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April 2009 Archives

Check Out Jerry's 10 Finalists in 'Springer Singer Search'

April 27, 2009 6:18 PM

NBC Universal’s “The Jerry Springer Show” announced the “Springer Singer Search” in March, looking for original song submissions about “Springer” from the show's fans.

Jerry Springer

Now, we’ve entered the semi-finals, as the producers have culled the pack down to 10 entrants. Viewers are encouraged to head over to http://www.jerryspringertv.com/ to vote for their favorites, and the top three will perform on an episode in May to decide the winner of the $5,000 prize.

After the jump, check out the semi-finalists as we check in with Blink’s bookie to get odds and notes on the competition.

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Look Out, Oprah: Ellen’s a Tweet Thang

April 26, 2009 7:05 PM

What was with all the hubbub surrounding Oprah Winfrey’s entrance into the Twittersphere earlier this month? Heck, fellow talk show host Ellen DeGeneres has been quietly amassing Twitter followers since her Twitter debut in early March.

Ellen DeGeneres

At press time, Ms. DeGeneres had 1,091,826 Twitter followers, while Ms. Winfrey has amassed nearly half that many in about seven days. Ms. DeGeneres is using her Twitter feed to give her fans more access to the show, which will celebrate its 1,000th episode Friday with a visit from Matthew McConaughey and the sale of a T-shirt emblazoned “Laugh. Dance. 1,000th.,” with proceeds going to the Humane Society of the United States. Celebrity tweets generally do give some backstage perspective, but Ms. DeGeneres’ feed is going so far as to put fans on-camera, turning her Twittering into a game that’s part scavenger hunt, part “Let’s Make a Deal.” So far, Ms. DeGeneres has rolled several Twitter segments into her show, offering free tickets to fans who subscribe to her feed and undertake challenges at certain times. “Twitter has allowed the show to engage the viewers even more by seamlessly integrating the content into the show,” Telepictures Productions President Hilary Estey McLoughlin said. “We plan on using this digital tool as well as others that enhance the viewers’ experience while remaining organic to the show.”

—Andrew Krukowski

There’s Baldo

April 26, 2009 7:00 PM

Paley Festival Fringe Panel

'FRINGE' FILES Joshua Jackson, left, discussing 'Fringe' with co-star John Noble.

“Fringe” star Joshua Jackson (right, with John Noble), appearing on Thursday’s PaleyFest panel for the show at Hollywood’s Arclight Cinerama Dome, took the opportunity to air what seemed to Blink a valid complaint about Fox, his home network. It seems that back in January, try as he might, poor Josh was unable to get good seats to the big Philadelphia Eagles-New York Giants playoff game.

Even after hitting up connections at the network, which was televising the game, he had to settle for some nose-bleed seats that he and his friends managed to scrounge up.

The Observer

Here’s the kicker: During the game he spots, on the sidelines, sitting in the choicest of sections, the Observer, the mysterious (and relatively minor) “Fringe” character the network is using to promote its schedule—planting him in the crowd at televised sporting events and even on “American Idol.”

A word of advice, Josh: Talent may be talent, but it’s promotion that will get you everywhere in showbiz.

—Chad Rooney

HBO’s ‘Big Love’ Packs in the Action

April 23, 2009 3:33 PM

If you’ve ever wondered how much story can fit into a one-hour TV drama, “Big Love” has the answer: A lot.

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'BIG' STORIES Co-creator and executive producer Mark V. Olsen, left, and Bill Paxton.

The last season of HBO’s polygamist drama about Bill Henrickson and his three wives featured a teenage pregnancy that became a miscarriage, blackmail, kidnapping, identity theft, multiple deaths, a cancer scare, confessions of love, a long-lost daughter and a road trip. And that’s just the half of it.

“They put me through everything you can think of,” Bill Paxton said at Wednesday’s PaleyFest panel for the show at Hollywood’s Arclight Cinerama Dome. “I have a twitch ever since the show wrapped. It was exhausting.”

