Friday, January 18, 2008

An Awesome Combination

It's hard to argue AMC's taste when it comes to original programming.

First, the network brought the slick con show "Hustle" to our shores. Later, it produced the Golden Globe-winning "Mad Men," the most critically acclaimed show of the year.

So when the news hit that it would be producing a new dark comedy called "Breaking Bad," starring one of my favorite TV actors in Bryan Cranston ("Malcolm In The Middle"), well, let's just say I know where I'll be when the show debuts Sunday night at 10 p.m.

"Breaking Bad" tells the tale of a high school chemistry teacher Walt White (Cranston) who has just turned 50. He's in a rut in life when he learns he's terminally ill. So he decides to start making crystal meth with a former student and selling it in order to provide a future for his family.

Some people are comparing the show to Showtime's "Weeds," about a suburban housewife that gets involved with selling marijuana, and hopefully, "Breaking Bad" will reach that level of success. Its creator is former "X-Files" scribe Vince Gilligan.

STRIKE UPDATE: The WGA issued a statement a few hours after the Directors Guild and the AMTMP reached a preliminary agreement.

"Now that the DGA has reached a tentative agreement with the AMPTP, the terms of the deal will be carefully analyzed and evaluated by the WGA, the WGA's Negotiating Committee, the WGAW Board of Directors, and the WGAE Council," the statement said. "We will work with the full membership of both Guilds to discuss our strategies for our own negotiations and contract goals and how they may be affected by such a deal.

For over a month, we have been urging the conglomerates to return to the table and bargain in good faith. They have chosen to negotiate with the DGA instead. Now that those negotiations are completed, the AMPTP must return to the process of bargaining with the WGA. We hope that the DGA's tentative agreement will be a step forward in our effort to negotiate an agreement that is in the best interests of all writers."

While the new agreement may provide a framework for the WGA and the AMTMP to work with, it's important to remember that the DGA had a better deal with the producers to begin with, what with proprietary credit on movies and all. But hopefully this is a step in the right direction in terms of ending the strike soon.

WEEKEND'S BEST BETS: I'm pretty sure CBS burns up all its new episodes this weekend with a whole-new night of "Ghost Whisperer," "Moonlight" and "Numb3rs."

Also new are "Friday Night Lights" (NBC, 9 p.m.) and "Las Vegas" (NBC, 10 p.m.)

Over on cable, Sci-Fi has new episodes of "Flash Gordon" beginning at 8 p.m. and "Stargate Atlantis" at 9 p.m., while sister network USA is airing new installments of "Monk" and "Psych" beginning at 9 p.m.

On Sunday, for those with no interest in the NFL playoffs, "The Amazing Race" (CBS, 8 p.m.) concludes while there's more Jane Austen on "Masterpiece: Northanger Abbey" (PBS, 9 p.m.)

1 comment:

zodin2008 said...

I have to say, my wife & I watched "Breaking Bad" this morning (Monday) and loved it. I paused the episode to say I hope the Emmy/Globe folks pay attention to Bryan Cranston's performance. It was fantastic.

But it shows an embarrassment of riches when it comes to amazing lead actor performances in Dramas all over television....James Gandolfini, Kiefer Sutherland, Edward James Olmos, Cranston, Jon Hamm, Kyle Chandler, Michael Chiklis, Denis Leary, Michael C. Hall, Vincent D'onfrio, Bill Paxton, etc, etc.

It makes you just wonder how in God's namepeople like James Spader and Hugh Laurie win.