Pam Oliver will miss the action, the fans and the security guards who sneak her into secret rooms for cocoa or coffee. But when the 53-year-old reporter wraps up her 20th and final year on the NFL sidelines for Fox Sports, she won't miss the cold weather that comes with the gig. "People would send me battery-operated socks," she says.
Katherine Kelly Lang
She's been through hell and now she's back. Suds icon Katherine Kelly Lang recently took a three-month break from her role as Brooke Logan on CBS's The Bold and the Beautiful to appear on the Italian version of Dancing With the Stars. (B&B is a huge hit over there.) Alas, the two-time Emmy nominee found herself on the receiving end of some wildly bitchy and inappropriate comments from the judges — one even suggested she should practice more and party less. TV Guide Magazine got together with Lang to find out what's in store for Brooke when she returns to the soap on Jan. 22 and what she really thinks of her Italian experience.
Cat & Fern's Excellent God Adventure
Where the heck has this gal been? Former soap queen and Broadway baby Catherine Hickland hasn't been seen on our TV screens since One Life to Live ended its run on ABC three years ago — and that's fine by her! The much-missed, eternally effervescent beauty is fully busy these days as a cosmetics mogul, life coach, motivational speaker and hypnotherapist. She's now married to producer Todd Fisher, son of Debbie Reynolds and the late Eddie Fisher. (Yep, that makes her Princess Leia's sister-in-law!). And she has joined forces with 99-year-old wunderkind writer Fern Underwood on the just-published Cat and Fern's Excellent God Adventure: Daily Inspirations for 365 Days of Heaven on Earth. Co-written by bestselling author and soap scribe Lindsay Harrison (The Young and the Restless, Venice) and with a forward by Reynolds, the book is available through both Amazon.com and catandfern.com. TV Guide Magazine sat down with Hickland for a lively gab session that ranged from the holy to the holy mackerel (she's head over heels in love with a rooster!). Will this popular star ever return to acting? Don't bet on it.
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson
A billboard currently stationed outside CBS' Television City studio in Los Angeles gives thanks to Craig Ferguson for "10 years of joyous insanity," adding, "it truly was not like any other late night show."
That's not an exaggeration. The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson was the first talk show to feature a robot sidekick — the sassy skeleton Geoff Peterson — and a galloping mascot like Secretariat (actually two guys in a horse costume). And unlike most other hosts, Ferguson likes to interview guests in a freeform fashion, notably tearing up his notes at the start of each chat.
Billy Bob Thornton, Juliana Margulies
You betcha we loved FX's sensational miniseries, inspired by the iconic film, which triumphantly mined new depths of icy evil amid heartfelt humanism. Noah Hawley's fable gave fabulous star turns to Billy Bob Thornton (a hit man), Martin Freeman (a mousy murderer), and ...
The Bold and the Beautiful's Don Diamont and Katherine Kelly Lang
Death! Deceit! Dopplegangers! It's the year's best in daytime drama.
Best Soap: (tie) The Bold and the Beautiful and General Hospital
Why choose between them when both shows left us in such a sudsational state of bliss? B&B, daytime's most sumptuous serial, took us on location to Abu Dhabi, Paris, Monte Carlo, and Amsterdam for lots of awesome — and watery — action: Hope and Wyatt got hitched at sea, Quinn bitch-shoved Ivy into the river Seine, and Ridge plunged from a helicopter into the Persian Gulf. But the home front was no less riveting, with family warfare and corporate chaos. This is classic soap, done exquisitely.
Disney Channel's highly rated sitcom Jessie returns for its fourth season on Friday, Jan. 9 at 8:30/7:30c.
Jessie stars Debby Ryan as the nanny for a group of kids adopted by movie stars (think Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie). In the season premiere, "But Africa is So-Fari," the kids think Jessie is going to Africa to find her ex-fiancé. They make the trip to the continent themselves, but then end up on an adventure.
Here's a first look at Season 4 of Jessie.
Gordon Ramsay, Logan, Samuel
MasterChef Junior wraps up its sophomore season on Tuesday night (8/7c on Fox) with one last cook-off between finalists Samuel, 12, and Logan, 11. But executive producer Robin Ashbrook is already looking to winter, as the reality hit immediately returns on Jan. 6 with its third cycle.
Michaela Watkins is best known for her roles on Saturday Night Live, Trophy Wife, and Enlightened. But she's also a writer and producer, and with partner Damon Jones (who Watkins met when they were part of L.A.'s comedy stage show The Groundlings), is behind the USA comedy, Benched. Eliza Coupe stars as a high-powered lawyer who falls from grace and looks to rebuild her life as a public defender. Watkins and Jones tell us why we should do time with Benched....
Tricia Helfer, Brian Van Holt
While a generation of kids in the '60s (me among them) obsessed on shows like Lost in Space, the U.S. secretly launched a mini-civilization of 600 pioneers into the cosmos on a century-long excursion to find a new world. That's the nifty high concept behind Syfy's potential backdoor-pilot miniseries Ascension, which begins a three-night run Monday (9/8c through Wednesday).