TV Zone

News, scoops, reviews and more from TV land.

Halle Berry to star in CBS summer series

Halle Berry attends a special screening of "Frankie

(Credit: Getty Images )

Halle Berry, who hasn't done much in the way of serial TV since (at least) 1991, when she had a recurring role in "Knots Landing," will headline a CBS summer 2014 series entitled "Extant."

 All of which suggests CBS has suddenly gotten very serious about opportunities in summer television. This comes from Steven Spielberg's Amblin. Berry, by the way, has been nomiated...

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Letterman re-signs through 2015

In this Aug. 29, 2013 photo provided by

(Credit: AP Photo John Paul Filo)

One more for the road? CBS and David Letterman this afternoon announced a one-year extension that will keep "Late Show with David Letterman" on the air through 2015.

"Les [Moonves] and I had a lengthy discussion, and we both agreed that I needed a little more time to fully run the show into the ground,” said Letterman in a characteristically deadpan statement, while Moonves - CBS president and CEO - added, “There is only one Dave, and we are extremely proud that he continues to call CBS ‘home.'"

Moonves had indicated - strongly - in recent months that a renewal was forthcoming. At the recent press tour in Beverly Hills, he was asked about Letterman's future, and responded: "Other than Johnny Carson, he's probably the best that ever was. We like the stability. We like the relationship we have with Dave. He's our guy and despite what people think, we don't like drama at 11:30."

That was a not so veiled reference to the drama at NBC, which once again presents an opportunity for Letterman - and CBS - much as it did when Jay Leno stepped aside for Conan O'Brien in 2009. Jimmy Fallon will become the "Tonight Show" host in February and - much as they did in 2009 - longtime Jay Leno viewers could sample other shows, which could provide a windfall for "Late Show.".

At 66, Dave is indeed the dean: Twenty years at "Late Show," and thirty-one years since “Late Night with David Letterman” premiered on NBC on Feb. 1, 1982. He has hinted at retirement before - telling Howard Stern, for example, during a 2011 interview, that he might step down in two years (or 2013.) But Letterman clearly continues to relish the job, and his fans continue to relish him: CBS also said his 2013 fall season opening week audience increased 5 percent, to 3.14 million viewers.

'Glee's' Farewell to Finn episode preview

Cory Monteith arrives at the "Glee" spring premiere

(Credit: AP )

In what must surely be among the most unusual and sadder promotions in TV history, Fox on Thursday night released this latest reminder that Finn Hudson's farewell episode will air next Thursday.

"Unusual" because this is, after all, promoting an episode about Cory Monteith, a beloved member of this cast who died of a drug overdose in a Vancouver hotel room in July. And sad for the all-too-obvious reasons. (Track is a cover of the Dylan classic.) 

Guillermo del Toro directs 'The Simpsons'' Treehouse of Horror open

Guillermo del Toro will make a rare but

(Credit: AP )

Big screen horror/thriller master Guillermo del Toro makes a rare but memorable detour to television this Sunday night, as director of  the opening sequence (AKA "couch gag") of "The Simpsons'" 24th "Treehouse of Horror." 

How memorable? Very memorable: Everyone dies. Except maybe Mister Burns. Well, you can count the casualties for yourself . . .

(As always, Newsday app readers please watch the video at newsday.com/tvzone)

ABC's 'Scandal' returns ('... umm, dad?')

Kerry Washington arrives at the BAFTA's Los Angeles

(Credit: AP)

"Scandal" -- possibly, probably, almost certainly TV's most insane show -- returns Thursday night with more hanging questions than the 2000 election had hanging chads (I know -- a ridiculous stretch of a metaphor, but we are talking "Scandal" here. "Ridiculous" is not only welcome but mandatory.).

 But . . . fun show. Never dull.  Kerry Washington is...

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'Sleepy Hollow' gets renewed; '24' goes to London

Tom Mison in "Sleepy Hollow," which has been

(Credit: AP)

In this get-two-birds-with-one-stone post, Fox has just renewed "Sleepy Hollow" — which yours truly liked — for a second season, becoming fall's first newcomer to get a reorder. And "24" is going to London. More on that below . . .

"Hollow's renewal for 13 episodes (the first season is also for 13) would appear validation of Fox's short-run series strategy, of which...

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Ellen DeGeneres interviews the 'American Idol' judges

Harry Connick Jr. and Jennifer Lopez will host

(Credit: AP )

Ellen DeGeneres, a former "American Idol" judge herself, talks today with the newest panel of  judges, and . . . it's interesting. Foremost, the obvious question to Jennifer Lopez — easy to come back?  Actually, no, "it was a difficult decision . . ."

And funny little back and forth with Harry Connick Jr.: "How long have you been a liar . . .?"

Also, I do believe this a first look at the new group, or at least the first group interview. They are in Salt Lake City, by the way.

But enough chitchat — take a look (and as always, Newsday app viewers go to newsday.com/tvzone to watch . . .)

Bob Newhart, Bill Nye to 'The Big Bang Theory'

Bill Nye, host of the Emmy-winning 1990s television

(Credit: AP )

Nerdlingers rejoice: Bob Newhart — who won his first Emmy in a long and glorious history just two weeks ago — will reprise the role that netted the honor on Nov. 7, when he returns as Professor Proton.

Also that night Bill Nye, another brilliant fellow, recently out on "Dancing with the Stars." Here's the CBS through-line, and a clip from last season.

Bob Newhart returns to THE BIG BANG THEORY as Professor Proton, Sheldon’s favorite childhood hero. In the episode, when Professor Proton (Newhart) contacts Leonard (Johnny Galecki) to ask for help with an experiment, a scorned Sheldon (Jim Parsons) seeks revenge by befriending a rival science TV host, Bill Nye.

(Newsday app users, watch the video at Newsday.com/tvzone)

Miley Cyrus's 'Saturday Night Live' preview

Miley Cyrus performing at the MTV Video Music

(Credit: AP)

Miley Cyrus will host this weekend's "Saturday Night Live," which means jokes about tongues and twerking and corrupting the nation's youth -- and in fact, said jokes are already here, via her "SNL" promos with Taran Killam, which arrived last night.

She will also double as musical guest. Bruce Willis is host next week -- he will not double as musical guest.

Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury cameo on 'Agents of SHIELD'

Samuel L. Jackson arrives at the BET Awards

(Credit: AP)

Of all the cameos on regularly scheduled network TV series so far this season -- and honestly, there haven't been that many because those are normally held for November sweeps -- Samuel L. Jackson's reprisal of Nick Fury on "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." has to be by far the biggest. (Colonel Nicholas Joseph "Nick" Fury -- Jackson -- top spy at S.H.I.E.L.D." who has appeared in an "Iron Man," or two, "Thor," and of course, "The Avengers.)

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