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“Mad Men” is my favorite show in current rotation. It just ended its best season so far. So I figure now is as good a time as any to list my favorite shows of all time.
Most have come and gone. One I’m actually not done catching up on (I’m only up to season 4 on “The Shield” but it’s so freaking good.) And I’m including “Mad Men” even though it could take a nose dive next season, for all I know. “True Blood” lost its place on the list thanks to season 3. But it has time to recover. “House” is so bad this season I’m almost embarrassed to admit it might’ve ever made my list. “In Treatment” has only had two season and this new one, starting on Monday, will be the key to its future list potential.
I’m not including reality TV shows, but if I were, “Project Runway” and “The Bachelor” would have to be on the list.
Here’s the lineup:
1. Northern Exposure
2. Father Ted
3. Six Feet Under
4. Arrested Development
5. Fawlty Towers
6. Monty Python’s Flying Circus
7. The Office (original British version)
8. Mad Men
9. South Park
10. The Kids in the Hall
11. Twin Peaks
12. The X-Files (that last season almost killed it for me)
13. The Prisoner (the original, although I still don’t think I could tell you what happened)
16. The Shield
18. The Golden Girls
19. The Wonder Years
This is one big honkin’ press release. It doesn’t include any new “Bachelorette” details or anything, but if you like ABC shows it’s worth a scroll.
ABC ANNOUNCES MAY SWEEPS PROGRAMMING, INCLUDING THE HIGHLY ANTICIPATED SERIES FINALE OF “LOST” AND THE SEASON PREMIERE OF “THE BACHELORETTE”
The ABC Television Network announces highlights of its upcoming May sweeps programming, with finales of some of television’s biggest hits, including the groundbreaking series finale of “Lost” and the season premiere of “The Bachelorette.”
FLASHFORWARD — “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” – Janis continues to thwart her fellow FBI agents as an inside mole to a mysterious employer; Olivia is given some disturbing news by Gabriel (James Callis, Gaius Baltar on “Battlestar Galactica”), who has been subjected to numerous flashforwards; and Aaron’s life is in danger in Afghanistan when he tries to blend in with the locals as he continues his search for his daughter, on “FlashForward,” THURSDAY, APRIL 29 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET).
GREY’S ANATOMY — “Hook, Line and Sinner” – Sloan returns to Mark’s apartment, just as she’s going into labor, and Teddy, Mark and the still-fighting Callie and Arizona are there to help with the birth and to get Mark through his grandson’s pending adoption. Meanwhile Teddy sees Derek’s invitation to illustrious cardiothoracic surgeon Tom Evans’ as a threat to her future employment at the hospital, and the team work on a crab boat captain who has been stabbed with a giant shark hook, on “Grey’s Anatomy,” THURSDAY, APRIL 29 (9:00-10:01 p.m., ET).
PRIVATE PRACTICE — “War” – After Violet files for joint custody of Lucas, an embittered Pete voraciously fights back by hiring a tough attorney for the trial, forcing their fellow friends and co-workers to choose sides and have their personal lives dragged onto the stand and into the public eye, on “Private Practice,” THURSDAY, APRIL 29 (10:01-11:00 p.m., ET). Guest stars include Caterina Scorsone as Amelia Shepherd and Frances Fisher as Ruby Broome.
WIFE SWAP — “Schroeder/Wardle” – An artistic Goth family that encourages the kids to talk to the dead swaps with a family of hockey fanatics that doesn’t hesitate to call kids losers when they play badly, on “Wife Swap,” FRIDAY, APRIL 30 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET). Each week two very contradictory families from across the country participate in a two-week-long challenge: The wives exchange husbands, children and lives (but not bedrooms) to discover daily life in another woman’s shoes. This astonishing experiment repeatedly changes lives and redefines families.
WIFE SWAP — “Adams/Hess” – A reptile and animal-obsessed family with no rules or fashion sense swap with a strict family who can’t stand animals and say that “fashion is more important than air,” on “Wife Swap,” FRIDAY, APRIL 30 (9:00-10:00 p.m., ET). Each week two very contradictory families from across the country participate in a two-week-long challenge: The wives exchange husbands, children and lives (but not bedrooms) to discover daily life in another woman’s shoes. This astonishing experiment repeatedly changes lives and redefines families.
AMERICA’S FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS – “Episode 2022” — This season’s three $100,000 prize winners compete for the Grand Prize, on “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” SUNDAY, MAY 2 (7:00-8:00 p.m., ET). The final three videos: “Laser Chasers,” a Great Dane and a toddler are equally obsessed with a laser pointer; “Boogie Baby,” a baby rocks out with a musical doll; and “The Great Escape,” Junior the Chihuahua leads an escape from the utility room. The episode features footage shot at the Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida, at Epcot® and the Magic Kingdom® Park. Tom Bergeron is host.
EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION — “Carr family” – “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” travels to rural Mineola, TX, to meet Katrina and Mike Carr and their four adopted children (who are from Kazakhstan and were abandoned at birth), an inspiring family who strive every day to overcome severe physical challenges while living in a cramped and dangerous home. This is a Texas-sized opportunity to give back to a family who have become models of spirit and resilience. Comedian, actor, producer and author Bill Engvall is the “Get on the Bus” volunteer, while Bethany Hamilton, a surfer famous for losing her arm in a shark attack, spends time with the Carrs on their vacation, on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” SUNDAY, MAY 2 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET).
DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES — “A Little Night Music” – Angie comes face to face with her ex, Patrick Logan (John Barrowman), after years on the run, SUNDAY, MAY 2 (9:00-10:01 p.m., ET) on “Desperate Housewives.” Meanwhile, Gaby and Susan plan an elaborate scheme against their husbands, Lynette sees a darker side of Eddie, and Bree meets a woman who knows Sam all too well.
BROTHERS & SISTERS – “Love All” – The Walkers seem to all be going through an adjustment period: Cooper acts out against Sarah as Luc becomes a member of the family, Justin has trouble finding the same passion for medicine he had while serving in Iraq, and Kevin struggles with his newfound unemployed status, on “Brothers & Sisters,” SUNDAY, MAY 2 (10:01-11:00 p.m., ET).
