Monday, September 01, 2008

Fall 2008 Premiere Dates

* New Series

Prison Break (Fox)
Gossip Girl (CW)
One Tree Hill (CW)
Raising the Bar (TNT) *

90210 (CW) *
The Shield (FX) >

Bones (Fox)
America’s Next Top Model (CW)
Sons of Anarchy (FX) *
Top Design (Bravo)

The Moment of Truth (Fox)

Cops (Fox)
America’s Most Wanted (Fox)

True Blood (HBO) * >
Entourage (HBO)

Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles (Fox)

Fringe (Fox) *
Privileged (CW) *

Til Death (Fox)
Do Not Disturb (Fox) *

Kitchen Nightmares (Fox)

America’s Toughest Jobs (NBC)
Don’t Forget the Lyrics (Fox)

Mad TV (Fox)
Talkshow with Spike Feresten (Fox)

House (Fox)
Lincoln Heights (ABC Family)

Survivor: Gabon (CBS)
Smallville (CW)
Supernatural (CW)
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FX) >

Dancing With the Stars (ABC)
Boston Legal (ABC)
The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
Two & a Half Men (CBS)
Worst Week (CBS) *
CSI: Miami (CBS)
Heroes (NBC)

Opportunity Knocks (ABC) *
Without a Trace (CBS)
The Mentalist (CBS) *
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC)

Knight Rider (NBC) * >
New Adventures of Old Christine (CBS)
Gary Unmarried (CBS) *
Criminal Minds (CBS)
Lipstick Jungle (NBC)

Ugly Betty (ABC)
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)
My Name Is Earl (NBC)
The Office (NBC)

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC)
Desperate Housewives (ABC)
Brothers & Sisters (ABC)
The Amazing Race (CBS)
Cold Case (CBS)
The Unit (CBS)
The Simpsons (Fox)
King of the Hill (Fox)
Family Guy (Fox)
American Dad (Fox)
Dexter (Showtime) >
Californication (Showtime)

Chuck (NBC)

Pushing Daisies (ABC)
Private Practice (ABC)
Dirty Sexy Money (ABC)

Wife Swap (ABC)
Supernanny (ABC)
Ghost Whisperer (CBS)
The Ex List (CBS) * >
Numbers (CBS)
Life (NBC)
Everybody Hates Chris (CW)
The Game (CW)
Sanctuary (Sci-Fi) *

Samantha Who? (ABC)

The Starter Wife (USA) * >

My Own Worst Enemy (NBC) *

Eli Stone (ABC)

Crusoe (NBC) *
Crash (Starz) *

Stylista (CW) *

30 Rock (NBC)

Lost (ABC)
Scrubs (ABC)
According to Jim (ABC)
Rules of Engagement (CBS)
Friday Night Lights (NBC)
Law & Order (NBC)
Medium (NBC)
24 (Fox)
Dollhouse (Fox) * >
The Cleveland Show (Fox) *
Reaper (CW)
Big Love (HBO)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Dexter Season 3 Promo!

With Weeds turning in its best season yet (so far, anyway) and Californication's David Duchovny all over the damn place pimping that X-Files movie, it's been almost easy to forget that Dexter is returning to Showtime (no, not CBS) in September. But then my free HBO got shut off--who do you complain to about that?--and this Season 3 promo turned up. Loving it, except for Jennifer Carpenter's new short hair. September 28, bitches ...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Gossip Girl: Very Bad For You

The CW's Gossip Girl isn't a favorite of The Only TV Column That Matters™, but the show's new ad campaign deserves props for turning the outrage of pinhead morality groups back on itself. No, I'm still never going to actually watch Gossip Girl, but this is some funny shit.