“Big Love’s” intricate web of interweaving, nuanced storylines also took a toll on the show’s creators, Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer.

“The real headache began in the last two episodes,” when they were figuring out how to wrap up all the storylines, Mr. Olsen said.

The creators admitted they had used up their original six-year agenda for the show by the end of season three. Jeanne Tripplehorn, who plays first wife Barb, even worried that the show might lose viewers due to its dense and complicated storylines.

“We’ve never hired an actor we didn’t love,” the creators added, explaining their need to create more story.

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Spilling the Secrets of ‘The Hills’

April 23, 2009 11:55 AM

Will Lauren Conrad be back for season six of MTV’s “The Hills”? Did Spencer Pratt start those vicious sex-tape rumors? Will a third time down the aisle be the charm for Speidi?

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BEHIND 'THE HILLS' Creator and executive producer Adam DiVello, left, and Lauren Conrad.

Yes, almost, to all questions. At least that’s what the cast and creative team behind the popular reality soap opera teased at Tuesday’s PaleyFest panel at the Arclight Cinerama Dome in Hollywood.

In attendance at the panel were show protagonist Lauren Conrad, former co-worker Whitney Port, former roommate Audrina Patridge, former paramour Brody Jenner, former high-school classmate Lauren “Lo” Bosworth and former enemy-by-blood Stephanie Pratt. Noticeably absent were former best friend Heidi Montag and current root-of-all-evil Spencer Pratt, but more on that later.

Also in attendance were executive producers Liz Gately, Sean Travis, Sara Mast and series creator Adam DiVello.

Fans and some oblivious press members were treated to some interesting nuggets from the remainder of the current season, as well as the potential for life after season five. Blink was there in a front-row seat, Tweeting the revelations as they happened.

For some spoiler-filled goodness, check out the gossip (and some raw Twitter action) after the jump.

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‘Caprica’ Stands on Its Own at PaleyFest

April 21, 2009 4:52 PM

The “Caprica”/“Battlestar Galactica” event Monday at PaleyFest started with a clip from “The Outer Limits” featuring an early man-discovering-he’s-really-a-robot clip. It was awesome to see how far the genre has come and yet how the basic themes and guiding philosophies remain the same.

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NOT CYLONS Executive producers David Eick, left, and Ron Moore.

Moderator Seth Green, introduced to loud applause, told the crowd at Hollywood’s Arclight that he’s a huge “fanboy.” He also admitted he resisted the “BSG” phenomenon at first until friends finally talked him into watching it—at which point he got the DVDs and tore “through the first two seasons in like a week.” He said his plan for the night is to try to corner showrunners David Eick and Ron Moore and get them to explain the unanswered questions left floating around in the “BSG” universe after the season finale.

Moore and Eick came out to even more applause and described the inception of “Caprica.” It was brought to them by NBC Universal as an independent non-“BSG” series pitched by Remi Aubuchon; because of its artificial intelligence-heavy plotline, the three thought it might make an interesting collaboration and a distinctly different way of continuing the themes of “BSG” within a very different show structure.

Moore went on to thank “Friday Night Lights” alum Jeffrey Reiner (who was not in attendance), director of the “Caprica” pilot, for establishing a completely different and “unique tone, cinematography, sensibility” for the new show.

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Fans Haven’t Given Up on ‘Pushing Daisies’

April 20, 2009 3:22 PM

“Pushing Daisies” may be canceled, but the sold-out crowd at PaleyFest’s Sunday screening of the series’ last three, as-yet-unaired episodes wasn’t ready to let go. Neither was the show’s cast and crew.

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THE FINAL 'DAISIES' Creator Bryan Fuller, left, Ellen Greene, director and executive producer Barry Sonnenfeld and Chi McBride introduce the screening.

Introducing the screening to a standing ovation (another one followed the final episode), creator Bryan Fuller said, “I’m hoping there is a life beyond television for ‘Pushing Daisies.’”