ROMANTICALLY CHALLENGED — “Perry and Rebecca’s High School Reunion” – When it’s time for Rebecca and Perry to go back to their high school reunion, Rebecca is ready to confront Jesse, the guy who publicly humiliated her by standing her up at the senior prom. But Perry knows the real reason why she was stood up and tells a preposterous lie to keep Rebecca from discovering the truth. Meanwhile, avid hockey fan Shawn is devastated when he finds out that the local cable company won’t be carrying the championship games. When he learns further that Lisa’s friend, Vanessa, has the games on her cable station, he has to hide his real motive for romancing Vanessa from both women, on “Romantically Challenged,” MONDAY, MAY 3 (9:32-10:00 p.m., ET).
CASTLE — “Food to Die For” — A high profile chef is found frozen in the kitchen of a hot New York restaurant. Complications ensue when Castle and the restaurant owner, an old high school girlfriend of Beckett’s, share an attraction. Meanwhile, Beckett’s relationship with Detective Demming (Michael Trucco) continues to grow, on “Castle,” MONDAY, MAY 3 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET). Rocco Dispirito, a fan of the dead chef and a fan of Castle’s books, guest stars in the episode.
LOST — “The Candidate ” — Jack must decide whether or not to trust Locke after he is asked to follow through on a difficult task, on “Lost,” TUESDAY, MAY 4 (9:00-10:02 p.m., ET)
V – “Hearts and Minds” — Erica, Ryan, Father Jack and Hobbes learn that Anna has sent a V shuttle with a deadly V tracker team to find them, and must figure out how to stop the shuttle from landing. Meanwhile, Anna gives Tyler his invitation to the Live Aboard Program, and Chad confronts Father Jack on what he knows about The Fifth Column, on “V,” TUESDAY, MAY 4 (10:02-11:00 p.m., ET).
THE MIDDLE — “Mother’s Day” – Mother’s Day for Frankie is anything but serene when she finds herself doing more for Mike and the kids and less for herself. But she learns that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree when she escapes the family for a few hours to go to her mom’s (Marsha Mason, “The Goodbye Girl,” “Chapter Two”) and ends up acting like a child by making her mom wait on her hand and foot. Meanwhile, Sue feels guilty when she shoplifts a motivational magnet whose message actually enticed her to steal it, on “The Middle,” WEDNESDAY, MAY 5 (8:30-9:00 p.m., ET). Marsha Mason guest stars as Frankie’s mom, Pat.
MODERN FAMILY — “Airport 2010” – For Jay’s birthday, Gloria gives him the best surprise, a romantic birthday getaway to Hawaii. The only kicker is that she invited the entire family along. Everyone arrives at the airport, and it’s a maddening scene with forgotten I.D.’s, security breaches and flying phobias, on “Modern Family,” WEDNESDAY, MAY 5 (9:00-9:30 p.m., ET).
COUGAR TOWN — “Feel a Whole Lot Better” – Jules and Grayson consider the notion of FWB, friends with benefits. Meanwhile Andy hires a nanny for Ellie, and Travis benefits from Bobby’s unconventional plans to make some extra cash, on “Cougar Town,” WEDNESDAY, MAY 5 (9:30-10:01 p.m., ET).
HAPPY TOWN – “I Came to Haplin for the Waters” – Shaken by a grisly murder at the local pond and his father’s bizarre, self-inflicted injury, Deputy Tommy Conroy reluctantly accepts the title of Sherriff bestowed on him by town matriarch Peggy Haplin. However Tommy’s shocking discovery of Jerry Friddle’s murderer forces him to keep yet another of the town’s secrets with mixed emotions. Meanwhile, Henley appears to know a lot more about Haplin’s dark side than she’s letting on – drawing Merritt Grieves closer – but she’s determined to get access to the forbidden third-floor room of the mysterious boarding house, no matter what it takes, on “Happy Town,” WEDNESDAY, MAY 5 (10:01-11:00 p.m., ET).
FLASHFORWARD — “Course Correction” – Demetri and Agent Banks (Alex Kingston) attempt to track down a killer as questions arise about the universe course-correcting itself, when people who thought they’d escaped their fates are found dead; Mark reluctantly agrees to help Simon find his sister, Annabelle, but discovers he’s withholding the truth about her true circumstances; the FBI discovers the identity of Suspect Zero; and Nicole learns the whereabouts of Keiko – the woman in Bryce’s flashforward – but struggles with whether to share this information, due to her growing feelings for him, on “FlashForward,” THURSDAY, MAY 6 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET). James Callis guest stars as Gabriel.
GREY’S ANATOMY — “How Insensitive” – Bailey preps the team with a mandatory sensitivity training prior to admitting a 700-pound patient with compounded medical issues, and the case proves to be challenging in every sense. Meanwhile Derek has to come face to face with a former patient’s husband in a wrongful death deposition, and spending time with a heart patient’s daughter opens up some old wounds for Cristina, on “Grey’s Anatomy,” THURSDAY, MAY 6 (9:00-10:01 p.m., ET).
PRIVATE PRACTICE — “In the Name of Love” – Naomi puts Fife in a conflicted position when she begs him to help William’s advanced ALS with his still experimental treatment. Meanwhile Violet and Amelia (Guest star Caterina Scorsone) treat a woman with a brain tumor who has to choose between life or quality of life, and Sheldon decides to officially throw his hat into the ring for Charlotte’s affections, on “Private Practice,” THURSDAY, MAY 6 (10:01-11:00 p.m., ET).
WIFE SWAP — “Beauvais/Clayton” – A successful family of inventors and entrepreneurs living their dreams swap with a family who, despite becoming unemployed, maintain a cheerful outlook while struggling to live in a trailer park on a low income, on “Wife Swap,” FRIDAY, MAY 7 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET). Each week two very contradictory families from across the country participate in a two-week-long challenge: The wives exchange husbands, children and lives (but not bedrooms) to discover daily life in another woman’s shoes. This astonishing experiment repeatedly changes lives and redefines families.
