Saturday, June 16, 2012

Preview: 2012 U.S. Open Championship

Tiger Heads to Round 3 Tied On Top of Leaderboard
Tiger Woods

The U.S. Open Championship (NBC, 4pm) Tiger Woods has regained a share of the U.S. Open lead. Woods birdied three of five holes to move into a tie with David Toms and clubhouse leader Jim Furyk at 1 under with three holes to play in a wild second round Friday. Furyk carded a 1-under 69 in the morning. Toms had five holes left.

Woods held a one-shot lead earlier in the round before three straight bogeys sent him tumbling down the leaderboard. That's when 17-year-old qualifier Beau Hossler made birdie putts on two of three holes to briefly take the lead.

(US Golf Open leaderboard from Golf Channel.)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Review: Anger Management

Anger Management is TV's Next Great Sitcom
Charlie Sheen

If the road to greatness for an actor is a year-long, often embarrassing meltdown, then you can count on a whole bunch of actors jumping on Charlie Sheen's crazy train.

Why? Charlie is emerging from his public meltdown, including being fired from CBS's Two and a Half Men and starring in a horrific comedy tour, by starring in Anger Management, which, judging by its first two episodes (FX, June 28 at 9pm), is an outstanding sitcom that may just be TV's next great comedy.

In the show, Charlie is Charlie Goodson, a therapist whose professional baseball career ended when he broke his knee, in a fit of anger, by trying to break a bat on it. This Charlie, who makes light of a possible real-life rage toward Two and a Half Men creator Chuck Lorre, is helping his patients to overcome their anger issues.

But the show isn't so much focused on its premise as it is a vehicle for Charlie and his mostly spot-on co-stars to showcase their talents.

5Qs on Friday: Alicia Lagano

Alicia Lagano is Jennifer Love Hewitt's Rival on The Client List

On The Client List, Jennifer Love Hewitt is working mom Riley Parks, who's doing whatever it takes to provide for her family. Like, working in a spa where guys come in for, well, the works.

On the show, Alicia Lagano is Selena, a rough-around-the-edges masseuse who hasn't taken well to the arrival of Riley. The Client List, which airs its first season finale on Sunday at 10pm, is Alicia's highest profile gig in a career that stretches back 13 years. She's had a slew of guest spots on shows like ER and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and, back in 2001, she starred in the TV series All About Us.

Alicia spoke with TVFirstLook about The Client List, her reaction to the news that Lifetime was renewing it and waitressing in between acting gigs.

TVFirstLook: Lifetime recently renewed The Client List. How did you feel when you heard the news?

Review: Falling Skies

Noah Wyle Hit is a Bit Better in Season Two
Noah Wyle

With its focus on survivors of an alien invasion forging their own unified (and sometimes quarrelsome) resistance, the show Falling Skies (TNT - Sunday, 9pm) essentially amounts to a dumber version of The Walking Dead, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Unexpectedly, with series like Terra Nova and The River winding toward extinction, this simple, patriotic series is also the most clearly successful of the recent dramas to which Steven Spielberg has lent his name, and the most unabashed hit for its network, TNT.

Review: Blue Lagoon: The Awakening

The New Blue Lagoon is Beautiful (and Good)
New York Post

Blue Lagoon: The Awakening (Lifetime - Saturday, 8pm) - Look, it ain’t Lina Wertmüller’s “Swept Away” — it’s more like Survivor: Paradise. Even so, I might be insane, but I enjoyed every silly minute.

Preview: Operation Cupcake

Dean Cain's Going to Make You His Cupcake
Dean Cain

Operation Cupcake (Hallmark Channel - Saturday, 8pm) - When Army Colonel Griff Carson (Dean Cain) returns home from Germany on a two-month leave, he considers retiring if he doesn't get promoted to General.

Being away on deployment has been hard on Griff, separating him from his wife Janet (Kristy Swanson) and two teenagers, Kim (Galadriel Stineman) and Ollie (Alec Gray).

