Greetings to the New Season: Fox

The network upfronts roll on, this time with the fine folks at Fox trotting out their new fall schedule and revealing which new series have been selected to accompany those series which have survived. As of this writing, there are no clips to accompany the descriptions of the new shows, but I’m led to understand that we’ll be getting those in due course, so…oh, wait, scratch that: they just arrived!

Well, with that being the case, you can read the descriptions and check out the clips of what Fox has for us for the upcoming season. Just be sure to let us know what you think about what they’re offering up! Oh, and before you ask, we didn’t forget to include a clip for the last series. They didn’t offer a clip for the last series…but, hell, I don’t even think they’ve cast it yet, so at least they’ve got a good excuse.

MONDAY

8 – 9 PM: HOUSE

9 – 10 PM: LONESTAR: a provocative soap set against the backdrop of big Texas oil, from Chris Keyser and Amy Lippman, the creators of “Party of Five”; Marc Webb, the director of “(500) Days of Summer”; and creator Kyle Killen. Robert / Bob Allen (newcomer James Wolk) is a charismatic and brilliant schemer who has meticulously constructed two lives in two different parts of Texas. He’s juggling two identities and two women in two very different worlds – all under one mountain of lies. As “Bob,” he lives in Houston and is married to Cat (Adrianne Palicki, “Friday Night Lights”), the beautiful daughter of Clint (Jon Voight, 24, “Midnight Cowboy”), the patriarch of an ultra-wealthy Texas oil family. More than 400 miles away in the suburban west Texas town of Midland, he’s “Robert,” living a second life with his sweet, naïve girlfriend, Lindsay (Eloise Mumford, “Mercy,” “Law & Order: SVU”). In Midland, he plays the perfect boyfriend while secretly bilking local investors of their savings. In Houston, he’s a devoted husband, charming Cat and her family to cement his position in the rich family business he aims to clean out. Bob has lived both lives successfully for years without arousing any suspicions…so far.

While one brother-in-law, Drew (Bryce Johnson, “Popular,” “The Mentalist”), admires Bob, his other brother-in-law, Trammell (Mark Deklin, “Nip/Tuck,” “Desperate Housewives”), is suspicious of his motives. Bob begins to fear his secret lives may unravel. With the cons closing in on him, Bob is divided by his love for two women; his loyalty to his father and mentor, John (David Keith, “An Officer and a Gentleman,” “The Class”); and his respect for his father-in-law, Clint. Now as he tries to hold his two lives together, while fending off angry investors and the suspicions of those around him, Bob puts it all on the line hoping he can beat the odds, leave the schemes behind and keep two separate relationships afloat.

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“Bones” hits the 100-episode mark

Tonight marks the 100th episode of Fox’s “Bones,” which may amaze those who originally only saw the series as something for David Boreanaz to do until Joss Whedon finally got around to making an “Angel” movie. Instead, the show has gradually found a sizable fan base who love the patter between Boreanaz and his co-star, Emily Deschanel, as FBI Agent Seely Booth and forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan.

Sorry, did I say “patter”? Obviously, I meant “sexual tension.”

This evening’s episode is a flashback to the very first case worked together by Booth and Brennan, one which took place a year prior to the events seen in the show’s pilot. In addition to the fact that it provides an opportunity for the actors to revisit the way they played their characters five years ago (or, in the case of Eric Millegan, an opportunity to play Dr. Zach Addy again period), there’s a concluding moment which has the potential to completely change one of the fans’ favorite parts of the show…or, at the very least, shake it up a bit. My wife, who has seen every episode of the series since its premiere, got a bit emotional at the concluding scene. I’ll be interested to find out if you react the same way.

I was fortunate enough to attend a “Bones” breakfast during Fox’s day of the Winter 2010 TCA Press Tour, and both David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel were in attendance. Unfortunately, however, my conversation with David was precisely two questions long, thanks to a strange moment where I asked him about working with Diedrich Bader – he plays FBI Agent Andrew Hacker – and got a blank stare and an assurance that he had absolutely no idea who that was.

