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Thursday, April 13th, 2006
2:19 pm

by adam buckman
new york post


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March 21, 2006 -- Bad cop Vic twists with 'Shield's' uncertain future
Don't even try to predict what happens tonight on "The Shield."
You're not up to it, even if you've watched every episode for 4 1/2 seasons and believe you know Vic Mackey and the rest of this show's characters like you know your own family.

This show is impervious to speculation. Just when you expect it to zig, it almost always zags.

And tonight (10 p.m. on FX), as "The Shield" closes out the first half of its fifth season, it zigs and zags with such intensity that it just might leave you dizzy and out of breath.

Fans of "The Shield" know that feeling. They've been experiencing it every week since the season began Jan. 10. That's when Mackey (Michael Chiklis) first started to tangle with John Kavanaugh, the creepy LAPD Internal Affairs investigator played by Forest Whitaker whose pursuit of Mackey and his unorthodox, corrupt Strike Team has come to resemble Capt. Ahab's obsession with Moby Dick.

Their cat-and-mouse game reached a boiling point last week when Mackey slept with Kavanaugh's estranged wife (it was sort of consensual, if you discount the fact that she's mentally ill).

As the episode ended, Kavanaugh was seen paying a late-night visit to Mackey's ex, Corrine (Cathy Cahlin Ryan). That's the thing about "The Shield," anything's possible, even a battle of wits in which the sexual conquest of a rival's wife is fair (or unfair) game.

Tonight's episode - the 11th of the season - will be the last of "The Shield" until next January, when the season's remaining 10 episodes are likely to begin airing. The long hiatus is necessary because FX did not order additional episodes until it was too late to produce them continuously following the first 11.

The new episodes are just now beginning to be written by executive producer Shawn Ryan and his team. After the episodes are produced, Ryan, Chiklis and FX brass face a decision on whether to continue for a sixth season.

With 2.7 million viewers per episode this season, "The Shield" is still a bona fide hit for FX, even though that average is down from the 3.2 million viewers the show averaged last season, when Glenn Close had a recurring role.

The decision to continue depends greatly on where the producers take the show's storylines in the next 10 episodes.

The big question: If the jig is up for Mackey, how can "The Shield" continue?

For now, though, this much is known: Tonight's 90-minute midseason finale, which I've seen, is a four-alarm scorcher. And, as usual with "The Shield," the language and situations are for adults only.

So bar the kiddies and enjoy the show.


i would have posted this earlier but my computer wouldn't open the page that the article was on.
2:16 pm
thief article
Braugher Steals Your Attention on 'Thief'
Friday March 24 10:26 AM ET

It's not hard to see why Andre Braugher was drawn to the new FX series "Thief."

Braugher is an actor with powerful presence and impressive range, as "Homicide: Life on the Street" established years ago. On that acclaimed 1990s drama he played Frank Pembleton, who was a cocky, calculating police detective, then the victim of a stroke struggling to regain basic functions.

Now on "Thief" (which premieres 10 p.m. EST Tuesday), Braugher gets to show his stuff as Nick Atwater, criminal and family man.


On the job, Nick is a coolly methodical pro who masterminds high-risk, high-yield heists across the country.

Meanwhile, he maintains a separate domestic life in New Orleans with the wife he adores and a 14-year-old stepdaughter he tolerates.

Then, all too soon, Nick's carefully managed world is upended.

From that moment, it's any viewer's guess where the story will go. And Braugher is pleased to take viewers there.

Nick under siege, in mourning, protective of his family yet defiant as he pulls together one more heist is a full-bodied role that was guaranteed to get Braugher pumped.

"I liked the man," says Braugher flat-out when asked why he signed to do the series. "Nick doesn't stick guns in people's faces, he doesn't violate their privacy or their safety. He steals from insurance companies and banks, which can afford it. At least, these are the rationalizations that allow him to do what he does. He's a better man than he might be. But he is a beast.

"I also liked the fact that his worlds are in collision: the straight life and his other existence as a thief. He has a fantasy that it's possible to live them both. But you can't have your cake and eat it, too.

"I wanted to be a part of all that," Braugher says, "because so often TV dramas are formulaic and this one is as wacky and dangerous as life itself."