The ads pull quotes from various publications (including that brain trust known as the Parents Television Council, who think the only show appropriate for viewing on TV right now is The Greatest American Dog ... seriously) and use them as surprisingly effective selling points: "Very bad for you, " "Mind-blowingly inappropriate," "A nasty piece of work" and "Every parent's nightmare," coupled with sexy pix = advertising gold!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Radio From Hell SumCap 7.14.08

The summary/recap of this morning's Radio From Hell TV report on X96:

Tonight 7.14
The Closer, Saving Grace
(TNT) Season Premieres: Kyra Sedgwick is returns as The Closer; Holly Hunter returns Grace what needs saving. TNT should combine the two shows into Closing Grace, the new Cagney & Lacey.

Tuesday 7.15
The Cleaner
(A&E) Series Debut: Benjamin Bratt stars as a recovering addict who helps other get “clean” from their addictions. Apparently, Bratt’s addictions are stilted monologues and menacing facial hair.

From Gs to Gents (MTV) Series Debut: “MTV heads to the hood to find 14 young Gs with gruff exteriors and unrelenting street swagger, and put them to the ultimate challenge of their lives pull up their pants, check their egos and transform them into true gentlemen.” And Fonzworth Bentley is the man to do it! Who? What? Huh?

Wednesday 7.16
Project Runway
(Bravo) Season Premiere: Back for Season 5—last one on Bravo before it moves to Lifetime, a far less gay channel.

Dog the Bounty Hunter (A&E) Season Premiere/Return: Yes, they let him come back. Gene Simmons and Criss Angel ain’t payin’ the bills.

Thursday 7.17
The Office Webisodes
( The new round of The Office Webisodes (last seen in 2006) premiered last week with a very funny two-minute bit involving Kevin (Brian Baumgartner), alleged gambling debts and a possibly fraudulent bank loan. This week (new installments go online Thursday afternoons), the story continues with Kevin trying to sell his “Malone’s Cones” ice-cream business—marquee flavor: “Fudge the Magic Dragon”—plan to a loan officer. Of course it’ll work!

The Gong Show, Reality Bites Back (Comedy Central) Series Debuts: NBC’s smarm-wreck America’s Got Talent is just a clone of The Gong Show, so why not bring that back? With Dave Attell in place of original host Chuck Barris? I believe the question answers itself. Slightly more entertaining is Reality Bites Back, wherein comedians compete in spoofs of popular reality-competition shows, all presided over by Michael Ian Black. Since neither The Gong Show nor Reality Bites Back is as ridiculous as their targets, they must be viewed as legit talent shows. Mind. Blown.

Friday 7.18
Monk, Psych
(USA) Season Premieres: Since the actor who played Monk’s therapist is dead, here’s Hector Elizondo, his new shrink. Other than that, same ol’ OCD detective show. As for Psych, if you either loved or hated the wacky crime-solvin’ antics of Sean and Gus before (True TV finds ‘em hysterical, FYI), your mind will not be changed, much less blown.

Sunday 7.20
High School Musical: Get In the Picture
(ABC) Series Debut: Wondering why Nick Lachey was spotted around Salt Lake City a few weeks ago? More pressingly, wondering who Nick Lachey is? The former Mr. Jessica Simpson is the host of High School Musical: Get In the Picture, yet another reality-talent show. What’s the ultimate prize? Starring in a music video to be shown in the end credits of High School Musical 3. Seriously. This is a major network series. Projected to air for 10 weeks.

Generation Kill (HBO) Miniseries Pt. 2 of 7: David Simon and Ed Burns’ Generation Kill is more than just The Wire Goes to Iraq—but that’s easier. The seven-part series, based on embedded Rolling Stone reporter Evan Wright’s book of the same name, shares The Wire’s bare-bones realism and dark humor, but hits harder (or should) because it’s on the news 24/7 and happening right now—Iraq gets more coverage than Baltimore, after all. If HBO’s WWII-set Band of Brothers had more profanity, heavy metal (music and hardware) and no historically ordained happy ending, you’d have Generation Kill.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Office: New Websodes!

The new round of The Office Webisodes (last seen in 2006) premiered today with a very funny two-minute bit involving Kevin (Brian Baumgartner), alleged gambling debts and a possibly fraudulent bank loan. Next week (new installments go online Thursday afternoons), the story continues with Kevin trying to sell his “Malone’s Cones” ice-cream business—marquee flavor: “Fudge the Magic Dragon”—plan to a loan officer. Yeah, I know—you’ll wait for the DVD set.