With his kids growing up and his wife busy opening a second bakeshop with a slimy business partner, Griff suddenly feels he no longer fits into his own family. Hoping to give him a sense of duty, Janet assigns him to help run her quaint cupcake shop.

Preview: Forensic Firsts

The Science of Solving Crimes

Forensic Firsts (Smithsonian Channel - Sunday, 9pm) - DNA evidence has solved countless murders and exonerated nearly 200 death row inmates, but less than a generation ago, this essential forensic tool did not exist.

Then, in 1986, police investigating the rape and murder of two 15-year-old girls in a small English town sought help from a local geneticist and changed the future of crime science. Two decades later DNA profiling has evolved into an essential tool for crime investigators. It would be the key to unmasking one of the most notorious serial killers in American history, a mysterious villain known only by a chilling acronym: BTK – bind, torture, kill.

Preview: Piranhaconda

Piranhaconda - It's Big and It's Got Big Ol' Teeth

Piranhaconda (Syfy - Saturday, 9pm) was made in 2011 and stars a bunch of barely-recognizable actors who look like other stars.

So if you squint, it’s almost as if Rob Lowe and Diane Lane are the adventurers who wind up on the receiving end of this part-snake/part-fish’s wrath. Adding to the amateur-porn feel, the snake apparently spits up its eggs onto the female cast members’ ample bosoms. Yeah, it’s that kind of movie.

Preview: StandUp in Stilettos

The Office's Kate Flannery Hosts TV Guide Stand-Up Showcase

StandUp in Stilettos (TV Guide Network - Saturday, 10pm) - In the series premiere of this stand-up comedy series showcasing routines performed by female comedians, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Gina Yashere and Sarah Tiana are featured.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Stats: Dallas

Larry Hagman
JR Ewing Strikes It Rich

TNT's new take on the 1980s soap Dallas roared out of the gate on Wednesday, with 6.86 million viewers tuning into its premiere, according to Nielsen.

TNT was the No. 1 cable network last night with a 3.7 household rating.

Check out our Dallas review.

Preview: Burn Notice

Love's Taking Over on Burn Notice Season Six
Hispanic Business

Jeffrey Donovan

When USA's top-rated South Florida spy series Burn Notice (9pm) returns June 14 for its sixth season, viewers can expect wild car chases and explosive covert operations, along with the show's trademark tongue-in-cheek humor.

But this season is more personal for lead character Michael Westen, a formerly blacklisted superspy played by Jeffrey Donovan.

"This is all intensely personal for Michael. It's not about big organizations or abstract goals. It's about the woman he loves," says Matt Nix, the show's creator, executive producer and writer.

Preview: Suits

Gina Torres from Suits Talks About Mike's Lying Ways
Gina Torres

Suits (USA, 10pm) - Gina Torres opened up to Starpulse about the new season and some of the things we can expect about Mike's (Patrick J. Adams) lies and when partner Daniel Hardman returns to the firm.

"(Jessica) is angry that they put the firm in jeopardy," she says about Mike lying about going to law school and Harvey backing him up. "This is her life's work. This is her baby. All that we know of Jessica is that she's very driven and that she dedicated herself to this firm."

Review: 41

Bland Doc Diminishes George H. W. Bush's Legacy
San Francisco Chronicle

The irony of hagiography is that it often results in diminishing its subject instead of glorifying him. That's the unfortunate case with 41, a puffy documentary by Jeffrey Roth about President George H.W. Bush, premiering Thursday on HBO (9pm), that ends up being a boring and uninformative disservice to the former president.

Preview: We Were Here

San Francisco's Gay Plague

We Were Here (PBS, 10pm) documents the arrival in San Francisco of what was then called the "Gay Plague" in the early 1980s. It illuminates the profound personal and community issues raised by the AIDS epidemic, as well as the broad political and social upheavals it unleashed.

Preview: Selling London

A $65 Million Manse and DJ Target on Selling London
DJ Target

Selling London (HGTV, 9:30pm) - A top London agent reaches out to the world's wealthiest international buyers to sell a $65-million mansion.