Not to be confused with "Heist," NBC's rip-roaring new L.A.-based drama, "Thief" takes a cue from its balmy, brooding New Orleans locale. (The pilot was shot there in summer 2004. Then, with the season's five additional episodes scheduled to start production last September, just days after Katrina struck, Shreveport became New Orleans' stand-in.)

Costarring with Braugher are Malik Yoba, Yancey Arias and Clifton Collins, Jr., as members of Nick's crew. Mae Whitman plays his stepdaughter, Tammi, whose conflict with Nick may or may not be explained by the fact that he is a black man wed to her white mother.

Whatever, Nick and Tammi are clearly at odds.

"We got nothing in common except one thing, your mom," Nick tells her, mincing no words. "What do we do?"

Soon, circumstances force an answer upon them.

"The series seems to me a character piece set in a crime world, rather than a crime drama," says Braugher. "The greatest arc isn't necessarily the heist that we're gonna pull off" a $40 million job aboard a jetliner "but what's going to happen with Nick and Tammi. How is their relationship going to be resolved?"

Off-camera, Braugher, 43, is a family man for real. He has been married for nearly 20 years to Ami Brabson, whom he met while they were studying drama at Juilliard and he now describes as "the best thing to happen to me period." The parents of three boys ages 13, 8 and 3, they call home a New Jersey town far removed from show-biz hustle bustle.

From there, Braugher was able to easily commute to his most recent series, "Hack" (CBS' 2002-04 police drama shot in Philadelphia), and, somewhat more exhaustingly, to Los Angeles each week to star in ABC's medical drama "Gideon's Crossing" during the 2000-01 season.

"I think I'd work a little more if I lived in L.A.," says Braugher with a grin, "but my boss says we live in Jersey, so that's just the way it is." This is not the only time he affectionately speaks of Brabson as the boss.

In person, Braugher comes across not unlike he does on-screen. Though his manner is down-to-earth, he has that same commanding voice, the multipurpose smile (it can signal many moods, not just amusement), and a frost of gray hair (the sort of shaved-clean head he sported some years ago has become a cliche for a black man, Braugher says).

And during this recent interview in Manhattan, he dwells on his two passions: his family and his work.

What fuels that love for acting?

"It's an emotional release," he explains an outlet that might otherwise lie beyond his reach. "Men are not usually forthcoming in the expression of their emotions."

Growing up in a rough Chicago neighborhood, he was blessed with loving and demanding parents. "But I was socialized in a certain way. Even as a kid there's no real suitable outlet for emotions that don't fall within a certain small range: anger, lust, ridicule Army emotions, I call them."

Then, at Stanford University as an engineering major, he helped out a friend by filling a vacant role in a campus play. He liked it a lot. He had found a new major, and an unexpected calling.

"As an actor, I'm allowed encouraged! to explore emotions that have been basically unacceptable in my life. I have a huge well of emotional stuff, and once I give myself permission as an actor, it all comes to the surface. But I'll be damned if I can give myself permission to bring it out as a man.

"As a father," Braugher goes on, looping back to one passion from the other, "I've tried to encourage my children to have a broader and deeper emotional life than I've had. I want my sons to be able to express their feelings about things," he says with feeling he seems fully able to express.

from yahoo tv
Friday, January 27th, 2006
2:55 pm
shield review contains spoilers
The Shield

"I must hunt down the man who stole my Propecia."Rating: *****

Reviewed by:
Gene Newman

The Shield has the right to remain the best show on TV, and this season is no exception. A brawl at a funeral home kickstarts the new year, as the cops in the blood-soaked Farmington district do their best to uphold the law while following the badass-edest cop on TV, Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis), who just happens to be fighting to keep his crew together and his ass out of jail. Pressure is the show's driving force, and all the characters are subjected to inhumane levels of it, from dealing with decapitated dog heads to a traffic incident resulting in a baby being cut out of a woman's stomach. This year Forest Whitaker joins the cast as a smooth, Colombo-like internal affairs cop who's getting dangerously close to bringing Mackey down. Even though this is rumored to be the last season—damn it!—judging by the first four episodes, it refuses to bend over and take it like a punk. Instead, it looks like The Shield is gonna go out as perfect and unrelenting as it started.