Mr. Fuller, who noted that one of his first PaleyFest panels was “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” brought director and executive producer Barry Sonnenfeld and stars Chi McBride and Ellen Greene to the stage to say a few words.

“For all of you attending today, there's pitchforks and torches we'll be handing out,” Mr. McBride said, rallying the audience into protest mode.

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It’s All in the Attitude on ‘Mentalist’ Set

April 20, 2009 12:00 PM

Who knew? Network television is “basically improvised,” according to Bruno Heller, creator of CBS’ “The Mentalist.” He was comparing the pace of production on the season’s top-rated new show to his previous creation, HBO’s “Rome.”

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GOING 'MENTALIST' Creator Bruno Heller, left, co-executive producer Chris Long and Simon Baker.

Heller was joined by “Mentalist” co-executive producer Chris Long and cast members Simon Baker, Robin Tunney, Owain Yeoman and Amanda Righetti at the PaleyFest panel Friday night at Arclight Hollywood. The show’s Tim Kang was missing, according to moderator Ben Grossman of Broadcasting & Cable, because he was collecting an award as “the first actor to not crack a smile for the entire first season.”

Yeoman volunteered that he and Kang pass the time on set exchanging Chuck Norris facts. Pressed for an example, he offered, “When Chuck Norris does a pushup, he isn't lifting himself up, he's pushing the Earth down.”

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‘Grey’ Goings-On

April 19, 2009 7:30 PM

Hollywood’s fabled Grauman’s Chinese Theater was jammed Thursday night for the L.A. premiere of HBO Films’ “Grey Gardens,” which debuted on the pay cable network Saturday night.

Grey Gardens' Premiere

The film, based on the Maysles Bros.’ 1975 cult classic documentary of the same name, chronicles the lives of Big Edie and Little Edie Beale, a once-wealthy mother and daughter who gradually grow impoverished and acutely eccentric. Stars Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange turned out for the event, as did co-stars Daniel Baldwin and Ken Howard, writer-director Michael Sucsy, executive producers Rachael Horovitz and Lucy Barzun Donnelly and HBO Films President Len Amato.

Grey Gardens

For the elaborate after-party, HBO took over the entire Spanish Colonial-style lobby of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel across the street. In a nod to the Beale women’s unusual sense of fashion, party guests were encouraged to don the flowing scarves and extravagant hats plentifully stocked around the premises.

An only-in-Hollywood footnote: In his pre-screening comments, Mr. Amato alerted the crowd to expect a slight inconvenience: At the film’s conclusion, guests would have to exit the theater a special way due to the fact that by that time a TV series would be filming a scene outside Grauman’s main entrance. The series? None other than HBO’s “Entourage.”

—Tom Gilbert

Blog, by George

April 19, 2009 7:30 PM

Longtime CBS marketing chief George Schweitzer is taking a low-key approach to the rollout of his latest project.

George Schweitzer

Without any fanfare whatsoever, Mr. Schweitzer has started writing “Watch This,” a blog about marketing TV in the digital age. It’s housed on the CBS Corp.-owned Web site CNET.com. “The CNET guys asked me” to start the blog, Mr. Schweitzer said. “They knew how into tech I was, and they thought the idea of marketing TV in the digital age would be interesting.” Mr. Schweitzer plans to post new items to “Watch This” at least once a week. Recent posts have commented on remote controls (Mr. Schweitzer wants them to be easier to use) and his early days working the graveyard shift as a go-fer at CBS. “My focus is … how consumers are using tech to enrich their media experiences and their lives,” he said. Mr. Schweitzer is no stranger to new technologies. He answered viewer questions via Prodigy during CBS’ coverage of the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, and traded posts with Blink via CompuServe—long before most people even knew what e-mail was.

