Two Tivos To Paradise 08.23.13: The 2013 Norty Awards - Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, Suits, Mad Men, More
Posted by Al Norton on 08.23.2013
It's the 2013 Norty Awards, the TTTP picks for the best on TV! See who won from your favorites like Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, Mad Men, New Girl, Suits, and more, plus who stopped by to accept their awards!
Hello friends. I am back after a truly amazing week of vacation; the weather was beautiful, we had lots of family visiting us at the beach house we were staying at, and the week was capped off by my brother's wedding last Saturday afternoon. Overall one of the best seven day periods of my life, hands down. And then this weekend Mrs. Tivo and I are taking the twins to Storyland in NH to celebrate their fifth birthday. Yes, that's right, the future heirs to the TTTP throne are turning FIVE!! I still can't wrap my head around them being 5 and at the same time I can't remember a life before them. And let's not even talk about how they start school on September 9th as I am likely to tear up.
FYI – even in those weeks when there is no new column, the TTTP Facebook page is still updated so if you want all the breaking TV news plus the chance to share your views with your fellow television lovers, go to Al Norton's Two Tivos To Paradise on FB and then click like!
Legendary writer Elmore Leonard passed away this week at age 87 following a stroke earlier this month. Leonard's work as a novelist and screenwriter over the last 60+ years made him one of the most celebrated and influential American writers in recent (and not-so-recent) history. TV series and movies based on his work include 52 Pick Up, Jackie Brown, Get Shorty, Justified, Out of Sight, 3:10 to Yuma, Touch, Karen Sisco, Maximum Bob, Hombre, and Mr. Majestyk.
Here's a pretty packed trailer for the new season of Revenge…
Here's a new look at NBC's upcoming The Blacklist…
I feel so lucky, hey hey hey, you wanna news me, hey hey hey, what rhymes with news me?
How About A Round Of Applause, A Standing Ovation
It's time for the SEVENTH annual Norty Awards, the Two Tivos To Paradise version of the Emmys. We announced the nominations a few weeks back and now here are the winners, with some of them gracious enough to accept their awards.
Here we go…
BEST GUEST PERFORMANCE, DRAMA (NEW CATEGORY)
Jim Beaver, Justified, (FX)
Walton Goggins, Sons of Anarchy (FX)
Margo Martindale, The Americans (FX)
Ray Romano, Parenthood (NBC)
Jimmy Smits, Sons of Anarchy (FX)
James Wolk, Mad Men (AMC)
WINNER: Walton Goggins, Sons of Anarchy.
This may have been the single hardest category for me to pick a winner from, with all of the nominees doing work that in other years would make them easy winners, but there is no doubt that Venus Van Dam was far and away the most interesting new character on all of TV in the 2012-2013 season. While Goggins certainly got plenty of laughs in his performance, it was him playing it so straight that made the role unique.
Ladies and gentlemen, here to accept his Norty Award, Mr. Walton Goggins…
I'd like to Thank Al... and well... A for this distinguished honor. I know right where I'll put my Norty...Right next to the other one. Usually I'd thank the other contenders in this category and say they deserved it just as much but come on... I've earned it!!! It doesn't get more difficult than 6 inch heels. I'd like to thank my Manager, Darris Hatch, My Publicists Nancy Iannios and Rebecca Taylor... but most Importantly my wife who can never say "You haven't walked a mile in my shoes"... because I have!!!
BEST GUEST PERFORMANCE, COMEDY (NEW CATEGORY)
Steve Carrell, The Office (NBC)
David Lynch, Louie (FX)
Bob Newhart, The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
Parker Posey, Louie (FX)
Justin Timberlake, Saturday Night Live (NBC)
Merrit Weaver, New Girl (Fox)
WINNER : Justin Timberlake, SNL.
I am not sure TV, or the entertainment industry in general, has ever seem someone with the musical AND comedy chops of JT. Hyperbole? Maybe, but name someone you'd say tops him in both! See, not so easy. His SNL would have been the best of season for the Five Timers Club sketch alone but there were other funny sketches in the night, plus two incredible musical performances, one of which I've watched more than once a week EVERY week since it aired.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR, COMEDY
Ty Burrell, Modern Family (ABC)
Max Greenfield, New Girl (ABC)
Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
Simon Helberg, The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
Nick Offerman, Parks and Recreation (NBC)
Ed O'Neill, Modern Family (ABC)
Previous Winners: 2012: Max Greenfield, Modern Family; 2011: Ed O'Neill, Modern Family; 2010: Danny Pudi, Community; 2009: Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother; 2008: Chi McBride, Pushing Daisies; 2007: Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
WINNER: Ed O'Neill, Modern Family.
