Stay Tuned
Reviews, previews and much more on "The Real Housewives," "How I Met Your Mother," "NCIS" and many more of your favorite shows. This is the place to talk about all of the things that make us "Stay Tuned"…

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Huntington Native Helps "Move That Bus!"

This Sunday’s “Extreme Makeover Home Edition” has a Huntington connection…

H2 Builders Incorporated in Beaufort County, SC, will be working to build this week’s new home. The wife of the company’s owner, who is one of the workers in the episode, is a Huntington native. Tracy Moore Hawk was born and raised in Huntington and attended Marshall University. She passed along this picture to me from her cheerleading days (She's on the right.).

Tracy’s husband, Todd, owns H2, which is the largest custom homebuilding company in Beaufort County. Tracy is the owner of The Hawk Group Realty, LLC.

Here’s what Tracy wrote me about the experience:

“I was born and raised in Huntington. I went to Marshall and was a Marshall cheerleader (and still devoted fan)! I come back to Huntington a couple of times a year to visit family and friends. I still keep in touch with many from Huntington. I have a lot of excited people there who are looking forward to our episode of ABC-TV’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition with Ty Pennington.

My husband, son and I have lived in Hilton Head, SC for 16 years. We own the largest custom homebuilding company, H2 Builders Incorporated, in Beaufort County, SC . We were contacted by representatives from Extreme Makeover Home Edition to build a home for a deserving family in our area. Once we agreed to be the builder, it was a whirlwind. It was truly an honor to build a home for a marine currently serving in Afghanistan. We were responsible for securing all of the materials and volunteers for the home. We supervised over 3,000+ volunteers and built a 4,000 Sq. Ft home in 106 hours. It was truly exciting to 'move that bus…'

We also worked closely with the talent: Ty Pennington, Jillian Harris (the ABC Bachelorette), Pauly D (from the show), and Xzibit (rapper, actor & tv host ) in different capacities. I am so honored to be a part of this inspiring project. It was not only a makeover of a home, but a makeover of you on the inside helping a truly deserving family. A Huntington native going from building cheerleading pyramids at Marshall to building a home on a national television show!”

Here’s the official description of the show from ABC: “‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’ invited the Marines to fall in for a call to action in Beaufort, South Carolina to honor Marine Staff Sergeant Bill Dickinson's family with a new home. Bill was deployed to Afghanistan on November 5, leaving behind his loving wife, India, and five children, who are fighting a losing battle here at home to save their house -- a scenario far too common for many military families across the nation.

In Bill's absence, their home is rapidly depreciating due to spreading mold and water damage. Despite the deplorable conditions, the family maintain and model their lives in the same way their father honors his country. India volunteers on behalf of a military support group, and the oldest children, Grant (16) and Brianna (14), both plan to enlist in the Navy after they graduate from high school. Volunteers and local military will be on hand to lend their efforts and some good old fashioned elbow grease to the Dickinson family in this episode of ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.’"

The episode airs Sunday, May 1st at 8 p.m. on ABC...

Photos courtesy of Tracy Moore Hawk

FOX Pulls a Major Sweeps Event

The planned sweeps crossover of “The Cleveland Show,” “Family Guy” and “American Dad” will now air next spring.

The crossover centered on a major storm blowing through all three shows. According to, FOX pulled the event after this week’s deadly storms in the south. Reruns will air instead.

It’s VERY unusual for a network to air reruns during sweeps, but I applaud FOX for the move. It was the right thing to do…

Photo Credit:FOX

"The Voice" Gets More Complicated

Okay, this is what I mean about “The Voice” being a little complicated…

NBC announced today that new advisers will be joining the series to help the coaches during the “Battles” stage of the competition.

Singer/songwriter Sia will join Christina Aguilera, Maroon 5 Music Director Blackstone will team up with Adam Levine, Monica will join Cee-Lo Green and Reba will team up with Blake Shelton.

From the press release: “Reba, Monica, Sia and Blackstone were picked because they are in the trusted inner circle of the respective musician coach that they are helping. They are being brought in by the musician coaches to bring out the best in each of their artists, help to select songs that suit specific vocal styles and provide advice for performance. These adviser rosters will expand when the competition moves on to the live performance stage.”

