Inside the Actors Studio (Monday, 7/6c, Bravo)
Even in those moments when it succumbs to fawning self-parody, there's something about James Lipton's craft/career-focused Q&A's that I find irresistibly endearing. (May have something to do with my nostalgia for what Bravo was like before all of those heinous Real Housewives took over the network.) This week, this marginalized show — notice how it airs outside prime-time parameters — welcomes its first-ever graduate from the Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University. Said successful alum being Bradley Cooper, beloved by TV fans for his work on Alias but now busy with a film career including The Hangover, Wedding Crashers and the new Limitless opposite Robert De Niro.
Will The Mentalist's Grace Van Pelt (Amanda Righetti) make it down the aisle with FBI agent Craig O'Laughlin (Eric Winter) by season's end? The show will keep fans — and third wheel Wayne Rigsby (Owain Yeoman) — guessing all the way through May's two-hour, Red John-themed finale.
Grey's Anatomy has cast actress Gina Gallego to play the mother of Dr. Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez). The soap opera veteran will debut May 5 as Lucia Torres, the wife of Callie's father, Carlos (Hector Elizondo), who will also appear in the episode.
Gina, 55, is known to daytime audiences for her recurring roles on numerous daytime soap operas. Her credits include Santa Barbara, The Bold and the Beautiful and, most recently, Days of Our Lives, where she played a prison warden.
Lucia and Carlos are coming to Seattle at the same...
In the first major elimination of the season, the young woman who wanted to be American Idol's diva-in-training, Ashthon Jones, was voted out Thursday night. Ashthon, 24, who hails from Valdosta, Georgia and lives in Nashville, was chosen as one of three wild cards last week, but she was unable to persuade more than 30 million voters to keep her in the competition. After learning she was at the bottom, Ashthon sang Diana Ross' "When You Tell Me That You Love Me," hoping that the judges would use their one save of the season to keep her going. But it wasn't to be. Her role model, judge Jennifer Lopez, broke the news: "Not this time baby... I'm sorry."
While we try to process those terrible images from the Japan earthquake/tsunami, a few thoughts on some of the highs and lows of the week in TV. (And when we speak of highs and lows, of course the subject is Charlie Sheen.)
REMEMBERING CHARLIE HARPER: Malibu is mourning the loss of one of its more colorful residents: jingle writer/children's music composer-performer Charlie Harper (aka "Charlie Waffles"). His passing was confirmed this week in the wake of the career suicide of his notorious alter ego, a self-described Hollywood "warlock" whose overexposed online rants (following a spate of reckless TV and radio interviews) have quickly degraded from the category of morbidly fascinating train wreck to the realm of sick, sad, no-longer-funny joke.
There's some crazy stuff going down on the March 13 episode of CSI: Miami, and it all stems from the mind of cast member Adam Rodriguez. The man who plays Detective Eric Delko wrote and directed the episode, his first, titled "Hunting Ground." TV Guide Magazine sat down with Rodriguez between takes to get the scoop on his latest endeavor.
David Lyons and Mena Suvari
Several months ago, The Cape's creator, Tom Wheeler, clued me in that he planned to kill off a series regular in his first season finale. Then ratings fell, NBC cut the show order from 13 to 10 episodes, and now the season finale appears to be the series finale. But for those loyal Cape fans out there, there will still be a significant death before the Cape hangs it up for good.
The concluding chapter will be available for viewing at http://www.nbc.com/the-cape/ beginning at midnight tonight, Friday, March 11.
Kelvin Lewis and Nancy Lieberman
Nancy Lieberman has been breaking basketball barriers for almost four decades, and she's not done yet. The 52-year-old Hall of Famer is currently in the midst of her first season as the first female head coach at the NBA level, calling the shots for the Texas Legends of the NBA Development League (the equivalent of Triple-A baseball). Being a pioneer in the sport is nothing new for Lieberman, whose accomplishments are, well, legendary: Olympic silver medalist at age 18; two-time collegiate player of the year while leading Old Dominion University to back-to-back national titles; first woman to play in a men's pro league; player, coach and general manager in the WNBA. Lieberman isn't shy about her competitive nature, but she's not afraid to show a softer side with her players.
For the second time in two weeks, American Idol's Casey Abrams has been hospitalized for stomach pain, and according to show sources, the problem is bleeding ulcers. "That poor guy's in a world of hurt," says one source.
After thrilling the judges with his rendition of Joe Cocker's "With A Little Help From My Friends" on Wednesday, Abrams was M.I.A. from last night's results show...