TV Zone

News, scoops, reviews and more from TV land.

CBS's Les Moonves talks CBS's Stephen Colbert

Interesting comments by CBS chief Leslie Moonves on the network's biggest move since...(oh right, since Thursday NFL)...

 Stephen Colbert...

 On Bloomberg TV's "Street Smart:" 


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CNN's last live 9 p.m. telecast tonight...

A little bit of TV history ends in just a few hours - CNN's long-standing "live" 9 p.m. telecast, once the linchpin of CNN's entire broadcast day, ends in just a few hours.

 Or 9 p.m., to be exact. 

 It began all the way back in 1980, when Sandra ("Sandi") Freeman hosted a nightly show, Freeman Reports," which was succeeded by "Larry King Live." "LKL" was one of the standout successes in CNN history - as LK likes to continue to remind people (just kidding, Larry!) - but the show that replaced it in 2011, "Piers Morgan LIve," was not. (It ended recently.)

 That "live" element gave CNN a certain cachet and immediacy - but the rest of cable news history happened, which you already know so well. CNN - though hugely successful worldwide and online - continues its long struggles during news' slow periods (which, by the way, "LKL" was often immune to.)

 The all-new primetime begins next week - original taped series (and films) hosted by Anthony Bourdain, Mike Rowe, Lisa Ling, and John Walsh (also, Morgan Spurlock...) will air at nine.

 Rest in peace, "live"... 

Long Island's Riverhead Foundation on 'Sea Rescue'

A male gray seal found entangled in a

(Credit: Jim Staubitser)

A quick TV program note on an important Long Island-based marine life rescue operation on Riverhead's East Main Street: the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research & Preservation will be featured Saturday on the Channel 7 series "Sea Rescue."

The Foundation says it "rescues and rehabilitates dolphins, porpoises, seals, sea turtles and whales. We respond to approximately 250 animals each year. Our rescue team is the only group to respond to stranded sea turtles and marine mammals in all of New York."

On Saturday's "Sea Rescue" (WABC/7 at 11:30 a.m.) a gray seal is saved from a net. (Two types of seals in LI waters -- grays and harbor seals; if you are very lucky, you can even see one "bottling," or head above water, when they're in the Sound, and not migrating... And they are beautiful as well as endangered...)

This is the story of Belle... 



Is Barbara Walters really retiring? Really?!

Barbara Walters, Bill Geddie at the Four seasons,

(Credit: Newsday)

Skepticism of course is warranted: Barbara Walters retiring? No she's not. But she says she is... then she says she's not. Last night on "Late Show with David Letterman," she and that other legend declared that they would walk off into the sunset together.... After first declaring that they had no desire to leave at all.

What's going on here? Shrinks have terms for this -- "inner conflict," is certainly one. "Lapsus linguae" may be the other -- a slip of the tongue that reveals the true inner emotions... Barbara's had those recently.

Wednesday night, watching her glide through the movable feast of power brokers in the Pool Room of the Four Seasons -- all gathered to fete this spectacular 50-year run which may or may not be coming to an end -- someone was overheard to say: "I give her three weeks."

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That may be generous. I give her three days. (By the way, you may want to watch the tribute Friday at 9. It's quite good.) 

Everyone says the same thing about Walters: She looks great, vital, beautiful... a Dorian Gray in a red suit who defies the clock. They also say she can't retire, anymore than Mike Wallace or Walter Cronkite could. It's not just the push and pull of a great career - which always seems to exert a magnetic pull over any avowed intention to back out, drawing them back in, over and over again... It's something much deeper: An identity bound tightly to that career, as if one cannot be separated from the other. The obvious benefits of work are one thing -- keeping active, remaining vital, doing everything you are so good at doing. But it's that deeper power the legends never have control over - the one that says they have to keep going because if they don't, they stop becoming what they were all along.

Johnny Carson was the only singular legend in TV history that I'm aware of who could bodily remove himself from that strangely human paradox -- though hard to say how successful he was because he died a mere ten years after leaving "Tonight": A recluse in a Malibu compound who swung a tennis racket and had no wistful glance back to the glory days... Or so one is lead to believe. We are all still waiting for the Bill Zehme biography.