—Josef Adalian

'Desperate' for a Good Time at PaleyFest

April 18, 2009 5:57 PM

It was “Desperate Housewives'” turn at PaleyFest on Saturday afternoon, as an enthusiastic audience stepped out of the bright Hollywood sunlight into the warm glow of the ABC dramedy's gorgeous cast.

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NOT SO 'DESPERATE' Creator Marc Cherry, left, Eva Longoria Parker and Teri Hatcher.

The show's creator, Marc Cherry, 'fessed up that he attended the Paley Festival way back when he first came to Los Angeles, before getting his first TV job. He even went to a “Golden Girls” panel before he became a writer on the show.

Cherry said “The Best Thing That Ever Could Have Happened,” the episode screened at the event, was based on an idea he had after the death of a close friend, physical trainer Doug Blaisdell of Bravo's “Workout.” “Doug was the sort of person who was always doing small things to help people,” Cherry explained, and he was the inspiration for handyman Eli Scruggs (Beau Bridges), the central character of what turned out to be the show's 100th episode. “It's harder to get to that milestone than you might think,” Cherry said.

After the screening, moderator Will Keck of TV Guide was joined onstage by Cherry, executive producer Bob Daily and cast members Teri Hatcher, Eva Longoria Parker, Dana Delany, Kyle MacLachlan, James Denton, Doug Savant, Kathryn Joosten, Brenda Strong and Neal McDonough. (Marcia Cross was celebrating her parents' 50th wedding anniversary and Felicity Huffman was teaching an acting class.)

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Nerd Herd Turns Out for 'Big Bang' at PaleyFest

April 17, 2009 10:41 PM

It was a nerd-fest Thursday at the Arclight Hollywood as the Paley Center for Media celebrated CBS’ sitcom “The Big Bang Theory.” Audience members sported T-shirts with clever scientific sayings (“Schroedinger’s Cat Is Dead”) and a higher-than-usual percentage of the crowd appeared to be of South Asian descent.

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'BIG' MINDS Co-creators Chuck Lorre, left, and Bill Prady.

Moderator Cynthia Littleton introduced the show’s co-creator, Chuck Lorre, who in turn introduced an upcoming episode called “The Vegas Normalization.” It opened with another of the geeky quartet’s oddball games, this one a variation on 20 Questions that produced some major laughs. But far be it from the Daily Blink to spoil anyone’s fun (or jokes). Suffice it to say that the episode found a new and amusing use for the slogan “Yes we can!”

The night really belonged to Kaley Cuoco (Penny), who won the audience’s collective heart with her habit of tearing up every time someone said something complimentary to or about her. (Co-star Jim Parsons, aka Sheldon, finally had to ask, “Did you think they were going to throw fruit at us?”)

But the boys more than held their own. Asked by Littleton why the show has become popular, Kunal Nayyar (Raj) said, “The cast is really good-looking.” Seated next to him, Simon Helberg’s answer was even simpler: “Me.”

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Whedon Says ‘Dollhouse’ Isn’t Canceled

April 16, 2009 1:21 PM

The “Dollhouse” is not closing up shop just yet.

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PLAYING WITH DOLLS Creator Joss Whedon, left, Eliza Dushku and Fran Kranz.

Creator Joss Whedon was optimistic about “Dollhouse’s” chances for renewal at a Paley Festival panel for the show on Wednesday evening.

“The show is not canceled,” Mr. Whedon said. He pointed out that while the show’s ratings are soft, its key demographic and DVR numbers are great. He also noted the show will have a new lead-in soon in the form of “Prison Break.”

And when asked how many secrets we’ll learn in the season finale, Mr. Whedon said, “We have a lot of questions left to answer. We get the feeling we might have the chance to answer them.”

“Dollhouse’s” journey to the screen has been “the stuff of legend, but it was not legendary while it happened,” Mr. Whedon said.

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WWE Brings Back ‘Superstars’

April 15, 2009 5:10 PM

A staple on Saturday mornings for many children of the 1980s and ’90s is resurfacing, as “WWE Superstars” premieres on WGN America at 8 p.m. EDT on Thursday, April 16.

