This year’s summer TV: Lots of big names, lots of mediocrity

This year’s summer TV: Lots of big names, lots of mediocrity
As David Zurawik notes, "Big names alone do not make for golden TV. In fact, sometimes the big names are only using TV to pass off inferior work that couldn’t get big-screen funding. Some actors and actresses choose to do TV because it fits their lifestyle at the moment — keeping them near home and on a fixed schedule rather than on a far-flung location making a film, for example.”

See Jerry Seinfeld’s Yelp page: He downgraded a diner after its owner pleaded guilty to a murder-for-hire scheme
Seinfeld initially praised the Tick Tock Diner after eating their with Jon Stewart for this week's “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.”

Kevin Williamson gets in a Twitter fight with a TV critic, calls him a “loser” and “idiot”
The "Dawson’s Creek,” “Vampire Diaries” and “The Following” honcho wasn’t happy with the criticism he received promoting his new CBS show “Stalker” at TCA on Thursday.

“The View’s” Sherri Shepherd: Maybe I could become the “Chocolate” Ellen
"I love doing talk shows," she says. "Maybe they need a chocolate version of Ellen. I don't know."

John Cho calls his “Selfie” role as the romantic lead “revolutionary”
“I would call this revolutionary. It’s certainly a personal revolution for me,” he says, noting that Asians usually aren't playing the romantic lead.

Showtime won’t say Cameron Crowe’s “Roadies” is “Almost Famous,” but there are “real similarities between the two”
“I think there’ll be a lot of 'Almost Famous' in it,” says Showtime president David Nevins. "Nothing would make me happier.

Watch Zac Efron jump off a cliff with Bear Grylls
Here’s a preview of NBC’s "Running Wild with Bear Grylls,” debuting Monday.

Kristin Bauer explains the difference between her and “True Blood’s” Pam
"My family would say there are similarities between Pam & myself,” she says in a Reddit AMA. "One being my sarcasm, and two my blunt nature. But where Pam is mainly blunt and a tiny bit vulnerable, I'm probably mainly vulnerable and less blunt. Just because I'm human and have to not offend people constantly.”

Wentworth Miller talks coming out, and walking away from acting after “Prison Break”
Miller says, "I was fried after four years on an intense network drama.”

Watch the trailer for Aaron McGruder’s “Black Jesus”
The Adult Swim series about a modern-day Jesus living in Compton premieres Aug. 7.

“Ray Donovan” creator: We're not doing an “homage” to “The Sopranos”
In fact, Ann Biderman plans to take Ray out of therapy. “No one's in therapy for too terribly long in this show,” she says. “I don't think it's a trope that we're using in the same way, but it does kind of ignite a theme.”

Kobe Bryant talks about his Showtime “Muse”
The L.A. Lakers star visited with TV critics to talk about the film documenting his recovery from a devastating Achilles injury.

A sitcom warm-up comedian tells all
How do you keep an audience laughing take after take?

Martin Lawrence: "It’s not as easy to get on TV” nowadays
The star of FX’s “Partners” with Kelsey Grammer says the demands of TV are greater now than when he was on “Martin.” "Just to get ratings,” he says, "it’s very hard. The paychecks are not the same anymore.”

Explaining the Barefoot Contessa
How nuclear budget analyst Ina Garten became a Food Network hit.

New York Public Library to celebrate “Sesame Street"
An exhibition, "‘Somebody Come and Play’: 45 Years of Learning on ‘Sesame Street,’” opens Sept. 18.

Which of his “Cosby Show” sisters did Malcolm Jamal-Warner have a crush on?
"Early on, it was Lisa (Bonet),” he admits.

Amid controversy, The Situation is opening another tanning salon
TV Guide Network cameras will be on hand, and so will the local mayor, for Saturday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Boca Tanning Club in Manalapan, New Jersey.

American Heroes Channel's “Gunslingers” features “heroes” Billy the Kid and Jesse James
The six-part series, debuting Sunday, also includes Wyatt Earp.

Check out a “Breaking Bad” birthday cake of Walter White sitting on his cash
“Happy Birthday Bitch.”

“The Lottery,” Lifetime’s 1st sci-fi show, is quite ridiculous
Premiering Sunday, “The Lottery” "makes baby-mania the stuff of dystopian sci-fi,” says James Poniewozik. "Unfortunately, this baby was full of possibility in its conception, but it’s not hitting its developmental milestones.” PLUS: “The Lottery” could be something great, but it needs to be smarter.

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Showtime's 'The Affair' premieres Oct. 19 — watch the trailer

Showtime's “The Affair” premieres Oct. 19 — watch the trailer
The drama delving into an extramarital affair starring “The Wire’s” Dominic West, Joshua Jackson, Maura Tierney and Ruth Wilson is a show "more about marriage,” says writer Sarah Treem. "The term affair will prove somewhat ironic if you keep watching the show."