Now I’m totally confused. I thought the show was all about the coaches bringing out the best in their team. And now these advisers are going to do that? And they’re going to add more as the competition moves on? Does anybody else think it’s just too much?

By the way, the press release also said these “Battle” rounds will last four weeks…

“The Voice” will air for two hours Tuesday, May 3rd at 9 p.m. on NBC and then move into its regular May timeslot of Tuesdays at 10 p.m. beginning May 10th

Photo Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

The Latest "X Factor" Hosting Rumor

Remembering that all stories about “The X Factor” are just speculation until we see the press release… is reporting that Corbin Bleu, best known for playing Chad in the “High School Musical” series, is in talks to co-host “Factor” with Nicole Scherzinger.

I like Corbin, but you have to admit that’s an interesting combination…

Look for an official announcement from FOX very soon since the auditions before the judges will start filming in the next few weeks…

Disney Channel Says Goodbye to "The Suite Life"

Disney Channel will say goodbye to its longest running continuous characters next week…

“The Suite Life on Deck” will end its run Friday, May 6th at 8 p.m. in a special 40-minute episode entitled “Graduation on Deck.” According to the Disney Channel episode description, “Cody and Bailey grapple with the crushing fact that one of them does not get accepted to Yale. Also Mr. Moseby makes a life changing decision involving Ms. Tuttweiler.”

Fans can go to and vote for their favorite episodes of both “Deck” and “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.” The chosen episodes will air during a weeklong event beginning Monday, May 2nd.

The combined Zack & Cody shows aired 162 episodes, making them the characters with the most episodes in Disney Channel history.

Disney Channel will use the finale to introduce a new show, “A.N.T. Farm.” According to the Disney Channel press release, the show “revolves around Chyna Parks, an 11-year-old musical prodigy who attends high school as part of the prestigious Advanced Natural Talents (A.N.T.) program.”

Photo Credit: Dean Hendler/Disney Channel

Thursday, April 28, 2011

My Choice for Charlie Sheen's Replacement

“The Hollywood Reporter” reported today that Chuck Lorre has begun plans to revamp “Two and a Half Men” without Charlie Sheen. The report says that Jon Cryer (Alan) will take the lead in the show opposite a new character, who has not yet been cast.

I think that the solution to this problem is an actor who is already a member of the “Men” family—Ryan Stiles.

Fans of the show know Stiles as Herb Melnick, who is married to Alan’s ex-wife, Judith (Marin Hinkle). I think that Judith should kick Herb out—just as she did Alan—and Herb should move in with Alan. Then Herb could take Alan’s place as the down-on-his luck guy, while Alan would try and take Charlie’s place as the player. Charlie could be running around Europe or somewhere else with Rose (Melanie Lynskey). Or maybe he’s in hiding to get away from her. With Charlie gone, Alan could be collecting his residual checks and living off his money. With this scenario, we wouldn’t have to be introduced to any new characters since all of them are already connected.

But best of all Ryan Stiles is hilarious. And he already has great chemistry with the cast.

I’d like to say this idea was mine, but it wasn’t. I read it in the Letters to the Editor section of “TV Guide.” But I love it, and I really think CBS and Lorre should give it some thought.

What do you guys think? And who else do you think should be considered for the show?

Photo Credit: Greg Gayne/Warner Bros.

Team Coco Takes Facebook to the Next Level

Leave it to Conan O’Brien to take Facebook to the next level…

You can now send an F*Card from Team Coco for special occasions like a birthday, but you can also send the video messages for a relationship status change, photo-tagging and several other Facebook situations.

You can send one of the 25 cards by liking Team Coco at Other cards will become available in the coming weeks…

Photo Credit: Art Streiber/TBS

"The Oprah Winfrey Show": How Will It All End?

“The Oprah Winfrey Show” will end its run May 25th. Details of the final show have not been revealed, but we’re getting some idea of what will lead up to it… reported today that the May 23rd and 24th episodes will tape at the United Center May 17th. The two-parter will feature surprise guests that not even Oprah knows about. It will be called “Surprise Oprah! A Farewell Spectacular.”

