Jessica Walter is all sorts of awesome.
First, she is part of one of my favorite animated shows, and not just of recent vintage, either. I think "Archer" belongs in the pantheon of animated comedy. That show is funny on so many simultaneous levels that it makes me dizzy. I love it as a spy comedy, as a comedy about a stunted manchild and his relationship with his mother, and as a non-stop barrage of some of the dirtiest things that have ever made me laugh.
Second, she's the mother of the Bluth family, and that alone would secure her place in the all-time hall of fame. Her work as Lucille was a major part of what made the show special. Watching her manipulate her children and grapple with the ethical vacuum that is her husband and somehow never spill a drop of any of her martinis… well, that's talent.
Beyond that, I wonder how many younger fans of her work in those shows are familiar with the role that first made her an icon to me, Clint Eastwood's "Play Misty For Me." She is outstanding in that film as a woman who is completely obsessed with a radio disc jockey played by Eastwood. It was his first film as a director, and it's still one of the best roles he's ever given an actress in his work.
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Jessica Walter is all sorts of awesome.
It's the end of an era. Though we'd all heard the rumors weeks ago, Barbara Walters has officially announced she's retiring next year (and savvily saved that information until toda to steal the thunder during TV upfronts). "I'm perfectly healthy, this is my decision, I've been thinking about it for a long time," she said on "The View," before admitting, "There will special occasions and I will come back... I'm not dead yet."
Fleetwood Mac is having tremendous success on its current sold-out tour. The band is playing its classic hits with verve and enthusiasm, plus, since the recent release of 4-song EP, "Extended Play," the quartet has new material to sink its teeth into. Guitarist Lindsey Buckingham spoke to HitFix about the current state of Fleetwood Mac, the delight he takes in his still dynamic connection to Stevie Nicks, the latest on a full album from the band, and if Christine McVie will join her former band mates when they play London in the fall.
Hitfix: I saw the band two weekends ago at Jazz Fest in New Orleans and it seemed like you were on fire. The band was playing in daylight without any of the bells and whistles of an indoor arena show and no one missed them at all.
Buckingham: There’s a lesson there. We’ve all come to feel that we need to rely on the constructions of quite elaborate set design and the backdrop that changes from song to song and, really, this band, because we are a band of musicians and a great singer, we could go up there and with a couple of spotlights prevail probably just as well. It should be about the music first and, of course, with us, it is.
“Extended Play,” a four-song EP with your first new music in 10 years, came out on April 30 and landed in iTunes top 10. How gratifying was it that people were so eager to hear new music?
I haven’t paid too much attention to how things are going with it because, really, Mick [Fleetwood] and John [McVie] and I got together last year and we cut a bunch of tracks and then Stevie came to the table later. Even early on, Mick and John and I felt that the songs that we were doing were some of the best stuff we’d done in quite a while.
I am also happy with what it represents with the subject matter. The dialogues to Stevie that are, miraculously, still going on back and forth between Stevie and myself after all these years, I find that to be quite touching and somewhat surprising— something that neither one of us would have predicted years and years ago that we’d still somehow be driving each other’s motivation from a distance, and so I’m very happy with the way the EP turned out and it’s great to be doing some new things on stage.
You wrote one of the new songs, “Sad Angel,” for Stevie. What was her reaction when she first heard it?
I was not there, but I believe she latched onto it immediately. [When] that song was written, I was trying to reach out to her a little bit... she had a very good experience making her solo album [2011’s “In Your Dreams”] and it took her awhile to kind of sort of ease into the mentality of being in Fleetwood Mac again this time... That was a song to help lure her in a little bit, not that there was an agenda to do that, but it just seemed appropriate to what was going on at the time... “Hello Sad Angel, have you come to fight the war” and “Here we are, we fall to earth together/the crowd calling out for more.” It’s really sort of sweet that all of this is still taking place.
With piano ballad “It Takes Time,” you’re pleading for patience to someone who wants to heal you. What's that about?
I guess the reflection is that I’m actually looking at some of the actions that I’ve taken over the years and maybe judging them more objectively and maybe getting to a point in one’s life where you can look back and say, “Hmmm, maybe I could have done that differently” and acknowledging that much of the motivation that has driven certain creative actions and certain decisions has come from that dialogue that seems to have unfolded in slow motion over a period of many years. We are still somehow on a road of evolvement.
Is that one about Stevie?
In the ongoing quest to reinvent the police procedural, NBC has revamped the 1967-75 hit "Ironside." The original starred Raymond Burr as a San Francisco cop paralyzed by a sniper's bullet and confined to a wheelchair, thus forced to solve crimes using his wits. This time around, the action moves to New York City and Blair Underwood takes the chair.
NBC's new late-night team of Jimmy Fallon & Seth Meyers kicks off on Feb. 24
Jay Leno's final "Tonight Show" will be during the week of the Winter Olympics, which begin Feb. 6.
"Dancing's" Karina Smirnoff hospitalized after landing on her face and twisting her neck
Jacoby Jones' partner may have whiplash and a dislocated jaw.
