Tag Archives: Television

Television: CW’s Nikita -Mildly Entertaining Action Despite A Lack of Spark From Maggie Q

Nikita

On Thursday, September 9th at 9PM EST (Supernatural’s old time slot), The CW Network is set to offer up their re-imagining of the 1997 USA Network series Nikita which starred Peta Wilson. That series was in itself an adapting of the 1990 French film, Le Femme Nikta.

While the blue eyed blonde Wilson has been replaced by the darkly exotic beauty of female action star Maggie Q (Mission Impossible 2), the basic plot remains the same. When Nikita was a deeply troubled eighteen year old accused of murder, she was rescued from death row by a secret U.S. agency known only as Division. They trained her as a spy and assassin.  Nikita was their top agent until she broke the cardinal rule of never getting close to someone and fell in love. Because of this, Nikita was betrayed by the only people she thought she could trust and the man she loved was murdered by them.  Now, after three years in hiding, Nikita is seeking retribution and making it clear to her former boss, Percy (Xander Berkeley, “24”) and her former friends Michael (Shane West, “E.R.”) and Birkhoff (Aaron Stanford, “X-Men: The Last Stand) that she will stop at nothing to expose and destroy their covert operation.

The majority of the pilot for Nikita, which was directed by Danny Cannon and written by Craig Silverstein, spends a lot of it’s time giving the audience the exposition on title character’s back story. The exposition is interspersed with action sequences to show the audience what a kick ass, strong woman Nikita is.

While all of this was slickly presented and mildly entertaining, the biggest problem I had was this: Yes, Maggie Q is as deadly graceful and skilled as an action hero should be in all the fight sequences. However, her Nikita comes across as too remote and coldly detached from the angst surrounding her character to create any spark or screen presence to connect to outside of her fighting prowess. I do have to say that this remote detachment does help the character keep a sense of dignity around her during the scenes in which Nikita must run around scantily clad. On the up side, that kind of dignity is a welcome change from the usual “sex it up” mentality that often comes along with a series which revolves around a female spy . It certainly makes Nikita more intimidating. On the downside, the issue I had with this is that, unfortunately, there is no heat of any kind whatsoever in those scenes nor in the action sequences. To me, the action sequences of a series like this is where the character’s passion for her cause should be most revealed. I just didn’t feel Nikita’s passion for her crusade.

Continue reading Television: CW’s Nikita -Mildly Entertaining Action Despite A Lack of Spark From Maggie Q

Television: Hellcats-CW’s New Cheerleading Drama Brings It On In Generic But Classy Style

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Hellcats is described by the CW Network as a coming-of-age story about Marti Perkins (Aly Michalka, “The Roommate,” “Bandslam”), a pre-law scholarship student at Lancer University in Memphis, Tennessee. Marti is a hip, edgy townie with working class roots, whose world flips upside down, literally and figuratively, when her scholarship is canceled and her well-meaning but irresponsible mother, Wanda (Gail O’Grady, “NYPD Blue,” “American Dreams”) neglects to inform her.

Broke and out of options, Marti realizes the only way she can stay in school is by resurrecting  her dormant gymnastic skills to win a place on the Hellcats – Lancer’s legendary cheer squad – and the scholarship that comes with it. Along the way she crosses paths with Savannah Monroe (Ashley Tisdale) the upbeat captain of the cheerleading squad.

Based on the book Cheer: Inside the Secret World of College Cheerleaders by journalist Kate Torgovnick, Hellcats is created by Kevin Murphy who also serves as executive producer along with Tom Welling (star of the long running CW hit series Smallville). The series also stars Heather Hemmens, Matt Barr,Robbie Jones and D. B. Woodside.

Hellcats premieres on the CW Network on Wednesday September 8th at 9PM EST. but a few of us reporter types got an advanced screener to take a look at. I was one of them. Before I had received the screener, I had heard about Hellcats and I have to admit it sounded pretty much like every other generic cheerleading dramas/comedies I had seen before. Plus the CW had already spent some time exploring the lives of high school cheerleaders in their long running teen angst series, One Tree Hill. With this in mind I am not afraid to say I was expecting Hellcats to just be more of the same formula. For it to be a yet another cast of ‘pretty people’ twenty something’s playing roles enmeshed in sex soak angst, betrayals and melodrama  interspersed with scenes of fancy dance moves.  After seeing the screener for the pilot episode of Hellcats, titled A World Full of Strangers, I found out I was right about two things: the cast is full of pretty people and the  episode is definitely interspersed with scenes of fancy dance moves. And while this is a fairly generic cheerleading story filled with your requisite cheerleader type storyline characters, Hellcats is not a One Tree Hill clone set on a college campus. I am pleased to say that Hellcats is a really fun, kind of wholesome series that is all about the spirit of competitive cheerleading without all the sappiness or oversexed raunchiness they could have so easily fallen into.

Continue reading Television: Hellcats-CW’s New Cheerleading Drama Brings It On In Generic But Classy Style

Television: Actor/Comedian Zach Cregger Joins Cast of NBC Series, Friends With Benefits

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Zach Cregger, an Arlington VA native who has most recently spent his time in New York City working as a writer/producer and actor in the comedy troupe Whitest Kids U’ Know, has been signed on to join the cast of the new NBC comedy series, Friends With Benefits.  Cregger, who starred in the 2009 comedy movie Miss March, will be joining the half hour, single camera comedy in the role Aaron a nerdy but cute, hopeless romantic who is worth $12 million after selling an algorithm to Google.

Friends With Benefits, which also stars Danneel Harris, Ryan Hansen, Alexandra Holden and Andre Holland, explores modern-day romance through the eyes of five friends, each looking for “the one” but in the meantime settling for “friends with benefits.”  Cregger describes his character as someone with the smarts to make a ton of money but isn’t so smart about figuring out the complexities of romance.  “He’s a total spazz and he’s gonna be really fun to play.”

Friends with Benefits, which was created by  Brian Grazer and is executive produced by David Nevins, David Dobkin, Jeff Kleeman and Scott Neustadter, begins principle filming in two weeks and is set to become a 2011 mid season replacement on the NBC schedule.

Zach Cregger is repped by William Morris Endeavor (WME) Entertainment

Television: TNT Orders New Seasons of Three Hit Series: The Closer, Rizzoli & Isles and Leverage

 

TNT knows drama and they also know how to keep hit drama series on their Network – by renewing them! Which is why TNT has ordered new seasons of three of the network’s hit series, The Closer, Rizzoli & Isles and Leverage.

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On the renewal of these three hit series, Michael Wright, executive vice president and head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM) had this to say to the media. “TNT has enjoyed tremendous success on Sunday and Monday nights with Leverage, The Closer and Rizzoli & Isles. All three shows feature terrific casts, sharp writing and top-notch production teams. We look forward to continued success with new seasons in 2011.”

The Closer, which continues to rank as ad-supported cable’s #1 series of all time, will return for its seventh season. Rizzoli & Isles, which currently ranks as cable’s #1 new series for the year-to-date, will return for a second season. Leverage, which is performing exceptionally well in its new Sunday timeslot, will be back for a fourth season. TNT has ordered 15 episodes each of The Closer and Leverage, along with 13 episodes of Rizzoli & Isles, with all three slated to start their new seasons in 2011. Continue reading Television: TNT Orders New Seasons of Three Hit Series: The Closer, Rizzoli & Isles and Leverage

Video Games Live on PBS

Video Games Live on PBS

If you haven’t had the opportunity to catch a live performance of Video Games Live, the group has secured a deal with PBS to air a 90 minute concert.  I attended this show a few years ago and it’s a pretty amazing experience that features a full orchestra performing music from the most popular video games against a backdrop of big HD Televisions that project images from the games. The show features music from Halo, Mario Brothers, World of Warcraft and others.  Check your local listings for airdates, it airs on Maryland Public TV tonight (Sat).

Ellen and Kara Booted from American Idol!

Ellen Degeneres made the announcement official, she is leaving American Idol. TMZ is reporting that Kara Dioguardi is also out (although that announcement isn’t official)? leaving the Dog Pound and Randy Jackson the last man standing. Yo, Dog, that’s hot! Not. Ellen said she had trouble criticizing the singers and in her official statement that the show wasn’t a good fit for her. I, personally, thought she and Simon were the ONLY things I liked about last season. Rumor has it they are going with J. Lo and Steven Tyler to be the new Judges.  Yes they have the music cred but do they really have the personality to be reality TV Show judges for 20 some odd weeks? I don’t think so.  Unless EM can find someone to follow IDOL next year, I doubt we’ll have the snarky weekly coverage you expect from us, because I bailed on the show.

Comic Con 2010: Eureka’s Colin Ferguson Talks About Season 4 & The Trials of Wearing Period Piece Costumes

Eclipse Magazine’s coverage of  Comic Con 2010 continues as we sat in on the The Syfy channel’s double billed press roundtable of Eureka and Warehouse 13.
We’ll have lots of goodies to share with Eclipse Magazine readers from this very informative combo, but right now we leave you with a video treat: Colin Ferguson talking about working on season 4 of Eureka and the drawbacks to wearing period piece costumes.

