Julian McMahon and Dylan Walsh in Nip/Tuck by Michael Becker/FX
Nip/Tuck's fifth-season premiere on Tuesday reeled in 4.3 million total viewers down a bit from last year's debut but still way better than its finale (3.8 mil).... HBO has announced that "The Extra Special Series Finale" of Extras will air Dec. 16. To mark the occasion, Clive Owen, David Tennant, Gordon Ramsay and George Michael will all be making cameos. What, no Mitovich? His vodcast proves he's camera-ready, people.... USA's third annual Monk holiday special will air on Dec. 7. "Mr. Monk and the Man Who Shot Santa" will pave the way for Psych's first yuletide outing, "Gus' Dad May Have Killed an Old Guy," to be broadcast right afterwards.... Showtime is launching The L Word's fifth season on Jan. 6. Yet they refuse to give us two episodes of Dexter per week. Bastards. Ben Katner
Question: Seeing as how Law & Order: Criminal Intent moved from NBC to USA Network, is there any chance that a USA Network original show could move to NBC? The most enjoyable TV I've watched since 24 first arrived would have to be Burn Notice, which is much better than most of the stuff the networks trot out, and I think it could really thrive on NBC. Watching it from late September to May would be a real treat. Any chance this could happen to Burn Notice, Psych or any other cable-TV show?
Answer: Interesting question. But the answer is: Probably not. These shows were developed for USA and work very well for that brand, and while you're absolutely right that most of the networks would be lucky to have a show as enjoyable as Burn Notice on the fall lineup (NBC is instead saddled with bummers like Journeyman and Life), why punish USA by stealing it away? USA Network is not an insignificant player in the NBC/Universal empire. And it's also true that a show that looks like a hit on cable may
Question: Your recent comments on Monk made me wonder something. One of the initial appeals of the show for me was the overarching mystery of Trudy's death. While I certainly wasn't expecting this story to be addressed every week or resolved until maybe the series finale, I have been disappointed that they really have not addressed this in the past couple of seasons. Who even remembers the six-fingered man (or cares)? So my question is: Are you aware of any plans to build on to this story?
Answer: I posed this question to a USA Network contact who was told that in the upcoming 6.5 season (the back half of the current season that picks up in January), the subject of Trudy does come up again, in "more than just passing references," so I hope that will satisfy you ...
Burn Notice's Jeffrey Donovan and The 4400's Billy Campbell
TV's sizzling summer season has saved its best for last. Here is Part 2 of our guide to the season enders you will not want to miss.
Monk, USA NetworkFinale airs Friday, Sept. 14, at 9 pm/ETDonal Logue guest-stars as a grifter, but the big news is Monk's other chance encounter. Says star Tony Shalhoub, "He literally bumps into a woman on the street. She's a total stranger, but he can't get her out of his head. I don't want to give too much away, because it's a poignant ending." Maybe a setup for romance when the show returns in January? "It may be time to open that door," Shalhoub says. "And not a moment too soon."
Psych, USA NetworkFinale airs Friday, Sept. 14, at 10 pmKevin Sorbo (Hercules) guest-stars as a hotshot bounty hunter once idolized
Question: It seems, more and more, that cable television has taken the cynical route. Shows like Damages and Rescue Me offer a very harsh view of the world. Even comedies like Californication serve up bad behavior as a form of entertainment. I don't doubt that, at least with Damages and Rescue Me (I haven't had the opportunity to watch Californication), the writing is top-notch and the acting impeccable. But at what point did television (cable in particular) become bad-as-we-want-to-be? Do you think that cable has now created a landscape where show producers push the envelope just because they can? The offerings may be fun to watch, if you like that sort of thing, but I can only imagine the dreck that will come out in the future, with loads of illicit sex, swearing and sliminess, and viewers may end up desensitized to it. Clearly, I prefer shows in which I wouldn't mind hanging out with the main character (and my parents taught me that swearing too much just meant you had a poor ...