Among a group of top performers, O'Neill stands out as someone who can deliver not only comedy but also legitimate emotion when the Modern Family scripts call for it. The highest compliment I can pay him is to say that his work on the show is never anything less than 100% authentic.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS, COMEDY
Kristen Bell, House of Lies (Showtime)
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
Julie Bowen, Modern Family (ABC)
Carly Chaikin, Suburgatory (ABC)
Eden Sher, The Middle (ABC)
Casey Wilson, Happy Endings (ABC)
Previous Winners: 2012: Cheryl Hines, Suburgatory; 2011: Jane Lynch, Glee; 2010: Jane Lynch, Glee; 2009: Kristen Wiig, SNL; 2008: Amy Pietz, Aliens In America; 2007: Ashley Jensen, Extras
WINNER : Eden Sher, The Middle.
If The Middle is one of TV's best kept secrets that Sher is certainly one of the industry's biggest talents that remains somewhat beneath the mainstream, a wonderfully talented comedic actress who makes Sue Heck's ability to bounce back from humiliation after humiliation not only endearing but also fully believable.
Ladies and gentlemen, here to accept her Norty Award, Ms. Eden Sher…
This is so awesome. Thanks Norty. I will immediately get an entourage, avoid eye contact with minions and truly embrace the diva attitude I should now be accustomed to.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR, DRAMA
Robert Carlyle, Once Upon a Time (ABC)
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Game of Thrones (HBO)
Giancarlo Esposito, Revolution (AMC)
Walton Goggins, Justified (FX)
Rick Hoffman, Suits (USA)
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad (AMC)
Previous Winners: 2012: Giancarlo Esposito, Breaking Bad; 2011: Walton Goggins. Justified; 2010: Michael Emerson, Lost; 2009: Ryan Hurst, Sons of Anarchy; 2008: Michael Emerson, Lost; 2007: James Callis, Battlestar Galactica
WINNER : Rick Hoffman, Suits.
Even I, as big a fan of Suits as there is, am constantly amazed by Hoffman's work on the show; sometimes we hate Louis, sometimes we pity him, sometimes we find ourselves taking his side and realizing he is sort of right, and that can all be within the same hour. In another actor's hands the role might have become parody but thanks to Hoffman, Louis Litt is one of the most human characters on television.
Ladies and gentlemen, here to accept his Norty Award, Mr. Rick Hoffman…
Are you for real Al? There are so many awesome actors on shows out there who deserve this....I mean F-em, I'll take it…I'm not stupid! Thank you so much for coming my way with this incredibly serious honor. You have been tremendously kind to me since day one, and I will never forget it. Going to celebrate with whichever cast mate of mine acts like they're happy for me the best :) The warmest, deepest thanks to you Al. Love, Rick
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS, DRAMA
Morena Baccarin, Homeland (Showtime)
Joelle Carter, Justified (FX)
Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad (AMC)
Hayden Panettiere, Nashville (ABC)
Monica Potter, Parenthood (NBC)
Abigail Spencer, Rectify (IFC)
Previous Winners: 2012: Kadee Strickland, Private Practice; 2011: Margo Martindale, Justified; 2010: Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men, 2009: Chandra Wilson, Grey's Anatomy; 2008: Diana-Maria Riva, Side Order of Life; 2007: Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights
WINNER: Monica Potter, Parenthood.
If there was a more genuine and true performance on TV last season I am not aware of it. The emotional and physical roller coaster Kristina was on this season was one the audience felt every second of, and as such, fully invested themselves in. As someone who has had a close family member deal with cancer I can attest to the honesty of her portrayal. Plus this season we got plenty of examples of why Potter is one of TV's best laughers AND criers.
Ladies and gentlemen, here to accept her Norty Award, Ms. Monica Potter…
Thanks so much for this honor! I'm so excited to be recognized by Al, and thrilled to be a part of the best awards ever!! Emmy schmemmy – THE NORTYS rule!!!!
