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Devious Maids clean up after a Bad Teacher in Salem? TV must-sees for the week

- April 20th, 2014

Ari Graynor in Bad Teacher

Bill Harris’ TV must-sees for the week of April 20

1 Bad Teacher
Debut: Based on the Cameron Diaz film, this stars Ari Graynor (pictured above) as a former trophy wife masquerading as a teacher. Wait a minute, isn’t there already a show called Trophy Wife? I’m so confused.
When: Thursday on CBS, Global

2 Devious Maids
Season-two debut: More sexy clashes between the rich and not-so-rich. Marisol (Ana Ortiz) finds a new love, while Zoila (Judy Reyes) discovers that Valentina (Edy Ganem) has returned from Africa.
When: Sunday on Lifetime

3 Salem
Debut: This is a new take on the infamous witch trials of the 17th century, exploring intriguing theories as to why they actually may have taken place. Stars Janet Montgomery and Shane West.
When: Sunday on Space

4 Parks and Recreation
One-hour, sixth-season finale: Leslie (Amy Poehler) ponders her future while Ron (Nick Offerman) has another run-in with ex-wife Tammy 2 (Megan Mullally). Michelle Obama guest-stars.
When: Thursday on NBC

5 Tracy Morgan: Bona Fide
Canadian debut: Standup special sees Morgan performing in his home town of Brooklyn, talking about everything from growing up in the projects to the time he had to be, um, removed from Prince’s house.
When: Saturday on Comedy

6 Signed, Sealed, Delivered
Debut: If you’ve ever wondered what happens to “dead letters,” well, this is not a documentary. Rather, it’s a new series about ridiculously dedicated postal people, starring Eric Mabius and Kristin Booth.
When: Sunday on M3

7 Veep
Dan (Reid Scott) tries to minimize the impact of a Saturday Night Live sketch about Selina (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) just as she is preparing to announce her candidacy for president of the United States.
When: Sunday on HBO Canada

8 Black Box
Debut: Kelly Reilly stars as Dr. Catherine Black, a world-famous neurologist intent on unraveling the mysteries of the human brain. But she is hiding the fact that she’s bipolar. Is that good thinking?
When: Thursday on ABC

9 The Returned
Canadian debut: This creepy series from France allegedly breaks conventional zombie stereotypes. I’m just stunned we’re living in a world where conventional zombie stereotypes exist.
When: Saturday on Space

10 True Tori
Debut: I’m not going to lie, while it really doesn’t affect my life one way or the other, I don’t quite get the endless fascination people have with Tori Spelling. What is this, reality show No. 90210 for her?
When: Tuesday on Lifetime

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

Colin Jost to replace Seth Meyers on ‘Weekend Update’

- January 23rd, 2014

The Saturday Night Live makeover is nearly complete.

Announced today, SNL writer and standup comic Colin Jost will replace Seth Meyers as co-host of Weekend Update.

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Jost will join Cecily Strong starting March 1 so Meyers can start his new gig as host of Late Night with Seth Meyers, which debuts Feb. 24. Save the tissues for Feb. 1 – that’s expected to be Meyer’s last Saturday as Update anchor.

So who is this Colin Jost? He’s a Harvard grad who joined the writing staff in 2005 and became head writer in 2012. He was also president of The Harvard Lampoon. And for those of you up on all the latest celebrity gossip, he’s reportedly dating Parks and Recreation star (and Quincy Jones daughter) Rashida Jones.

Here’s a sneak peek of what we can expect from Jost:

Rob Lowe brings JFK into the “hair and now” with Killing Kennedy

- November 9th, 2013

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Rob Lowe had to wrap his head around John F. Kennedy’s very specific hairstyle.

“There’s a lot of hair technology going on there, in case you didn’t notice,” says Lowe, who has the title role in Killing Kennedy. “We’re used to seeing him in black and white. But when you see him in colour, he almost has ginger hair.

“So my whole look is very sort of dialed in. I’m keeping it a secret as to how I did it.”

Killing Kennedy, which is based on a book by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard, is a two-hour docu-drama that debuts Sunday, Nov. 10 on the National Geographic Channel. Besides Lowe, Killing Kennedy also stars Ginnifer Goodwin as Jacqueline Kennedy, Will Rothhaar as Lee Harvey Oswald and Michelle Trachtenberg as Marina Oswald.

