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J.J. Abrams Is Feeling the Fringe Benefits

J.J. Abrams, creator of Fringe

Lost's J.J. Abrams is returning to TV with the fall's most-buzzed about new show, Fringe (premieres Tuesday, Sep. 9 at 9 pm/ET, Fox). Even, so, Abrams says he's a little nervous. We chatted with Abrams about how he handles the pressure, his strong female characters, and exploration strange new worlds on Fringe and his upcoming big-screen take on Star Trek. TV Guide: Everybody is talking about Fringe. Are you feeling the pressure? J.J. Abrams: I feel the pressure every time. I felt it on Felicity, on Alias, on Lost, and I feel it on Fringe. It goes with the territory. But I'm far more excited about people seeing it than I am nervous that they may not like it. TV Guide: What can you tell us about it?Abrams: I don't want to give away too much. read more

Fringe Premiere Party

Fringe, the most buzzed-about show of the Fall, held its premiere party in NYC Monday night in an old loft warehouse. In something straight out of a mystery/thriller, the building was unmarked and security men in dark suits patrolled the front as fashionable guests strutted inside. Once I made it past check-in, I was escorted around a corner to board a freight elevator that was so — er — (I'm trying to be polite here) rough around the edges, I thought it might take us down to some creepy bat cave instead of a hot premiere party. The space, which was big enough to fit an entire party in itself, went slowly up nine stories... I laughed to myself: “This is so J.J. Abrams to have the premiere of his new show in such a clandestine venue.”The elevator doors opened to foggy air, blue lights illuminating the seating and Fringe images projected all over the walls. It was kinda like the inside of a spaceship, but with cocktails! There, I met up with our own Mickey O’C... read more

Fox: On the Fringe of a Breakout Hit?

J.J. Abrams by Jim Spellman/WireImage.com

After a season rocked by a writers’ strike, shortened episode orders and a defecting audience, all eyes are turning to the new fall season and the hope of maybe a new hit or two reigniting the business.“I’d hope that this fall is a reset,” says Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly, kicking off his network’s portion of the TCA press tour Monday (following a performance and panel from summer smash So You Think You Can Dance; Reilly, for the record, stayed in his seat). “I believe in my heart it can be, particularly if there is a couple of new exciting shows joining the lineup or maybe some of the returning shows continue to find an audience.”Fox’s greatest hope this fall is unquestionably J.J. Abrams’ big-budget, high-concept sci-fi thriller Fringe, which Reilly and boss Peter Ligouri aggressively pursued. “We offered him a series day one. We knew the log line, that it was sort of The X-Files, Indiana Jones kind of thing. This show... read more

New Star Trek's Captain: Quinto's "Extraordinary" as Spock

Zachary Quinto by Avik Gilboa/ WireImage.com

Trekkies know that Captain Kirk and a certain dry Vulcan named Spock became unlikely best friends throughout the original Star Trek franchise But how did they become one of TVs best odd couples JJ Abrams discussed the relationship at a Television Critics Association panel saying We never saw how Kirk and Spock became so connected and this movie [reveals that] Did all of your pointy ears just perk upSo since the very important beginning of the SpockKirk friendship is featured in the movie how does JJ feel about relative newcomer Zachary Quintos performance Apparently Quinto hit it out of the park Abrams revealed that Zachary is extraordinary and that he brought gravity and an enormous sense of humor [to the role] Thats a tricky task for a tricky and complicated character Are you excited to see more about the new Star Trek movie Do you think Quinto can fill Nimoys Spock shoes Erin FoxRelated149 A Conversation with Two Spocks149 Use Our read more

Fall TV Press Tour: 24, Fringe, Truth Talk & More

24 by Kelsey McNeal/Fox and Fringe by Mark Holzberg/Fox

Matt and Mickey here at the TCA press tour. Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly has taken the stage to field questions. • First discussing Fringe, Reilly says that Fox was hot to work with J.J. Abrams, and thus offered him a series "on Day 1." Pegging Fringe as "X-Files meets Indiana Jones," Reilly says, "Sometimes with these big show runners, it's all hype and no delivery.... This one is going to bring the goods."• Reilly reiterates that which has been said before and by others: "24 is going to come back rocking and rolling" after suffering hard from a full season's postponement. "It was a good opportunity for [exec producer] Howard [Gordon], who is such a perfectionist," he explains. "He was really wanting this next season to be great, and it was unfortunate that he got interrupted [by the WGA strike]." Reilly adds that the "prequel" movie airing Nov. 23 "is a cool piece of business."• Explaining the decision to get in bed with Ozzy Osbourne and family, Reilly ... read more

