No one has come close to replicating the power and fortune amassed by legendary TV hosts Dick Clark, Merv Griffin and Oprah Winfrey — yet. But American Idol's Ryan Seacrest is on his way, and others are right behind.
Today's TV hosts aren't satisfied with just their day jobs. If you don't have multiple shows, a line of licensed merchandise and a production company, you're not trying hard enough. It's all about creating empires, and...
Damn, when Glee is good, it is goooood.
Last night, after the new season's "meh" first two outings, the musical got back its groove with a dazzling hour that dared to develop characters, present numbers that beg to be rewatched, and pull on our heartstrings — all in the same episode. It was like we were watching the show we fell in love with when it premiered in 2009.
Except back then, there never would have been so much attention paid to Brittany, Mike Chang, Emma and Mercedes, who all got to shine alongside...
Idina Menzel, Lea Michele
WHEN YOU'RE A GLEEK: (Apologies to the "Jet Song," as we prepare our audition for West Side Story — or in Kurt and Blaine's case, West Hollywood Side Story?) The best way to enjoy Glee these days is to accept and even when possible to embrace its imperfections. Kind of like the way the characters get past their own perceived shortcomings and insecurities to embrace their inner star. (Just watch Mercedes blossom this week into full-blown diva mode, for better and inevitably for worse. It's pretty thrilling.) You can tell, from last week's and especially this week's impressive "Asian F" episode (Fox, 8/7c), that Glee is trying awfully hard to improve from the mess of last season. The music is better integrated into story, the story is better integrated into character, and sometimes the characters even make sense.
Jeers to House for a case of casting malpractice.
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When it briefly transformed into One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest two years ago, Hugh Laurie had an equally powerful actor, Andre Braugher, to play off as his nuthouse shrink. Now Fox's medical drama is taking a not-so-wonderful journey to the land of Oz — the HBO prison drama, that is — and all he's got is bland Odette Annable as a jailhouse doc House will no doubt hire at Princeton-Plainsboro once he gets sprung.
Penn Badgley, Leighton Meester
OK, we know we've said it before, but this bears repeating: Dan and Blair take Gossip Girl to a whole new level.
Even though they may not be couple-ish like they were last season, the writers have wisely salvaged the pairing by easing them into the kind of friendship the show needed. Honest, humorous and, of course, peppered with La Waldorf's haughty Upper East snide commentary about their class differences, the mismatched buds are the realest thing going in a world where Serena can land a job in Hollywood by simply having read a book and Elizabeth Hurley wants to do Nate in a stairwell.
J.R. Martinez didn't get the highest score — that honor went to Ricki Lake, who impressed yet again with a sensuous rumba. And it wasn't as if the show hasn't already produced its share of standing ovations. But what happened on last night's Dancing With the Stars lifted the ballroom to an emotional height unseen in 13 seasons.
American Horror Story
Cable network FX has built a name for itself with daring drama series such as The Shield and Nip/Tuck. But American Horror Story — Glee cocreator Ryan Murphy's new "psychosexual" (his word) drama kicks it up more than a few notches. Dylan McDermott and Connie Britton play a couple whose marriage is already in trouble when they move into a house with a history of mayhem and find themselves involved with sexually provocative ghosts (think rubber suits and French-maid outfits) and a basement decorated in wall-to-wall carnage. We talked with FX Network president John Landgraf about the challenge of bringing such a bold project to ad-supported TV.
TV Guide Magazine: You're breaking some new ground with this show in terms of graphic content. Are viewers ready for this?
Landgraf: I actually disagree with that
Ted Danson, Marg Helgenberger
It's hard to imagine Sam Malone from Cheers needing a maggot wrangler. "I've never seen anything like it," Ted Danson says. Even with silver hair, the Emmy-winning actor looks like a kid who just pulled apart his first earthworm. "You can tell how long a human body has been decomposing by the size of the bugs crawling inside!" And the wrangler's got every variety. "It's incredible, until you think, 'Oh, God. We're talking about dead people.'"