Tuesday, January 10th, 2006
1:06 pm
'The Shield' Ponders Wages of Original Sin
By Kate O'Hare
Saturday, January 07, 2006
12:02 AM PT

Usually, Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis), the volatile, ethically challenged LAPD detective at the heart of FX's edgy crime drama "The Shield," is the predator. But as season five opens on Tuesday, Jan. 10, he looks more like the prey.
Dedicated fans will remember that the show's pilot ended with Mackey shooting and killing fellow officer Terry Crowley (Reed Diamond) after discovering that he was a plant in Mackey's freewheeling Strike Force, assigned by his politically ambitious boss, Capt. David Aceveda (Benito Martinez), to find out if the squad was smuggling drugs.

Crowley's murder is a secret that Vic and best buddy Shane Vendrell (Walton Goggins) have kept ever since -- even from Strike Team members Ronnie Gardocki and Curtis Lemansky (David Rees Snell, Kenneth Johnson) -- and it's hardly been mentioned since a season-two flashback. Aceveda tried for several seasons to bring down Mackey, but now that task falls to Jon Kavanaugh (Forest Whitaker), the lead investigator from the Internal Affairs Division.

"I'm a good guy," Whitaker says during a break in filming on the show's sets in Los Angeles. "I'm very obsessed. I like to win, but what I want to do is take this bad cop off the street, who's harming people, killing people, extorting people's money, dealing drugs.
"For me, I get into the zone by any means necessary. When you get into that zone, other people question you, but you know what's most important is to get him off the street. If he's going to kill somebody else, it'll be my fault."

Chiklis, who is doing double duty as director on this day, says, "It's really interesting to go back to original sin and ask questions about crime and punishment. Do we ever really get away with anything, whether the justice system actually catches us at it, or whether it's a matter of conscience?"

In the scene currently being shot, the Strike Team is concocting a legal strategy to deal with Kavanaugh's investigation, which is slowly overtaking the converted church, called The Barn, that houses Mackey's precinct in the fictional Farmington district.

In one wordless scene, the Strike Team members stare up at Kavanaugh in the captain's office as he opens the blinds and stares right back down at them.

Chiklis believes that Whitaker, an accomplished actor, producer and director, brings a unique rhythm that offsets Vic's bulldog tenacity.

"He's got a phenomenal arrhythmic thing going on with this particular character," Chiklis says, "very syncopated. I hate to make a musical analogy, but I'm sort of a fat backbone, and he's coming with all this poly-rhythm, which is bringing a great new jazz energy to the whole thing."

Whitaker says that in some recent film roles -- including "The Last King of Scotland" in which he plays Ugandan dictator Idi Amin -- he had to concentrate very hard on accents and other specific details.

"I started to question, not that I'm harming my work," he says, "but I wanted to try something where it's more alive, where I can see what I can do naturally.

"If it's well-written, maybe I can just walk in there. But I want the character to have more and more edge, become more and more sharp, so I go through a physical transformation, a clothes transformation. I am doing certain things. I can't let it all go, you know what I mean?"

The pilot for "The Shield" was shocking enough, but to wait until the fifth season to address the murder of Crowley is daring. There's no word on whether this is the last season for the show, but it is an extended one. Twenty-one episodes (the previous longest season was 15) are being shot in two sections, with a short hiatus in between. This allows Chiklis to film the sequel to his hit movie "Fantastic 4" next summer without causing any major delays.

Since Whitaker currently is set to appear in only the first group of episodes, it looks doubtful that he'll succeed in taking Vic down. But it's very dangerous to assume anything on "The Shield." Either way, a little more than halfway through his run, Whitaker has definite ideas of what should happen to Mackey.

"I think he should be in jail," he says. "I think it would be the greatest end to the show if he actually was caught and put behind bars. It would blow people away. They'd never expect it, and rightfully so."

One way that Kavanaugh goes after Mackey is through Lemansky, a good-natured guy whose mixed feelings about the squad's antics have left him chugging Pepto-Bismol.

"I would not call him the weak link," Chiklis says. "I would call him the most plagued by conscience. It's not to say Vic doesn't have a conscience. If he were devoid of conscience, he'd be strictly villainous. He'd just be a villain, pure and simple, and there wouldn't be any discussion about it."

Kavanaugh tells Lemansky about Crowley's murder, which causes him to question Mackey's tactics and his own loyalty.

"This time around," Johnson says, "I get to confront him and try to find out for myself, more than anything, if we went that far. When I make the revelation, I don't want to know. I get very emotional.

"It's a soldier's loyalty; that's how I've always seen my guy. I want people to think maybe he could break. I don't want it to just be the obvious."