But Barbara's different. Wednesday night was Her Crowd: Oprah, David Geffen, Woody Allen and every other luminary you could care to think of, all elbow-to-elbow in a packed room that parted only when the queen moved through. She looked happy, and sad; in the moment and also wistful. She made jokes because jokes are always a nice way to diffuse complex emotions: "At least now I have time for Botox. But since I'm not going to be on TV anymore, I don't need the Botox."

 She explained (redundantly): "I don't know how to say goodbye. So I won't, and instead say, 'à bientôt...'"

That means "see you later." Or to quote that overquoted Hallmark-like saying, "A good-bye is never painful unless you're never going to say hello again."

The CW fall lineup: 'The Originals' moves to Monday; 'The Flash' to Tuesday

"The Flash" with Grant Gustin joins the CW's

(Credit: -- Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW -- © 2014 The CW Network,)

The CW unwrapped its fall lineup a few minutes ago, and -- as you may be able to tell from the headline on this post -- if "The Originals" move to Monday is the biggest news here, then there's not all that much to say, is there? 

But what may be dull to you is possibly good for the CW, which appears to have stabilized after a few hard years. The network has a decently performing spinoff...

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CBS' new show trailers: 'NCIS: Nola,' 'Stalker,' more

Dylan McDermott, in CBS' new series "Stalker."

(Credit: CBS via YouTube)

Trailers for CBS' new shows -- "Scorpion," "Stalker," "NCIS: Nola," "The McCarthys", and "Madam Secretary" -- have arrived, and you can watch them here:


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TNT goes 'boom;' changes tag, and nabs Ed Burns

Director Ed Burns on the set of The

(Credit: The Fitzgerald Family Christmas)

TNT -- which has long been the claimant to the boast "We Know Drama" -- is dropping the tag in favor of another: "TNT Drama. Boom."

Meaning what exactly? In light of a recent comment by Time Warner chief Jeffrey Bewkes during an investor conference call, it could be interpreted as ominous... 

"Over the past few years, we didn’t take enough creative risks with its programming, and...

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CBS: New schedule, football...and news

Scott Bakula joins the new CBS "NCIS" spinoff

(Credit: AP)

This morning, CBS completed the annual process known as the upfronts, as the last of the four major broadcast networks to unveil a new fall lineup. The key developments here are indeed key, for CBS will have a. Football and b. A surprisingly high number of new dramas...

And let's add a c. "The Big Bang Theory" will air on Mondays starting Sept. 11 through October, then move back to Thursdays...

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ABC new series: Trailers

Jimmy Kimmel predicted a little while ago at the "ABC Upfront" that all of the network's new shows "will be canceled." But, of course, he was kidding.

Some of these will certainly survive, maybe even prevail, but which ones?

Meanwhile, there are a handful of midseason series just in case. And check out "Galavant" at the end of this string -- plus, a "first look" at "How to Get Away with Murder," which appears to be a keeper.

The fall newbies.

ABC's fall lineup = Shonda Rhimes

From left, actors Tony Goldwyn and Kerry Washington

(Credit: AP / Chris Pizzello)

Shonda Rhimes, who had the good sense to create not one ("Grey's Anatomy") but two ("Scandal") hits for ABC, has been handed the keys to the kingdom. She will have three shows on Thursdays -- the third, "How to Get Away with Murder." That may be unprecedented at ABC -- which was once, long ago, controlled by Aaron Spelling. Here's the fall lineup... Descriptions follow:



8 p.m. “Dancing with the Stars”

10 p.m. “Castle”


8 p.m. “Selfie”

8:30 p.m. “Manhattan Love Story”

9 p.m. “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

10 p.m. “Forever”



8 p.m. “The Middle”

8:30 p.m. “The Goldbergs”

9 p.m. “Modern Family”

9:30 p.m. “Black-ish”

