Sarah Michelle Gellar by Richard Cartwright/FOX
It seems like a more innocent time, when a haircut could rock an entire network. But that's what happened when Felicity star Keri Russell's trademark curly locks were shorn during a summer hiatus in 1999. The early WB fave was never the same after that follicle debacle. Susanne Daniels, who was the creative executive behind many of the network's early successes, and Variety deputy editor Cynthia Littleton have recounted the wild ride of the short-lived six network era in Season Finale: The Unexpected Rise and Fall of the WB and UPN (Harper Books). When reading the story, it's hard to believe two over-the-air broadcast networks were launched only a dozen years before we made a habit out of watching TV on our computers. Both UPN and the WB (which merged to become the CW last year) were born out of their studio-owners' fear that once the government allowed the established networks to produce their own series, they would be shut out of prime time. That never happened. But the youth-orie...
Blake Lively and Penn Badgley in Gossip Girl by Andrew Eccles/The CW
Is it possible that this season, Wednesdays are the new Thursdays? An incredible amount of high-profile new programming nine freshman series in all will be introduced to the Wednesday prime-time schedule over the next few weeks, and when the dust settles, I can only hope a few of my new favorites will survive.First up are CBS, the CW and Fox, launching their newbies a week before the official season begins. The biggest headlines so far have been generated by CBS' unseen-by-critics and instantly controversial Kid Nation, a reality show in which 40 kids are set loose in a desert ghost town (actually an unused film set) and tasked to create a Utopian adult-free society. Sounded kind of prosocial and heartwarming until all those red flags began to surface about possible abuse of child-labor laws, penurious confidentiality agreements that made boilerplate mention of such possible reality-show liabilities as STDs, and allegations of injuries on the set. Something tells me th...
Ray Wise and Bret Harrison in Reaper by Michael Courtney/The CW
It took a year, but the CW (the network cobbled together from the ashes of the WB and UPN) is finally starting to look like a real network, albeit one aggressively and obsessively focused on the 18-34 youth market. Which no doubt is causing more than a few existential crises among those longtime vets of the TCA press tour who said goodbye to that demo a while ago.Dawn Ostroff, the networks relentlessly perky entertainment president, took a no regrets approach to her upbeat presentation Friday morning. Shes serious about tapping into trends with her programming and with various online/digital offshoots (especially where the new teen soap Gossip Girl is concerned), but otherwise, theres something kind of refreshing about a network that doesnt take itself too seriously.There was loud laughter in the room during clips of the CWs various lightweight reality shows, including a first look at the new twist on guilty-pleasure fave Beauty and the Geek...
It's almost a given that a show with tons of music will have at least one song replaced when it comes out on DVD, but what if that one song is the theme for the show? The earliest theme-song replacements occurred on Dawson's Creek and Married... with Children, the former using the international theme, and the latter using a sound-alike song, but the replacements didn't stop there. Since then we've heard new theme songs for Life Goes On, the international theme for Las Vegas, a butchered theme for Baywatch, George Lopez uttering some words instead of "Low Rider" and the season 3 theme being used on season 2 of Happy Days. Why is this happening?Most songs are licensed on a per-play basis, so the theme song costs are multiplied by the number of episodes in the season. A $20,000 song quickly becomes $440,000 for the season, and the studios are telling us that the recording companies hold this songs hostage, knowing that it's the most important song to license. Sony delayed the third sea...
The best thing I saw on Super Bowl Sunday? Pans Labyrinth. But thats a different story (or a different column). Anything to get out of doors (even in the frigid cold) to skip the first few hours of pre-Super Bowl hype.The worst thing I saw on Super Bowl Sunday? A typically unpleasant, thoroughly predictable episode of Criminal Minds that followed the big game. More on that later.In between, we had a game played in torrential rain that had plenty of reversals (how slippery was that football, anyway?) and was plenty exciting, especially to a former Indiana resident and current Peyton Manning fan. The buzz about Super Bowls is that this is usually the one night of the year when you actually watch the ads and zip your TiVo through the game. This year, that would have been a mistake.I lost count of the number of moronic Bud Light ads I had to sit through just to get to the two memorable ads for classic Budweiser. As usual, there was a classy one involving Clydesdales, this ye...
