Friday, December 2, 2011

News: Letterman Beats Leno for First Time Since 1994

Letterman Beats Leno and Ferguson Beats Fallon
David Letterman

CBS had a historic late night November sweep with Late Show with David Letterman beating The Tonight Show in adults 18-49 for the first time since 1994 and The Late Late Show topping Late Night in adults 18-49 for the first time ever (with any host for either program), according to Nielsen live plus same day ratings for the period of Oct. 27-Nov. 23.

5Qs on Friday: Nadia G

Nadia G
Bitchin' Chef Cooks Up a Holiday Special

Nadia G does things her way. Just to toss out one recent example, the host of  Nadia G's Bitchin' Kitchen (Wednesdays, 10pm), now in its second season on The Cooking Channel, has brought together celebrity chefs like Guy Fieri and Duff Goldman to, well, sing on her Christmas special, Feast of the Seven Dishes (Dec. 7 at 10pm).

Recap: The X Factor

Astro and Drew Kicked to the Curb on The X Factor

Thursday wasn't a good night to be a young teen on Fox's The X Factor, unless you were Rachel Crow - the 14-year-old singer who is now among the show's Final Five performers.

Other young teens didn't fare so well. Astro, the abrasive and grumpy teenage rapper got the boot. But almost no one thinks that's the end of Astro - he's just too talented to go away. Meantime, Arizona teen Drew's moody, Sarah McLachlan style proved, finally, to be too much. She got canned, too.

The X Factor's Final Five are: Chris Rene, Josh Krajcik, Melanie Amaro, Marcus Canty, Rachel Crow.

Review: Neverland

Intense Two-Part Peter Pan Prequel
New York Daily News

Neverland (Syfy - Sunday, 9pm), a new prequel to the beloved story of Peter Pan, weaves a complex, often disturbing tale demanding considerably more of its audience than the breezy musical versions that regularly fly across our theater stages.

Preview: The Heart of Christmas

Full House's Candace Cameron Bure Stars in Uplifting Christmas Movie

The Heart of Christmas (GMC - Sunday, 7pm) is based on true story about a young boy with cancer, and the online community that supported his mother while she and her husband spent months in a hospital caring for him.

Preview: Would You Rather?

New BBC America Game Show with Celebs

The fantastically fantastic and fantastically funny Graham Norton from BBC America's The Graham Norton Show is hosting a new game-celebrity-panel show, Would You Rather? (Saturday, 11pm).

Watch this preview and click Read More below for a show descrip from BBC America.

Preview: Austin & Ally

Austin & Ally
New Disney Channel Sitcom About Mismatched Friends

Austin & Ally (preview on Disney Channel on Friday at 9:30pm) is a new musical comedy about an overly confident singer/musician named Austin (played by newcomer Ross Lynch), and talented yet shy songwriter Ally (played by Laura Marano). The two team up as a full-on musical force to make their dreams come true…and the story begins!

Preview: Chef Roble & Co.

Chef Roble
New Bravo Docu-Series Focuses on NYC Caterer

Bravo serves up a new slice of culinary drama with Chef Roblé & Co. as Roblé Ali risks it all to cater the biggest events New York City has to offer, premiering on Sunday, Dec. 4 at 10pm.

Chef Roblé Ali has cooked for everyone from red carpet rock stars to award-winning actors, but nothing has prepared him for the stresses and strains of setting up his own high-end catering company. From a doggie wedding in the Hamptons to a Bollywood inspired birthday party, this series follows Roblé and his team as they create world-class cuisine and produce jaw-dropping events for a range of top-name clients and celebrities, including Rachel Dratch, and Kandi Burruss from The Real Housewives of Atlanta.

Preview: Buddy Holly: Listen to Me

Concert to Celebrate the Life of Buddy Holly

A slew of legendary performers celebrate the life of Buddy Holly in Buddy Holly: Listen to Me - The Ultimate Buddy Party (PBS - check listings). Read more from PBS below.

