Now playing in this week's Mitovich Mega Minute vodcast:
• Lost's Jorge Garcia previews the (very complicated) "return" of the Oceanic 6.
• Without a Trace focuses an episode on someone who is not Jack or Sam.
• Which familiar face might appear on both The Closer and its spin-off?
Watch this week's video after the jump!
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 agree 101 percent with your Dispatch that The Closer is fantastic. I would go further and say it is better than many of the top dramas on the regular networks. The writing is super, and the cast is perfect. I cannot imagine how they could have gotten it any better. I really am happy for Kyra Sedgwick. She is a great actress who, in the past, has not received the attention she deserves, because of her famous hubby.
Answer: And now Kevin Bacon is going to direct an episode (officially the second-season "finale," airing in December, outside of the regular season). Sedgwick is my pick to win the Emmy this season, though I'll be surprised if she actually scores (given the maddening weirdness of the Emmy voters, who I'm expecting will find a way to give one more trophy to Allison Janney). You're right about the cast. The bench on The Closer is almost embarrassingly full of strong actors, all of whom give Brenda Leigh Johnson terrific support each week ...
Question: I think it's really interesting how Psych became such a hit on USA. The same with Saved's success on TNT (although I find the show a dull Rescue Me knockoff). Some channels (both cable and network) have found certain formulas that really work, and then stick with that brand. Psych, for instance, fits seamlessly into the USA brand by being a cross between The Dead Zone and Monk. In fact, I want to further compliment USA on the best ad campaign I have seen in years. I actually stop fast-forwarding on my DVR to watch those hilarious USA ads featuring their wonderful array of characters. My wife and I love them! But my question goes back to the failure earlier this year of Love Monkey (also a wonderful show) on the stodgy, serious CBS network. CBS puts on this wonderful, sweet and quirky show and it fails; so they go back to their dull formula with the ridiculous The Unit, and it's a ratings smash. Do you feel that networks and cable channels (after a scenario like this for CBS) ...
J.K. Simmons, The Closer
Are things about to heat up for ex-lovers Will Pope and Brenda Leigh Johnson on TNT's The Closer (Mondays at 9 pm/ET)? Sensing that an interdepartmental romance might be brewing sometime soon, TVGuide.com Q&A'd the assistant police chief's portrayer, J.K. Simmons, about the show's success and its possible move to the fall battlegrounds, while also seeking out some scoop on Spider-Man 3.
TVGuide.com: I'm looking at this scene shot of you in the new TV Guide, and you're curling dumbbells that are, what, 30, 40 lbs. each?
J.K. Simmons: I think those dumbbells were 80 lbs. [total]. I always do half [re
Question: Summer TV is always bad, but this year I find myself watching virtually nothing. OK, I have used the rerun schedule to catch a few eps of My Name Is Earl (but not if I already saw them), and I have rewatched some Grey's Anatomy episodes, but otherwise I watch nothing. I can't face Gilmore Girls reruns this year. Somehow Lost reruns don't cut it. I'd rather pull my fingernails out one by one than watch moronic reality shows. I don't have cable. Am I doomed until September? Is there anything out there on broadcast TV that is worth watching?
Answer: Oh, David, this is so sad. I'm actually having a pretty good TV summer, but only because of the variety of cable choices, from Rescue Me on FX and The Closer on TNT to Hustle on AMC to HBO's Deadwood-Entourage combo on Sundays, with a chaser of The 4400 the same night. And in July there's the delightful new comedy-mystery
Question: I am a firefighter/paramedic, and I have to say that I and all of my coworkers have removed Saved from our TiVo season passes. What a bunch of poorly written, poorly plotted, hackneyed tripe! "I am 911!"? Please. And that's on top of laughable medical inaccuracies and embarrassing Hollywood portrayals of paramedics. Compared to Rescue Me, this has to be the most crap-laden show on TV. And we are not slaves to accuracy, either. Certainly we don't watch Rescue Me for its realistic depictions of firefighting. The difference is the writing, the heart and the emotion. Rescue Me is a thick porterhouse steak. Saved is cheap gas-station beef jerky.
Answer: Ha. Thanks for the entertaining, and presumably informed, opinion. Makes me feel wishy-washy for not having been more frank about my feelings in my comments in Monday's column. I thought Episode 2 was noticeably worse than the pilot, which also didn't blow me away. Something tells me TNT is going to have to keep shopping for a
Jon Tenney, The Closer
TNT's The Closer (Mondays at 9 pm/ET) is the hottest show on cable right now, and it has the numbers to prove it. On the day that the Season 2 premiere's record ratings came in, TVGuide.com got on the phone with Jon Tenney, who plays FBI agent Fritz Howard, beau to Kyra Sedgwick's crafty, if curt, police chief.
TVGuide.com: So you're a star of TV's most-watched — what's the qualifier again? — ad-supported cable drama telecast ever?
Jon Tenney: "Ad-supported, original scripted cabl
Hard to remember the last time I turned to AMC for an actual classic movie. So what a pleasant surprise that when this channel ponies up (so to speak) for its first TV-movie, it ranks among the best I've seen in years.
There is beauty and darkness, sentimentality and toughness, brutality and discreetness in director Walter Hill's masterfully filmed Western Broken Trail (Sunday, June 25, and Monday, June 26, at 8 pm/ET). This smaller-scale Lonesome Dove has a heart as wide-open as the plains its taciturn heroes ride upon.
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer
Question: Hey, Matt! I love your column and read it all the time. I fell in love with The Closer while watching its first season repeats on TNT. Do you think that a show like this will ever get a chance to run during the traditional season, or will it always be stuck in the summer season? Also, what's your opinion about the cast and its chances for a third season? Thanks!
Answer: Later this week I'll be sitting down to watch the first two episodes of The Closer's second season, and I'll be sharing my thoughts before the show's premiere on June 12. I thought the first season was solid, and that if it weren't for Edie Falco, Kyra Sedgwick would have a decent chance at an Emmy (she'll certainly get a nomination). For a show built around such a strong character, the bench strength of the supporting cast is exceptional (J.K. Simmons, Jon Tenney, Tony Denison, G.W. Bailey, to name just a few). It's one of the better crime dramas on TV, and given the glut in that genre, that's saying