If the big money spent on a flashy ad campaign works, Rosy could reap a-half-million in commission. Meanwhile, Charles Gordon is trying to convince his client DJ Target, a popular music producer and radio host, to buy where he'll get the most bang for his buck. If Charles can't prove the East End is a better fit than Central London, the agent could lose work from a repeat customer whose fame is on the rise.

Preview: Hard Parts: South Bronx

Joe Tries to Lose a Few on Hard Parts
Joe Ferrer

Hard Parts: South Bronx (Speed, 10pm) - While figuring out an electrical fix for a 2001 Tahoe’s stereo system and helping a plumber and the owner of a juice truck, Joe’s biggest challenge will be keeping his word not to eat all day.

Preview: The Other F Word

Rock Stars Take a Shine to Fatherhood

The Other F Word (Showtime, 9pm) - Even middle-aged rock stars sometimes settle down and start families.

The Other F Word follows punk and hard rock musicians who struggle to embrace fatherhood. They are head-banging thrash-metal stars one minute, and RV-driving, diaper-changing suburban dads the next. Featuring musicians from Pennywise, Black Flag, Rancid, NOFX, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and more.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Review: Dallas

JR's Back and He's Still a Power-Hungry Meany
Jesse Metcalfe,
Josh Henderson

Ooh, dang, Dallas is good. It's fun, too. Although, any hope for Emmys or critical accolades may be a long, long wait. Why? Dallas (TNT, 9pm) is a soap opera, plain and simple. As it turns out, that's a good thing.

Who would've guessed that in these days of critical darlings like AMC's Mad Men that TV has room for a soapy soap like TNT's Dallas update, which is like the Dallas of the 1980s mixed in with pretty much any drama on The CW. Meaning, alongside JR Ewing, there's a boatload of young, super-skinny and often sweaty twentysomethings.

Preview: Restaurant Impossible

First Lady Michelle Obama Asks Robert Irvine to Help Out

Robert Irvine,
Michelle Obama

Robert Irvine faces his toughest challenge yet on Restaurant: Impossible when first lady Michelle Obama, a champion for the health of our nation’s children, assigns him the task of rebuilding Horton’s Kids, a children’s community center that serves after-school meals in one of Washington, D.C.’s neediest neighborhoods.

Premiering 10pm on Food Network, viewers are taken on a tour of the apartment building where Horton’s is housed to reveal tiny offices, old computers, an inadequate kitchen and no dining space, leaving nearly 100 kids eating outside on a basketball court no matter the weather.

Preview: Locked Up Abroad

Kidnapped in Colombia

Locked Up Abroad (National Geographic Channel, 10pm) - When backpackers Erez Eltawil and Reini Weigel are snatched by a Colombian ransom gang, they have two choices: cooperate with their kidnappers - or resist and face the consequences.

Review: Thorne

Encore Miniseries is Gritty But Not Great
Kansas City Star

If Thorne (Encore, 9pm) is not exactly enjoyable, it does generate a good degree of tension and dread, and some quite unpleasant scares.

And certain of its devices - a key witness in Sleepyhead is a victim of "locked-in syndrome," conscious but paralyzed, but her inner monologues actively contribute to the action - are very well realized and creepily effective. (Sara Lloyd-Gregory is excellent.)

Preview: Million Dollar Listing: Los Angeles

Heather and Madison's Friendship Explodes
Madison Hildebrand

Million Dollar Listing: Los Angeles (Bravo, 9pm) - As Heather's relationship with Josh Altman heats up, it begins to interfere with her work.

Madison (Hildebrand) accuses Heather of sabotaging his business and takes swift action against her. With his heart on this sleeve and tempers flaring, Josh Altman vows to make Madison pay for messing with his girl.

In Beverly Hills, a young socialite and rising fashion star turns to Josh Flagg to help her find a high-end hideout.