Taped before a live audience on what would have been Buddy Holly’s 75th birthday (Sept. 7, 2011), this extraordinary concert features a once-in-a-lifetime line-up of three generations of top recording artists performing the music of Buddy Holly, one of rock’s most enduring legends and versatile singer-songwriter-performers of the rock ‘n’ roll era.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Stats: TV Ratings Recap

Dancing with the Stars Goes Out Big
Sunday Night Football

Even though tens of millions of people were gearing up for Thanksgiving early last week (Nov. 21-27, 2011), a whole lot of us made time to watch the Dancing with the Stars season finale (JR Martinez won Season 13).

In fact, 19.6 million people watched the Final Three dancers perform on Monday's Dancing with the Stars and 19.6 million people tuned in for the results show on Tuesday, according to Nielsen.

Meanwhile, football dominated viewing on broadcast TV, cable TV and syndicated TV. The most-watched show of the week was Sunday Night Football on NBC (20.3 million viewers) while ESPN's NFL game between the Chiefs and Patriots was No. 1 on cable TV (12.3 million people).

Click on the Stats page above for more detailed Nielsen ratings.

Recap: The X Factor

Melanie Amaro
The X Factor Contestants Struggle with Michael Jackson Songs

The X Factor joined the ranks of other reality shows that have tried to honor Michael Jackson, only to have singers botch his songs - seriously botch his songs. Last night, that included some of the show's best singers, including Rachel Crow, who choked her way through "Can You Feel It."

Review: Weed Wars

Weed Wars is a Well-Crafted On-the-Job Show
The Hollywood Reporter

A well-crafted, behind-the-scenes look at California’s largest marijuana dispensary, Weed Wars (Discovery Channel, 10pm) is sure to spark further debate about medical cannabis, if not the outright legalization of pot in America.

Review: DUI

TLC's New Drunk-Driving Show
The Washington Post

DUI (TLC, 9pm) is irresistible, picking up where Cops, Jail and other guilty-pleasure law-enforcement reality series usually don’t go. It is primarily interested in what happens to motorists after they fail a sobriety test. It follows them days and weeks into court appearances and the punitive phase of their charges.

What’s emphasized here are the disastrous financial and personal losses that come for everyday working folks arrested for DUI.

Preview: Keep a Child Alive with Alicia Keys

Showtime Documentary for World AIDS Day

Keep a Child Alive with Alicia Keys (Showtime, 9pm) is the story of five Americans who win the chance to travel to South Africa with their favorite music superstar, Alicia Keys as she visited "Keep a Child Alive"-funded sites in Johannesburg and Durban.

In the heady atmosphere of the first World Cup on African soil, the five winners are overwhelmed by the sorrow they encounter and the incredible beauty of the people they meet. With Alicia as their guide, they are transported from lives of plenty to lives interrupted. Watch their journey and try not to care.

Review: The Grove

World AIDS Day Doc on PBSNew York Times

The Grove, on PBS in honor of World AIDS Day (click here for local listings), is a nicely made study of the difference between a personal memorial and a public one.

It is also, perhaps unintentionally, a statement about how far the United States has come in dealing with the disease, compared with other parts of the world, where it is still the early 1980s.       

News: Kanye West and Adele Top Grammy Nominees

Nicki Minaj, LL Cool J
Grammy Award Nominations - List of Nominees

From CBS: Nominations for The 54th Annual Grammy Awards were announced tonight on The Grammy Nominations Concert Live! - Countdown to Music's Biggest Night. 

News: Consumer Reports Backs Up Dr. Oz on Arsenic

Dr. Oz's Controversial Claim about Arsenic Gains Support

Syndicated daytime talk show host and New York cadiologist Dr. Mehmet Oz (Dr. Oz) said in September that apple juice has alarming levels of arsenic.

Ever since, Dr. Oz has been taking heat for making that claim. Now, the magazine Consumer Reports is calling for the Food and Drug Administration to craft arsenic guidelines for apple (and other) juices, as reported on yesterday's Today Show. Dr. Oz will also address this topic on his show today.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sneak Peek: Downton Abbey

Emmy Award Winning Downton Abbey Returns in January

Check out this fantastic trailer for Season Two of PBS's amazing Downton Abbey (the new season begins Jan. 8, 2012).

