Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hallmark Adds Another I Love Lucy Marathon, More Changes; Spike TV Gets Original Comedy, Moves Entourage

We have more Hallmark Channel changes that are beginning next week and also a President's Day marathon has been added of a classic sitcom! Effective Tuesday, Feb. 16, we will get more 7th Heaven as it will replace America's Funniest Home Videos weekdays from 12pm-2pm. 7th Heaven will still air in its weekdays at 5pm and 6pm hours as well. Meanwhile, AFV will remain late nights from 1-3am, its only airings now. Additionally, the AFV President's Day marathon will now be replaced by an I Love Lucy marathon! It will air Monday, February 15 from 9am-4am, the same hours that the AFV marathon was supposed to air. It looks like the I Love Lucy marathon this past weekend (Feb. 6-7) did well? Will this make Hallmark re-add the series to its regular schedule sometime soon? Not sure, but stay with us as always and we'll let you know when we do!
For now, view the episode info for the Hallmark Channel President's Day Marathon for I Love Lucy!

Spike TV expands its comedic slate with Players, a series created by and starring one of the founders of the acclaimed improvisational comedy troupe, the Upright Citizens Brigade, Matt Walsh. Players follows two brothers (Walsh and Ian Roberts) with conflicting personalities trying to run a successful sports bar. Spike TV's new original half-hour comedy premieres Tuesday, March 2 at 10:30 PM, ET/PT. 10 episodes have been ordered. The series will air after the original comedy Blue Mountain State. That series is a hilarious football-centric comedy that follows three incoming freshman in a big-time, mid-western college football program.
Players stars Walsh as Bruce Fitzgerald, a free-spirited, fun-loving, guy's guy who is living out his fantasy of owning a sports bar that allows him to bet on games, drink for free and date the cocktail waitresses. His older, uptight brother, Ken (Ian Roberts), tries to keep the focus on turning a profit while avoiding lawsuits and health code violations. The series also features Krista (Danielle Schneider), the promiscuous waitress who has an affinity for B-list athletes and married men, Barb (June Diane Raphael), the insecure and neurotic waitress who falls in love with Bruce, Hickey (Jack McGee), a retired cop who got Bruce out of a gambling debt and was rewarded with a job where, instead of actually working, he spends most of his time bidding on sports memorabilia on eBay, and Calvin (James Pumphrey), the young, simple-minded bartender who lives in the store room and is an aspiring sports model who idolizes Bruce.
In other Spike TV news, reruns of HBO's Entourage has moved from Tuesday to Sundays from 10pm-12am. It seems it wasn't doing too well in the ratings.

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Thursday, January 07, 2010

Spike TV Launch Date for Entourage Reruns; 36th Annual People's Choice Awards Winners

Back in May we announced that Spike TV had gotten rerun rights on cable to the premium cable comedy Entourage. We mentioned that it would start in January and be shared with sister network Comedy Central. We haven't gotten news yet on Comedy Central, but Spike TV will air it Tuesdays starting Jan. 12!
The Emmy, Golden Globe, and Peabody Award-winning series Entourage will begin its basic cable run on Spike TV this Tuesday, January 12 with back-to-back episodes starting at 9pm, et/pt. The series will televise in this timeslot through October, and will feature two premiere episodes each week. After that, it will be available for five-days-a-week play. It will be then shared with WGN America and local broadcast syndication starting in Fall 2010.
Spike TV will have encores of the two episodes later in the night at 11pm & 11:30pm as well. Whenever Comedy Central announces a date, we'll let you know. It could be this fall though.
Stay with us in the coming weeks for NATPE (Jan. 25-27), where we will find out what will be offered in syndication this fall (2010).