Monday, July 07, 2008

The Middleman: Yes, It's on ABC Family

One of my favorite new shows is on ABC Family. No, I can't believe it, either. But tonight's episode is titled "The Manicoid Teleportation Conundrum," so how it could possibly suck like, say, Greek?

The Middleman (Mondays) is like Men In Black on a cable budget, with a hint of old-school Saturday-morning Kroft cheese. And star Natalie Morales is just TF hot, even though she never actually wears those lowcut leather catsuits as promoted by, yep, ABC Family. Pat Robertson must be rolling over in his grave.

In more clever Middleman promotional news, dig this:

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Get Awkward

Frequent City Weekly contributor Brian Staker does this podcast called The Awkward Hour, wherein he sits and chats with random "interesting" people for nearly 120 minutes (yes, that adds up to far more than an hour--he's a writer, not a mathematician).

For Episode 8, he podded me. No, I don't know why, either. Much shit was talked about sports writers, rock critics, bad TV, our ever-dumber America and other stuff we can't remember (Episode 8 brought to you by Uinta Golden Spike Hefeweizen, BTW). I also alleged that CW editor Holly Mullen is on permanent vacation, so I'll be cleaning out my desk while you listen.

Check my Awkward Two Hours with Staker here.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Rescue Me: Thanks for ... Something

So the Rescue Me "minisodes" thus far (all two of 'em) have been utter nonsense--tonight, there was some sort of payoff. At least for us more perverted, er, imaginative fans of the show.

"Fantasy" kicked off with Tommy (Denis Leary) getting hot n' heavy with estranged girlfriend Sheila (Callie Thorn)--believable enough, her being insane and all. Suddenly, estranged ex-wife Janet (Andrea Roth) is joining in, at which point it's obviously a Victoria's Secret catalogue-induced dream. No sooner are Sheila and Janet turning their attentions to each other (oh, yeah), when Probie Mike (Michael Lombardi) shows up (oh ... no). Just turns into a half-assed gay joke from there.

Are these 5-minute weekly chunks going to make me forgive Rescue Me for not returning until 2009? Fuck no. But tonight, they almost had me ...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Radio From Hell SumCap 6.23.08

The summary/recap of this morning's Radio From Hell TV report on X96:

Summer TV
Burn Notice
(USA, July 10), The Closer and Saving Grace (TNT, July 14), Monk and Psych (USA, July 18), Mad Men (AMC, July 27), Eureka (Sci-Fi, July 29), The Shield (FX, Sept. 2), It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FX, Sept. 4), Dexter and Brotherhood (Showtime, Sept. 28).

Tuesday 6.24
Rescue Me Minisodes
(FX) Five-minute comedic episodes, since Rescue Me won’t be back until 2009. Good reason to almost watch 30 Days.

Wipeout (ABC) Debut: It’s like the Japanese Most Extreme Challenge (MXC), only … no, it’s MXC.

Charlie Jade (Sci-Fi) New Night: Instead of trying to make sense of it on Fridays, try it on Tuesdays.

Wednesday 6.25
The Baby Borrowers
(NBC) Debut: Dumb teens are given toddlers. A reality show, not a day at Lagoon.

Farmer Wants a Wife (CW) Finale: If you’ve been following this, please shoot yourself.

Shear Genius (Bravo) Season Premiere: It’s like Groomer Has It, but with people.

Saturday 6.28
Nothing. Go see Roller Derby at the Utah Olympic Oval, Sisters of No Mercy vs. Leave It to Cleavers.