From PBS: Multiple Emmy winner (including Outstanding Miniseries) Downton Abbey resumes the story of aristocrats and servants of Downton Abbey during the tumultuous World War I era.

News: ABC Says Pan Am is Not Cancelled

Christina Ricci Drama Still in Production

Christina Ricci
Despite a tweet from Pan Am actress Karine Vanasse and a flurry of news stories that suggest ABC has cancelled its rookie drama Pan Am, an ABC spokesperson says the Christina Ricci show, about Pan Am flight attendants, will remain in production at least into early 2012.

The show has five more original episodes that will begin airing in January - plus an original episode this Sunday (after that, the show gives way to holiday programming for a few weeks). This spokesperson says the modestly rated show is "in contention for a second season."

Review: I Hate My Teenage Daughter

Jaime Pressly
New Fox Sitcom Doesn't Deliver on Provocative Title
New York Daily News

Fox's new sitcom I Hate My Teenage Daughter (9:30pm) is all title and not much show.

The name is clearly designed to trigger a nod of recognition from everyone who has ever had or known a teenager, maybe in particular a teenage girl.

Preview: The Grammy Nominations Concert Live!

Grammy Nominations Announced and Performances by Lady Gaga and Jason Aldean

The 54th Annual Grammy Awards are still a couple of months off, but the live nominations concert tonight (CBS, 10pm) is arguably the better show.

Hosted by LL Cool J, The Grammy Nominations Concert Live! includes performances by Lady Gaga, Jason Aldean, Ludacris, Lupo Fiasco, Sugarland and other musicians.

Preview: The Soup

Community's Joel McHale Still Has The Soup

Joel McHale
As Community fans mourn the uncertain fate of the NBC sitcom - the show is on hiatus, though when it's coming back remains a mystery - Community loyalists can always turn to E!'s The Soup (starting tonight, on Wednesdays at 10pm).

Like Community, The Soup stars Joel McHale. Unlike Community, The Soup isn't a sitcom that also stars Chevy Chase and a cast of characters who are too old to be hanging out in school, but are - and for that, we're longing for it's return.

Until then, we have The Soup - clips from other shows, with silly and witty commentary from Joel.

Preview: Ricochet

John Corbett and Gary Cole Star in TNT's Mystery Movie
The Times Picayune

John Corbett
Based on Sandra Brown’s novel Ricochet, TNT’s Mystery Movie Night (9pm) entry for this week features key cast members who’ve achieved near-ubiquity over long careers on big and little screens.

Joining comparative newcomers Julie Benz (Dexter) and Kelly Overton (“The Ring Two”) in the principal cast of the made-for-TV movie are John Corbett and Gary Cole, who play, respectively, a hard-boiled detective and a crooked judge.

Preview: Trek Nation

Star Trek Creator's Son Explores the Show's Legacy
Star Trek

This tribute (Trek Nation - Science, 8pm) follows Gene Roddenberry's son, Rod, as he explores the deep impact of his father's singular vision for the future.

Through interviews with fans, including George Lucas, J.J. Abrams, Seth MacFarlane, and many notable Star Trek alums, Trek Nation chronicles a son's journey to discover his father's work that helped define science fiction.

Review: Hot in Cleveland

Sitcom Vets Lift Hot in Cleveland Above the Pack
Wendie Malick, Valerie Bertinelli,
Jane Leeves, Betty White
San Francisco Chronicle

Hot in Cleveland launches its third season (TV Land, 10pm) by dispatching the issues from the cliffhanger finale of last season. Elka (Betty White) was about to marry Fred (Buck Henry) when her ex-boyfriend, Max (Carl Reiner), barreled into the church, followed by Elka's supposedly dead husband, Bobby (Don Rickles).

Sometimes the writing is very good. At other times, it comes off better than it really is because the dialogue is delivered by four accomplished actresses.

