Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Some More Of This & That

A bunch of casting news out there that may be of interest, garnered from various sources, mostly

--"Prison Break" is adding four new cast members, including Jodi Lyn O'Keefe as a member of the mysterious group behind the whole situation and a potential love interest for Lincoln; Robert Wisdom ("The Wire") will play a drug lord incarcerated at the group's new South American prison.

--"Heroes" has given a plethora of actors new employment. David Anders (Sark on "Alias") is Takezo Kensai, the legendary warrior Hiro worships. (Some thought this role would also have been played by George Takei). Eriko Tamura, an Asian pop star, will play a Japanese princess. Also joining the show are Barry Shabaka Henley as a NYC cop; Holt McCallany as the leader of an Irish gang (hopefully not the Black Donnellys); Lyndsy Fonseca ("How I Met Your Mother") and Dianna Agron as cheerleaders; and Nick D'Agosto as Claire's new boyfriend. No word on what powers any of these people might have.

--"House" is casting four new actors to be House's new staff, but House's previous staff will still return next season.

--Keith Carradine ("Deadwood") will play an FBI agent investigate a string of murders on "Dexter."

--The lovely Laurie Holden ("The X-Files") will play a cop on the final season of "The Shield."

--And Pascale Hutton (Clark's Phantom Zone friend on "Smallville") is joining "The 4400."

RATINGS: Boy, when people said they were going to cancel their subscriptions to HBO in response to "The Sopranos" finale, they weren't joking.

"Entourage" debuted to just 2.2 million last weekend, while new show "John From Cincinnati" continued to hemorrage viewers, drawing just 1.2 million. "Big Love" isn't much better off, getting just 1.5 million.

The viewers aren't jumping to Showtime, however. New series "Meadowlands" picked up just 184,000. It should be noted with all of these shows, however, that they are shown multiple times during the week, so viewers that missed a Sunday airing may simply be catching it on a Wednesday, for example. And that doesn't even include the DVR/VCR crowd.

Not all of the news is bad for cable shows, however. New show "Heartland" on TNT picked up 4.3 million, making it one of the highest-rated cable shows this year.

WEDNESDAY'S BEST BETS: Jonathan Heeter of's "Bringing The Heet" blog would like to remind everyone that the "AFI's Top 100 Movies, 10th Anniversary Edition" (CBS, 8 p.m.) is on tonight. I'm not a huge fan of lists, and I tend to disagree with some of the choices made on this particular list, but it's a good thing to debate if you love movies. Heeter saves all these AFI shows on tape for posterity, by the way.

NBC offers two episodes of "Last Comic Standing" from 8-10 p.m., while ABC offers two hours of its own reality during that same time before airing a new episode of "Traveler" (ABC, 10 p.m.) Fox foists two hours of "So You Think You Can Dance?" on us at 8 p.m.

As always, the pick of the night is "Rescue Me" (FX, 10 p.m.)


zodin2008 said...

If it wasn't for "Big Love" and "Entourage", I would see no reason to pop 13-15 extra dollars a month for HBO.

"The Sopranos" was the reason I was even willing to pay for HBO some years back, but if HBO can't find shows as buzz-worthy as "Entourage", "The Sopranos" or "Big Love" soon, they will lose a ton more subscribers.

I have zero interest in "John from Cinncinati" and I tried "Rome" but couldn't get into it. I never really got into "Deadwood" (I hate Westerns) and same with "The Wire". Those shows are dying or dead now anyway.

I think HBO has had a renaissance the last 7-8 years, but if they can't find more soon, they are toast.

I forgot to add the hilarious, "Curb Your Enthusiasm" but from what I understand, it's only going to be airing about 1 more season and that date has still yet to be announced.

As for the casting news, I was a huge "Alias" fan so I am excited to see David Anders join former "Alias" co-star Greg Grunberg (or maybe not?) on "Heroes". First, we don't know if Grunberg's cop, Matt Parkman survived the shooting, and second, even if he did survive, he may not be someone the show focuses on in year 2. I hope he is back though.

Even so, if Anders is a character set in ancient Japan, I doubt Anders and Grunberg would have too many scenes together.

Edge said...

So what did you think of last night's 'On the Lot'?

I really liked the 'glass eye' one, and the 'sunshine girl' one (sorry I can't remember all of their names). As for the other 3, not much to comment on. And even though the guy that got kicked off last night had a bit of an ego and his movies played more like trailers, I still tought he had more talent than some of the others that made it through.

