<p>It's a Skitter!</p>
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It's a Skitter!

Credit: TNT

HitFix Interview: Mark Verheiden talks 'Falling Skies'

Writer-producer discusses aliens, resistance and Steven Spielberg
It was a busy time for "Falling Skies" co-executive producer Mark Verheiden when I sat down with him last month in Beverly Hills.
The science fiction veteran had been linked to the TV portion of the ambitious plans to bring Stephen King's "Dark Tower" series to the big and small screen, though that project had just been put into possible turnaround by NBC-Universal (a month later, nothing has been settled). With that on Verheiden's plate, Remi Aubuchon had just been brought on as showrunner for a possible second season of "Falling Skies," which won't even have its series premiere until June 19.
Verheiden was already a late addition to "Falling Skies," coming onto the alien-flavored survival story after the Robert Rodat-scripted pilot was already shot. With credits including "Battlestar Galactica," the "Falling Skies" subject matter -- humans form a resistance against seemingly malevolent ETs -- was still familiar terrain for Verheiden.
Click through for our full interview, which touches on the drama's metaphorical value, his approach to the humans and aliens and the influence of executive producer Steven Spielberg...
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Noah Wyle
Noah Wyle
Credit: TNT

HitFix Interview: Noah Wyle talks 'Falling Skies'

'ER' veteran talks about talking control and fighting aliens

The Noah Wyle of "Falling Skies" is a Noah Wyle you've never seen before.

The "ER" veteran toplines the new TNT alien invasion drama playing Tom Mason, a history teacher who suddenly finds himself using guns as well as his brains to protect his family and fight off the vicious extraterrestrials.
But it's the Noah Wyle you don't see in "Falling Skies" who has changed the most. The five-time Emmy nominee came onto his new series determined to expand his horizons behind-the-scenes and from speaking to producers or co-stars, it's clear that Wyle's "Falling Skies" passions extended well beyond his on-screen performance, to working with the writers and helping to establish the tone on set.
Last month, I interview Wyle in Beverly Hills and came away with a clear sense of *his* clear sense about this heavily promoted new project.
Click through for the full interview, which touches on his new hands-on attitude, the challenges of finding TV projects post-"ER" and his ongoing relationship with TNT.
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<p>Moon Bloodgood</p>
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Moon Bloodgood

Credit: TNT

HitFix Interview: Moon Bloodgood talks 'Falling Skies'

TNT leading lady also talks sci-fi and short-lived dramas
Many actors say they enjoy balancing film and TV work, but few straddle those two ever-blurring worlds as evenly as Moon Bloodgood.
In the past five years, Bloodgood has starred in hits like "Eight Below" and franchise pics like "Terminator Salvation," while also taking lead roles in intriguing -- intriguing but short-lived -- TV shows like "Day Break" and "Journeyman." 
When you need a tough, attractive actress whose ethnicity you can't quite pinpoint, Bloodgood's name is high on the speed-dial list. 
Bloodgood's latest TV project is TNT's "Falling Skies," in which she plays Anne Glass, a pediatrician living and working with the human resistance in the aftermath of an alien invasion.
Last month, I had the chance to sit down with Bloodgood (and also co-star Noah Wyle and co-executive producer Mark Verheiden) about "Falling Skies." 
I was Bloodgood's first interview in a long day with the press and I think that yielded an amusing back-and-forth, which covered "Falling Skies," her earlier TV shows and her favorite sci-fi movies.
Click through for the full conversation, kept intact because I like reading Moon Bloodgood praising me...
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<p>Vancouver's Green Men</p>
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Vancouver's Green Men

Credit: Jonathan Hayward/AP

The 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' guys respond to Vancouver's Green Men

