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You Gotta Catch, FX’s ‘Justified’ and Timothy Olyphant, Great Television

April 30th, 2011 No comments

It takes me a minute to get to all of my saved programs on the DVR.  Yes there’s a lot there that sometimes goes a week or two before I watch what’s on that great addictive device of the new millennium.  But guess what?  One show that is just totally underrated and is one of the TV’s best shows is Justified on FX.

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Timothy Olyphant and Natalie Zea in 'Justified' on FX

Timothy Olyphant and Natalie Zea in 'Justified' on FX

I just had a chance to watch Timothy Olyphant, the lead in Justified, give one of his best performances maybe in his time on the second season of the show.   The episode titled Reckoning was one of the best in the series and was so engaging that I had to watch it a second time.  Olyphant is simply terrific.  There’s not one minute during this episode where he does not completely fit the role of Rayland Givans, a U.S. Marshal in Lexington, Kentucky.

It took me a minute to catch on to this show.  As an urban oriented guy a show about basically hillbillies would not seem attractive.  Pretty much not to anyone, unless you’re live in such an environment.  So season one was a blur to me.  Justified is not as magnetic as Rescue Me or The Shield so you really have to force your mindset to watch the show.  Think of the FX show Sons of Anarchy, which unless you’re white, male and 18 to 34 years of age, there’s no reason to immediately turn on this show.  I didn’t watch Sons of Anarchy until my sister turned me on to it and after a couple of episodes, I was hooked.

That’s unfortunately what you will have to do with Justified.  Especially if you’re not in that white, male 18 to 34 year old demographic that truly is FX.  Now way would I be considered a core user of this network but checking out Justified is totally worth the hour,

Walter Goggins, who had some serious time on The Shield, is another cast member in Justified.  He is just as engaging and terrific as Olyphant.  If anyone was cast perfectly in two great series it is definitely Goggins.  He plays Boyd Crowder who has more illegal plots going on than Bernie Madoff.

Olyphant was the lead in HBO’s Deadwood which I watched a few episodes but we tend to limit our blogging about shows on pay television network.  “Complicated” and “complex” how he described his role on that program.  And did one year on the FX series Damages.  But this role in Justified, well this is a role made for Timothy Olyphant.

Rick Thomas

Rick Thomas

Rick Thomas

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With the Royal Wedding Finally Over, We Must Get Charles Barkley’s Take (Video)

April 30th, 2011 No comments

Thank whatever god you pray to that this royal wedding thing is finally over right?  Well I’m a guy and if you tell me that a heterosexual male at any age is not familiar with a female that got up at 4AM in the east or 1AM in the west to watch this event, I’m calling you an out and out liar.

2 billion people worldwide watched this program on television.  As a man in the later stages of his life, well getting up for a walk to the toilet once a night is standard.  It was at 2AM Los Angeles time Friday for that trek and I actually turned on my television set to catch a few minutes of the coverage.

Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley

Yeah I was so engrossed that I actually watch for about 15 minutes.  Don’t grab my ‘man card’ away from me but that 15 minutes was pretty dang engaging.

Then I went back to sleep.  Turned in to a really bad chick flick.  A really long chick flick.  But then there’s the ever engaging Charles Barkley, one of the hosts of the TNT coverage of the NBA on that network.

I beat up Chuck when he goes ghetto during this program.  But he’s still relatively entertaining and I have to give him some serious props on his work during college basketball’s March Madness. He did, in what Charles would say, “a hell of a job” during his coverage.  He was actually prepared.  Stared off letting Charles be Charles, but every other broadcaster during the March Madness Final Four games being so professional, well Chuck had no choice but to not be his usual knucklehead self that he can be most times on TNT.

But this video is classic Charles.  And fun.  Check it out.

Rick Thomas

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‘X Factor’s Mariah Carey and ‘America’s Got Talent’s Nick Cannon Welcome their Babies

April 30th, 2011 No comments

Well the bambinos have arrived.  Pop singer and new X Factor judge Mariah Carey and America’s Got Talent host Nick Cannon are officially parents.  A little have 12 noon today the 41 year old multi-talented singer gave birth to twins, both a boy and a girl and arrived on the couples fourth anniversary.

Let’s see an anniversary gift and having two babies?  Nick’s gonna have a very expensive day at the jewelry story.

