TV Gal Reveals the Winners
Kristen Bell and Jason Dohring on 'Veronica Mars'
So thank you so much for voting in the 2006 Amy Awards. I have so much fun doing this every year because you pick the categories, you pick the nominees and you pick the winners.
Well, you certainly hope to see James Marsters back on TV next year (I'm thinking he could be somebody Earl wronged on "My Name is Earl"). And you continue to be in an uproar about "7th Heaven." It is the show we love to hate and hate to love. And let's hope the Emmys share your "Veronica Mars" love.
And now, the winners of the 2006 Amy Awards. Each winner is linked to its own discussion forum.
Thanks also to everyone who wrote with concerns about the ballot and that there wasn't a "none of the above" option. I promise to fix that next year in the 2007 Amy Awards when I'm sure "7th Heaven" will somehow still be on the ballot.
NBC's New Shows
Alas, poor NBC. Despite the critical acclaim of "The Office" and "My Name is Earl," times are tough for the peacock network. So let's start with the good news. Remember a few years ago how I loved "Desperate Housewives" before I ever met it? That's kind of how I felt about "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip." The series about the behind-the-scenes shenanigans at a "Saturday Night Live" like show is from the cracker jack team of Thomas Schlamme and Aaron Sorkin. The cast includes Matthew Perry, Bradley Whitford, Timothy Busfield, Steven Weber and D.L. Hughley. How could it go wrong? I'm happy to report that it didn't. The pilot is funny, poignant, fast-paced and even thought-provoking. There are cameos from Felicity Huffman, Judd Hirsch and Ed Asner. And even Amanda Peet, who has never been my favorite (sorry "Jack & Jill" fans) turns in a terrific performance.
The rest of NBC shows are, so far, less than memorable. "Kidnapped," about a -- that's right -- kidnapping of the son of a wealthy family was highly stylized but I failed to really connect the action. "Heroes," about people (including Milo Ventimiglia, Greg Grunberg, Hayden Panettiere, and Adrian Pasdar) who discover they have extraordinary capabilities, seems too much like a work in progress to truly judge it. There's was a lot going on but not much happening. Kyle Chandler is the football coach Eric Taylor on "Friday Night Lights." Again I thought too much style, not enough substance. But I was thrilled to see Jack Bauer's cast aside girlfriend Connie Britton as Eric's wife.
As for comedies, Alec Baldwin is hilarious as the clueless network president in "30 Rock." And Tracey Morgan is a hoot as a crazy movie star, but so far the sitcom from Tina Fey about behind-the-scenes at a variety show is much more mundane than you would expect. As for "Twenty Good Years," the sitcom staring John Lithgow and Jeffrey Tambor as two men who decide to live their next 20 years to the fullest, it was hard for me to watch the show without wishing Tambor was still on "Arrested Development." Perhaps I'll get over that.
Well these are just first impressions of pilots that will still go through more changes before they actually air. Coming next week, my thoughts on ABC's new shows.
Brad Garrett and Julia Louis-Dreyfus announce the Emmy nominations Thursday morning at 8:39 a.m. on E! Remember there's a new system this year. The Top 15 vote getters in the lead actor and actress categories will be narrowed down to five nominees after a bull ribbon panel views each actor's work. For drama and comedy series, the top 10 vote getters move on to the blue ribbon panel. Rumor is that this means we could actually see the likes of Lauren Graham, Kristen Bell, Treat Williams and Tichnia Arnold among the nominees. Keep your remote control crossed and I promise we will discuss (or commiserate about whichever is necessary) the nominees next week.
Highlights of the Week Ahead
All times listed are Eastern Time for July 3 to 9
So many of you have written to me about the death of Aaron Spelling. Those of you who have been reading my column for years, know how much I loved his work. And his legacy lives on and not only on "7th Heaven" (which airs back to back repeats Monday at 8 p.m. on the WB) but his shows are a permanent part of our pop-culture. Say "Donna Martin Graduates" to almost anyone and they'll know exactly what you are talking about. "The O.C." would not exist without "90210." "Dynasty" defined the 80's. "Melrose Place" the 90's. He had the unique ability to capture the way viewers were feeling at that moment, giving up what we wanted to see (even when we didn't know it was what we wanted) and always pushing past conventions. He will be remembered for having some of the first gay characters on TV (long before it was trendy) and for breaking television's color barriers. I could go on and on and on. Television will not be the same without him. He will be missed.
"Rock Star: Supernova" returns Wednesday at 9 p.m. on CBS. This time around Tommy Lee (Motley Crue), Gilby Clarke (Guns N' Roses) and Jason Newsted (Metallica) are looking for a lead singer to complete them. Two words: Chris Daughtry.
"Grey's Anatomy" checks into its new time slot Thursday at 9 p.m. on ABC. It's a move that scared NBC so much that they moved "Studio 60" to Monday nights. McDreamy faces off against Gil Grissom for the first time. To honor this momentous occasion, ABC repeats the pilot episode when Meredith first met McDreamy.
They're baaaack. The six past contestants viewers picked plus the six the producers picked move into "Big Brother 7: All Stars" Thursday at 8 p.m. on CBS. Can someone explain to me why anyone would put themselves through this again?
The great thing about "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" (Thursday, NBC, 10 p.m.) is that it will always cross the line for the laugh, nothing it seems is that off limits. Star Rob McElhenney told me that if everyone liked their show they would think they were doing something wrong. And Danny DeVito fits right in, doesn't he?
"Monk" returns with brand new episodes Friday at 9 p.m. And it's a guest starapoolza. Stanley Tucci (who was in fact one of the actors considered to play Monk) plays a method actor who takes playing Monk in an upcoming TV movie a little too seriously. And Peter Weller, who we think Jack Bauer shot and killed at the end of "24," does a spot-on and hilarious impersonation of Captain Leland Stottlemeyer. And as an added bonus, Greg Grunberg (Weiss on "Alias") guest stars as this week's baddie.
Immediately after "Monk," Dule Hill and James Roday star in the new series "Psych" at 10 p.m. Obviously, the first thing to really like about "PSYCH" is that Hill, so underutilized as Charlie on "The West Wing," finally gets the screen time he deserves (although I was in a total panic because he doesn't show up in the first 12 minutes). But what I really loved about the show is that it is absolutely different. Shawn Spencer (Roday) is a man with a keen sense of observation who fakes being a psychic because that's easier for the police force to understand. Hill is his more practical friend Gus who begrudgingly goes along for the ride. Like "Monk," the show is simply a good time. No heavy viewing involved.
Showtime's new series "Brotherhood" premieres Sunday at 10 p.m. This compelling, gritty drama was filmed entirely on location in Providence, Rhode Island. When Mike (Jason Isaacs) returns home after a mysterious seven year absence, his politician brother Tommy (Jason Clarke) is nervous while his mother (Fionnula Flanagan) is thrilled. And Annabeth Gish is terrific as Tommy's put-upon wife. I think you are going to really like this show. After you've watch the premiere, let me know what you think.
That's all for today. I'll be back next Monday to talk about "Rescue Me" (what is going on?), the return of "Project Runway," the new Lifetime series "Angela's Eyes" and of course to discuss the Emmy nominations. Have a question, seen a familiar face, have an inside scoop or want to nominate a quote of the week? Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org .