Do they view the Canucks super-fans as homage or theft?
If you're a Vancouver Canucks fan, a devoted hockey aficionado or if you are, like me, a reasonably uninvolved hockey fan who has suddenly become weirdly puck obsessed during this season's NHL playoffs and Stanley Cup (Go Bruins!), you've probably noticed the Green Men.
They're Force and Sully, two devoted Canucks fans who dress in unflattering neon green body suits and sit next to the visitors' penalty box at Rogers Arena, taunting opposing miscreants with a variety of physical gags, props and the mere threat of proximity to a spandex-covered thrusting rear or crotch.
Already icons in Vancouver, ESPN has made heroes of Force and Sully, both apparently recent journalism school grads, over the course of the Stanley Cup showdown with the Bruins. For the media, the Green Men have become the ultimate super-fans, Vancouver-style, like the Canadian equivalent of Jack Nicholson at Lakers' games or John Adams, the dude who bangs the drums at Cleveland Indians games.
For FX comedy fans, Force and Sully two guys who take "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" very, very seriously. 
The Green Man character first appeared in the "The Gang Gets Invincible" episode of "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia" as the Eagles-loving alter-ego of Charlie Day's Charlie. The character has popped up in at least two other "Sunny" episodes, most recently in hilarious fashion in "The World Series Defense."
I was on the set of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" with a handful of reporters on Tuesday (June 14) the day before Game 7 between the Canucks and Bruins and it seemed only appropriate to get their reaction to the very well publicized (but only occasionally attributed) homage. 
"I think those guys are awesome," said Glenn Howerton. "Those guys have credited our show numerous times. I've gotten a lot of tweets about that, like 'Why are those guys stealing your s***?' or whatever, but they actually haven't. They've credited us a number of times. Now that ESPN's been giving them a ton of attention, ESPN literally cuts out their references to our show, because they don't want advertise our show. We're a rival cable network. But that's got nothing to do with those guys. They're just taking an idea and running with it. I think it's great."
A little bit less sure, albeit clearly kidding, was Charlie Day.
"Well, I'm more of a Bruins fan, so I'm not so excited about it," said Day, who soon amended that he's more of an "apathetic Bruins fan." "I don't know. If two kids want to go to a hockey game dressed in green... it'd be pretty moronic to try and stop them."
Day had an important caveat.
He added, "If they can keep boners to a minimum..."
Kaitlin Olson agreed, "That's the thing. It's not the most flattering costume."
Howerton concluded, "I think you either know that it came from the show, or you don't. I think that's kinda cool."
I'll obviously have lots more from the "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" set as the show's September premiere gets closer, but with the Game 7 puck dropping in less than an hour, I wanted to get this crucial story up. 
Oh and Go Bruins.
If you haven't seen Force and Sully at work, here's their interpretation of Green Men (video after the break):
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<p>Stop staring, pervs.</p>
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Stop staring, pervs.

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'The Voice' - Team Cee-Lo vs. Team Adam

And who got eliminated from last week's show?

Welcome to Tuesday (June 14) night's installment of "The Voice."

Yes, I know that I hated 7/8ths of last Tuesday's episode and expressed the desire to politely walk away from recapping duties on a show I'm not especially enjoying at this point. But y'all convinced me that Team Christina and Team Blake were the two weakest teams and that things will be better with performances from Team Adam and Team Cee-Lo. 

It's time to test that theory... After the break.

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<p>Skyler Samuels of 'The Nine Lives of Chloe King'</p>
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Skyler Samuels of 'The Nine Lives of Chloe King'

Credit: ABC Family

TV Review: ABC Family's 'The Nine Lives of Chloe King'

Skyler Samuels gives a star-making performance in what amounts to 'Teen Cat'
Back in the day, the old WB and The CW used to be in the star-making business, taking actors and actresses with a few supporting credits and then making them into mainstream sensations (or, at the very least, making them into fodder for cheaply produced slasher films).
It's not what The CW does so much anymore. 
This year's new dramas include The Triumphant Return of Sarah Michelle Gellar ("Ringer), The Triumphant Return of Rachel Bilson ("Hart of Dixie") and The Triumphant Return [After We Canceled Her Last CW Drama] of Britt Robertson ("The Secret Circle"). Last year's CW dramas were fronted by semi-movie-star Maggie Q ("Nikita") and tween favorites Aly Michalka and Ashley Tisdale ("Hellcats"). While several of those shows feature less-familiar potential breakouts in supporting roles, The CW has begun to increasingly bank on stars who bring their names to billboards in addition to their pretty faces.
So it's left to ABC Family to break Katie LeClerc and Vanessa Marano in "Switched at Birth."
And in "The Nine Lives of Chloe King," ABC Family gets to showcase Skyler Samuels in what feels like a potential breakout role.
The 17-year-old actress had a supporting role in last summer's ABC cult favorite/ratings-dud "The Gates," but she carries "The Nine Lives of Chloe King" all by herself, giving the sort of versatile leading turn that had me jotting down notes comparing her to former CW debutantes like Keri Russell and Sarah Michelle Gellar.
Although "The Nine Lives of Chloe King" is weighed down by a few clunky supporting performances and a background mythology that's more than a little silly (and probably a reminder that I'm not the target demo for this show), Samuels anchors both the drama and the welcome comedy in what turns out to be a solid, low-pressure summer winner for ABC Family.
[More after the break...]
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<p>The Emmy trophy</p>
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The Emmy trophy

