Comic-Con has become the ultimate experience for TV fans. And more than 125,000 of them will descend upon the San Diego Convention Center from this Thursday through Sunday for screenings, star panels, autograph opportunities and specially designed collectibles. In the last few years, though, the featured TV shows have fallen into three distinct categories: the obvious "genre" programming like Fringe, Caprica, Supernatural, Futurama and The Vampire Diaries; the shows with tangential relationships to genre entertainment (see ABC's Castle panel, with former Firefly star Nathan Fillion, for instance); and finally, entries, like Glee, that make some hard-core fans think, "Why exactly is that show here?"
Joining that elite first group is AMC's The Walking Dead, a zombie drama based on the Image Comics title by Robert Kirkman, a veteran of the San Diego experience. "It seems like every time I go to Comic-Con, I discover a new VIP area," he says. "Like, 'Wait a minute, just behind this wall they're giving back rubs and everyone gets pink lemonade?'" ...
How can you not love Angie Harmon? Not only is the former model still superfine, but she is also packing
major brains and brass behind that pretty face. So it's fitting that her Rizzoli & Isles (Mondays, 10/9c, TNT) character, Beantown detective Jane Rizzoli, is proving herself to the old boys' club tonight when she takes on her pill of a new boss (Donnie Wahlberg).
Helping Harmon's case? Real-life research...
RuPaul wants to show every woman how to unleash her inner diva. In RuPaul's Drag U, an eight-episode Drag Race spin-off premiering tonight at 9/8c on Logo, he enlists his favorite queens to transform glamour-starved ladies into over-the-top divas who strut their stuff to win the highest DPA. (Drag Point Average). Ru gives us a college orientation...
Jeers to Rizzoli & Isles for criminally neglecting its high-caliber supporting cast.
Per its title, the hit TNT crime drama follows the cutesy exploits of Beantown galpals Det. Jane Rizzoli (Angie Harmon) and medical examiner Maura Isles (Sasha Alexander). The wildly overqualified and underutilized ensemble includes Emmy nominee Lorraine Bracco (The Sopranos) and Oscar nominee Chazz Palminteri (Bullets Over Broadway) as Rizzoli's stereotypically squabbling mom and dad ...
Well, that's gonna leave a mark. On HGTV's fantastically fun Next Design Star last night, we got one of those to-DIY-for moments that should be de rigueur on shows where folks are actually dealing with dangerous equipment, but are actually rarely seen: an injury.
Prepare for Brenda-Mania! In an unprecedented public relations blitz, ABC will bump its entire August 10 daytime suds lineup for a Vanessa Marcil (sorry, that's Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo!) marathon featuring three of the soap superdiva's most classic General Hospital episodes. SOAPnet is already in the midst of a 25-day Brenda Barrett countdown (key Brenda moments, timelines, trivia quizzes) and will air a four-hour "Best of Brenda and Sonny" marathon August 15, including a long-unseen Ricky Martin episode. The gal herself hits GH on August 11 after a seven-year absence. What's in store for the most deliciously needy, high-maintenance crisis junkie in the history of daytime drama? GH head writer Bob Guza gave TV Guide Magazine some exclusive scoop!
Jennifer Love Hewitt
Maybe I just needed a brief respite from the summer glut of crime dramas, but what a relief to watch a few hours of guilty-pleasurable TV that takes itself the opposite of seriously.
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Fans of high-camp/big-heart TV are in for a treat Monday night, as Logo unveils RuPaul's Drag U, a garish yet unexpectedly touching spin-off of the similarly over-the-top gender-bending RuPaul's Drag Race, that America's Next Top Model clone (though much more entertaining) where drag divas claw it out for top honors.
Cheers to John Schneider for getting back in touch with his rural roots on Leverage.
The impressively well-preserved actor (who was actually born in Mt. Kisco, New York) has been passing himself off as a country boy ever since he guzzled beer and claimed he was from Snellville, Georgia while auditioning for his breakthrough role as Bo Duke on The Dukes of Hazzard.
Adrien Grenier and Sasha Grey
Adult film actress Sasha Grey makes her TV-series debut on the August 1 episode of HBO's Entourage, playing an even wilder version of herself as Vince's new long-term squeeze.
Naturally, Vince will have to defend his girl when his friends take some cheap shots. Though this is Sasha's first foray into legit TV, she has previously starred in several X-rated spoofs of TV classics...
Mike O'Malley, Glee
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Question: Mike O'Malley's Emmy nod as guest actor in a comedy for Glee is great, but what do you think about mostly dramatic parts being nominated in the comedy categories? — James (from Twitter)
Matt Roush: It's a good question. Some of the best work in the comedy categories is at least as dramatic as comedic. Mike O'Malley's poignant work as Kurt's father is a great performance but is more likely to elicit tears than laughs. He could be eclipsed by the more conventionally funny work being done by his fellow nominees (most notably Neil Patrick Harris from the same show, or Modern Family's Fred Willard, Jon Hamm's comic turn on 30 Rock, and so on). At the same time, the meatiness of the dramatic scenes in these comedy-drama hybrids (a list that includes Nurse Jackie, United States of Tara and even Monk) may give actors like O'Malley and especially Edie Falco an advantage at awards time. I'm certainly not opposed to honoring the dramatic highlights from comedy series, but it's true the line is very blurred in some of these categories...