is it really worth making a fuss over The Middle's 100-episode milestone? It hardly seems in character for a family like the Hecks of Orson, Indiana. When she's reminded that they volunteered to drive a giant cow float in Orson's centennial parade, Frankie (Patricia Heaton) whines, "This is what happens when we drink: We sign up for stupid committees. Or get Brick."

But as Orson itself expresses in a self-deprecating new town motto: "Why not?" This episode (Wednesday, 8/7c, ABC) truly is cause for celebration, as TV's most heartfelt and hilariously relatable family sitcom reflects on what brought Frankie and Mike (Neil Flynn) to Orson in the first place, while giving their lovably imperfect offspring a chance to shine in clever-to-wacky subplots. (Sue's attempt to make Darrin jealous by cozying up to her flamboyant BFF Brad is especially genius.)

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Inside the Spooky New American Horror Story: Coven

Jessica Lange

Forget eye of newt. With a record-breaking premiere audience of 5.5 million viewers, Coven, the witch-centric third season of FX's American Horror Story franchise, is casting a spell on viewers. And no wonder: It's campy, creepy and "the cast is completely off the hook," says executive producer Tim Minear, who sums up the show's ability to attract major... read more

Keck's Exclusives First Look: Smash Goes to the Tonys

Smash

The struggling Smash, which NBC is moving to Saturdays starting April 6, will close out its second (and likely final) season in late May or early June by sending the main characters to the Tony Awards. A trip to Broadway's big night "was part of the pitch that got me the job," says executive producer Josh Safran, who took over as showrunner this season. "It's an event that doesn't necessarily ­require you to be nominated to be there. People attend, perform and present awards. And there is a song that involves the entire lead cast."

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Review: TBS' Son Never Rises

Steve Byrne

"NORM!"

Oh, sorry, I momentarily mistook TBS' new sitcom for something funny. Like Cheers — echoes of which kept ringing in my TV memory bank as I slogged my way through the back-to-back episodes of the instantly forgettable Sullivan & Son (Thursday, 10/9c), the channel's latest attempt to produce something as amusing as the popular sitcom repeats that pepper the TBS schedule. read more

Cheers & Jeers: Royal Pains' Winning Pair

Henry Winkler and Mary Lynn Rajskub, Royal Pains

Cheers to Royal Pains for allowing two beloved TV faves chances to stretch.

USA's hit medical dramedy has cast the Fonz himself, Henry Winkler, as Eddie, the deadbeat dad of Hank (Mark Feuerstein) and Evan (Paulo Costanzo) Lawson. After cleaning out their bank account — a totally uncool move — the old man apparently redeemed himself, returning their money.

Meanwhile, Mary Lynn Rajskub, who wrapped her small-screen gig as world-saving CTU techie Chloe O'Brian only a few weeks ago, got back in touch... read more

24's Mary Lynn Rajskub to Appear on Royal Pains

Mary Lynn Rajskub

Mary Lynn Rajskub has lined up her first post-24 gig: a guest spot on Royal Pains.

The 38-year-old actress will appear in the ...
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Exclusive: Samantha Who's Mom Has a Secret Sister?

Christine Ebersole

Samantha Who's mother, Regina, has a secret sister —  and she's being played by Tony-winning actress Christine Ebesole, TVGuide.com has learned exclusively.

Whoa, what, Who? A "secret sister"? Well, it's complicated. It turns out that Regina ... read more

On Stage: Tony Contenders, a Wind Hits London and More

In honor of the Tonys, airing Sunday, June 10, on CBS, Live with Regis and Kelly will showcase a slew of Broadway babies next week. Monday brings a Spring Awakening; Tuesday finds David Hyde Pierce hawking Curtains; on Wednesday, Raúl Esparza makes for great Company; Thursday Christine Ebersole brightens Grey Gardens; and on Friday Mary Poppins goes "Supercalifragilisticexpidalidocious".... Cheers star Rhea Perlman makes her West End debut in Boeing-Boeing this summer, as per Playbill.com.... Broadway.com reports that the American classic Gone with the Wind is being turned into a British musical, set to hit the stage in spring 2008.... An actor in the problem-plagued production of London's Lord of the Rings was injured by a piece of hydraulic stage machinery. He was treated with medicine, not magic. — Reporting by Raven Snook read more

I was reading your answer ...

It's show time!

Question: I was reading your answer about the play that was based on Dr. Strangelove and that got me to wondering if you know of any other really weird or unlikely movie-to-stage adaptations coming up. Thanks.


Answer: The avant-garde off-off-Broadway theater piece Major Bang, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Dirty Bomb, freely adapted from Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), was indeed an odd one. But I have to say, it's at least matched and maybe topped by Grey Gardens, a musical adaptation of the 1975 documentary by Albert Maysles and his brother about an eccentric mother and daughter, both named Edith Bouvier Beale, who lived in abject squalor in a rambling East Hampton mansion. The women, known to friends as "Big Edie" and "Little Edie," were related to Jacqueline B read more

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