TV Zone

News, scoops, reviews and more from TV land.

'Saturday Night Live' Adam Levine promos

What's a Thursday without a post of the forthcoming "Saturday  Night Live" promos, in this instance spotlighting this weekend's guest host Adam Levine? (Well, it's not a Thursday then, is it...) 

Matt Damon finally gets his revenge: Kidnaps Jimmy Kimmel

Actor Matt Damon arrives for the 82nd Academy

(Credit: AP )

One of the ongoing "feuds" of late night TV involves Matt Damon and Jimmy Kimmel. Kimmel invited the star to his show, only to make him cool his jets in the green room. The talk show host finally gets to him after the last commercial break to say something like, "And now, Matt Damon! Oh, sorry, we've run out of time. Next time pal." 

So tonight on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" Damon gets his revenge. Here's a sneak peak, followed by a clip of the history of this dispute. (Oh yes, and Damon is in "Les Miz.")

Super Bowl ads: Coca-Cola says goodbye to bears, hello to 'Mirage'

Coca-Cola's Polar Bear Bowl has been one of those indelible fixtures of the Super Bowl — or at least was last year, when bears changed scarves, and colors, depending upon whom was ahead. Yup, we saw a lot of blue scarves. But no more bears, or just to couch this — probably no more bears. Coke is on to a different kick — referred to here simply as "Mirage," and yup, the pregame buzz has of course begun.

Here's the scene: It's a vast desert and out of the distant on the blistering sand there are three  groups — showgirls on a bus; a posse of "Mad Max"-styled dudes; and cowboys — all in hot pursuit of something, with "Sheherazade" tracking. That would be the giant Coke bottle on the horizon.

The 60-second tease, now posted on Facebook, shows a race among the three to the finish, only to get to the bottle to find out that it's a billboard, and that the real Coke is 50 miles away.

So, who wins the Coke? That's the nature of this social media game, and consumers are invited to play along, while the game commercial will feature the winner. (Plus, there are coupons to win for a free Coke, etc.)

It's an interesting departure for Coke, one of the Super Bowl's iconic advertisers, and reveals a shift that's affecting other advertisers this year — not only tease your game ad, but engage viewers in some sort of pregame ritual that determines some sort of outcome.

That of course is one of the holy grails of consumer marketing — engaging consumers, thereby wresting away "mind share" from competitors. But, I suspect, Coke is also using Facebook and other social media tools to better understand consumer patterns, habits and triggers.

In fact, it'll incorporate a Domino's commercial tie-in into its Super Bowl ads — a first for Coke, and a way to figure out exactly whether it can get the same sort of game day pop that the pizza company typically gets.

  Check out the ad that was released Tuesday:

'Ben and Kate' canceled

Dakota Johnson portrays Kate and Nat Faxon plays

(Credit: Fox)

Fox has pulled “Ben and Kate” from its Tuesday lineup, and though final episodes will air at some later point, they will effectively be burned off. A shame really: “Ben & Kate” seemed to have it all at outset -- a very good cast, headed by Nat Faxon, Dakota Johnson (Don's daughter) and  whimsical Brit actress (with one of the best names in Hollywood) Lucy Punch.

The pilot was terrific . . . but no one turned up at the party. Ratings were bad from the get-go and didn't improve from there.

How talented was and is Faxon? Very: Gifted comic actor who won an Oscar for best adapted screenplay, with Jim Rash, for “The Descendants.” 

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Sure, this sort of thing happens in television but you always sort of hope it happens to BAD shows rather than good/promising ones. Why didn't Fox just move it? Maybe -- I'm guessing -- there was no other logical place to move it.

Meanwhile, “Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23" also got the hook Wednesday, and all lovers of quality network sitcoms are now worried about the fate of “Happy Endings.”

A double-up of “Raising Hope” will air in the “Ben and Kate” time-slot through February, and then “Hell's Kitchen” takes over.