"As ever with 'The Shield,'" Chiklis says, "there are shifting alliances and shifting agendas. You never quite know who's going to side with whom."
Wednesday, December 28th, 2005
10:00 pm
over there's dvd set is coming out march 21st according to dvdaficionado
Monday, December 19th, 2005
11:39 am
tv guide interview
Nip/Tuck Doc Has Bite
by Angel Cohn

Bruno Campos, Nip/Tuck

Joining the cast of any show is a little bit daunting, but joining the cast of a show like Nip/Tuck where you never know what will happen has really got to be overwhelming. But Bruno Campos has been reveling in his role as Nip/Tuck's scheming surgeon Quentin Costa. TVGuide.com gave the 32-year-old former Jesse star a call to discuss the upcoming episodes of the show leading to the season finale on Dec. 20th — and maybe, just maybe, to find out some clues about the Carver's identity.

TVGuide.com: It seems like all of a sudden Quentin is a full-on bad guy. It is a little surprising.
Bruno Campos: I guess it is surprising. To me, it's less surprising because I knew it was coming. They still shock the hell out of me when I get the scripts. I see Quentin… he's kind of like a vampire. He takes no prisoners in his way of being. The way I see him, he's much like Christian except without the guilt. That makes a very dangerous human being.

TVGuide.com: But very fun to watch.
Campos: Hopefully it's fascinating. You're watching a predator roam around. It's like watching a shark in the water.

TVGuide.com: That whole scene with the military corporal where you basically just threatened him — wow!
Campos: That scene was so interesting to me, because it was very vampiric. Did you see the premiere?

TVGuide.com: Yes.
Campos: Do you remember when I inspected Christian's scar? Quentin is very interested in the wounds of people. He's very interested in whatever they might be hiding in their wounds. He feeds off their emotionality. When he sees this scar, it's very important to him. He really identifies with this kind of haunted quality. I see him as this vampiric kind of thing. It's hinted at slowly.

TVGuide.com: Did you know what you were getting into when you signed up?
Campos: [Laughs] I knew that I was joining Nip/Tuck, and that came with a set of expectations. I think it's fair to say that I've been given the Nip/Tuck treatment. Definitely. I did not know specifically what I was going to be doing at all. I knew that I was going to cause trouble… that I knew. And I declared war on them.

TVGuide.com: Obviously relationships on the show don't last very long. When Quentin's done with Julia, who's next?
Campos: [Laughs] Who's next? Well, at that point, he'll have practically burned every bridge he ever built. I could tell you, but what fun would that be?

TVGuide.com: OK, then can you tell me who the Carver is?
Campos: It's funny, because I know so many people speculate on what's going to happen. I will say this: It's not guessable what is going to happen. I just haven't heard of anybody — none of my friends, people who watch the show — nobody has guessed. We're wrapped now, so I know what happens. I'll just tell you this: You'll never guess, never in a million years.

TVGuide.com: So you didn't have a little betting pool on set about who the Carver was?
Campos: We did have a pool.

TVGuide.com: So who won?
Campos: I won $100 off Joely [Richardson]. And I'm framing it! She wrote me a check for $100 and I made her write "You win, I lost" in the corner.

TVGuide.com: It sounds like you have fun behind the scenes.
Campos: We're all partaking in this mystery that everybody wants to have the scoop on. It's very interesting. It's not like an Agatha Christie type of mystery, where it ends up being the butler.

TVGuide.com: Right, with the candlestick...
Campos: Right. You're not going to guess it, but at the same time, it makes sense. It's not random, it totally fits in with the scenes and the psychology of Nip/Tuck. What has always been the most interesting thing about this Carver thing to me is not who it is — although that is interesting — but more importantly for me, why? Why is the Carver, as opposed to who is the Carver.

TVGuide.com: Have you gotten any other scripts and seen anything too over the top, even for this show?
Campos: Yeah. Everything's over the top.

TVGuide.com: At any time were you were like, "That's too far?"
Campos: You know what it is? Like that scene with the corporal. I don't know how many times anal sex has been shown between two men on television. I would guess not too much. I would guess probably one to two [times], or zero. You're the expert.

TVGuide.com: Not too much on nonpay channels, but more on shows like Queer as Folk and Oz. Wait, how did I get to be an expert on that?
Campos: [Laughs] You read stuff like that and there's a shock only because it hasn't been done. There are some other shocks that will be done, particularly in Episodes 14 and 15, which are going to play as one episode on the 20th.

