Jeers to Fran Drescher for not knowing when to shut up.
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The Nanny veteran has returned to TV with The Fran Drescher Tawk Show, a daytime chatfest getting a three-week test run on six Fox affiliates (because that approach worked so well for The Kilborn File and Huckabee?). Despite the presence of the "Fran Band" and celebrity guests — like Drescher's "dear friends" and Doctor Detroit costars Dan Aykroyd and Donna Dixon — the show's all about Fran...
NBC will soon have a new owner, a new entertainment chief — and a long road back to prime-time ratings success.
Once the government gives its stamp of approval to cable company Comcast's deal to buy a controlling interest in NBC Universal, former Showtime chief Robert Greenblatt will try to restore the luster of NBC's entertainment division. While NBC is a powerhouse in TV news and its cable networks are a profit machine (current executives in both divisions will remain in place when Comcast takes over), the most visible aspect of its business — the broadcast network's prime-time lineup — has deteriorated steadily throughout the decade. The once proud peacock has not turned out a new major ratings hit in five years, and its biggest shows — The Office, Law & Order: SVU and The Biggest Loser — are aging and in decline.
New management is looking for a rescue effort from Greenblatt, who in seven years at Showtime stewarded such lauded series ...
Tom Colicchio and Padma Lakshmi
At first glance, the green room on the New York City set of Top Chef looks more like Romper Room. Judge Tom Colicchio, sporting casual jeans and a baseball cap, strolls in with his 1-year-old son, Luka. They're on hand to watch the taping of a Quickfire Challenge featuring cookies and a uniquely fuzzy panel of judges — Elmo, Telly and, of course, Cookie Monster.
"Normally on my day off, you can't drag me on the set," Colicchio laughs. "But this is special."
"Special" sums up the moment for Top Chef, the addictive cooking contest that nabbed its first Emmy for Outstanding Reality Competition Program this summer and is now poised to launch its red-hot eighth season, Top Chef All-Stars (premiering Wednesday, December 1 at 10/9c on Bravo). "This is going to be our best season yet," says host Padma Lakshmi. It certainly has all the ingredients...
If they gave separate Nielsen ratings just for hardcore fans rewatching a show in the days after an initial airing, "Enemies Domestic" would probably be the top-rated NCIS episode of the season. This is why DVRs were invented, even for homebodies.
Writer Jesse Stern packed about three hours of plotting into 44 minutes. And while you might have found yourself wishing that this second half of a two-parter had been allowed to play out as at least a two-parter itself, you also had to marvel — and maybe even laugh — at just how many tasks were being accomplished in how short a time. In some ways, the real enemy was neither foreign nor domestic, but the clock itself. How could they wrap up last week's mystery plotline, wrap up Vance threads dating back three seasons, wrap up Ziva's relationship with her father from a season and a half ago, introduce the novelty of an "origins" episode, AND still give every series regular at least one satisfying chuckle?
Can someone please get Niecy Nash a sitcom?
Seriously, the woman is being wasted. Not that it wasn't swell to have her voicing Donna's kid-ditching sister Janet on The Cleveland Show last night, but that was just a guest spot and the real-life Nash is too fabulously animated to be relegated to cartoonery. She needs to be front and center, in the flesh and on TV on a weekly basis. And preferably in something better than Do Not Disturb.
One would think after her run on Dancing with the Stars and Reno 911! that someone would have found Miss Niecy a proper vehicle by now. She's paid her dues and proven to be a fan favorite, so why ...
A new superhero is lurking on the same Hollywood lot where a collection of everyday Heroes spent four seasons trying to defeat the maniacal Sylar. Did they succeed? No clue
(I was long tuned out by then). I'm far more intrigued by NBC's new show, The Cape. Former ER doc David Lyons plays the titular hero; his archenemies are Scales (Vinnie Jones from X-Men: The Last Stand) and Chess (True Blood's James Frain). "A hero is only as strong as his villains," David says.
Viewers will meet ...
Regis & Kelly
As Live! With Regis and Kelly (check local listings) heads out to Vegas this week, the hosts reveal their big party plans for Sin City.
TV Guide Magazine: What are you looking forward to most? Showgirls?
Regis: I got one sitting next to me.
Sheryl Crow and Brad Paisley
Forget rockin'. Is it possible to boot-scoot around a Christmas tree? Tonight, some of country music's biggest names gather to celebrate the holiday season in CMA Country Christmas (9:30/8:30c, ABC). Hosted by Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles, the special boasts performances from the likes of Brad Paisley, Martina McBride, Reba and admitted Yuletide fanatic Darius Rucker.
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Questions: A couple of questions on NBC's Monday night lineup. First, what has your opinion been on Chuck this year? I never thought I would say this, but I find myself wishing they had tied up everything last year, when I thought Chuck was at an all-time high in quality. This season has seemed extremely uneven and uninspired to me, with the usually unbearable Buy More plotlines made even worse by the fact that there isn't a whole lot going on in the A-plot week to week either. Your thoughts?
Secondly, I have been enjoying The Event a great deal, but find myself not caring at all whenever the scene shifts to Sean and Leila. Everything they are involved in just seems so small and trite compared to the big conspiracy storyline, and I also don't find myself impressed by those actors' performances. I understand that since Lost and the brilliant work that show did with its characters, all of these high-concept shows have tried to incorporate the everyday hero to resonate with viewers, but the difference there (other than character portrayal) is that those heroes were thrust into the meat of the plot, rather than being relegated to the side plots we have seen in The Event. I just find myself thinking ...
Casts of Jersey Shore and Barbara Walters
The holidays are approaching, which means it's time for a Barbara Walters special or two. The ABC News veteran is hosting back-to-back shows on December 9: Oprah: The Next Chapter (9/8c) and the 18th annual 10 Most Fascinating People (10/9c), in which Sarah Palin all but announces her 2012 presidential run.
As for Oprah, "The interview is extremely personal," says Walters. "She talks about ...