AMERICA’S FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS – “Episode 2023” — Part One of a two-part series — “America’s Funniest Home Videos” counts down to “the 20 videos that changed the world” – features the funniest and most unique videos the show has received in its two decades on television, on “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” SUNDAY, MAY 9 (7:00-8:00 p.m., ET). The top video, to be named in the season finale, will win the entrant a cruise for four anywhere in the world that Disney Cruise Line sets sail (with choices including the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Mexican Riviera and Alaska), between June 2010 through September 2011. Tom Bergeron is host. The episode includes footage shot aboard the Disney Magic on an Eastern Caribbean cruise.
EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION — “Starkweather family” – In this special story for Mother’s Day, “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” travels to Tulsa, OK, to meet Toen and Amy Starkweather, whose nine-year-old son, Ethan, suffers from a rare disorder called Prader-Willi syndrome. This incurable disease causes low muscle tone, labored speech, troubled breathing and a malfunctioning hypothalamus, which results in extreme and constant hunger. Because Ethan requires 24-hour care, the mounting list of necessary home repairs has been left on the back burner. The Starkweathers’ small home is very old, riddled with foundation, electrical and plumbing problems, and is barely accessible for Ethan. Also in the episode, the Make-a-Wish foundation will have a special guest on hand — aspiring interior designer Callie London, 11, of Farmington, UT, who suffers from cystic fibrosis. Callie’s wish to do a makeover on a kid’s room will come to life as she works with Paul DiMeo in designing Ethan’s new bedroom. Lilith Tour 2010 artists Sheryl Crow and Miranda Lambert are the “Get on the Bus” volunteers working and singing, while Sarah McLachlan also delivers a special message to the family, on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” SUNDAY, MAY 9 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET).
DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES — “The Ballad of Booth” – Lynette comes to a shocking realization about Eddie, on “Desperate Housewives,” SUNDAY, MAY 9 (9:00-10:01 p.m., ET). Meanwhile, Angie discreetly relies on Gaby for help when Patrick threatens the life of her son, Bree offers Sam a generous payoff to walk away, and Susan and Mike’s financial woes result in the ultimate sacrifice.
BROTHERS & SISTERS — “Lights Out” – The Walkers are heartbroken as they prepare to shut the doors of Ojai Foods for good, but new opportunities and secret alliances develop as a result of the family’s loss, on “Brothers & Sisters,” SUNDAY, MAY 9 (10:01-11:00 p.m., ET).
CASTLE — “Overkill” — A robbery-homicide prompts Beckett to invite Demming to assist on a case, giving Castle a ringside seat to their budding romance. When it becomes clear that the two men have very different ideas about how to proceed, the investigation becomes an unspoken competition for Beckett’s attention. With each of them racing to be the first to solve the case, Beckett must referee between her two admirers, on “Castle,” MONDAY, MAY 10 (10:02-11:00 p.m., ET).
LOST — “Across the Sea” — TUESDAY, MAY 11 (9:00-10:02 p.m., ET). Copy TBD.
V — “Fruition” – After a violent attack on someone very close to Anna, she delivers a message that the Vs don’t feel safe and will be leaving; and Anna also gives a list of possible Fifth Column members to Chad, hoping he’ll investigate to help in finding them. Meanwhile, Erica and the team try to track down a scientist who may have created a weapon that the Visitors are afraid of, on “V,” TUESDAY, MAY 11 (10:02-11:00 p.m., ET).
THE MIDDLE — “Signals” – The Heck family BBQ is being planned as spring rolls around, and Mike decides it’s time for him and Brick to try to be more social at the event, since Frankie has pointed out that Mike’s own social ineptness has been passed on to Brick. Meanwhile, Axl sets out to clean the family pool to entice the girls to stop by for a swim — in their bikinis — and Sue finally finds someone who totally understands her, church youth group leader Reverend TimTom. But when she learns he may be leaving the parish due to budget cuts, she tries to raise money to help finance his stay, on “The Middle,” WEDNESDAY, MAY 12 (8:30-9:00 p.m., ET).
MODERN FAMILY — “Hawaii” – Jay could not be happier to do nothing but relax in this tropical paradise, but an unexpected reality check dampens his plans. Meanwhile, Phil is determined to make this trip romantic for Claire, Mitchell and Cameron have opposing views on whether to sightsee or not to sightsee, and the kids get into a little bit of mischief when left to their own devices, on “Modern Family,” WEDNESDAY, MAY 12 (9:00-9:30 p.m., ET).
COUGAR TOWN — “Breakdown” – Jules encourages Travis to submit a graduation speech, on “Cougar Town,” WEDNESDAY, MAY 12 (9:30-10:01 p.m., ET). Despite Grayson’s warning, a curious Jules reads the speech without permission and is crushed when she finds she has not been acknowledged. Meanwhile, Ellie uncharacteristically does something nice for Laurie, and Bobby tries to restrain himself from embarrassing Travis on his big day.
HAPPY TOWN — “Polly Wants a Crack at Her” – An ominous fearsome hawk soars over Haplin‘s unsuspecting residents as the Thaw Fest celebration is about to start. Tommy must walk a precarious line when it comes to Friddle’s murder, as a state investigator moves in to assist him. Andrew Haplin, still upset over girlfriend Georgia’s assault, exacts revenge on the person he believes to be the perpetrator — and pays for the consequences. Meanwhile, when Henley is a victim of a bizarre car accident, a handsome stranger not only comes to her rescue but lures her into a surprising, sensual relationship. And when Thaw Fest finally arrives, it comes with chilling and tragic consequences, on “Happy Town,” WEDNESDAY, MAY 12 (10:01-11:00 p.m., ET).