“WWF Superstars” ran in syndication from 1986 to 1996, generally featuring a collection of matches pitting top-level talent against a host of unknowns.

Occasionally, viewers might get a Yokozuna vs. Bob “Spark Plug” Holly or Bret Hart vs. Skinner match to keep things lively.

Outside of pay-per-view, “Superstars” was the place to see weekly WWE product on television in the late ’80s until “Monday Night Raw” premiered in 1993. Let’s walk down memory lane with this intro:

Now, the WWE airs weekly on several channels, including Sci Fi, USA, MyNetworkTV and Telemundo as well as occasional primetime NBC specials and monthly pay-per-view outings.

This go-round of “Superstars” has headlining talent from the WWE’s three brands, Raw, Smackdown and ECW, facing off in brand-new matches.

According to the WWE, “Superstars” will feature brand-specific matches and commentary, meaning, for now, Raw talent will square off against other Raw stars on the show. Each brand’s commentary team will provide the play-by-play for that brand’s matches.

Click play to see a promo for tomorrow’s show:

‘Dr. Horrible’s’ Whedon Excited About Web Video

April 15, 2009 4:24 PM

Joss Whedon wants to give back.

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CAMPED OUT Fans line up outside the Arclight Cinerama Dome for the PaleyFest "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" panel.

Mr. Whedon was in attendance Tuesday evening at the Paley Festival’s panel for “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog,” the first time PaleyFest has honored a Web series.

Mr. Whedon, who was late to last year’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” reunion at PaleyFest because he was filming “Dr. Horrible,” acknowledged that the original Web musical would not have been possible without “waivers and favors,” as moderator Matt Roush put it.

“It is both. I could never attempt to cash in those types of favors again,” Mr. Whedon replied when asked if “Dr. Horrible” was an anomaly or a model for future Web video productions.

Mr. Whedon’s 20 years in the TV business played a part in helping “Dr. Horrible” get made. He was able to get permission to film on the Universal lot from the head of production thanks to their working relationship on “Serenity.” He turned “Dr. Horrible” into a family affair with fellow writers Zack Whedon, Jed Whedon and future sister-in-law Maurissa Tancharoen (“This will either band us or break the family apart forever,” Mr. Whedon said.). He enlisted actors he’d worked with before (Nathan Fillion, Felicia Day) while welcoming Neil Patrick Harris to the Joss Whedon Repertory Company.

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‘90210’ Panelists Tackle Tough Topics at PaleyFest

April 14, 2009 3:38 PM

Cast members and executive producer Rebecca Rand Kirshner Sinclair from The CW series “90210” took part in an intimate panel discussion Saturday night as part of this year’s PaleyFest. The event, held in the real-life 90210 at the Paley Center for Media, was light on the cast banter, but not the topics.

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IN THE '90210' Rob Estes, left, and executive producer Rebecca Rand Kirshner Sinclair.

The night started with a brief clip from the original “Beverly Hills, 90210,” selected by the Paley Center for Media to go along with the event. Academy Award-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody (“Juno”), a huge fan of both the original and its current incarnation, served as moderator for the panel.

After the screening of an upcoming episode, “Between a Sign and Hard Place,” scheduled to air April 21, the discussion included bipolarism and teenage pregnancy, two major storylines currently on the series.

Ms. Kirshner Sinclair explained that tackling the issue of bipolarism felt “timely,” noting that in her opinion it seems more young people are facing mental health issues.

“Bipolar kids are almost, like, the epitome of teenage kids,” Ms. Kirshner Sinclair said of today’s youth. “I think all teenage kids are kind of bipolar—you have great highs and great lows. … It’s sort of identifiable, and yet I don’t want those kids to feel embarrassed.”

In “Between a Sign and Hard Place,” directed by one of the show’s stars, Rob Estes, Erin Silver (played by Jessica Stroup) deals with the public consequences of her mental breakdown as she faces returning to West Beverly High.

