What made the movie veteran want to do a series for the first time?
FX is airing a 'sneak preview' of the man-and-dog comedy a week before other Thursday premieres
I had no plans to write anything in advance of the return of FX's "Wilfred" tonight at 10:30, since I already have a review of the first episode ready to go at 11. But then I realized that, like me, many of you may be surprised to realize that A)FX is airing a new "Wilfred" episode a week before its other heavily-promoted premieres ("Anger Management," "Louie," Russell Brand's talk show), and B)FX is airing this new episode outside of the usual 10 p.m. "Wilfred" timeslot.
I go into some speculation as to why that is in my review of the episode — which FX is referring to as a "sneak preview," even though, story-wise, it picks up after the events of last season's finale, and before the events of next week's episode — but for those of you who don't follow me on Twitter but like the show, consider this a public service to reduce the number of "But I didn't know it was back yet!" comments tonight.
Here's a trailer for this "sneak preview" — which I've been reminded is already up on Hulu (but please refrain from any plot-specific comments until tonight's post goes up) — including a glimpse of guest star Robin Williams:
Performances from 'Game of Thrones,' 'Breaking Bad,' 'Mad Men' and more
Time for part 4 of our look at the Emmy nominations process for 2012. As always, Fienberg and I are going to approach things in two ways. I'll pretend that I have an Emmy ballot and make my picks for the six actors or shows I would put on my ballot, while Dan will rank the potential nominees from most likely to least. And, as always, we are working off of the actual Emmy ballot, so we can't consider people who didn't submit themselves, nor can we reassign anyone to a more suitable or easier category.
Having covered the drama supporting actors last time, we move onto Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. Dan's predictions are here, and my preferences are coming right up...
The network lost the legal battle over ABC's 'Glass House,' but it won the comedy war
I've been largely ignoring the legal battle between CBS and ABC over the premiere of the latter network's reality show "The Glass House," which the former network insists is a complete rip-off of "Big Brother," and sued to keep it off the air. After all, every successful TV show that's ever existed has been cloned a half dozen times over, and why should we get up in arms over "Big Brother," of all the shows being imitated?
CBS lost the legal battle, but won the war when "Glass House" tanked in its Monday premiere, and now they've won the battle for the last — and certainly best — word with this press release, a marvel of snark and cattiness. Many press releases are easy to laugh at; this is one of the few I've ever seen that I heartily laughed with:
How will Sam Axe and Dr. Cox get along?
I'm not doing weekly coverage of "Burn Notice" this season, but I'm still watching and enjoying the show, and particularly still enjoying the interplay between the actors. With Fi off in prison for now that puts even more of an emphasis on Bruce Campbell and how Sam and Mike (and Sam and Jesse) get along, so what better man to introduce a clip from tomorrow night's episode than Campbell himself?
Of particular interest to me was the appearance of guest star John C. McGinley, playing Michael's new CIA handler. I haven't seen much of McGinley since "Scrubs" ended — outside of a couple of State Farm commercials that I assume he did to pay the bills — and I'm glad to have the former Dr. Cox back on my TV and interacting with the likes of Campbell and Donovan.
As usual, "Burn Notice" airs Thursday night at 9 on USA.
HBO drama at least features strong performances by Jeff Daniels and company
Can the sitcom star woo Lauren Graham away from Jason Ritter?
I was in the middle of writing a paragraph for an upcoming story about how "Parenthood" requires versatile actors to bridge the gap between its dramatic moments and its comic ones, and was citing Lauren Graham as an example of a castmember who exemplifies that versatility. And as I was writing it, news broke that she's about to get a chance to work opposite another actor who can work both silly and dark.
Ray Romano will do a guest arc in the NBC drama's upcoming fourth season, playing a photographer who befriends Graham's Sarah Braverman and complicates her relationship with Jason Ritter's Mark Cyr. When the third season ended, Sarah had accepted Mark's marriage proposal, but things in real life were more ambiguous because Ritter was starring in a medical drama pilot for "Parenthood" producer Jason Katims. That show wasn't picked up, but Sarah can apparently never have smooth sailing in her love life. (And often winds up next to men who aren't close to her in age: Romano's 10 years older, and Ritter 13 years younger.)
Romano is, of course, best known for starring in "Everybody Loves Raymond," but through two seasons of TNT's brilliant-but-canceled "Men of a Certain Age," he got to demonstrate some impressive (and, to many viewers, surprising) dramatic chops playing a self-destructive gambling addict, while still deftly handling any jokes thrown his way. I'm not sure I need more Sarah romantic drama, but I love the idea of Romano being part of a show like "Parenthood" for a while.
Fanny plans a memorial, the girls play hooky, and Michelle finds a reason to stay
A review of last night's "Bunheads" coming up just as soon as I have a coupon to hire the Intrepid...
Why does the 'West Wing' vet want to tell stories set in the real world this time?
Aaron Sorkin loves television.
Dan and Alan also break down the finales of 'Girls' and 'Veep,' and talk more about 'Buffy'
Lots of finale talk on this week's Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, as we break down the recent conclusions of "The Killing," "Girls" (and here's a link to the Allison Williams .gif we discuss during that segment) and "Veep," but before that we have to check in on "Wilfred" season 2, and also spend quite a while discussing our concerns about Aaron Sorkin's "The Newsroom." Also, after a few weeks of duds, we get another good "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" episode to discuss.