TVGuide.com: How is your relationship with Julian McMahon and Dylan Walsh off screen, since it so tense on screen?
Campos: It's been fun for me to walk onto a show.… I was the new kid in school for the first few months.

TVGuide.com: Did they tease you at all?
Campos: No, but I got to grab Christian's ass and I got to wink at Sean. We had to do all these fun things like that together. Julian, Rhona Mitra and Kelly Carlson and I were all in bed together for eight hours, and I'm basically massaging his ass. Once you do that, all the tension either explodes or breaks. We ended up laughing about it. What can I say?

TVGuide.com: How have you been doing with the technical lingo?
Campos: I made a point of observing, I observed a lot of surgeries before joining the show. It was really great, and the doctors and patients who let me watch were really generous to do so.

TVGuide.com: I take it you're not the squeamish type?
Campos: I didn't know if I was going to be squeamish. I saw heads being split open and chests being flayed apart. The first time I saw that, it was very invasive. When you see someone's face pried apart… it freaked me out, but I got used to it. These guys do that every day. I went to one surgery that was 10 hours. The doctor let me feel the inside muscles. I can now say I know what the inside of your face feels like, which is bizarre that I could ever do that. To answer that question, it feels like pizza.

TVGuide.com: Those are the parts of the show I watch with my eyes half-closed.
Campos: [Laughs] I remember that facial transplant we did, I watched that episode with some friends and they all looked away. Did that happen to you?

TVGuide.com: Yep. But then they did that facial surgery for real just a few weeks ago. You guys are really cutting-edge.
Campos: I know, we did it a couple of weeks before the French did it. We beat the French! Except ours failed and apparently theirs was successful.

TVGuide.com: Have you run into fans who are freaked out about your character?
Campos: This girl I went to college with called me and said "you're a twisted bastard of the highest order." Isn't that nice?

TVGuide.com: Is it hard to relate to someone like that? You seem like a nice guy.
Campos: Thank you.

TVGuide.com: You could be totally lying to me, but you seem really kind.
Campos: [Jokingly] Yes, you're speaking to my robot that I programmed to be nice to you. It's fun. It is a first because he doesn't have normal reactions. If you ask a normal person how they're doing, they'll say "I'm not so good." You ask Quentin that, and there's this pause as if he wants to invade your psyche, and then he'll go "maybe I'm good." It's always a mystery. He doesn't give you straight answers, and when he does, it's designed for an effect, and not always a good effect. He's three steps ahead. When Quentin decides he's against you, he's out for blood. And it's cold. It's calculated, and there's a quiet, still viciousness to it.

TVGuide.com: I feel like you're hinting at something.
Campos: You think that, and everybody thinks that. I'm just saying… I know a lot of people have speculated, but it's not quite as cut and dry, not as obvious.
Friday, November 18th, 2005
6:46 pm
nip tuck news
'American Dreams' Star Snow Drifts to 'Nip/Tuck'

Thursday, November 17, 2005
04:03 PM PT

Brittany Snow is best known for playing good girl Meg Pryor on the family-friendly NBC series "American Dreams." She's about to shed that image in a big way, at least temporarily.
Snow is set to appear in a multi-episode arc of FX's "Nip/Tuck," playing a girl whose ugly worldview contrasts with her outward appearance. She'll make her debut on the for-grownups-only show Tuesday (Nov. 22) and is scheduled to appear in the next four episodes as well.

Her character, Ariel Alderman, will be the source of further misery for the already deeply disturbed Matt McNamara (John Hensley). Matt begins dating her, and her racist beliefs -- in Tuesday's episode, she compares plastic surgery to work done by Nazis -- lead him into a deeper hole.

This comes, of course, after he found out at the end of last season that the woman he loved had previously been a man, on top of numerous other calamities.
Prior to "American Dreams," Snow appeared on the CBS soap opera "The Guiding Light" for three years. She co-starred in the feature film "The Pacifier" earlier this year and will appear in the feature comedy "John Tucker Must Die," which
Thursday, November 17th, 2005
9:47 pm
danny devito, has joined the cast of "its always sunny in philadelphia"
Tuesday, November 8th, 2005
8:30 pm
Nip/Tuck's Matt: Is He The Carver?
by Anthony Layser

John Hensley

When Nip/Tuck premiered on FX three years ago, the character of Matt McNamara, played by John Hensley, was your regular high-school student. Since then, things have become a bit more... complicated. Last season he was involved in an affair with his life coach, Ava, a woman twice his age. Next he discovered that his father's business partner is actually his biological dad. Then he found out Ava was once a man. (And you thought finding a date to the prom was stressful!) TVGuide.com recently caught up with the closely shorn actor to get an idea of how things got so out-of-hand.