FLASHFORWARD — “The Negotiation” – It’s April 28 – the day before the prophesized flashforward date – and as the world waits to see if their future visions will come true, Mark must do everything in his power to protect Gabriel (James Callis, “Battlestar Galactica”), who is the bridge between Dyson Frost and the Global Blackout; Aaron locates his daughter’s captors and puts his life on the line in order to rescue her; Janis is tasked with killing a fellow agent; and Simon comes face to face with the head of the nefarious organization that may be responsible for the blackout, on “FlashForward,” THURSDAY,
MAY 13 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET). Guest stars include Gabrielle Union as Zoey and Annabeth Gish as Lita.
GREY’S ANATOMY — “Shiny Happy People” – An elderly patient admitted into the E.R. for a heart condition sees a familiar face, a long lost love who happens to be in the E.R. as well for a fractured arm, and the staff find themselves caught up in their love story. Meanwhile, Karev treats a troubled teenage patient (guest star Demi Lovato) whose parents brought her in for schizophrenia, and Meredith can’t help but tell Cristina about her suspicions of Owen — which inevitably messes with Cristina’s head — on “Grey’s Anatomy,” THURSDAY, MAY 13 (9:00-10:01 p.m., ET). Marion Ross guest stars as Betty.
PRIVATE PRACTICE — “The End of a Beautiful Friendship” – Maya and her unborn baby are fighting for their lives on the operating table, and Addison, Amelia (Guest star Caterina Scorsone) and Fife try everything humanly possible to save them. Meanwhile, Sam operates on an incoming crash victim and later makes a grim discovery, Cooper makes an ill-timed but valiant effort with Charlotte, and the staff’s world is rocked by an unexpected death, on the SEASON FINALE of “Private Practice,” THURSDAY, MAY 13 (10:01-11:00 p.m., ET).
WIFE SWAP — “Haller-Wren/Spencer” – A macho family of football players who expect their trophy wife mom to serve their every need swap lives with a happy hippie family whose feminist mom believes in breaking accepted gender roles, on “Wife Swap,” FRIDAY, MAY 14 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET). Each week two very contradictory families from across the country participate in a two-week-long challenge: The wives exchange husbands, children and lives (but not bedrooms) to discover daily life in another woman’s shoes. This astonishing experiment repeatedly changes lives and redefines families.
AMERICA’S FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS – “Episode 2024” — In part two of a two-part series — the top videos “that changed the world!” – the funniest, the strangest, most unusual video the show has received in its two decades on television is revealed, on the SEASON FINALE of “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” SUNDAY, MAY 16 (7:00-8:00 p.m., ET). The top video will win the entrant a cruise for four anywhere in the world that Disney Cruise Line sets sail (with choices including the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Mexican Riviera and Alaska), between June 2010 through September 2011. Tom Bergeron is the host. The season finale includes footage shot aboard the Disney Magic on an Eastern Caribbean cruise.
EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION — “Williams family” – In the SEASON FINALE, “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” travels to Pine Mountain Valley, GA, to meet Jeremy and Jennifer Williams, whose son, Jacob, was diagnosed with Spina Bifida before he was born. Then, several years after Jacob’s birth, Jeremy was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease. The home Jeremy and Jennifer bought 13 years ago is falling apart around them; in addition to mounting repairs, the home is too small to accommodate two disabled family members. NFL Super Star Michael Oher and the Tuohy Family (“The Blind Side”) are the “Get on the Bus” volunteers, while ESPN football analysts Herm Edwards, Mark Schlereth, Mark May and Desmond Howard are special guests, plus Demi Lovato (sings) and Wilmer Valderrama (with “Handy Manny”) also make appearances, SUNDAY, MAY 16
(8:00-9:00 p.m., ET).
DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES — “I Guess This is Goodbye” – As a season of mysteries are resolved, new ones emerge on the explosive SEASON FINALE of “Desperate Housewives,” SUNDAY, MAY 16 (9:00-10:01 p.m., ET). Gaby risks her safety to help Angie, the fates of Lynette and her unborn child lie in Eddie’s hands, Susan comes to grips with her financial woes, Bree considers confessing a secret she’s harbored for years, and Angie must submit to Patrick’s demands in order to protect her son.
BROTHERS & SISTERS — “On the Road Again” – As the Walkers try to cope with the sadness and financial ruin that lingers as a result of the closure of Ojai Foods, they discover a small ray of hope in one of William Walker’s many secret investments. Meanwhile, Robert’s health and the safety of his family are compromised when he finds himself in way over his head in a subversive business deal, and newlyweds Justin and Rebecca consider a trial separation, on the SEASON FINALE of “Brothers & Sisters,” SUNDAY, MAY 16 (10:01-11:00 p.m., ET).
CASTLE – “A Deadly Game” – In the SEASON FINALE, nothing is as it seems when Castle and Beckett investigate what appears to be the assassination of an intelligence operative. Meanwhile, Beckett’s romance with Demming threatens her relationship with Castle, forcing them to confront their feelings for each other, on “Castle,” MONDAY, MAY 17 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET). Guest stars include Stephen J. Cannell, Michael Connelly and James Patterson as themselves.
LOST — “What They Died For” — TUESDAY, MAY 18 (9:00-10:02 p.m., ET). Copy TBD.
V — In the SEASON FINALE, “Red Sky,” the episode opens with the V soldier still on the hunt for Val, whose water breaks and whose baby (with Ryan) will soon be born. Meanwhile Erica, tired of being on the defensive, decides to go on the offensive: She gets herself and Tyler invited up to the Mothership for a get-to-know-everyone-better dinner, but she has more than food on her mind; she’s really there to find Anna’s soldiers and destroy them. And Chad, after Father Jack asks him to help get a message on the ship to Joshua, discovers the awful truth that Anna’s been using him, on “V,” TUESDAY, MAY 18 (10:02-11:00 p.m., ET).