Review: The Exes

Mediocre Sitcom Chock Full of Familiar Sitcom Faces
New York Times

The Exes (TV Land, 10:30pm), whose first episode is available online at Hulu (the television premiere is on Wednesday), is the sort of unashamedly traditional, nontransgressive show that can stop a conversation in certain parts of New York. Admit that you watch it, and people will scan the room, mumble something and walk away. (Yes, this actually happens.)

And they will be right, in the sense that it’s not very good — hackneyed and medium funny at best.

Preview: Triggers: Weapons That Changed the World

Wil Willis Hosts Military Channel's In-Depth Look at Guns

Former Army Ranger and Air Force Para-rescueman Wil Willis hosts Military Channel's newest look inside the history of modern warfare in Triggers: Weapons that Changed the World.

Combining history, science, technology and revealing demonstrations, this cutting-edge series examines the evolution of firearms and how the development of each one changed the face of combat forever.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

News: Project Runway All Stars to Debut in January

Memorable Project Runway Contestants Get a Second Shot

The wait is finally over! The MVPs from past seasons of the Emmy® Award nominated series Project Runway will be judged once again on Project Runway All Stars, premiering Thursday, Jan. 5, 2011 at 9pm on Lifetime.

Review: America's Supernanny

Deborah Tillman
Familiar Show Gets a Spit-and-Polish Shine with a New Supernanny

There is almost nothing about America's Supernanny (Lifetime, 9pm) that you'd call original - not the concept, not the payoff. But, in this case, familiarity works in America's Supernanny's favor.

It's the type of show you watch with one eye on something else - your iPad, your kids, something - because you know what's coming. No surprises. But, by the time the show's over, you've learned a lesson (or, really, had one reinforced) and you've been more or less entertained.

Review: Scott Turow's Innocent

A Step Above Recent Scott Turow Adaptations
New York Times

Bill Pullman
[Scott Turow's Innocent - TNT, 9pm] is an engaging adaptation of Mr. Turow’s 2010 sequel to “Presumed Innocent,” which picked up the hero of that novel, Rusty Sabich, more than 20 years after he was cleared of the murder of his mistress and fellow prosecutor.

Bill Pullman plays Sabich, now a judge and once again romantically involved with a colleague and on trial for murder: This time he is accused of killing his wife, Barbara (Marcia Gay Harden).

Preview: Tori & Dean Home Sweet Hollywood

Tori Spelling is Back with Husband and Kids in Tow

The new season of Tori & Dean Home Sweet Hollywood debuts tonight on Oxygen at 10pm.

Read more about the show, from Oxygen: With a brand new book in the works, a brand new business and a brand new baby onboard, this season will be action-packed.

Preview: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Rudolph Rings in the Christmas Season

There may be no moment that more clearly ushers in the Christmas season than the classic animated special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (CBS, 8pm). The longest-running holiday special, airing for 47 years, tells a tale that just about everyone knows, loves and can relate to - the unloved, bullied misfit saves the day (sna-ap!).

Preview: The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show

Nicki Minaj and Kanye West Perform on the Annual Fashion Show

Rap and Pop superstar Nicki Minaj will join the musical lineup on The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show - CBS, 10pm. She joins previously announced artists Kanye West and Maroon 5.

Preview: One Born Every Minute

Jamie Lee Curtis Docu-Series Set in a Maternity Ward
Columbus Local News

Season 2 of One Born Every Minute, a documentary television series set in the maternity ward of Riverside Methodist Hospital, premieres on the Lifetime network at 10pm Tuesday, Nov. 29.

The show, narrated by Jamie Lee Curtis, chronicles the drama and emotions inside the hospital's labor and delivery unit. It follows parents, families, nurses and doctors as they participate in the life-changing births.

Recap: The Sing-Off

The Final Three A Cappella Groups Mostly Soar in The Sing-Off Finale

After their longest season yet, it was down to a college a cappella group, a hip hop group and a group creating an electronic dance club sound on the season finale of The Sing-Off (NBC - Mon., 8pm). It was amazing watching these three powerhouse groups through the season.