Sunday 6.29
The Factory
(Spike) Debut: It’s like The Office, in a factory. And not funny.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Radio From Hell SumCap 6.16.08

The summary/recap of this morning's Radio From Hell TV report on X96:

Tonight 6.16
(Showtime) Season Premiere: When last we left pot-dealing MILF Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker), her home was engulfed in wildfires and she was dragging the family south down the Cali coastline to work for her new gang partner/boss on the Mexican border. It’s only going to get weirder (read: better) now that Nancy’s moving in with her estranged father-in-law (well-cast vet Albert Brooks) in the border town of Ren Mar. Meanwhile, back in what’s left of Agrestic, her former crew is pinning their marijuana crop on jailed Celia (continuing scene-stealer Elizabeth Perkins); logic and promo photos say they’ll all be reunited sometime this season.

Secret Diary of a Call Girl (Showtime) Series Debut: Secret Diary of a Call Girl is A. A sexy-smart British import about the life of a “full-service” escort, and 2. The answered prayers of Doctor Who nerds who lusted over sweet lil’ Billie Piper in the revival series a few years ago. Now, she’s Belle (the call girl) by night and Hannah (the real girl) by late afternoon, narrating the ins and outs—ha!—of her business with professional cool a la USA’s Burn Notice. Secret Diary may not be the next great Showtime series, but it’ll do until the return of Californication.

Tuesday 6.17
America’s Got Talent
(NBC) Season Premiere: Hosted by Jerry Springer, with "celebrity" judges David Hasselhoff, Piers Morgan and Sharon Osbourne; Salt Lake City's own Slippery Kittens Burlesque in the first episode—you probably won't see them on KSL News, though.

Flipping Out (Bravo) Season Premiere: The OCD house-flipper is back! Sorry, houses!

Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood (Oxygen) Season Premiere: Tori Spelling and husband Dean McDermott are checking out of their bed & breakfast and moving back to Hollywood! Sorry, Hollywood!

Wednesday 6.18
Ghost Hunters
(Sci-Fi) Season Finale: This week, they’ll not find a ghost in a Delaware Civil War fort.

Black Gold (TruTV) Series Debut: The new reality series from the producers of Ice Road Truckers and … man, I hate these fuckers … TruTV, but no sign of “guest star” Rooster McConaughey, brother of Matthew. Like Truckers, The Deadliest Catch, Septic Tank Rangers, et al, it’s just on the cameras and wait/hope for dismemberment; Black Gold just brings waaay to much “Danger’s a-Lurkin’” narration to the table. Or so it seems, until these West Texas oil-rig workers actually speak: They all sound like Boomhauer from King of the Hill—but at least there are subtitles.

Thursday 6.19
Penn & Teller: Bullshit
(Showtime) Season Premiere: Who knew there would still be enough bullshit to go around? In the Season 6 opener, Penn & Teller take on The War on Porn, that seemingly endless battle being waged by groups of Morally Outraged Pinheads who want to regulate your TV, your Internet and whatever you’re carrying in your pants.
Friday 6.20
35th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards
(ABC) Regis Philbin receives the Lifetime Achievement Award for still being alive-ish; Cameron Mathison and Sherri Shepherd host. If you're up during the day, maybe you'll know who they are.

Saturday 6.21
The Ultimate Fighter
(Spike) Season Finale: Team Rampage vs. Team Forrest. My money's on Rampage—Forrest doesn't sound very intimidating.

Sunday 6.22
The Two Coreys
(A&E) Season Premiere: I thought this was about the buddy misadventures of Canadian singing sensation Corey Hart and Milwaukee Brewers right fielder Corey Hart! Now that’s a reality show! Note to self: Check copyright on Hart 2 Hart …

The Guy Awards (Spike) Dubious Awards Show: I’ve become quite invested in this “Who’s hotter: Eva Longoria or Eva Mendes?” argument in the commercials for Spike’s second annual Guys Choice awards. Naturally, anyone with half a brain and at least two man-nuggets knows the only correct answer is Eva Mendes, but we’ve all been dumbfounded by the American voting public before, haven’t we? And how can you truly trust an awards show whose sole nominees for “Ballsiest Band” are the Foo Fighters and … Linkin Park?

