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February 22, 2007: Cocktails

Office fans, unite. It's Kate Flannery with the latest on-set dirt and such. First of all, many thanks to all the fans of Dwight, Meredith and the bat from last week's episode, "Business School." I got so many bat calls and bat e-mails that I have to answer a few Frequently Asked Bat Questions:• Yes, it was a real bat in the room. • No, it wasn't a real bat in the bag with my head. There were bat wranglers and puppeteers, and our director, Joss Whedon of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame, keeping us all in the right place. I loved working with Joss. He was really fun and very comfortable around bats! Rainn [Wilson] named the bat "Gary," since the bat came in nameless.Rainn and I had a lot of fun doing this scene with a bag over my head. There was a lot of screaming, which doesn't really bother me. I screamed a lot on stage in The Valley of the Dolls in NYC, and really learned how to scream often and not mess up my voice. I was a little sore the next day. Not bad. Rainn and I h... read more

At the Movies: J.J. Abrams to Climb Dark Tower?

Many Dark Tower fans have deemed it a Mission: Impossible, so.... Per the Hollywood Reporter, Lost boss J.J. Abrams and Stephen King are in talks to bring the Dark Tower novels to the screen. Thus far, it is unclear whether the project would definitely be theatrical, given the sprawling breadth of the seven-book saga, or a TV mini.... The Departed's Matt Damon and Mark Wahlberg will reunite in The Fighter, a boxing film based on the life of "Irish" Mickey Ward (Wahlberg) and his brother/trainer (Damon).... Per Variety, Mark Ruffalo is Adrien Brody's big bro and fellow con in The Brothers Bloom. read more

December 18, 2006: Jumbo Jets, Funnel Cakes and Karma

Well, the players may have changed, but the Brian group is still commencing for group dinners, watching sports and small talk in the kitchen. Sure, Heather may be no Marjorie, and Ivy puts a twist in the normal girl gab, but I like the changes and how this group is constantly mutating and conforming to the present situation. And presently, we've got an uncomfortable mother-to-be with "full-on Sydney Bristow kicks" — I wonder if co-producer J.J. Abrams (creator of Alias) snuck that in there — and lots of other uncomfortable non-pregnant problems, like the latest sad Dave-and-Deena moment when they verbally recognized the fact that they both aren't wearing their rings anymore. But I'm not going to dwell on the separated couple this week. I finally feel bad for Brian. Up until now, I've been telling myself that he puts himself in tough situations and hangs out there just to torture himself. But now, I think he's just finding unfortunate holes that suck him in like quicksand... read more

It's Show Time for Star Trek/Boston Legal's William Shatner

William Shatner, Show Me the Money

Show Me the Money, once but a quotable from a Tom Cruise film, has finally found its rightful place as the title of a TV game show, premiering tonight on ABC at 9:30 pm/ET and hosted by William Shatner. (Starting Nov. 22, the show's regular time slot is Wednesdays at 8.) Having once sported a full-size Captain Kirk poster on my bedroom door, this TVGuide.com reporter was more than excited to speak with the Star Trek alum about his bold new mission, what's next for Boston Legal's Denny "Denny Crane" Crane and the current fate of his Starfleet commander. TVGuide.com: What kind of schedule have you come up with where you can juggle these two ABC gigs of yours? read more

Heroes' Greg Grunberg Takes TV Guide on the Hunt for Sylar

Greg Grunberg, Heroes

Greg Grunberg sure has come a long way since being chewed up and spit out by that whatever on Lost. Now, he's the star of his own watercooler-conversation series, NBC's Heroes (Mondays at 9 pm/ET). When Grunberg stopped by the TV Guide offices the morning after last week's episode aired, we debriefed him on the hunt for Sylar, Matt's upcoming date with a cheerleader, and what longtime pal J.J. Abrams was like as a tyke. TVGuide.com: First, I have to say: Would that every husband could read their wives' minds!Greg Grunberg: Yeah, but be careful what you wish for. You immediately thin read more

Exclusive: Recastin' Kirk? Shatner Just. Can't. See it.

