Category Archives: Television

HOLLYWOOD INSIDER: Sci-Fi President Dave Howe Speaks!! Why Syfy? Why!!!???

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There have been a lot of responses to the rebranding of the SCI FI Channel to Syfy, which takes effect on July 7, 2009. Most of those responses [as is usual on the good ole Interweb] have been negative – and there’s been a question of whether SCI FI appropriated the name from a popular website that had existed for ten years before a sudden name change. SCI FI honcho, Dave Howe said of that situation, “Once we settled on Syfy it became apparent to us that, you know, the Syfy Portal existed.” Of course, he said a lot more than as he attempted to give us a better understanding of the process of rebranding and its ramifications for the channel’s future.

(Fearless leader note – Do I deliver or what? I told you last week I’d try and get Dave to spill his guts about this stupid name change, unfortunately I was in the middle of moving to Florida so couldn’t sit in. But our fellow Sci-Fi Digital Press folks put his Dave’s feet to the fire. Great job Ken! Participants in this teleconference call included: Ken Gold [Media Boulevard], Meredith Woerner [i09.com], and Kelly West [cinemablend.com]. Continue reading HOLLYWOOD INSIDER: Sci-Fi President Dave Howe Speaks!! Why Syfy? Why!!!???

Supernatural: Playing in the Ghostfacers sandbox

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On the heels of a truly excellent Convention  this past weekend in Los Angeles full of guests and activities (Creation’s “Salute to Supernatural”) we are pleased to inform you about the launch of the all-new Ghostfacers website.  In last week’s episode of Supernatural, “It’s a Terrible Life”, the Ghostfacers make another brief appearance via their website.  That website is now a fully functional sandbox for all to play in.  It’s a tongue-in-cheek presentation that fans of the Ghostfacers, as well as curious onlookers, will find to be humorous and fun.

 

 

The Ghostfacers are characters whose founding members, Ed Zeddmore and Harry Spangler, were first introduced on Supernatural in the season one episode, “Hell House.”  They were presented as a slight spoof of the one-hour weekly reality show currently airing on the SciFi Network, Ghost Hunters, where a group of fairly ordinary people moonlight to understand seemingly unexplainable disturbances.  Interestingly enough the Ghost Hunters, Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, have acknowledged the light-hearted spoof done on Supernatural and fans have rallied to have a cross-over appearance of both Ghost teams.

Supernatural is the saga of brothers Sam and Dean Winchester, who traverse the country in their 1967 Chevy Impala, blasting classic rock through the speakers, and hunting all sorts of ghosts, demons, and otherworldly entities.  The show does an outstanding job of balancing horror, scares, drama and comedy.  For those moments when the show detours into some comical relief, the Ghostfacers have become the ideal vehicle.  Following their season one appearance where they associated themselves with the Hellhounds Lair, they returned late in season three on the episode titled appropriately enough “Ghostfacers” and introduced additional members. They included Ed’s sister Maggie Zeddmore (played by Brittany Ishibani), Kenny Spruce (played by Austin Basis) and Alan Corbett (played by Dustin Milligan, who has since moved on as Ethan Ward on 90210 after Corbett’s untimely demise).  Harry and Ed are portrayed respectively by Travis Wester and A.J. Buckley, who is better-known as Adam Ross on CSI:NY.  Their comedic chemistry together is quite entertaining and serves as a diversion among the dramatically serious mythology that the series ventures into and is built upon.  At the time of their second appearance there was even serious talk of a possible spin-off series.

 

 

Be sure to check-out the all-new  www.Ghostfacers.com  website where you can watch new Facers videos, find out more about the team, leave the Facers a note on their blog, and much more. See extended versions of Ed & Harry’s training videos from last week’s episode – including an introduction to their latest fighting style, “GMA” (Ghost Martial Arts). This site will continue to evolve over the next few months, so make sure to check back often to see what’s new… Stay Razor!

 

 

SUPERNATURAL airs Thursdays, 9pm on The CW.  In addition, fans should know that the Supernatural Entertainment Weekly feature story they were promised (which had to be postponed due to other breaking news) is finally running in this week’s issue, which will hit the stands April 3.

 

 

TELEVISION: Cupid: The God of Love Is In The House!