The girl popped in at 5 pounds 3 ounces and 18 inches long.  The boy came up at 5 pounds and 6 inches and at 19 inches.

So no false alarm this time.  Mariah admitted herself to a hospital in end of March with early contraction but not action then.  This time Nick apparently was so nervous that on his arrival to the hospital he went to the wrong area of the facility and had to be taken to the maternity ward to be with Mariah.

The couple have not come up with names for their two new family additions.

Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon

Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon

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MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell Rips “Racist” Boss NBC News and Entertainment Apart

April 28th, 2011 No comments

Give Lawrence O’Donnell a lot of credit.  NBC News and NBC Entertainment?  Well I would not want to be an executive at either of those properties today.  Here in “Hollywood or Burbank” as the host of The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell would say.  Or at 30 Rock in New York.

With Comcast taking over NBC and pretty much firing everyone and anyone in management connected to the Jeff Zucker, people at NBC are already shaking in their boots over the merger.

A lot are working on their resumes as we speak at NBC.

lawrence-odonnell

What Lawrence O’Donnell did last night to his own network was simply amazing.  Simply calling out every top executive at NBC.  He literally ripped them an new one as they say on La Brea in Inglewood.

Ripped them a new one.

Along with that clown Donald Trump.  He’s a clown.  As President Obama calls him a “sideshow and carnival barker.”  Yet NBC keeps this clown employed.

That’s the focus of Lawrence O’Donnell’s comments last night.

To have the President of the United States have to show his full birth certificate and waste time on a press conference talking about this topic is an embarrassment to the television news media.  And to the world.  And an clearly an embarrassment to any sense of television journalism.  But NBC?  NBC News is at the lowest level ever of all news networks.

It’s clear.  Talk to any person of color.  Some want to hold NBC totally responsible.  I’m one of them.  Others want to stop watching The Apprentice and stop using Trump hotel properties.

Damn you.  Damn you for your weakness, those persons of color, who are weak.  And now even independent voters, some who voted against the Democratic party in the last election cycle, are asking for their votes back.

Donald Trump is a racist piece of crap.  Period.  There is no filth lower than Donald Trump. Filth.  Scum.  The lowest form of dog crap America can produce.

Yet NBC and others, and a lot of people who are halfway decent Americans, support the filthy persona of Donald Trump.

NBC News is simply worthless.  Simply worthless.  But this is a network in turmoil.  They are in third place with what we in radio used to call “an anchor.”  We used to say that about a record that was dropping fast off the top ten music chart. Not number 3 “with a bullet” on a song that was really popular and getting a ton of airplay.  NBC is number 3 “with an anchor.”

NBC is about ready to become the fourth ranked network in America behind an Hispanic network.

That’s really embarrassing.

There’ s nothing worse than this incident and what happened yesterday.  Nothing worse.  Nothing worse than NBC News.

But watch Lawrence O’Donnell at this link below.  One of the most eye opening commentaries by a white guy that hits home.  I don’t watch this show.  I don’t watch a lot of MSNBC.  I really don’t like them or the other side of FOX News.

But I will now watch Lawrence O’Donnell.  He’s what we used to call in the hood one of those cool white boys.  A guy you want to hang around.  A guy that may have grown up in a much nicer neighborhood than most yet had some sort of understanding of the real world.

Yes, tonight I will turn on Lawrence O’Donnell.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/42790508#42790588

Rick Thomas

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CNBC’s Erin Burnett Headed to CNN

April 28th, 2011 No comments

Well this is a surprise and not a surprise for many especially those working at NBC Universal.  Erin Burnett, the so called rising star over at CNBC and contributor to all NBC owned media properties, will be leaving the network according to a story in the New York Times.

Al Roker, Erin Burnett and Matt Lauer on the Plaza at the 'Today Show' on NBC

Al Roker, Erin Burnett and Matt Lauer on the Plaza at the 'Today Show' on NBC

Burnett has been with the network since 2005 and her brand has been on the rise ever since she took that position.  She is a frequent contributor to the Today Show and the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.  She really knows her business news.  Now she wants to reach out beyond the business perspective and had been in conversation with ABC and CBS for a position at those networks.

CNN, which needs as much help as possible, is making the smart move of adding Burnett to their roster.  She’s young, good looking and knowledgeable when it comes to business news and can easily branch out as a general news contributor or anchor on CNN.

