J.J. Abrams



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

The "New" Trek: Burning Questions Answered!

To mark the 40th anniversary of Star Trek's TV debut, John Nogawski, President of CBS Paramount Domestic Television, and visual-effects producers Dave Rossi and Michael Okuda held a Wednesday conference call with reporters. The hot topic, of course, was the digital remastering of, and CGI enhancements being made to, the original series (as first reported here at TVGuide.com). The highlights, in brief:• CGI tweaks are being made to both the full- and syndicated-length versions of all 79 episodes, and in both standard and 16:9 formats.• Ranging in number from 15 to 70 per episode, the CGI enhancements at most amount to "maybe a minute and a half" in screen time.• There will be no plot modifications made along the way, akin to E.T. replacing rifles with walkie-talkies.• The original original series will continue airing on G4 and TV Land for "a year or two," until remastering/CGI work is completed on all 79 episodes. The enhanced episodes start airing Sept. 16 on ove... read more

Which are the top five new ...

Question: Which are the top five new shows you would recommend this fall? From the previews I have read, I am most looking forward to The Nine, Heroes, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Jericho and Ugly Betty. Six Degrees sounded intriguing to me when I read the premise, but critics have bashed it, so I'm uncertain. Although it does have J.J. Abrams involved, so I'm hoping. Answer: I'll give you a top six: my three favorite new dramas and my three favorite new comedies (the latter is almost by default because there are so few of merit). Dramas, in no particular order: The Nine, Studio 60, Friday Night Lights. Comedies, in no particular order: 30 Rock, The Class, Ugly Betty. There are a handful of shows I'll be tracking that fall on a second tier, but I can tell you that Heroes and Jericho will not likely be among them. (I know that because I write this particular column on the Internet, I'm supposed to gush on and on about any show with an element of fantasy — call it the Comic-Con factor — ... read more

Lost Boss Tackles Star Trek Enterprise

J.J. Abrams (inset) has "incredible" plans for Star Trek.

J.J. Abrams, the man behind Lost, Alias and Mission: Impossible III, is about to add another sci-fi classic to his résumé. Paramount recently handed the 40-year-old writer-producer-director the reins to one of its most revered projects: the next Star Trek film. Abrams will produce the movie with Lost cocreator (and fellow Trekker) Damon Lindelof. Abrams recently called from his Pacific Palisades, California, home, where he was hanging with kids (and budding sci-fi fans) Henry, Gracie and baby August, to chat about sci-fi, the th read more

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The Philosophy of J.J. Abrams (The Philosophy of Popular Culture)
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Charlie Rose with George Stephanopolous; J.J. Abrams (May 2, 2006)
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