It's hard not to want to believe in talents like Alfonso Cuaron (of the amazing Gravity) and J.J. Abrams (no TV explanation necessary). These two very busy visionaries lend their names, and Cuaron his directing chops (in the pilot episode, anyway), for NBC's otherwise painfully derivative Believe (Monday, 10/9c), which plays like one of those middling Stephen King melodramas about supernaturally gifted children on the run for their lives.
Cuaron elevates the stock clichés with visual motifs of a butterfly providing mystical guidance and a dizzying flock of pigeons (my idea of a living nightmare) subduing a Big Bad Female Assassin in a loft. It's a handsome looking pilot, even at its most predictably familiar. And as Bo, the spunky little girl whose psychic and paranormal gifts seem to have no end — or, maddeningly, definition — Johnny Sequoyah is agreeable company, never too cute even when the script calls for Bo to be cloyingly precious. Because believe it or not, Believe feels it necessary to squelch the chase-thriller elements with schmaltzy subplots reminiscent of Fox's short-lived Touch. Bo knows goodness, and in between close calls as she eludes her well-funded potential kidnappers, she somehow finds time to inspire a young doctor to get past his crisis of confidence.
Comedy TV legend Sid Caesar has passed away at the age of 91.
His friend Larry King revealed the news on Twitter Wednesday.
Caesar's 90-minute live variety program Your Show of Shows helped cement the comedian as one of the first real television stars. The sketch series, which co-stared Imogene Coca, featured an impressive roster of writers, including Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, Neil Simon and Larry Gelbart.
It's good to be the King of Comedy. Mel Brooks has been on a roll lately, with a DVD box set, a PBS American Masters tribute and now an AFI Life Achievement Award, presented by Martin Scorsese at a black-tie gala in Hollywood. The 86-year-old legend granted us an audience...
At 86, Mel Brooks is still the life of the party, a consummate ham and peerless joke-spinning storyteller. "I've come to stop the show," announces the irrepressible comic dynamo as he does just that, breaking into song mid-interview and reinforcing why PBS' American Masters titled its latest must-see career profile Mel Brooks: Make a Noise (Monday, check tvguide.com listings). His brilliant career in TV (Your Show of Shows, Get Smart), the movies and Broadway makes him an overdue American Masters subject, and his unflagging comic energy keeps everyone amused — including an intrusively visible camera crew. "I'm head over heels in love with myself," Brooks says, only half-joking.
Most everyone remembers where they were 10 years ago on September 11, as we watched the horrific images and stories unfold. A decade later, many will gather in front of the TV again to watch, remember, reflect — and the broadcast and cable networks are offering a wide range of specials to put the tragedy in perspective.
But there's plenty else happening on TV this weekend. Here's my take on some of the more notable highlights, including the major 9/11 programming: