The upcoming fall season will be lucky to generate even a fraction as many hits as this unusually busy TV summer produced, a list of keepers that includes Outlander, The Strain, The Knick, The Last Ship, Undateable, to name just a few. (Even something as underwhelming as AMC's Halt and Catch Fire, which didn't, has been renewed by its increasingly desperate network, and I'm hoping for good news about the future of WGN America's Manhattan and WE's The Divide.)
Our top moments of the week:
11. Worst Surprise Party: On Switched at Birth, Kathryn's new BFF Renzo surprises everyone when he turns her impromptu book party into a murder-mystery game. However, the biggest surprise comes later in the evening, when Kathryn overhears her husband, John, talking to their son's mother-in-law, Jennice, about the kiss they shared while Kathryn was out of town. Kathryn reveals herself as the (fictional) murderer, cuts the party short and then kicks John out of the house. That's one way to...
Oscar nominees Amy Adams and Matthew McConaughey will both appear on Inside the Actors Studio in February, Bravo announced Thursday.
Portia De Rossi
Portia De Rossi wasn't afraid to get personal when she reunited with the cast of Arrested Development on Thursday's Inside the Actors Studio. When James Lipton asked de Rossi about her marriage to Ellen Degeneres, the actress revealed her initial anxiety about coming out in Hollywood.
Warden Gentles is locking up the Bluths one last time. The cast of Arrested Development will reunite on Inside the Actors Studio, hosted by recurring guest-star with James Lipton.
As if James Lipton doesn't have enough to celebrate these days — after 16 nominations, Bravo's Inside the Actors Studio won its first Emmy award for Outstanding Informational Series/Special, at the Creative Arts Emmys on Sept. 15 — the host and executive producer will be joined on stage by Jake Gyllenhaal on Thursday (8/7c, Bravo).
Gyllenhaal, 32, takes his turn in the hot seat to open up about his Oscar-nominated career from cult-classic Donnie Darko to his upcoming theatrical release Prisoners, in which he stars opposite Actors Studio favorite Hugh Jackman. Gyllenhaal also discusses his relationship with his famous sister, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and reminisces about former costars Anne Hathaway (Love & Other Drugs) and the late Heath Ledger (Brokeback Mountain), admitting, "It felt like losing a family member, and it still does to this day."
This is the calm before the new-season storm. A week from now, only the most advanced devices will be able to handle the crush of new (and mostly returning-hit) programming airing on Thursdays, with expanded season openers of long-running faves The Big Bang Theory, Parks and Recreation and Grey's Anatomy among the draws.
By comparison, this is a much quieter Thursday, although NBC once had high hopes that the two-hour climax of the seemingly endless and haplessly muddled Million Second Quiz (8/7c) would be something to shout, instead of yawn, about. Instead, the peacock's more anticipated headliner is Valerie's Story — A Meredith Vieira Special (10/9c), an hour-long good-news report from the former Today co-anchor chronicling Valerie Harper's unusually public battle against terminal brain cancer.
James Lipton and Bradley Cooper
James Lipton returned to the fourth season of Arrested Development, which rebooted on Netflix this past weekend, but this week (Wed. May 29, 7/6c, Bravo), he's celebrating another milestone. In 1994, Lipton created a Master's degree course at the Actors Studio and started televising his seminars with famous performers. Hundreds of interviews later, Inside the Actors Studio is celebrating its 250th episode by bringing back such guests as Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lopez and Ellen Burstyn (Wednesday, 7/6c, Bravo). Let's get this party started.
James Lipton asks a lot of questions. But apparently he's been hiding a big secret all of these years.
Charlie Sheen is going back to his roots for Machete Kills. According to a screengrab obtained by TMZ, Sheen will be billed by his birth name, Carlos Estevez, for the upcoming film.