News, scoops, reviews and more from TV land.
Matt Lauer, still very much in damage control after the Ann Curry ouster fiasco and the continued downward pressure on numbers, turned up at "The Tonight Show" Thursday to promote the Psy performance Friday morning on "Today," and perhaps more importantly, to address his own performance.
In one respect, this was a profoundly harmless encounter — as you might expect — but especially interesting to see him describe Kathie Lee Gifford as a close friend, especially close after she came to his defense recently.
Meanwhile, not entirely sure who's giving Matt press counsel but at some point, someone has to tell him: Just say nothing, or — in less polite terms — shut up. A Jay interview doesn't even count as an interview, but as promotion, and to address — once again, even in a highly controlled and positive environment — his ongoing "troubles" serves only to remind viewers that he has ongoing troubles.
The relevant clip:
Dispensing here with the usual banal observation that this season went by really fast, we're here to tell you that the current season of "Parks and Recreation" ends in just a few hours - and that, man, this season went by really fast. What to expect tonight? Possibly the return of one Bert Macklin who investigates a piece of evidence concerning the possible pregnancy of a major character... (Hey, this is a season finale - what would it be without a baby cliffhanger?) Nice clip - my thanks to IGN. take a look:
Look who has a TV show! Marc Maron, and if the name is not familiar to you then a.) You never download podcasts from iTunes and b.) Never watched the old "Late Night with Conan O'Brien." Maron is (was) one of the true fixtures of both "spaces." He's a stand-up comedy star, but perhaps of greater note, his "WTF" is an interesting and enduring fixture of modern pop culture:...Read more »
Not often that a TV legend of the magnitude of Bob Newhart turns up on TV's most viewed comedy so when he does, attention must be paid: Professor Proton - host of Sheldon and Leonard's fave childhood TV show - arrives tonight:
Glenn Beck, who left Fox News in a blaze - almost literally - two years ago to launch his on-line pay-for-play network, "The Blaze," has a new home, and it's a familiar one: His channel will be carried by Cablevision starting later this month.
No details on exactly when or where - neither Cablevsion or his representative said where he would land in channel position terms...Read more »
HBO's "Veep" has been handed a third season.
No surprise: It's excellent, and funny, and smart, and creative, and has Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Anna Chlumsky and Matt Walsh and Tony Hale and Armando Iannucci as creator and head writer...Well, it's returning. And should.
No additional details from HBO except to say it will be back next year; the current season is in progress. Check it out if you haven't already.
"Inside Amy Schumer," which bowed Monday night on Comedy Central, bowed very well indeed. So well, the network says it's a hit. Oh, did I mention Schumer's from Rockville Centre?
Amy is. From Rockville Centre. A very nice town, by the way.
Back to the hit. Per the press release:
"The premiere play of 'Inside Amy Schumer' (10:30-11:00 p.m.) drew 1.6 million total viewers and 1.2 million Adult 18-49 viewers (1.1 Adult 18-49 rating) and rated extremely well among young men with a 2.4 Men 18-34 rating and a 2.8 Men 18-24 rating."
[Per me: Extremely well among young men? Could the Schumer Humor include jokes about sex? I dunno...didn't see, but you can draw your own conclusions,]
And per Diane Werts, my esteemed colleague who reviewed this for Newsday on Monday:
"Even when she pushes me too far, I'm eager to hear what Schumer has to say about hot-button topics others avoid. Her shrewd, straightforward perspective and her semisweet, offhand attitude make her reflections fresh and relatable."
Steve Carell returning to "The Office" for one last big - messy - goodbye? (The hour finale is May 16.) Don't bet on it: Asked again in a recent conference call about the possible return of Michael Scott for just one last time, Greg Daniels - one of the show-runners who turned this into a classic - said, and I paraphrase: No.
"Steve...didn't want to overshadow the ending that the other characters deserved after all these years..."
And so that's that. No Carell.
Just another one of those Games that Producers Play - to mute anticipation and that when it does happen, the barn doors blow off? (A cliche Dwight would approve of, by the way.)
Sure, but doubtful: Daniels is one of the straightest shooters in the business, and I believe him on this. (And of course, also always reserve the right to completely forget what I just wrote if Carell does turn up.) Another reason is that a Scott/Carell return would change the entire tenor of the finale, making it the Michael Scott hour. He is arguably too big a personality, certainly the defining one over seven seasons, and bringing him back for a final romp - if only to sit on stage and chat about the good old days at Dunder (Daniels confirmed that the finale will indeed be a reunion - somewhat reminiscent of the British version "Office's" Christmas two-parter, in which the camera crews caught up with the gang three years later) - would conceivably swamp everyone else.
Still, let's all admit the obvioius: It's disappointing. Michael, one more time? The prospect is irresistable, but apparently not to be. (Oh yes, in case you're wondering, the finale - which could air 65-70 minutes, thanks to a petition by Officetally.com - has already been taped.)
As a happy reminder, FX's "The Americans" wraps its first season tonight with an episode titled "The Colonel," and - yes - for fans, this finale works. There'a a dramatic wrap to an arc that's been building since mid-season, and enough of a forward spin that should make the second season even more compelling. And without getting into any plot developments, there's also a nice...Read more »
"The Office" - ending May 16 and with it a big piece of NBC comedey history - will embrace a "Survivor"-like "reunion" finale, according to a report in the New York Times. No many other details but the report does indicate that there is one instance during the blow-out when it could conceivably be possible that Steve Carell's Michael Scott will also turn up from his married life in Denver.
And as fans read this, they have to ask: How could he not? After all, it would hardly be a reunion special without Michael so let's just go ahead and report it right now: Michael will be here,)
Now, what would a reunion special be like? I'm thinking it would be more along the lines of a "Real World" reunion because a "Survivor" reunion wouldn't specifically work in this context since an actual game didn't unfold within the framework of Dunder Mifflin but rather a long and inscrutible sociological experiment.