Jonathan said...

I'm really digging "On the Lot," and I wish more people were as well since a return next summer seems unlikely with the ratings it's getting. I also liked "Glass Eye" and "Sunshine Girl." The worst by far had to be "The Orchard." I loved Craven's comment about horror being about blood and not sap. I'm really confused though that if they are going to be doing horror films in the next couple of weeks why wasn't Craven put on until then? Here's hoping we don't have to suffer through someone like Eli Roth telling us what horror should be.

Phillip Ramati said...

On The Lot: I agree, the glass eye and the sunshine girl were the cream of the crop, and those two filmmakers are among the very best, though the criticisms of the two films were what I was thinking as well - thought the glass eye point of view should have been in black and white, and hated the cutesy music with the girl. But good films otherwise.

The worst was the orchard, but I had zero expectations because IMHO the director should have been booted in the previous round. I was most disappointed in the one about the couple breaking up, because the director had shown so much promise with his previous film.

The director booted off had more talent than some of the others, but his ego got in the way, which was a shame, because he had a very strong visual style. His storytelling, however, left something to be desired.

I keep liking this show more and more each week.

Zod, I dropped HBO last week in favor of Showtime, where I hope to catch reruns of Dexter and The Tudors. I'll pick it back up once Curb Your Enthusiasm returns.

HBO, like any other network, is hit-and-miss at best. For every Sopranos, The Wire, Entourage and Extras, you get a John From Cincinnati or Carnivale. Much of the stuff is middling, such as Six Feet Under or Rome - shows people either love or hate, but not much in between.

Still, you've got to love HBO and Showtime for taking chances on shows that would otherwise never see the light of day on any other network.

Edge said...

Don't forget Weeds is coming back in Aug (Showtime). And Phillip, if you have not seen this show yet, I would highly suggest to catch up on the first 2 seasons on DVD. This is my favorite show.

Phillip Ramati said...

"Weeds" is another show I hope to check out, because I've heard so much good stuff about it. I do want to start at the beginning, however, so I need to find the first season DVDs (then find the time to watch them).

zodin2008 said...

I have my own adendum to add to the "Weeds" discussion.

I liken this show a bit to HBO's now retired, "Six Feet Under".

The first season of "Weeds", which my wife and I rented on netflix and watched in 1 night in the early part of the Summer of 2006, was so wildly entertaining, so out there, so cool and outrageous, we did go ahead and (for a time) add Showtime so we could watch Season 2 (and try other "Showtime" series such as "Dexter" and "Brotherhood").

Season 2, while it had its great moments, turned us both off enough not to bother with keeping Showtime around. season 2 of "Weeds" brough my opinion of the show way down.

I liken it to "Six Feet Under" because it seems that the creator of the show, is trying to see how many off the wall and outrageous things she can stuff into an hour. A lot of critics also had a problem with S2 of "Weeds".

Also, if I am to commit to a show, I would like to at least SOMEWHAT root for the lead character. Even on "Rescue Me", "The Shield", and "The Sopranos", where you have lead characters ranging from occassionally bad to mob boss, I still found myself interested enough to always have a stake in whatever goes on with Tommy Gavin, Vic Mackey and Tony Soprano.

Nancy Botwin (Mary Louise Parker) was like that in Season 1. In season 2, I just frankly found her to be a royal bit-- and was openly rooting against her by the last few episodes. I have never done that with Tommy, Vic and Tony.

As for the other "Showtime" series I tried, well, "Dexter" maybe well made, and Michael C. Hall is very creepy in the lead role (plus, Phillip, if you watch you'll be happy to see "Angel" siren Darla back on the small me some Julie Benz) but the show is so sadistic and so creey, it was too dark, even for me.

As for "Brotherhood", my wife and I both found it to be really, really boring. A really boring, Irish version of "The Sopranos". Kind of like the awful, "The Black Donnellys", just more dull and with older actors.

Phillip, I know you have already made the decision to cut HBO and grab Showtime. That's your call. For my extra Cable bucks, I am very happy to still use them to watch "Entourage", "Big Love" and a better slate of specials and movies.

Oh, there was one series on Showtime that's now over after 2 seasons, but was one of the best limited series (and most realistic) I have ever seen, that I HIGHLY recommend: "Sleeper Cell". (Phillip, I remember you're a Laurie Holden fan and she's a key player in Season 1).