Comic Con 2010: Eclipse Gets In On The Lowdown On AMC’s The Walking Dead


I have to admit that one of things I was excited about covering at Comic Con was the new AMC horror/drama show, The Walking Dead which is based on the graphic novel of the same name written by Robert Kirkman.   The Walking Dead tells the story of life following a zombie apocalypse. It follows a group of survivors, led by police officer Rick Grimes, traveling in search of a safe and secure home. Andrew Lincoln (Love Actually, Teachers, Strike Back) will portray the lead role of Rick Grimes while actor Jon Bernthal (The Pacific, The Ghost Writer) will portray the character Shane, who worked with Rick in the police department before the zombie disaster. Other cast includes Laurie Holden (The Shield), who plays Andrea, one of two sisters who join the survivors of the zombie plague, Steven Yeun as Glenn, an expert scavenger and Sarah Wayne Callies (Prison Break), who plays Rick’s wife Lori.

Reporters in the round table interviews got the chance t o to sit down with writer/director/executive producer Frank Darabont, executive producer Gale Anne Hurd, special effects/makeup designer Greg Nicotero and stars Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes), Sarah Wayne Callies (Lori Grimes), Jon Bernthal (Shane Walsh), Laurie Holden (Andrea), and Emma Bell (Amy).   After listening to the writers and cast talk about the show, I was not disappointed at all.  In my opinion, this new series is going to rock!

Check out the video with writer/director/executive producer Frank Darabont and special effects/makeup designer Greg Nicotero.

Comic Con 2010: Eclipse Gets the Latest Lowdown On Stargate Universe – Here’s A Teaser!

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EclipseMagazine is here at the 2010 San Diego Comic Con to get all the scoops and inside information on some of our reader’s favorite series and we started Friday off with an up close press panel meeting with the cast of the Syfy series, Stargate Universe.

On hand was, Robert Carlyle, David Blue, Alaina Huffman, Ming-Na and series creator Robert C. Cooper. It was a fun, and informative series of roundtable interviews and in the days to come, EclipseMagazine will be bringing it’s readers more coverage from this Comic Con event. But right now, we are going to leave readers with a lovely video teaser of David Blue aka Eli Wallace talking to reporters at the round table. And yes, it’s our very own EM reporter he catches grinning at the mention of biceps and triceps belonging to Brian J. Smith ..aka Lt.Matthew Scott!

Update – Now with Video!

Pillars of the Earth is Overstuffed But Still Fun!

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Before Ken Follett wrote epic, thousand-page bestsellers like Pillars of the Earth, he wrote sleek, taut thrillers like The Big Needles, and sci-fi classics like Capricorn One. I mention this because, however well done Pillars of the Earth might be [I’ve not read it], the television miniseries [Starz, Friday, 10/9C] is an overstuffed, frequently ponderous work that is most notable for its amazing cast – Ian McShane [Lovejoy, Deadwood], Donald Sutherland [Dirty Sexy Money, Salem’s Lot], Rufus Sewell [Dark City, The Illusionist], Gordon Pinsent [Away From Her], Tony Curran [Underworld: Evolution, Doctor Who] and Allison Pill [The Book of Daniel, In Treatment] among them.

Continue reading Pillars of the Earth is Overstuffed But Still Fun!

The Cleveland Show’s Kevin Michael Richardson Speaks with Michelle!

Today, I had a fun talk with The Cleveland Show’s Kevin Michael Richardson. For those that don’t know KMR is quite the industry veteran voice actor, he plays 13 different voices on the Fox Television show including Cleveland, Jr. and he’s won two Emmy’s for his voice work as The Joker in the recent animated series The Batman. He’s going to be at Comic Con this week partaking in panels for The Cleveland Show and the upcoming movie The Penguins of Madagascar. We spent the first 10 minutes of the call just shooting the shit about life and stuff before we got into the guts of the interview.

It’s times like this when I really wish there was an App that would let me record phone conversations. Because it’s always difficult to cut my long winded questions down for these transcripts, plus you don’t get the good give and take. I was honest with Kevin and told him I never watched the show, but after this interview I’m now a convert.

So, The Cleveland Show?

I’m glad we came back they picked us up for a 3rd season. It shows Fox really believes in the show and we’re really jazzed about the show in confidence the Network showed us. We went gangbusters with all of our table reads and are having a lot of fun now that we know we’re going to be here for awhile.

Continue reading The Cleveland Show’s Kevin Michael Richardson Speaks with Michelle!