Oprah is known for not liking surprises, but she made an exception for her final season. It should be a doozy…

Report: Meredith Viera Leaving "Today" in June

“The Hollywood Reporter” just reported that Meredith Viera is leaving “Today” in June, three months before her current contract expires.

Sources tell the website that Viera will be replaced by Ann Curry and Natalie Morales will replace Curry at the anchor desk.

After being #1 for so long, this could be a very precarious time for the show, so it makes sense that NBC would go with established personalities. And quite frankly, Ann Curry deserved the gig.

I would look for NBC to make an official announcement soon…

WHV Announces "Smallville" DVD Set

“Smallville” will end its 10-year-run May 13th. And to celebrate the series, Warner Home Video will release “Smallville: The Complete Series” on DVD this fall.

The collector’s set will contain some brand new special features including the never-before-seen 1961 “Superboy” pilot, a 90-minute series retrospective and the 2010 final Comic-Con panel.

There are also some new printed materials, including a “Daily Planet” newspaper, which highlights the key storylines from the series run and an episode guide with never-before-seen art and behind-the-scenes photos.

The set looks great, but why is it that the companies release these things after the true fans have bought all the individual seasons already?

No official release date has been announced.

Photo Credit: Warner Home Video

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"The Voice" Hits a High Note for NBC

No surprise, “The Voice” opened strong for NBC last night. The question is whether it can sustain the numbers…

The premiere had 11.8 million viewers and scored a 5.1 rating in the all important 18-49 demographic. The demo rating is the highest debut for a new series since the premiere of “Undercover Boss” after the Super Bowl in 2010.

Even more exciting for NBC, “The Voice” beat both “Glee” and “Dancing” in the dmeo head-to-head. But they may want to hold off on the press release announcing “The Voice” as the king of reality shows…

Photo Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

This Week's May Sweeps Schedule UPDATED

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it is that time once again. May sweeps is upon us.

Here’s a look at some of what you’re scheduled to see during these first four days…

Thursday, April 28th

The Office—9 PM (50 minutes)—NBC

*Steve Carell’s farewell episode

20/20: The Royal Wedding: A Modern Fairytale—8 PM—ABC

Friday, April 29th

Smallville—8 PM—CW

*Justin Hartley (Oliver) directs the episode

Kathy Griffin’s Insightful & Hilarious Take on the Royal Wedding—8 PM—TV Guide Network

The Royal Wedding: Modern Majesty—8 PM—CBS

Dateline: The Royal Wedding—9 PM (2 hrs.)—NBC

20/20: The Royal Wedding—9 PM (2 hrs.)—ABC

Saturday, April 30th

NASCAR on FOX: Richmond 500—7 PM—FOX

ABC Saturday Movie of the Week: Batman Begins—8 PM—ABC

Sunday, May 1st

The Simpsons—8 PM—FOX

*Joe Mantegna guests as Fat Tony.

Undercover Boss—9 PM—CBS—Season Finale

*University of California Riverside Chancellor Timothy White goes undercover.

Law & Order: Criminal Intent—9 PM—USA—Season Premiere

*Vincent D’Onofrio and Kathryn Erbe return for the final season.

CSI: Miami—10 PM—CBS

*Joshua Malina (“The West Wing”) guests.

In Plain Sight—10 PM—USA—Season Premiere

Photo Credits: Chris Haston/NBC & Cliff Lipson/CBS

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Will Jack Bauer Hit the Big Screen Next Year?

Speaking of catchup, let me share the super exciting news that came out earlier this month about the “24” movie.

On April 5th, uber-producer Brian Grazer tweeted in response to a fan, “Got off the phone Keifer yesterday and we are very excited about producing the 24 movie for next year.”


You may remember that Grazer was a producer of the show as part of his company, Imagine Entertainment. You would have thought during that time he would’ve figured out how to spell Kiefer’s name right, but if he gets this movie made, I’ll forgive him…

Photo Credit: FOX

CMT Makes a Huge Mistake

Since I’m playing a lot of catch-up today, let me share some sad news from a couple of weeks ago…

CMT announced it was not picking up “Working Class” for a second season.

