Julie White

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Weekend TV: Mad Men, Nurse Jackie, Bletchley Return

Elisabeth Moss

And so the unnecessarily long goodbye begins for AMC's breakout, breakthrough signature series Mad Men, its final 14 hours being unconscionably broken into two halves over two years, starting Sunday at 10/9c. (Yes, it worked for Breaking Bad, but this isn't that kind of show.) While prolonging the inevitable, and potentially blunting whatever narrative momentum still exists in a most inelegant and desperate-seeming way, it's no wonder the often dazzling opening episode — titled "Time Zones," in a nod to the firm's now-bicoastal focus — is so preoccupied with time.

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The Weekend Playlist: Amazon's Alpha House, Almost Human

Alpha House

There's another serious new player in the ever-expanding universe of online original-content providers (see: Netflix and Hulu) — and happily, Amazon's entry into this suddenly cluttered marketplace is not just seriously funny, but it's as bracingly timely as the latest exasperating political headline.

Alpha House (three episodes bow Friday on amazon.com, with future episodes available to Amazon Prime subscribers) is satire at its most blistering and biting, delivered by a master of the trade: Doonesbury's Garry Trudeau, whose contempt for political cynicism, venality and hypocrisy doesn't keep the jaded protagonists of this bawdy, brazen comedy from being great company. The setting is a Washington, D.C., row house, home away from home for four Republican senators, led by the fearlessly outrageous John Goodman as a good-old-boy/former football star who's outraged to discover he won't be able to coast through his next election. (His new opponent: a legendary Duke coach. As someone observes: "You're like a retired god. He's active.")

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The Tuesday Playlist: Family Affairs on New Girl and NCIS

Margo Martindale and Jake Johnson

What kind of family must it be where slacker bartender Nick Miller (Jake Johnson) is seen as the responsible one? That answer becomes clear in a sporadically amusing road-trip episode of Fox's New Girl (9/8c) that takes the roomies to Chicago to lay Nick's scoundrel of a dad (former guest star Dennis Farina) to rest. The formidable Margo Martindale (Justified, The Americans) presides over the ridiculous antics as Nick's gruff but needy mom, and cable clown Nick Kroll hams it up as his emotionally volatile brother. As usual, Schmidt (Max Greenberg) hijacks the proceedings with his death neuroses, and while he wonders "What's with this open casket thing?" it's his encounter with said coffin and its contents that provides the episode's biggest laughs.

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Go On to Host Friends Reunion

Courtney Cox and Matthew Perry

Sometimes you just need a little help from your Friends.

After struggling in recent weeks without its sizable Voice lead-in, Go On has tapped Courteney Cox to guest-star opposite her former TV husband, Matthew Perry, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Cox, 48, will appear in... read more

Summer TV Review: A Go On Sneak, Dallas Finale

Matthew Perry

Maybe you've heard lately — possibly in these last two weeks of Olympics force-feeding — that NBC has some new shows coming this fall. One of them starring an old Friend who's fallen on hard sitcom times. (Remember Mr. Sunshine? No?)

Not content to merely barrage us with endless promos and teasers during the Olympics, NBC has now decided to sneak-peek entire pilots of two of its new comedies, commercial-free, beginning tonight with Go On (11/10c), an uneasy collision of snark and sentiment that feels like Community rebooted as a Dear John clone. (Helps if you have a long memory for NBC sitcomedy.)

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Critic's TCA Notebook: NBC Still Awaiting a Revolution

Revolution

It would be nice to hope, as NBC does, that the ratings magnet of the Summer Olympics, opening Friday, will somehow magically transform the network's sagging fortunes with its "incredible promotional platform" (as NBC Chairman Bob Greenblatt put it). To that end, NBC will sneak-peek two of its new comedies with commercial-free premieres on pivotal nights of the games, and tease a high-profile new drama on another. Much of NBC's fall lineup will launch ahead of the official premiere week in late September, in hopes of capitalizing on the momentum the Olympics provides.

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Go On's Matthew Perry: My Characters Have Gotten Nicer

Matthew Perry

Go On is Matthew Perry's third post-Friends TV project, but there's something different about this show from his previous ones.

"In my efforts to have a TV show and come back, the characters have progressively gotten nicer," Perry told reporters Tuesday at NBC's Television Critics Association fall TV previews. "The Showtime show [End of Steve, which was not picked up in 2008] was about a terrible guy, and I thought it was genius. Everybody went, 'I don't wanna watch that.' Mr. Sunshine, he was sort of down and out. And now this guy is a nicer, more well-intended guy. ... I don't know why that is, but you ...
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NBC Orders Matthew Perry's Comedy Go On to Series

Matthew Perry

NBC has given its first series order for the fall season to Matthew Perry's comedy Go On, TVGuide.com has confirmed.

Go On stars Perry as a sportscaster who tries to move on from a loss through mandatory group therapy sessions. Julie White (Transformers) will play Anne, a woman from his group who's stuck in the anger stage of grief. Suzy Nakamura will also star.

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Pilot Season: Friends' Matthew Perry to Star in NBC's Go On Comedy

Matthew Perry

Matthew Perry is returning to his old stomping grounds after landing a leading role in NBC's Go On pilot.

In the comedy... read more

Bionic Sis Gets New Face/Ears, More Casting News

Lucy Hale courtesy Lucy Hale

Lucy Hale has joined NBC's Bionic Woman as Jaime Sommers' younger sister, replacing Mae Whitman (who filled the role in the pilot). Hale is best known (by me) as Robin's kid sis on How I Met Your Mother. Definitely more of a "family resemblance" now. Also, as rumored and since confirmed in the Ausiello Report, the sibling is no longer deaf, and has also gained mad hacking skills.Also per the Reporter, Julie White has been upped to series-regular status on ABC's Cavemen, where she plays nice Cro-Mag Joel's (Bill English) prospective (and WASPy) mother-in-law, while Drive's Kristin Lehman has been cast as a police detective's wife in Backyards & Bullets, an NBC pilot (formerly known as The Watch) about a neighborhood-watch program gone extreme. read more

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