The 36th Annual People's Choice Awards were held last night. Here are the winners for the television portion:

FAVORITE TV DRAMA
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (CBS)
Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
House (Fox)
LOST (ABC)
NCIS (CBS)
WINNER: House (Fox)

FAVORITE TV COMEDY
Desperate Housewives (ABC)
How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
Two and a Half Men (CBS)
The Office (NBC)
WINNER: The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

FAVORITE TV DRAMA ACTOR
Patrick Dempsey (Grey's Anatomy, ABC)
Hugh Laurie (House, Fox)
Kiefer Sutherland (24, Fox)
Mark Harmon (NCIS, CBS)
Matthew Fox (LOST, ABC)
WINNER: Hugh Laurie (House, Fox)

FAVORITE TV COMEDY ACTOR
Alec Baldwin (30 Rock, NBC)
Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory, CBS)
Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother, CBS)
Steve Carell (The Office, NBC)
Charlie Sheen (Two and a Half Men, CBS)
WINNER: Steve Carell (The Office, NBC)

FAVORITE TV DRAMA ACTRESS
Anna Paquin (True Blood, HBO)
Blake Lively (Gossip Girl, The CW)
Jennifer Love Hewitt (Ghost Whisperer, CBS)
Katherine Heigl (Grey's Anatomy, ABC)
Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order: SVU, NBC)
WINNER: Katherine Heigl (Grey's Anatomy, ABC)

FAVORITE TV COMEDY ACTRESS
Alyson Hannigan (How I Met Your Mother, CBS)
America Ferrera (Ugly Betty, ABC)
Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation, NBC)
Eva Longoria Parker (Desperate Housewives, ABC)
Tina Fey (30 Rock, NBC)
WINNER: Alyson Hannigan (How I Met Your Mother, CBS)

FAVORITE TV OBSESSIONDexter
Gossip Girl, The CW
The Hills, MTV
The Secret Life of the American Teenager, ABC Family
True Blood, HBO
WINNER: True Blood, HBO

FAVORITE COMPETITION
American Idol (Fox)
Dancing with the Stars (ABC)
Project Runway (Lifetime)
So You Think You Can Dance (Fox)
Survivor: Samoa (CBS)
WINNER: American Idol (Fox)

FAVORITE SCI-FI / FANTASY SHOW (Mobile Voting Category)
Heroes (NBC)
LOST (ABC)
Supernatural (The CW)
Vampire Diaries (The CW)
True Blood (HBO)
WINNER: Supernatural (The CW)

FAVORITE TALK SHOW (Mobile Voting Category)
Chelsea Lately (E!)
The Ellen DeGeneres Show (Syndicated, Warner Bros.)
The Oprah Winfrey Show (Syndicated, CBS Television Distribution)
Live with Regis & Kelly (Syndicated, ABC Studios)
WINNER: The Ellen DeGeneres Show (Syndicated, Warner Bros.)

FAVORITE ANIMAL SHOW
Animal Cops
Dog Town
Dog Whisperer
It's Me or the Dog
Rescue Ink Unleashed
WINNER: Dog Whisperer

FAVORITE NEW TV DRAMA
Eastwick, ABC
FLASHFORWARD, ABC
Melrose Place, The CW
Mercy, NBC
the forgotten, ABC
The Good Wife, CBS
The Vampire Diaries, The CW
Three Rivers, CBS
NCIS: Los Angeles, CBS
V, ABC
WINNER: The Vampire Diaries, The CW

FAVORITE NEW TV COMEDY
Accidentally on Purpose, CBS
Brothers, Fox
Community, NBC
Cougar Town, ABC
Glee, Fox
Hank, ABC
The Cleveland Show, Fox
The Middle, ABC
Modern Family, ABC
WINNER: Glee, Fox

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Thursday, October 08, 2009

WGN America Long Term Pick-Ups, Munsters/Addams Family Halloween Marathon; CBS Orders Full Seasons of NCIS LA, Good Wife

We previously announced that 30 Rock and Entourage were coming to WGN America in Fall 2011 and Fall 2010 respectively, now they have announced other deals officially. They have announced that they have also acquired How I Met Your Mother, Old Christine and Curb Your Enthusiasm for Fall 2010. How I Met Your Mother and Old Christine will be shared with Lifetime, while 30 Rock will be shared with Comedy Central. Spike TV and Comedy Central will also air Entourage. All of these are first time in syndication and they have spent a lot of money for these off-network deals, but they will be shared with other networks so the price tag is down for both parties and that the other networks don't see WGN America as a strong competitor in the general entertainment realm. WGN America is focusing on contemporary sitcom fare with a little more edge.
But they still will have classic TV! In fact this Halloween, WGN America will have marathons of The Munsters and Addams Family! The Munsters marathon will air on Friday, October 30 from 4pm-12am ET (1pm-9pm PT). That's 16 classic episodes! And on Halloween itself (Saturday, October 31) spends the day with The Addams Family with a marathon from 3pm-12am ET (12pm-9pm PT). That's an hour more than The Munsters as we get 18 classic episodes!
View the episode info for each marathon.