Here’s the statement the network released: “We have ... made the difficult decision not to pursue another season of Working Class at this time. The cast and crew of this series are truly remarkable and made an indelible mark on the sitcom landscape and amongst us all at CMT.”

The network is moving on to concentrate on the two scripted shows it has in development, one starring Ricky Schroder and one starring LeAnn Rimes.

I am not only bummed about this because I’ve talked with Melissa Peterman and Ashland native Steve Kazee about the show, but also because it was a good show. I think CMT has made a huge mistake…

Photo Credit: Matthew Welch/CMT

Monday, April 25, 2011

Bethenny Frankel Turns Reality Stardom Into Millions

I had to share this fascinating story from “The Hollywood Reporter” about Bethenny Frankel and how she has used her reality shows to sell her brand…to the tune of $120 million. No joke…

You can read it here.

Photo Credit: Adam Olszewski/Bravo

Danielle Staub Will Take the Crazy to VH1 This Fall

For those of you concerned about what Danielle Staub will do without “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” never fear…

VH1 has announced that Danielle will be part of the cast of “Famous Food,” a new one-hour reality series set to debut in the fall.

In the show, seven celebrities will work together to launch their own restaurant. The winner will be able to open their own restaurant in partnership with renowned restaurateurs, The Dolce Group.

The six celebrities who will join Danielle are Heidi Montag, DJ Paul and Juicy “J” (Three 6 Mafia), Jake Pavelka (“The Bachelor”), Ashley Dupre, and Vincent Pastore (“The Sopranos”).

Heidi and Danielle? I smell a trainwreck…

By the way, having seen the premiere of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” I can tell you there is still plenty of crazy drama without Danielle. I’ll have much more on that as the premiere gets closer…

Photo Credit: Andrei Jackamets/Bravo

Lindsay Lohan to Talk to Jay Leno

After a week of reruns, Jay Leno is coming out swinging...

NBC has announced that Lindsay Lohan will appear on tomorrow night's (Tuesday, April 26th) "Tonight Show With Jay Leno."

How many of you would love to see Jay resurrect his old Hugh Grant line and ask Lindsay, "What the h--l were you thinking?"

"The Tonight Show" airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. on NBC...

"X Factor" Judges: "Nothing is Set"

It seems like every day there’s another story about who the judges are going to be on Simon Cowell’s “The X Factor.”

Last week, reports were that Mariah Carey would be part of the show. This week, the reports were that Paula Abdul and Cheryl Cole, who served as a judge on the British version, were very close to being signed.

Today, a rep for Simon told “The Hollywood Reporter” that “nothing is set” as far as the other two judges, who will join Simon and L.A. Reid on the show.

In other words, don’t believe anything you hear or read about this until FOX issues the press release.

I have long said that if Simon could get Paula, he should. And since “Live to Dance” failed, it is a possibility. So, I’m hoping it happens…

Oprah Says No to Saving Cancelled Soaps

Devastated “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” fans figured that if anyone could save their shows, it was Oprah Winfrey. Fans inundated Oprah message boards urging Oprah’s network, OWN, to pick up the shows.

Last week, Oprah turned to YouTube to respond to the fans. Her answer was no, saying, “I will not be taking on the responsibility of trying to revive an institution that for all intent and all purpose indicates that the time has come for it to be over.”

Though I agree with her reasoning that there are less people at home during the day and there is less money to be made for the networks, I disagree that the time has come for soaps to be over. I still believe there is a place for them.

You can see Oprah’s response here.

"America's Most Wanted": The Manhunt Will Continue Online

When FOX announced its May schedule, there was one veteran program missing—“America’s Most Wanted.”

But even though “AMW” will be preempted for NASCAR and Major League Baseball, the show will continue to try to catch fugitives all month long on the show’s website,

Each weekday, the website will feature a different topic:

Mondays: John Walsh’s “Fugitive of the Week”

Tuesdays: “Worst Case Scenario,” which will offer information on the most dangerous criminals

Wednesdays: “BOLO (Be on the Lookout) Day,” new clues about a fugitive on the run

Thursdays: “Caught on Tape,” videos of crimes caught on camera

Fridays: “Sneak Peek,” which will preview upcoming cases

“AMW” will return with all-new episodes Saturday, June 4th at 9 p.m.

