Monday, January 26, 2015

Television

POSTED: Monday, December 29, 2014, 5:46 PM
Filed Under: Television
Sons of Anarchy stars Charlie Hunnam, Tommy Flanagan and Niko Nicotera arrive at the fictional Piedmont Grace Center for GOD during shooting Aug. 8, 2014 in Los Angeles. (Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Picking the worst moments from a TV year overflowing with them - an inevitable byproduct of having so much stuff from which to choose - is the journalistic equivalent of playing a no-win game of Whac-a-Mole.

So consider the following list of "worsts" culled from 2014 - including events related to television, as well as on-air missteps - a mere snapshot of some of the places where TV went wrong, with the disclaimer that a good show isn't immune from being singled out when it experiences a particularly weak moment.

As for the worst individual programs, only a few merit a spot on this roster, in part because amid a fall of mostly poor new comedies, it seems unfair to single out one or two of them. (OK, fine, "Bad Judge" and "Mulaney.")

POSTED: Saturday, December 27, 2014, 6:56 AM
Filed Under: Television
Billy Bob Thornton as Lorne Malvo in the FX show "Fargo."

Critics should avoid bringing too many expectations to projects, trying to view each with a fresh set of eyes. But inevitably, returning programs, the occasional new show and even entire networks/services foster certain preconceived notions, based on what’s come before, the premise or the creative auspices.

From that perspective, 2014 produced a number of pleasant surprises, in part from existing programs that received a creative makeover, as well as projects or providers that proved more appealing than anticipated. (The following is in alphabetical order, and as always, beware of spoilers.)

Almost Royal. BBC America’s unscripted spoof — about two sprightly youths, several dozen places down on the list of succession to the British throne, visiting unsuspecting Americans — looked like just another “Borat” knockoff. But it turned out to be great fun, thanks in large part to the heroics of Ed Gamble and Amy Hoggart in those roles.

POSTED: Tuesday, December 23, 2014, 8:47 PM
Filed Under: Television
Emmy Rossum stars in "Shameless."

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - The troublemaking Gallagher clan returns to Showtime on January 11, and after a particularly dark fourth season -- which found Fiona in jail and Frank dying of liver failure -- the series' stars say things are looking up this time around.

"Things have to get better for Fiona," says Emmy Rossum, "because they got really rough last year for her with jail and drugs. She's going to be a little more introspective, and a little slower to throw the first punch."

Her ever-dramatic love life, too, is going to get a bit more complicated: She'll experience rejection for the first time.

POSTED: Monday, December 22, 2014, 5:33 PM
Filed Under: Television
Claire Danes (here with Rupert Friend) gives new shadings to her Carrie Mathison character this season, but the world - her world - is still a dangerous place.

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Critics should avoid bringing too many expectations to projects, trying to view each with a fresh set of eyes. But inevitably, returning programs, the occasional new show and even entire networks/services foster certain preconceived notions, based on what's come before, the premise or the creative auspices. 

From that perspective, 2014 produced a number of pleasant surprises, in part from existing programs that received a creative makeover, as well as projects or providers that proved more appealing than anticipated. (The following is in alphabetical order, and as always, beware of spoilers.)

"Almost Royal"- BBC America's unscripted spoof -- about two sprightly youths, several dozen places down on the list of succession to the British throne, visiting unsuspecting Americans -- looked like just another "Borat" knockoff. But it turned out to be great fun, thanks in large part to the heroics of Ed Gamble and Amy Hoggart in those roles.

POSTED: Sunday, December 21, 2014, 7:26 AM
Filed Under: Television
“SNL” veteran Mike Myers returned to the show on Saturday as Dr. Evil to mock North Korea’s cyber war with Sony Pictures. (Saturday Night Live)

“SNL” veteran Mike Myers returned to the show on Saturday as Dr. Evil to mock North Korea’s cyber war with Sony Pictures. 

The Austin Powers nemesis, appearing in the show’s opening sketch, ripped everyone from the hackers (“There’s already a GOP and they’re already an evil organization”) to Sony, who, according to Dr. Evil “hasn’t had a hit since the Walkman.” 

He also poked fun of “The Interview.” 


POSTED: Saturday, December 20, 2014, 1:04 PM
Filed Under: Television
Sarah Jessica Parker attends iHeartRadio Jingle Ball 2014, hosted by Z100 New York and presented by Goldfish Puffs at Madison Square Garden on December 12, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Sarah Jessica Parker is eying her return to HBO.

The "Sex and the City" star is expected to star in and exec produce HBO's "Divorce," although the pilot has not yet been greenlit, Variety has learned.

The half-hour comedy is described as the story of a very, very drawn-out divorce. Parker will make up one half of the divorced couple.

POSTED: Saturday, December 20, 2014, 7:10 AM
Filed Under: Television
Craig Ferguson reveals the secret identity of the fake horse Secretariat on the final episode of (CBS)
A wistful Craig Ferguson wrapped a 10-year run on CBS’ “The Late Late Show” on Friday with a surprise closing segment that paid tribute to a handful of classic TV series finales.

Ferguson signed off after 2,058 episodes in characteristically quirky fashion, running through many of the show’s regular comedy bits, such as bantering with sidekick Geoff the talking robot skeleton and showcasing Secretariat, the show’s “fake horse” brought to life by two people in a classic pantomime horse costume.

The guest segment featured Jay Leno in a candid, and for Ferguson fairly low-key, session of swapping stories of talkshow host gripes about lame guests, pushy publicists and the trials of aging on the job. Leno, who signed off “The Tonight Show” in February, looked like a guy who’s been semi-retired for 10 months, with a shaggier mop of silver hair and more casual look than he sported on NBC’s air all those years. He assured Ferguson that great experiences awaited him on the standup circuit.


POSTED: Wednesday, December 17, 2014, 7:37 PM
Filed Under: Television

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Federal authorities have determined that hackers working on behalf of the North Korean government were behind the attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, according to CNBC and CNN.

"We have found linkage to the North Korean government," a source told CNBC. 

CNN's Evan Perez said that an announcement is expected on Thursday that would "assign attribution" to the country, which threatened retaliation over the release of "The Interview."

About this blog
Our Television blog is your go-to guide for everything that’s happening on TV: updates on your favorite actors and programs, reviews, ratings, rumors and some of the sharpest opinions on the web.

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Ellen Gray Daily News TV Critic
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