Matt Roush


Matt's Weekend Picks: May 20-22

Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles

Supernatural (Friday, 8/7c, The CW)

The good news is that fans don't have to sweat this cult show's future. It has been picked up for a seventh season. The bad news: Sam's life becomes a living (and possibly literal) hell in the second of two back-to-back episodes constituting the season finale. Series creator Eric Kripke wrote the final hour, during which the wall in Sam's head cloaking his bad memories finally collapses, and the poor boy is none the better for the experience. While Dean and Bobby feel helpless as Sam breaks, the battle for heaven reaches a turning point...
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Critic's Notebook: The CBS Upfront

Ashton Kutcher

With CBS, it's not the shows that surprise us, it's the moves. Like uprooting CSI from its decade-long anchor position on Thursdays, making room for a new crime drama — you were expecting something else? — while bolstering Wednesday night (not unlike Survivor's move last season) by taking on the even longer-in-the-tooth Law & Order: SVU at 10/9c. Or moving its most acclaimed drama, The Good Wife, to become the centerpiece of the high-profile Sunday lineup. (Yes, viewers affected by fall football overruns will have to cope, but if any show benefits by being watched live, it's this modern masterpiece)...
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Critic's Notebook: The ABC Upfront

Rachael Taylor, Minka Kelly, Annie Ilonzeh

Through the first two days and three networks of the upfront week, a nagging thought keeps occurring to me. When people ask me what to look forward to in the fall, I fear my answer is going to be: Just wait until midseason!

Once again, as with Awake and Smash on NBC and Alcatraz on Fox, some of my most visceral and enthusiastic knee-jerk responses ...
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Critic's Notebook: The Fox Upfront

Zooey Deschanel

There's not much that Fox, sitting so pretty, and coming-from-behind NBC have in common. But as each network demonstrated in their noisy Upfront presentations on Monday, music is key to their future.

NBC has The Voice and the midseason musical drama Smash. Fox has Glee (which opened the Upfront with a Warblers number and a diatribe by Jane Lynch as Sue Sylvester), American Idol (which closed the show with a medley sung by this season's also-rans, accompanied by So You Think You Can Dance veterans) and the upcoming fall "tentpole" The X Factor, which will take over Idol's Wednesday and Thursday berths. This newest network singing competition was the centerpiece of Fox's event, with Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and the rest of The X Factor talent taking the stage — with Randy Jackson tagging along until Simon shooed him off, and Paula Abdul cooing "I love you, Simon," when prompted to speak.

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Critic's Notebook: The NBC Upfront

Christina Applegate

The Peacock has finally found its voice. But as a critical new season of rebuilding beckons, they've got to be careful not to wear it out.

That was the takeaway from NBC's cautiously optimistic kickoff to Network Upfront Week on Monday, as new NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt announced, "Today is the start to the road to recovery," while warning the turnaround could take years. Unspoken was the acknowledgement that it could hardly get worse. While not everything on the new season's slate looks like a winner, NBC is once again showing signs of life. And by midseason, when the new shows look to be much stronger, the buzz is likely to get much louder.

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Roush Review: Reliving an Historic Ride

Freedom Riders

Even with so many season finales and cliffhangers clamoring for our attention this month, I doubt you'll find two hours of TV more riveting, harrowing and inspiring than Freedom Riders, the latest triumph from PBS' American Experience series.

As heralded recently ...
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Ask Matt: The Cancellation Blues, Finales, and Other TV Matters

Jason Clarke and Matt Lauria

Send questions to askmatt@tvguidemagazine.com and follow me on Twitter!

Question: The recent cancellation of almost all of Fox's bubble shows seems to stem at least partially from a lack of "shelf space," since they don't program shows in the 10 pm/ET hour. My question is, why not? There must be a story here, though being 22, I haven't been watching adult-skewing prime-time shows long enough to remember it, so please enlighten me. I am ...
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Matt's Picks: May 16-19

NCIS: LA, Claire Forlani

Castle (Monday, 10/9c, ABC)
This week is a smorgasbord of season (and in some cases, possibly series) finales, and Monday is overstuffed with them, including CBS's comedies, a Chuck wedding on NBC, a 90210 graduation on the CW, and a showdown with the legendary villain Wo Fat capping the first season of Hawaii Five-0. But the nicest surprise of this spring has been the resurgence of ABC's comedic crime procedural Castle, which wraps its season by returning to the ongoing mystery surrounding the murder of Kate Beckett's mother. When hitman Hal Lockwood (Max Martini) escapes from... read more

Matt's Weekend Picks: May 13-15

Tom Welling and Erica Durance

Smallville (Friday, 8/7c, The CW)
After 10 seasons of learning-curve, rite-of-passage superheroics, how better to graduate Clark Kent from Smallville than a super-sized two-hour series finale. Michael Rosenbaum returns as Lex Luthor (as fans chant, "It's about time"), and there will be appearances as well ...
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Ask Matt: Fringe, The Voice, Justified, Glee and More!

Anna Torv

Send questions to askmatt@tvguidemagazine.com and follow me on Twitter!

Question: To say that I loved the season finale of Fringe would be an understatement. It was amazing! And I know I will be thinking about it all summer long, so I applaud the fantastic writers of this show. What did you think? — Rachel

Matt Roush: I thought what most of the readers of this column probably imagine I thought: Wow! As an hour of emotionally engaging and suspensefully perplexing entertainment, I thought it was a terrific way to end the show's very best season to date. (And so, it seems, did those who've weighed in so far in my mailbox.) Time paradox storylines are always tricky, and risk ...
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