_rbdave73dj1_hires23Premiering tonight on NBC, A TO Z might just be the most gimmick laden sitcom we’ve seen in a long time. Centered on the courtship of Andrew and Zelda (’A’ to ‘Z’, get it?), we’re told through narration that the story will detail the duration of their dating life (8 months, 3 weeks, 5 days and 1 hour). In addition to that, the title of each episode will begin with a new letter of the alphabet (the pilot is titled ‘A FOR ACQUANTANCES’). But there’s more, series creator BEN QUEEN has been quoted as saying viewers can expect plenty of celebrity cameos and pop culture send-ups. There’s a lot going on in this show.

During the recent Television Critics Association press tour, we sat down with series stars BEN FELDMAN (MAD MEN) and CRISTIN MILLOTI (HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER) to talk about how A TO Z came together.

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Posted by: Bob Healy


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_rbdave73dj1_hires22A major hit on Brit TV, BROADCHURCH has been replicated for American television by Fox and re-branded as GRACEPOINT. Set in a small east-coastal town, the story centers on the investigation into the homicide of a young boy and how it affects the denizens of a close-knit community. DAVID TENNANT (of DR. WHO fame) reprises the role he created in the original series and is joined by ANNA GUNN and NICK NOLTE in the almost scene-for-scene replication of the original series.

During our recent interview at the Television Critics Association press tour, TENNANT gave his thoughts on why GRACEPOINT would attract American audiences.

GRACEPOINT premieres tonight on Fox.

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Posted by: Bob Healy


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_rbdave73dj1_hires21Considered to be one of this season’s more promising sitcoms, BAD JUDGE will make its series debut tonight on NBC. KATE WALSH stars as the titular Judge Rebecca Wright, whose penchant for hard partying and promiscuous behavior sometimes puts a crimp in the performance of her day job.

Known primarily for her dramatic performances in such shows as GREY’S ANATOMY and PRIVATE PRACTICE, WALSH actually has roots in improv and was looking for a vehicle to highlight her comedic skills. A perfect combination of innate sex appeal and likeable presence make her a great fit for this character and the brand of humor the show is shooting for.

We sat down with WALSH recently and she talked about why she thinks audiences (most particularly women) will find this series appealing.

BAD JUDGE debuts tonight on NBC.

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Posted by: Bob Healy


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_rbdave73dj1_hires2Arguably one of the most controversial series of the new season, STALKER tells the story of two LAPD detectives (MAGGIE Q, DYLAN McDERMOTT) working in an elite team known as the Threat Assessment Unit and concentrating on the city’s ever increasing number of stalking cases. But, as we discover in the pilot, not everything is as it seems and there’s a little bit of a stalker in all of us. While the show certainly has its share of thrills and chills it’s been condemned by many critics for its high level of violence (mostly against women) and might have a tough time finding fans.

No stranger to scaring audiences with such projects as the SCREAM franchise, VAMPIRE DIARIES and THE FOLLOWING (to name just a few), series creator KEVIN WILLIAMSON pulls out all the stops to shock. During a recent press conference to promote the show, WILLIAMSON explained the message he hopes to get across with STALKER. (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR FOR AUDIO)

STALKER debuts tonight on CBS.

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_rbdave73dj1_hires219Apropos of absolutely nothing, it just occurred to us that this month marks the 42nd anniversary of the groundbreaking television special LIZA WITH A Z. We ran across a DVD copy over the weekend and couldn’t help but note that, even by today’s standards, this LIZA MINNELLI concert presentation is one of the greatest musical time-capsules ever. Originally aired on September 10, 1972, the film was produced and directed by BOB FOSSE, with MINNELLI performing a program of songs written specifically for her by the team of JOHN KANDER and FRED EBB. The winner of four Emmys and a Peabody Award, the show featured costumes by HALSTON and musical direction by MARVIN HAMLISH.

During a press conference a few years ago, MINNELLI talked about how the show almost didn’t make it to air over censorship issues and how it took a little persuasive conversation from the creative team to bypass standards and practices. (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR FOR AUDIO)


LIZA WITH A Z has been digitally remastered and is available on Blu-ray and DVD.