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Showtime won’t rule out 'Dexter' returning, says killing him off was never discussed

Showtime won’t rule out “Dexter” returning, says killing him off was never discussed
Showtime president David Nevins is debunking a myth that the producers made the decision not to kill off “Dexter.” He adds that Dexter Morgan’s return is "always in the realm of possibility. Worked for Jack Bauer. Worked for the Bluth family… It's always possible but there's never really anything actively happening."

Ryan Murphy to Neil Patrick Harris: “Of course” you can be on “American Horror Story: Freak Show”
"I have a role I think you'd love,” Murphy tweeted in response to Harris revealing he wrote Murphy about a possible role, and never heard back.

“Homeland” boss: "The criticism hurt. The lack of an Emmy nomination hurt”
"I don't know how you can look at the last six episodes last season and not say Homeland is one of the best shows on television,” exec producer Alex Gansa told critics. PLUS: Producers almost set Season 4 in Israel.

“Dating Naked” premieres to unimpressive ratings
About 826,000 checked out the VH1 dating show, which is far below a typical VH1 series.

“Twin Peaks” stars reunite
Check out how the cast looks now, reunited for a Blu-Ray/DVD release party.

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'Homeland' unveils Season 4 trailer, announces Oct. 5 return date

“Homeland” unveils Season 4 trailer, announces Oct. 5 return date
During “Homeland’s” TCA session, producers promised there will be no Dana Brody in Season 4, and the rest of her family will “probably not” be back, either.

“Supernatural” stars aren’t ready to call it quits
The stars and producers of the long-running CW series were asked at TCA when the show will end. "We still get excited by it and I think that that hasn’t tarnished in 10 years,” responded Jensen Ackles. "And I remember getting the last script of season 9, the season finale, and I got all giddy about it. I was excited to see what happens in season 10. I think as long as there’s that fulfillment, that enjoyment, that excitement, then, yeah, we will keep going, as long as people are hanging in with us and are still entertained. We love these stories.” PLUS: "Supernatural" is planning a "musical-ish" episode.

Check out the “Sons of Anarchy” Collector’s DVD box set
The elaborate box set won’t include the final season.

“The Flash” promises to be the “most faithful DC Comic adaptation ever”
The one big difference will be more diversity on the CW series.

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'Prison Break’s' Wentworth Miller joins 'The Flash'

“Prison Break’s” Wentworth Miller joins “The Flash”
He’ll play villain Leonard Snart, AKA Captain Cold.

Jaime Pressly to recur on “Mom”
The “Jennifer Falls” star will play "a woman with a lot of money and not much else going on” who gets help from Anna Faris’ character, says Chuck Lorre.

Neil Patrick Harris: I wrote Ryan Murphy a letter asking to be on “American Horror Story: Freak Show”
Unfortunately for Harris, Murphy never wrote back.

Watch the trailer for AMC's KISS football reality show “Fourth and Loud”
Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons are the co-owners of Arena League team L.A. Kiss in the AMC reality show premiering Aug. 12.

CW’s “Jane the Virgin” plans to embrace all the telenovela tropes
“I fully want to embrace all the tropes of the telenovela,” says showrunner Jennie Snyder Urman. “I mean the evil twins, everything,” she adds. “But, by having the main cast remain grounded and having them react to these things in the ways any normal person would should keep the show believable.”

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CW reveals 'Hart of Dixie' pregnancy, defends saving 'Beauty and the Beast'

CW reveals “Hart of Dixie” pregnancy, defends saving “Beauty and the Beast”
Rachel Bilson’s real-life pregnancy is expected to be extended on screen. Meanwhile, “Beauty and the Beast” was saved because of its “very engaged fan based” and “very international following,” says CW president Mark Pedowitz. “We brought it back because … it’s a very profitable show for everybody,” he says. PLUS: CW addresses its cancelations, including why "Supernatural: Bloodlines” wasn’t picked up, and CW boss doesn't think the network has too many DC Comics series.

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Lifetime finds a new actress to play Aaliyah

Lifetime finds a new actress to play Aaliyah
"House of Anubis" alum Alexandra Shipp replaces Zendaya Coleman, as Wendy Williams comes on board as a producer.

CW renews “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”
A new 24-episode season will kick off next year.

Stephen Colbert gets serious in acknowledging the “horrible tragedy” in Ukraine
While Jon Stewart ignored yesterday’s big news, Colbert took a minute to address what happened at the top of his show.