Photo Credit: FOX

Friday, April 22, 2011

"The Voice" Coaches Go "Crazy"

I was a little hard on the voice in my “Stay Tuned” column in yesterday’s “Herald-Dispatch” and I still stand by what I said. But the extended preview NBC aired last night does have me a little more intrigued.

Of course, the best part of the preview was the four coaches singing “Crazy.” It sounded really good, even though Christina Aguilera was doing her usual oversinging...

You can see it here.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure" Review: Dare I Say, Fabulous?

You see it so many times. A movie does well, so the studio decides to do a spin-off with one of the characters. But those spin-offs rarely measure up.

So when I heard Disney was doing a direct-to-DVD spin-off of “High School Musical” featuring Sharpay Evans (Ashley Tisdale), I got concerned. After all, Sharpay was the most underdeveloped character of the franchise. She spent most of each of the three movies scheming against Gabriella and/or Troy, until the last 15 minutes or so when she would realize the error of her ways and be friends with everyone again. I just couldn’t see spending a whole movie focusing on her—especially without her brother Ryan.

But when I’m wrong, I say I’m wrong. And I couldn’t have been more wrong about “Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure”…

The movie picks Sharpay up a year after graduation. She’s taken the year off to find herself. But when a New York casting director finds her, she’s determined to make it on her own in NYC and become a Broadway star. And she’s so sure it will happen, she’s not even concerned about her father’s one-month deadline.

But of course, it’s not nearly as easy as Sharpay thinks it will be. A 12-year-old boy and a diva actress are just two of the roadblocks in her way. Fortunately, she has film student Peyton (Austin Butler) to help her negotiate the Big Apple as he films her for his movie.

It’s hard not to watch the movie without thinking about “Legally Blonde,” because there are a lot of similarities between Sharpay and Elle Woods. But that’s okay because it totally works. The script is smart, the songs are catchy and Tisdale is completely adorable.

But most importantly, the movie finally gives Sharpay the depth she deserves as she learns there’s no one to spoil her in the big city and that if she wants something, she’ll just have to get it herself.

Since he’s my favorite “HSM” character, I do miss Ryan and his portrayer Lucas Grabeel, and I think not even mentioning him was a glaring error. Plus, this being a Disney movie, the ending is a little too convenient. But the rest of the movie is so solid, you’re willing to overlook those minor things.

If you’re a fan of “HSM,” you definitely need to pick up “Fabulous.” But you honestly don’t have to be a “HSM” fan to enjoy it. You just have to like fun family fare. And a lot of pink…

“Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure” is available now on DVD and Blu-Ray Combo Pack

Photos Credit: Copyright Disney. All rights reserved.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

ABC Drops the Ax on TWO Soaps

I think I’m going to be sick…

ABC has cancelled “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.”

“Children” will end in September while “Life” will sign off in January 2012. They will both be replaced by talk shows.

Rumors had been swirling around “Children” for weeks, but cancelling both shows is a pretty big blow.

I didn’t watch either of them, but as a television fan it still hurts…

Feel free to share your condolences here or on my Facebook page…

Here’s the press release from ABC in its entirety:


Iconic Shows "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" Will Broadcast Their Final Episodes in September 2011 and January 2012, Respectively; Series Will Sunset in a Manner That Honors Viewers and the Shows' Creative Legacies

Guided by extensive research into what today's daytime viewers want and the changing viewing patterns of the audience, ABC is evolving the face of daytime television with the launch of two new shows, "The Chew," which will premiere in September 2011, and "The Revolution" (working title), which will premiere in January 2012. These new shows expand ABC Daytime's focus to include more programming that is informative and authentic and centers on transformation, food and lifestyle -- cornerstones of programming that resonates with daytime viewers as evidenced by the success of "The View."

As food has become the center of everyone's life, "The Chew" will focus on food from EVERY angle -- as a source of joy, health, family ritual, friendship, breaking news, dating, fitness, weight loss, travel adventures and life's moments. Produced by Gordon Elliot, the Emmy Award-winning executive producer of "Paula Deen's Home Cooking" and "Down Home with the Neelys," this new one-hour series combines entertaining takeaway with memorable personalities to create a live show where viewers get the dish on anything and everything related to the world of food and beyond. Whether it's new trends like food trucks and urban gardens or how pesticides in our food may affect our health, we can't stop talking about it. The hosts who will guide the hour include Mario Batali (Restaurateur, Food Network's "Iron Chef America" and author); entertaining expert Clinton Kelly (TLC's "What Not to Wear"); Carla Hall (Bravo's "Top Chef"); Michael Symon (Restaurateur and Food Network's "Iron Chef America"), and nutrition expert Daphne Oz, who simplifies often confusing information about food.

From Executive Producer JD Roth and 3 Ball Productions, producers of "The Biggest Loser," "Masterchef" and ABC's upcoming "Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition," comes "The Revolution," a daily show about health and lifestyle transformations. The show is hosted by a team of experts and rotating guest contributors who help viewers transform all areas of their lives, from relationships to family, food, style, home design, finance and more. This dream team, led by fashion expert Tim Gunn, also includes celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak and American Idol alum Kimberley Locke. The show features a unique concept: each week one woman's five-month weight loss journey will unfold in just five days, with daily results and a final transformational reveal on Friday. "The Revolution" is a one-stop shop for better living.

"While we are excited about our new shows and the shift in our business, I can't help but recognize how bittersweet the change is," said Brian Frons, President, Daytime, Disney ABC/Television Group. "We are taking this bold step to expand our business because viewers are looking for different types of programming these days. They are telling us there is room for informative, authentic and fun shows that are relatable, offer a wide variety of opinions and focus on 'real life' takeaways. A perfect example of this is 'The View,' and that factored into our decision. 'The Chew' and 'The Revolution' are in the same vein and will be great additions to the lineup, with 'The View' serving as an ideal foundation from which to launch these programs. They will also provide enormous opportunity for the creation of ancillary businesses and growth."

"General Hospital," the second-most popular show in daytime, is not impacted by this announcement and will remain on the air.

To honor the core, passionate audience and their rich history with our soaps, "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" will conclude each series in a manner that respects their legacies and the longstanding hopes of many of their viewers.

"'All My Children' and 'One Life to Live' are iconic pieces of television that have made an indelible mark on our culture's history," reflected Frons. "Each of the shows has touched millions and millions of viewers and informed the social consciousness. It has been a privilege to work with the extraordinary teams who brought the residents of Pine Valley and Llanview to life each day, and we thank the cast, crew, producers and most especially the fans for their commitment to the shows through their history."

None of this could have been possible without the extraordinary Agnes Nixon. "More than 40 years ago, Agnes Nixon created both the worlds of 'All My Children' and 'One Life to Live,' worlds that the rest of us have been privileged to live in," said Frons. "Her shows led the way forward, breaking a lot of rules along the way to defy expectations about what soaps can do and the issues they can cover.
I am honored to have worked with her."

"All My Children" has revolved around the lives of the residents of fictional Pine Valley, a town which closely resembles the Philadelphia Main Line. "All My Children" took home the 1998 Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series, the third time the show received this top honor, having also garnered the award in 1994 and 1992. "All My Children" has received more than 30 Emmy Awards and consistently distinguishes itself in the field of daytime drama. The show has historically been committed to and is often the first to tackle social issues, focusing on such topics as AIDS, abortion, cochlear implants, teenage alcoholism, racial bias, acquaintance rape, spousal abuse, homosexuality, Reyes syndrome, Vietnam MIAs, drug abuse, the risks of motherhood over 40, safe sex, pet therapy and organ donations, among others. The show made television history airing daytime television's first same-sex kiss between two lesbian characters, as well as daytime television's first same sex wedding between two women. It was the first to chronicle the coming-out story of a transgender woman and to cast a real life Iraq War veteran whose story reflected his real life experiences and injuries incurred in combat.

