Christmas may be the most wonderful time of the year, but for TV, it's kind of a bleak week, ya'll.
Just take last night. While we did find a few originals to keep us busy, the pickins' were slim and, no surprise, mostly reality-based. There was the Survivor finale featuring the franchise's dumbest final four, the Phaedra-Kim snipefest on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Discovery Health's awesomely titled The 8-Limbed Boy, apocalyptic harbinger Bridalplasty, and of course Sarah Palin's Alaska. Or as PETA surely likes to call it, "Snuff Film Weekly."
Some of you saw it coming. A lot of you didn't. Whatever the case, last Friday's General Hospital cliffhanger couldn't have been more delicious! Theo Hoffman, the cranky hypochondriac who is suing the hospital for malpractice, was revealed to be the Balkan! This international crime lord — played by the terrific Daniel Benzali of Murder One fame — seems to be seeking revenge on supermodel Brenda Barrett for the death of his son and now he's secretly wormed his way onto her legal team. It's fabulously creepy! TV Guide Magazine had an exclusive chat with Benzali, who gave us a tantalizing hint of doom to come.
Yvonne Strahovski unveils her new PETA ad, featuring her rescued pooches Chazzie and Wilbur, exclusively for TV Guide Magazine. Unlike in other celeb PETA ads, the actress — who plays Chuck's improbably hot CIA girlfriend on the NBC cult hit Chuck — doesn't bare all. Instead, she donned wings to play her dogs' guardian angel for the animal rights group's "Adopt, Don't Buy," campaign.
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Question: I was just watching Human Target, and as someone who lives in San Francisco, I was wondering how often shows are actually shot on location and what are the factor conditions. I get a San Francisco vibe from Human Target, which I didn't get from Monk. Both Dexter and Burn Notice take place in Miami, but I usually get more of a Los Angeles vibe from Dexter. Many shows have episodes that take place at universities and I swear I am always looking at the UCLA campus.
Alanna Ubach scares the hell out of men — and it's proving to be a brilliant career move. The actress currently juggles gigs on two hot cable series, playing Thomas Jane's sexually voracious next-door neighbor Yael on HBO's Hung and Ray Romano's pushy lady love Michelle on TNT's Men of a Certain Age.
In tonight's episode of Men (10/9c, TNT), Michelle spends the night with Romano's character, Joe, then gives him a macho crotch grab before dashing out the door for work. It throws Joe for a loop and straight into the arms of another woman...
The Yuletide episodes of The Closer are true standouts every season, and this one's got it all: holiday hilarity, family dysfunction and, of course, murder. The two-parter opens tonight at 9/8c on TNT with a death on Christmas Eve in a case that threatens to dash everybody's holiday plans. "Brenda [Kyra Sedgwick] and Raydor [Mary McDonnell] always fight to gain control of cases, but they're fighting to give this one away," says exec producer James Duff.
Things get even screwier after Brenda's parents (Frances Sternhagen and Barry Corbin) show up...
Million Dollar Money Drop
Million Dollar Money Drop (Monday, 8/7c, Fox)
This is how game-show sensations are born — and Fox certainly hopes this will be their version of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire. Airing Monday-Thursday this week (Tuesday and Wednesday's installments air at 9/8c, with a two-hour finale on Thursday), this game, hosted by comedian Kevin Pollak, is pretty simple. Contestants are asked multiple-choice questions with a million dollars in cash on the line. They put the cash on the answers they think are correct — one must always be left blank — and if they're wrong, the cash they've distributed on the wrong answer disappears down a chute. Panic sets in pretty quickly. The two-hour premiere goes head-to-head with the finale of NBC's holiday hit The Sing-Off.
Men of a Certain Age (Monday, 10/9c, TNT)
Yes, Virginia, there are some new episodes of non-reality series airing this week. You just have to know where to look for them. On Men...
Kudos to NBC's The Cape for just casting one of my favorite unsung actresses for a two-episode arc.
The wonderfully quirky Illeana Douglas, so great in movies like Ghost World, Dummy and Cape Fear, will appear on the new superhero caper as...
That report that came out Thursday — that TNT had failed to come to financial terms with Larry Hagman to join the cast of its Dallas reboot and was proceeding with a revised script that featured the Ewings without their patriarch? Don't take that to the bank just yet, darlins'.
I just got off the phone with Larry who said all this comes as news to him. I read him the report, which left the 79-year-old TV legend stunned and nearly speechless. "I hadn't heard about that, huh!" said Larry. "That's really interesting. We were talking about money, but I didn't know it was going to come to a crashing halt like that. You got a scoop for whatever that's worth: Larry Hagman doesn't know what's going on!"
What this sounds like to me is a scare tactic — not unlike what Lorimar pulled back in the summer of 1980 after J.R. Ewing's infamous shooting when the production company threatened to replace Larry with actor Robert Culp if he didn't return from Europe, where the savvy businessman had escaped while his team negotiated a new contract...
Michaela McManus, who plays Vampire Diaries sexy (though lethal) werewolf Jules, is taking a tropical turn: she has just been cast in a February episode of CBS's Hawaii Five-0! Michaela will play a tough district attorney named Kathleen Roberts who will work alongside Grace Park's character, Kono.
She has also shot several more episodes of...