Monday, November 28, 2011

News: ABC's The Revolution Debuting Jan. 16

Ty Pennington Talk Show Replacing One Life to Live
Ty Pennington

ABC Daytime kicks off the New Year with the highly anticipated, one-hour daily talk show, TheRevolution, set to premiere Monday, Jan. 16 at 2pm.

News: ABC Daytime Soaps Not Being Revived Online

All My Children and One Life to Live Not Moving Online
The Hollywood Reporter

Susan Lucci
Prospect Park’s ambitious plan to move ABC daytime soaps One Life to Live and All My Children from the small screen to the computer screen has been halted indefinitely.

The move had proven difficult as Prospect Park and the various guilds associated with transitioning the series to the Web struggle to come to terms.

Related: One Life to Live finale set for Jan. 13

Review: Rizzoli & Isles

Fast-Paced and Fun Whodunit Rises Above Its Flaws

There's a scene about a quarter of the way into Rizzoli & Isles tonight (TNT, 10pm) that, in about two seconds, sums up the hit show - subpar acting in a whodunit that's thoroughly entertaining despite the actors' flat-line performances.

Preview: Pawn Stars

History's Pawn Stars Kicks Off a New Season

Rick Harrison
After watching about 100 hours of Pawn Stars (10pm) over the Thanksgiving weekend, you'd think that would be about 99 hours too much of an unscripted show about a family-run pawn shop in Las Vegas.

Preview: Next Great Baker

Cake Boss' Buddy Valastro Searches for a Great Baker

Buddy Valastro
Buddy Cake Boss Valastro is looking for the Next Great Baker and 13 aspiring cake artists are entering the kitchen to see if can bake their way to the top. At stake: the sweet prize of $100,000, a four-page feature in Brides Magazine, and a chance to work side-by-side with Buddy and his team at Carlo’s Bakery.

The 10-episode season kicks off with a special 90-minute premiere on Monday, Nov. 28 at 9pm.

Preview: Scouted

New E! Docu-Series Follows Aspiring Models

E! takes a deep look into the lives of aspiring models in Scouted (E!, 10pm). In the show, models are plucked from obscurity and made over, with the hope of winning a contract with modeling agency One Management.

Click Read More to watch a clip.

Preview: Bored to Death - Finale

Another Great Season of Bored to Death Wraps Up

HBO's great Jason Schwartzman comedy, Bored to Death, finishes its third season tonight (9pm). In the show, Jason is Jonathan Ames - a novelist who escapes into his superhero-fueled fantasies, rather than write his second novel.

Ted Danson and Zach Galifianakis co-star.

Preview: The Sing-Off - Finale

Nick Lachey
The Sing-Off A Cappella Finale
New York Times

The Fox singing competition The X Factor has been getting most of the attention this fall, but over on NBC The Sing-Off (NBC, 8pm) has been chugging along with better music and without the cheesy manufactured dramatics.

The Sing-Off is for a cappella groups, though it favors ones that can manage high-energy choreography, rather than more sedate slices of the genre like barbershop. The show, which began with 16 groups, has ended up with three distinctive acts in the finals.

Preview: The Closer

Kyra Sedgwick
The Top-Rated Drama's Final Season Continues

There are still a few more months until TNT's The Closer - the most-watched drama on cable TV - wraps up its final season. Until then, TNT is rolling out a few fresh episodes, starting tonight with the episode Necessary Evil.

Preview: Human Nature

Dan Riskin
What Makes People Kill?

On Human Nature (Science, 8pm): What drives a person to take a life? Are homo sapiens natural born killers? To what extent can we blame bad brains or bad genes for our actions? Dan Riskin meets an array of characters to explore the science of killing.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Preview: Leverage

Timothy Hutton
Leverage, the great, light-hearted caper series with Timothy Hutton kicks off a batch of fresh episodes starting tonight (TNT, 9pm).

In the show, Timothy Hutton leads a crew who use their sometimes-unsavory backgrounds to undo the misdeeds of the rich and greedy. Leverage also stars Gina Bellman, Christian Kane, Beth Riesgraf and Aldis Hodge.