30 Rock's Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin by Mary Ellen Mathews/NBC Photo
I suppose I could dwell on the fact that a major Hollywood guild has once again ignored the very existence of TV's finest acting ensemble, Friday Night Lights in favor of the mugging and posturing on Boston Legal. As they'd say on another SAG favorite, Grey's Anatomy: Seriously? Is it wrong to want to form our own picket line?Also: What's up with snubbing Pushing Daisies and its fantastical cast?And yet the Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations, announced Thursday morning, did shower love on my favorite new show of 2007, AMC's Mad Men, and its terrific star, Jon Hamm (who has just joined the cast of the remake of the sci-fi classic The Day the Earth Stood Still, with Keanu Reeves as Klaatu, which sounds appropriately robotic). So while not all may be forgiven, the wound stings a little less.My favorite part of the SAG Awards is the ensemble-cast category. Because let's face it, most great TV shows rely on cast chemistry. Even The Closer, which on face value looks like a vehi...
"Are you feeling the feeling that I'm feeling?" I hope so, because I'm enjoying this show so much that I might turn into Mel II. When Bret and Jemaine finished singing those lyrics, Mel and Murray were two of three people clapping in the audience. Saturday Night Live's Will Forte played Ben, a dry cleaner and semiprofessional actor whom the duo asks to tell Murray that he's from a record company and to give him a rejection call to boost his spirits about the direction of the band. We all need a little rejection to feel better, right?When a brainstorming session to elicit a larger audience is going slowly, and Bret's idea to hand out free pencils at each gig gets nixed, the first song of the evening was presented in a video scrapbook to "Cheer Up Murray." The well-meaning guys sang about Murray's helluva good English bulldog, his wife having met someone on the Net, and that his friends are Bret, Jemaine and Greg. (Have we heard about Greg before?) Forte was perfectly cast as he match...
Daniel Sunjata as Reggie Jackson in The Bronx Is Burning
Walk into the Yankees' locker room on the set of ESPN's new eight-hour miniseries The Bronx Is Burning (premiering tonight at 10 pm/ET) and the only thing missing is the smell. The odor that permeates the bowels of the real House that Ruth Built combines tobacco spit, wet socks, dog hair, moldy basement and body odor into one toxic brew. But the spot-on replica in a Waterford, Connecticut, studio, where the Bombers' 1977 world-championship season is being re-created, smells just fine. Daniel Sunjata (Rescue Me), who plays Reggie Jackson, gives a visiting sports writer an annoyed look and says, "Well, is the smell all we're missing?"
Actually, yes. To stroll on the set of The Bronx Is Burning is to take a remarkable walk back in time. Inside the Yank
Warner Bros. and überproducer Joel Silver are in talks to acquire the rights to the '80s TV 'toon Masters of the Universe, for the purpose of staging a live-action feature not stunk up by Dolph Lundgren.... Per Playbill.com, Nathan Lane and John Turturro join Elle Fanning in Nutcracker The Untold Story, a cinematic take on the beloved ballet.... Cuba Gooding Jr. is a friendly high-school janitor in Harold, an indie comedy about a prematurely balding teen.
Question: Wow, it seems like yesterday that I enjoyed the season premiere of Monk, and now here's the season finale. I know I have to wait until the beginning of 2006 for new Monk episodes, but I would like to know how you think this season is progressing. I still miss Bitty Schram (Sharona), but I feel that Traylor Howard (Natalie) is doing a great job.
Answer: I'm not a constant watcher of the show anymore, but I watched some of the highlights of the summer season — the John Turturro episode, the one where Monk thought his dead wife had returned — and still find it diverting but hardly essential entertainment, boosted by a great lead performance and character but hindered by routine plotting. I still miss Bitty Schram, too, and think the new sidekick is doing as well as possible under the diminished circumstances. The change certainly hasn't ruined the show, which was always uneven but still has its modest pleasures ...