CBS has given full season orders to NCIS: Los Angeles and The Good Wife, the top two new series of the 2009-2010 season thus far in total viewers. NCIS: Los Angeles the number one new program of the season in total viewers and ranked second among all primetime programs, is averaging 17.47 million viewers, 4.1/11 in adults 18-49 and 5.6/13 in adults 25-54 over its three broadcasts so far. NCIS: Los Angeles has won its Tuesday (9:00-10:00 PM) time period in viewers and adults 25-54 every week this season and placed first in adults 18-49 twice.
The Good Wife, the number two new series of the season in total viewers, is averaging 13.70 million viewers, 3.0/8 in adults 18-49 and 4.2/11 in adults 25-54, winning its Tuesday (10:00-11:00 PM) time period in all key measures each telecast thus far.

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Blog DVD Review: Entourage - The Complete Fifth Season (6/30)

It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for weekly Blog DVD Review. This week we take a look at HBO's Entourage - The Complete Fifth Season. Entourage of course is the popular HBO series that is about a guy named Vince (played by Adrian Grenier) that is about to make it big in showbiz and moves to Hollywood in hopes that he will make it to the top. See skees53's Blog DVD Review of Entourage: The Complete Fifth Season:

Entourage: The Complete Fifth Season (HBO, $39.98) brings us twelve more episodes of the hit HBO dramedy in a three-disc DVD collection. For those that have never seen Entourage, it starts out simple enough, with Vince Chase (Adrien Grenier) going from Queens, NY and heading to Hollywood to try to make it big as an actor, but he comes to Hollywood with a few friends, including Turtle (Jerry Ferrara), Eric (Kevin Connelly) and brother Drama (Kevin Dillon). Together, they form his "entourage" that helps him try to make it big in Hollywood, and he definitely needs that entourage because as he finds out, making it in Hollywood isn't as easy as it may look. The series is loosely based upon the life of Mark Wahlberg, and how he struggled to make it as an actor in Hollywood.
The fifth season begins with the episode "Fantasy Island," where reviews begin to come in for the film that Vince was working on at the end of season four--and they aren't pretty. So he decides to hide out in Mexico for a while. Vince develops some insecurity about himself when a former girlfriend gives him up to another girl in "Unlike a Virgin." Vince is desperate for money and will do anything to get it in "The All Out Fall Out." Fran Drescher makes a guest appearance. Ari sees Vince getting another break in "Fire Sale," but in the meantime, Drama is going to make a guest appearance on The View. Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Sherri Shepherd, and Whoopi Goldberg all play their respective roles. Vince has to make a big decision about his career in "Tree Trippers," so why not head to a National Park to think about it? How low can Turtle go? Low enough to be an assistant to a C-list actor, Drama to be specific, in "Redemption."
Vince gets to do a fashion shoot with a supermodel in "Gotta Look Up to Get Down." Turtle is flying first-class, and on top of that, next to Jamie-Lynn Sigler, in "First Class Jerk." It is showtime for Vince, well at least showtime to start his new film, in "Pie." Seth Green appears as himself (and Eric's arch nemesis) in "Seth Green Day." There is a bit of disagreement on the set of Vince's newest film in "Play'n With Fire." Finally, season five ends with "Return to Queens Blvd.," where the guys return home to New York City, and get some advice and ideas before they head back to their new home in Hollywood.
The packaging is the fairly standard digipak that has been used for all previous Entourage releases, although just like season 4, it isn't as fancy of a digipak as what was used before. Still, it does the job and has very nice and professional artwork. Inside, we have the three discs, with the series logo on a plain black background. There are four episodes on each disc.
The menus on the set are very nicely done, but a little involve when it comes to navigating them. The main menu has music and videos from the episodes playing, and gives options of Episode Index, Languages, and Special Features. When you select Episode Index, you get a list of episodes, as well as a Play All option. When you select an episode, you get a screen that has an episode snapshot, a lengthy description, and options to show a recap of the previous episode, a preview of the episode you are about to watch, and an option to play the episode. There are no scene selection menus, but chapters are scattered throughout each episode at reasonable places (remember, as this is a premium cable series, there are no commercial break points).
The video and audio quality on this set is, to the say the least, superb. HBO never really sacrifices much on quality, and this set is a good example of that. The video and audio are very clear, with the video being presented in the original aspect ratio (16:9) and audio being presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. There are also French and Spanish audio tracks, as well as English, Spanish, and French subtitles on the set. And furthermore, the episodes are all closed-captioned. They have literally covered every corner! The episodes are most definitely unedited, with each episode running around 28 minutes (which, by the way, suggests that the edits for this series in syndication will be incredibly painful).
For those that have never seen the series before, you can get to know the series and find out what you have missed out on in the previous seasons by checking out the season recap on Disc 1. There is a recap for each season that tells all of the major events of each season of the series. Each season recap runs about a minute and 30 seconds, although there are actually two separate recaps for season 3 (season 3 was a longer than normal season). There are also previews for each individual episode on the set. There are three episodes on the set with audio commentaries, with all of them being from the four main cast members as well as producer Ally Musika. They are very fun and interesting to listen to, as they are very candid and obviously have a very fresh memory of these episodes. They really do seem to enjoy doing the series, which is a lot like the way that the guys are supposed to appear on the show--enjoying being in Hollywood with Vince. The commentaries can be found on "Tree Trippers," "Play'n With Fire," and "Return to Queens Blvd." Finally, on Disc 3, there is "The Celebrity Factor" (9:39), where the producers and actors talk about all of the guest stars that the series attracts. There are way too many to list all of them, but many of them make cameo appearances (or sometimes more prominent ones) as themselves on the series to give the series the real feeling of being in Hollywood rather than looking like some scripted series with fake famous celebrities. You never know who is going to show up on any given episode.
Honestly, I think that this is the best season yet of the series, and those that have never seen the series that believe that they may be interested in it may want to start here. By now, the characters and plots have been developed fairly well, and the series has hit a very strong point. Could it get stronger from here? Absolutely, but these are the best episodes that I have seen of the series so far. I remember watching the first season and having trouble figuring out what was so great about the series, but I can see how it has grown and developed now into what is one of the best series on television. Premium cable programming has gotten very impressive lately, and this is a great example of why that is.
-- Reviewed by skees53
(4.5/5 stars)