TVGuide.com: The character of Matt had a pretty tumultuous run there on Nip/Tuck. Do you miss doing scenes that aren't extremely intense?
John Hensley: Quite frankly, I tend to have a hell of a lot more fun with the intense scenes. Part of it is the ability to sink your teeth into the material, but the other thing is that it's all make-believe and it's nice to go to work and have a situation where you can take big risks. Oftentimes, it's in those little moments of risk that things can be discovered.

TVGuide.com: Show creator Ryan Murphy has taken Nip/Tuck's story line to some pretty outlandish extremes. Do you ever have any idea what's in store for Matt before you get the scripts?
Hensley: Not really. Occasionally I'll get a slight indication where the character is going, but when you get eight writers in a room, the story is bound to change from episode to episode.

TVGuide.com: Well, did you know from the start that Ava would eventually be revealed to be transgender?
Hensley: I had no idea. As a matter of fact, we were given that episode one act at a time. I had no clue until I received the third act, so that was a big reveal for me, as well. The only thing I knew about Matt and Ava's relationship was that Matt falls head over heels for her. They told me, "Matt falls for this woman and she will turn out to be this season's villain." I knew that much going in, but I had no idea that Ava would ultimately be revealed to be a former man.

TVGuide.com: Wouldn't Matt have known something was "slightly amiss" considering he was sleeping with Ava?
Hensley: Again, I didn't know [for] the entire second season, so when the reveal did come, what could I do?

TVGuide.com: Did you ever ask the writers about the plausibility?
Hensley: The die was already cast, so what's the point? I did ask some questions, because Christian knew right away that she used to be a man. I asked, "Is this something that Matt's supposed to be into?" Their response to me was that Matt didn't have enough experience with women to know that there was something different; he just thought that's how she was made. Hey, you've got to take what the writers give you.

TVGuide.com: Whose idea was it to have Matt shave his head this season?
Hensley: Well, I know Ryan's been toying with the idea of shaving people's heads since the show began. Though I'm the first recipient of the honor, I'm not the first person who was discussed as being a shaving candidate.

TVGuide.com: Does being bald make the character edgier?
Hensley: Yeah, I suppose so. It takes away a lot of mask. You have nothing but a head there, so you don't have a lot of cover. I honestly don't miss my hair. I feel like when you commit to something, you commit to it — you give what is asked of you. They wrote it in and that's the way it went.

TVGuide.com: Do you know who will end up being revealed as The Carver?
Hensley: To be honest, I really don't know. That said, I can tell you that I feel very strongly that it's not Matt. I think he would make the least sense. There's no accounting for what they might choose to do, but if you watch the trajectory of my character, even though at moments he's been horribly misdirected and misguided, he's just not that type of methodical [killer]. If he ever did anything like that, it would be out of a fit of passion and he probably wouldn't get away with it. Other than that, I think it's wide open. My mom thinks it's Erica, Vanessa Redgrave's character. I'd find it hard to believe it's Sean or Christian, but other than those two, it literally could be anyone.

TVGuide.com: Do you think Ryan Murphy knows who it is at this point?
Hensley: I think he does know. It's like finding out that Ava was a man — my mouth was wide open when I read that, I thought it was brilliant, a great twist and from out of nowhere. But then, if you go back and look over the show, it's not out of nowhere. She had Matt break into the office to steal these mysterious pills she needed. Christian even says to Matt, "Do you have any idea what these are for?" There were all these subtle hints that Ryan had sprinkled over that story line, so when he reveals The Carver, I think there will be all these traceable steps.
Wednesday, November 2nd, 2005
4:35 pm
over there cancelled
LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) FX's war drama "Over There" won't be redeployed for a second season, becoming a casualty of the same thing that causes most shows to be cancelled -- declining ratings.
The cable network took the unusual step Tuesday (Nov. 1) of announcing it wouldn't pick up "Over There," about a squad of inexperienced soldiers in Iraq. Typically networks don't choose to draw attention to shows that are being cancelled.