Monday, June 09, 2008

Radio From Hell SumCap 6.9.08

The summary/recap of this morning's Radio From Hell TV report on X96:

Tonight 6.9
Nashville Star
(NBC) Season Premiere: Miley Cyrus' dad hosts; Murray's Charlie Jenkins is a contestant. It's American Country-Music Idol, but even worse than that sounds.

Roman Polanski: Wanted & Desired (HBO) Filmmaker Marina Zenovich examines the statutory rape case involving director Roman Polanski--more summer fun from HBO!

Tuesday 6.10
Oxygen 25-iest: Power Couples
(Oxygen) Debut: We've now reached the limit on shows with people you may have heard of spewing snarky pop-cultural references in lists.

Work Out (Bravo) Season Finale: Probably more drama than working out. Just a guess.

Wednesday 6.11
Celebrity Circus
(NBC) Antonio Sabato Jr., Blu Cantrell, Christopher Knight, Janet Evans, Jason "Wee Man" Acuna, Rachel Hunter and Stacey Dash attempt death-defying stunts in a head-to-head competition in front of a live studio audience; hosted by former N'Syncer Joey Fat One.

Men In Trees (ABC) Series Finale: Say buh-bye to Anne Heche forever.

Top Chef (Bravo) Season Finale: There can be only one!

Thursday 6.12
The Bill Engvall Show, My Boys
(TBS) Season Premieres: TBS unearthed the Sitcom Generator 1000, entered “husband, wife, three kids, wacky neighbor,” got back this formless lump of a show and cast anyone wandering near the production lot. My Boys cruises on the charm of star Jordana Spiroand sporadic flashes of Comedy Gold (usually via co-star Jim Gaffigan).
Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List (Bravo) Season Premiere: Immediately following Bravo’s A-List Awards (perhaps you’ve caught some of the 386 hourly commercials for it across the NBC/Universal cable spectrum), it’s the fourth-season premiere of Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List! Just because I find her hysterical doesn’t make me gay … right?

Friday 6.13
Battlestar Galactica
(Sci-Fi) Mid-Season Finale: The halfway point of the fourth and final season of Battlestar Galactica … take a moment, if you must … falls on Friday the 13th? That can’t be good. Even though this episode is titled “Revelations” (oh, you bastards), don’t expect The Biggies to be unveiled until the BSG homestretch run in 2009.

Saturday 6.14
Dana Carvey: Squatting Monkeys Tell No Tales
(HBO) No, he’s not dead.

Sunday 6.15
The 62nd Annual Tony Awards
(CBS) The ceremony honors excellence on Broadway; the casts of Rent and The Lion King are scheduled to perform; Whoopi Goldberg hosts. So, Hugh Jackman-free?

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Swingtown? How About 'Stacheville?

Tonight, CBS debuts Swingtown, a summer-dumped drama about '70s wife-swappers--you can read all about it in this week's True TV column.

The most interesting aspect of the series is, unfortunately, Grant Show's mustache; if My Name Is Earl ever returns on NBC, Thursday is going to be The Place for free rides, ladies.

For the dudes, here's CBS' lame idea of Viral Video promotion:

Friday, May 30, 2008

TruTV Makes First Contact With True TV

TruTV (formerly Court TV) has finally made contact with True TV, as my Salt Lake City Weekly column has been titled, like, forever. It's a promo pack for Black Gold, which is either a new docu-series about oil rig workers or a weekly dissection of a middling Soul Asylum song. Chain of response to come ...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

True TV 5.22.08: Life & Death

The new True TV column for City Weekly is online and in print now, FYI. Remember that Life show on NBC? Yeah, me too.

Read it here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Morning Wood With Fergie

In case you weren't up this morning (in any sense), here's a taste of Fergie on NBC's Today Show, shaking her leather moneymaker through a cover of Heart's "Barracuda." Though impressive, the best part isn't her faux fellatio on the tubby guitarist, stripper gyrations, gymnastic cartwheels and even the Axl Rose snake-wiggle, but the horrified expressions on the kiddies' faces up front. Where's the Parent's Television Council?! What about The Children?!