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Monday, June 08, 2009

Malcolm in the Middle Coming to Nick at Nite in July 2009; Old Christine Reruns Join Entourage, Curb in Fall 2010 Syndication

Nick at Nite is getting the 8pm ET/PT hour back! The last time they had the full 8pm hour was from 1985-1996. The 8pm half-hour was lost starting in Fall 1996. Then they eventually lost the 8:30pm half-hour as well a year or so later. They briefly got 8:30pm back in fall 2000, but eventually that was gone by summer 2001. But now the full 8pm hour is back! What show will Nick at Nite use? Malcolm in the Middle! Nick at Nite has acquired rerun rights to all 151 episodes of the family comedy from Twentieth Century Fox TV. Malcolm will become the anchor of Nick at Nite's primetime sitcom block, airing Sunday-Thursday in the reinstated 8pm hour starting Sunday, July 5. The single-camera comedy ran on Fox for seven seasons from 2000-06 and revolved around a budding teenager (Frankie Muniz), with a genius IQ in a family of misfits. Jane Kaczmarek and Bryan Cranston co-starred as parents Lois and Hal. The series will make a nice companion to fellow single-camera sitcom Everybody Hates Chris, which will premiere in syndication this fall on Nick at Nite!
Malcolm in the Middle will still remain on cable on FX, where it has been airing since fall 2007. FX has a 5-year deal, that runs though fall 2012. There has to be a time restriction for FX and Nick at Nite now. FX airs the show currently in the weekdays 7am hour and various times in the afternoons, mostly 3-4pm. So, if I were to guess, FX has rights from 7am-7pm, with Nick at Nite 7pm-7am? Just a guess, but it makes sense. The show is also on local broadcast syndication. It has been airing on local channels since fall 2004, but its term is up this fall (2009), so it seems it will leave locals this fall. View the press release and discuss this news! We will have more on Malcolm in the Middle soon, including how this will affect the full Nick at Nite schedule starting in July. Stay tuned!
In other Nick at Nite news, they added a very last minute The Nanny marathon last night (Sunday, June 7), from 11pm-6am ET/PT and a special airing at 9:30pm as well. The show will also get a marathon next Sunday (June 14) from 9pm-4am, in case you didn't see it last night. It seems to me The Nanny is a surprise hit for the network.

Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution has cleared reruns of sitcom The New Adventures of Old Christine on local TV stations reaching more than 70 percent of the country, including the Tribune stations in New York and Los Angeles, for a Fall 2010 syndication launch.
The New Adventures of Old Christine, which CBS just picked up for a fifth season, was picked up by Tribune-owned WPIX in New York and KTLA in Los Angeles and by Weigel-owned WCIU in Chicago. In addition, the show has been sold to other markets owned by the CBS, Sinclair, Fox, Local TV, Hearst, Raycom, Meredith, Acme, Titan, Roberts, Gannett, Capitol, Grant and Cox station groups. Old Christine will air as a double-run daily strip with two weekend broadcasts at the most on these stations.
As previously mentioned, Warner Bros. has also sold reruns of Entourage and Curb Your Enthusiasm for a fall 2010 syndication launch as well. Entourage reruns will also air on cable on Viacom's Spike TV and Comedy Central before the syndication launch, in January 2010 as we mentioned.
Entourage and Curb Your Enthusiasm have also added several more station groups to their clearances, including CBS, Sinclair, Fox, Local TV, Hearst, Raycom, Meredith, Acme, Titan, Roberts, Gannett, Capitol, Grant and Cox. Both shows already were cleared on the Tribune stations in 17 markets including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Both shows will air as daily strips with one weekend run at most on these stations. And now Entourage also "reportedly" has a run on Tribune's WGN America cable network starting in Fall 2010 as well, according to B&C. So by Fall 2010, Entourage will be in broadcast syndication, Spike TV/Comedy Central, and possibly WGN America. Curb is still looking for a cable home, as is Old Christine.

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Friday, May 08, 2009

Tribune Stations Land Entourage, Curb for Fall 2010 Local Syndication; ABC Picks-Up Modern Family, More Updates

HBO and Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution have licensed the broadcast television syndication rights to the critically acclaimed and award-winning comedy series Entourage and Curb Your Enthusiasm to Tribune Broadcasting's stations in a three-year agreement for a fall 2010 airing.
Under terms of the three-year pact, Tribune has licensed all seven seasons of Curb Your Enthusiasm and all six seasons so far of Entourage for broadcast on all of Tribune's owned-and-operated stations in 17 markets, including New York (WPIX-TV), Los Angeles (KTLA-TV) and Chicago (WGN-TV), among others. Both series will be presented in strip form on the Tribune Broadcasting stations, with episodes airing Monday-Friday, along with one weekend telecast, beginning in fall 2010.
As mentioned earlier this week, Spike TV has bought the cable rerun rights for Entourage starting in January 2010, so it will have a nine-month head start on cable. Curb Your Enthusiasm is also being shopped around for cable repeats.

ABC has made its first pickup for the fall season, a sitcom. Modern Family, the single camera mocumentary about about three suburban couples -- a traditional one, a gay one and a multi-ethnic one. ABC has ordered 13 episodes from 20th Television and the show stars Ed O'Neill (Married with Children), Sofia Vergara (Knights of Prosperity), Julie Bowen (Lost) and Jesse Tyler Ferguson (The Class). The show has tested very well in focus groups and screenings. ABC also has unofficially picked-up drama Flash Forward, as teasers have aired during Lost the last two weeks to generate some buzz.
In other ABC updates, Surviving Suburbia will be preempted for a second week in a row for a two-hour Dancing with the Stars this coming Monday (May 11). That was scheduled to be its last Monday airing anyway, as the show will move to Wednesdays at 9:30pm starting May 27.
Meanwhile, the final episodes of According to Jim will run into the summer thanks to all the preemptions by President Obama. On Tuesday, May 26 and Tuesday, June 2, According to Jim will air its final four episodes (8-9pm both weeks), including the finale on June 2 at 8:30pm with a parade of guest stars. But before that there are two new episodes airing this Tuesday (May 12).

