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For those obsessed "Mad Men" fans who wondered whether Don Draper, Peggy Olson, Joan Holloway, Roger Sterling and Company would ever fade from the scene, to become part of our cherished TV memories, the moment has arrived. "Mad Men" has slipped into history.
The show held its wrap party during the weekend in Los Angeles, and -- old show biz maxim -- that which has been wrapped cannot be unwrapped, except for the TV movie or perhaps special limited-run series. (Another old show business maxim: Money always talks.)
But "Mad Men" is over and it is inconceivable that it could ever again continue in any fashion, even though "Breaking Bad" has reinterred part of its soul for "Better Call Saul." Now consider this: All those stars and producers who congregated Saturday at The Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles know something you and I don't know -- how it all ends.
What a perfect place for a burial. The old Roosevelt is one of those grand, beautiful, dowdy, heavily rouged LA landmarks -- the Norma Desmond of hotels. (Some might also imagine it evokes the "Barton Fink" Hotel Earle, but that was shot in the lobby of a classic silent era theater on Western Boulevard, so no relation.)
The Roosevelt is also haunted or reputed to be, and of course Don saw a ghost in the closing seconds of the midseason finale. (Actually, not exactly a "ghost," but we've already discussed this at length.)
Also: This was the Roosevelt hotel where the first Academy Awards were held. Maybe "MM" held the wrap here to confer good karma onto Jon Hamm, who will most certainly be honored with another Emmy nomination for best actor next week and most certainly deserves to finally win.
Or maybe this is just practical: A large part of the seventh season after all has been West Coast-based, and maybe the West Coast is where it will all end up.
The Manhattan-based Roosevelt, or just The Roosevelt, like its West Coast counterpart, is of the same vintage. Both were built in the middle of the Jazz Age, honoring a president who at that moment must have seemed the epitome of American ambition and energy. It also happens to figure prominently in "Mad Men" history, as this was the place Don repaired after Betty kicked him out of the house in one of the early seasons.
The Roosevelt of the 1960s -- and like the LA one, has since been refurbished -- was a perfect place for a disgraced ad man looking to hang his hat for a night or two -- a seen-better-times dinosaur that did in fact look like the Hotel Earle, and a quick overnight stop if one missed the last train out of Grand Central, or one's wife had just kicked one out of the house.
The wrap party in LA was sponsored by Johnnie Walker. Why booze? Why need you ask with regards to "Mad Men?" Plus, Christina Hendricks was JW's prominent spokeswoman star not too long ago.
(Brooks Brothers was also a sponsor, and as fans know, BB -- just across Madison Avenue from The Roosevelt -- supplied Don's classic suits over the years, and even began a "Mad Men" line. )
I'm going on at length here only for reasons of sentimentality. It's over. Maybe you too feel the slightest sense of loss.
The last half of the seventh season arrives sometime next year. I'll hold my own private wrap party then, maybe at The Roosevelt.
"The View," a daytime TV pillar and until last month headed by a TV legend, has come undone: ABC and its production partners on the franchise late Thursday fired Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy, leaving just Whoopi Goldberg, who joined the show in 2007, as the only current castmember.
"The View will be moving in an exciting new direction next season and ABC has made decisions to evolve...Read more »
Gary Oldman tried to diffuse the controversy generated by comments made to Playboy by apologizing Wednesday night on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" -- a long cri de coeur that disavowed a whole range of observations (about Mel Gibson, "political correctness" and Jews) which were quite obviously idiotic and bizarrely out of sync with anything anyone in the world is apparently talking about these days. "Especially to younger fans I should be an example and an inspiration and I'm an [expletive] and I should know better."
Kimmel instantly punctures the moment, however: "I'm so surprised you call your fans 'Team Oldman.' " (What's especailly peculiar about this clip is that it concludes with a billboard from "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" -- a commercial! So, in the end, everything really is just about ticket sales.)
Here's a good Washington Post blog that lays out the oddity of this whole Oldman controversy.