NBC Universal is in the midst of a major shake up with on-air staffing.  Meredith Vieira is leaving Today, legal analyst Dan Abrams has already shifted to ABC, rumors abound about Matt Lauer and now Erin Burnett.

As we’ve noted before in this blog, NBC Universal’s merger with Comcast has put talent contracts on hold in many areas of their broadcast group as the dust settles with new management being named almost weekly.  Top level executives have been told to spend little or no money on talent or marketing the company’s broadcast properties until new management is in place.

Read more on the Erin Burnett move to CNN from The New York Times.

http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/27/cnbcs-burnett-is-said-ready-to-jump-to-cnn/

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Meredith Vieira Leaving Early, Does ‘Dr. Who’ and Ann Curry Coming on ‘Today’

April 26th, 2011 No comments

First Katie Couric leaves CBS, a real high profile woman in television announcing her departure.  Then there’s Meredith Vieira, who replaced Couric over at NBC’s making a decision to spend more time with her family as she decides to exit that program at the end of her contract.

So Scott Pelley gets Katie’s spot over at The CBS Evening News while Ann Curry finally gets the anchor slot seated next to Matt Lauer at Today.

ann-curry-3But now more news on Meredith.  Her contract is over in September and she was expected to ride out that agreement but there’s a change.  Now NBC has announced that Meredith Vieira will be leaving the show in June.  Which is good news for the Today Show as this will give viewers a chance to get over the loss of Vieira and get more familiar with Ann Curry.

Vieira has made it known that she wants to spend more time with her husband journalist Richard Cohen who is suffering from multiple sclerosis.  He was diagnosed with the disease some 37 years ago but now is taking a turn for the worse.  “We used to run together, go to the beach,” said Viera of her husband.  “Now it’s very hard for Richard to stand,” she said in an interview with People Magazine.

But she will still work.  Her schedule over at Who Wants to Be a Millionaire is perfect for her.  That show goes in to production in August and shooting for a full year of shows ends in December.  Which means she will have a six month break before having to go back to work on that game show.

She also will be doing a guest shot on the return of Dr. Who on the BBC America.  She will tape her appearance on May 6th as part of a series of cameo appearances by Today Show personalities on TV programs in other countries.  Ann Curry gets a shot on the Danish game show Bingo Banko, Al Roker heads to Australia to do an appearance on The Wiggles, Natalie Morales gets a slot on the Telemundo telenovela Los Herederos Del Monte and Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb will be guest hosts of the morning show Smile Jamaica.

Rick Thomas/rick@realtvcritics.com

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Should Gay TV News Anchors Come Out? Rachel Maddow Says “Yes”

April 26th, 2011 No comments

Rachel Maddow is openly gay.  There’s no question about that in anyone’s mind, right?  Of course.  So what.  Does she have the right to call out other anchors on their sexual preference?

NUP_134500

Well Rachel has put herself in a world of trouble on statements she made in an interview with The Guardian, the well respected gay and lesbian publication.  Why?  Because she believes gay anchors should come out of the proverbial closet to announce their position.

Was she talking about CNN’s Anderson Cooper?  Well she never mentioned him during the interview but she did discuss an “equally well known news presenter who is widely assumed gay but has never come out.”

Oh my!

So who else could she be talking about?

“I do think that if you’re gay you have a responsibility to come out she went on to say during the interview with The Guardian.

Maddow denies any connection to Anderson Cooper.  “he literally wasn’t discussed during the interview at all,” she went on to say on her blog after the comments were printed in the publication.

Really Rachel who cares these days?  Do you really think anyone really cares or has any interest whatsoever in anyone’s sexual preference?  Nope.  Or does your level as a host on MSNBC change anyone’s mind on your sexual preference?  Nope.

We say it’s not worth the discussion. And The Rachel Maddow Show can be seen on MSNBC nightly at 9PM.