BEST LEAD ACTOR, COMEDY
H Jon Benjamin, Archer (FX)
Don Cheadle, House of Lies (Showtime)
Louis CK, Louie (FX)
Jake M. Johnson, New Girl (Fox)
James Roday, Psych (USA)
Adam Scott, Parks and Recreation (NBC)
Previous Winners: 2012: Joel McHale, Community; 20122: Steve Carell, The Office; 2010: Zachary Levi, Chuck; 2009: Steve Carell, The Office; 2008: Josh Radnor, How I Met Your Mother, 2007: Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
WINNER: James Roday, Psych.
Roday has been one of TV funniest people for a few years now but the storylines on this past Psych gave him the chance to flex his acting muscles a bit more, showing a vulnerability in Shawn we hadn't seen before; when he tells Juliet the truth it's a pivotal moment for the show and Roday totally makes you believe that the character would choose that exact moment to do it. The coming weeks when we got to see hurt and heartbroken Shawn were equally strong examples of what he can do when given the chance. I've long thought Roday is a movie star in the making and hopefully this Norty Award will prove a big stepping stone.
BEST LEAD ACTRESS, COMEDY
Zooey Deschanel, New Girl (Fox)
Lena Dunham, Girls (HBO)
Tina Fey, 30 Rock (NBC)
Sutton Foster, Bunheads (ABC Family)
Mindy Kaling, The Mindy Project (Fox)
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation (NBC)
Previous Winners: 2012: Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation; 2011: Laura Linney, The Big C; 2010: Courteney Cox, Cougar Town; 2009: Christina Applegate, Samantha Who?; 2008: Christina Applegate, Samantha Who?; 2007: Laura Kightlinger, The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman
WINNER: Sutton Foster, Bunheads.
I didn't just choose Foster because she spoke more words per minute than any other actress in the category – for that matter, more than any other actor on TV – but rather because she made Michelle a hot mess of an endearing character, with no real idea of where her life was going and at the same time establishing her as someone whose life should be going somewhere, someone the audience would root for to find her way. That ABC Family made the incredibly boneheaded decision to not give Bunheads a second season in no way takes away from the wonderful work Foster did over the show's 18 episodes.
Ladies and gentlemen, here to accept here award, Ms. Sutton Foster…
A Norty Award of my very own! Thank you so much for recognizing my work on BUNHEADS. Even though the show won't be back, it was a pleasure to be a part of something that was truly special.
BEST LEAD ACTOR, DRAMA
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad (AMC)
Jon Hamm, Mad Men (AMC)
Damian Lewis, Homeland (Showtime)
Andrew Lincoln, The Walking Dead (AMC)
Gabriel Macht, Suits (USA)
Timothy Olyphant, Justified (FX)
I know it may be considered blasphemy to not give Cranston the award – this is the first year he has been eligible that he didn't win – but Hamm was remarkable in Mad Men's most recent season, finding new depths of despair in Don Draper and then, in the season finale, showing us his first ever glimmer of introspection as he brought his kids to the house he grew up in. His finest work may have been earlier in that episode, when Don lets his guard down a bit too much during the pitch to Hershey. Hamm is so consistently good he is almost taken for granted but there is no way his work this past spring could be ignored.
BEST LEAD ACTRESS, DRAMA
Claire Danes, Homeland (Showtime)
Vera Farmiga, Bates Motel (A&E)
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black (Syfy)
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men (AMC)
Keri Russell, The Americans (FX)
Katey Sagal, Sons of Anarchy (FX)
Kerry Washington, Scandal (ABC)
Previous Winners: 2012: Claire Danes, Homeland; 2011: Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men; 2010: Katey Sagal, Sons of Anarchy; 2009: Jill Scott, The # 1 Ladies Detective Agency; 2008: Mary McDonnell, Battlestar Galactica; 2007: Minnie Driver, The Riches
WINNER: Claire Danes, Homeland.
I have said it before and I will say it again; Danes work on Homeland is up there with the Cranstons, Hamms, and Lauries of the world, diving headfirst into her performance and delivering as rich and as detailed a character as there is on TV while never once going for sympathy for Carrie when there was a more emotional truth to be told. The cast surrounding her is fantastic but she is the one irreplaceable piece.