THE MIDDLE — “Average Rules” – After attending year-end school parent-teacher conferences, Frankie and Mike are shocked to discover that Brick may be held back from going to the third grade because the school librarian, Mrs. Nethercott (Guest star Betty White), has it out for him due to his 31 unreturned books. Meanwhile, as Axl’s aptitude test results reveal that he’s academically gifted, Frankie makes it her mission to get an overlooked Sue the recognition she deserves when her teachers don’t even realize she’s in their classes, on the SEASON FINALE of “The Middle,” WEDNESDAY, MAY 19 (8:30-9:00 p.m., ET).
MODERN FAMILY — “Family Portrait” – Claire painstakingly plans for a new family portrait to be taken, but it seems everything and everyone is working against her. Meanwhile Gloria and Manny go with Phil and Alex to a Lakers game and end up having a very awkward moment on the jumbotron, Luke interviews Jay for a school project, and Cameron gets a wedding singer gig while Mitchell is home alone with Lily and a wayward pigeon, on the SEASON FINALE of “Modern Family,” WEDNESDAY, MAY 19 (9:00-9:30 p.m., ET). Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant Makes a Cameo Appearance.
COUGAR TOWN — “Finding Out” – Jules and Grayson hatch an elaborate plan to break the news to Bobby they’re dating, and Travis sees the wrath of a truly angry woman for the first time when he forgets his momentous seven-month anniversary with Kylie, on the SEASON FINALE of “Cougar Town,” WEDNESDAY, MAY 19 (9:30-10:01 p.m., ET).
HAPPY TOWN — “Slight of Hand” – When Rachel Conroy mysteriously vanishes, an eerie cloud settles over Haplin, as clues point to the return of the elusive Magic Man. Surprisingly, Tommy finds an unlikely ally while desperately searching for his wife. Meanwhile, Handsome Dan announces he has to leave Haplin, then unexpectedly turns up elsewhere. Henley manages to get her stolen property back from Greggy Stiviletto and uses it to blackmail a member of Haplin’s powerful “first” family. Finally, Tommy investigates some gruesome evidence that ironically could mean good news for many of Haplin’s families, on “Happy Town,” WEDNESDAY, MAY 19 (10:01-11:00 p.m., ET).
FLASHFORWARD – “Countdown” — TUESDAY, MAY 25 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET). Copy TBD.
GREY’S ANATOMY — “Sanctuary” – In the first hour (9:00-10:00 p.m., ET) of a two-hour SEASON FINALE, Seattle Grace Hospital is hit with a crisis like no other in its history, on “Grey’s Anatomy,” THURSDAY, MAY 20. In the second hour (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET), “Death and All His Friends,” Cristina and Meredith’s surgical skills are put to the ultimate test. Mandy Moore (“A Walk to Remember”) guest stars.
WIFE SWAP — “Herrington/Trevino” – A clean-cut family who perform a wholesome variety show swap with a rules-free family of low-riders who let their girls wear and say anything they want, on “Wife Swap,” FRIDAY, MAY 21 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET). Each week two very contradictory families from across the country participate in a two-week-long challenge: The wives exchange husbands, children and lives (but not bedrooms) to discover daily life in another woman’s shoes. This astonishing experiment repeatedly changes lives and redefines families.
LOST RECAP SPECIAL — ABC offers new and avid “Lost” viewers a final glance at one of television’s most talked about and critically acclaimed shows. The “Lost” Series Finale Event begins with a two-hour special that takes a look back over the past six seasons of this groundbreaking series. “Lost Recap Special” airs SUNDAY, MAY 23 (7:00-9:00 p.m., ET).
LOST – “The End” — SERIES FINALE, SUNDAY, MAY 23 (9:00-11:00 p.m., ET). Copy TBD.
“JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE” — Throughout sweeps, Jimmy Kimmel hosts an all-star lineup of guests including, Mickey Rourke, Samuel L. Jackson, Don Cheadle, Ryan Phillippe, Michael Douglas, Josh Holloway, Jake Gyllenhaal, Teri Hatcher and Courtney Love, and will also have the first interview with the winner of “Dancing with the Stars.” In addition, after the final episode of “LOST,” longtime fan Jimmy will host an hour-long analysis of and farewell to one of television’s most beloved series, with appearances from executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, alternate endings, and live interviews with cast members, SUNDAY, MAY 23 (11:35 p.m. – 12:35 a.m.). The month of May also brings musical performances from Hole, Stone Temple Pilots, Tim McGraw Godsmack, Angels and Airwaves, Dirty Heads, Slayer, Damian Marley with Nas and Massive Attack, who are making their only U.S. TV appearance. “Jimmy Kimmel Live” airs MONDAY-FRIDAY (12:05 a.m. – 1:05 a.m., ET).
THE BACHELORETTE – Ali Fedotowsky has finally decided to risk it all for love. The energetic and charismatic career-oriented woman from San Francisco has re-prioritized her life – and now love comes out on top. She will have her own opportunity to find her soul mate when the sixth edition of “The Bachelorette” PREMIERES MONDAY, MAY 24 (9:00-11:00 p.m., ET), and moves to its regular time slot (8:00-10:02 p.m., ET) on Monday, May 31
Ali, 25, has been a fan favorite from the moment she stepped out of the limo with her sexy raspy voice and a peacock feather to meet Jake Pavelka on the last season of “The Bachelor.” She became the front-runner for Jake’s heart, but instead they found themselves in a heartbreaking situation when she made a gut-wrenching decision to choose a job she loved over the man she loved. Ali made the surprising safe choice to go back to work, but regretted it immediately. By the time she sorted out her work affairs, Jake had already moved on with his search for love with the three fabulous women who stayed with him, and he did not allow Ali to return. But it’s not too late for Ali now. Admitting that she made one of the biggest mistakes of her life, she has let go of everything this time – her apartment, her job, her stability – to really make a life-changing commitment to put her heart first.
DANCING WITH THE STARS – 1010A” — SEASON FINALE airs on TUESDAY, MAY 25 (9:00-
11:00 p.m., ET).
By Gina Carbone
It’s the first day of spring and neither “Mad Men” nor “True Blood” is actually in season, so to speak.
There was a time when that would’ve stopped you from catching up. Not anymore.