Chuck Lorre addresses “Two and a Half Men’s” gay wedding, jokes that it was better than a zombie apocalypse
While Jon Cryer says he’s on board with the final season storyline, Lorre explains how it came about: "I mean, you know, we had the freedom, knowing it was our last season to do anything we wanted, and obviously, the show's never had any dignity, so we didn't have to worry about losing any, so we had incredible freedom to do whatever we wanted, knowing that this was it and we were actually going to get to write the end.”

“Big Bang Theory” stars want $1 million an episode
They original five stars made $350,000 an episode, with a piece of the backend.

Univision was No. 1 in the ratings last night in the demo
Among adults ages 18-49, Univision beat Fox, ABC, NBC and CBS.

“The Good Wife” nabs Steven Pasquale, “Ghostbusters” star Ernie Hudson to visit “The Lottery”
Pasquale will guest on two episodes as Alicia’s possible campaign manager.

UK judge rules “Glee” breached the trademark held by a British comedy club called The Glee Club
As a result, “Glee” may have to change its name in Britain.

Erin Andrews exits 1 of her jobs
Andrews will no longer host Fox Sports 1’s Saturday morning college football show next season — in fact, she’s done with college football altogether after more than a decade. That’s because she’ll be spending a lot of time juggling the NFL on Fox and “Dancing with the Stars.”

Christina Hendricks: "We partied for about a week straight” after “Mad Men” wrapped
Hendricks reveals that the cast celebrated by singing “Frozen” songs.

ESPN could get its 1st true competitor if Rupert Murdoch buys Time Warner
All of Time Warner’s sports rights would be a complement to Fox’s current sports rights, which includes NFL and MLB.

Nick’s Kids’ Choice Sports Awards covers David Beckham in gold slime
His sons Cruz and Romeo were also slimed in gold.

Tina Fey remembers Elaine Stritch
Elaine was a 'tough old bird,' but I suspect she may have been a 'tough old bird' since birth,” the “30 Rock” star says of her former guest co-star. "I loved her voice, her timing, her stories and her natural elegance.

“The Wire” alum joins “Castle”
Ryan Sands will help Beckett investigate the most difficult case of his career.

Matt LeBlanc checked in on Wednesday's female “Friends” reunion, via FaceTime
"I just happened to FaceTime Courteney and she's like, 'Look who I am with!' I was like, 'Oh, wow, that's good,’” LeBlanc says of the reunion dinner that Courteney Cox had with Jennifer Aniston and Lisa Kudrow to celebrate her engagement.

Watch "Weird Al” Yankovic show off the “Conan” studio while singing “Tacky"
Weird Al spent his whole performance walking around the studio where Conan tapes.

“The Wire’s” Dukie releases an EP
Listen to Jermaine Crawford, now 21, perform on his two-track EP.

Natalie Zea weds a “Scrubs” alum
“The Following” star married Travis Schuldt in Hawaii on Wednesday.

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TNT renews 'The Last Ship' and 'Major Crimes,' orders a final season of 'Falling Skies'

TNT renews “The Last Ship” and “Major Crimes,” orders a final season of “Falling Skies”
The three TNT series will be back for a 2nd season, 4th season and a 5th season, respectively.

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CBS will put NFL stars on its entertainment shows to promote 'Thursday Night Football'

CBS will put NFL stars on its entertainment shows to promote “Thursday Night Football”
“You’ll get to see some NFL-themed programs within our own entertainment shows, where you’ll see players, coaches, even potentially owners who are not camera shy starring in some of our TV shows,” says CBS boss Les Moonves. “The entire company is behind NFL on Thursday night at CBS.” PLUS: NFL Draft is moving to L.A. or Chicago.

While promoting "Battle Creek," “House” creator seemed to battle “Breaking Bad” creator for attention
Vince Gilligan created “Battle Creek,” but will have almost nothing to do with the CBS series. “House” creator David Shore, meanwhile, will have everything to do with the series. Yet all the attention was focused on Gilligan, who couldn’t remember why he decided to call the pilot “Battle Creek” when he wrote it 12 years ago.

Entire “Guardians of the Galaxy” cast will visit Jimmy Kimmel on Monday
The visit is timed for the worldwide premiere.

Jim Gaffigan’s rejected CBS family comedy may land on TV Land
The sitcom inspired by Gaffigan’s real life went through two pilots over the past two years, culminating in two rejections.

CW’s #AskSupernatural Twitter hashtag backfires
The network wanted to engage viewers. Instead, it got deluged with angry questions from “Supernatural” fans.

Ad campaign features the non-famous David Letterman and Jon Stewart
The other Letterman and other Stewart talk about sharing a name with a celebrity.

Amazon to remake UK’s “Mad Dogs” with Shawn Ryan
“The Shield” creator will helm the U.S. version of the black comedy/thriller that aired on Sky1 for four seasons.