J.J. Abrams Engages in a New "Mystery"

Lost creator and Star Trek captain JJ Abrams next will serve up a Mystery on Fifth Avenue as producer of a Paramount feature based on a New York Times article published June 12Penned by reporter Penelope Green the Times story detailed an Upper East Side apartment that was specially designed to feature hidden compartments puzzles and secret codes for the owners four preteen childrenMaya Forbes The Larry Sanders Show and Wally Wolodarksy The Simpsons will adapt the article into a feature script Matt Mitovich read more

Fox's Fringe, Dollhouse to Run with Half the Ads

Dollhouse by Kurt Iswarienko/Fox

Fox entertainment chairman Peter Liguori at Thursday's upfronts presentation unveiled a "Remote-Free TV" initiative, under which Fox will launch its two new dramas — J.J. Abrams' Fringe (premiering in late August) and Joss Whedon's Dollhouse (debuting midseason) — with half the commercial and promo time of a typical series. That adds up to no more than about five minutes of national ad loads per hour, and this applies to every episode.In the wake of increased competition from cable, Liguori wants "Remote-Free TV" to "be bold, to engage, to make the audience lean forward." What's your take? A sound idea to give viewers more of what they want, especially from these two sure-to-be-exciting new series? — MWMRelated:• The Biz at the Upfronts: A Spot-On Move By FoxBookmark our COMPLETE FALL TV GRID | Review All FALL TV NEWS read more

Young Hollywood Awards Bring Hot Stars, Cool Scoop

Thomas Dekker by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage.com

"It takes a special kind of person to be part of young Hollywood," host Aisha Tyler told the audience at Hollywood Life's 10th Annual Young Hollywood Awards, before rattling off the undergarmentless achievements of Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and friends. But at Avalon nightclub, the young ones honored were far from the scandalous kind. Chris O'Donnell, America Ferrera, J.J. Abrams and more took center stage to honor those on the cusp of breaking through, purely on the basis of their talent. TV Guide caught up with Thomas Dekker on the red carpet, who, despite sweltering conditions, was the epitome of cool. And for good reason — Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles are back this fall, bigger than ever. "I'm so excited. We're going to have to crank [the episodes] out pretty quick because we're going on in October." Viewers can look forward to an action-packed 13 episodes. "A lot of very dark twists immediately take place right at the beginning," teases Dekker.... read more

Exclusive: A Conversation with Trek's Two Spocks

Leonard Nimoy and Zachary Quinto by Albert L. Ortega/ WireImage.com

With the summer 2009 premiere of JJ Abrams Star Trek still more than a year away Leonard Nimoy has officially passed the torch as Spock to cast mate Zachary Quinto The rite of passage happened at Sundays Grand Slam XVI Sci Fi Summit in Burbank Calif and came in the form of a T-shirt that said No1 Vulcan I think Im going to have to grab a marker and change it to No 2 Vulcan a touched Quinto said to the audience TV Guide later welcomed the opportunity to talk with the two Spocks Carita RizzoTV Guide Zachary what kind of questions did you have for LeonardZachary Quinto They came up as things evolved The process that I went through to play this part was very internal and private but in terms of what were getting into today I couldnt ask for a better introduction to the experience and to the fans than to engage in it with him here by my side Its literally unbelievable TV Guide Can the Star Trek life experience be described LeonardLeonard Nimo read more

Exclusive: Jackson's Grey's Stint Fades to Black

Joshua Jackson by Tony Barson/ WireImage.com, Sandra Oh by Bob D'Amico/ABC

It appears Joshua Jackson's Grey's Anatomy gig has ended before it began. And once again, the writers' strike is to blame. To quickly recap, Grey's announced last fall that the ex-Dawson's Creeker would be joining the cast for a multi-episode arc as a doctor and, as I would later report, a love interest for Cristina. Unfortunately, just weeks before he was scheduled to shoot his first episode, the writers went on strike and Jackson's stint, just like the TV biz itself, was put on hold. Cut to present day: The strike is over, Grey's is headed back into production, and Jackson is — yep, you guessed it — no longer available. During the work stoppage, J.J. Abrams hand-picked the actor to headline his new X-Files-esque Fox series Fringe, which is currently in production in Toronto (and will be through mid-March). Although an attempt was made to make the scheduling work, ultimately the logistics proved too daunting. Now Grey's is forced to either recast the role or scrap it enti... read more

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