In this lovely age of DVD and On Demand you can rent almost any show at any time, whether it has been off the air for years or not returning for several months. And sometimes at your local library FOR FREE!
So you have no excuse but to catch up on these 15 shows, which are my current faves.
I’m only including series that are still running — so no “Northern Exposure,” “Six Feet Under” and “Father Ted,” which are my three favorite shows of all time.
Warning: I do love reality TV, including the heavy cheese, as #3 here will attest.
15.”Saturday Night Live”
It’s not always good. It’s never consistent. This is far from the best season. And yet there are plenty of reasons to stay up for SNL every week, even now. There’s Jason Sudeikis in every skit, but especially dancing in his red track suit on Kenan Thompson’s “What Up With That?” BET show. If you watched Taylor Swift’s monologue, Jon Hamm’s “Sergio!” skit or any of Andy Samberg’s Digital Shorts, you were prepared for the Sunday Internet watercooler chatter. If you missed them, you missed out. And I defy you to find a more perfect thing to watch at 1 a.m. than this potato chip skit with Blake Lively.
14. “The Tudors”
This show ticks me off almost as much as it excites me. I’m still frustrated about the casting of beautiful Joss Stone as the “unattractive” Anne of Cleves. But there are just too many things that I love about it. (Starting with Henry Cavill.) I have always been a Tudor-phile and this is a rich, colorful, sexy, vibrant world to dive into. It’s a history lesson CW-style, but with Showtime sex and violence. We’re getting to the end years for Henry VIII (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) and the fourth and final season starts April 11. I can’t wait to see this world come alive again. Long live the king.
13. “Project Runway”
My friend Trinh still finds it hard to believe I like “Project Runway,” since my fashion sense consists of wearing the same Walmart clothes I’ve had for 5-10 years — and Payless shoes. But I love the challenges on “Runway” — take a potato sack and make an evening gown. Go to the supermarket and use corn husks to make a cocktail dress. Use newspapers to make pants. It’s not just clothes, it’s art. I’m addicted to seeing creativity in action and that’s the show. I can’t even sew a button onto a jacket correctly (as my jackets know too well) but I find myself imagining how I would approach the challenges. It gets me thinking about color and fabrics and art supplies differently. It sounds girlie and I’m not usually girlie (then again, I love “The Bachelor” and “Project Runway”) but it’s fun.
Season one was genius. Glenn Close scares the crap out of me and Tate Donovan plays wounded puppy so well. And Ted Danson! His best role in years. It’s not easy to make a corrupt CEO lovable, but he found the right balance of egomania and infectious optimism. Season two was disappointing, but it did manage to find a key role for Timothy Olyphant and for that I will be forever grateful. So far season three is amazing. I was worried it would be too gimmicky with its ripped-from-the-headlines Madoff plot, but it’s working. Very, very well. Props to Campbell Scott and especially Martin Short for playing so far against type. Keep it coming.
11. “Big Love”
I’m worried about “Big Love.” This was one of my favorite shows, but season four was all over the place. Too many plot threads, too many characters. And a Monty Python moment with a severed arm. I still have high hopes for this series and I have invested too much time and energy to give up on it, but GET IT TOGETHER. Please.
10. “Parks and Recreation”
Somewhere along the way, this show got as good as “The Office.” Then, for me, it got better. Mostly because I am not a fan of Jim and Pam and they dominate everything. So done with their smugness. “Parks,” on the other hand, is consistently warm, funny and uncluttered with self-congratulatory shmaltz. Special props to Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson. You will always be my Woman of the Year, man.
I get frustrated with everyone walking around psychoanalyzing everyone else’s reactions, but I’m a loyal Hilson (House + Wilson) fan and I love watching their bromantic banter. Now that we’re past the extended torture of House hiring his new team, and the old team is back in action, I am happy with “House” again. And the medical mysteries are still good after all this time. My friend Lisa has sarcoidosis and we like to see it make cameo appearances — alongside lupus — during the differential diagnosis. I know Wilson’s first wife is coming back into the picture and I am looking forward to House getting jealous, but please don’t break up my favorite couple for long.
8. “30 Rock”
I keep waiting for this show to run out of steam and stop being so sharply funny and on point. Guess I should grab a snack for that wait. Alec Baldwin is still the funniest person on television but the entire cast is right there with him. I laugh out loud — guffaw, really — at least twice an episode and I’ll never turn down a good belly laugh.
Talk about season finales. Every Other Show, please take note: The way “Dexter” ended season four? That’s how it’s done. I can’t wait to see what happens next and that’s the sign of a good show. I get dizzy watching Michael C. Hall (forever part of my “Six Feet Under”
family) run all over the place lying to everyone, but the show always manages to figure out how to balance everything without drowning the important stuff in superfluous plot threads. There was always one overarching storyline tying everything together. That’s smart. Keep doing that and tell “Big Love” about it.
I just get caught up in the drama. Every time. I want to scream at the castaways. Tear my hair out. Vote them out myself. And that’s just for Russell Hantz. Whenever you think you can see exactly where things are going, they take another turn. “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains” is one of my favorite seasons of all time. And it’s the 20th one they’ve done. That’s a good sign for the future … or a good place to stop. But look at the characters they’ve given us, just in this season alone: Evil Russell, Boston Rob, Coach, Colby, JT, Rupert. All brand names, thanks to the show. And that’s without even mentioning Captain Dimples himself, Jeff Probst. The single best host on TV. I mean it!
I’m not one of those Losties who memorizes every little detail and keeps flow charts to catalogue the connections. I’m here for the human element. And the No. 1 human element on this island was, is, and shall always be Terry O’Quinn as John Locke (with or without Smokey). I have never — and I mean never — seen stronger acting from anyone on television than this man as this character in the six seasons of this show. O’Quinn has created an icon and he will be missed when this ends. Michael Emerson, you get the silver medal and on any other show you would be gold. That’s saying something, especially since “Lost” is known mostly for its trippy sci-fi plot, not the strength of its character acting. Humble actors doing crazy things without getting in our faces about it. Love it.