"All My Children" premiered on the ABC Television Network on January 5, 1970, as a half-hour show; seven years later it expanded to an hour. Julie Hanan Carruthers is executive producer.

Also created by Agnes Nixon, Emmy Award-winning "One Live to Live" is set in the fictional town of Llanview, which is modeled on a Philadelphia suburb. "One Life to Live" debuted on The ABC Television Network July 15, 1968 as a half-hour show. Ten years later, it grew to a full hour in 1978.

"One Life to Live" has been lauded for its groundbreaking exploration of social issues, diverse canvas, award-winning performances and innovative storylines. Along with the history-making week of live shows in May 2002, "One Life to Live" is responsible for many "firsts" in Daytime television, including stories of interracial romance, illiteracy, medical misdiagnosis, racial prejudice, gang violence and teen pregnancy. The show received mass critical acclaim for its 1992 homophobia storyline, which captured national headlines when it introduced the character of a gay teen (played by then unknown Ryan Phillippe) and culminated with the emotional display of the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. "One Life to Live" was honored by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) with the Outstanding Daytime Drama Award in 1993, and again in 2005 and 2010.

In 2002 the show won its first-ever Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series, and was nominated again in 2007 and 2008. Created by Agnes Nixon, "One Life to Live" debuted on July 15, 1968 and marked its 10,000th episode on August 17, 2007. Frank Valentini executive-produces.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

"Happy Endings" Review: Another "Friends" Clone?

There will eventually come a day when networks will stop trying to create the next “Friends.” But that day has not come yet, as evidenced by the new ABC comedy, “Happy Endings”…

“Endings” revolves around a close-knit group of friends: Dave (Zachary Knighton), Alex (Elisha Cuthbert), Alex’s sister Jane (Eliza Coupe), Jane’s husband Brad (Damon Wayans, Jr.), their gay friend Max (Adam Pally), and their single friend Penny (Casey Wilson).

The premiere opens at Alex and Dave’s wedding. When another man interrupts the ceremony to declare his love for Alex, Alex runs away and leaves Dave at the altar. Her escape also leaves the rest of the group to help Dave pick up the pieces. And when Alex returns, the group must figure out how they can still be a group.

Since this is a sitcom, there has to be a really awkward situation and in this case it’s Penny’s birthday party. It’s made even more awkward when Dave brings a date.

About halfway through this one, I was already writing in my head what I was going to say about how unfunny this one is. But then something happened that actually made me laugh out loud. However, I can’t really see that happening too many times in the future.

I’ll give ABC credit for a new twist on the “Friends” dynamic, but how many awkward parties can there be before it gets REALLY old? I’m thinking the show actually reaches its quota in the premiere.

I’m pretty sure we won’t see a happy ending in this show’s future…

“Happy Endings” premieres Wednesday, April 12th at 9:30 p.m. on ABC with back-to-back episodes.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

"Law & Order: Los Angeles" Review: They Killed the Wrong One

Probably the biggest hallmark of the “Law & Order” franchise—besides that “boink boink” sound effect is cast changes.

But even for “Law & Order,” it’s pretty unusual for the cast to change in the middle of the season. However, that’s exactly what’s happening to the newest franchise entry, “Law & Order: Los Angeles,” in an attempt to revive its sagging ratings.

When the show returns Monday, one of the detectives will be murdered. If you’ve seen any of the previews, you know which one, but I won’t give it away here. The scene where the hero falls trying to protect his family is beautifully done. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for the rest of the hour, or the hour that follows it.

I’ve never seen an episode of “LOLA,” but it was pretty obvious to me fairly quickly that Alfred Molina is the heart of the show. And he shows it in the first hour when his Ricardo Morales sets out to prosecute the murderer. Molina is a great actor and he gets several impassioned speeches during the episode. And when the case hits several snags, the passionate Morales becomes disillusioned with the politics of the DA’s office and he—SPOILER ALERT—quits to rejoin the police force. In the second hour, we see Morales on the beat with the partner of the fallen detective.

