Friday, April 18, 2014

Preview: The Normal Heart

Sneak Peek: Ryan Murphy's The Normal Heart

The Normal Heart - The AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, based on ACT UP activist Larry Kramer's play, The Normal Heart. Glee's Ryan Murphy directs the movie starring Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons and Julia Roberts. It premieres on May 25. Here's a new trailer.

Preview: The Writer's Room

SundanceTV's Behind-the-Scenes The Writer's Room Kicks Off with Scandal

Jim Rash from NBC's Community puts on his (Academy-Award winning) writer's cap for season two of The Writer's Room (SundanceTV, 9pm). On the show, which runs for six episodes, Jim interviews writers, actors and producers of some of TV's best shows, including hot stuff Scandal (tonight), House of Cards, The Good Wife, Sons of Anarchy and Pretty Little Liars.

Preview: Peter Pan from the Milwaukee Ballet

Peter Pan the Acclaimed Milwaukee Ballet Production

Choreographed by Milwaukee Ballet artistic director Michael Pink, Peter Pan (PBS, 9pm) took Milwaukee by storm, playing to sold-out houses and earning standing ovations nightly. Featuring an original score from British composer Philip Feeney, this impressive stage show features dancers flying high over the action and a looming, full pirate ship that sails across the stage. 


Peter Pan has become the company’s most successful performance of all time” said Pink.

The ballet features leading artist Marc Petrocci as the iconic Peter Pan and rising star Valerie Harmon as Wendy. The production also boasts a top-notch creative team, including Emmy Award-winning lighting designer David Grill.

Preview: Coachella

Coachella Music Festival Live All Weekend on AXS

Join AXS TV and host Jason Bentley, of KCRW’s “Morning Becomes Eclectic,” on April 18, 19 and 20 for more than 20 hours of live coverage, including exclusive performances and artist interviews from Lorde, Arcade Fire, Beck, Neko Case, Muse, Queens of the Stone Age, Pet Shop Boys and more.

Check out our in-depth and interactive companion site, AXS TV Festivals, where you can get additional info on the festival artists and their set times, give your two cents in live polls, and enjoy photos and video from the front lines of the festival as they’re taken.

Friday, April 18 – Day One
LIVE Coachella broadcast at 9 ET|6 ET – 4a ET|1a PT
Artists: HAIM, Neko Case, Ellie Goulding, Broken Bells, Chromeo, Grouplove, Bastille, Bryan Ferry, Kate Nash, ZZ Ward, and AFI

Preview: Hannibal

Hannibal Steps Up to the Plate When Will Wants a Fresh Start
Mads Mikkelsen

Hannibal (NBC, 10pm) - Spring has always been a time of renewal and rebirth, a time for starting over. And this Friday, it would seem our old friends Will and Hannibal are ready to bury the hatchet, seeking a delicate rapprochement. 

The title of this episode is "Su-Zakana" and it refers to a palate-cleansing dish, typically crispy vegetables dressed in vinegar. Bitter but determined, Will (Hugh Dancy) is more than ready to escape his prison/asylum/dungeon digs for a taste of his former life. But is resuming his profiler duties for the Behavioral Analysis Unit by peering inside dead animal carcasses for human bodies really the best way to make a clean start of it? One would suspect a session with a psychotherapist might be in order before taking the plunge back into the deadly work.

Enter Hannibal (Mads Mikkelsen). The doctor has a few reasons of his own not to want Will back on the job - and probably even more reasons not to put Will back under his care. 

Preview: Cesar Millan: Love My Pit Bull

Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan is Reclaiming the Pit Bull's Family-Dog Reputation
Nat Geo Wild

Cesar Millan: Love My Pit Bull (Nat Geo Wild, 9pm) - There was a time when the pit bull was one of the most popular family pets in the country. But today, the breed is more closely associated with gangs and violent dogfighting. Pit bulls have recently been responsible for more fatal attacks on humans than any other type of dog, making them among the most vilified -- and unwanted -- dogs in America.

Cesar and his current pit bull companion, Junior, make the case that it's not just pit bulls but humans as well that need to be trained to get along.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

News: One Night Only: An All-Star Comedy Tribute to Don Rickles

Jerry Seinfeld and David Letterman Among Comics Paying Tribute to Don Rickles
Spike TV 

One Night Only: An All-Star Comedy Tribute to Don Rickles (Spike, May 28) will feature luminaries from the world of comedy, television and the silver screen including David Letterman, Jerry Seinfeld, Jon Stewart, Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese, Tracy Morgan, Jimmy Kimmel, John Stamos, Bob Newhart, Regis Philbin, Ray Romano, Brad Garrett and many more.

One Night Only: An All-Star Comedy Tribute to Don Rickles tapes at the storied Apollo Theater in New York City, Rickles’ hometown, on Tuesday, May 6.
The 90-minute special, produced in conjunction with Don Mischer Productions, airs on Spike TV on Wednesday, May 28 at 9pm.

Review: Life Below Zero

Excellent Reality Show Sheds Light on a Distant Isolated Life

Sue Aikens
This season, the stars of National Geographic Channel's Life Below Zero (9pm) seem to be playing a bit more to the camera than they have in the past. But that occasional wobble doesn't diminish this fantastic show about a lifestyle 99.99% of us will never experience.

Hundreds of miles away from civilization, and sometimes hundreds of miles from the nearest person, the Life Below Zero cast are real people living in seriously remote and frozen regions in Alaska. This isn't about life in the big city. It's about life as far from the big city as they can possibly get.

You can't help but wonder why anyone would put themselves in a daily life-or-death struggle to  survive. But watching them do it is utterly captivating.

Preview: Jimmy Kimmel Live

Jimmy Kimmel Celebrates the Scandal Season Finale with Creator Shonda Rhimes

Jimmy Kimmel is giving some more love to fellow ABC show Scandal as the DC-insider drama wraps its third season tonight at 10pm. Jimmy Kimmel Live: Behind the Scandalabra (11:35pm) goes behind the scenes on the show with cast interviews, a dish-the-dirt interview with creator Shonda Rhimes and a blooper reel. Until next fall, Gladiators.

Review: Chicagoland

The Story of a Great City's People Gets Murky
Chicago Tribune

Chicagoland (CNN, 10pm) - There is another interesting character here, a white woman named Sally Hazelgrove, who 13 years ago founded a boxing club for at-risk youth in Englewood. Admirable work, but who is this woman and what motivates her? We do learn that she gave up "a life of comfort" on the North Side, that she was once a thief and carried a gun. Intriguing, yes? But we never know her in any detail or depth.

Ditto two other good-fight fighters, Rob and Amy Castaneda, a married couple doing good things in their Little Village neighborhood. How about more of that, rather than seeing them travel to Manhattan to pick up some award?

Keep reading.