Credit: Matt Sayles/AP

Previewing the 2011 Emmy Nomination Previews

What to expect when you're expecting Emmy nomination pre-coverage
As you've probably noticed already, Hollywood has Emmy nomination fever.
The nominees for the 2011 Primetime Emmy Awards will be announced on July 14 at 5:35 in the morning. [The nominations will be announced that early because in addition to hating "The Wire" and "Gilmore Girls," the Emmys hate me.]
But before we get to the nominations, ballots have to be mailed in and TV Academy members have until the afternoon of June 24 to finalize those ballots. 
In the days leading up to that deadline, HitFix will be providing as much helpful (or wishful) coverage as possible.
What does that mean for you?
Well, Sepinwall will be doing articles for the 10 major categories. He's going to be listing the six names that would make it onto his ballot. 
I'll be doing regular photo galleries with the vague title "Emmy Nomination Preview 2011." With Sepinwall concentrating entirely on his own preference, I'll be doing a little predicting as well. The first six names in each gallery will be my six projected nominees and the next five or six names will be performers or shows my gut tells me could be in the running for an Emmy slot if I blew it on any of my Top 6. From there, I'm having some fun. Each gallery will also include a handful of people and/or shows that may not necessarily be getting a lot of attention in the Emmy races, but who either deserve nominations or at least deserve to be mentioned, conversationally. Hopefully I'll touch on a few people you've secretly been rooting for, or maybe a couple you'd forgotten about entirely.
There will probably be a podcast at some point with an Emmy focus, but depending on our schedules, that'll either comes before the June 24 ballot deadline, or it'll come before the nomination announcement, just as a little preview.
That's a lot of Emmy blather. 
So, without further ado...
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<p>Noah Wyle and Moon Bloodgood in a gallery shot that looks nothing like anything in 'Falling Skies'</p>
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Noah Wyle and Moon Bloodgood in a gallery shot that looks nothing like anything in 'Falling Skies'

Credit: TNT

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 78

Dan and Alan talk 'Falling Skies,' 'Chloe King,' Tracy Morgan and 'Twin Peaks'


Happy Monday, Boys & Girls. Time for another installment of the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
Lots of Skype issues with this week's podcast, not that you need to worry about that. Lots to discuss this week. We've got reviews of "The Nine Lives of Chloe King," "John Benjamin Has a Van" and "Falling Skies." We've got this week's discussion of "Twin Peaks." And we answered a few pieces of Listener Mail, including a little discussion of the idiotic words of Mr. Tracy Morgan. 
Here's the breakdown:
"The Nine Lives of Chloe King" -- 01:00 - 11:25
"John Benjamin Has a Van" -- 11:30 - 17:30
"Falling Skies" -- 17:30 - 27:40
Listener Mail: Tracy Morgan -- 27:45 - 34:40
Listener Mail: Statutory Romance in genre fiction -- 34:40 - 39:50
Listener Mail: Second-position casting -- 39:55 - 43:20
"Twin Peaks" "Traces to Nowhere" -- 43:30 - 01:01:00



As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. [Or you can always follow our RSS Feed.]


And here's the podcast...


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<p>Neil Patrick Harris performs in the Tony Awards opening</p>
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Neil Patrick Harris performs in the Tony Awards opening

Credit: Jeff Christensen/AP

Tony Awards 2011 Live-Blog

Neil Patrick Harris hosts the tribute to Broadway's finest

If it's Sunday night, I've gotta be live-blogging something.

Last week? That awful MTV thing. 

This week? The Tony Awards. I haven't seen any of this year's nominated shows, but I like the Tonys, because I enjoy going to the theater and in my Sideways reality, I live in New York City and I've seen everything. 

So click through for a live-blog of Neil Patrick Harris and an evening-long coronation for "The Book of Mormon."

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<p>Ally Walker of 'The Protector'</p>
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Ally Walker of 'The Protector'

Credit: Lifetime

TV Review: Lifetime's 'The Protector'

Ally Walker balances fighting crime and motherhood in a bland new drama
As Ally Walker was in the midst of her run as Agent Stahl, Worst Woman In The History Of The World, on FX's "Sons of Anarachy," I had more than a few moments when I paused and looked forward to what the "Profiler" star would do next.
I wondered if TNT would shape a "Closer"/"Saving Grace"-style vehicle around her, or if Showtime might let her topline or co-star in one of its tragicomedies or even if CBS could build her something "Good Wife"-esque. My thought was that I respect Ally Walker and like her and as much as I relished (and she clearly relished) her wicked "SoA" turn,  it might be nice to see her on a show that didn't force me to plot elaborate strategies for her death.
On Sunday (June 12), Lifetime premieres "The Protector," which superficially is the Ally Walker Vehicle I'd been hoping for. Unfortunately, although "The Protector" gives Walker the stage all to herself, it's too bland and generic a project to take any pleasure in. 
So Ally Walker has her own show now. It just isn't one that I'm ever going to watch again. 
Full review of "The Protector" after the break...
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