It's crunch time in the network scheduling rooms, as many questions are being asked about next season. Will Grey's Anatomy go to Monday nights? Will Lost start in November, to cut down on repeats during the season? Is Wayne Brady getting another show? The answers will come next week. We hear there wasn't a lot of laughing during the executive screenings of most of the season's comedy pilots, but here's what industry insiders say are the hottest of that tepid lot. (Click here to read about the drama-pilot buzz.)
NBC: The Peacock network is only expected to add two sitcoms. One is the still-untitled show from Saturday Night Live head writer Tina Fey — a workplace comedy set behind the scenes of a
It started with a bang: Uncle Junior popping Tony in a fit of dementia. But most of the fireworks in this brilliant sixth season of The Sopranos have been more emotional than visceral, a psychologically riveting study of the corruption (of soul and spirit) that taints anyone within whacking distance.
That long list includes poor Gene, the hit man who hanged himself; hapless Artie Bucco, whose restaurant and psyche are in tatters; jailed Johnny Sack, whose daughter's wedding ended in his tearful public humiliation and loss of esteem; and Tony's delinquent son A.J., who can't live up to anyone's expectations and whose attempted revenge hit on Junior was truly pathetic (the kid can't even vomit like a man).
"It's not in your nature," Tony told A.J. in one of the season's many wrenching scenes of anguish and regret.
Not that there hasn't been comic rel
Reunion, Love Monkey and Commander in Chief
Reunion. Threshold. E-Ring. Invasion. Emily's Reasons Why Not. Love Monkey. Commander in Chief. Heist.
What do these shows have in common? They all debuted at some point during this soon-to-wrap TV season, yet each saw their run either cut surprisingly short or handicapped by irregular scheduling. Was 2005-06 the worst year ever to sample a new show? Were the networks especially hasty in deciding the fate of freshman series? TVGuide.com consulted a panel of experts with unique points of view to examine this strange little season gone by.
Are New Shows Getting Short Shrift?Jeff Bader, executive vice president of ABC entertainment programming and scheduling, dismisses the suggestion that prime time is a crueler-than-ever proving ground for new series. "
Courtney Marit, Survivor: Panama
Falling victim to her tribe mates' harsh personal feelings about her, Courtney Marit was the 11th person to pack her bags and say goodbye on CBS' Survivor: Panama—Exile Island (Thursdays at 8 pm/ET). Saying that the vote to oust her was "shocking," the California-based performer realized that her status as a potential threat going into the final two resulted in the decision to send her home. TVGuide.com grilled the former Casaya member about her finale voting strategy, her on-screen portrayal and her honest take on the remaining survivors.
TVGuide.com: What has reaction been like since your elimination episode aired?
Courtney Marit: My family is proud of me. I did the best I could and they've [provided] full support. I got a barrage of calls from my friends. I live in an artists community — we're all artists
Paget Brewster, Huff
On Showtime's Huff (Sundays at 10 pm/ET), Paget Brewster plays the forlorn and fed-up wife of Hank Azaria's sad-sack psychiatrist. Could she be playing someone more different from the hottie Friends' Chandler stole from Joey? TVGuide.com spoke to the actress about her Huffing and puffing,
Question: After reading your latest Dispatch about The West Wing going out on a creative high (but with lousy ratings), I began to wonder. When was the last time a drama or other hourlong show went out on both a creative and ratings high? In recent years we've had Everybody Loves Raymond and, arguably, Friends go out before they got stale and the audience grew bored, but when was the last time a drama was allowed to go out with some dignity? Certainly not once-great shows like ER and NYPD Blue. I can't think of a single one. Can you, Matt?
Answer: That's a good question. If I get some readers' answers worth sharing, I'll do so in a future column. Or maybe in my Dispatches area, which, starting later this week, will evolve into a blog format. It is a sad fact that successful drama series rarely retire at their peaks. I'm hard-pressed to think of one that didn't either exit too early because of ratings or stay on past its prime because the network and studio kept it going long beyond it ...
Anna Faris, Scary Movie 4
Believe it or not, Anna Faris likes it when her lovable but clueless Cindy Campbell, who returns in Scary Movie 4 (now in theaters), takes a hit or two as she saves the world. "I'm always pretty game for that," says the actress. "Cindy's so sweet and innocent, which gets a little annoying, [so] it's fun to take me down every now and then."
Faris gets her wish in one scene in the latest sequel, when an airplane cart slams into Cindy's face. "It looks like it could have been [my] stunt double, which was frustrating because it was me," she reveals. On the flip side, Faris thinks moviegoers will see that it's definitely her "twin" taking hits from a Mike Tyson look-alike in the spoof of a boxing film. "[We] had this 10-minute, very choreographed sequ
Question: Love your column! Just wanted to ask you something: Over the years, we've seen great shows like ER and others take a tumble. It seems to eventually happen to every show. Even Friends seemed a little pushed on us at times. With such an intriguing and inspiring show like Grey's Anatomy on the air, how long do you think it'll be until its fire burns out and a new hit show comes in to compete? How long can Grey's, in your opinion, last?
Answer: I have no idea. The show churns through stories and relationships like mad, and I don't know how it'll be able to sustain this pace and/or top itself next season. But I know it will try, and I know I want it to succeed. We can only hope that a couple of new shows emerge next season with the same broad appeal as Grey's, but there should be room for many more hits across the spectrum. Bring 'em on. On the other hand, will there be those sharpening their knives in anticipation of a slump after this amazing season? No doubt. But I don't want t ...
Question: I remember a TV show that I think was on Saturday mornings in the early '90s. I believe it was called "California Dreamin'," and it was about a group of kids in a band that performed at their local eatery. I swear Matthew Perry played the drummer on that show, shortly before he got the role on Friends. Am I completely mad?
Answer: Nope. But you're not completely correct, either. The series, California Dreams, ran on NBC for five years beginning in 1992. But the only Matt on the show was the lead character, Matt Garrison (Brent Gore).
From the same people who brought you the teen phenomenon Saved by the Bell, the series focused on a band of Redondo
What lurks in The Office of Steve Carell's boss man?
There is no episode of The Office airing this week. NBC is putting an episode of Teachers in our place tonight. I shared a changing room with three of the actresses from Teachers at a press event earlier this year. They were sweethearts, so I do hope their show does well.
With no Office episode airing tonight, I thought this might be a good week for some more frequently asked questions. These are all from your e-mails. Here we go!
I was wondering: Will you guys ever tape in front of a live studio audience? — Misty, Atlant