Thursday, January 11, 2007

This & That

I got an e-vite from The CW Wednesday reminding me to watch "Smallville" tonight (CW, 8 p.m.), returning with an all-new episode guest-starring Tori Spelling.

I'm deciding to watch it anyway.

I don't know why people who are big names but severely lacking in acting talent constantly pop up on TV shows. I'm not sure when the trend first started. At least when people like Don Drysdale appeared on "The Brady Bunch," he was portraying himself.

What bothers me is when good shows resort to stunt casting. Take "Veronica Mars," for example. It's one of TV's best shows, but in its three-year history, it's had guest stars like Paris Hilton and Patty Hearst playing roles - not themselves - on the show. Why? Were there no good actors available? Were people saying, "Boy, I wonder what ole Patty Hearst has been up to these days?"

I'm guessing Tori Spelling is doing "Smallville" to promote her upcoming reality show, but I don't really know why "Smallville's" producers need her necessarily. I can't imagine it will be a big ratings boost.

AU REVOIR, GAIL BERMAN: The former Fox TV head, responsible for developing shows like "Malcolm in the Middle" and "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer," is stepping down as the head of Paramount, effective immediately. No reason has been given thus far.

Though Berman had some big movies come out this past year, including "Showgirls" and "World Trade Center," I think she's better suited for TV.

THE RIGHT DIRECTION: Speaking of "Buffy," creator Joss Whedon will be directing an episode of "The Office" this season. Whedon's episode will air the week before an episode that will be directed by "Lost" creator J.J. Abrams. It's hard to imagine "The Office" any better than it already is, but having two of the best minds in TV directing episodes is certainly cause for excitement.

A&E BACK WITH NEW DRAMAS: It's hard for me to plug anything on A&E these days. Even though the initials stand for Arts & Entertainment, they really ought to stand for "Awful & Excruciating" based on its switch from well-done dramas to reality shows and "CSI: Miami" re-runs.

But maybe getting back to its dramatic roots, A&E announced it will produce separate pilots from big-time producers Steven Bochco and Joel Silver.

According to, A&E has begun development on six projects, potential series compliments to the network’s syndicated pick-ups. Silver is producing a show called "Dry River," about cops in a Texas town near Mexico. Bochco, who gave us "L.A. Law" and "NYPD Blue" (and yes, "Cop Rock") is creating a drama about married lawyers who work together in a divorce practice.

Other shows in the work include "The Hunt" by Sheldon Turner, about a former L.A. cop who was arrested during the Rampart Scandal; "Y3," about a NY cop; another drama involving the NYPD; and a show called "Johnny the Great," of which there is no description.

'HOUSE' STARS ENGAGED: Jennifer Morrison and Jesse Spencer, who play Cameron and Chase respectively on "House," recently became engaged. A wedding date hasn't been set yet.

RIP YVONNE DE CARLO: The actress, best known as Lily Munster on"The Munsters," died Wednesday at age 84 of natural causes.

THURSDAY'S BEST BETS: The Winchester boys are back to killing monsters in a new episode of "Supernatural" (CW, 9 p.m.) No, the monster isn't Tori Spelling.

ABC rolls out a whole new night of shows, including moving "Men in Trees" permanently into the 10 p.m. slot, giving the network a night of girl power to go along with "Ugly Betty" at 8 p.m. and "Grey's Anatomy" at night. For a network that can't program to save its life on Wednesdays, it seems to have a handle on Thursdays. Go figure.

NBC airs all-new episodes of its comedy block, beginning with "My Name is Earl" at 8 p.m., followed by a less-funny episode of "ER" at 10 p.m.

CBS is mostly re-runs, and I'd rather gouge out my eyes than watch "Armed & Famous" at 8 p.m.

Fox also has some new stuff, with brand new episodes of "Til Death" and "The War at Home," followed by the soon-to-be-canceled "The O.C." at 9 p.m.

1 comment:

Zodin2008 said...

As someone who was a huge fan of the cultural phenomenon known as "90210", I can handle a Tori Spelling appearance. Yes, she's a below avg. actress who is only famous and acting because her now deceased father, Aaron, but whatever...Paris Hilton and Patty Hearst were far worse. So was Tara Reid on "Scrubs".

I am just happy that all my shows on Thursday (Smallville, Supernatural, Ugly Betty, the NBC Comedies) are ALL new.