This weekend, HBO offers up a comedy special (Talking Funny), a new movie about an historic TV phenom (Cinema Verite) and the return of a distinguished drama series (Treme). All are worth a look. It's actually an HBO grand slam if you count Game of Thrones, the triumphant adult fantasy series that was renewed for a second season shortly after the first episode aired. (HBO has a tradition of doing this, but rarely in recent years has the network's enthusiasm been so well deserved.)
In Thrones' eventful second chapter (Sunday, 9/8c), you begin to sense the series' range, as many characters begin disparate journeys through the sprawling land of Westeros: dutiful Ned Stark heads out with...
Matt Smith and Karen Gillan
Supernatural (Friday, 9/8c, The CW)
Winchesters, meet Colt! As in: the real Samuel Colt, whose infamous demon-destroying gun has loomed large throughout Supernatural's mythology. This week, Dean gets to play cowboy — Sam is less thrilled — when Castiel sends the brothers back in time to the Wild West to get some guidance from the proverbial horse's mouth. Speaking of weapons, over on Fox's Fringe in the same time period, an apocalyptic scenario is triggered when Walternate revs up the doomsday device "over there," in hopes of rocking our (and specifically Peter's) world.
HBO is heading back to New Orleans with the Season 2 premiere of Treme on Sunday, April 24.
Treme chronicles New Orleans three months after Hurricane Katrina as its citizens struggle to put their lives, and their city, back together. Among those citizens are a part-time DJ and jazz aficionado (Steve Zahn), a bar owner torn between staying in New Orleans or settling in Baton Rouge (Khandi Alexander) and trombonist Antoine Battiste (Wendell Pierce).
At its languid but intoxicating best, HBO's Treme dances and grooves to its own peculiar and particularly New Orleans beat. Call it the rhythm of life. And, naturally, death. But mostly life. Such is the case in the series' languorous 80-plus-minute finale, infused with sorrow but also overflowing with a defiant resilience and joy in the moment that captures the ebullient nature of this national treasure of a city.
Plot-wise? Let's not dwell on that. As Professor Creighton Bernette (John Goodman) told his students in the penultimate episode, before presumably stepping off the ferry to put an end to his blocked creative life, "Don't think in terms of a beginning and an end. Because unlike some plot-driven entertainments, there is no closure in real life — not really." Could be a testimony to Treme itself, which has taken some knocks for its often oblique approach to actual narrative. (Ominously, Cray added when asked about an upcoming test, "In the end, every one of us will be tested, and every one of us will be found wanting.")
Creighton's suicide, and the grief and rage of his widow Toni...
When Treme co-creator David Simon approached Khandi Alexander for his new HBO drama, she didn't even have to read the script.
"I said, 'It doesn't even matter what it is, I'm in," Alexander tells TVGuide.com. "It was just the opportunity to work with David again. To be in the company of someone you feel so comfortable with creatively and personally, there was no second guessing. It was a yes before I read the material."
Treme overcomes tragedy, on-screen and off
So Alexander, who played a drug addict in Simon's Emmy-winning HBO miniseries The Corner, was even more thrilled when she saw just what Simon and co-creator Eric Overmyer were up to with their look at post-Katrina New Orleans...
In its own way, the sudden death of Treme co-executive producer David Mills just days before the series premiere is a potent metaphor for the show itself.
The Wire, Treme writer David Mills dies at 48
As the HBO drama's cast and crew mourn Mills' loss, they also celebrate him by continuing...
Katherine Heigl (Grey's Anatomy), Marcia Cross (Housewives) and David Caruso (CSI: Miami)
Every week, senior editors Matt Webb Mitovich, Mickey O'Connor and Tim Molloy satisfy your need for TV scoop. Please send all questions to email@example.com.
Color me shocked that Katherine Heigl isn't leaving Grey's Anatomy. Is it possible we're being duped in some way? — Krista
MATT: I must say that the lack of fanfare surrounding ABC's confirmation of Heigl's status — especially when juxtaposed with the flurry of official statements regarding T.R. Knight's departure — made me raise one of my overgrown eyebrows. "Sure, she's staying... for just one more episode," I cynically hypothesized. But one of my best sources insists that this is not a case of clever semantics, and that Heigl's Izzie will have a significant presence in the fall.
Please give me some scoop on what's next for Desperate Housewives' Bree. — Fernando R.
MICKEY: Bree may come off like a brittle maneater, but at heart she's a real softy, which is why juggling an angry Orson and a horny Karl will really ...
Khandi Alexander, CSI: Miami
CSI: Miami viewers are going to be treated to some Khandi.
Khandi Alexander, who was an original cast member on the CBS hit until her surprising exit last season, will reprise the role of Alexx Woods in 2009, sources tell TVGuide.com exclusively.
Get additional details after the jump.
Newsradio - The Complete Series
Tune into NewsRadio for a hilarious look behind-the-scenes at WNYX, the #2 news radio station in New York City. Starring Dave Foley (Kids in the Hall), Stephen Root (Office Space), Andy Dick (Less Than Perfect), Maura Tierney (ER), Vicki Lewis (Three Sisters), Joe Rogan (Fear Factor), Khandi Alexander (ER), Phil Hartman (Saturday Night Live) and Jon Lovitz (Saturday Night Live), NewsRadio delivers tons of laughs in this 12-disc set featuring all 97 episodes of the series. Bonus material includes hilarious commentary tracks (some of the best I've ever heard), blooper reels, filmographies, featurettes, and more. The only downside is the packaging; the discs are on a plastic hub. but on the bright side it's only $59.95 (SRP) for the complete series. There's no reason to buy this if you already have the season sets, but it offers fans an opportunity to buy the entire series for a cheap price if you don't already have it in your collection.
Buy NewsRadio The Complete Series on Amazon.com
Khandi Alexander by Jean-Paul Aussenard/ WireImage.com
David Simon, the mastermind behind The Wire which some critics and a small-but-loyal band of fans consider among the best TV shows ever has recruited a few familiar faces to his new HBO pilot, Treme.Khandi Alexander (medical examiner Alexx Woods on CSI: Miami) is in "final negotiations" to play a mother of two on the drama about life in post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Alexander may return to CSI:Miami as a guest star in the future.Treme whose title comes from the name of a Big Easy neighborhood famous for its music and musicians will also star Wendell Pierce and Clarke Peters, both of whom played detectives on The Wire. Pierce's Treme character, Antoine Batiste, is a jazz trombonist struggling to find work while still pining after Alexander's Ladonna, his former wife. Nina Hämmerling Smith