Turner Classic Movies launches the TCM Movie Locations Tour of Hollywood
The tour takes you to more than 50 filming locations, with a 65-inch screen on board to play clips.

A Swedish woman married to an American is unimpressed with “Welcome to Sweden”
In real life, Swedes would never try to speak English like an American, like they do on the Greg Poehler comedy.

Conan O’Brien joins Tinder, with the help of Dave Franco
Watch them sign up for and try out the dating app. PLUS: Conan bought an ad in The Hollywood reporter to promote his "Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda” role.

Sean Bean wants to resolve “unfinished business” on “Game of Thrones”
"I'm obviously not Jon Snow's dad,” he says. "And you need that to be revealed at some point, don't you?” PLUS: Listen to DJ Hodor’ music.

“Treme’s” Rob Brown settles racial profiling lawsuit with Macy’s
Brown sued last year after he was falsely accused of credit card fraud.

“Stalker” creator: "Everyone can be a stalker”
"Everyone can be a victim — women, men, children, groups, gangs. I mean, there's so many versions of stalking,” says Kevin Williamson.

Ryan Murphy teases “American Horror Story: Freak Show”
It’s Dot and Bette's first day.

This is what a broken Emmy statue looks like
Kathy Griffin claims Jeff Probst broke her Emmy.

"Tim and Eric’s Bedtime Stories” debuts Sept. 18
Each 15-minute episode "will unspool a chilling and perverse comic tale in each episode and feature an eclectic assortment of guests.”

“Married" and "You're the Worst” are big steps back for FX
“'Married' (and 'You're the Worst') traffic in masturbation jokes that seem dated even for high schoolers, but apparently some people never mature in their ability to express male-female struggles on any other level than the lowest and easiest one,” says Tim Goodman. "The ‘Married' pilot is forced, mostly unfunny and tragic in that you immediately want to root for (Nat) Faxon and (Judy) Greer, two very funny and very likable comic actors, to have better material. The entire cast gets an infinitesimal increase in material in future episodes, but it's difficult to recommend anyone sticking around while Married tries to improve its foundational flaws. 'You're the Worst' is even a — oh, fine, here goes — worse pilot, with the whole production seeming unsure of itself.” PLUS: “You’re the Worst” is the surprisingly smarter show, it’s actually quite gooey, “Married” is the far more substantial series, “Married’s” pilot is a nasty piece of work, both shows are pretty depressing, and both hilariously demolish rom-com conventions.

USA tries to be gritty with “Rush” and “Satisfaction”
Of tonight’s two new dramas, “Satisfaction” starring Matt Passmore bests “Rush” starring Tom Ellis. PLUS: “Satisfaction” wants to be “Hung” for basic cable, and “Satisfaction” mostly delivers.

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GLAAD will hold off on reacting to 'Two and a Half Men’s' fake gay wedding

GLAAD will hold off on reacting to “Two and a Half Men’s” fake gay wedding
GLAAD’s president and CEO would only say in a statement: "We hope the show will acknowledge not only the progress made in acceptance of gay and lesbian couples, but also the fact that — in many areas of the country — same-sex couples are often under greater scrutiny or still barred from adoption options that straight couples have."

“The View” loses the demo ratings to “The Talk” for the 1st time
In the key women 25-54 demographic, “The Talk” bested “The View” by more than 60,000 viewers.

Check out Marilyn Manson as a “Sons of Anarchy” prisoner
Here is the rocker dressed in orange covered in tattoos.

MSNBC pranked by Howard Stern fan during Malaysian flight coverage
“It would appear the plane was shot down by a blast of wind from Howard Stern’s ass,” said the caller.

Howard Stern sidekick crashes a Long Island Railroad press conference to promote “Sharknado 2”
“There are sharks coming,” shouted Stern Show writer Benjy Bronk, who just happens to have a cameo in the Syfy movie.

Jason Biggs defends himself after insensitive Malaysian Airlines joke tweets
The “OITNB” star tweeted: "Hey all you ‘too soon’ assholes- it’s a f—ing joke. You don’t have to think it’s funny, or even be on my twitter page at all.”

Tracy Morgan spotted using a walker
The former “30 Rock” star was captured in NYC going to his doctor’s office.

“Dawson’s Creek’s” filming location is now flooded with raw sewage
The area of North Carolina where the WB series filmed is now facing an ecological disaster.

“Dating Naked” isn’t anything special
The VH1 reality show, premiering tonight, uses the same old reality TV formula. In fact, after a few minutes, you forget the contestants are naked.

“The Vampire Diaries” adds 4 new cast members, including Jodi Lyn O’Keefe
She’ll be joined by Chris Wood, Marco James and Jayson Warner Smith.

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