BEST SERIES, REALITY/NON-FICTION (NEW CATEGORY) 30 for 30 (ESPN) American Masters (PBS) Burger Land, (Travel) Comic Book Men (AMC) Inside Comedy with David Steinberg (Showtime) Outside The Lines (ESPN)
Previous Winners: 2012; Crave
WINNER: Inside Comedy.
I am not sure there has ever been a better show on TV when it comes to people talking about what they do for a living, regardless of the job. Having David Steinberg as the host puts the guests at ease, making them feel like they are talking to a peer (which they are) as opposed to being interviewed. It's similar to why Spectacle: Elvis Costello with…was so good. I laugh out loud during every episode
BEST SERIES, REALITY COMPETITION Chopped: All Stars (Food) Food Network Star (Food) The Glee Project (Oxygen) Masterchef (Fox) Shark Tank (ABC) So You Think You Can Dance (Fox)
Previous Winners: 2012: The Glee Project; 2010: Top Chef: All Stars
WINNER : Chopped: All Stars.
At this point the Chopped concept is so proven that it works no matter who is taking part, but when the level of chefs taking part reach that of those in the All Stars version, it's art. Masters of their craft testing their skills in challenges that push their culinary and creative limits. Sure, I may be making a cooking competition show sound loftier than it is but it really was that damn good.
BEST SERIES, NON-FICTION COMEDY The Colbert Report (Comedy Central) The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Comedy Central) The Jeselnik Offensive (Comedy Central The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (CBS) Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (NBC) The Soup (E!)
Previous Winners: 2012: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart; 2011: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
WINER: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
To be perfectly honest, I am not sure it's possible a show in this category could ever top The Daily Show, which is not a knock on the quality of the past, present, and future nominees but rather an acknowledgement that no show in TV history has maintained as high a level of quality and relevance for as long a period of time as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
BEST SERIES, COMEDY Archer, (FX) Happy Endings, (ABC) Louie, (FX) Modern Family, (ABC) New Girl (Fox) Parks and Recreation, (NBC)
Previous Winners: 2012: Louie; 2011: Community; 2010: Glee; 2009: Chuck; 2008: The Office; 2007: The Office
WINNER: New Girl.
It's not just about being the funniest show, although New Girl makes me laugh as much as any show on TV, it's also about creating interesting characters that the audience gets emotionally invested in, and with those to factors combined, New Girl was a relatively easy choice for Best Comedy. The relationship between Nick and Jess took lots of unexpected twists this year but all were totally in character for the two of them, including the season finale, with an end that seemed an homage to 80's romantic comedies. The episode where Nick's Dad died was the funniest and most moving half hour about death that TV has given us since Marshall Erickson's Dad passed away (I still laugh out loud thinking about Winston helping Schmidt get ready for being in the same room with the body). It's warm, funny, moving, and incredibly consistent in its quality, which is why New Girl is the top comedy on TV.
BEST SERIES, DRAMA Breaking Bad (AMC) Homeland (Showtime) Justified (FX) Mad Men (AMC) Sons of Anarchy (FX) Suits (USA)
Previous Winners: 2012: Sons of Anarchy; 2011: Mad Men; 2010: Friday Night Lights; 2009: Mad Men; 2008: Battlestar Galactica, 2007: Battlestar Galactica
WINNER: Breaking Bad.
I know I like to make big pronouncements – I may be hyperbole's bitch but at least I'm man enough to admit it – but I don't think there has ever been a show like Breaking Bad, one that documents a man losing his soul in front of your eyes. We've certainly seen series where the lead character lost his way and had to find himself again, and ones that opened with a lost protagonist trying to put his life back together, but what started as a morality play where the audience could find themselves wondering, "what would I do to make sure my family was provided for" has become the cautionary tale to beat all cautionary tales, once where a once proud and honest man thinks nothing of not just lying to his loved ones and contributing to a huge societal problem but who can take lives, innocent and otherwise, because he has convinced himself he is the smartest person in the room and knows right from wrong better than everyone else. Walter White was a genuinely good person when the show started and now he is anything but, and that dissent has been unlike anything I've ever seen before. Breaking Bad IS the best show on TV.
And there we have it, the 2013 Norty Awards. Thanks to all those who stopped by to accept their awards! Have at it in the comments section with your thoughts on our winners!
