It's official: Just one year after 24 ended, Kiefer Sutherland is plotting his return to TV.
Sutherland has signed on to star in the Fox drama pilot Touch, in which he will play a man who discovers that his autistic son can predict the future. Word of Sutherland's interest in the pilot, written by Heroes creator Tim Kring, first emerged last week. But there was a big snag: Sutherland's Broadway commitment — the actor currently stars on stage in the play That Championship Season — threatened to derail any immediate TV possibility.
"It was the most surreal experience of my life," Allison Janney says of dueting with five-time Grammy winner James Taylor for Mr. Sunshine's March 16 episode. The singer guest stars on the ABC comedy as Billy, the ex-husband of Janney's Crystal. Turns out the exes had a lounge act and reunite to sing Leon Russell's "A Song For You," which Janney says "is probably one of the hardest songs to sing for someone who hadn't sung since stepping off the 9 to 5 stage over a year earlier."
Michael Weatherly directs NCIS
With the March 1 episode "One Last Score," Michael Weatherly becomes the first NCIS cast member to direct the CBS hit. "Believe me, I knocked on the door a long time," he tells TV Guide Magazine. "Mark Harmon has always said nobody here wants anybody else's job — and here I am, trying to do somebody else's job."
Piers Morgan Tonight on CNN
How have viewers responded to the tumult in TV so far in 2011? Here's what the Nielsen ratings tell us.
With the show going in to its 10th season, without Simon Cowell, industry insiders thought Idol could crash and burn. It hasn't happened. Through February 16, the show has averaged 25.2 million total viewers, down only 9 percent. "We feel it's a victory," says Fox executive vice president Preston Beckman, who credits the performance of new judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez. "We succeeded in reinventing the panel," he adds.
American Idol has not even selected their top 10, but TV audiences are already buzzing about Simon Cowell's return to television after an ad for his new reality competition show, The X Factor, aired during the Super Bowl on February 6. Are you looking forward to Cowell's new show, or do you think there are too many reality competition shows on television already? Sound off in our poll below!
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Question: I really like the new show The Chicago Code; I am from Chicago and also love the fact that it is shot on location here. My only issue with the show is Jennifer Beals' HORRIBLE attempt at a Chicago accent (and I love her). It is especially grating when she is narrating the story. I have lived in Chicago my whole life, and I can tell you that most people do not have that Dennis Franz (or the SNL characters') accent. That is a South Side thing and only a portion of the South Side actually talks that way. I will say that Jason Clarke not only nails the South Side accent but also the whole South Side mentality of a diehard White Sox fan who hates the Cubs (Sox fans are an angry bunch). Everyone I know that has watched the show has had the same reaction to her and it almost makes the show unwatchable. What do you think? Why can't they just let her talk normally?
Alex O'Loughlin and Larisa Oleynik
Talk about pressure. Larisa Oleynik debuts on CBS' Hawaii Five-0 on March 21 as CIA analyst Jenna "K" Kaye, then returns for the season's last two episodes — giving her three shows to prove herself worthy of being signed as a permanent team member.
Castle (Monday, 10/9c, ABC)
Who's that heroic looking interloper muscling into Beckett and Castle's turf? That would be former Heroes star Adrian Pasdar, guesting in a tense two-parter as a fed who takes over a murder investigation that exposes a conspiracy with calamitous implications for the city. (Sounds like a job for Jack Bauer, but those days are over.) In other sweeps stunt-casting news, over on CBS's Hawaii Five-0 in the same hour, Danno's brother comes to paradise, a hedonistic Wall Street broker played by comedian Dane Cook. A mad bomber is also on the loose, which might actually be a welcome diversion if Cook tries to do stand-up.
The Good Wife (Tuesday, 10/9c, CBS)
The great guest stars keep coming, but at least one represents a welcome comeback: Gary Cole reprising his role as Diane's ruggedly handsome and politically opposite sometimes-beau Kurt McVeigh. The ballistics expert returns as her client, after he's sued over testimony he gave in the murder trial of a newly exonerated cop killer. Also on deck in this busy episode: Jerry Stiller as a narcoleptic judge, and Ugly Betty's America Ferrera as the illegal nanny of Peter's campaign rival Wendy Scott-Carr, which puts her on Eli Gold's radar.
Because social and personal (Happy Valentine's Day!) obligations kept me away from the TV more than usual this week, I'm going to boil down this week's wrap-up to my version of a "Hot Topics" list, with a few odds and ends thrown in for fun.
OF IBM AND MEN: Man your buzzer if you really thought either Ken Jennings or Brad Rutter could topple supercomputer Watson on Jeopardy! in that fascinating three-part exhibition stunt. I got more caught up in seeing what Watson didn't know or how it was misinterpreting clues — including the first Final Jeopardy, which somehow led Watson to...