Question: I wanted to echo TaMara's recent "Ask Matt" comments about the improvement of Psych. When the show's first season received quite a bit of attention last summer, I thought it was being overpraised. Though billed as a detective comedy, sometimes it was tough to sort through James Roday's antics and find any genuine comedic moments. But Season 2's writing has been crisper and far more focused. Even the cops are funny this year. Also, rather than emphasizing the often antagonistic father-son relationship that drove the first year, this season's stories have wisely been mostly driven by the best-friend camaraderie of Roday and Dulé Hill's characters. Hill in particular has shown a flair for physical comedy that is a delightful surprise after all his dramatic work on The West Wing, while Roday's overacting has been thankfully toned down since he doesn't have to do all the work. In my opinion, the show has been the superior of the Monk-Psych combo most weeks this summer (not that ...
Entourage's Adrian Grenier, Rescue Me's Denis Leary
TV's sizzling summer season has saved its best for last. Here's our guide to the season enders you will not want to miss.
Entourage, HBOFinale airs Sunday, Sept. 2, at 10 pm/ET"Medellin" — triumph or fiasco? That's the question that Entourage has been asking during its fourth season, which began with prettyboy movie star Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) on the set of the violent Spanish-language film about drug lord Pablo Escobar. "We'll get lots of answers," promises exec producer Doug Ellin. The season finale was shot on location at the Cannes Film Festival last May. "Scenes took place live during the Ocean's Thirteen premiere, so our guys had to get their lines down while crowds were screaming." Post-finale, Entourage goes on hiatus until June. And then? "I have not a single idea," says Ellin, laughing.
Vanessa Hudgens, Zac Efron and Ashley Tisdale in High School Musical 2 by Adam Larkey/Disney Channel
The ridiculous (in a good way) ratings for Disney Channel's multiple record-breaking weekend launch of High School Musical 2 was just the most spectacular reminder of what a great TV summer this has been — if you have cable.Not even a big hit like TNT's The Closer can match HSM2's numbers, and some of the best series, like AMC's mesmerizing Mad Men, are only doing so-so. But that's only to be expected given the glut of programming on many nights — including Thursdays, when Mad Men goes head-to-head with USA Network's latest clever breakout caper, Burn Notice. I thought my DVRs would get a break this summer. Didn't happen.Just look at the options weve had over the last few nights, including terrific new episodes of Burn Notice and Mad Men on Thursday. Im really enjoying Burn now that ex-spy Michael Weston is getting closer to the truth about how he was set up to be fired. And what can I say about Mad Men besides the word I used to start my initial review of th...
Question: I am so pleased with the programming offered this summer. In fact, I think a lot of this summer's shows are better than the regular fall lineup (with a few exceptions). Wouldn't it be interesting if next year's Emmy nominations were filled with more summer candidates than fall ones? I can't believe the acting from the likes of Damages, The Kill Point, Mad Men, Big Love, Californication, etc would be overlooked. In the past, they've thrown a bone to a few summer favorites, recognizing Monk, The Closer and Weeds. But there are only so many spots available. I think the writers and producers of this fall's programming had better step it up a notch. What do you think the chances are that next year's Emmy nominations will be filled with a lot of these summer hits instead of fall shows?
Answer: It would be gratifying, but don't hold your breath beyond some of the no-brainers (like, say, Glenn Close). I'm thinking newfangled miniseries like Kil
Paul Blackthorne by Steve Wilkie/Sci Fi Channel
Paul Blackthorne may not be a household name... yet. But the British actor, who recently starred as Harry Dresden on the now-defunct Sci Fi Channel fantasy series The Dresden Files, has guest-starred on Medium, Deadwood and Monk. Hes also racked up recurring roles on 24 and ER. Next up? The chameleon actor will play a Wall Street CEO and costar with Michael Vartan, Christopher Titus, Joshua Malina and Dylan McDermott on the new ABC drama Big Shots. Hes whats described as a corporate raider, Blackthorne tells TVGuide.com. Hes somebody that buys up companies, sells companies, just an all-around outrageous moneymaker.Blackthornes story arc kicks off on Oct. 4 for nine episodes. Hes someone that these other guys are slightly wary of in a business sense, reveals the actor. It also seems our man is circling around Dylans ex-wife, the one he still has the hots for.Just dont pin your hopes on Bla...