Cupid [ABC, Tuesdays, 10/9C] has an odd history. Rob Thomas [Veronica Mars] had this prematurely cancelled series in 1998 about an exiled God of Love who was exiled to Earth until he could match one hundred couples – true love, mind you. Then, and only then, would he be allowed to return to Mount Olympus. The series was smart, witty, funny, and almost desperately romantic and quite possibly the best show of the year in the minds of many critics. It also put Jeremy Piven on the road to something akin to stardom. It lasted fifteen episodes. Ever since, Cupid fans have been clamouring for it’s release on DVD. Now, ABC and Mr. Thomas have resurrected the series and the good news is that it’s very good.

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The set up is virtually identical: Cupid [Bobby Cannavale]is the love god who is exiled to Earth for his arrogance, and charged with matching one hundred couples – without the aid of magic – before he will be allowed to return home. As in the original, he is thought to be crazy [though there are brief moments that give the audience clues that he isn’t] and only released into the world under the supervision of psychologist Dr. Claire Allen [Sarah Paulson].

Dr. Allen specializes in love, too, but love built on a foundation of sensible and logical steps. She and Cupid – now going by Trevor Pierce – are at extreme ends of the spectrum in their beliefs and approaches to the subject. His first attempt is to help an Irish troubadour find the woman with whom he had a “transcendent moment” on her last day in Ireland. In the process of helping Dave [Sean McGuire], Trevor enlists the aid of a reporter named Madeline [Marguerite Moreau] – who falls in love with Dave!

The premiere episode of Cupid is almost as smart, witty, funny and romantic as the original, if a little less brash and little more dramatic. The interplay between Trevor and Claire is saucy and clever; the two are very much a match for each other in intelligence and wit. The supporting characters – Felix [Rick Gomez] and Lita [Camille Guaty] – are an improvement over their original series counterparts. Felix is the guy who takes in strays – which means he hires Trevor to work at his bar and gives him a place to live. Lita thinks Felix is crazy [there’s that word, again] for doing so.

The direction is precisely what the show needs – the pacing is up-tempo, but not too much to make it jarring when a shot requires a bit of lingering, but never holding onto a shot for too many beats. The entire production is good enough that I will be very disappointed if Cupid is, once again, too hip for the room. Really, the original show was ten years ahead of its time, stylistically and content-wise – which means we should be ready for it, now. And maybe, just maybe, we can get that DVD set of the original series.

Final Grade: B+

TELEVISION: The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency: And Now For Something Completely Different!

I suppose that, outside of the show’s quality, there are three unusual things about The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency is that it is a show whole family can enjoy – and it’s on HBO [Sundays, 8/7C]; it is shot in Botswana, Africa, with a completely black cast, and it is one of the most physically beautiful shows on television. It is based on the series of novels by Alexander McCall Smith.

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Precious Ramotswe [Jill Scott] is a “cheerful woman of traditional build” [as McCall smith has descrivbed her] who inherits one hundred and eighty cows from her father – and sells them to buy a small house in the country’s capitol city, and set up a detective agency. Although she is a cheerful woman, there is hint of sadness about Precious that harkens back to her marriage to an abusive musician. It is this part of her that is able to relate to the pain of a schoolteacher whose son has vanished.

Precious sets up shop in a defunct post office – which leads to an awkward encounter in the first act. It’s a small thing, but it gives us a deeper understanding of her character’s generosity of spirit. She also acquires a secretary, Grace Makutsi [Anika Noni Rose], who is as ramrod stiff and uptight as Precious is round and relaxed.

In the two-hour premiere, we learn about Precious’ life prior to moving to the city. Her life unfolds in a leisurely manner, shot against some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. If you’re looking for fast-paced and/or glib, you won’t find it here. Instead, even the move to the big city and the acquisition and resolution cases [five in the premiere] are developed in an almost stately procession of events.

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency is not Chandler’s Philip Marlowe, or Hammett’s Sam Spade. If they are hard-boiled, then Precious Ramotswe is most definitely soft-boiled, or maybe gently poached. The series is about character – hers, and her country’s. The various mysteries that are solved are there to show us that life requires character. They are handled in a manner that, at time, seems incidental to making [and being] friends; chatting over “bush tea,” and enjoying life – and when two of them overlap, it feels as natural.

Botswana is one of the few prosperous African nations – and one of the most beautiful. It is exactly the kind of place you might to find a curiosity like a ladies’ detective agency. Directed by Anthony Minghella [his last work], from a script he co-wrote [with Richard Curtis], The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency is unique. Unless you’ve read McCall Smith’s books, you have never seen anything like it. It is different in many ways – all of them good.