4. “In Treatment”
I don’t blame Gabriel Byrne for getting tired of sitting in that chair all day. That’s tough acting — just sitting there. (I mean it!) But
there is no other show on TV that gets under my skin as much as “In Treatment.” After listening to problems from a divorcing couple, a cancer-stricken college student, a lonely lawyer, an embattled CEO and a troubled teenage gymnast, among others, I turn off the TV and just soak everything in. What do I think is the root of their issues? What would I do? What would I suggest? I’m so glad there will be a third season. This is the most thoughtful and thought-provoking show on television. It hits a nerve and that’s an important part of life.
3. “The Bachelor”/”The Bachelorette”
If this is not your first time glancing at this blog (don’t worry, I’m not really expecting you to hang on every word) you know I am obsessed with the land of Chris Harrison and the most dramatic rose ceremony ever. If you can’t get past the cheese of this beautiful manufactured drama, take a moment and say your goodbyes. I accept this rose. Now and always. Especially for “The Bachelorette.” One woman. 25 guys. Nuff said.
2. “True Blood”
Yes, it’s campy. Yes, it’s soft-core porn. Yes, I’m incredibly grateful for that. Alexander Skarsgard. Ryan Kwanten. Stephen Moyer. Sam Trammell. Nelsan Ellis. Jim Parrack. And a few women. (Kidding. Love ya, Anna Paquin, Carrie Preston, Deborah Ann Woll and
Rutina Wesley.) This is how you tell a vampire story, y’all. Fresh, original, exciting, sexy as HELL YEAH, with the best opening sequence on TV right now. Season one was good. Season two was outstanding, except for the maenad junk. (Eric made up for it. More. Please. Now.) Season three is looking pretty jam-packed and I just hope Alan Ball remembers to stay true to the characters we’ve come to lust over care about. That’d be Eric as No. 1.
1. “Mad Men”
Season three started kind of slow and I was worried the most amazing show on television would slip down my rankings. But it picked up steam and ended with a perfect, caffeinated, plot-heavy episode of “Survivor: Sterling Cooper.” This is a perfect show. So much character development I feel like these people just have to be real. There’s no way Peggy Olson is not an actual person. I expect to find Pete Campbell still wandering around somewhere on the Upper East Side. And the Drapers … well, Don Draper never existed as we know him and Betty Draper is about to become someone else. I cannot wait to see what they do next. Literally. I’m angry that we have to wait for the summer. Jon Hamm has created a screen icon. There is no one else who could bring
Don Draper to life and somehow make you not hate him. He’s so freaking suave. Women want him. Men want to be him. And I just love to watch the show around him. The best writing. The best ensemble. The absolute hands-down best production design on television. My eyes worship this show.
By Gina Carbone
Never mind Jack Shephard bashing the lighthouse mirrors on “Lost.” If this tabloid gossip has a germ of truth to it, Jack is gonna get himself thrown off the lighthouse and into the doghouse.
(Although I bet Matthew Fox’s wife wishes she had some of those mirrors to keep an eye on him.)
According to In Touch Weekly and the National Enquirer, Stefani Talbott, a 25- or 26-year-old stripper (depends who you ask) and single mom claims she has slept with married 43-year-old “Lost” star and father Matthew Fox twice in the past year.
The stripper said she met Foxy last July, soon after she started working at Stars Cabaret in Bend, Ore.
“I was dancing onstage, and I made eye contact with him immediately. I got so excited,” Stefani told In Touch.
This is my favorite part of the story:
“Since she was a big Party of Five fan, she recognized him right away — but she soon found out he was much different from the clean-cut characters he plays.”
She’s a big “Party of Five” fan?! She would’ve been 15 when the show ended. Kind of a slap in the face.
Stefani told In Touch that Foxy started by buying her a drink, then paid for four private dances, each worth $20.
Is that the going rate? So cheap. What was he even doing in Oregon, if this is actually true?
“He asked me, ‘Why are you working in a place like this?’ I told him that I am a single mom and needed the money,” Stefani said. “He absolutely did not mention a wife or family, and I don’t remember him wearing a wedding ring.”
Foxy has been married to Margherita Ronchi for 18 years. They met when they were both undergraduates at Columbia. They have two children together.
To continue quoting the In Touch story:
“Despite the club’s strict rules about dating customers, Stefani left her 5-year-old son with a babysitter and claims she met Matthew later that night at the house he was staying in with his entourage.”
His entourage! Hah! Was this a bachelor party — if it really happened at all?
“‘We sat around and talked about his show,” she continued. “He complimented me and was saying how down-to-earth I am. He told me he was going to be in town for a couple of days. … He didn’t tell me to keep it a secret or anything. He didn’t even use protection. He didn’t seem concerned at all.”
Foxy’s rep denied it all: “These accusations are false.”
But stripper Stefani told the National Enquirer (take THAT for what it’s worth) that she has saved the incriminating voicemails and texts.
Why would this chick save all sorts of incriminating info … and why is she coming out with this now? Is she scorned? She must be really really desperate for money.
“Matthew’s partying is out of control. He’s boozing and carrying on with women. His carousing is at an all-time high,” a source told the Enquirer.
The “Lost” cast is a mess in general…. Except for my personal hero, Terry O’Quinn (Locke). He’s an angel straight from the sky.
Michelle Rodriguez (Ana-Lucia) and Cynthia Watros (Libby) were arrested for DUI in December 2005.
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Mr. Eko) was arrested and accused of disobeying a police officer and driving without a license in September 2006 although those charges were later dropped.
Daniel Dae Kim (Jin) was arrested in October 2007 on suspicion of drunken driving.
Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond and his sexy-as-hell Scottish accent) was accused in April of 2009 of harassment and sexual battery by a former ABC Entertainment employee who claimed he groped her and made inappropriate sounds and gestures around her in October 2007 on the “Lost” set.
Just last week Dominic Monaghan (Charlie) was thrown out of a Los Angeles club for allegedly making “inappropriate gestures” toward female partygoers.
