Community's December 9 animated Christmas episode, in which Abed (Danny Pudi) learns the meaning of Christmas (and which featured a shout-out to TV Guide Magazine!), is a holiday miracle in itself. As overseen by 23D Films owners James Fino (who previously worked on King of the Hill) and Joe Russo (The Simpsons), the stop-motion animation was completed in four months, less than half the time it takes to produce an episode of The Simpsons.
"We needed every ounce of that time," Fino says. "It couldn't be whipped off. We had to be at the top of our games." Animators from the movies Coraline and The Nightmare Before Christmas also contributed their talents.
Fino and Russo offered...
Since I'm too much in the holiday spirit to dwell on the cancellation of Terriers right off the bat, let's start this week's overview with a look at some of our favorite TV soulmates, comic and otherwise.
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Thursday night, you could hardly avoid them. The most provocative being an unusually pensive re-examination of the Bones-Booth dynamic on Bones. This artful hour is a true showcase for Emily Deschanel, as Bones sees an unflattering version of herself in this week's skeletal victim, discovered with a tree growing through her. The vic is a doc, a surgeon who lives for work and torments her interns, seen by peers as having no passion, no life, no one to miss her or maybe even mourn her...
When Fringe co-creators Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman announced that they were developing a Hawaii Five-0 reboot, fans of their previous work (Alias, Star Trek, Eagle Eye) undoubtedly let out a collective "Huh?" The twosome, best known for shows with intricate conspiracy theories, have now embarked on a journey of mystery-of-the-week — and say they-re loving it. TV Guide Magazine caught up with Orci at the HRTS Hitmakers Luncheon on December 8 to get the scoop on the mean streets of Honolulu and moving Fringe to Friday nights...
Oscar, Emmy, Tony and Grammy Legend Award winner Liza Minnelli finally joins Robert Osborne's illustrious guest list on Saturday's episode of Private Screenings (10/9c, TCM). I watched her film the chat in the New York's West Village back in June, looking remarkably limber just a few months after knee replacement surgery. She was about to head out on tour to support her album Confessions, released this past September. Earlier this week, fresh from a San Francisco concert, the diva talked to me about her new album and her conversation with Osborne about growing up with legendary parents Judy Garland and director Vincente Minnelli and some of their equally famous friends. (AMC is also airing 10 of her parents' films — including An American in Paris and Gigi — plus Liza's Cabaret on Saturday and Tuesday...
All I want for Christmas is for some other shows to try as hard as Community.
Last night, the under-watched smile factory that is NBC's junior-college comedy scored yet another win with an animated holiday outing inspired by Abed's meaning-of-Christmas crisis. And if there is any show that can pull off a fantastical, stop-motion episode, it's the one that has already done wonders with its spoofs of action films and horror movies...
Did Top Chef All-Stars' Jamie wimp out over her injury?
On the December 8 episode of Top Chef, Jamie Lauren sliced open her finger while cooking during a challenge — not an uncommon occurrence around these parts — and temporarily left the competition to get the injury stitched up. Seems reasonable, no?
Cut to the disapproving grumbling from her comrades...
When he's not bending the rules as the Leverage team's resident enforcer Eliot Spencer, Christian Kane can often be found bending guitar strings in honky-tonks around the country. The Texas-born and Oklahoma-raised Kane does double duty as an aspiring country singer...
Girls are being raped, tortured and stuffed into barrels. A self-help guru named Jordan (Jonny Lee Miller) is definitely up to no good. And somehow, Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) and his new partner-in-crime, Lumen (Julia Stiles), are finding time for a little nookie.
It's been a bloody good run this season on Dexter, and the finale is shaping up to be a jab-and-stabber of epic proportions. "Usually, Dexter is alone in seeking vengeance, but now he's got Lumen at his side so it's double the trouble," says executive producer Sara Colleton.
Last year's shocking finale ...