<p>Bruce Campbell in &quot;Burn Notice:&nbsp;The Fall of Sam Axe.&quot;</p>

Bruce Campbell in "Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe."

Credit: USA

Review: Bruce Campbell solos in USA's 'Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe'

Prequel film doesn't live up to the potential

Not all sidekicks are created equal. Some eventually prove so popular or colorful that they eventually get their own solo spotlight, while others get stuck in the shadows of their famous partner. After a few decades, Robin got his own super-team and then his own title separate from what he does with Batman. On the other hand, there haven't been many efforts to detail the fictional standalone adventures of either Tonto, Dr. Watson or Art Garfunkel.

Sam Axe, the boozing, womanizing ex-Navy SEAL pal of "Burn Notice" hero Michael Westen, definitely fits the former category. If you had been at last summer's Comic-Con panel for the show - in which star Jeffrey Donovan stayed home so that Bruce Campbell could soak up his usual adulation from the fanboys and girls - you would think that "Burn Notice" was, in fact, largely about Sam, and that Michael and Fiona were the sidekicks.

It was at that Comic-Con panel that USA announced plans for "Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe," a prequel movie directed by Donovan, that airs Sunday night at 9, helping to bridge the gap between seasons of the popular spy show. The film tells the story of Sam's final SEAL mission in Colombia, and how trying to do the right thing turned him from a career military man into an unemployed Miami lounge lizard.

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<p>Landry enjoys his last night in Dillon on the &quot;Friday Night Lights&quot;&nbsp;premiere.</p>

Landry enjoys his last night in Dillon on the "Friday Night Lights" premiere.

Credit: DirecTV

'Friday Night Lights' - 'Expectations': Lance's lapdance

The fifth and final season begins with some goodbyes and hellos

(I originally posted this review back when "Friday Night Lights" was doing its exclusive DirecTV run. The comments from that period have been preserved. For the sake of people who are watching the episodes as they air on NBC, I will ask anyone commenting from this point forward to only discuss plot events up to the episode in question. Do not discuss, or even allude to, anything that has yet to air on NBC. Thank you.)

"Friday Night Lights" is back on NBC, and I have a review of the season premiere coming up just as soon as water is meant to be in my brother's pants...

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<p>George R.R. Martin</p>

George R.R. Martin

Credit: HBO

Interview: 'Game of Thrones' author George R.R. Martin

How does he expect newcomers to his books to understand the HBO fantasy drama?

George R.R. Martin has been living with the characters you'll see in Sunday night's premiere of HBO's "Game of Thrones" for 20 years now. The former TV writer ("Beauty and the Beast," "The Twilight Zone") started work on the first book in the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series of fantasy novels back in 1991, published the first in 1996, and ever since has been dealing with questions and suggestions about how the books might be adapted to the screen.

He doesn't have to wonder any more. "Game of Thrones" debuts Sunday at 9 p.m., and I thought it was terrific - and that's coming from the perspective of someone who, as I explained to Martin at the start of a long phone interview, hasn't read any of the books(*).

(*) And for that reason let me remind you the rules I laid out in that initial review, which is that plot spoilers from the first book or any of the future ones are not cool, and will be deleted. I want other Westeros newbies to have the same sense of discovery I did.

Martin and I talked about the challenge of adapting the books - about the fight for the throne of a kingdom in an alternate history version of England in the Middle Ages, known as Westeros - about casting so many of the pivotal roles, about ways in which the TV show might influence the later books, and a lot more. I even got a cathartic moment where I got to object to one particular quirk of Martin's writing style that's going to be an ongoing problem in my coverage of the show.

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<p>Jenna films a movie on &quot;30 Rock.&quot;</p>

Jenna films a movie on "30 Rock."

Credit: NBC

'30 Rock' - 'I Heart Connecticut': Over the top!

Liz and Kenneth hunt for Tracy, Jack and Jenna fix a movie, and Pete becomes an arm-wrestling champ

A quick review of last night's "30 Rock" coming up just as soon as I have a tattoo of a leprechaun vomiting on a book...

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<p>Danny Pudi on &quot;Community&quot;</p>

Danny Pudi on "Community"

Credit: NBC

'Community' - 'Competitive Wine Tasting': Who's the boss?

Pierce finds love, Britta finds hidden depth in Troy, and Abed solves a sitcom secret

A review of last night's "Community" coming up just as soon as my heart is mad at my kidneys...

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<p>Will Ferrell on &quot;The Office.&quot;</p>

Will Ferrell on "The Office."

Credit: NBC

'The Office' - 'Training Day': Will Ferrell moves in

'Anchorman' reunion not off to a promising start

A review of last night's Will Ferrell-ish episode of "The Office" coming up just as soon as I go online and look at turtles...

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<p>Aubrey Plaza and Amy Poehler on &quot;Parks and Recreation.&quot;</p>

Aubrey Plaza and Amy Poehler on "Parks and Recreation."

Credit: NBC

'Parks and Recreation' - 'Andy and April's Fancy Party': Impulse power

Our wacky young lovebirds are at the center of a sweet, funny season highlight

A review of tonight's "Parks and Recreation" coming up just as soon as I change my Britta filter...

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<p>Mark Burnett and Paul Reiser in &quot;The Paul Reiser Show.&quot;</p>

Mark Burnett and Paul Reiser in "The Paul Reiser Show."

Credit: NBC

'The Paul Reiser Show' - 'Father's Occupation': Curb your laughter?

What did everybody think of the new NBC sitcom?

I offered my review of "The Paul Reiser Show" yesterday morning. Now it's your turn. What'd you think of the "Mad About You" guy's attempt to do his own version of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" for NBC?

<p>Michael B. Jordan and Matt Lauria in &quot;Friday Night Lights.&quot;</p>

Michael B. Jordan and Matt Lauria in "Friday Night Lights."

Credit: NBC/DirecTV

Review: 'Friday Night Lights' season 5 debuts on NBC

Better late than never for those who haven't seen the football drama's great final season

The roll-out schedule for the fifth and final season of "Friday Night Lights" has been strange even by the standards of the show's later years. The 13-episode season, like usual, originally aired in the fall and early winter on DirecTV, which kept the high school football drama alive after two low-rated seasons on NBC. And, as usual, those episodes will now begin airing on NBC, starting Friday at 8 p.m. In between, though, the entire fifth season was released on DVD last Tuesday, meaning that every single episode will now have been made available by two different means before a single minute airs on the show's broadcast home.

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<p>Timothy Olyphant in &quot;Justified.&quot;</p>
<br />

Timothy Olyphant in "Justified."


Credit: FX

'Justified' - 'Debts and Accounts': Corporate restructuring

Alliances are forged as the season barrels into the home stretch

A review of tonight's "Justified" coming up just as soon as I call you from the landline in my office...

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