UPDATE ON ROB LOWE: Be sure to check out Brothers & Sisters exec producer Jon Robin Baitz' brand-new TVGuide.com blog entry regarding Lowe joining the cast.As first spilled by the Ausiello Report, former West Winger Rob Lowe is joining ABC's Brothers & Sisters as a Republican senator and romantic interest for Calista Flockhart's Kitty (and no, that was not a euphemism). Lowe will appear in at least six episodes; Mike has the details.... Per Reuters, Alicia Witt (Cybill) will star in Blue Smoke, a Lifetime movie based on the Nora Roberts best-seller about a female arson investigator haunted by a pyromaniac stalker. Scott Bakula, Talia "Adrian!!!" Shire (as Witt's mother) and Matthew Settle (Brothers & Sisters) also star.... Relative newbies Rachel Specter (Entourage), Brendan Miller (Accepted), Anna Osceola, John Keefe (The Practice), Christopher Todd (The Sopranos) and Jocelin Donahue will populate the Comedy Central pilot Not Another High School Show, which promises to ...
If there were any justice, TV would ease up on the glut of crime and legal dramas. But that's hardly likely, and Fox's cynical Justice (Wednesdays at 9 pm/ET) knows it all too well.
Realizing how pointless it would be to try to reinvent the courtroom drama, Justice embraces the fact that our post-O.J. society is saturated with true-crime coverage and fake-crime stories. That's why TV itself (embodied by a fictional infotainment show, "American Crime") is a major character in Jerry Bruckheimer's latest fun-to-watch procedural.
As the head of a glamorous L.A. law firm, Victor Garber sheds the tight-lipped restraint of Alias' Jack Bristow and taps into his theatrical roots as cocky
Question: I heard that WB was going to air its entire first season before the merge with UPN. Is there any truth to this rumor? With so little on the air this summer, reruns of the first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and other classic WB shows would bring some much-needed humor to TV.
Answer: A slight (but significant) correction: what WB is planning to do on its last official Sunday night, Sept. 17, is rebroadcast the first episodes of such signature series as Felicity, Angel, Buffy and Dawson's Creek. (Shows continuing on at CW were not considered for this stunt, which is why 7th Heaven and Smallville aren't on the list.) Believe me, you wouldn't want to watch WB's first season on the air, which mainly consisted of one lousy sitcom after another.
Also regarding the WB/UPN-to-CW switch, Amanda asks: "What exactly will happen when WB and UPN unite? Since I already have both channels, will I have two CW channels?" Not a silly question, because this is an unprecedented situation
Question: Do we know yet which actress is going to play Bones and Brennan's sexy new boss, Dr. Camille Saroyan, on Bones? Answer: Yes! The role has gone to the lovely Tamara Taylor. Lost fans know her as Walt's mom, but TT also had recurring gigs on NCIS, Party of Five and Dawson's Creek. She also was one of the few reasons to watch UPN's short-lived
Gabrielle Christian, South of Nowhere
If you are a fan of The N's South of Nowhere, you might be sad that you still have to wait a while for new episodes — especially since the high-school series left on a bit of a cliff-hanger, with gal pals Spencer and Ashley locking lips. Since Nowhere started filming again this week, TVGuide.com spoke with star Gabrielle Christian, who plays Spencer, for a sneak peek at what to expect next season.
TVGuide.com: You're just getting ready to start production. Have you seen any scripts?Gabrielle Christian: We started shooting on Monday. We've had one table read and we're actually starting by filming Episodes 3 and 4 first. We've heard the overall story.
TVGuide.com: Is the second season going to pick up where the first one left off?Christian: The first episode of this season takes place the day after the end