Stay tuned all next week for our predictions of the fall schedules for NBC, Fox, ABC, CBS, and The CW. First up will be NBC, which we will cover likely on Sunday and the rest will follow in that order every other day. And the following week of course is upfront week and we will get the actual schedules and you can compare to see what we got right and wrong! Big and fun time of year!

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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

CW Sunday to Cease in the Fall; Spike/Comedy Central Acquires Entourage Reruns; Remembering Dom DeLuise

The CW network is reducing its programing to five nights a week starting this fall. It will return Sunday nights to its affiliated local stations to program as they choose, just like they do on Saturdays. The CW programmed Sundays from 5pm-10pm, and now they will go back to local affiliates to program starting this fall.
The CW will now focus on Monday through Fridays. The CW has not had any success on Sundays since its inception. This past fall, The CW attempted another solution, allowing Media Rights Capital (MRC) to provide Sunday's primetime lineup and help with ad sales, but the programming, which included Easy Money and Valentine, flopped. Currently, Sunday nights have been filled with reruns of CBS' canceled series Jericho and theatrical movies.

Spike TV has acquired all 78 produced episodes, the upcoming sixth season as well as rights to future seasons of the show for about $600,000 an episode. The Hollywood-centered comedy about young actor Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) and his posse will launch on Spike in January, after the show's sixth season wraps on HBO. Spike also has the right to carve a window for a second network, which likely will be sister cabler Comedy Central. This is Spike's second acquisition of an HBO program in the past month. The basic cable channel also picked up HBO's Emmy-winning miniseries Band of Brothers for a premiere in the third quarter.

Dom DeLuise

Prolific actor, comedian, film director, television producer, chef, and author Dom DeLuise died peacefully surrounded by his wife and three sons on Monday evening at St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica, CA. He was 75. The cause of death was not released by the family. He had been hospitalized and was suffering from kidney failure and respiratory problems following a long battle with cancer.

Deluise appeared in many movies and TV shows, Broadway plays and provided his voice to characters for numerous animated features in a career that spanned over 45 years. Mel Brooks cast him in many of his movies, including The Twelve Chairs, Blazing Saddles, Silent Movie, History of the World Part I, Robin Hood: Men in Tights and Spaceballs as the voice of Pizza the Hutt. In the 1970s and 1980s, he frequently co-starred with Burt Reynolds in the films The Cannonball Run and Cannonball II, Smokey and the Bandit II, The End and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. He lent his voice to animated features such as The Secret of NIMH, An American Tail, All Dogs Go to Heaven and Oliver & Company. He was a frequent guest on game shows and hosted Candid Camera from 1991-1992.

His early sitcom appearances included The Munsters, Please Don't Eat the Daisies and The Ghost & Mrs. Muir. In 1973, he starred in the short-lived Lotsa Luck as bachelor Stanley Belmont who was the custodian of a New York City bus company's lost-and-found department. The cast included Kathleen Freeman, Wynn Irwin, Beverly Sanders and Jack Knight. In 1987-1988, he starred in the first-run syndication sitcom The Dom DeLuise Show with George Wallace, Maureen Murphy, Angela Aames and Michael Chambers. He appeared with his sons--Peter, Michael and David DeLuise--in a 1997 episode of 3rd Rock from the Sun. They had previously appeared together in a 1994 episode of seaQuest DSV.

In later years he began a second career as a popular chef and cookbook author. He always had a love of food and authored 1988's Eat This — It Will Make You Feel Better! and 1997's Eat This Too! It'll Also Make You Feel Good. He also wrote seven books for children, including 1993's Charlie the Caterpillar. In recent years he was a regular contributor to a syndicated home improvement radio show, On The House with The Carey Brothers, giving listeners tips on culinary topics.

DeLuise is survived by his wife and actress Carol Arthur, actor sons Peter, Michael and David, his sister, Anne, and grandchildren Riley, Dylan and Jake. Donations can be made to his favorite charities: The Elixir Fund, The Lily Sanctuary, The Hydrocephalus Foundation, Inc. and The Pearl S. Buck Foundation. You can read more information on his official site. We will miss his warm smile and always remember the times he has made us laugh. Mr. DeLuise was 75. You can post your memories here.