It's Time To Play The Music, It's Time To Light The Lights The Muppet Show video of the week…
But You Were Up To Your Old Tricks In Chapters Four Five And Six
Ratings Notes From The Last Seven Days…
FOX Sports 1 got off to a strong start on Saturday night, with their UFC Fight Night topped everything on ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox in the demos. It also topped the average for FX Fight Night by 49% in the demos and 38% in total viewers…NBC & NBC Sports Network coverage of the English Premiere League opened strong, with the three matches up 67% from the average of the last three years three openers (on ESPN and Fox Soccer). The Swansea City - Manchester United match had the best US numbers for a Premiere League opener ever.
An exclusive with Lindsay Lohan only provided a small boost to Oprah's Next Chapter, up 7% from the season average. As a point of comparison, almost four times as many viewers watched when Bobbi Kristina (Whitney Houston's daughter) did the show...Breaking Bad was down 19% in total viewers and 17% in the demos from week one's series highs...The season finale of True Blood was down 18% from last summer's sign off... Whodunnit? went out on a high note, with a season/series high in the demos plus the second largest total audience for the show...Big Brother won the night in demos...The season (and series) finale of Crossing Lines was down 20% in the demos to a new low...Unforgettable matched last week's numbers...Secret Millionaire was up a smidge in the demos...
MONDAY Under the Dome won the night in totals and demos...Mistresses was down 17% in its return, dropping to a new season/series low...American Ninja Warrior won 8pm in the demos...Get Out Alive dropped to a new series low but still won 9pm in the demos...
TUESDAY AGT won the night in totals and demos, albeit down 8% in the latter...Extreme Weight Loss hit a season high in the demos, topping So You Think You Can Dance in that measure for the first time this summer (+27% in demos, + 11% in total viewers)...Reruns of Hollywood Game Night continue to perform well in the Tuesdays at 8pm slot for NBC...
For the second week in a row MasterchefAGT and won the night in the demos...AGT was the night's most watched program...Big Brother was up in totals an demos...ABC's The Lookout hit series lows in total viewers (-17%) and demos (-30%)...
All The Young Dudes, Carry The News
Industry News, Notes, and Hot Rumors…It's been two weeks so we've got a LOT to get to…Production companies Entertainment One and Nu Images are teaming up to develop a Rambo series, with Sylvester Stallone in talks to join the project in both a creative/executive producing capacity. The show would likely be based on a new character, with Stallone potentially appearing as Rambo in a way that hands the torch off/endorses this new guy…Tina Fey and her 30 Rock co-showrunner Robert Carlock have been VERY busy, developing a comedy a workplace comedy for NBC about a woman who moves to Fire Island and a second project that Fox is so hot for it skipped the pilot stage and gave it a series order, this one about a women's college that begins admitting men for the first time in the school's history. The show is written by Matt Hubbard, who worked on 30 Rock for the show's full seven season run, winning an Emmy for the Reunion episode (Liz and Jack go to her high school reunion)…NBC has picked up a 10 episode second season of Hollywood Game Night…TBS renewed Men at Work, Sullivan & Son, and Deal With It…TNT ordered new seasons of Major Crimes, Perception, and Rizzoli & Isles…Sandra Oh announced she would leave Grey's Anatomy at the end of the show's upcoming 10th season…Media reports have producer/songwriter Dr. Luke is in serious talks to join Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban as a judge on the upcoming season of American Idol. While you may not be familiar with his name, if you've listened to a radio in the last ten years you certainly know his work, with over 20 # 1 songs on his resume, and the lists of artists he's worked with includes Pink, Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, Kei$ha, Jessie J, One Direction, Flo Rida, Nicky Minaj, will.i.am, Britney Spears, Robin Thicke, Pit Bull, Taio Cruz, Lil Jon, Jordan Sparks, Adam Lambert, Weezer, Avril Levine, Leona Lewis, Miley Cyrus, Mos Def, and more... Let's break up all this text with a trailer for the new season of Parenthood…
Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany will guest star on (at least) two episodes of the upcoming season of Parks and Recreation as a love interest for Tom…Marg Helgenberger will return to CSI for the show's 300th (!!!) episode this season, reprising her role as Catherine Willows that she played for 11+ seasons…The Mindy Project continues to stack the deck with guest stars for the upcoming second season; James Franco, Adam Pally (Happy Endings), and Glenn Howerton (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) have already signed on for multi-episode runs and now comes word that Timothy Olyphant (Justified) will appear in an episode as well. Returning guest stars from last year include Chloe Sevigny, Bill Hader, and Anders Holm…Hot off the success of Hatfields & McCoys and The Bible, History has greenlit Houdini, a two night, four hour look at life of the famous illusionist, starring Oscar winner Adrien Brody in the title role and Kristen Connolly (House of Cards) as his wife. Look for it in 2014…Demi Lovato has signed on for a multi-episode run on Glee, with her character joining Santana, Rachel, and Kurt in NY, which is also were Adam Lambert's character will be living. Lovato will begin her second season as a judge on The X Factor next month…MTV has ordered a 10 episode first season of Jerks with Cameras, where a team of comedians hit the streets to pull pranks on an unsuspecting public. Reality programming guru Sally Ann Salsano is executive producing, and she's also behind the network's upcoming daily show The Ex and the Why, where folks get closure - and perhaps a second chance at love - when they surprise their former partners for a conversation…Joanna Garcia Swisher (Reba, Privileged, Necessary Roughness) has signed on to play Ariel on the upcoming season of Once Upon a Time. She'll appear in at least two episodes, starting with the sixth…CBS has confirmed that Bob Newhart will reprise his Emmy & Norty nominated role as Professor Proton on (at least) TWO episodes of the upcoming season of The Big Bang Theory…The CW is developing a series adaptation of Lauren Graham's novel Someday, Someday, Maybe, with Graham and Ellen DeGeneres executive producing. The book follows a young woman who is down to her last six months on her three year plan to make it as an actress in NYC. Graham, who starred on the network's Gilmore Girls and currently stars on NBC's Parenthood, will write the script…I was pretty hot for the FX comedy pilot The Comedians already - from Billy Crystal, Larry Charles (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Borat), Matt Nix (Burn Notice, The Good Guys), and Ben Wexler (Arrested Development, Community), it stars Crystal as an aging comedian paired (by force, not by choice) with a hot shot rising star for a late night sketch comedy show - and now I am even more so as Josh Gad, nominated for a Tony for his work in Book of Mormon, will play the younger half of the team…MTV has picked up a 29th season/cycle of The Real World, which will take place in San Francisco, site of the series' breakthrough third season…Lindsay Lohan's career rehab continues; the soon-to-be star of her own reality show (see what I did there?) will guest on an episode of the upcoming final season of Eastbound and Down as the daughter of one of the main characters…Let's break up all this text with a look at Frank Darabont's first post-The Walking Dead series, TNT's Mob City…
…Eva Longoria will guest on NBC's upcoming comedy Welcome to the Family, reuniting her with her Desperate Housewives spouse Ricardo Chavira...Eva La Rue (CSI Miami) will do an episode of Criminal Minds...Mad Men's Kiernan Shipka (aka Sally Draper) will play the teenage female lead in Lifetime's Flowers in the Attic movie...The legendary Lauren Bacall will do a voice on Family Guy...Mena Suvari has signed for multiple episodes of Chicago Fire...Rhys Ifans (The Amazing Spider Man, Notting Hill) will co-star with Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Kathryn Hahn in the Showtime dark comedy pilot Trending Down... NBC is still working on Girlfriend in a Coma, an adaptation of the Douglas Copeland novel; it never got to a pilot this spring but the option for cast members Miranda Cosgrove and Daniel Stern were picked up and now David Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada) has signed to direct the pilot. The story follows a woman who wakes up after 17+ years in a coma to find she is now in her 30's and has a teenage daughter (she didn't know she was pregnant when the accident that caused the coma took place). Cosgrove plays the daughter and Stern her Grandfather, who has been raising her. Christina Ricci had originally signed to play the lead but dropped out shortly thereafter…GSN has ordered a 40 episode first season of Mind of a Man, where two female contestants try to figure out what men are really thinking, with a celebrity panel helping out with clues/tips/advice (think Family Feud a bit, with the contestants trying to guess the top answers from a survey of 100 men). The show is from Mark Cronin, whose reality competition show resume includes Flavor of Love (and it's many spinoffs) as well as Bret Michaels: Life as I Know It…We learned a few weeks ago that Seth Rogen would be the host of Comedy Central's Roast of James Franco, set to air on Labor Day, and now comes word of some of the folks who will be doing the roasting, including Bill Hader, Jonah Hill, Nick Kroll, Sarah Silverman, Natasha Legerro, and of course, Jeff Ross…Greg Berlanti (Arrow, Brothers & Sisters, Everwood) is teaming up with Seth Grahame-Smith (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) on an action-drama for NBC; Paradise takes place at the end of the 21st Century, when Las Vegas has been turned into the world's largest maximum security prison (aka Paradise) and an innocent man convicted of murder has to find a way to stay alive in the madness while he concocts and executes an escape plan…Katherine Heigl is looking to