Saturday, February 6, 2016

Archive: June, 2013

POSTED: Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 9:54 AM

If it feels as if the world of TV news just got a little bit stupider, it's not just because Paula Deen was on the "Today" show Wednesday morning, tearfully trying to spin herself out of a situation largely of her own making.

It's because CNN's decided to bring back "Crossfire." It returns this fall, with Newt Gingrich and S.E. Cupp on Team Right and Stephanie Cutter and Van Jones on Team Left.

Maybe a monkey or two could be brought in to represent those of us in the middle.

POSTED: Monday, June 24, 2013, 4:33 PM

Nobody jumped or fell out a window at Sterling Cooper, but  Sunday's Season 6 finale of "Mad Men" did create a little excitement for AMC, which reports that it scored more viewers than for any other finale in the show's history.

That's 2.7 million viewers, which is up a bit from the 2.4 million viewers the show's been averaging this season, when viewers who watch it within the first seven days of its airing are factored in.

It's not, however, anywhere near the estimated 13 million the Discovery Channel says  watched Nik Wallenda cross the Grand Canyon Sunday on a tightrope without a net.

POSTED: Friday, June 21, 2013, 11:32 AM

Actor James Gandolfini, who passed away Wednesday in Rome, died of a heart attack, according to autopsy results reported by a family spokesman whose statement was released Friday morning by HBO.

"The autopsy further states that nothing else was found in his system," says the statement from Michael Kobold.

"James came here on a vacation with his family... he had a wonderful day. He visited The Vatican and had dinner at the hotel with his son awaiting the arrival of his sister....We are all devastated by this loss. James was a devoted husband, a loving father of two children, a brother and cousin you could always count on. We thank you for the privacy you have afforded us during this difficult time."

POSTED: Friday, June 14, 2013, 1:08 PM

Don't hold your breath for a Red Wedding  -- or a dragon -- next season on "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia."

At least not in the Season 9 episode written by "Game of Thrones" executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, which will include a scene that was filmed in Center City on Thursday. (There's no airdate yet for the episode, but the show, which is moving from FX to its new spinoff channel, FXX, is expected back in September.)

“No. It’s not at all" like "Game of Thrones," said "Sunny's" Philly-bred creator and star Rob McElhenney Thursday in an interview during a location shoot at 9th and Green streets in Philadelphia. "In fact, when they said, ‘Hey, [we] have an episode we’d like to pitch to you, I instantly knew” that it wouldn’t be related to the HBO show.

POSTED: Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 3:49 PM
Mark Feuerstein and Liza Lapira in a scene from USA's "Royal Pains"

File both of these under guilty pleasures:

For some of us, summer isn't really here till the return of "Royal Pains" (9 p.m. Wednesday, USA), the show about a concierge doctor named Hank (Mark Feuerstein) whose practice is largely limited to the well-heeled who take their sandals to the Hamptons when the weather gets warm.

Nice work if you can get it, sure, but light as "Pains" often is, I find it weirdly addictive. It doesn't hurt that Liza Lapira ("Traffic Light," "Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23") is guest-starring as a patient in the season-opener, which finds Hank still recovering from a head injury.

POSTED: Tuesday, June 11, 2013, 3:31 PM
Ashley Rickards stars as Jenna in (MTV)

The Season 3 finale of "Awkward" (10 p.m., MTV) is called "Redefining Jenna," which sounds like a decent description of one of my favorite high school shows. Ashley Rickards stars as Jenna, who started her freshman year three seasons ago being redefined by other people (who mistakenly thought she'd tried to commit suicide) and is in a very different place now.

I won't be watching it in real time, though, because I'm a few episodes behind. No need to feel awkward if you, too, have missed any of Season 3. MTV's rerunning every episode Tuesday, starting at 5:30 p.m. So fire up the DVR. For the truly obsessed, there's also a retrospective at 10:30 p.m., "Aftershow. You're Welcome."

Also on TV Tuesday:

POSTED: Thursday, June 6, 2013, 3:33 PM
Aaron Tveit and Daniel Sunjata star in "Graceland"

You can read what I had to say about "Graceland" (10 p.m., USA) and "In the Flesh" (10 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, BBC America) in my column.

If you no longer want to wait an entire season of "Survivor" to see people triumph over a carefully edited wilderness, you might want to try "72 Hours" (9 p.m., TNT) in which "teams of strangers are dropped into the wilderness with nothing but a water bottle and a GPS device."

They're looking for a suitcase with $100,000 cash (yes, the quest may be shorter, but the payoff''s smaller).

POSTED: Tuesday, June 4, 2013, 3:29 PM
Judges Howie Mandel, Mel B., Howard Stern and Heidi Klum and host Nick Cannon will be there as "America's Got Talent" returns Tuesday

Since talent shows have long ceased to be about the talent, the focus, as "America's Got Talent" returns Tuesday (9 p.m., NBC10) is on the judges, with Heidi Klum and Mel. B. joining Howard Stern and Howie Mandel at the judges' table.

So, a German supermodel and a British pop star? That's a lot of accents for a show with "America" in the title, but by this time, we're used to having the whole world judge us -- Simon  and the Supernanny taught us.

Feeling smarter than that? BBC America's Bang Goes the Theory" (not to be confused with the CBS sitcom of the similar name) premieres with three back-to-back episodes beginning at 9, with the first featuring a challenge involving homemade biofuels. (Did I mention cows were involved?)

About this blog
Yes, I'm a TV critic. But I've always believed my job is less about thumbs -- up or down -- and more about the conversation. Because the more choices we have, the fewer people in our lives know what we're talking about when we say, "Did you see that?" And that's when television really starts to get interesting. Reach Ellen at

Ellen Gray Daily News TV Critic
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