Inside Television with Alan Sepinwall

'Parenthood' - 'It Is What It Is': Seller's remorse

Everybody has trouble giving something up

<p>Courtney Ford and Dax Shepard on &quot;Parenthood.&quot;</p>
<br />

Courtney Ford and Dax Shepard on "Parenthood."


Credit: NBC

A quick review of last night's "Parenthood" coming up just as soon as I pretend not to be bored in exchange for ice cream...

'Justified' - 'The Gunfighter': The quick and the dead

A hobbled Raylan chases a trigger-happy killer, and Neal McDonough arrives in Kentucky

<p>Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) confronts Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins)&nbsp;in the &quot;Justified&quot;&nbsp;season 3 premiere.</p>

Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) confronts Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) in the "Justified" season 3 premiere.

Credit: FX
"Justified" is back for its third season. I reviewed the first four episodes in general this morning, and I have some specific thoughts on the season premiere, coming up just as soon as I name my son Jiffypop...

'Southland' - 'Wednesday': Change partners

Cooper and Sherman adjust to new colleagues, and Lucy Liu guest stars

<p>Michael Cudlitz and Lucy Liu in &quot;Southland.&quot;&nbsp;</p>

Michael Cudlitz and Lucy Liu in "Southland." 

Credit: TNT

The TNT version of "Southland" has grown on me slowly over time, I think. The budget cuts have forced John Wells and company to streamline the cast, and it seems the focus is now much more on how the different partnerships operate, and on LAPD culture in general, which is where the show excels. (Back when there were so many detectives floating around, the show seemed to feel compelled to spend more time on generic murder cases, when the magic was just watching the cops ride around in their cars kibbitzing.) 

'Cougar Town' fans get a premiere date for Valentine's Day

Courteney Cox comedy to return Tuesdays at 8:30

<p>Courteney Cox and the rest of the &quot;Cougar Town&quot;&nbsp;gang finally got some good news today with a premiere date and timeslot.</p>

Courteney Cox and the rest of the "Cougar Town" gang finally got some good news today with a premiere date and timeslot.

Credit: ABC

When the gang from "Cougar Towncrashed press tour with their own unofficial TCA party to talk about the show and their responsibility to interact with fans, the unspoken assumption among everyone there was that the show would wind up on Tuesdays at 8:30 after "Last Man Standing," replacing "Work It." The only question was when. How long would it take ABC to pull the plug on "Work It," and how many weeks would they feel they needed to promote the "Cougar Town" season 3 premiere?

Well, ABC killed "Work It" last week, and today they announced (via Twitter) that "Cougar Town" will be back on Tuesday, February 14 at 8:30 p.m.

It's not an especially good timeslot, as I don't see a ton of audience crossover between this show and "Last Man," but it's going to be on the air. And at this point, the future of the show is going to have as much to do with ABC's ownership of it (it is, in fact, the only current ABC comedy owned by ABC/Disney).

As mentioned in one of the above-linked posts, I've seen the first five episodes of the season, and they're very good: silly and sweet and warm and drunk in that "Cougar Town" way. And now you get to see 'em. Enjoy.

Review: FX's 'Justified' loads up on bad guys for season 3

Neal McDonough and Mykelti Williamson join Raylan Givens' rogues gallery

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<p>Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens in &quot;Justified.&quot;</p>

Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens in "Justified."

Credit: FX
Last season, FX's "Justified" introduced an instant classic villain in Margo Martindale's Mags Bennett, a hillbilly crime lord whose folksy maternal warmth masked a ruthless, indomitable mind. Mags made the show's second season a creative triumph, but she also left some enormous shoes to fill. And with the show's third season, which debuts tonight at 10, "Justified" producer Graham Yost has reasonably decided that the only way to replace Mags is by going with quantity over quality.

'Alcatraz' - 'Pilot/Ernest Cobb': We have to go back!

What did everybody think of FOX's new J.J. Abrams drama?

<p>Sarah Jones and Sam Neill in &quot;Alcatraz.&quot;</p>

Sarah Jones and Sam Neill in "Alcatraz."

Credit: FOX

I posted my review of FOX's "Alcatraz" this morning. Now it's your turn. On the J.J. Abrams continuum (whether or not you want to include non-sci-fi stuff like "Felicity" and/or stuff he was only tangentially involved in like "Six Degrees" and "What About Brian?"), where does this rank? Were you engaged by the two cases investigated by the team? Happy to see Jorge Garcia playing such a Hurley-esque character? Is Sarah Jones a compelling lead? Did the final moment of the second episode excite you or make you shrug? 