At the time, I was concerned that I’d gotten bad information, but, no, he definitely had worked with Bader. Weird. Fortunately, before that confusion caused the chat to come to a complete and total standstill, leading someone else to pick up the reigns of the conversation and run with them, I’d asked him how he felt about his series making it to the vaunted 100-episode mark.

“It’s kind of hard to believe that you’re there,” Boreanaz admitted, “especially when it’s hard enough to get a pilot made, let alone picked up. I’ve always maintained that whatever you’re working on, you should work just really in the moment and not think about the next episode. You should just maintain a real strong sense of your work and your ethics and being honest with yourself and just continue to work hard and see where that takes you, whether you do 12 episodes, 20 episodes, or whether you just do a pilot. You’re just fortunate to be working.”

Thankfully, I made no such faux pas while talking to Emily, who was glad to answer my question about how she thinks the character of Brennan has changed over the course of 100 episodes.

“You know, I recently just watched the pilot again, because I’ve been thinking about doing this 100th episode and doing a flashback, so I’ve been thinking about that a lot,” she said. “I think she’s become less guarded, more open…she’s trying to learn socially how to interact with people. Watching the pilot, I was, like, ‘She’s very wild, in a way.’ She’s just determined to do her thing and just does it and doesn’t care what anybody else thinks…and I just love that about her! That’s definitely still true. In one sense, she’s become more polished…and I say that in a lot of ways! But she’s just growing up and kind of thinking about something before she does it. And she’s also trying to understand social interaction and people’s emotions and feelings…and her own! Trying to understand other people’s through exploration of her own. She’s not as quick to just kick someone’s ass! She’s kind of learning to take a breather before she…it’s, like, Fox had this whole campaign of ‘Take a Moment,’ and Brennan had to take a moment before she acted on things. Before, she just acted. That’s not to say that she doesn’t still just act sometimes, but I think that’s a way she’s changed over the years.”

At the time we chatted, they hadn’t yet begun filming the 100th episodes, but they had been having meetings about what it was going to look like.

“Visually, with the hair and make-up and wardrobe, it was fun trying on the wardrobe that was Brennan back in the day,” said Deschanel. “Cynthia Somers, the costume designer, did a great job. She was not there at the beginning, but she did a great job of pulling these things that were very Brennan-esque from the beginning. It’s been great to go and to start thinking about Brennan in that time and what she was. It’s been fun.”

  

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Halloween on the Small Screen: 31 Memorable Halloween Episodes

Too old to trick or treat but not popular enough to get invited to a Halloween party? Fortunately, we have the perfect solution to keep you in the spirit of the holiday while keeping your brain occupied enough to forget how uncool you are: a list of 31 great Halloween episodes from throughout TV history. It’s not a complete list, of course, and we’ve left out specials, so leave your complaints about the exclusion of “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!” at the door. Instead, just embrace the fact that we’ve found as many clips and complete episodes for your viewing enjoyment as we possibly could. You’re welcome…and Happy Halloween!

1. The Addams Family, “Halloween with the Addams Family”: The Addams family are all busy preparing for their favorite holiday, but their celebration is bolstered by a pair of bank robbers…one of whom is played by Don Rickles…who they welcome as trick-or-treaters.

2. The Andy Griffith Show, “The Haunted House”: Maybe it isn’t officially a Halloween episode, but it first aired in October 1963, and it focuses on Barney and Gomer trying to retrieve a baseball from a supposedly haunted house and finding some strange goings on inside. As far as I’m concerned, that’s close enough for jazz.

3. Angel, “Life of the Party”: Lorne throws a Halloween party for all the firm’s clients and employees, but during the gathering, his advice to his friends starts happening literally: Fred and Wesley get drunk after Lorne tells them to loosen up, Spike and Harmony dance the night away, Angel and Eve do the horizontal bop, and, Gunn, uh, relieves himself after being told to “stake out his territory.” Good times.

