A weblog of TV news and criticism with Norman Weiss

CNN to end 'Piers Morgan Tonight'


CNN to end “Piers Morgan Tonight”
The former “America’s Got Talent” judge isn’t expected to leave the cable news network, but his 9 pm timeslot will become vacant next month after three years. “Look,” he tells the NY Times. "I am a British guy debating American cultural issues, including guns, which has been very polarizing, and there is no doubt that there are many in the audience who are tired of me banging on about it. That’s run its course and (CNN chief) Jeff (Zucker) and I have been talking for some time about different ways of using me.”

Report: Erin Andrews is joining 'Dancing with the Stars' as co-host


Report: Erin Andrews is joining “Dancing with the Stars" as co-host
The Fox Sports host/sideline reporter, who competed on “Dancing” Season 10, will be named as Brooke Burke-Charvet’s replacement, reports The Big Lead. Like Michael Strahan, who also works for Fox Sports and ABC, Andrews is going to keep her job as host of Fox’s college football preview show and NFL sideline reporter.


“The Wire’s” Domenick Lombardozzi will be married to Susan Sarandon’s daughter on Henry Winkler's comedy
"The Winklers" sitcom pilot has added Lombardozzi as his son-in law and Eva Amurri, who is pregnant with her first child, as his daughter.


Jimmy Kimmel makes pizza for Oprah
"Honestly one of the top 3 pizzas I've ever tasted,” Oprah tweeted, accompanied by a photo of her and Kimmel together.


“Scandal” wins big at NAACP image awards

Kerry Washington and TV dad Joe Morton each took home acting trophies.


“Veronica Mars” movie will be available for viewers at home the same day it hits theaters
This is the first time a major studio is releasing a movie in theaters and for online rental or download simultaneously.


Chris Rock visits the "America's Got Talent" judges' table
Did he actually guest-judge?

NBC is reviving 'Heroes' as a miniseries in 2015


NBC is reviving "Heroes" as a miniseries in 2015

Creator Tim Kring will be back for "Heroes: Reborn," a 13-episode miniseries featuring brand-new characters, with superhuman abilities. "We won’t rule out the possibility of some of the show’s original cast members popping back in," says NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke.

NBC gets Jennifer Lopez to play an undercover FBI agent, with she and Ryan Seacrest producing


NBC gets Jennifer Lopez to play an undercover FBI agent, with she and Ryan Seacrest producing
The "American Idol" judge will executive produce and star in "Shades of Blue," in which Lopez will play a "single mother and detective recruited to work undercover for the FBI’s anti-corruption task force." NBC has given the series a 13-episode straight-to-series order.


Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake present the "History of Rap 5"

Fallon closed out his first "Tonight Show" week with "Wild Thing," the "Fresh Prince" them and other hip-hop's classics. Here's the complete song list.

'Dancing with the Stars' dumps Brooke Burke-Charvet -- she calls it a 'shocking elimination'


"Dancing with the Stars" dumps Brooke Burke-Charvet -- she calls it a "shocking elimination"

Burke-Charvet didn't know her co-hosting job was in limbo until ABC told her this afternoon she was not coming back. "I have enjoyed seven seasons co-hosting DWTS but understand the need for change considering the position of the show at this juncture," she tells E! in a statement. "I've always been one to embrace change and looking forward to pursuing opportunities I previously wasn't able to entertain because of contractual obligations to the show. I've seen my fair share of shocking eliminations in the ballroom but this one takes the cake."

ABC News was tipped off to Jimmy Kimmel's Olympic Wolf hoax, but didn't spill the beans


ABC News was tipped off to Jimmy Kimmel's Olympic Wolf hoax, but didn't spill the beans
ABC News did tell some ABC-affiliated shows not to run with the story, but a media ethicist is questioning whether the news outlet should've warned others about a story that implied a security problem in Sochi. PLUS: How to spot a Kimmel hoax, Kimmel's hoaxes are getting old, and that wasn't a hoax -- this was a lie.