Watch Barbara Walters announce her retirement
"Thank you, thank you, thank you," she said.
"Revolution" is poised to flee North Carolina for Austin
The Austin Film Commission says things are looking good after some North Carolina officials proposed revoking the state's tax credits on filming. If "Revolution does move, it would be its third filming location. The pilot was shot in Atlanta.
"The Bachelorette's" 25 bachelors include an Iraq war veteran
Plus, a former pro soccer player named Juan Pablo.
NBC will air "The Sound of Music" live on Dec. 5, starring Carrie Underwood
The three-hour live stage show is a TV rarity.
Check out the "Arrested Development" banana stand in NYC
The frozen fruit was being given away.
"Survivor" finale down
"Survivor: Caramoan" was down 19% from last season and down 10% from last spring.
Another "Glee" couple find off-screen romance
Blake Jenner and Melissa Benoist are a couple.
NBC is promoting its new shows with 6-second Vine clips
The Peacock even used the Twitter App to embarrassingly congratulate Seth Meyers.
Astronaut Chris Hadfield has become something of a cult hero in the five months that he’s served as the Commander of the International Space Station on Expedition 35.
[More after the jump...]
It's hard to argue that NBC's new series "Dracula" doesn't come with a pedigree. Starring "The Tudors" star and Golden Globe winner Jonathan Rhys Meyers, the show is also has the producers of "Downton Abbey" behind the scenes. They may have been able to reuse a few of the costumes from that show, too.
The trailer for "The Michael J. Fox Show" suggests this just may be the perfect starring vehicle for the sharp-witted "Family Ties" and "Back to the Future" star. Just as he did on "The Good Wife," Fox isn't shying away from mentioning (and in this case, making great fun of) the Parkinson's that at one point sent him into early retirement. The tone of this single camera sitcom appears to be razor sharp -- and more than happy to make fun of the treacly poignancy that often gets heaped upon Fox.
(Welcome to Cannes Check, your annual guide through the 20 films in Competition at this month's Cannes Film Festival, which kicks off on May 15. Taking on a different selection every day, we'll be examining what they're about, who's involved and what their chances are of snagging an award from Steven Spielberg's jury. We're going through the list by director and in alphabetical order -- next up, Alexander Payne with "Nebraska.")
Fox Sports reporter congratulates Matthew Perry on "Go On's" cancelation
"It's a double-edged sword congratulations."
"Girls" beats "Game of Thrones" at the British Academy Television Awards
"Girls" also beat out "Homeland" for best international program.
Of the cliches that get spouted every year by network presidents during Upfront Week, one of the most popular is the idea of doing year-round programming with few repeats. Usually, the reality falls well short of that, with the usual confusing pre-emptions and dead spots. With the usual skepticism in mind — we're talking about a network that practically every year (including this one) claims that "Bones" will move to Fridays, and then never actually puts it there — FOX's Kevin Reilly sounded more convincing than most when he made that promise.
"24" to return for 12 episodes in May 2014
Kiefer Sutherland has signed on for "24: Live Another Day." Fox confirmed the news Monday. “(It's]) '24' compressed over 12 weeks,” said Fox Entertainment boss Kevin Reilly.
Fox schedule: "Bones" and "Raising Hope" moving to Friday, "The Following" to midseason
"Bones" and "Raising Hope's" move won't take place till later in the season, when "Almost Human" takes over "Bones'" Monday timeslot. Seth MacFarlane's "Dads" and Andy Samberg's "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" will be paired together as part of the "New Girl" comedy block. Greg Kinnear's "Rake" will debut at midseason. PLUS: See pics from Fox's "Almost Human" pics.
"Glee" will take a midseason break and end next season during summer
Fox Entertainment chief Kevin Reilly says next season will have a "creative twist."
"New Girl" will air after the Super Bowl along with one of Fox's new comedies
The new Fox comedy will likely be one of three new male-oriented comedies Fox is launching this fall.
Grammys moving to January next year
The Jan. 26 air date was made so that the Grammys can avoid the Winter Olympics.
Jay Leno "Pumpcast News" viral video stars are actually trained actors
In fact, one of the stars in "The Tonight Show" video that has garnered more than 7 million views appeared in a "Pumpcast News" segment more than two years ago.
Fox greenlights M. Night Shyamalan's "Wayward Pines," starring Matt Dillon
The mind-bending thriller is based on the novel "Pines."
Fox promises "a nice little jolt" for "Idol" next season, won't confirm judge overhaul
"The format will have a few fresh twists, that we've already identified, that will be a nice little jolt for next season," says Fox's Kevin Reilly. PLUS: "Idol" will likely go back to a 3-judge panel.
"Doctor Who" season finale leaked in the U.S.
"Some US DVDs of this series have gone out early," warned the official "Who" Twitter account.
"Homeland" casting for new characters
A grandmother and a psychiatrist are joining the cast in Season 3.
"Today's" Savannah Guthrie gets engaged
Her boyfriend of four years, Michael Feldman, proposed over the weekend.