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Critic's Notebook: CBS at TCA

Nina Tassler

This summer's press tour journal starts with CBS, where "stability is a good thing," this understatement coming courtesy of entertainment pres Nina Tassler, kicking off the network portion of the Television Critics Association gathering on Tuesday. (As opposed to the disarray over at ABC, whose turn comes Sunday, after having been rocked this week by the sudden ouster of its programming boss Steve McPherson.)

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CBS is playing to its traditional strengths this fall with a lineup of new legal and crime dramas and conventional laugh-tracky sitcoms. No critical breakthroughs on the order of The Good Wife, but there's every reason to believe commercially crafted shows like the Hawaii Five-0 "reboot" (don't call it a "remake") and the buddy-lawyer Vegas romp The Defenders will carry on the Eye tradition of mainstream populist escapist success... read more

Vampire Diaries' Julie Plec: The Love Triangle Becomes a Square

The Vampire Diaries

Villain vampire Katherine, who once turned the Salvatore brothers into sexy undead fangers, has returned to Mystic Falls — and boy, is she ready to cause some trouble. Vampire Diaries executive producer Julie Plec reveals that while the boys will discover her true identity quickly — since there was that little mix-up in the finale when Damon kissed Elena, but it was really Katherine! — the love triangle will get even more complicated in Season 2. Get the scoop on the new season below:

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The Mother of All Seasons?

How I Met Your Mother

Concerned that their show had become too "sitcom-my" last season, lacking the emotional growth of the show's earlier years, How I Met Your Mother creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas have mapped out a pivotal sixth season that, says Bays, will be "more emotionally invested in these characters' lives and tweak the larger mystery of the series in a way that we've never done before... read more

Cheers & Jeers: A Plus-Sized Project Runway

Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn

Cheers to Project Runway for letting out the seams.

The eighth season of Heidi Klum's Emmy-nominated reality show debuts on Lifetime July 29 at 9/8c in a new, 90-minute format. Unlike the heavily padded Bachelorette or Biggest Loser, this is one unscripted franchise that benefits from an extended running time. The opener allows plenty of room to meet the 17 new contestants, who include... read more

Matt's Weekend Picks: July 30-August 1

James Badge Dale

Eureka

(Friday, 9/8c, Syfy) Colin Ferguson directs this week's episode, which may explain why Sheriff Carter is off to Harvard to visit Zoe for the week. While he's away, the town celebrates Space Week—but as usual, things go awry. This week's culprit: guest star Jamie Kennedy, whose self-propagating oxygen device begins to affect the atmosphere, threatening to incinerate the put-upon town... read more

Jim Parsons Visits Cubicle Confessions

Jim Parsons

Bazinga! Jim Parsons makes a Big Bang as he returns to TV Guide Magazine's Cubicle Confessions for his second visit! Parsons discusses his childhood, odd jobs (including a Whole Foods cashier) and the on-set ping-pong tournament between the show's cast members. Check out the video below... read more

The Defenders: Inspired By a True Story

Jerry O'Connell

On the surface, The Defenders may seem like just another courtroom drama, but the new CBS series stems from very unusual source material: a documentary.

"The documentary was done by Harry and Joe Gantz, who spent a few months with a pair of Las Vegas real-life attorneys Michael Cristalli and Marc Saggese, who are kind of role models for our series in which we base a lot of the fun of Nick and Pete," executive producer Greg Walker said at the Television Critics Association fall preview.

Originally pitched as a reality series, The Defenders was... read more

Fey and Streep to Play Daughter and Mother in Tucci-Directed Movie

Tina Fey, Meryl Streep

Baby Mama star Tina Fey will play the baby of a mama played by Meryl Streep in an upcoming film, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

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Obama Appears on The View —Because His Wife Watches It

Barack Obama

President Barack Obama, the first sitting U.S. president to be a guest on a daytime TV talk show, joked that he appeared on The View because he wanted to go on a show his wife watches.

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7 Reasons Why You Should Watch Project Runway — In the Words of Heidi Klum

Heidi Klum

After seven seasons of churning out fashion challenges for aspiring designers, Project Runway producers are shaking things up. From a new 90-minute format to an initial twist, check out seven reason why you should watch Season 8 (premiering Thursday at 9/8c on Lifetime) — in the words of host/judge Heidi Klum.

... read more

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