Recap: America's Got Talent

AGT's Tampa Bay Audition Highlights (and Lowlights)

America's Got Talent (NBC) - It was disappointing enough that Monday night's show was pre-empted by hockey. But Tuesday night's show indicated that might have actually been a break. In short, the Tampa Bay auditions simply lacked the energy and, well, talent of Austin, Seattle, St. Louis and San Francisco.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Review: The Next Big Thing

Broadway-Bound Kids Get the Trapper Treatment
Trapper Felides

Provided you can stomach precocious kids who sing and act (and kids who can't but whose parents force them to anyway), and you'll need a good, strong stomach, then Oxygen's The Next Big Thing is a charming, engaging show. You may find yourself longing for episode two, despite your better judgement.

The Next Big Thing is about New York performance coach Trapper Felides. He preps kids to act, sing and sorta dance on Broadway, TV and in the movies.

Review: Barter Kings

A Not-Bad Summer TV Series
Antonio Palazzola,
Steve McHugh

Bartering amounts to a $12-billion-a-year industry -- a stat supplied by the International Reciprocal Trade Association and mentioned at the outset of Barter Kings (9pm).

 But how anyone ever arrived at that lofty figure must, for now, remain a mystery. These two barter barons never carry cash, and appear to assign monetary value to something only if it's more valuable than the piece of junk they just off-loaded. They move relentlessly forward, in a crazy-quilt pattern, in pursuit of the next best thing -- even if the next thing doesn't appear to have much intrinsic value to anyone (a huge safe? an old speaker?)

Preview: 2012 NBA Finals

Miami Heat at Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 1
USA Today
LeBron James, Kevin Durant

NBA Finals (ABC, 9pm) - In the beginning, there was darkness, where an NBA season was supposed to be. A prolonged lockout, empty arenas, an unplugged game. Sullen uncertainty, where the applause had been so loud only recently.

The sport needed to catch a break after all of that. It just did.

Now, in the end, the glowing marquee lights up June, promoting an imminent collision of A-list icons and compelling teams. LeBron James and Kevin Durant will be eyeball to eyeball, ooooh against ahhhh.

News: America's Got Talent

Confusion Continues to Swirl Around Timothy Michael Poe
Austin Daily Herald
Timothy Michael Poe

A soldier-turned-TV contestant whose claims of being injured in battle were dismissed by military officials says he believed he was telling the truth, but he doesn’t know what is real.

Timothy Michael Poe — a former Minnesota National Guard soldier with Albert Lea’s Delta Company — appeared on [last week's] episode of the NBC show America’s Got Talent (NBC, 9pm) claiming he was injured by a grenade in Afghanistan in 2009, though Guard records don’t support his claims.

Preview: American Ninja Warrior

Northwest Regionals on Super-Fun American Ninja Warrior

Beat the world's toughest obstacle course. Win $500,000. Just one rule: don't get wet. Simple, right? American Ninja Warrior (G4, 9pm).

Preview: Breaking the Magician's Code: Magic's Biggest Secrets

The Masked Magician Makes an Elephant Disappear

Breaking the Magician's Secret: Magic's Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed (Biography, 8pm) - The Masked Magician reveals the secrets behind magic's greatest illusions, including turning an assistant into a tiger, making a 7,000-pound elephant disappear, and escaping from a straight-jacket while locked inside a box rigged with explosives.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Review: Hurricane Hunters

Hurricane Hunters is a Worthwhile New Addition to Hunter Shows

Hit shows like Auction Hunters and House Hunters are delivering big ratings for networks like Spike TV and HGTV. Now, The Weather Channel is tapping into the trend with Hurricane Hunters.

Hurricane Hunters, from the producers of House Hunters (and many other shows), is worthy to carry on that tradition. At least, its premiere episode tonight at 9pm is worthy of being a hit. It's engrossing, and somewhat terrifying.