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Mini-DVD Review: Entourage Season 4 (Aug. 26)

It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for the mini-DVD review. This week we take a look at HBO's Entourage - The Complete Fourth Season. Entourage of course is the popular HBO series that is about a guy named Vince (played by Adrian Grenier) that is about to make it big in showbiz and moves to Hollywood in hopes that he will make it to the top. See skees53's mini-DVD review of Entourage: The Complete Fourth Season:

Entourage: The Complete Fourth Season (HBO, $39.98) continues the ongoing story of Vince Chase "chasing" his dreams to make it big in Hollywood, thanks to (but most often in spite of) his faithful group of friends, his entourage, Eric, Drama, and Turtle.
We start the season with "Welcome to the Jungle," where we go behind-the-scenes (not from our perspective, but the perspective of the characters of the show) of the Vince’s movie for this season, Medellin. In "Sorry, Harvey," Ari gets into some trouble and lands in jail for what he does with a top-secret script... oops! The series addresses the modern issue of things that shouldn’t be on YouTube ending up on there in "The Dream Team" and "The WeHo Ho." Finally, he guys learn a lesson in reality in the film business in "The Cannes Kids." There are many well-known guest stars this season, including Gary Busey, Snoop Dogg, Sydney Pollack, Kanye West, and more.
The audio and video on the set is superb, with the video being presented in the 16:9 aspect ratio and audio in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. But there are also Spanish and French audio tracks, as well as English, Spanish, and French subtitles. The episodes are spanned over three discs, but the outside packaging is slightly different this time. While it looks similar, the big change is that the sturdier hard cardboard packaging has been replaced with a less expensive standard box. It isn't a big deal, though.
The set is loaded with special features, beginning with commentaries. The commentaries are by Doug Ellin, Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara, and Adrian Grenier. These can be found on "Welcome to the Jungle," "The Day Fu*kers," and "The Cannes Kids." "The Making of Medellin" goes behind-the-scenes into the making of the very movie that Vince is starring in this season. "Medellin Trailer," of course, is a trailer for the fictitious movie. "U.S. Comedy Arts Festival Panel" is a nice and long conversation with the cast members at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. This lasts a whole fifty minutes, and is very insightful and entertaining. Finally, although the packaging doesn't mention it, there are recaps and previews for every episode on the set, which are basically like short promos. I like to watch them before I watch any episode.
As always, we have a pretty good DVD set here, and fans are sure to be happy with what is here. We have another great season of episodes with great special features. I'm usually not a fan of these premium cable series, although this is one of the few that I find enjoyable and far better than many other series on television today. It is surprising that this series isn't also being released on Blu-Ray Disc as well, although I'm sure that will come at some point in the future.
-- Reviewed by skees53
(4.5/5 stars)

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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Mini-DVD Review: Entourage Season 3 Part 1 (April 3); Book Review: My First Five Husbands... By Rue McClanahan (April 10)

Welcome to another edition of mini-DVD reviews! Today we take a look at HBO's Entourage: Season 3, Part 1. Entourage of course is the popular HBO series that is about a guy named Vince (played by Adrian Grenier) that is about to make it big in showbiz and moves to Hollywood in hopes that he will make it to the top. Also, we have a special book review of My First Five Husbands from sitcom star Rue McClanahan (The Golden Girls) See skees53's mini-DVD review of Entourage: Season 3, Part 1 and the book review of My First Five Husbands:

