News, scoops, reviews and more from TV land.
Yes, even the Governor ("...don't call me that") gets his own tribute: AMC just released what must be one of the year's most unique and unexpected love letters - to the Beast of Woodbury himself. As fans are sorrowfully aware, the Guv ate steel in the season finale. And he did not like being called "The Govenor." David Morrissey did a terrific job portraying one of TV's great villains over the past few years. .Take a look...
For those not otherwise engaged on the shank-end of 2013, this . . . an all-you-can eat "Breaking Bad" and "Walking Dead" marathon. (Come to think of it, scratch the phrase "all you can eat" in the context of anything to do with "The Walking Dead." Let's just call this a binge party!)
The binge party begins Dec. 27, and herewith the details:
"A four-day Breaking Bad marathon, which kicks off at noon ET/PT each day from Friday, Dec. 27 through Monday, Dec. 30, will feature every episode from the series’ critically acclaimed five seasons, making AMC the only destination for cable subscribers to watch every Breaking Bad episode for free. On New Year’s Eve day, Dec. 31, at 9 a.m. ET/PT, AMC will air a two-day marathon of The Walking Dead. Beginning with the pilot, episodes will air back-to-back in chronological order until 5 a.m. ET on Jan. 2, 2014."
AMC last week announced a pair of drama newcomers, including this intriguing period one -- "Turn," based on Alexander Rose's "Washington's Spies." Series arrives next spring, and stars UK actor Jamie Bell. Here's AMC's IMDB description:
Set in the summer of 1778, show tells the story of New York farmer Abe Woodhull, who bands together with a group of childhood friends to form the Culper Ring, an unlikely group of spies who turn the tide in America's fight for independence.
And as promised ... a preview:
Let's call this a post for anyone out there who was actually wondering whether "The Walking Dead" would be back for a fifth season. Yes, rest assured, "The Walking Dead" will be back for a fifth season. Even Charlie Collier, AMC chief, seemed bemused by the redundancy of even having to announce that the most viewed, non-sports, cable series in history -- and TV's most viewed this season -- would be coming back.
“We are very happy to make what has to be one of the most anti-climactic renewal announcements ever: The Walking Dead is renewed for a fifth season,” said Charlie Collier, AMC president..
But what may be notable in this announcement is the visible display of support for Scott Gimple, who "will return as series' showrunner..." As fans know, repeat engagements on this series are hardly a sure bet, and in fact, AMC and "Dead" have run through a couple of high profile show-runners, including Frank Darabont.
But this season's numbers are so huge, and the series really does look like it's firing on all cylinders, that even the barest hint of backstage intrigue or drama would seem churlish indeed. Or ill-placed.
Those numbers? Well, the season's first episode was seen by 20.2 million viewers, when video-on-demand tag-alongs were factored in.
Here's an amusing two-minute diversion for the Walking Deadheads among us: Lauren Cohan (Maggie) discusses her beauty secrets on "The Walking Dead."
Hey, it's not so easy looking good with zombie brain splattered on your brow.
Newsday app readers please check this out at newsday.com/tvzone — unless the site of zombie brain is disturbing to you. Next clip is amusing too - oh sure, it's promotional, but what the heck:
"The Walking Dead," which returned for its fourth season Sunday, reached a plateau not seen over those four seasons to date, and certainly not one anticipated either, considering that the face-eating, gut-consuming undead are behind this record: 16.1 million viewers, or the third highest viewership total for any entertainment program on TV of the fall season so far ("CSI" and "The Big Bang Theory" remain ahead in that category.)
"Dead" could not overtake "Sunday Night Football" either -- 19.7 million. However, "Dead" easily remains TV's highest-rated show among young adults, 18-49, so far this season.
The season premiere could and also should overtake that football figure, however, when playback figures -- so-called video on demand ratings -- are incorporated into the total later this week.
"The Walking Dead" is back this Sunday, and no time like the present to offer the Newsday take on what to expect, and how to prepare yourself, and when you should walk away from the TV set or at least when you should avert your eyes. And so on. Here's the review . . .
"The Walking Dead," AMC, Sunday, 9
What it's about: Ah, prison life at the West Georgia Correctional...Read more »
"Breaking Bad," a true TV classic, ends tomorrow night, and now time for the appreciations. There are so many out there, but how many are under 400 words? That's the unique selling proposition - to paraphrase Ted Bates - of my "Breaking Bad" send-off. It's short! You can read it all in under thirty seconds. (And anyone who's looking for a longer take, here's another appreciation...Read more »
And now, friends, welcome to my second-to-last post on "Breaking Bad," tied to Sunday's "Granite State," and as my few faithful know, I've pretty much stayed away from plot analysis in these to concentrate on themes -- what "Bad" is trying to tell us about Walter White, but also what it's trying to tell us about US.
I've done earlier posts (and stories) on: transformation,...Read more »
We have arrived, friends, at the final Emmys 2013 pick/guesses -- the last entry in my weeklong series telling you who should win (but alas probably won't).
Good thing about this year's nominees? Not a piker in the bunch. They are all outstanding, and so if any of the following wins, no one should be surprised. With that, to our nominees ...
COMEDY SERIES: "The Big Bang Theory," CBS; "Girls," HBO; "Louie," FX; "Modern Family," ABC; "30 Rock," NBC; "Veep," HBO
Who will win: The past six years have been dominated by just two comedies, but even dominance eventually cracks, and for "Modern Family," this could well be that year. The winner is "The Big Bang Theory."
Who should win: "Louie," without question. But dark comedies -- and "Louie" is hardly always comic -- don't fare well here. Couple of "Girls" episodes merit a win, too, but like, "Louie" -- also produced in NYC, where there are fewer Academy voters -- this is a tough sale.
DRAMA SERIES: "Breaking Bad," AMC; "Downton Abbey," PBS; "Homeland," Showtime; "Game of Thrones," HBO; "House of Cards," Netflix; "Mad Men," AMC.
Who will win: "Homeland" had a so-so sophomore season, but voters hate to disawow their judgment, especially after crowning this with such gusto after its freshman season. Could be guilt over snubbing "Bad" for so long, but I fully believe it will prevail at the 66th Emmys, if not Sunday night. That's why the edge goes to ... "Homeland."
Who should win: "Game of Thrones." "Thrones" had a remarkable season (another one), but fantasy fiction is a tough sell to voters. I wouldn't mind seeing that long-overdue nod to "Bad," either -- and what a nice achievement to be awarded on the night your penultimate episode airs.