Have at it. As I said in the review, I imagine I'll check back later in the season to see if it's gotten any less formulaic.

Interview: 'Mad Men' creator Matthew Weiner previews season 5

It's 'every man for himself' when Don Draper and friends return on March 25

<p>&quot;Mad Men&quot;&nbsp;creator Matthew Weiner hugging star Elisabeth Moss at AMC's party at the Television Critics Association press tour.</p>

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner hugging star Elisabeth Moss at AMC's party at the Television Critics Association press tour.

Credit: AP
PASADENA - "Mad Men" will return on Sunday, March 25 with a two-hour episode that the show's creator Matthew Weiner called a "movie." Parts of it are structured like two episodes that will air on the same night, but both hours were directed by "The Suitcase" director Jennifer Getzinger, and Weiner tried to outline it so it would work as one big piece.
 
That's a splashy return for a show that's been off the air since October of 2010, and to get the press ready, AMC brought Weiner and virtually the entire "Mad Men" cast (from Jon Hamm on down to Jay R. Ferguson, who plays sexist art director Stan Rizzo) to press tour Saturday night for a meet-and-greet cocktail party. As always, the actors were on lockdown about what they could say about the new season (Christina Hendricks flinched at the notion of even hinting about what Joan's maternal side is like), so I eventually went straight to the source and spent a few minutes talking with Weiner and another reporter (whose questions are mixed in with mine) about what season 5 is about in terms of theme, if not plot.

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 112: Press tour, 'Justified,' 'Touch' & 'Unsupervised'

Dan and Alan also discuss the Golden Globes

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 112: Press tour, 'Justified,' 'Touch' & 'Unsupervised'

The

Press tour is over, but before I left the warmth of California, Dan and I recorded another Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, running down the second half of the tour, reviewing several shows debuting over the next week and a half (the podcast is taking next week off while Dan goes to Sundance), and we even got on Skype later in the evening to talk briefly about a frustrating Golden Globes telecast.

Also, apologies for the various football-related interjections during the podcast. Giants-Packers was on in the background, and I couldn't help myself in a couple of spots.

The line-up: 

Press Tour Week Two (00:00 - 44:35)
"Justified" (44:40 - 51:40)
"Unsupervised" (51:40 - 57:15)
"Touch" (57:20 - 01:06:00)
The Golden Globes (01:06:45 - 01:15:00)
 
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, download the MP3 file or stream it on Dan's blog.
 
And as always, feel free to e-mail us at sepinwall@hitfix.com and/or dan@hitfix.com if you have questions you want answered on the show. Please put the word "podcast" in your subject line to make it easy to track them down amid the hundreds of random press releases we get every day.

Review: FOX's 'Alcatraz' mixes time travel with drab police procedural

J.J. Abrams goes back to an island, but again hedges his bets

HitFix
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<p>Sarah Jones and Jorge Garcia head to &quot;Alcatraz.&quot;</p>

Sarah Jones and Jorge Garcia head to "Alcatraz."

Credit: FOX
J.J. Abrams came to the TV critics press tour the other day to promote "Alcatraz," his new sci-fi/crime drama that FOX is debuting tonight at 8. A reporter asked Abrams about how the show - in which 300 inmates who vanished from the famous prison in 1963 begin popping up in the present day to cause mayhem - might try to balance the Prisoner of the Week stories with ongoing storytelling about what exactly caused this bit of time-traveling wackiness.

Golden Globes review: Ricky Gervais a timid host, broadcast tedious

A few funny speeches, but a tough three hours to sit through

<p>Ricky Gervais was a disappointment in his third go-around as Golden Globes host.</p>

Ricky Gervais was a disappointment in his third go-around as Golden Globes host.

Credit: NBC

Ricky Gervais came out to host the 2012 Golden Globe Awards and tried to again paint himself as a rebel undermining the system from within. And yet even he could go so far with that angle, what with this being his third time as host, and what with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association asking him back after he spent last year's telecast gleefully ripping most of the movie stars in the room.

"Now, the Hollywood Foreign Press have warned me if I insult any of you," Gervais explained, "they'll definitely invite me back next year as well."

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