In explaining the cancellation FX chief John Landgraf takes pains to note that the "beautifully produced, acted, written and directed" show was axed solely due to the realities of the TV business, not for any creative reasons.

"That decision was motivated entirely by 'Over There's' ratings performance and our belief that the numbers were reflective of what the show is about, rather than its quality or entertainment value," Landgraf says. "While are passionately committed to fostering great television, we are an advertiser-supported network, and the size of our audience is vital to our bottom line."
"Over There" averaged 2.1 million viewers over its 13-week run, well below the levels of its other drama series. "Rescue Me" drew 2.8 million viewers per week this summer, while "The Shield" and "Nip/Tuck" each bring in more than 3 million.

After starting strong with an audience of 4.1 million people for its premiere, "Over There" dipped in subsequent weeks. It took a further hit over its final four episodes, when it aired opposite new episodes of highly rated broadcast-network shows like "CSI: NY" and "Law & Order"; during those four weeks it averaged only 1.6 million viewers.

Chris Gerolmo and Steven Bochco created "Over There," which was the first TV series to dramatize a war that was still going on while it aired. Landgraf also has kind words for them and "their immensely talented and dedicated team of collaborators, whose artistry was reflected in each episode."
Friday, October 28th, 2005
2:48 pm
another over there article
'Over There' still top rank

Whether Scream (Erik Palladino) fights on remains to be seen.

Tonight at 10, FX.

The FX series "Over There," the first to dramatize a war still being fought, ends its first season tonight at 10. If it isn't renewed, it won't be because the show failed creatively.

"Over There" goes out as it came in: as a daring, different drama that draws you in, shakes you up and leaves you thinking. Co-executive producer Steven Bochco's recent defection to "Commander in Chief" doesn't bode well for this show's chances, nor does the fact that FX, to this point, has been mum on renewal.

The average audience for "Over There" is 2 million viewers - a marginal but not insignificant number. But if those viewers have been watching faithfully, as I have, they've been seeing a series that makes you lean forward in your chair as you watch, and often slump back in it afterward.

Since the show's opening episodes, when I last reviewed it, things haven't gotten any easier for Sgt. Scream (Erik Palladino) and his "squad of virgins" - raw recruits assigned to the same unit in desolate Iraq. The men and women have bonded and gotten battle-scarred, and every dire situation in which they find themselves has a pulse-quickening tension rare to television. Even the regular characters can be killed at any time. They know it, and so do we.

"The lucky ones live to feel guilty," Scream tells his men tonight after one typically brutal ambush. That's an indictment not of this war, but of war itself - and "Over There" manages to explore conflict without damning this particular one.

Maturing as it progressed, "Over There" made outstanding use of guest appearances by former Bochco stars on "NYPD Blue." Mark-Paul Gosselaar played an embedded TV reporter who was captured by the enemy, who threatened his execution on an Internet TV feed. Scream's squad found and stormed the location - but as they did, one of the kidnappers beheaded the reporter.

In another episode, Currie Graham (the last-season "NYPD" boss) played a medic with a death wish. Before that hour was over, his wish was granted - when he punctuated a tense confrontation by killing himself.

Regular squad members dealt with their respective demons, whether recovering from injuries, fearing or reacting to the infidelity of spouses back home, or doing their best to achieve and survive each week's assigned objective. Everything was presented boldly, including the unprecedented decision to end, rather than begin, each week's show with the theme song.

I want these soldiers to survive, and I want them to be happier. If they don't return for a second shift on FX, I'll think a lot about what might have happened to them. That alone should be enough for renewal - but if it's not, everyone involved with "Over There" can pack it up with pride.

Originally published on October 26, 2005
i got this article off of nydaily news site...

article by David Bianculli
Wednesday, October 26th, 2005
11:56 am
over there
Provocative 'Over There' didn't go over big here
By Bill Keveney, USA TODAY
FX's groundbreaking Iraq War drama, Over There, appears likely to become a casualty of low ratings.

FX’s Over There, which depicts U.S. soldiers fighting in Iraq, has lost viewers. The show’s fate is still up in the air.