10 p.m. “Nashville”



8 p.m. “Grey’s Anatomy”

9 p.m. “Scandal”

10 p.m. “How to Get Away with Murder”


8 p.m. “Last Man Standing”

8:30 p.m. “Cristela”

9 p.m. “Shark Tank”

10 p.m. “20/20”



8 p.m. “Saturday Night Football”


7 p.m. “America’s Funniest Home Videos”

8 p.m. “Once Upon a Time”

9 p.m. “Resurrection”

10 p.m. “Revenge”


“FOREVER” Doctor Henry Morgan (Ioan Gruffudd), New York City’s star medical examiner, has a secret. He doesn’t just study the dead to solve criminal cases, he does it to solve the mystery that has eluded him for 200 years — the answer to his own inexplicable immortality. This long life has given Henry remarkable observation skills which impresses his new partner, Detective Jo Martinez (Alana De La Garza). Each week, a new case and their budding friendship will reveal layers of Henry’s long and colorful past. Only his best friend and confidant, Abe (Judd Hirsch) knows Henry’s secret. “Forever” also stars Barbara Eve Harris as Lt. Marcia Roark, Donnie Keshawarz as Detective Hanson and Joel David Moore as Lucas.

“HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER” The brilliant, charismatic and seductive Professor Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) gets entangled with four law students from her class, “How to Get Away with Murder.” Little do they know that they will have to apply what they learned to real life, in this legal thriller from Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers, executive producers of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal.” “How to Get Away with Murder” also stars Billy Brown as Nate, Alfred Enoch as Wes, Jack Falahee as Conner, Katie Findlay as Rebecca, Aja Naomi King as Michaela, Matt McGorry as Asher, Karla Souza as Laurel, Charlie Weber as Frank and Liza Weil as Bonnie.

“BLACK-ISH” Andre ‘Dre’ Johnson (Anthony Anderson) has a great job, a beautiful wife, Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross), four kids, and a colonial home in the ‘burbs. But has success brought too much assimilation for this black family? With a little help from his dad (Laurence Fishburne), Dre sets out to establish a sense of cultural identity for his family that honors their past while embracing the future. “Black-ish” also stars Tracee Ellis Ross as Rainbow, Yara Shahidi as Zoey, Marcus Scribner as Andre Jr., Miles Brown as Jack and Marsai Martin as Diane.

“MANHATTAN LOVE STORY” Have you ever wondered what your date was thinking? This romantic comedy exposes the differences between men and women through the unfiltered thoughts, and often contradictory actions, of a new couple who have just begun dating. “Manhattan Love Story” stars Analeigh Tipton as Dana, Jake McDorman as Peter, Nicolas Wright as David, Jade Catta-Preta as Amy, Chloe Wepper  as Chloe and Kurt Fuller as William

“SELFIE” “Instafamous” Eliza Dooley (Karen Gillan) has 263,000 followers who hang on to her every post, tweet and selfie. But one lonely day, she has a revelation: being friended is not the same as having actual friends. She asks marketing guru Henry (John Cho) to ‘rebrand’ her self-obsessed reputation and teach her how to connect with people in the real world. Loosely based on “My Fair Lady,” “Selfie” explores the modern struggles of Eliza and Henry, as he tries to teach her how to live life offline -- whether she ‘likes’ it or not. “Selfie” also stars Tim Peper as Ethan, Da’Vine Joy Randolph as  Charmonique,  Allyn Rachel as Bryn and David Harewood as Sam

“CRISTELA” In her sixth year of law school, Cristela (Cristela Alonzo) is finally on the brink of landing her first big (unpaid) internship at a prestigious law firm. The only problem is that her pursuit of success is more ambitious than her traditional Mexican-American family thinks is appropriate. She’s stuck straddling the old culture she’s trying to modernize at home with her working-class family and the modern world she’s trying to embrace in her professional career. “Cristela” also stars Carlos Ponce as Felix, Terri Hoyos as Natalia, Andrew Leeds as Josh and Sam McMurray as Trent.

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