And those are just the people I could find after two seconds of Googling.
The silver lining on this alleged Matthew Fox sex scandal: It would prove he can actually act.
Going from hero Jack to Jack Daniels Stripper King With An Entourage shows A LOT more range than anything he’s doled out on “Lost,” “Party of Five” or “Vantage Point.” (I refuse to see “Speed Racer,” but throw that one in there, too.)
By Gina Carbone
I’m doing the press release thing again. Click here to read my thoughts on the “Lost” two-part season six premiere. (And then tell me what really happened.)
Finale to Air on a Special Night, Sunday, May 23 from 9:00-11:00 p.m., ET,
Preceded by a Recap Special from 8:00-9:00 p.m., ET
Stephen McPherson, president, ABC Entertainment Group, today announced the “Lost” series finale date, airing as a primetime event on a special night on Sunday, May 23 from 9:00-11:00 p.m., ET. Preceding the finale will be a recap special from 8:00-9:00 p.m., ET.
“Lost is an example of what happens when you put creativity above everything else, trust the creative vision, and take the risks required to be truly original,” said McPherson. “It’s a testament to staying true to the creative vision of one of the most iconic shows ever on television, and we’re giving the producers an unprecedented opportunity to respect the fans and really satisfy the viewers with a spectacular conclusion.”
The critically acclaimed, hit drama premiered on September 22, 2004. The series was nominated for numerous awards and was a 2008 recipient of the prestigious Peabody Award, and awarded the 2005 Emmy and 2006 Golden Globe for Best Drama Series. At the end of its sixth and final season, “Lost” will have aired 114 episodes (121 episodic hours).
Executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse appeared on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” after “Lost’s” season premiere on Tuesday, February 2 (12:05 a.m., ET) to discuss the upcoming season.
Oceanic Air flight 815 tore apart in mid-air and crashed on a Pacific island, leaving 48 passengers alive and stranded on a remote island in the South Pacific. The survivors include a diverse group of people from different walks of life — a doctor, an escaped fugitive, a con man, an Iraqi interrogator, a married Korean couple and a man formerly confined to a wheelchair who is now inexplicably healed. As the castaways attempt to get home, flashbacks (and forwards) illuminate their troubled lives before and after the crash, as the island that they find themselves stranded on begins to slowly reveal its mysterious nature. Faith, reason, destiny and free will all clash as the island offers opportunities for both corruption and redemption… but as to its true purpose? That’s the greatest mystery of all.
“Lost” stars Naveen Andrews as Sayid, Nestor Carbonell as Richard Alpert, Emilie de Ravin as Claire, Michael Emerson as Ben, Jeff Fahey as Frank Lapidus, Matthew Fox as Jack, Jorge Garcia as Hurley, Josh Holloway as Sawyer, Daniel Dae Kim as Jin, Yunjin Kim as Sun, Ken Leung as Miles, Evangeline Lilly as Kate, Terry O’Quinn as Locke and Zuleikha Robinson as Ilana.
By Gina Carbone
For years I’ve felt like “Lost” is a class I’m failing — or barely scraping by with a D.
I feel like my questions aren’t just the big picture things no one gets yet (and may never get) but the basic stuff Advanced Losties already know and can reference at a moment’s notice.
But I’m still trying. And I hope to get some kind of degree at the end of all of this. Seriously, we deserve something.
The two-part “Lost” season six premiere, “LA X,” aired last night.
Loved the flash sideways on the plane. I found it moving when Locke was talking (lying) to Boone about his walkabout. (I had to laugh when poor Boone said if the plane went down he’d stick with Locke. Bad idea!)
And Locke’s sadness when getting into his chair, and his connection with Jack. “Nothing is irreversible.” They were the last two off the plane. Man of faith. Man of science.
Glad to see Desmond on the plane. Not surprised Jack remembered that deep Scottish voice saying “Brother” from their time on the track. Jack, bless him, is more forgettable so I don’t blame Desmond.
But I can’t pretend to really understand what’s going on, since — even though I am “caught up” on past episodes — I can’t recall the details of every time we’ve seen the smoke monster before, or who was doing exactly what the “first” time Oceanic 815 took off.
Jack’s dad had been on the island and, I thought, inhabited by either Jacob or the Man in Black’s spirit. Is Jacob now living in Sayid, like the Man in Black got into Locke, and then became the smoke monster? Or whatever happened?
(“Let’s not resort to name calling” had me laughing out loud.)
The producers have said when someone dies on the show they are really dead, so all the people we’ve seen come back to life on the island — like Locke and Claire and Christian Shepard, etc., must’ve been inhabited by other spirits, I would think.
And whatever happened to Michael and Walt?
Plus, remember when the temple healed Ben — when Sayid shot him back in the 1970s? Richard said Ben would lose his innocence and always be one of them. Now Sayid was shot and was healed by the temple, so is he one of “them” now? What does that mean?
I have tried to read some of the explanations and spoilers from show creators Damon and Carlton, plus the Entertainment Weekly recap from “Doc” Jensen, but it’s too much and yet too little information.
Anyway, ABC released info on next week’s episode and I’m happy to see we’ll be following Kate after her taxi cab runaway (with Claire).
KATE’S ON THE RUN, ON ABC’S “LOST”
“What Kate Does” – Kate finds herself on the run, while Jack is tasked with something that could endanger a friend’s life, on “Lost,” TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9 (9:00-10:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
“Lost” stars Naveen Andrews as Sayid, Nestor Carbonell as Richard Alpert, Emilie de Ravin as Claire, Michael Emerson as Ben, Jeff Fahey as Frank Lapidus, Matthew Fox as Jack, Jorge Garcia as Hurley, Josh Holloway as Sawyer, Daniel Dae Kim as Jin, Yunjin Kim as Sun, Ken Leung as Miles, Evangeline Lilly as Kate, Terry O’Quinn as Locke and Zuleikha Robinson as Ilana.
“What Kate Does” was written by Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz and directed by Paul Edwards.