As the critically acclaimed series — the first to depict an ongoing war — heads into its first-season finale tonight (10 ET/PT), its young-adult audience substantially trails those of other FX dramas, including The Shield, Nip/Tuck and Rescue Me.

The cable series premiered to more than 4 million viewers after a wave of publicity resulting from speculation about public backlash and the involvement of noted producer Steven Bochco, who created the series with Chris Gerolmo.

But the numbers tailed off to fewer than 2 million, and the young adults prized by advertisers dropped to close to 1 million for later episodes. The series follows a group of Army soldiers in Iraq and their families at home.

Despite the ratings, FX president John Landgraf says he remains proud of Over There and hasn't made a final decision about its future. "I feel really good about it creatively. It's a tough show and at times a very darkly truthful show," he says.

"Chris and Steven did a really good job of developing their characters over the long haul. The last run of episodes is quite moving," Landgraf says. But "the ratings are probably below the level of sustainability from our standpoint."

Some viewers might not have wanted to see more of a war that already was covered heavily in the news, Landgraf and others say.

"I think the obvious point is people are fed up with the war and don't want it in their living room," says Jonathan Taplin, a professor at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication. He says FX should be proud of the series' human perspective, which he finds missing from much news coverage.

Bochco and Gerolmo put a face on the war, says co-executive producer Nelson McCormick, who served in the Air Force. "Whenever you read a story about more U.S. deaths in Iraq, if you ever stop to ask, 'Who are these people?' that's the question that we wanted to answer," he says.

McCormick says some friends stopped watching because of the intensity, but the series could not be softened without betraying its vision. He says the 13-show season, which concludes with an open-ended episode, might be better appreciated over time.

Over There, which premiered in July, also might have been hurt by bumping into the fall broadcast season. It went up against new episodes of CSI: NY, Law & Order and Invasion in its final weeks, says Brad Adgate of the ad-buying firm Horizon Media.

The series usually avoided taking a political stand on the war, which might be a reason there has been no large backlash, McCormick says. Not all have liked the show, but he and Landgraf say the feedback has been largely positive.

A man, while serving in Iraq, "said his conversations with his family were two minutes long. Once his family started watching the show, their conversations became 45 minutes long, because it provided context to talk about stuff," Landgraf says.

Thursday, October 13th, 2005
9:41 pm
its always sunny in philly...
LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) FX has made a Sophie's choice with its two comedy series, opting to bring one back for a second season and canceling the other.
"It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" received the pickup, getting a 13-episode order for its second season after seven episodes this summer. The show is the first original comedy series to earn a second season on the cable network -- which, it should be noted, hasn't tried comedy that much in the past.

The controversial "Starved," meanwhile, won't extend its run past this season. The series, which was created by and starred Eric Schaeffer, drew protests from eating-disorder groups upon its debut -- Schaeffer played an anorexic/compulsive overeater and member of an eating-disorder support group -- but the reason for its cancellation came down to numbers.

FX was happy with both shows creatively, but "It's Always Sunny" fared somewhat better with audiences, averaging 1.14 million viewers during its run, which included a midstream switch from Thursday to Tuesday nights. "Starved" brought in just over a million viewers per week. Neither show got a huge marketing push, as FX was also launching its Iraq war drama "Over There" around the same time.
"It's Always Sunny" stars Charlie Day, Rob McElhenney, Glenn Howerton and Kaitlin Olson as four friends who own a bar in the title city. McElhenney created the show, and he Day and Howerton all serve as writers and executive producers.

FX is developing a handful of other comedy projects as potential companions for "It's Always Sunny."
Friday, September 30th, 2005
8:58 pm
forest joins the shield

I've gotten a bunch of emails in recent days about those promos FX is Chiklis running for the next season of "The Shield,'' the ones suggesting that the season (which starts in January) is the "beginning of the end.''

Despite that ominous tagline, FX folk say that doesn't necessarily mean the fifth season of the show will be its last. Still, five years is a healthy
run on cable, there is no deal in place for a sixth season and creator Shawn Ryan has a high-profile new series -- "The Unit'' -- scheduled on CBS for mid-season. Plus Forest Whitaker ("Panic Room'') has signed on to play an Internal Affairs detective assigned to take down Vic Mackey's (Michael Chiklis, above) band of rouges.


Saturday, September 24th, 2005
10:56 am
rescue me
so what did everybody think of the rescue me finale?

i thought it was pretty good.

any other opinions
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