Chelsea Handler takes the NY Times to task for putting her in parentheses

A recent profile of Jimmy Fallon mentioned Fallon's 11:30 timeslot competitors, but Handler was the only one of them written about in parentheses, which she found offensive As Handler writes in The Huffington Post, "I wanted to confirm what a parenthetical suggests, so I looked up the definition. The first few definitions that came up were: incidental, subordinate in significance, minor or casual."


"House of Cards" Season 3 filming delayed over Maryland tax credit dispute
Production has been pushed back to mid-June as the Netflix series awaits the fate of two separate tax bills.


Parker Posey will head up a mental hospital on Comedy Central

She'll guest star in the pilot of "Crazy House," set in an insane asylum.


Coming to OWN: "The Tyler Perry Show"?

Perry this week Instagrammed a photo of him on a "Tyler Perry Show" stage, with a message that something will be announced on Tuesday.


PBS' "Charlie Rose Show" to delve into the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue
Tonight's show will examine the 50-year history of SI's swimsuit edition.


Nancy Kerrigan: Why I picked NBC to tell my Tonya Harding story
Kerrigan wasn't available for ESPN's "30 for 30" documentary on the same subject, but she'll break her silence in NBC's one-hour film airing Sunday. "I trusted them enough to portray my family and the history of this because it is very complicated and long," says Kerrigan. "It's 20 years later. I've moved on. I don't revisit this on a daily basis." PLUS: A writer from "The Critic" on facing Kerrigan-Harding: I got kneecapped.


Jimmy Fallon's "Tonight Show": A recess playground where everybody gets a trophy

How much positivity is too much? Fallon's "Tonight Show" shuns negativity, as Hank Stuever points out: "He is fawning, stuttering, easily distracted and smarmy beyond the call of the duty; he is always telling his guests that their latest whatever (movie, TV show, record, White House initiative) was great, amazing, just amazing, great, so great. That's how Fallon rolls. His is not to question, but to revel." PLUS: Is Fallon avoiding political jokes? He delivered only one this week, and Fallon has energized "The Tonight Show," as promised.


"Downton Abbey" has been too careless with its portrayal of rape
"Downton's" portrayal is part of a growing trend of shows treating sexual assault insensitively, from "Scandal" to "American Horror Story," says Saide Gennis, who adds: "It's time these shows are held to a higher standard and learn to treat sexual assault with the sensitivity and gravitas it warrants. Or at the very least, include a trigger warning at the beginning of the episode."


"Dallas" gas station is expanding to NYC
Ewing Energies will open a gas station on Monday, the day the TNT series returns for Season 3.


Mike Tyson will pop up on a "Franklin & Bash" episode

He'll of course be playing himself.


Ioan Gruffudd joins "Forever" on ABC
The "Fantastic Four" star will play the lead in a drama about an immortal NYC medical examiner.


"ET" becomes the 1st media outlet to sign up for Kristen Bell's "pedorazzi" ban
"Entertainment Tonight" will stop publishing photos of celebrities' kids.


"Smash's" Christian Borle returning to NBC

He'll co-star in odd couple comedy "Lifesaver."


Is "Downton Abbey" the TV equivalent of the Beatles?
It's hard to tell if "Downton" is the highest-rated British TV show to ever air in America because PBS hasn't always kept track of ratings. Plus, the major networks would show British hits like "The Prisoner" and "The Avengers" on network TV in the '60s.


UK "Pop Idol" duo Ant & Dec are trying to conquer America, again
Ant & Dec -- who inspired the Ryan Seacrest/Brian Dunkleman pairing on "American Idol" -- already have a failed American game show on ABC. Now they're contemplating bringing their "Saturday Night Take-Out" to the United States.


The Baltimore Sun is offering a "Which Character Are You From 'The Wire'?" quiz

How would former Baltimore Sun writer David Simon react to seeing his show reduced to a quiz? PLUS: "Sheeeeeeeeeit": "Sen. Clay Davis" got McNulty.


What the "Veronica Mars" movie set was like
Here's a report from Day 3 of filming, with extra comments from Rob Thomas.


Phil Keoghan answers "Amazing Race" Reddit questions -- he's opposed to a behind-the-scenes show
Keoghan says all the good stuff is shown on TV, and he also describes how he spends his down time on the welcome mat. PLUS: Keoghan breaks down the All-Star teams.


