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Top Gear Series 14 Premieres in November

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That’s right, our favorite motoring program has been announced for a November 15th premiere. Better still, producers have confirmed this series will be in glorious HD! I don’t know much about what we’re in for this series, but apparently at least one Renault will be destroyed, and if I were a betting man I’d guess a caravan or two will probably get the axe as well.

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October 18, 2009 Posted by | HD, Premiere, Reality, Renewed, Television | , , , , , | Comments Off on Top Gear Series 14 Premieres in November

Top Gear Season 13 Premiere in Three Days

Audi R8 Front

Thanks to the gang over at FinalGear.com for pointing me to two of the promos that BBC2 is airing for the new season of Top Gear that begins this Sunday, June 21st.

In the words of producer Andy Wilman, “The fire we have inside about giving you good telly burns as fiercely as it did in 2002. So sit back and enjoy Top Gear 13, the same old shit.”

As far as I’m concerned, if that same old shit includes hilarious bits like ‘Amphibious Vehicle’ or ‘Caravan Holiday’, then I’m all for it. Especially now that I’ve read we can look forward to a piece on the new Audi R8 V10. I’m going to need a Shamwow to soak up all this drool.

Amphibious Vehicle Challenge (Watch the whole thing, I promise it’s worth it)

Caravan Holiday (Skip to 8:12 for my favorite Top Gear moment ever)

June 18, 2009 Posted by | Comedy, News, Premiere, Reality, Renewed, Television | , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Top Gear Season 13 Premiere in Three Days

Summer TV Preview Part 5: Sunday

Here is the fifth and final part of my Summer TV Preview.

 

Sunday

 

NBC – As part of NBC’s continued effort to lower their production costs, they have partnered with the BBC to co-produce Merlin, a re-imagining of the classic tale that takes place when the magician is a young boy. The second season of the program is set to premiere in the UK, so we know at least the British viewers like it. We’ll find out what Americans think at 8/7c on June 21st.

 

HBO – Our favorite alternate-reality bloodsuckers are back for more when True Blood premieres its second season on June 14th at 9/8c. On June 28th at 10/9c we will get a chance to see Thomas Jane in Hung, the new show about a man who decides to take up the world’s oldest profession. Then the boys return on July 12th at 10:30/9:30c for a sixth season of Entourage.

 

HGTV – Home improvement meets reality tv with the fourth season of HGTV Design Star, in which a group of potential host battle through a series of do-it-yourself challenges to see who gets a show of their own. The group will strap on their toolbelts on July 19th at 10/9c.

 

WE – She doesn’t know it yet, but I’m putting this one on the list for my wife. Amazing Wedding Cakes combines a competition atmosphere with the joy of creating cakes for each couple’s big day. The show airs at 10/9c starting June 7th.

 

101 – DirecTV’s exclusive HD showcase channel will be hopping this summer with complete series runs of Deadwood and Oz (link contains spoilers), two beloved shows that many wish could have lasted longer. For DirecTV subscribers, this certainly beats taking up slots in your Netflix queue or paying big bucks to buy the DVDs.

 

BBC2 – Jeremy, James, and Richard are back to create more automotive havoc when the 13 series of Top Gear premieres on June 21st. While I understand that we are stuck with BBC America and the edited series 12 episodes that are currently airing, I know that intrepid viewers will look for other alternatives to see the most current episodes as soon as they air.

 

This concludes my summer preview, so I hope you find it helpful as you plan your tube time for the next few months. I only included the things I’m going to watch, so if you want to see everything, check out the comprehensive grid over at The Futon Critic.

May 31, 2009 Posted by | Comedy, Drama, New Series, Premiere, Reality, Renewed, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Summer TV Preview Part 5: Sunday

Cancellation Lament

Now that the networks have announced their fall schedules, we know which shows won’t be coming back. I think some obituaries are in order.

This list doesn’t contain every cancellation, but it does contain all the ones I care about.

ABC

Dirty Sexy Money – How many times will this network take a show featuring the incredibly talented Peter Krause, give it minimal support, and cancel it prematurely? Admittedly, this show suffered from a lack of focus, but I think it had a shot at being a modern day Dynasty or Dallas. I blame the writer’s strike for most of the ratings problems, since it never really had a chance to find an audience. The final handful of episodes will air Saturdays at 10/9 starting July 18th.