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‘True Blood’s’ Farflung Fandom

April 14, 2009 2:43 PM

With some fans flying in from as far away as the Midwest, a sold-out crowd voiced their support for HBO’s “True Blood” during Monday’s PaleyFest presentation.

True Blood

Cast members Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Ryan Kwanten, Sam Trammell, Rutina Wesley, Nelsan Ellis, Carrie Preston, Alexander Skarsgard and creator/executive producer Alan Ball fielded questions from enthusiastic fans regarding nudity in the show, “Blood’s” connection to the Sookie Stackhouse book series and the threat of cancellation.

Multiple fans expressed concern about losing the show, including one guy who didn’t even ask a question, but just simply said he didn’t want to see “Blood” fall by the wayside after its second season, like HBO’s “Carnivale” or “Deadwood.” (“Deadwood” actually lasted three seasons).

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‘Design’ on Bravo

April 12, 2009 8:00 PM

Take talented husband-and-wife designers who find abandoned buildings in Manhattan, turn them into million-dollar homes for rich folks and flip them.

Design Sixx

Throw in seven kids in a Mini Cooper and a wild boar’s head, and what do you have? All the elements of a new reality show Bravo will announce as part of its upfront presentation to advertisers this week. “Design Sixx” (working title, dating to before their seventh offspring was born) features Cortney and Robert Novogratz and is produced by Left/Right for Bravo. “We expect this show to appeal to our core viewers, the affluent, educated 18- to 49-year-olds,” said Frances Berwick, general manager of Bravo. “It’s another prong of our quality unscripted strategy.” She expects the show to generate buzz, both live around water coolers and virtually through blogs and the like. “They are the kind of charismatic personalities you can’t stop watching because you’re dying to know what they do next. People will come into the office the next day and say, ‘Oh my God, did you see that show with those fabulous designers and their seven kids?’”

—Jon Lafayette



‘Funniest’ Donation

April 12, 2009 8:00 PM

Of all of the television series to be enshrined in the Smithsonian Institution, “America’s Funniest Home Videos” would seem one of the least likely candidates.

Tom Bergeron at the Smithsonian

But last week, series creator and executive producer Vin Di Bona and host Tom Bergeron, right, made the trek to Washington, D.C., to present the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History with items from the long-running ABC series, including the camcorder used to tape the first winning video in November 1989; an annotated script; an audience voting machine; a presentation reel that promoted the show’s pilot to the network; Mr. Di Bona’s personal script book; a framed ticket to the show’s first taping; and a press kit, including a September 1989 People magazine featuring an ad announcing the show and soliciting home videos. Blink thinks the items might better have been donated to the U.S. Mint, since the inexpensive-to-produce show has been doing nothing but printing money for the last 20 years.

—Tom Gilbert

'Sunny' Panelists Sing, Talk Syndication

April 12, 2009 7:33 AM

Paley Fest 2009’s “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” panel made for a raunchy Good Friday as the cast talked all about the controversial show, including its musical sensibilities, “Sunny” in syndication and Danny DeVito’s new claim to fame: pooping the bed.

Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia Panel at Paley Fest 2009

Mr. DeVito, along with cast members Charlie Day, Kaitlin Olson, Glenn Howerton and Rob McElhenney, discussed the show’s appeal, which has been compared to “Seinfeld,” if Jerry and the gang worked the street for three weeks.

Mr. DeVito, who joined the cast in season two, said people used to shout at him on the street the names of his past characters, including Louie De Palma from “Taxi” and Vincent Benedict from “Twins.”

Now, he said, people refer to a recent episode of “Sunny” where he was found as the culprit of the gripping mystery of who defecated in the bed.

“People shout, ‘turd in the bed,’ ‘turd in the bed,’” he said.

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‘Southland,’ ‘Parks’ Ratings Prompt Optimism for NBC’s Silverman

April 10, 2009 4:23 PM

So why was Thursday a night that was different from all others?

