There are now so many television channels – and so much programming – that Sturgeon’s Law [‘90% of everything is crap’] may apply, but it’s no longer relevant! Now, with hundreds of channels to choose from, it’s virtually impossible to not find at least thirty or forty really good programs. I know because I watch about that many on a semi-regular to regular basis – and there are many more that I check in on from time to time.
Following on the heels of the The USA Networks renewal of Burn Notice, In Plain Sight, Covert Affairs and the final season of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, they continue to keep viewer favorites in their television line up by announcing that they have renewed Psych, Royal Pains and White Collar. Psych will kick off the second half of its fifth season in November, while Royal Pains and White Collar return in January.
Over at the Lifetime Network, Army Wives and Drop Dead Diva have both been renewed: Army Wives for its fifth season and Drop Dead Diva for its third.
The announcement was made by Nancy Dubuc, President and General Manager of Lifetime Networks and HISTORY. “Army Wives and Drop Dead Diva have lead Lifetime’s charge in scripted programming and are key components to our success. We are so happy with these two special programs and are excited to pick them up for new seasons, which allows us to launch our next generation of scripted series.”
What an interesting and entertaining summer it’s been for television. New Shows like Covert Affairs and Pretty Little Liars seemed to come out of nowhere to become hits, while reliable standbys like The Closer, Breaking Bad and Mad Men maintained their positions and won big at the Emmys. And for off the charts nasty fun, there was, once again, True Blood.
With the fall season getting underway [The CW and FX have already introduced new shows and the big guys are following over the next couple weeks], it’s definitely time to take a look at the best of this past summer and offer a couple of comments on the few new shows that we’ve seen debut over the last week.
Note that I have not included Mad Men in my summer list because I simply did not have time to include it in my schedule. A separate overview for MM will appear once the new fall season premieres have appeared.
It’s taken a while, but with Covert Affairs [USA, Tuesdays, 10/9C], Christopher Gorham seems to have finally gotten himself on hit series. This week’s episode, Communication Breakdown, finds Gorham’s character, blind tech wizard Auggie Anderson getting the chance to go back into the field, though it’s not under the most auspicious circumstances.
In a recent Q&A conference call, Sendhil Ramamurthy talked about becoming Jai Wilcox on the USA Network’s new hit series, Covert Affairs [Tuesdays, 19/9C], how he came to get the role and, among other things, some of the things that surprised him – both in terms of the show, and in terms of things he learned about the CIA.
Covert Affairs [Tuesdays, 10/9C] is the latest series to produce solid ratings for the ISA Network. The breezy-with-a-dark-undercurrent series was created by executive producers Chris Ord and Matt Corman [pictured above with series star Piper Perabo and executive producers Doug Liman, Dave Bartis] – who took time from their duties as overseers [executive producers] of the show to speak with a select group of bloggers/journalists, including yours truly.
Over the last few years, Tim Matheson, best known for playing Eric in the original Animal House, has become a fixture on USA Network shows. Besides directing episodes of Psych, Burn Notice, White Collar and Covert Affairs [where he directed the pilot, thus setting the tone for the series], Matheson has also guest starred as arrogant bank robber Edward “The Architect” Walker on White Collar and recurred as the charmingly dangerous [or is it dangerously charming?] ex-spy/freelance mercenary, Larry Sizemore over five episodes [so far] on Burn Notice. Little known fact: Matheson is big on Asian films!
I had the great good fortune to take part in a teleconference Q&A session with the former voice of Jonny Quest [yes, Matheson has done some legendary work] where, because of an unusually small turnout, I was able to ask more than usual couple of questions. Thanks to Matheson’s energy and enthusiasm, it was one of the most enjoyable interview experiences I’ve ever had.
As you might expect from executive producer Doug Liman, USA’s new series, Covert Affairs [Tuesdays, 10/9C], is a high-tempo ride that somehow manages to maintain a solid balance between character and action. Premiering after White Collar’s second season opener, Affairs introduces rookie CIA agent Annie Walker [Piper Perabo] – a gung ho trainee who is smart, uniquely attractive, speaks six languages and knows a fair amount of Krav Maga.
USA’s new spy series, Covert Affairs [Tuesdays, 10/9C] channels the world of espionage through what some have called “USA’s blue sky filter” – resulting in a fast-paced dramedy with roots in the details of the real CIA and the flights of action film imagination that spawned the James Bond and Jason Bourne films.
Covert Affairs is particularly notable for casting Piper Perabo, who has worked almost exclusively in film [give or take a guest star role on House] for a little better than a decade. Perabo kindly took some time to speak with a number of bloggers/journalists between adhering to her hectic shooting schedule and a meeting with executive producer, Doug Liman.
When USA’s Covert Affairs [Tuesdays, 10/9C] premieres on July 13th, it will mark the beginning of what should be a long and fruitful partnership between series executive producer Doug Liman [The Bourne Identity, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, The OC] and the network. Liman took time out of his busy schedule to participate in a teleconference Q&A session to discuss his new series.
USA’s latest riff on an underserved TV genre is Covert Affairs [premieres Tuesday, July 13th] from Executive Producers Doug Liman [The Bourne Identity, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, The OC] and Dave Bartis [The OC] – a fast-paced, relatively lighthearted action/adventure series set in the world of espionage.
Peter Gallagher [The OC, Californication], featured as Andrew Campbell, Director of Clandestine Affairs, chatted with a number of bloggers/journalists about the series.