You can read the full story at the link below.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/apr/25/rachel-maddow-us-news-anchor

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“I have decided to step down from the CBS Evening News,” says Katie Couric

April 26th, 2011 No comments

Well now it’s official.  Word comes from People Magazine that Katie Couric is calling it a day, finally announcing that she will be leaving The CBS Evening News as that program’s anchor.  “I know the Evening News will be in good hands, but I’m excited about the future,” Couric said in a statement to People.

katie-couricKatie has been hosting the third ranked CBS Evening News for almost five years after leaving The Today Show on NBC.  Her reign there has not been without issue since day one.  Her salary of $15 million dollars a year was widely criticized by everyone at CBS and even Leslie Moonves, the top guy over at CBS made mention that those high level payouts would end.

Scott Pelley, one of the hosts of the perennial 60 Minutes is expected to be named her replacement.  And Katie’s future could be a daytime talk program which could be a great place for her brand.  She’s a very well known personality and with Oprah moving along to run OWN and several cancellations of soap operas during the daytime hours there may be an opportunity for someone well respected and familiar to do well in daytime.

Watching the CBS Evening News at launch was absolutely brutal.  When an evening news program seems to think that putting the picture of Tom Cruise and the family’s first picture with his new baby is real news, well you’re doomed from the start.  So the content during the CBS Evening News made no sense to an older user.

Throw in the network doing a complete makeover of the Evening News, from a new set to new segments that were so far out of place for that time period, viewers just tuned in a lot during the first week of Katie’s broadcast and then turned away in droves.

One thing to remember about viewers and change.  They don’t like it.  At all.  Katie told the New York Times Magazine that she would have “given people what they want, a traditional newscast.”

Too late.  Too bad.  Huge mistake on the part of CBS News to create a totally new program and it failed.

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Callie Thorne Gets Lead in USA’s ‘Necessary Roughness’ (Video)

April 25th, 2011 No comments

Callie Thorne did 81 episodes of the FX series Rescue Me but was a bit player in her role as the whacked out Sheila Keefe.  12 episodes on HBO’s The Wire, 8 on FOX’s Prison Break but never a breakout opportunity until now.

Callie Thorne in FX's 'Rescue Me' Gets New Series on USA Network

Callie Thorne in FX's 'Rescue Me' Gets New Series on USA Network

USA Network is the top cable network for solid summer

programming and their new series Necessary Roughness launches on June 29th at 10PM with a 90 minute premiere.  Callie Thorne is Dr. Danielle (Dani) Santino, a therapist who is hired by a professional football team to work with a wide receiver who can’t catch the football.  He’s a big time party guy and she works in an aggressive way to turn around his misfortunes.

At least that’s in the first episode.  The series is based on a real therapist who did the same thing with the NFL’s New York Jets.  And if you know the New York Jets, well they’re a very good football team but starting with the head coach, his wife and the players on down they need a few more therapists on call.

Check out the promo that’s airing now on the network.  This one will surely be fun.

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TV Shows and Cancellations from Our Friends at ‘TV by the Numbers’

April 24th, 2011 No comments

We like this website, TV by the Numbers.  Every month or so the writers do a great job in reviewing the hits and misses of the TV season and make really good guesses at what shows will live or die on the networks.

They call it Bubble Watch.  And it’s a really cool look at the shows that have been canceled so far this full television season.  You remember Lone Star don’t you.  Ran on FOX for about a minute.  The Whole Truth ran for another minute, The Cape came and went an then there was Undercovers.

On their certain canceled list, the much promoted The Event on NBC, Detroit 1-8-7 that was simply awful.  There’s the likely canceled list that has Outsourced and Chuck on the list.  Thank any god you pray to that the ethnically stupid, stereotypical Outsourced gets dropped.  Stupid show.

Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion in ABC's 'Castle' Renewed for Next Season

Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion in ABC's 'Castle' Renewed for Next Season

On their on the bubble list is one of my favorite shows, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior.  I think that show deserves a second season.  It has some weakness but I think there’s a future there.  And Blue Bloods is on that list as well but has a lot of issues behind the scenes as to what direction to take that show.  It has an attractive cast that keeps you engaged but it’s missing something that wants you to keep tuning in.  Maybe lost on Friday nights?

And then there’s the full list of shows that have been renewed, like my new found friends over at Castle.  But check out the link.  The whole list for what’s coming, going or may be coming or going is there.

http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2011/04/23/bubble-watch-is-bad-news-for-blue-bloods-creators-good-news-for-renewal-prospects-should-hellcats-be-cancelled/90384?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Tvbythenumbers+%28TVbytheNumbers%29

Rick Thomas

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