Final Grade: A

Television: Supernatural Ruminations – Dean and Sam Winchester and the Effects of What a Girl Says

Supernatural season 4 came back from its break  these past two weeks to hit its audience with two very powerful and revealing new episodes: Death Takes a Holiday and On the Head of a Pin. I just wanted to share my thoughts about this ‘one-two’ combination of punches that, in my opinion, have left our Winchester brothers and us as viewers reeling on the ropes.

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One of the first things that has really jumped out at me as a viewer of Supernatural after watching these two recent new episodes is while that this show is suppose to be about Sam and Dean Winchester (Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles): who are two ghost hunting, demon fighting brothers driving around in their ’67 Chevy Impala ‘muscle car’ loaded with weapons, the boys lives and their fates have become tied into some pretty heavy duty estrogen driven influences in the fourth season. In fact these influences began to show themselves in season 4 as early as in the episode ‘In the Beginning’ when we found out that the boy’s mother Mary (played in this episode by Amy Gumenick) was a hunter. It came to light that perhaps in many ways it was Mary’s life as a hunter that affected the destinies and fates of her son’s Dean and Sam more than being raised alone by their father after her death at the hands of the YED.

Continue reading Television: Supernatural Ruminations – Dean and Sam Winchester and the Effects of What a Girl Says

TELEVISION: SCI FI and RHI Entertainment Agree To Do Three Four-Hour Movie Events: Riverworld, The Phantom and Alice!

The SCI FI Channel announced today that they have, along with long-time creative partners RHI Entertainment, begun work on a series of three four-hour movie events: Philip Jose Farmer’s renowned Riverworld; Lee Falk’s The Phantom [the first costumed avenger, created a full year before Superman], and Lewis Carroll’s Alice.

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Riverworld is a two-night, four-hour movie event based on the popular award-winning series of novels by Philip Jose Farmer. It’s the adventure of Matt, a combat photojournalist, killed along with his fiancée by a suicide bomber, who awakens in a mysterious world where everyone who has ever previously lived on Earth, has been “reborn” along the banks of a seemingly endless river. Determined to locate his lost love Jessica, Matt joins forces, a 13th century female samurai warrior named Tomoe and American novelist Mark Twain. Together they sail upriver in search of its source, and to discover where they are and who put them there. Riverworld is produced by Reunion Pictures (Airdate 2010).

The classic comic book character The Phantom has been re-imagined and transported to present day in a live-action, four-hour movie from writers Dan Knauf (Carnivale) and Charles Knauf. A favorite costumed hero for more than six decades, The Phantom relies on his wits, physical strength and skill with weapons over superhuman powers. Production is slated to begin in April in Montreal with Director Paolo Barzman (The Last Templar) at the helm. The Phantom is produced by Muse Entertainment (Airdate 2010).

Alice is a modern-day reinterpretation of Lewis Carroll’s classic novel Alices Adventures in Wonderland. The four-hour movie event is written and directed by Nick Willing; director of SCI FI and RHI’s 2007 record-breaking, Emmy-nominated miniseries, Tin Man. Production on Alice is expected to begin in May in Vancouver. Alice is produced by Reunion Pictures (Airdate: Late 2009).

Pre-production and casting are under way.

TELEVISION: CW Monday Night is All New with Gossip Girl & One Tree Hill

Betrayals, Past Lovers, Family ties and Blackmail. Gossip Girl has it all in the episode ‘The Grandfather’ airing tonight on the CW network at 8PM EST. Devastated by the recent plot twist in her life, Blair (Leighton Meester) turns her back on her predictable Waldorf existence in favor of a more wild and unpredictable lifestyle, causing Serena (Blake Lively) and Chuck (Ed Westwick) to have serious concerns about their friend.  Vanessa (Jessica Szohr) convinces Nate (Chace Crawford) that it may be time to forgive and forget when it comes to his mother’s Kennedyesque family, The Vanderbilts, who abandoned Nate and his mother when they needed them most.  In a misguided effort to be completely honest with each other, Lily (Kelly Rutherford) and Rufus (Matthew Settle) agree to share lists of their past lovers.

Check out the Gossip Girl Stills for The Grandfather.

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Then next up on the CW Network at 9PM EST it’s a brand new episode of One Tree Hill.