CBS has announced fall premiere dates. The full list:
Thursday, Sept. 11
7:30-8:25 p.m. "Thursday Night Football Pre-Game Show"
8:25 p.m. "NFL Thursday Night Football" (Pittsburgh @ Baltimore)
Sunday, Sept. 21
7-8 p.m. "60 Minutes" (47th season premiere)
8-9 p.m. "Madam Secretary" (series debut)
9-10 p.m. "The Good Wife" (6th season...Read more »
Joan Lunden, former co-host of "Good Morning America," announced on the program Tuesday morning that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer, and has begun her treatment. See the clip below. A few quick Lunden facts: She was co-anchor from 1980 to '97; is mother to five, including three daughters from her first marriage; has authored eight books; and is a well-known and widely traveled health advocate...
Here's what she wrote on her blog...
I have already begun my chemotherapy and I am blessed to have my husband Jeff and my three older daughters with me every step of the way. I am so thankful to have the support, wisdom, and guidance from all my doctors and the loving support of my family and my friends. I know I have a challenge ahead of me in this journey, however I have chosen to take it as an opportunity to fulfill my father’s legacy and try to inspire others to protect their health.
ABC US News | ABC Sports News
They're back -- all of them, so that professional "American Idol" watchers can no longer claim that everyone is abandoning the franchise: Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. will return as judges, for the 14th season. And just in time for July 23rd auditions at Nassau Coliseum. They are good judges so this is good news ... (and good certainly for beleagured "Idol," which needed some stabilizing news right about now.Judge turnover has been endemic in recent seasons).
“Jennifer, Keith, Harry and Ryan are the very best in the business at what they do, and I’m thrilled that they are returning to "American Idol" for another season. Each brings unique qualities and expertise to the team, but they all share the same passion for helping undiscovered singers achieve the American dream,” said David Hill, senior executive vice president, 21st Century Fox.
AMC's "Turn" - which didn't get a whole lot of critical attention over its just-concluded 10-episode run but apparently more than enough of the viewer sort - just earned a second season.
The statement, via AMC chief Charlie Collier:
“Craig Silverstein, Barry Josephson [producers and creators] and a talented cast and crew delivered a truly distinctive and engaging premiere season. We look forward to continuing this revolutionary journey into season two. “AMC and its creative partners have a track record of nurturing programs we collectively believe in, patiently growing viewership and engagement over time. With ‘TURN,’ once again, we dive in with our partners to build upon this very promising first season.”
Based on the story of Revolutionary War spy Abe Woodhull of Setauket, AMC says the series attracted a respectable 2 million viewer average over its duration.
Beyoncé -- who has a relationship with HBO going back to at least last year's much viewed "Life Is But a Dream" special -- will return to the network in a 10-part mini program series that draws from her performances in "Mrs. Carter Show World Tour."
How short? Four minutes... and here's the interesting part: Each of these mini-performance episodes will lead into "True Blood" beginning June 29. Each will start at 8:55 p.m.
Ask yourself the obvious question -- what Beyoncé or the tour have to do with "True Blood" -- and you will be forced to come up with the obvious answer: Nothing! But at least they'll benefit from the huge audience that will arrive each Sunday for the final season wrap of "True Blood."
The "Carter" tour, which ended in March, comprised 132 concerts in 27 countries. It was of course a huge event, and now, HBO/ "True Blood" fans will get a sanctioned (as opposed to a pirated YouTube) look at the highlights.
Some late-night skits are funny, some are funny and weird.
But it's a rare trick when a late-night host, even Jimmy Kimmel (who's essentially become the nation's master TV prankster), pulls them off so successfully, as he did on Tuesday night's "Jimmy Kimmel Live," with an assist from the Knicks' Amar'e Stoudemire and the redoubtable Cousin Sal.
Check out (former Laker) Metta World Peace's limo ride from heck.
What do you think -- is Jimmy Kimmel the best prankster on late-night TV?
"The Knick" -- not to be confused with the Knicks, heaven forbid -- arrives on Cinemax Aug. 8.
About the frontiers of hospital medicine in New York circa 1900 and starring Clive Owen and Andre Holland, you may expect -- reliably, I would imagine -- horror and much blood.
Tuesday, the first full trailer arrived.
This a huge project for Cinemax, attempting to climb into the Serious Drama forum with a very rare Steven Soderbergh TV initiative. (He did in fact produce the much-awarded "Behind the Candelabra" for HBO.)