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The X Factor, Sons of Anarchy, Derek; must-sees for the week of Sept. 8

- September 8th, 2013

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Bill Harris’ TV must-sees for the week of Sept. 8

1 The X Factor
Third-season debut: Simon Cowell and Demi Lovato are back as judges, but Britney Spears and L.A. Reid are out, replaced by Kelly Rowland and Paulina Rubio. Will this show ever work?
When: Wednesday on Fox and CTV Two

2 Sons of Anarchy
Season-six debut: Having taken extreme measures with regard to Clay (Ron Perlman), the leadership of Jax (Charlie Hunnam) is uncontested. I’ll bet you a Harley it doesn’t last.
When: Tuesday on Super Channel

3 Breaking Bad
Only four episodes to go. This one is titled To’hajiilee, which is a Navajo reservation in New Mexico. Creator Vince Gilligan has hinted that this will be a big episode for quirky Lydia (Laura Fraser).
When: Sunday on AMC

4 Mistresses
First-season finale: April (Rochelle Aytes) makes a decision about the men in her life – it’s about time – while Elizabeth (Penelope Ann Miller) and Karen (Yunjin Kim) have a showdown.
When: Monday on ABC, CTV

5 The Million Second Quiz
Debut: Hosted by Ryan Seacrest, this is a live competition with contestants partaking in head-to-head trivia matches. Airs 10 times over 11 nights. That’s a lot.
When: Monday on NBC, City

6 Derek
Debut: Having already aired on TV in Britain, this stars Ricky Gervais as a naïve and intelligence-challenged worker in a home for the elderly. A second season has been ordered in the U.K.
When: Thursday on Netflix

7 So You Think You Can Dance
Tenth-season finale: A new champion is awarded the Golden Boot (not really) in front of judges Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy, as well as host Cat Deeley.
When: Tuesday on Fox, CTV

8 MasterChef
Fourth-season finale: A new king of cooking is crowned before hard-to-please judges Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot. First prize is getting away from those guys.
When: Wednesday on Fox, CTV

9 Graceland
First-season finale: The high-strung housemates – played by Daniel Sunjata, Aaron Tveit, Vanessa Ferlito, Brandon Jay McLaren, Manny Montana and Serinda Swan – unite to save one of their own.
When: Thursday on Bravo

10 The Newsroom
Election-night coverage moves forward, while Sloan (Olivia Munn) is upset that her book was auctioned with a forged signature. Hey, glass half full, it could have been a forged cheque.
When: Sunday on HBO Canada

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

Dead eyes and bare bums; celebs gave us so much in 2012, as seen in CTV special

- December 19th, 2012

KStew

Why would CTV devote an entire hour to footwear?

Oh, wait. It’s not Stars & Sandals, it’s Stars & Scandals. That makes a heck of a lot more sense, actually.

The new CTV original special Stars & Scandals that Shook 2012 airs Thursday, Dec. 20, immediately following the season finale of The X Factor.

The 10 most “scandalous” entertainment/celebrity stories of the year will be counted down. So you can bet on appearances by the likes of Kristen Stewart and her dead eyes (as seen above), and Prince Harry and his bare bum, not necessarily in that order.

Meanwhile, the Stars & Sandals special remains in the early planning stages.

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

Cowell on Spears: “Sweet as a lemon.”

- July 23rd, 2012

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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – Simon Cowell says Britney Spears is “as sweet as a lemon.”

Clips from the new season of The X Factor feature Spears saying things such as “You can’t destroy that song,” “Predictable,” and “Bad to the bone,” when addressing presumably crushed contestants.

But Spears, of course, has a different take on Cowell’s fruit-focused evaluation.

“In everyday life I’m just very honest person,” Spears said. “It’s just based on who I am.”

Well, all four members of The X Factor’s season-two judging team – Spears, Cowell, Demi Lovato and L.A. Reid (pictured left to right above) – appeared via satellite at the Television Critics Association tour Monday. If first impressions mean anything, it’s going to be a very intriguing conversation when the second season of the show debuts Sept. 12 on Fox and CTV.

“It’s different from anything I’ve ever done,” Spears said. “I’ve done eight tours. I’ve been in the music industry for a while. But I’m glad to be on a show where I can give something back and help someone achieve their dreams.”

Being on these types of shows isn’t bad for the careers of the judges either, nudge nudge, wink wink.

“That’s not my intention,” Spears said. “It’s just purely the fact I love the show.”

Lovato was described by Cowell as a “brat” both on Monday and a few weeks ago when he visited CTV in Toronto. Lovato has battled an eating disorder and she was asked if that gives her a unique perspective on young aspiring talent.

“I definitely take that into consideration when I judge,” Lovato said. “My little sister is in the industry and I worry about her all the time.

“You can’t prevent anyone from going down the wrong road. If they’re going to have an eating disorder, they’re going to have an eating disorder. I don’t think fame has a lot to do with it. I think it adds some pressure and sometimes it makes the problem a little bit worse.

“But for me, I had been struggling with those issues beforehand. Unless you’re in a good place when you start working, I think it’s kind of inevitable for these things to happen.”

Pretty insightful for someone who’s 19.

“We needed someone younger, because I’m in my 30s,” quipped Cowell, 52.

There has been quite a revolving door lately with judges on singing competition shows. Mariah Carey officially joined American Idol on Monday.

“I’m happy for her, I like Mariah,” Cowell said. “She’s sweet. But I think she’s going to find it difficult to say no.”

For Spears and Lovato that won’t be a problem.

When Cowell accused Spears of being “mean,” Lovato jumped in and said, “We’re going to gang up on you now. You’re going to have two girls.”

“I’ve had it,” Cowell snapped back. It took a few seconds for the double-meaning to kick in and laughter filled the room.

“Who’s ready for the next season of The X factor?” a smiling Lovato added.

Everyone.

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv

5 Idol picks to replace Jennifer Lopez – how about Avril Lavigne?

- July 14th, 2012

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What is this, Groundhog Day?

Seems like we played a similar game just the other night with Steven Tyler.

Oh, wait, we did.

With judges abandoning American Idol as if they were actors on Law & Order, here are five suggestions from the music world to replace the departing Jennifer Lopez:

1) Avril Lavigne. Canada’s pop-punk princess hasn’t exactly been lighting it up in the studio or on stage in recent years. She’s still young (only 27), but if her career is to have a second act, this might be the kick-start she needs. Hey, if Britney Spears is on The X Factor …

2) Debbie Harry. We don’t know if the former Blondie front-woman has the heart of stone required for this job, but we know she has a heart of glass.

3) Mariah Carey. This has been rumoured for a while. Good lord, if you could combine Carey with the equally nuts David Lee Roth, American Idol might have to come with a warning label.

4) Chrissie Hynde. Who knows, she may need the brass in pocket.

5) Madonna. The only drawback might be that American contestants wouldn’t be able to understand her COMPLETELY NOT FAKE British accent.

bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

@billharris_tv