Although there's no official confirmation from USA Network, my spies tell me that both The Dead Zone and Psych have been renewed. The Psych pick-up was a no-brainer, but Dead Zone? By all accounts, the just-concluded fifth season was supposed to be its last ¶ although Anthony Michael Hall didn't rule out the show coming back when he visited our podcast in June. It's as if he was psychic or something!
Martin Donovan with Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds
Tonight at 10 pm/ET, Showtime's highest-rated series, Weeds is back, to give fans another seasonlong buzz. When last we tuned in, Nancy (Emmy nominee Mary-Louise Parker's pot-peddlin' mama) had finally bedded her new beau, Peter, only to learn that he is (of all things!) a DEA agent. Surely, Peter's getting his walking papers, right? Not so fast. TVGuide.com grabbed a few minutes with the fed's portrayer, Martin Donovan, to talk about his extended visit to Agrestic, his confusing stint as Dead Zone's big baddie, and the rather disquieting film he has premiering this month.
TVGuide.com: After watching Weeds' first-season finale, I figured you wer
Anthony Michael Hall, The Dead Zone
As USA Network's The Dead Zone returns for a new season (premiering Sunday at 10 pm/ET), series star and former Brat Packer Anthony Michael Hall ponders what's in his future.
TV Guide: You filmed the past two seasons of Dead Zone in Vancouver a year ago. Any hints about what's in store for your character, Johnny, this season?
Anthony Michael Hall: He's just finished tracking down Sean Patrick Flanery [who plays corrupt congressman Greg Stillson] for four years.... I can't rememb
Question: The Dead Zone: canceled or on hiatus? I had read somewhere that they were supposed to have a split season, but I never saw any new episodes in 2006.
Answer: USA Network will launch the fifth season of Dead Zone on June 11, with a full season of 11 episodes. There has been much speculation that the show won't be renewed beyond that, but USA tells me that they still have a "holding deal" (I never understand these terms) with Anthony Michael Hall continuing through August, which is also when the network's deal with the show's production company expires. So it's possible that during the summer, USA could decide to continue the show beyond this next season. But it still sounds more dead than alive to me ...
Question: It seems like every other movie I see advertised is based on a TV show, like The Dukes of Hazzard. But what about the other way around? I know there was a series based on My Big Fat Greek Wedding, but what other TV series have been based on a movie, and were any of them good?
Answer: There have been a handful of top-notch TV shows based on movies. The flop Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) was revived as Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003); Robert Altman's acerbic M*A*S*H* (1970) became the long-running M*A*S*H (1972-1983); Neil Simon
Question: Taping my shows and watching them later, I saw three Christmas-themed episodes in a row: The Dead Zone, Monk and Smallville. My first question is: Why does every episode have to end with someone yelling: "Look! It's snowing on Christmas day! Yeeeaaaahhhhh!"? I thought The Dead Zone was nearly unwatchable, the worst of the bunch, though the hot female psychic was wonderful to see — I hope she does more guest appearances in the future. Monk was a little better, though I figured out the mystery right after the crime was committed. I'm not sure if it is bad writing or the fact that I've seen so many Monks that I am starting to think like him. Finally, Smallville was the best of the bunch, and it was heartwarming to watch Lex actually figure out the true meaning of Christmas. Merry Christmas!
Answer: If there wasn't an element of predictability in the way Christmas episodes play out, we'd probably be disappointed. (And I'd be surprised if the female psychic is back much, since
With Prison Break on hiatus and 24 still a month away, those who like to watch TV on the edge of their seats can fill the void with Showtime's 10-hour Sleeper Cell (premiering Sunday, Dec. 4 at 10 pm/ET). This engrossing and unnerving nail-biter is a rare treat: a thriller with a brain and a soul.
Airing in a concentrated pattern over two weeks (through Dec. 18) for maximum impact, Sleeper Cell plunges us into a dark underworld of corruption and religious zealotry.
"This isn't just a war on terror. It's a war within Islam," says undercover FBI agent Darwyn (the charismatic Michael Ealy), who has infiltrated a small band of sociopathic Muslim extremists living behind a facade of normalcy in Los Angeles. Darwyn is a devout Muslim whose own faith is tested by the actions he must perform in order not to blow his cover as an ex-con.
Question: Before the last new season of The Dead Zone, they said there would be 22 new episodes instead of the usual eight or so. What happened to that?
Answer: Welcome to the confusing world of cable programming, where the season is often (but not always) split between summer and winter seasons. Eleven episodes aired this summer, and the rest will likely be seen in January or thereabouts.
[Editor's Note: If you missed Monday's column, you'll find it here.]
Question: I was just reading your opinion of Wanted because I was curious to see what you thought. You see, I am a Dead Zone fan — it's on my "can't miss" list, and I think Anthony Michael Hall gives a great performance as John Smith. Since it is on at the same time as Wanted, I haven't been able to see an episode, despite TNT's reairings. While I realize the season finale of The Dead Zone just aired this past week, I was wondering: Since I never see anything in your column about this show, which would you rather watch Sundays at 10: The Dead Zone or Wanted?
Answer: Sadly, neither. The reason you don't see much about Dead Zone in the column should be pretty obvious. It just doesn't work for me on a weekly basis, though it's doing just fine for USA, so it doesn't really matter what I think. The cast, with the possible exception of Hall, is so bland, and they've dragged out the Stillson/apocalypse story line so slowly that I've simply lost interest. But to be generous, it seems to me that
Question: I've heard that Sunday has the largest TV audience, but that Thursday is the second-most important night for advertisers, especially movie studios. There are a large number of movies released during the summer, but original cable programming seems to be missing on Thursdays. Is that because cable networks don't get the movie ads, or is there some other reason? On Sunday, we have The Dead Zone and The 4400. On Monday, we have The Closer. On Tuesday, we have Rescue Me, on Wednesday we have Over There and on Friday we have Sci Fi Friday. FX recently put two comedies on Thursday, but why is that not a bigger night for summer series?
Answer: That's an interesting question, and I wish I had a good answer. My guess is that because CBS in particular has such a powerful lineup on Thursdays, with shows that tend to repeat very well in the off-season (CSI and Without a Trace), cable networks generally prefer to stay away from launching new shows on the night. (Still, Bravo did OK with