get back to TV in her first post-Grey's Anatomy series; she's attached to star and play the lead in an untitled drama from Alexi Hawley (The Following, Castle, Body of Proof) about a CIA adviser to the President who travels the world dealing with trouble spots. No network is attached yet but Deadline.com says multiple are interested, with NBC currently leading the pack. Heigl was nominated for two Golden Globes and won an Emmy for her work on Grey's. She also won two People's Choice Awards, including Favorite Female TV Star in 2010, in case you are wondering why multiple networks are after the project…OWN clearly enjoys being in the Tyler Perry business; a few weeks back they ordered 16 more episodes of The Haves and Have Nots and now today they picked up 26 more episodes of Love Thy Neighbor along with four more episodes of Haves. The relationship with Perry will get even stronger when the channel starts showing For Better or Worse next month; the first two seasons aired on TBS (OWN has acquired the rights to the reruns) and a new third season premieres on OWN on 9/18, taking over Neighbor's Wednesdays at 9pm timeslot….James Franco will host James Franco Presents (good thing he was available), a one hour art appreciation show that will premiere on Ovation in November. The series will look at the way art impacts our lives and the world...Angela Kinsey (The Office) and Dreama Walker (Don't Trust the B- in Apt 23) will both guest on the second episode of New Girl's upcoming season as teachers at the school where Jess is now working...Here's a very NSFW trailer for Showtime's upcoming Masters of Sex…
Turns Out Not Where But Who You're With That Really Matters
AKA The Best Thing I've Watched In The Last Seven Days…
The first two episodes of Breaking Bad's final run have lived up to the hype/expectations and then some, establishing it as the clear leader for the 2014 Best Drama Norty Award! Hell, the Star Trek conversation alone qualifies it for a nomination.
Those expecting a slow build were quite surprised by the final moments of the opening hour, which made "tread lightly" a new pop culture catch phrase. While everyone knows the brilliance of Bryan Cranston, I think it's high time we all agree that Dean Norris is one of TV best character actors, one who can clearly hold his own opposite just about anyone.
One of the things I loved about hour two is that I am not 100% sure what it is that Skylar is thinking; I know she is out to protect herself and the kids, as she should be, but I think Walt's words that Hank quoted to her, about how Walt would be dead long before any sort of prosecution would be finalized, are echoing in her head and she's looking to play a four corners offense.
And I haven't even mentioned Lavell Crawford and Bill Burr laying down on the job. This show is just so damn good on so many levels.
I laid the praise on Breaking Bad pretty thick in the Norty Awards above but suffice it to say these first two hours have made me feel very secure in my choice.
People Say I'm Crazy Doing What I'm Doing. Well, They Give Me All Kinds Of Warnings To Save Me From Ruin
What's flashed before my eyes the last seven days…
My vacation house did not have a working TV so I am behind in my viewing…New Girl fans will definitely want to seek out a replay of last Monday's fantastic episode of The Writer's Room, which is fast becoming a strong 2014 Norty front runner. I would in no way be surprised to see Mouth Party as an episode at some point in season three…Walked into my bedroom last night to watch Breaking Bad and found one of my DVR's taping Keeping up with the Kardashians. Yes, it was also taping Breaking Bad but it was still a very frightening experience, made somewhat less so when Mrs. Tivo confirmed she was merely taping it for Viggle points…I have enjoyed the first two episodes of Cutthroat Kitchen enough to keep watching, which isn't particularly high praise but isn't a pan, either. It's different from other cooking competition shows in that the emphasis isn't so much on the cooking as it is the strategy, which is fine because that's what the show is going for, it just takes getting used to that the winner isn't necessarily the most talented chef. Part of me thinks it would be better if the final round were just a cook off, with no sabotage involved, but that's just me…When the twins sit and stare at a new show, unsure what to think but very much wanting to watch, I know it's likely to be a winner; well done, Disney's Wander Over Yonder…Thinking that when Modern Family goes off the air, and after the obligatory reunion movie for The Class, Jesse Tyler Ferguson should just be a permanent guest judge, floating around all of TV's reality competition programming…Nobody does indignation (righteous or otherwise) like Gregory Itzin, and last night's Covert Affairs - especially the last scene - was yet another example of his skill set. The two time Emmy nominee (for his work on 24) becoming a much bigger presence on the show is one of the reasons it has taken a step up on the quality level…I can honestly say I am in a better mood because Whose Line is it Anyway? is airing new episodes...How is TJ Miller not on my TV every week in some capacity?!?!?...
