Sarah Lancaster, What About Brian
Sarah Lancaster recently turned 26, but she's already racked up more TV credits than most actors claim in a lifetime. Her first role was as Rachel on Saved by the Bell: The New Class. Since then she's appeared on Dawson's Creek, Boston Public, That ‘70s Show, Scrubs, 7th Heaven, Six Feet Under and Everwood, to name a few. Now, the sultry beauty is the female lead in What About Brian, a new ABC series (sneak previewing Sunday at 10 pm/ET, then airing Mondays at 10) from executive producer J.J. Abrams (Lost). TVGuide.com caught up with the grizzled TV vet to find out what Brian's all about.
TVGuide.com: How would you describe What
Criminal Minds guest star Amber Heard previews CW network's best bet.
Sometimes my job gets spooky. Minutes after I Q&A'd Tara Lipinski (re: an upcoming Malcolm in the Middle), a TV Guide colleague asks if I want to chat up Amber Heard, an ingénue-on-the-rise who plays a big role on tonight's Criminal Minds (9 pm/ET on CBS) but more interestingly got the edgy film role Lipinski just told me she had to pass on. Alpha Dog (in theaters May 12), though, is but one of the many gigs Heard is about to hit you with. In fact, you may be looking at the fledgling CW network's first breakout star. You be the judge.
TVGuide.com: Get this: I just interviewed Tara Lipinski, who opted to pass on a role in Alpha Dog because of the, um, required nudity. That's the gig you wound up with, right?Amber Heard: I definitely think it is. Th
Ryan Shea and Donna Martin, Cheerleader Nation
Can Ayrica juggle practice and tending to her baby sister? Will Ryan choose her boyfriend's basketball game over a team formal? Does a bad grade mean the boot for Amanda? It's Bring It On meets Dawson's Creek when Lifetime premieres Cheerleader Nation (Sunday at 10 pm/ET), an eight-episode series chronicling the Dunbar High School (of Lexington, Ky.) cheerleading squad's pursuit of a third straight national championship. Perhaps no one on the team has it as rough as sophomore Ryan Shea Martin, whose mom, Donna, is the varsity coach! TVGuide.com talked to the duo about bringing their real mother-daughter issues to reality TV.
TVGuide.com: When you signed on for this, were y
Bonds on Bonds, a reality show chronicling Giants slugger Barry Bonds' pursuit of Hank Aaron's career home-run record, will debut April 4 on ESPN2.... The N will begin airing Summerland repeats on May 1 and start unspooling the entire Dawson's Creek library sometime this fall.... TiVo is considering handing out free DVRs in exchange for a slightly higher monthly fee, reports Jack Myers' MediaVillage.com.... The 43rd-annual publicists' awards handed out top kudos to the flacks for Walk the Line and TV's Lost in a Wednesday ceremony. (Ironically, I received no press release about this.)
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Question: I was wondering what's happening to the family dramas. I used to watch all of them when they were on, but with 7th Heaven going off the air, The Book of Daniel being canceled, Once and Again long gone and American Dreams ending last year, there just aren't family dramas anymore. I miss them. Do you think it's because of the NCIS, CSI, Law & Order shows or because of reality TV? I just want good family dramas back!
Answer: I hear you, and I'm especially worried that with WB and UPN collapsing into CW, Everwood (my personal current fave in the family-drama category) will disappear, making the genre even more of an endangered species than it already is. It's not just that crime dramas and reality shows have taken over the network slots, which is true, but that the TV audience itself has fragmented over the years, with families watching less TV together as a unit; this may have dampened the ratings for some of these "family" shows. These dramas also tend to be harder to
In other pilot-casting news, MIA Dawson's Creek alum James Van Der Beek has resurfaced in CBS' Sex, Power, Love & Politics.... Desperate Housewives' Steven Culp has joined ABC's Traveler.... Sex and the City's Ron Livingston has grabbed one of the two leads in Fox's Primary.... Threshold's Peter Dinklage will play the Scientist in CBS' superhero drama Ultra.... 24's Jonah Lotan (aka Spenser) has been cast on Fox's Beyond, while former cast mate John Allen Nelson (née Walt) has joined Fox's Vanished.... and CBS has picked up Waterfront, a drama from ER vet Jack Orman and starring The Sopranos' Joe Pantoliano as an ethically challenged Providence, R.I., mayor.
Dawson's Creek alum Joshua Jackson is returning to series television, having landed a lead role in CSI exec producer Carol Mendelsohn's CBS pilot about brilliant legal associates at a powerful D.C. law firm. For those keeping score at home: Pacey, TV lawyer; Jen, Oscar nominee; Joey, in gestation with the Scientology messiah; Dawson himself, conspicuously MIA.
Jensen Ackles, Supernatural
When last we tuned in to WB's freshman frightfest, Supernatural, bogeyman-busting brothers Dean and Sam Winchester had fended off the insanity of an old, shuttered asylum only to come home to a phone call from their perpetually MIA father. The action picks up right from that instant with this week's new episode (airing tonight at 9 pm/ET). Jensen Ackles, who plays Dean, shared with TVGuide.com a preview.
TVGuide.com: Were you happy when Supernatural got picked up for a full season so early on?
Jensen Ackles: Yeah, it's always a crapshoot with the whole television thing in general, so the fact that we had a nice little buzz and had the powers-that-be pushing for us gave us the confidence we needed to move ahead
Question: My friends and I recently had an argument over which Daniel twin was on That '80s Show. I think it was Cynthia, but my buddy thinks it was Brittany, whom he saw in Joe Dirt. Who is correct? Also, was one of them in that commercial where the guy drives through the car wash with all the shaving stuff inside?Answer: Score one for your bud. That's Sweet Valley High, Swan's Crossing and Dawson's Creek alum Brittany Daniel, who was one of the stars of the Fox series, from
Question: Something strikes me when I watch shows laden with high-schoolers and other underagers: that the writers forget the ages of their characters and the messages that they are sending. I'm not against depictions of teen substance (ab)use or sexual explorations — nature of the beast, and all that. I'm more concerned with images such as Rory Gilmore being able to drink like a fish in public establishments before she's 21 (the same can be said of the Buffy crew in the past). Most recently, there's the compelling and enjoyable relationship between Bright and Hannah on Everwood. Given the former mayor-ness of his mother and the legendary uptightness of his father, it's surprising that neither parent is at all concerned that their twentysomething son is dating a high-school girl. Don't get me wrong, I greatly enjoy the shows I've mentioned, but sometimes the messages about our society, age and the law seem to be forgotten. It's not so much that I want the characters to be paragons of ...