Friday, May 16, 2008

What's Canceled, What's Not

ABC: Canceled
Big Shots >
Cashmere Mafia
Men in Trees
Notes From the Underbelly
October Road
Oprah’s Big Give
Women’s Murder Club

ABC: Returning Fall 2008/Midseason 2009
According to Jim
The Bachelor
Boston Legal
Brothers & Sisters
Dancing With the Stars
Desperate Housewives
Dirty Sexy Money
Eli Stone
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Grey’s Anatomy
Private Practice
Pushing Daisies >
Samantha Who?
Scrubs (from NBC)
Ugly Betty
Wife Swap

CBS: Canceled
Kid Nation
Moonlight >
Power of 10
Secret Talents of the Stars
Viva Laughlin
Welcome to the Captain

CBS: Returning Fall 2008/Midseason 2009
The Amazing Race
The Big Bang Theory
Cold Case
Criminal Minds
CSI: Miami
Ghost Whisperer
How I Met Your Mother
The New Adventures of Old Christine
Rules of Engagement
Two & a Half Men
The Unit
Without a Trace >

NBC: Canceled
1 vs. 100
Bionic Woman
Clash of the Choirs
Las Vegas >
My Dad is Better Than Your Dad
Scrubs (moving to ABC)
The Singing Bee

NBC: Returning Fall 2008/Midseason 2009
30 Rock
The Apprentice
The Biggest Loser
Chuck >
Deal or No Deal
Friday Night Lights
Knight Rider
Law & Order
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Lipstick Jungle
My Name is Earl
The Office

Fox: Canceled
Back to You
Canterbury’s Law
New Amsterdam
The Next Great American Band
The Return of Jezebel James >

Fox: Returning Fall 2008/Midseason 2009
American Dad
American Idol
America’s Most Wanted
Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?
Don’t Forget the Lyrics
Family Guy
Hell’s Kitchen
King of the Hill
Kitchen Nightmares
The Moment of Truth
Prison Break
The Simpsons
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles >
‘Til Death

The CW: Canceled
Aliens in America
Beauty & the Geek
Crowned: Mother of All Pageants
CW Now
Life is Wild
Online Nation
Pussycat Dolls: Girlicious >
WWE Smackdown (moving to MyNetworkTV)

The CW: Returning Fall 2008/Midseason 2009
America’s Next Top Model
Everybody Hates Chris
The Game
Gossip Girl
One Tree Hill
Reaper >

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Suicide Girls Shouldn't Act. Even on CSI

Catch tonight's episode of CSI: NY? No? Since you have a life, you missed a howlingly clunky infomerical for the Suicide Girls, wherein a gaggle of real SGs (I recognized one of my faves, Zoli) were involved in a murder investigation and were called upon to "act" like themselves and deliver lines like "We're not Baywatch babes ... or the Pussycat Dolls" and assert the Suicide Girls' agenda of tattooed empowerment. I support 'em, but this was a painfully bad as a '70s CHiPs episode with roller-disco dandies extolling their lifestyle--and just as funny! Observe:

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy Tru Year

I finally regained access to the ol' True TV blog after two months (don't ask) just in time to watch Court TV click over to TruTV for 2008, thus swiping the name of the television column I've written for Salt Lake City Weekly for nearly 10 years. Happy fucking New Year to me and my nonexistent team of lawyers.

Should anyone still care about 2007, my picks for the best TV shows of the past year went online last week elsewhere--they were all on cable, because broadcast network TV is dead. Sure, some great shows premiered this fall on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and even The CW (Reaper ... how us dozen viewers miss ye), but the ongoing Writers Guild of America strike has pretty much killed even the promising few that were picked up for a full season. A few leftover new eps in January and the 2007-08 season is more or less over. Unless you count reality shows, which no one with an ounce of taste or brains should. Not being elitist--have you seen the shit that's coming?

Anyway, here's hoping the blog of the original True TV gets back on a regular posting schedule for 2008 ... oh, that's on me. Stay tuned ...