It was 50 years ago this month that John F. Kennedy was gunned down and the string of recent TV documentaries is long and impressive. Killing Kennedy is a dramatic portrayal that simultaneously charts the highs and lows of two men – JFK and Oswald –  and their respective relationships with their spouses during the buildup not only to JFK’s assassination, but to Oswald’s as well.

Hair secrets aside, Lowe says that when it came to JFK’s voice, the hard part was that the comic voice everyone uses when they’re doing JFK – basically Mayor Quimby on The Simpsons – isn’t necessarily the way the president spoke in real life.

“Look, I’m not Darrell Hammond from Saturday Night Live, right?” Lowe says. “I mean, if you want a guy who can imitate Kennedy, I’m not the guy you come to. But you’ve got to sound like him.

“Just technically, what I learned was he really had two voices. He had the voice that we all know, ‘Come to Berlin.’ He had that voice, which is the voice everybody imitates. And then he had the way he spoke in private, which was very different.

“There’s actually a linguistic term called the ‘Kennedy stutter step,’ not to get too technical. Basically, it’s his stammer, and that’s what you don’t see a lot of. I tried to bring that, I immersed myself in it. But then you forget about it, you do the voice, and you go to the things that are more important, which are honesty, authenticity, connection with the actors, all of the stuff that actors do on a daily basis.”

Actors actually don’t get to play John F. Kennedy on a daily basis. It’s the fortunate few who can pull it off.

“In terms of what we share, I don’t know,” Lowe says. “(JFK) was an optimist. He said, ‘We’ll put a man on the moon in 10 years.’ I can’t think of any president before or after who would dare make that kind of prediction and then live up to it.

“I’m a kid from Ohio who said I wanted to be a working actor, so I believe in optimism.”

Optimism and hair technology, that is.

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

Watch Eminem’s ‘Saturday Night Live’ promos

- November 1st, 2013

Eminem may want to lighten up a little bit if he plans on doing any skit cameos for NBC’s Saturday Night Live this weekend.

Slim Shady is the musical guest, while actress Kerry Washington is taking care of the hosting duties. The promos show a usual stoic Eminem looking more like a cardboard cut-out, with cast member Nasim Pedrad asking the pair if they are having fun.

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Kery Washington replies, “Of course,” while a mute Eminem looks straight into the camera, saying nary a word.

He finally speaks up when Washington mentions that they’ll be going out for cupcakes after the show is over.

“I love cupcakes,” the rapper replies.

Saturday’s appearance marks the fifth time Eminem has been on the show — his first came on October 23, 1999, where he performed alongside Dr. Dre. Watch it below:

Saturday Night Live airs tomorrow night at 11:30 p.m. ET. Eminem’s new album, The Marshall Mathers LP2, is out now.

Cecily Strong the new ‘Weekend Update’ co-anchor

- September 16th, 2013

Seth Meyers is making some room over at the Weekend Update desk.

Cecily Strong, perhaps best known for her obnoxious character The Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started A Conversation With At A Party will start her second season on Saturday Night Live as co-anchor of Update alongside Meyers.

cecily

SNL executive producer Lorne Michaels finally revealed his plans for the sketch show’s news parody segment, which has been one giant question mark ever since Meyers announced he was replacing Jimmy Fallon on Late Night. He starts the gig Feb. 24.

In an interview with The New York Times, Michaels admitted he still doesn’t know exactly what shape Update will take in the latter part of this season.

While he confirmed Meyers will stay on at the beginning of Season 39, Michaels also revealed he wants him to stay as Cecily’s co-anchor for as long as possible.

It turns out, the new Late Night won’t tape on Fridays, which would give Meyers some time for double-duty. In the end, it would probably all depend on how much sleep poor Seth needs to function on a weekly basis.

And guess what? There’s yet another new cast member.

Standup comedian Brooks Wheelan is the sixth addition to the cast. The other newbies are Kyle Mooney, John Milhiser, Noël Wells and AT&T commercial guy Beck Bennett.

SNL writer Mike O’Brien will also join the cast, while last season’s cast member Tim Robinson will move behind the scenes as a writer. Nice switcheroo.

Having trouble keeping track?

What do you think? Let me know in the comment section below.