4. Beavis and Butthead, “Butt-o-ween”: It starts simply enough, with the guys trying to master the concept of trick or treating, first without costumes, then wearing Beavis’s “monkey sheets” and going as ghosts. Eventually, however, Beavis + Halloween candy = Cornholio. The equation was ever thus, and here it leads to a quest for more candy…and, y’know, some T.P. for his bunghole.


Bevis and Butt-head-Butt-O-Ween

Dreamer Neverending | MySpace Video

5. Beverly Hills 90210, “Halloween”: The stock line is that Halloween costumes allow a woman to bring out her inner slut, and when the gang from West Beverly goes to a Halloween party, Kelly’s seductive costume leads a college student to translate “no” as “yes.” It’s absolutely inexcusable, of course, but – whew! – you can’t say she doesn’t make an impression. Meanwhile, Brenda and Dylan go as Bonnie and Clyde, Steve is Zorro, and Donna comes as a mermaid, a move which seriously hinders her dance moves.

Watch the episode at CBS.com!

6. The Big Bang Theory, “The Middle Earth Paradigm”: Penny throws a great Halloween party, and she makes a pretty kitty, too, but it’s hard to top the meeting of the four Flashes.

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Ms. Deschanel, I believe you know…Ms. Deschanel?

It had to happen eventually: the Deschanel sisters – Emily and Zooey – are teaming up for an episode of the former’s Fox series, “Bones.”

Zooey, most recently seen in “(500) Days of Summer,” will guest-star in “The Goop on the Girl,” a special holiday-themed episode which is scheduled to air on Thursday, Dec. 10, at 8 PM. She’ll play Margaret Whitesell, a distant relative of Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan – that’s Emily’s character, of course – who’s discovered by Brennan’s dad, Max (Ryan O’Neal), and is invited to spend the holidays with them. All of this is going on while Brennan and Booth (the one and only David Boreanaz) are in the midst of investigating the death of a man dressed as Santa Claus who was blown up after a botched bank robbery.

Anyone want to bet on the odds of Emily and Zooey looking at each other at some point and trying to spot the family resemblance, only to have the moment end with one of them (or possibly both, in sync) saying, “I don’t see it”?

  

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Bullz-Eye’s TCA 2009 Summer Press Tour Wrap-Up: Cougars, Muppets, Vampires, and Gordon Ramsay, Too!

God bless the TCA Press Tour, where the television industry gives critics from throughout North America the opportunity to play with the folks who live and work in Hollywood. The tour allows us a remarkable amount of access to the stars, producers, directors, and writers of the various shows currently taking up residence on the various cable and broadcast networks. Yes, while I may spend 48 weeks out of the year feeling like a nobody, for those four weeks – two in the summer, two in the winter – which are taken up by the tour, I’m at least made to feel like I’m a somebody. (Really, though, I’m not anybody.)

This was the first time the summer tour had been held after Comic-Con rather than before, so there was a certain amount of grumbling about the fact that the fans were getting a certain amount of information that would’ve ordinarily gone to the critics first, but it must be said that the networks did a pretty good job of pacifying us. And, besides, aren’t the fans supposed to come first, anyway?

Although the content that I managed to accrue during the course of the tour will continue to come your way for quite some time to come, what you see before you is a summary of the highs and lows of the event, mixing stories you may have already read on Premium Hollywood with many that I simply haven’t had a chance to discuss yet. As ever, it was a heck of a good time, full of the kind of moments that leave me grateful that I managed to get that journalism degree from Averett College back in 1992, pleased as punch that Bullz-Eye and Premium Hollywood have given me the opportunity to cover the tour, and, most of all, that there are lot of great readers out there who seem to enjoy the tales I bring back from these strange TCA adventures that I’ve embarked upon.

Let’s get started, shall we?

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