And that’s when things start to fall apart a little. The case in the second hour is pretty compelling with a great guest turn by Tim DeKay (“White Collar”). And it’s great to have Alana de la Garza back in the DA’s office as DDA Rubirosa. But with Molina out, the “Order” part has to be anchored by Terrence Howard (DDA Dekker) and Howard is no Molina. And the whole last half hour of the show suffers because of it—especially since Molina is so compelling in the first half.

It doesn’t help matters that the first hour really doesn’t end on the best of notes. And after seeing all the detectives in action, I can’t help but think they killed off the wrong one.

And that’s exactly what NBC did when they cancelled the mothership, “Law & Order,” last year in favor of “LOLA”—they killed the wrong one. “L&O” had established characters we could care about. And this show just doesn’t quite measure up.

“Law & Order: Los Angeles” returns with a two-hour episode Monday, April 11th at 9 p.m. on NBC.

Photo Credit:Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

"Breaking In" Review: Has Bret Harrison Finally Found His Hit?

If I were to make a list of actors I’d like to see have a successful show, I would definitely put Bret Harrison at the top of the list.

He’s always so adorable in everything he does, but nothing seems to stick. First, he was part of “Grounded for Life” as it was headed toward its end. Then it was “The Loop,” which didn’t work for FOX. Things looked much brighter for the critically acclaimed “Reaper,” but the ratings never rose and The CW had no choice.

Now Harrison is back in a new FOX comedy, “Breaking In.” It’s not a good sign that FOX waited so late to premiere the show, but since it’s got “American Idol” for a lead-in, I’m going to hold out some hope. Especially since it’s pretty entertaining.

Harrison is Cameron, an expert computer hacker who hacked his way into a free ride at college and doesn’t plan on ever leaving. That is, until he gets caught by Contra Security, a security outfit companies (and universities, in this case) pay to test their security systems. Contra’s head honcho, Oz (Christian Slater), gives Cameron a choice—come work for him or go to jail. So Cameron reluctantly joins the team.

His coworkers are Cash (Alphonso McAuley), an obsessive fanboy who loves to prank Cameron and the beautiful Melanie (Odette Annable), who Cameron immediately falls for, but who has a rather interesting boyfriend (Michael Rosenbaum).

In the premiere, Oz puts Cameron in charge of an operation. And Cameron plans to do the job and then leave the company. But, of course, this is a sitcom so nothing works out quite like he had planned.

As I said, Harrison is adorable in everything he does. And it’s nice to see that someone has finally found a good TV role for Slater. The show is definitely offbeat, but that’s a good thing. If I had to pin it down I would probably call it a hybrid of “The Office” and “Leverage.” You can’t get much more offbeat than that…

I was actually secretly hoping that this show would fail so that Harrison could return to “V” next season (if it gets picked up) and because I think Slater would be a good replacement for Charlie Sheen on “Two and a Half Men.” But now that I’ve seen it, I want it to succeed just so I can see what the mysterious—and pretty funny—Oz does next.

“Breaking In” premieres tonight at 9:30 p.m. on FOX…

Photo Credit:David Johnson/FOX

A "Top Chef" Doubleheader

Tonight is a big night for “Top Chef” fans.

First, it’s the “Top Chef All-Stars” reunion. And from the previews we’ve already seen, there are going to be some fireworks. You can see some of Tom vs. Elia here (I’m rooting for Tom.).

Then, it’s the third season premiere of “Top Chef Masters.” I’m not totally sold on all the changes. And, doing Restaurant Wars in the premiere is a little weird. But I think it’s got some potential down the road.

The “Top Chef All-Stars Reunion Special” airs tonight at 10, followed by the premiere of “Top Chef Masters” at 11 p.m. on Bravo…

Photo Credit: Justin Stephens/Bravo

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Ashley Judd Asks the Question "Who Do You Think You Are?"

Ashley Judd will be the featured star of the season finale of NBC’s “Who Do You Think You Are?” Friday night.

Here’s the description from NBC: “Ashley Judd’s paternal great grandmother was a larger than life character who told tall tales. Her journey will lead her to an ancestor who served in the Union Army and faced tragedy on the battlefield. Rumors of ancestral ties to New England uncover an incredible connection to the first settlers of the New America.”

The episode airs Friday at 9 p.m. You can see two previews of the episode here.