Why are all the journalists on "House of Cards" so terrible at journalism?
"'House of Cards' has no fewer than four journalists as fairly major characters," says James Ball. "The problem is, likeable as some of them may be, they're all awful at their jobs. Seriously, they suck." PLUS: Is Molly Parker's character also a war criminal?, "House of Cards" proved to be a great show after Season 2, and does Claire Underwood really make "House of Cards" fully feminist?


Watch the new "Hart of Dixie" promo
The CW is touting the drama's move to Fridays.


"Friday Night Lights'" Tim Riggins inspires poet to write Riggins-inspired poetry
Poet Nico Alvarado has written four Riggins poems for the University of Houston's literary journal.


Ranking the "Sex and the City" seasons

In honor of Saturday's 10-year anniversary since the series finale, here's how each season ranked.


Seth Cohen falls in love with Blair Waldorf: The Supercut
What if Adam Brody and Leighton Meester's real-life romance was made on "The OC." and "Gossip Girl"?


Don't ever binge-watch "Girls"

The HBO series is not built for binging -- it'll leave you feeling like you're living the show.


NBC's "About a Boy" and "Growing Up Fisher": 2 sitcoms where everybody sounds like a sitcom character

"Most sitcoms are populated either by characters you'd meet in life or characters that only exist on sitcoms," says Matt Zoller Seitz. "Two new NBC sitcoms, 'Growing Up Fisher' and 'About a Boy,' fall into the second category. That's not to say they're incompetent or otherwise unwatchable; they're professional bits of work, acted and written and directed with energy. They might catch on with audiences or they might not, and they might improve drastically or they might not. Whatever happens, I'm in no rush to watch either show again, because I'm tired of sitcoms in which everybody acts and sounds like a network sitcom character, talking very quickly and in a peppy and 'bright' tone to make you think they aren't irritating, even outright horrible people." PLUS: "About a Boy" is NBC's best sitcom in years, David Walton is good at not being Hugh Grant, the show waters down the book and movie, the pilot is utterly charming, and "Growing Up Fisher" seems like a pale imitation of "The Goldbergs."

'SVU' kills off Questlove


"SVU" kills off Questlove
It was always "The Tonight Show" bandleader's dream to play a "Law & Order" dead body.


Watch Fred Armisen's "Late Night" band in action
Seth Meyers' people have posted a 13-second clip of The 8G Band.


Becki Newton joins "Weird Loners" on Fox
She'll co-star in the comedy pilot about people afraid of relationships.


Hulk Hogan, 60, will make his WWE comeback on "Monday Night Raw"

He'll not only appear on next week's show, but he'll host WrestleMania 30.


Molly Shannon will play a New Hampshire mom ion an ABC comedy pilot
The "SNL" alum will be part of a comedy about a family that opens a group of tourist cottages in New Hampshire.


"Brooklyn Nine-Nine" season finale will be a Lonely Island reunion

Jorma Taccone will reunite with Andy Samberg when he directs the season's final episode.

NBC has mostly steered clear of Olympic controversies


NBC has mostly steered clear of Olympic controversies
As Paul Farhi points out, "NBC hasn't entirely ignored the non-athletic events and issues surrounding these controversial Olympics,from the widely reported concerns about terrorism to cost overruns, corruption, worker exploitation, shabby hotels, problematic weather, suppression of political dissent and other bummer topics. But it has pushed them to the margins, usually out of prime-time and into late-night hours, where the audience is smaller and the downer talk doesn’t distract from the glossy main event."


Pink will make a special appearance at the Oscars
The pop star will be part of a "highly anticipated moment on the broadcast."


"Modern Family's" teenage boys film on an Aussie beach with topless women

Rico Rodriguez and Nolan Gould, both 15, passed by several ladies wearing pasties.


Matthew McConaughey has watched each "True Detective" episode 2 to 3 times
McConaughey tells Queen Latifah he tried to watch normally, but couldn't. PLUS: Alexandra Daddario says, "most people have been pretty great about the boob thing," and read "True Detective" creator's short stories.


