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Monday TV in Review: Believe, Bones Moves Back

Johnny Sequoyah, Delroy Lindo

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.

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Comedian Sid Caesar Dies at 91

Sid Caesar

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 AllenMel BrooksNeil Simon and Larry Gelbart.

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Mel Brooks: Alive and Loving It!

Mel Brooks

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... read more

The Monday Playlist: Mel Brooks on Masters, Finales (Rectify, Bates Motel), Motive

Freddie Highmore, Vera Farmiga

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. read more

Matt's Guide to Weekend TV: Torchwood and HBO Finales, Plus 9/11 Programming

Rebirth

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:

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Showtime Invests in Laughing Stock From Steve Carell

Steve Carell

Just months after leaving The Office, Steve Carell is returning to TV — albeit behind the scenes — with a new interview series on Showtime.

Laughing Stock, executive-produced by Carell and David Steinberg, will bring on comedy greats from the last five decades for one-on-one discussions about their careers, influences and the evolution of comedy with Steinberg (Sit Down Comedy with David Steinberg).

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Jenna Elfman, Rebecca Romijn, Sarah Chalke Among Oso Guest Voices

Oso

Disney Channel has found some big talent to entertain the little viewers of Special Agent Oso.

Mel Brooks, Sarah Chalke, Rebecca Romijn, Jenna Elfman and Freddy Rodriguez are among the stars who have signed on to provide guest voices on the animated preschool series.

The star-studded episodes will air the week of April 4 on Disney Channel's Disney Junior block. In one episode, Brooks will play a... read more

The Producers' Kenneth Mars Dies at 75

Kenneth Mars

Kenneth Mars, best known for his performance as a Nazi playwright in the original film version of The Producers, died on Saturday, according to The Associated Press. He was 75.

Mars died in his Grenada Hills, Calif., home from... read more

Regis Philbin to Receive TV Land's Legend Award

Live with Regis and Kelly

Regis Philbin will receive the Legend Award at this year's TV Land Awards, the cable network announced Monday.

The Legend Award is given to an entertainer or TV show that has stood the test of time and ranks among the most celebrated in entertainment history. Previous winners include Garry Marshall, Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner and Don Rickles.

"Hey, it's about time... read more

Bosom Buddies, Everybody Loves Raymond Casts Reunite for TV Land Awards

Tom Hanks, Peter Scolari

Bosom Buddies' Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari reunited to receive the Anniversary Award, celebrating the '80s sitcom's 30th anniversary as celebrities old and new gathered at the TV Land Awards.

Jay Leno presented the award Saturday night to the cast, which included Donna Dixon, Thelma Hopkins and Holland Taylor.

The series centered on two bachelors who pretended to be women to live in a low-cost, all-female hotel after their apartment is condemned.

TV Land Awards to honor Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari

Billy Crystal was on hand to present the Legend Award to... read more

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An analytical framework of parody and satire: Mel Brooks and his world.
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