In an interview with TVGuide.com, William Shatner — out to promote his new ABC game show (Show Me the Money, previewing Nov. 14) as well as the Boston Legal Season 2 DVD (in stores Nov. 21) — revealed that he has, in fact, had "a long talk" with J.J. Abrams about the Lost creator's in-the-works Star Trek feature, which by some unconfirmed accounts will chronicle James T. Kirk's early days as a Starfleet Academy cadet. So who is Shatner's pick to originate Kirk's bravado? "I think it's essentially uncastable," he answers with a wink. TVGuide.com also asked Shatner about the Trek-inspired DirecTV commercial currently on the air, in which he seems to have magically shed a few Tribbles. "They've got me CGI'd," he admits. "They've got a computer program trying vainly to make me look younger."Read our complete conversation — in which Shatner previews what's ahead for Boston Legal's Denny Crane, and dismisses our suggestion for a cameo in Abrams' Trek — in an upcoming I... read more

A Supersize Office Christmas? J.J. Abrams to Direct?

Just how much political incorrectness can Michael Scott dispense in double the usual time frame? That question stands poised to be answered when NBC's The Office gifts fans with an hourlong Christmas episode. Per Newsday, the superdupersize holiday outing will be directed by veteran funnyman and filmmaker Harold Ramis. The onetime Ghostbuster isn't the only big name on tap to get behind the mockumentary's cameras, however. The same Newsday piece reports that Lost creator turned M:i:III and Star Trek helmer J.J. Abrams is on board to direct a February-sweeps episode. Ooh, do I foresee flashbacks to when Angela was a crippled, Korean-speaking box-company owner on the run from the law?UPDATE: I just received independent confirmation from a well-placed source that J.J. Abrams will in fact be directing an episode of The Office. To quell any doubters. read more

J.J. Abrams Divulges Mission: Impossible Secrets, and More!

J.J. Abrams and Tom Cruise, Mission: Impossible III

That sizzling sound you hear isn't originating from the iconic Mission: Impossible fuse, but from the red-hot DVD release of Mission: Impossible III, simultaneously available today in standard as well as both (HD DVD, Blu-ray) hi-definition formats. To mark the action-packed escapade's vid store arrival, TVGuide.com spoke with director J.J. Abrams, who divulged secrets from the M:i:III set, shared his awe of franchise front man Tom Cruise (aka IMF superagent Ethan Hunt), and even updated us on that "little" Star Trek film thing he has in the works. TVGuide.com: First off, I want to say that I really, really enjoyed the film. I have two young read more

Here's a Lost theory that has ...

Question: Here's a Lost theory that has nothing to do with the island's mystery, but rather its slightly slipping ratings. I believe the success of Jericho is causing viewers to avoid watching Lost directly after (too much mystery-adventure in one sitting) and instead to gravitate toward something more mindless, such as Criminal Minds. I think this opens up many possibilities for network scheduling. Grey's Anatomy has seemed to get its viewers craving more medical drama, sending them to another network for ER at 10 pm/ET. Could a network be crafty enough to schedule a show around another network's hit? Answer: You seem to be contradicting yourself here. You don't think CBS purposely scheduled Jericho in Lost's original time period (back in the first season) in hopes of drawing that audience in an hour early? I imagine there's plenty of overlap between the shows — and for the record, at least for now, Lost is still outdrawing Jericho, even if Lost's numbers aren't what they used to be ... read more

A Lost Lost Opportunity for J.J. Abrams

Shepherding in one way or another not one (Lost) or two (Six Degrees) but three (What About Brian, returning Oct. 2) prime-time dramas this fall, J.J. Abrams' many TV obligations have caught up with him. As a result, he will not be directing the seventh episode of Lost — the first following the series' mid-season hiatus — as planned. "I was supposed to leave today for Hawaii to begin prep on an episode I was set to direct and I was dying to do — the story is just mind-blowing — but because of work on these other shows, I've been unable to do that," Abrams shared in a Tuesday teleconference with reporters. Instead, Abrams plans to get behind the camera for a later Lost outing, if not the season ender. Already teasing "such an enjoyable conclusion" to Season 3 (which doesn't even premiere until tomorrow night), he says, "I'd love to be able to work on the finale." read more

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Charlie Rose - J.J. Abrams / James Carville (May 4,  2009)
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