Review: Bunheads

Gilmore Girl's Follow Up is Beautiful and Sweet
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The quips, chatter, banter and backtalk are Amy Sherman-Palladino's stock in trade. Find that annoying and you might not be mad for Bunheads (ABC Family, 9pm). But skip it and you'll be missing a show that is beautiful and sweet, funny and touching. It could be the next best thing to returning to Stars Hollow, Conn., in its glorious Gilmore Girls years.

Preview: Tia & Tamera

Twin Mowry Sisters Avoid Forced Drama on Tia & Tamera

Being a part of the reality series world, which is typically laden with drama, violence and a totally warped presentation about black women, Tia Mowry-Hardict is actually glad her series, Tia & Tamera (Style Network, 8pm) is different than the rest.

But she isn’t surprised some shows take it to that level.

“I remember when we were pitching our show to different networks, many of them didn’t want to pick it up because they felt like we didn’t have enough conflict,” Tia told Vibe.

Preview: Dangerously Rich

Super Security for the Super Rich

Dangerously Rich: Billionaire Super Security (CBNC, 9:30pm) - From Warren Buffett's bodyguard to a panic room in a Hollywood mansion and on board a mega yacht in Miami, CNBC goes inside the secret, high-tech world of security for the super rich.

Preview: G4's Top 100 Video Games of All Time

The Best Video Games - Ever

G4's Top 100 Video Games of All Time (G4, 8pm) - Starting Monday at 8pm, G4 is counting down the Top 100 video games of all time. In five one-hour specials, we'll cover everything from Mario to Master Chief and 8-bit to Hi-Def.

Preview: Mr. Young

Teenage Teacher on Disney XD

Mr. Young (Disney XD, 9pm) - Adam Young is a whiz kid who entered college as a 9-year-old.

At 14, now a college graduate, he begins his career teaching science to high schoolers, including both his best friend and his crush, which presents a challenge for him in balancing his personal and professional lives. As if being a teen isn't hard enough.

Preview: Chicagolicious

Jerseylicious Spinoff Heads to AJ's of Chicago Salon
Windy City Times
AJ Johnson

Spinning off from Style Network's Jerseylicious, we now have Chicagolicious (Style Network, 9pm) debuting on reality television.

Detailing life at AJ's hair salon, this show spotlights AJ Johnson himself as well as the rest of the gang employed there. AJ's counts celebrities among its clientele, including Jennifer Hudson and Iman.

Preview: Annoying Orange

YouTube Show Annoys on Cartoon Tonight

Annoying Orange (Cartoon Network, 8:30pm) has his own TV show.

Watch as Orange and his friends go on all sorts of ridiculous adventures using the magical, time-traveling powers of their fantastical fruit stand. Visit their home base at the supermarket, a veritable city of food products.

Get to know all your favorite fruits like Orange, Pear, Passion Fruit, Grapefruit, Apple, Midget Apple, Marshmallow, Grandpa Lemon, Coconut, and their human friend, Nerville.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Preview: Tony Awards

The 2012 Tony Awards are Filled with Suspense
Los Angeles Times

Tony Awards (CBS - Sunday, 8pm) - Those of us who care (sorry, CBS, that we aren't larger in number!) will be avidly watching.

And no matter how the awards turn out, the following tight races will at least provide some edge-of-your-seat drama:

Musical: Newsies, the feel-good offering from Disney Theatrical Productions, is the front-runner, but Once seems to be the pick of most critics (including me). Can the Irish barroom musical with the indie Irish vibe notch a victory over its more mainstream rival?

Play: Clybourne Park is likely to add a Tony to an awards haul that includes a Pulitzer Prize, though Other Desert Cities has its share of partisans who relish the play's champagne wit and verbal sparkle.

Preview: Secret Millionaire

Anytime Fitness Founders Help the Needy in Oklahoma City
Chuck Runyon,
Dave Mortensen

Secret Millionaire (ABC - Sunday, 8pm) - Anytime Fitness founders Chuck Runyon and Dave Mortensen spend time in Oklahoma City seeking individuals deserving of their donations.

Watch a Secret Millionaire preview here.