"House of Cards" boss talks about Season 2 shocker, and how LBJ inspired Frank Underwood
"He shares a lot of the same aspects as Francis," Beau Willimon says of President Lyndon Baines Johnson. "He came from nothing. He was a political mastermind and he stopped at nothing in order to accomplish what he wanted to accomplish." PLUS: Did "CBS This Morning" spoil "House of Cards"?


It's been 10 years since "Sex and the City's" series finale

The HBO comedy's last episode aired on Feb. 22, 2004.


The Onion mourns the death of the "beloved Seth Meyers character" on "SNL"
Find out how "Seth" was murdered.


Watch Clive Owen in Steven Soderbergh's Starz drama "The Knick"

Owen is playing a surgeon in 1900 New York.


Lena Dunham is not jealous her boyfriend once dated Scarlett Johansson

The "Girls" star tells Bill Simmons that she was looking at a blog about famous people who used to date and spotted her boyfriend, former fun. guitarist Jack Antonoff with Johansson. She said she already knew they had dated, but had never seen a picture of them together.


"Boardwalk Empire" alum Charlie Cox will star on CBS' pilot from John Cusack
He'll play a hedge fund trader in a drama pilot that delves into the world or Wall Street.


Former NBC News anchor Garrick Utley dies

The versatile ex-foreign correspondent was a fill-in for Tom Brokaw on "NBC Nightly News."

Report: Letterman is wooing Jay Leno for a 'Late Show' visit


Report: Letterman is wooing Jay Leno for a "Late Show" visit

An "insider" tells the NY Daily News: "There's been quiet talk behind the scenes for months that Dave will have Jay Leno on as a guest. (Letterman's) producers waited until Fallon debuted (on 'Tonight'), give him space out of respect, but are now ready to pull out all the stops."


"House of Cards" threatens to leave Maryland if it doesn't give up millions more in tax credits
The Netflix show's production company sent a letter to Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, saying unless there are more tax credits, we will "break down our stage, sets and offices and set up in another state."


Matt Lauer asks Bob Costas: Are you taking the red-eye home?
Costas was on "Today" this morning covering his eyes with sunglasses.


"Idol" has its worst ratings ever
Last night was an all-time low for the aging Fox reality show, which was down 8% from Wednesday.


9 of "American Idol's" Top 13 are from the South
Southerners, who've accounted for nine of "Idol's" 12 winners, are once again dominant on the singing competition.


David Tennant: "It’s a very peculiar experience" remaking "Broadchurch" for U.S. viewers
"There is no precedent for this. It's so familiar, yet completely new," he says of working on Fox's "Gracepoint."


Pilots go to Tim Meadows and Nick Thune
Meadows in joining NBC's "Marry Me," while Thune will co-star with Natasha Lyonne on "Old Soul."


Eliza Dushku for "How I Met Your Dad"?
The "Buffy" alum tweeted that she's currently reading the pilot script, adding in another tweet: "#Reading the pilot, folks. No announcement, just a first date- perhaps this weekend. #HowIMetYourDad. It IS kinda #badass #justsayin"


Seattle Seahawk to guest on "The Young and the Restless"
Fullback Michael Robinson was cast after revealing he's a big "Y&R" fan.


"Ray Donovan" adds Kip Purdue
The "Remember the Titans" alum will play an FBI agent who works for Hank Azaria's character.

Michelle Obama takes part in 'Ew!' sketch with Jimmy Fallon and Will Ferrell


Michelle Obama takes part in "Ew!" sketch with Jimmy Fallon and Will Ferrell

Ferrell and Fallon dressed as girls for their "Tonight Show" bit featuring the first lady. PLUS: Ferrell figure skates to "Downton Abbey."


TV Academy separates TV movie and miniseries categories, splits reality TV category

The changes, including a separate Outstanding Structured Reality Program (like "MythBusters") and Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program (like "Duck Dynasty" categories, take effect this year.


Jimmy Kimmel's Sochi Olympics Wolf hoax was filmed in Los Angeles
Kimmel's team built a replica of the hall outside U.S. luger Kate Hansen's hotel room. Hansen then allowed Kimmel's people to take over her Twitter account and post the video to YouTube. UPDATE: Watch Kimmel reveal his prank.

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