“Searching for a Former Clarity”

JAMES VAN DER BEEK GUEST STARS — Lucas (Chad Michael Murray) and Julian (guest star Austin Nichols) hit a setback with the production of the film.  Peyton (Hilarie Burton) and Haley (Bethany Joy Galeotti) help Mia (guest star Kate Voegele) with her new single.  Brooke (Sophia Bush) must intervene when Sam (guest star Ashley Rickards) is arrested.  Jamie (Jackson Brundage) discovers the truth about Dan (Paul Johansson) and Uncle Keith.  Joe Davola directed the episode written by Mark Schwahn.

Check out the webclip for One Tree Hill.

Television: Supernatural S4 ‘It’s A Terrible Life’ Sneak Peeks and other Cool Supernatural News

Supernatural season 4 is upping the experiences for Sam and Dean Winchester and the next new adventure is an episode called “It’s A Terrible Life,” which will will air on Thursday 3/26 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.

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In a bizarre twist of events, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) Winchester find themselves living in a reality where they are total strangers to each other. They are both are living very different, normal lives working at the same company.  However when mysterious events with supernatural elements start happing, they find themselves teaming up together to find out what is going on.  Guest stars Kurt Fuller as “Mr. Adler.”  “It’s A Terrible Life” was written by Sera Gamble and was directed by Jim Conway.

Continue reading Television: Supernatural S4 ‘It’s A Terrible Life’ Sneak Peeks and other Cool Supernatural News

Television: Supernatural Star Jared Padalecki Endorses ‘A Dog’s Life Rescue’

It’s no secret in Supernatural fandom that Jared Padalecki, the hot young actor who plays Sam Winchester in the hit CW Network series, is an animal lover, especially dogs. I don’t think there is a fan out there who hasn’t seen photos of Jared Padalecki with his beloved dogs, Sadie and Harley, two rescued pups who are near and dear to his heart.

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These days, Jared Padalecki has taken another dog into his heart in a different way. Her name is Mika and she is one of the special rescued dogs at a Los Angeles based animal rescue organization known as ‘A Dog’s Life Rescue’. Mika was found in an alley at just two weeks of age by a young man walking home from school. The boy’s mom contacted A Dog’s Life Rescue for help because Mika is a special needs puppy. Mika is paralyzed from the waist down. Mika has no idea she is different from other dogs. She gets around on her own and is so full of life and love. She is absolutely inspiring.

It is this inspiring story of Mika that has lead Padalecki to lend his name and endorsement to the organization. To learn more about Mika and her story that touched Jared Padalecki’s heart go here.

A Dog’s Life Rescue is a non-profit rescue organization in Los Angeles, California. After the disband of Connect-A-Pet Rescue in early 2005 partners Julia Pennington, Keely Quinn, and Allison Lange joined together to form A Dog’s Life Rescue. Our mission is to save the lives of abandoned, abused, or neglected dogs and other animals, by providing shelter, care, and medical attention to homeless animals through adoption, adoption events, and community outreach. Further, to promote animal welfare and the importance of spaying and neutering.

Supernatural fans can help Jared Padalecki support ‘A Dog’s Life Rescue’ by making donations directly to the site organizers whom he has put his full support and endorsement behind to help raise money for the many abandoned and special animals like Mika who are in need of caring people like Jared Padalecki to help them have better lives.

You can visit the “First Giving” website specifically for Mika:
http://www.firstgiving.com/formika or for more information you contact adogsliferescue@yahoo.com.

Meanwhile don’t forget to check out Jared Padalecki along with his equally hot young co-star Jensen Ackles, who plays Dean Winchester, in a brand new episode of the hit series Supernatural every Thursday night at 9PM EST on the CW Network.

TELEVISION NEWS: Battlestar Galactica Finale Tonight

Television News: Battlestar Galactica Final Tonight

After 5 years, tonight is the final installment of Battlestar Galactica. After a boatload of stories, visiting the set in Canada, having almost everyone involved in the show speak to us on multiple occassions and even attending a private party with the cast and crew, I somehow am not excited about tonight’s conclusion. It feels sort of anti-climatic to me. This could be because I haven’t watched the last 4 episodes yet – I wanted to wait and soak it all in, in a marathon session tomorrow morning. But it’s amazing that the cast and crew of BSG are leaving us after they have really supported EM with unprecedented access (for us). I have no predictions of what’s going to happen, I’m not going to live twit BSG tonight or even review this final ep. I want to sit back with a nice beer, put my feet up and just enjoy it, without being forced to overthink it.  So everyone be sure to tune in tonight at 9pm on the Sifee channel for this momentous television. Remember, there’s 11 extra minutes.