TV Pick Of The Week
Venus and Serena is a documentary about a year in the life of the famous tennis playing siblings, and after watching the excellent Nine for IX Venus vs.…, I am significantly more interested in/intrigued by the Williams women then I've ever been before…
Don't miss the premiere of Venus and Serena, tonight at 9pm on Showtime.
Hope You Need My Love, Babe, Just Like I Need You
Here as some other noteworthy viewing options from the next seven days…
*Longmire hit a season high in A&E's target demos (25-54) last week and enjoyed their second largest number of total viewers of the season as well, so why does this high quality drama head into Monday's season finale with a renewal?!?!?
*Olbermann, Keith Olbermann's new nightly sports-themed talked show, premieres Monday at 11pm on ESPN2.
*Tuesday's a big night for cable finales, mid-season and season; ABC Family's Pretty Little Liars (8pm) and Twisted (9pm) take a break until the winter while TNT's Perception (10pm) airs its last hour until next Summer.
*McDreamy becomes McSpeedy on Wednesday night when part one of the four part documentary mini-series Patrick Dempsey: Racing Le Mans premieres on Velocity…
*Motive (ABC) wraps up its surprisingly solid first season this Thursday at 10pm.
Two Tivos To Paradise
3 Days to Open with Bobby Flay, 24 Hour Restaurant Battle, After the Catch, American Idol, Antiques Roadshow, Archer, Arrow, Around the World in 80 Plates, Auction Hunters, Baby Daddy, Boardwalk Empire, Being Human, Betty White's Off Their Rockers, Bones, Breaking Bad, Bunheads, Burn Notice, Burger Land, Cake Boss, Cake Boss: Next Great Baker, Chicago Fire, Chopped, Comic Book Men, Community, Cougar Town, Counting Cars, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Deadliest Catch, Destination Truth, Fact or Faked, Falling Skies, Family Guy, Feed the Beast, Flipping Out, Food Network Challenge, Food Network Star, The Fosters, Ghost Hunters, Ghost Hunters International, Ghost Lab, Glee, Graceland, Great Food Truck Race, Grey's Anatomy, Happy Endings, Haunted Collector. Haunted Highways, Haunted Treasure, Hawaii 5-0, Hollywood Treasure, House of Lies, How I Met Your Mother, Inside Comedy with David Steinberg, Inside Amy Schumer, Iron Chef America, The Jeselnik Offensive, Justified, Key & Peele, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Law And Order: Special Victims Unit, The League, Longmire, Lost Girl, Louie, Mad Men, Major Crimes, Men at Work, The Middle, Mike and Molly, The Mindy Project, Modern Family, Monster Man, Nashville, Necessary Roughness, New Girl, The New Normal, Next Iron Chef, The Office, Outside the Lines, Parks & Recreation, Project Runway, Psych, Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook Off, Raising Hope, Real Time With Bill Maher, Rectify, Restaurant Impossible, Revenge, Revolution, Royal Pains, Rules Of Engagement, Saturday Night Live, Shark Wranglers, So You Think You Can Dance?, Sons of Anarchy, The Soup, Suits, Suburgatory, Supernatural, Top Chef, Top Chef Just Desserts, Top Chef: Masters, Top Design, Tosh.0, The Vampire Diaries, The Voice, The Walking Dead, Warehouse 13, Worst Cooks In America,
People Love You When They Know You're Leaving Soon
Here ends another Two Tivos To Paradise.
We'll be back next week with our big 350th column!!!
Sources for this week's column include Daily Variety, Entertainment Weekly, TV Guide, and Hollywood Reporter (plus the web sites for those publications) as well as Aintit.cool.com, TVline.com & Deadline.com.