Ben Silverman

Well, in addition to being the second night of Passover, two new shows premiered on NBC Thursday. And unlike most of the network's recent efforts (and, quite frankly, virtually all of this year's midseason class), both "Parks and Recreation" and "Southland" bowed to decent ratings.

The numbers were good enough to prompt Ben Silverman, co-chairman, NBC Entertainment and NBC Universal Television Studio, to get on the phone and declare ... well, not exactly victory.

"We're very excited about the promise of these shows," he said. "They're both super good. They're totally on brand. ...And (with “Southland,” which saw a ratings bump at the half-hour mark) it was nice to see people calling up each other and saying, 'You gotta see this show.’"

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Day’s Tweet Sets Off Flurry of ‘Dollhouse’ Speculation

April 9, 2009 2:03 PM

Twitter sparked the Joss Whedon fan base into a furor Thursday as actress Felicia Day mentioned, via the text messaging service, that episode 13 of “Dollhouse” was being scrapped by Fox.

Dollhouse

“Man, day getting worse and worse. Found out my Dollhouse ep. #13 isn’t gonna air. Only on DVD. Such a great part too. Thx Fox. :(,” she said via Twitter.

The season finale, “Omega,” was announced by Fox Wednesday as the first season finale of the in-limbo show, scheduled to air May 8.

According to Fox, “Dollhouse’s” season order stands at 13, with “Omega” always set to be the season finale. Counting “Omega,” Fox will have aired only 12 episodes of “Dollhouse.”

But technically, there are 14 episodes of “Dollhouse” banked.

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‘Arrested’ Folk Join ‘SNL’ Talent to Voice ‘Sit Down Shut Up’

April 9, 2009 1:07 PM

“Sit Down Shut Up” is bringing back some “Arrested Development” flair to Fox Sundays, as the animated comedy reunites creator Mitch Hurwitz with cast members Will Arnett, Jason Bateman and Henry Winkler.

Set in a high school, the animated series follows the day-to-day dealings of a group of teachers stumbling and fumbling through their day. Among them are a suicidal German teacher (played by Mr. Winkler) and the perpetually happy vice principal Stuart Prozackian, played by “Saturday Night Live’s” Will Forte.

Mr. Forte isn’t the only “SNL” link, as Kenan Thompson and Cheri Oteri also lend their voices to the project.

Click the play button below to see some clips from the show. “Sit Down, Shut Up” premieres April 19 at 8:30 p.m. on Fox.

—Andrew Krukowski

Conan’s Tuning Up for ‘Tonight Show’

April 7, 2009 11:05 AM

Conan O’Brien is getting ready to start hosting “The Tonight Show” June 1, mainly by shouting at tourists.

Mr. O’Brien was shooting remote bits at Universal Studios Monday, armed with a bullhorn and a golf cart shaped like his desk.

He welcomed studio tour trams as they roamed around the backlots at Universal. Here’s a shot of Conan saying hello to Los Angeles:

Conan


It appears that Conan has more resources to play around with during his “Tonight” stint. Here was his last drive around Los Angeles on “Late Night”:


NBC Rolls Out Online ‘Southland’ Preview

April 2, 2009 12:51 PM

Looking like a cross between “Training Day” and “Law & Order,” NBC’s “Southland,” premiering next Thursday, follows a rookie cop learning the ropes as a Los Angeles police officer.

In this clip, Ben Sherman (played by Ben McKenzie) comes across a decomposing body at a crime scene; he reacts accordingly, reeling outside to retch. Of course, his hardened cop co-workers also react accordingly, mocking him for it.

Click play to watch the clip.

“Southland” is assuming the timeslot “ER” has held for 15 seasons, as the cornerstone medical series takes its final bow tonight.

If you like what you see in the clip, Hulu has the complete first episode of “Southland” up for viewing here.

—Andrew Krukowski