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Wednesday Playlist: A Toy Story Special, Burton and Taylor, EPIX Gets Schooled

Toy Story of Terror

It's Scream with playthings. A scream and a hoot, to be precise. And the first real event of the Halloween season, deserving to become an annual family tradition right up there with It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown — which ABC is holding until Halloween night itself. Disney Pixar's first made-for-TV special, ABC's Toy Story of TERROR! (Wednesday, 8/7c), is a delightful half-hour vignette of gags, action and self-empowerment, couching its never-give-up message in terrific non-stop entertainment. Tom Hanks and Tim Allen are back as Woody and Buzz, along with such other iconic fan faves as Don Rickles' Mr. Potato Head and Wallace Shawn's anxious dinosaur Rex, but the focus is on cowgirl Jessie (Joan Cusack), who has to face her abandonment issues and fear of being boxed up alone when one by one, her pals keep disappearing from a shady roadside motel where their owner Bonnie (and her mom) are staying overnight.

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The Toys Are Back With Toy Story of TERROR!

Toy Story of Terror

For all the laughs and sweet surprises, the Toy Story franchise can also deliver big frights, from the freaky mutant toys in the 1995 original to the deadly incinerator that nearly claimed the lives of Woody, Buzz and the gang in 2010's Toy Story 3. Now the peeps at Pixar are dishing up more chills with their first-ever Halloween special, Toy Story of TERROR!, a takeoff on the old Agatha Christie chestnut And Then There Were None (aka Ten Little Indians).

"Toy Story has... read more

Exclusive: ABC to Air Toy Story Special in October

Toy Story of Terror

Toy Story lives on!

In October, ABC will air Toy Story of Terror, a 30-minute special that reunites the original voice cast from the Toy Story franchise, TVGuide.com has learned exclusively.

From Pixar, Toy Story of Terror follows the adventures of the toys post-Toy Story 3, in which a fun road trip takes a very unexpected turn. "Bonnie is on a road trip to go see grandma with her mom and the toys are in the trunk," executive producer Galyn Susman says. "Mom gets a flat tire and they have to spend the night at a motel and all kinds of chaos ensues."

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The Guide to Wednesday TV: Two New Comedies to Hate, the Whitechapel Finale

The Exes

Comedy is very hot this TV season — thank ABC's best-of-class Wednesday comedies (all in repeats tonight), CBS' Monday blockbusters, NBC's cult faves and Fox's giddy New Girl — but two lousy new sitcom arrivals buck the trend, leaving a sour aftertaste.

Normally I'd celebrate at any circumstance that shrinks The X Factor to 90 minutes, but in this case, it opens the door for Fox's unpleasant I Hate My Teenage Daughter (9:30/8:30c), which traps two gifted comedians — My Name Is Earl's Emmy-winning spitfire Jaime Pressly and two-time Tony-winning scene-stealer Katie Finneran — in no-win roles as shrill moms who used to be ugly ducklings and are now cowed by their bratty offspring (forgettably rendered by Aisha Dee and Kristi Lauren), who are turning out to be the sort of spoiled mean girls who tormented the moms back when they were in high school.

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Critic's Guide to Monday TV: Farewell to Regis, a Diane Sawyer "Get," and More!

Mark Kelly, Gabrielle Giffords, Diane Sawyer

This week, it's all about Regis Philbin. The irrepressible broadcasting legend, who holds a Guinness World Record for most hours spent in front of a TV camera, will finally give it a rest at the end of this week, as he steps away from Live! With Regis and Kelly (check local listings) after nearly 25 years in national syndication and many years before that in a variety of jobs, including as Joey Bishop's late-night sidekick in the late '60s.

His time on Live! cemented his ...
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Showtime Invests in Laughing Stock From Steve Carell

Steve Carell

Just months after leaving The Office, Steve Carell is returning to TV — albeit behind the scenes — with a new interview series on Showtime.

Laughing Stock, executive-produced by Carell and David Steinberg, will bring on comedy greats from the last five decades for one-on-one discussions about their careers, influences and the evolution of comedy with Steinberg (Sit Down Comedy with David Steinberg).

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Regis Philbin to Receive TV Land's Legend Award

Live with Regis and Kelly

Regis Philbin will receive the Legend Award at this year's TV Land Awards, the cable network announced Monday.

The Legend Award is given to an entertainer or TV show that has stood the test of time and ranks among the most celebrated in entertainment history. Previous winners include Garry Marshall, Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner and Don Rickles.

"Hey, it's about time... read more

Is Bob Newhart Returning to TV?

Bob Newhart

Is television comedy icon Bob Newhart, 81, ready to stage his own Betty White-esque pop culture takeover?

"I don't know if the American public is ready for that," laughed Newhart at a salute to his 50th anniversary in show business at Beverly Hills' Paley Center for Media. But while the star of The Bob Newhart Show and Newhart says starring in a regular a series isn't highly likely ("That's for young people"), he's nowhere near retirement — and he may be teaming with his longtime best friend Don Rickles for a TV project in the near future... read more

Kathy Griffin Goes from D-Lister to Emmy Presenter

Kathy Griffin by Richard Wolowicz/WireImage.com

After weeks of rumors, ABC has confirmed Kathy Griffin will help hand out golden statuettes at the Emmys later this month.Who can forget the hubbub when the acerbic comic dissed Jesus while accepting her golden girl for My Life on the D-List at the 2007 Creative Arts ceremony? She's up for two Emmys this year, so brace yourself for more.Joining Griffin will be fellow comedian Don Rickles, two-time Emmy host Conan O'Brien, Christian Slater, Kate Walsh, and Emmy nominees Neil Patrick Harris and Kristin Chenoweth. Harris is logging in some serious time for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences — he announced the nominations with Chenoweth in July and is also tapped to host the Creative Arts bash on Sept. 13, with Sarah Chalke.ABC airs the 60th Annual Primetime Emmys on Sept. 21. — Joyce EngRelated:• 2008 Emmy Nominations• Housewives, Baby Mamas to Present at Emmys• More Stars Added to Emmy Presenters List read more

What Has Director John Landis Done Now?

John Landis and Universal 360 — A Cinesphere Spectacular

John Landis, the director who has brought you such seminal films as National Lampoon's Animal House, The Blues Brothers and An American Werewolf in London, is ready to unveil his latest valentine to film lovers. Debuting Saturday, July 1, at the Universal Studios theme park in Orlando, Universal 360 — A Cinesphere Spectacular read more

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