Pushing Daisies – I understand the stunning visuals were not cheap to create, but once again a truly unique show has been cancelled too soon. While I didn’t care for the Kristen Chenowith sing-a-longs, I loved the combination of fairy-tale and noir that filled each episode. Jim Dale’s outstanding narration worked perfectly with the subject matter, and the original plots allowed for some great guest appearances. The silver lining is that ABC has decided to air the three remaining episodes on Saturdays at 10/9 starting May 30th. Keep in mind though that these episodes aren’t expected to fully resolve the story.

Eli Stone – I realize I just finished saying I didn’t care for the singing on Pushing Daisies, but at least Eli Stone’s musical numbers were part of the plot. In fact, they acknowledged the absurdity of musical numbers in general by making them take place only in Eli’s aneurysm-addled brain. Sadly, this is the third member of ABC’s ill-fated ’07-’08 trio of shows with ratings that got decimated by the strike. Like the other two, the final episodes will be shown in the Saturday 10/9 slot, starting June 20th. As for the cast, star Jonny Lee Miller has gone back to his native England and will be in the BBC’s latest version of Jane Austen’s Emma, airing later this year. The excellent Victor Garber is headed to Fox’s new show Glee to play the father of Will, the glee club director, so I’m sure we can count on hearing his tenor again in primetime.

CBS

Worst Week – Based on the ratings, this show may have gotten tired for many people, but I thought it actually improved dramatically as the season went on. I recommend putting the complete series DVD set in your Netflix queue once it is released later this year. Also, since she was added for two episodes very near the end of the season, I’m starting to wonder if Rachael Harris is a black widow for new shows. (see In The Motherhood, Notes from the Underbelly, Pushing Daisies, Emily’s Reasons Why Not)

Eleventh Hour – Like Worst Week, this was another show based on a UK original that didn’t catch on with the American audience. The chemistry between Rufus Sewell and Marley Shelton took a little to long to develop, but I believe the real downfall of this show was the subject matter. In a grid full of procedurals, new shows have to stand out if they are going to stick around long. I enjoyed the show, in fact it reminded me a lot of the quickly-cancelled Medical Investigation from NBC a few years ago. Unfortunately, in a year where Fringe premiered, the mysteries on this show were just not ‘out there’ enough. And holding less than half of its CSI lead-in audience was just not good enough. I’m sure both actors will land on their feet, in fact they have both booked film gigs already.

NBC

Life – Granted, the second season was not as tight as the first, but Life had that unique quality that set itself apart from other shows. Crews’ zen approach to detective work was just as compelling for me as Bobby Goren on Law & Order: Criminal Intent. I can’t complain too much about this cancellation though, since I’m just now watching the final three episodes as I write this post. Ultimately, I think this is the kind of show that belongs on cable. The kind of season-long underlying plot lines Life showcased remind me more of Damages than CSI. Damian Lewis is a great talent who will have no problem booking other jobs, and I hope Adam Arkin finds a new home as well. Arkin had three movies slated for 2009 and actually directed two of the final episodes of Life, so his prospects would appear to be pretty good.

My Name Is Earl – I’ll be the first to admit that this fourth season hasn’t been even close to the quality of the first three, but I don’t think the reason is a big mystery. Starting at the end of the third season, there was a complete departure from the simple “do something from Earl’s list” premise. Creator Greg Garcia announced a return to the original formula for the fourth season, but there were still way too many episodes that focused on things like Darnell and Joy in Witness Protection, and the disappearance of Ernie, the owner of the Crab Shack who we have never previously seen or cared about. I’d like to see this get picked up by Fox, ABC, or TBS as rumored, just to see if they can right the ship by returning to what made the show great.

May 24, 2009 Posted by | Cancelled, Comedy, Drama, New Series, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Cancellation Lament

DirecTV announces Election Night HD News Mix Channel

On election night from 6pm to 5am Central, DirecTV will be airing a special news feed with NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, and Comedy Central/BBC America.  That’s right, they will be using Octabox technology to give viewers an democragasm.

Full story here.

Explanation of octobox here.

October 20, 2008 Posted by | News, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment