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Colbert on Colbert

Yes, Stephen Colbert will be replacing David Letterman, and of course it’s great to hear Steven Colbert discussing it.

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“The Newsroom” will end after its third season

Olivia Munn newsroom09

“The Newsroom” has been an excellent show on HBO for its first two seasons, but unfortunately this drama from Aaron Sorkin will end this year with its third season being its last. Jeff Daniels was excellent on this show winning an Emmy for his performance. recently named star Olivia Munn as one of the 30 sexiest TV actresses from 2013, and had “The Newsroom” ranked as the 5th best show on TV.

Perhaps Sorkin decided not to push for more season, but it’s disappointing that this one will end.

Meanwhile, “Boardwalk Empire” will also have its last season this year, but that show tailed off after the first couple of seasons.

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Season 2 of “House of Cards” hits in February

Kate Mara

Netflix created an excellent series with “House of Cards” and season 2 will hit on February 14, 2014. Kate Mara (picture above) was excellent as reporter Zoe Barnes, as was the rest of the cast led by Kevin Spacey as congressman Frank Underwood. The battle lines will be drawn between them in the upcoming season. This hit has shaken up the TV world as we now have Netflix as a new competitor to the cable companies for excellent TV dramas.

Check out the trailer for the new season below.

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Will snow add to Super Bowl ratings?

Despite tons of issues on the field and court battles off of it, the NFL continues to enjoy incredible popularity. The NFL Network has been a huge hit and has become a real asset for the NFL. The Super Bowl has always been an iconic sporting event, but now it has practically been elevated to national holiday status. Television ratings for the Super Bowl routinely set records or come close. We’re not talking about records just for sportsing events. We’re talking about records for all-time television audiences.

Of course, betting and fantasy football have increibly huge effects on the popularity of the NFL and the Super Bowl. Fans will be getting ready to gamble at or at one of the sports books in Las Vegas as they consider everything from the final score to which songs will be played by Bruno Mars during the halftime show. Which brings up yet another draw, as now we have music and celebrity fans making sure to tune in. The NFL has been brilliant about making this an event for everyone, from hard core sports fans, betters, teenagers and more. Women and men obsess about the spread at the Super Bowl party. Even the television commercials have become part of our national conversation.

This year we have yet another factor that might goose the television ratings – snow. Or at least the possibility of snow. This will be the first Super Bowl plyed outdoors in a northern city as the game will be played in New Jersey. As we saw last week, mother nature can significantly alter an event, and the prospect of snow in particular could really change things. Of course, it might just be dreary and cold, and that could actually take away from the pageantry of the event. But a field covered in snow would be a novelty that everyone would semmingly want to see. It might make the actual game a joke, but we might just see the highest Super Bowl ratings ever.

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Howard Stern back on Letterman

Howard Stern was back on David Letterman’s show and it’s a good one. As usual, Howard has to bring up the feud with Jay Leno.

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America’s Top Model season review

America's top model
Photo: Angelo Sgambati/The CW ©2013 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved

We’re coming up to the end of this – the 20th season – of Tyra Banks’ crazy modeling extravaganza, America’s Next Top Model.

Have you smized your way through this season or have all the bitching, back biting and bottled blinds turned you off this series?

America’s Next Top Model 2.0

She kept it fresh this cycle by including boys and girls and by having more than 14 contestants. In addition, it’s the first series to have more than 13 episodes – are these all necessary moves for a franchise that’s running out of steam or is there plenty of life in the old model yet?

Stylized as America’s Next Top Model 2.0, it’s pretty obvious Tyra is aware there needs to be something new for viewers, fans and haters to get their teeth into. It’s become a big deal in the online gambling world as well, as people queue up to bet on their favorite competitor, presumably playing online on online slot games and the like while watching the models fight it out.

The judges

As well as Tyra, of course, Kelly Cutrone, Rob Evans and Bryanboy all returned as judges to make the models weep on a weekly basis, while criticizing their body, face and appearance to the utmost. It’s a brutal competition and that’s why viewers love it.

With a catchphrase this year of ‘Who will dominate?’, it’s clear that the contestants are encouraged to take no prisoners when it comes to fighting it out for the honor of winning.

The prizes

Some new prizes and sponsors for this cycle as well, with the grand prize being a modelling contract with NEXT Model Management, a feature spread in Nylon magazine and a $100,000 contract with Guess.

The contestants

With guys and girls in the competition for the first time, the season followed the usual format of randomly themed photoshoots and the always amazing makeover episode, which has become famous for making models weep into their crew cut while staring at the foot long hair Tyra deemed it necessary to shave from their reluctant skulls.

Sometimes it’s difficult to believe the makeovers aren’t carried out due to some cruelty on Tyra’s part, as there is always at least one model who is left utterly bereft and looking decidedly worse.

In the first episode of this cycle, there were 35 models, swiftly reduced to 26. In the second episode, they were cut down to 16 who made it through to the main competition. Double eliminations in various episodes added to the tension, as did the twist of some of the contestants being allowed to fight to come back later on in the cycle.

With new elements including social media awards and various interaction with the viewers, this season differed from the original premise that the models are locked away from the outside world for the duration of the competition.

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Marilu Henner stars in “June in January”

Final Photo Assets

We’re huge fans of the beautiful and talented Marilu Henner, so we always pay attention when she’s attached to a new project. The latest news has Marilu starring with Brooke D’Orsay (“Royal Pains”) and Wes Brown (“Deception,” “Shadow on the Mesa”) in the Hallmark Channel original movie “June in January,” premiering Saturday, January 11th. D’Orsay plays a newly engaged bride in the film whose dream wedding is threatened by her scheming future mother-in-law, played by Henner, when a sudden change in plans pushes her perfect outdoor June wedding up to a wintry January date. Check it out!

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Season 4 trailer for “Downton Abbey”

If you’re not hooked yet on “Downton Abbey” we highly recommend it. It’s a very soapy drama set in the early 20th century in England as the old way for life for the aristocracy is slowly starting to crumble. The show is excellent, and we recommend starting from the beginning.

Those of view who haven’t started watching or aren’t caught up should probably avoid watching the trailer as it contains some serious spoilers about the ending of Season 3. The rest of you can take a look to see what’s next for Mary.

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Anna Camp can’t save “True Blood”

trueblood13_63 Anna Camp photo - John P Johnson

HBO’s “True Blood” started out as a great show, as the vampire stories and cable TV sex scenes made it one of the hottest shows on television. But the show has slipped over the years, even if it still commands a decent audience. HBO has announced that next year’s seventh season will be its last, and frankly the show lost it long ago. It used to be a regular on’s TV Power Rankings but this year was left off again.

TV critic Laura DeMarco explains how the show has suffered in recent years.

Yes, there are bad guys, but most of them are so cliched and cardboard as to be laughable. Case in point is good ol’ boy Louisiana Governor Burrell, the main force behind getting the hungry, marauding vampires off the street and into the camps.

He’s a jokey, hokey cliche. The only true villain, former preacher’s wife/governor’s girlfriend Sarah Newlin (Anna Camp), is truly bad. But she’s so bad, so campy, so over-the-top cliched, she’s entertaining. But she’s not too scary. She’s no Russell Edgington, though she’s quite fun to watch.

We love Anna Camp and were thrilled to see her character come back, but she’s just not enough to carry the show.

Molly Lambert also chimed in about how the fairies were the last straw. She appreciated the eye candy and all the sex scenes but the idiotic stories got to her.

So we’ll see what happens in the final season. We know there will be plenty of sensual sex scenes to keep many viewers interested, but we can’t expect much more than that.

Photo by John P. Johnson courtesy of HBO

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How to end a TV series

episode-8-hank-Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad” is back tonight, and we’ll see how creator Vince Gilligan decides to wrap things up. Here’s an in-depth look at the issue of how to conclude a great television series.

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