The Television Critics Association just sent its members the list of the shows we nominated for the 2013 TCA Awards, which will be presented on August 3, midway through this summer's TCA press tour.
A review of tonight's "Mad Men" coming up just as soon as Fred Astaire punches Ginger Rogers in the face...
A review of tonight's "Game of Thrones" season finale coming up just as soon as I sheep shift your bed...
For the third summer in a row, we're revisiting David Milch's classic revisionist HBO Western "Deadwood," this time discussing the third season.
While I once upon a time posted two separate reviews so people who hadn't watched the whole series would have a safe place to comment, almost no one bothered commenting on the newbie reviews last year, and they've been ditched. If you haven't finished the series, just avoid the comments of this review and you'll be fine.
Thoughts on episode 2, "I Am Not the Fine Man You Take Me For," coming up just as soon as I give a preliminary signal that I'm gonna show my ass...
HBO has announced premiere dates for the new season of "Boardwalk Empire," the final season of "Eastbound & Down," the debut season of the comedy "Hello Ladies" and the new HBO film "Clear History."
The 12-episode fourth season of "Boardwalk Empire" will premiere Sunday, September 8 at 9 p.m. Jeffrey Wright and Ron Livingston are among the new castmembers for the Prohibition-era mob drama.
"Hello Ladies," starring and co-created by Stephen Merchant (Ricky Gervais' creative partner on "The Office," "Extras" and "Life's Too Short"), debuts an 8-episode season Sunday, September 29 at 10 p.m. Merchant plays a gawky Englishman looking for love in Los Angeles. Merchant is writing with "Office" alums Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky.
"Eastbound & Down" returns for its 8-episode final season — though, keep in mind, the previous season was also often referred to as the last one — on September 29 at 10:30 p.m.
"Clear History" also has a star doubling as co-writer. Larry David (working on the script with Alec Berg, David Mandel and Jeff Schaffer) plays a former marketing executive seeking revenge on his former boss. Directed by Greg Mottola, the film co-stars Jon Hamm, Bill Hader, Phillip Baker Hall, Kate Hudson, Michael Keaton, Danny McBride, Eva Mendes, Amy Ryan and J.B. Smoove. It debuts Saturday, August 10 at 9 p.m.
Back in the fall, Adam Scott gave the world "The Greatest Event in Television History" — which turned out to be an Adult Swim special where he and Jon Hamm recreated the opening credits to '80s detective show "Simon & Simon." (The entire special is on YouTube, but you have to pay a small fee to see it now; it's on AdultSwim.com for free. UPDATE: And now the complete sequel special is embedded below.) It was a complete goof — inspired in part by a classic "Late Night with David Letterman" bit I've embedded below, in part by Scott and Hamm's mutual love of classic opening credits sequences — and successful enough that Adult Swim commissioned a sequel. Tonight at midnight on Adult Swim, brace yourselves for Scott, his "Parks and Recreation" co-star Amy Poehler, and Poehler's former "SNL" castmate Horatio Sanz in a shot-for-shot remake of the season 4 credits to "Hart to Hart."
I spoke with Scott yesterday — he was in New Orleans, on the set of, as he described it, "this really cool, kind of an Oscar-type movie for next year called 'Hot Tub Time Machine 2'" — about the origins of the first "Greatest Event," the challenges of bringing the '80s back to life, and what he misses about those lengthy main title sequences, which now mainly exist on cable.
Welcome to what is, for now, the longest Firewall & Iceberg Podcast ever, featuring exactly one new series ("Graceland") and no listener mail at all, but lots of segments that required lots of discussion, including the WGA list of the 101 best-written TV shows ever, the "Orphan Black" finale, a pivotal "Game of Thrones," a new "Mad Men," and the start of our summer pilot project with "The Sopranos." Speaking of which, next week's pilots are "Cheers" (on Netflix) and "Taxi" (on CBS.com).
A successful undercover cop show, like a successful undercover police operation, requires patience. You need time to establish your characters, develop a relationship with their target, and plausibly get in deep enough for the real action to take place.
Most undercover cop shows — like most of the TV business in general — don't have that patience. They want instant gratification, and throw their heroes into new identities and operations with such speed that it's hard to believe in or care about anything that's happening. Every now and then you get a gem like "Wiseguy" (the '80s classic featuring lengthy guest arcs built around villains played by the likes of Ray Sharkey, Jerry Lewis and a young Kevin Spacey) or "Sleeper Cell" (the great but short-lived Showtime drama about an FBI agent infiltration an extremist Muslim terrorist group), but more often you get completely forgettable dramas like "Prince Street" or "The Handler" or "Dark Blue," where the cops tended to slip in and out of assignments so quickly as to not be worth the bother.
"Graceland," the new USA drama debuting tomorrow night at 10, is attempting to split the difference — just as it's trying to both embrace and expand upon the familiar USA "blue skies" formula.