News, scoops, reviews and more from TV land.
"Downton Abbey" -- quite possibly the most monochromatic hit on all of television -- is finally adding some diverstiy to the cast: A black actor will be added for the fourth season. Yes, a first.
He is Gary Carr, 26, and a fairly new face even to British audiences. He has a pair of supporting roles on "Bluestone 42" -- a "M*A*S*H*-like dramedy about British troops in Afghanistan - and "Death in Paradise," which is bit like "Monk," and has had some airplay in the U.S. on public TV. (It's about a detective who goes to a tropic island to solve crimes...) "Downton" has yet to announce the addition of Carr, but the British press has been reporting. Julian Fellowes, show creator, has said he's wanted to "expand" the diversity of the cast; per reports, Carr will play a jazz player named Jack Ross. No other details...yet.
I found this recent interview -- you can learn a bit more about him from this...He's speaking about "Paradise:"
Great news for fans (self included) of TNT's solid remake of the daddy of all prime-time soaps: "Dallas" just got a third season. TNT says the 15-episode season will begin sometime early next year:
"Dallas has built a passionately loyal following with its expertly woven story lines, clever twists and turns, and numerous outstanding performances by a cast that spans generations," said Michael Wright, president, head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). "Although we said goodbye to Larry Hagman and his iconic character J.R. Ewing this year, Dallas has many more stories left to tell, and the Ewing clan will continue to honor J.R.'s memory by keeping its audience surprised and delighted."
No surprise here, but "Dallas" did decline from the first season numbers -- which were very solid. Per TVbythenumbers, last season averaged 3.8 million viewers (over seven days.) Those are good, not stratospheric.
In probably one of the more dramatic demonstrations that this newfangled business of watching TV shows on the web is about to go through, we now bring you this news: Hulu will launch four new original series this year, including ones created by James Corden and Seth Meyers. (See clips on the jump.)
Add this bounty to the two new soaps — "All My Children" and "One Life to Life"...Read more »
Maria Shriver, who left NBC News in 2004 after she took a more visible role as "first lady" in her then-husband Arnold Schwarzenegger's administration as GOP governor of California, has officially come home: NBC announced a little while ago that she has rejoined the network as a "special anchor" focusing on women's issues.
In a statement, Shriver — who spent a decade at...Read more »
And so we come to "The Flood," the fifth episode of the sixth season of "Mad Men," and what was probably the most complicated, layered, interlaced episode of the entire run: Full of symbols, historic tangents, backstory, front-story, foreshadows, old shadows, new shadows, pop culture references and touchstones, character development, inter-family complexities, emotional riffs...Read more »
Back from the beyond . . . two soaps living in their own soap opera . . . reborn, revived, re-some-other-word: ""All My Children" and "One Life to Live" began again Monday morning and they're online now. Easiest access at Hulu.
What do I think of the reanimated (aah, that was the other word) versions? From what I've seen, they look just fine to me: The same old bodice-rippers...Read more »
Tom Brokaw, the elder statesman of TV news (and someone with a conscience and dignity), has said that he won't be turning up at Saturday's White House Correspondents' Dinner in Washington. Check out this Politico interview where he notes that it's degenerated -- and I paraphrase -- into a drunken, free-wheeling, junket full of narcissistic star-gazers who place greater stock in Lindsay Lohan's presence than the president's.
And by the way, the big stars at this year's dinner? Willie and Korie Robertson of "Duck Dynasty."
Here's what Brokaw said of the affair, referring to past years...
"It's who can bring in the most telegenic and outrageous celebrity..."
"For me the breaking point was Lindsay Lohan [a few years ago]. She became the big star at the dinner. Give me a break."
Good comments in this interview and true ones. Worth checking out.
Yes, a major television franchise may indeed have problems when a show about hirsute dudes who make duck whistles (or callers; whatever) tops it: "Duck Dynasty" beat "American Idol" Wednesday night.
In the demo...I add.
"Duck" got 9.6 million viewers BUT a 4.3 rating among young 'uns, aged, 18-49.
"Idol:" A 3.3 rating.
Big deal? To a certain extent, but not the End of the World for "Idol" even if it is embarrassing. "Dynasty" finished its season Thursday night, and finished it big; and my own theory is that most viewers these days who watch "Idol" also are fans of "Duck Dynasty." They made a choice - the "Duck" dudes in Hawaii or just another "Idol?" Easy choice for most of them.
Did you know that Jessica Paré - who's doing a bang-up job on this season's "Mad Men" as the soap actress with a faithless feckless husband known as Don Draper - has never ever been a guest on a late night show? I didn't either, but she made her debut on last night's "Late Show with Jimmy Fallon." I think that merits a blog post - don't you? She was - as fans would rightly expect - charming: Talked about this season, how she got the gig, and a little more about "Zou Bisou Bisou." Take it away:
Kate McKinnon -- or as we fondly refer to her around these yar parts, Sea Cliff's own Kate McKinnon -- was on "Ellen" yesterday and of course, you know why: To do her Ellen impression, which is pretty much right-on-the-money. Got a lot of mileage out of it on "Saturday Night Live" and a little more Wednesday.
Anyway, if you missed: