2002, TV Show


SAG Goes Mad for Men

30 Rock's Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin by Mary Ellen Mathews/NBC Photo

I suppose I could dwell on the fact that a major Hollywood guild has once again ignored the very existence of TV's finest acting ensemble, Friday Night Lights — in favor of the mugging and posturing on Boston Legal. As they'd say on another SAG favorite, Grey's Anatomy: Seriously? Is it wrong to want to form our own picket line?Also: What's up with snubbing Pushing Daisies and its fantastical cast?And yet the Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations, announced Thursday morning, did shower love on my favorite new show of 2007, AMC's Mad Men, and its terrific star, Jon Hamm (who has just joined the cast of the remake of the sci-fi classic The Day the Earth Stood Still, with Keanu Reeves as Klaatu, which sounds appropriately robotic). So while not all may be forgiven, the wound stings a little less.My favorite part of the SAG Awards is the ensemble-cast category. Because let's face it, most great TV shows rely on cast chemistry. Even The Closer, which on face value looks like a vehi... read more

Monk, Psych Shore Up NBC's Strike Schedule

Monk by Gavin Bon/USA Network Photo, PSYCH by Alan Zenuk/USA Network Photo

Peacock cannot live on half-baked reality alone. Monk and Psych, both of which return to USA Network with new episodes on Friday, Jan. 11, will get encore Sunday-night showings on NBC beginning in March, reports the Hollywood Reporter.NBC, which has already added Law & Order: CI repeats and the Web original Quarterlife to its midseason slate, is also hot to fire up Burn Notice, but that is not as easy, since the series is produced by the News Corp.-owned Fox TV Studios. read more

I'm a big fan of the shows ...

Question: I'm a big fan of the shows Monk and Psych on USA Network. I know they have a summer and winter session, but I was worried about them because of this strike. I was wondering: Do they have their winter episodes finished, and will they air? Even if it's just three new episodes, that's better than having to wait till next summer for new episodes (with the idea the strike is over).
Answer: USA Network assures me that Monk and Psych are in good shape and will begin a winter run of six episodes each starting Jan. 11. (Special holiday episodes of both shows will air Dec. 7.) And for those who keep writing in wondering about the fate of The 4400: No word yet ... read more

I wrote you a few years ago ...

Question: I wrote you a few years ago about Monk's second season, which was fairly awful, but the show has been incredible ever since. (I'm thinking my complaint made the difference). Now I'm writing because I'm a huge TV fan, and I know a good show when I see it — and Life is it. I DVR everything, and when I have the time, I start with the best shows and go from there. Life has become my first watch. For the other TV fans out there, some of my old faves are NYPD Blue, Boomtown, Third Watch and The Wire. I've been blown away by Damian Lewis and the quality of Life. I cannot handle this show being canceled, so I hope that everyone gives it a chance. We're talking about a lovable hero who was wronged and is trying to set things right while being a Monk-ishly brilliant detective and solving very interesting crimes. And the 12 years he spent in prison gave him a hard yet Zen-like attitude. Add Adam Arkin and Brooke Langton, and we're talking a must-see show. Answer: As I noted in my Dispatch ... read more

Everyone is concerned that ...

Question: Everyone is concerned that with the writers' strike, we'll all be left with nothing to watch except reality shows. And being the couch potato that I am (with absolutely no interest in any reality show), I see the point. But people are saying the only scripted shows that will be left after January are Lost and, to a lesser degree, 24, and I have to disagree. Since Jericho is due back after the Christmas holidays, won't there be a stockpile of those? And the cable series Monk, Psych and Kyle XY are also due back in early 2008, which would mean they're close to having a full order complete, no? Obviously, those shows (I'm sure there are a few I've missed) won't make up for all the series that are not produced because of the strike, but at least we won't be totally bereft of non-reality programming. Trying to look on the bright side (if there is one), I see two positives: If Jericho indeed is one of the only non-reality shows on the broadcast networks, maybe that will bring it a ... read more

Nip/Tuck Ratings, L Word Return and More

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 read more

Seeing as how Law & Order: ...

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 ... read more

Your recent comments on Monk ...

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 ... read more

Summer Finale Preview for The 4400, Burn Notice and More

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 read more

It seems, more and more, that ...

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 ... read more

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Premiered: July 12, 2002, on USA
Rating: TV-PG
User Rating: (948 ratings)
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Premise: An ex-cop suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder solves crimes with various (and usually exasperated) sidekicks in tow in this first-rate mystery with a breakout Emmy-winning star in Tony Shalhoub. The 'defective detective' may have an abundance of phobias (heights, crowds, and even milk, among them), but he also has razor-sharp deductive skills, which he uses to help the San Francisco police with especially baffling cases.



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