Entourage: Season 3, Part 1 (HBO, $39.98) contains the twelve episodes of the hit HBO comedy series that aired in the summer of 2006 on HBO (apparently the third season is still going on right now according to HBO, beginning with the new episodes that started earlier this week). A little introduction may be needed for those that don't have HBO or those that (like me) wouldn't normally watch an original series that airs on a cable channel: it is a series about a guy named Vince (played by Adrian Grenier) that is about to make it big in showbiz and moves to Hollywood in hopes that he will make it to the top. But he doesn't going to Hollywood all alone, he is bringing his childhood friends--his "entourage" (including his friends Eric and Turtle, and his half-brother who also aspires to be an actor, but just isn't that good, Drama)--to help him through it all. The whole series is loosely based upon the life of Mark Wahlberg, who is more infamously known as Marky Mark. The whole premise of the series is quite simple really.
Season Three, Part 1, as previously mentioned, contains 12 episode which, despite only being part of a season, is about the same number of episodes that was contained on each of the first two season sets), beginning with "Aquamom," where Vince's "Aquaman" movie is about to premiere--but who will he go down the red carpet with at the premiere?
Los Angeles is having rolling blackouts in "One Day In the Valley," could this affect the box office numbers for Vince's movie? In "Three's Company," Vince's star power goes to his head and he demands more money to do the "Aquaman 2" movie... and Eric's girlfriend wants him to have a threesome. But will his girlfriend regret that threesome? Maybe so if she knew what Eric was thinking in "Strange Days." The season (or partial season) ends with Ari (Vince's agent) possibly getting canned in "Sorry, Ari." There are many guest stars to be found within the episodes including Martin Landau, Seth Green, Penny Marshall, James Woods, and more (as an unrelated side note, check out season 2 to see Bob Saget in a way that is nothing like Danny Tanner!).
The audio and video quality of the set is superb, with the episodes being presented in widescreen format with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. The set isn't hefty in bonus features, but it does contain commentaries on three episodes ("One Day in the Valley," "Vegas Baby, Vegas!," and "Sorry, Ari") as well as a behind-the-scenes featurette for the "Vegas Baby, Vegas!" episode. The set itself comes in a nice and sturdy digipak (no outer case, but with the sturdy manner in which this is designed, it doesn't need one) on three discs. So what else can I say? Get your entourage together and head out to Hollywood (or just go to wherever you would get your DVDs from) and pick up this set!
-- Reviewed by skees53
(4.5/5 stars)

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SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
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My First Five Husbands... and the Ones Who Got Away (Broadway, $24.95) is Rue McClanahan's autobiography--talking about her life so far chronologically in terms of her husbands and love interests that she has had along the way. The book is presented in a very personal, almost conversational tone, with Rue talking about the good guys and the bad guys she has met along the way--and there are so many of them that it is no surprise that she played Blanche on The Golden Girls.
The book starts out with her childhood and her mother (whom she actually called "Mother" for reasons she explains in the book). She then moves on to talk about when she finally got into showbiz, in the 1950s, where she began to take on some minor roles here and there on the stage in New York City. But of course, where the book really gets interesting is where she gets in to the 1970s, where she begins to become a television star. She talks about her lucky day being the day that she choked on the "luckiest chicken bone" when they decided to kill off her character Aunt Fran on Mama's Family--little did I know that she disliked that role so much! Of course, knowing what happened after being killed off on Mama's Family (getting the role on The Golden Girls), it is understandable why her character being killed off on Mama's Family was a lucky thing for her. Chapter 21 is perhaps the most interesting one in the book, where she talks all about the beginnings of The Golden Girls.
Along the way, we meet her many boyfriends that she has had along the way and all of her first five husbands (there is even a chapter for pretty much all of them) and we find out why none of the marriages ever exactly worked out as planned. She doesn't spare any details on why the marriages didn't work--and I would think some of the ex-husbands wouldn't be too thrilled about what she says, as she even talks about what life is like in bed! But she does stay open and honest the entire way through. Now, on her sixth husband, she is convinced that she has finally found the one--and only time will tell if she is right this time.
The book gives a very interesting perspective into McClanahan's life, though for those that know her best through her work on television, much of the first eighteen chapters will seem unfamiliar. All-in-all, it is a decent book that is a pretty easy read, though sitcom fans may be totally unfamiliar with everything she talks about early on (she even somewhat acknowledges this herself, although she doesn't seem to mind being known as Blanche). But on the other hand, it does give those that know her through her sitcoms a perspective on what her life was like before, and how she ultimately got to where she is today (you can't neglect the back story in any autobiography). Any true fan of Rue McClanahan--one that is interested in more than just her days as Blanche Devereaux--would enjoy this book.
-- Reviewed by skees53
(4.5/5 stars)

To purchase this Book, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:
Amazon.com

Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Rue McClanahan TV.com Page

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