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Cheers & Jeers: Scoundrels' Sweet David James

Scoundrels

Jeers to Scoundrels for not living up to its title.

ABC's summer crime dramedy (at least I think it's trying to be funny) suffered a huge loss when Neal McDonough was reportedly sacked after three days of production because the devout Catholic refused to shoot sex scenes with costar Virginia Madsen. McDonough brings a riveting malevolence to every role he plays, from sleazy DA David McNorris on Boomtown to psycho killer Dave Williams on Desperate Housewives. He surely would've lived up to the name of Palm Springs crime family patriarch Wolfgang "Wolf" West.

Here's the real crime: McDonough was replaced by David James Elliott, a likably generic TV hunk best known for his role as straight-arrow military man Harmon "Harm" Rabb on JAG. But on Scoundrels, Elliott seems... read more

Keck's Exclusives: Desperate Housewives Casting New Roles, Recasting One

Mark Moses

Who is being replaced on Desperate Housewives? Going into its seventh season, the ABC series is looking for a new Penny, the daughter of Tom and Lynette Scavo. Kendall Applegate, 11, who took over the role from toddler twins two seasons ago when the show jumped five years into the future, is out.  The search is now on for a new 12-year-old actress to take over the role.

In addition, returning villain Paul Young (Mark Moses) has replaced his late wife Mary Alice (Brenda Strong) with a new young bride named Beth... read more

Matt's Picks for the Week of June 21

Deadliest Catch

HISTORY DETECTIVES (Monday at 9/8c, PBS)
The popular summer series goes into space for its eighth-season opener. One segment investigates whether art from Andy Warhol and five other major modern artists was smuggled onto the Moon in 1969 aboard the Apollo 12 lunar module, on an unauthorized ceramic mini-canvas... read more

Ask Matt: True Blood Boiling Over? And More!

Evan Rachel Wood, True Blood

Please send all questions to askmatt@tvguidemagazine.com and follow me on Twitter at @RoushTVGuideMag

Question
: Welcome back! This question is a two-parter. I'm in love with True Blood. It's so often described as lurid, melodramatic, overripe, etc. But the glory of the show is that it's all of those things while also containing moments of startling humor or tenderness, where we actually find ourselves caring about the characters, be they supernatural or just plain natural. That tension is what makes.... read more

Scoundrels' Virginia Madsen: It's Fun to Root for the Bad Guy

Virginia Madsen, Scoundrels

Take it from Virginia Madsen: Sometimes being bad can feel oh-so-good.

"Sometimes it's really fun to root for the bad guy," Madsen tells TVGuide.com of her new ABC dramedy, Scoundrels (premiering Sunday at 9/8c).

Summer TV: Check out 23 other must-watch new shows

Madsen plays Cheryl West, the matriarch of a family of criminals. When her husband Wolf (David James Elliott) is sent to prison, Cheryl decides she and her four children — ditzy aspiring model Heather (Levin Rambin), young and smart Hope (Vanessa Marano), and twin boys (both played by Patrick Fleuger), one of which is a dim slacker while the other's a sharp lawyer — are going to go straight. Of course, things don't exactly work out that way... read more

The Gates Is Not the Next True Blood — And It's Not Trying to Be

Rhona Mitra

The Gates may seem a bit familiar — vampires and werewolves and witches, oh my! — but the producers of the new ABC series (premiering Sunday, June 20 at 10/9c) want viewers to know that it's not just another True Blood.

Check out photos from The Gates

The series, which grew out of a movie pitch about a community built on the gates of... read more

Keck's Exclusives: Vanessa Williams' Desperate Housewives Character Revealed

Vanessa Williams

As I first reported last month, Vanessa Williams has inked a lucrative contract to stay within the ABC family as the newest of Wisteria Lane's Desperate Housewives. Now here are the exclusive first details about a character that couldn't be more different from Vanessa's Ugly Betty witch, Wilhelmina Slater... read more

New Details on James Franco's Crazy General Hospital Return

James Franco

Get ready for Francophrenia! When movie star James Franco returns to General Hospital, his character — serial killer and performance artist Franco — will stage an epic exhibition at L.A.'s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) as part of his ongoing man-crush on mobster Jason Morgan (Steve Burton). The ABC soap will shoot Franco's grand opening on location at the real MOCA and is currently seeking some 200 GH fans to show up and witness the event... read more

Summer TV Review: ABC's Ghoul-ash of New Drama

Virgina Madsen (Scoundrels) and Rhona Mitra (The Gates)

It's no longer news that summer is among TV's busiest seasons — but this year, cable is getting more competition than usual with scripted fare from the networks. The difference being that cable channels (USA, FX, TNT, Syfy, ABC Family and the pay giants, to name a few) tend to put their best foot forward with critically championed signature shows. The networks? Not so much.

Still, ABC is going unusually gung-ho, launching three new dramas of varying quality and distinction within a single week. Its Sunday combo of the whimsical Scoundrels and the sinister The Gates at least aims for something a bit different, while Thursday's Rookie Blue misfires with a tired arsenal of generic cop-show clichés.

Rookie doesn't try hard enough to stand out, while the Sunday shows may be guilty of trying a bit too hard... read more

Keck's Exclusives: Gabrielle Union FlashForwards to New Series

Gabrielle Union

Before ratings tanked, FlashForward had planned to follow through on its pilot prophecy of killing off FBI agent Demetri Noh (John Cho), reveals Gabrielle Union, who played Demetri's fiancé, attorney Zoey Andata. "Then I was supposed to avenge his death in Season 2 by representing defendants against the FBI whom I blamed for his death," Union says. But John's popularity, fueled by the success of his role as Sulu in the big-screen Star Trek, led the writers to alter his fate, thus limiting Zoey's storyline to the point that she wasn't even included in the series finale... read more

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