'American Horror Story: Asylum' - the madness ends (thank goodness,too)

And so tonight - FX, 10 - we come to the end of the wildly uneven second season of "American Horror Story: Asylum." Finale's called "Madness Ends," to which I would add: "Thank goodness for that."  Fans take note: The finale's a solid one, but not a particularly scary one - rescued by some very good performances and a necessary wrap to some season-long storylines that can only be described as insane, though  maybe not quite in the sense the creators intended the word to mean. What went wrong this season? Beyond the  campy launch that pushed the show into a murky soup of aliens, Nazi doctors of death, wackjob nuns, kidnapped reporters, homicidal Santa Clauses (or one anyway), and so very much else that seemed disconnected from a coherent whole? Mostly that it was so relentlessly grim. (Yes, have been a bit negative on it from the beginning.) This series needs to recapture what it caught so effortlessly the first season - that would be "horror."  But, as noted, some good performances tonight - Sarah Paulson - who's pretty much terrific in everything she's in, and has been solid this season, too, ending as a Barbara Walters-like doyenne of TV news -  and Jessica Lange, as usual, also terrific. In any event, see what you think... Again: FX, 10.  And perhaps some good news for the third season - EW is reporting that Taissa Farmiga (from the first) is in "talks" to rejoin the series. 

'Parenthood' should return for fifth season

Ray Romano as Hank and Lauren Graham as

(Credit: NBC)

NBC's “Parenthood” ended its fourth season last night, and, as everyone well knows, the axman lurks. Now fans anxiously await: Will their beloved Bravermans be back for a fifth? I'll get to the answer later but -- SPOILER ALERT -- let's get to some a narrative reason or two why the show must go on.

Last nighT, without getting into too many specifics, someone's cancer was eradicated; someone...

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'Mad Men' season 6 premieres April 7

Jon Hamm as Don Draper in a scene

(Credit: AP)

"Mad Men's” sixth season begins on the seventh... of April. Just announced. But what's interesting here is that it will launch with a two-hour special episode at 9 p.m. on that Sunday. Jon Hamm directs the April 14 episode in the regular time slot -- 10 p.m.

AMC’s critically acclaimed Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award-winning drama, “Mad Men,” will return for its sixth season on Sunday, April 7, at 9 p.m. ET/PT with a special two-hour premiere written by creator and executive producer, Matthew Weiner and directed by executive producer, Scott Hornbacher. Following the premiere, on Sunday, April 14, “Mad Men” will return to its regular time slot at 10 p.m. ET/PT with an episode written by Jonathan Igla and Weiner, and directed by Jon Hamm.

Manti Te'o admits to Katie Couric he lied about girlfriend hoax

Some portions of Katie Couric's interview with Notre Dame linebacker  Manti T'eo — taped Tuesday — aired earlier on “Good Morning America” and he admits that he briefly lied after learning the girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, was a hoax. Here's a portion of the story sent out a short while ago — check back here later for more (and if you missed this morning's "Today," the so-called "fake girlfriend" - Diane O'Meara also spoke out...):

“Katie, put yourself in my situation. I, my whole world told me that she died on Sept. 12. Everybody knew that. This girl, who I committed myself to, died on Sept. 12,” Te'o said. Te'o said he received a phone call Dec. 6 from a woman claiming she was Kekua, even though Kekua had allegedly passed away three months earlier. “Now I get a phone call on Dec. 6, saying that she's alive and then I'm going be put on national TV two days later. And to ask me about the same question. You know, what would you do?” Te'o said. 

Erika Slezak to rejoin 'One Life to Live'

Elizabeth Rodriguez, Thorsten Kaye, Susan Lucci and Walt

(Credit: ABC)

Erika Slezak — Victoria Buchanan — has agreed to rejoin the new online version of  "One Life to Live."

In other words: This online reboot is starting to look like it may be the real deal. Some additional casting details for both "OLTL" and "All My Children" have been released which will be relaunched online at a date to be determined. (See below.)


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'The Following' is ratings gold for Fox

Kevin Bacon, front right, plays former FBI agent

(Credit: AP)

Fox has finally, I think we can add the word at this point, what appears to be a new drama hit: “The Following.” Ratings are in, and in the one area that is scrutinized so very closely, it got a 3.1 among adults 18-49, which per Fox, is the second-highest new drama debut for any network this season; tied with “Elementary,” though still behind “Revolution.” In fact, Fox has since adjusted the number...

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