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_rbdave73dj1_hires218Returning tonight on Fox, the Golden Globe-winning sitcom BROOKLYN NINE-NINE opens its sophomore season by addressing the cliff-hanger ending it left viewers with last season. Detective Jake Peralta (ANDY SAMBERG) is back from ’suspension’ and working undercover in an FBI mafia sting as well as overcoming the awkward situation he created by admitting he has a crush on Amy (MELISSA FUMERO). Arguably one of the best workplace comedies on the air, BROOKLYN NINE-NINE continues its quirky (and sometimes random) brand of humor.

During his recent promotional tour to publicize the show, series star ANDY SANDBERG didn’t want to spill any specific beans but did admit that the sexual tension between Jake and Amy won’t be ignored.

Season two of BROOKLYN NINE-NINE debuts tonight on Fox.

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_rbdave73dj1_hires217After months of teasing, the highly anticipated 13th season premiere of FAMILY GUY airs tonight on Fox. A much touted collaboration between SETH MacFARLANE and MATT GROENING, the hour-long episode is titled THE SIMPSONS GUY and centers on the GRIFFIN family as they travel from their home in Quahog to Springfield where the meet and deal with the SIMPSONS.

Rumored for years to be feuding, series creators GROENING and McFARLANE put all that to rest in a recent Entertainment Weekly cover story. Still, a major mash-up was something fans never really expected to happen.

We recently sat down with YEARDLEY SMITH (the voice of Lisa Simpson for 25 years) and she gave us a hint of what fans can expect tonight.


Both FAMILY GUY and THE SIMPSONS have season premieres tonight on Fox.

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_rbdave73dj1_hires216They say that payback is a bitch and nowhere is it more evident than in THE EQUALIZER, a hard-boiled tale of revenge and restitution that goes so far over the top it’s almost comic book material. Centered on an ex-CIA agent who faked his own death to get a new start and is now reduced to working in a home-goods store, the story has him living an ostensibly quiet life. But when he sees a young hooker being roughed up by Russian gangsters, his old instincts kick in and he becomes an avenging angel taking on the entire mob.

A reunion for director ANTOINE FUQUA and star DENZEL WASHINGTON, the film is not as smooth as TRAINING DAY (their first outing in 2001) but it is every bit as action packed. Also in the cast are CHLOE GRACE MORETZ, MARTON CSOKAS, MELISSA LEO and BILL PULLMAN.

At a press conference to promote the film at the Toronto International Film Festival, WASHINGTON and FUQUA talked about reuniting for another collaboration. (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR FOR AUDIO)

THE EQUALIZER is in theaters now.

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_rbdave73dj1_hires215In theaters today, THE BOXTROLLS is another stop-motion animation film in the spirit of NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS and COROLINE. Set in underground 19th-century England and focused on a community of monsters so shy they wear cardboard boxes to hide their bodies, the story has them going to battle with a town villain intent on extermination.

Directed by GRAHAM ANNABLE and ANTHONY STACCHI, the top-notch voice talent includes BEN KINGSLEY, ELLE FANNING, TONI COLLETTE, TRACY MORGAN, JARED HARRIS and SIMON PEGG.

Earlier this year, we caught up with ELLE FANNING (who voices the character of WINNIE in the film) on the red carpet at ComicCon and she talked about why audiences are going to love THE BOXTROLLS.

THE BOXTROLLS opens in theaters today.

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_rbdave73dj1_hires214Arriving in theaters today, JIMI: ALL IS BY MY SIDE is a really terrific missed opportunity. Not exactly a traditional ’show biz biopic’, the film focuses on just a year in the life of JIMI HENDRIX, one of the most flamboyant and influential musical stars of the swingin’ sixties. It was the year that catapulted him from unknown back-up session guy to being one of the most talked about stars of the London music scene. Unfortunately, because of the epic shortsightedness of the Hendrix estate, music rights to his most important works couldn’t be secured and, for fans, that’s a real speed-bump.

Directed and written by JOHN RIDLEY, the film stars ANDRE BENJAMIN (aka ANDRE 3000 of OutKast fame) in a career defining performance. BENJAMIN doesn’t just ‘play’ the part of JIMI HENDRIX, he owns it. He becomes HENDRIX.

During a recent press conference to promote the film, BENJAMIN talked about playing this well documents musical giant and admitted it was a lot to take on. (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR FOR AUDIO)

JIMI: ALL IS BY MY SIDE opens in theaters today.

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