Category: TV News


FOX reported on Tuesday that former So You Think You Can Dance judge and ballroom dancer/choreographer Mary Murphy will be rejoining the judges panel for the show’s upcoming 8th season. The high-pitched judge is best known for her shrill screams and for coining the phrase “hot tamale train.” Murphy gave the following statement: “I am thrilled and already dancing in my seat to be back as a permanent judge this season, which I’m sure will be the best ever.”

Murphy started out on the show as a guest judge and choreographer in season 1 and was promoted to permanent judge for seasons 3 through season 6. For season 7, she was replaced on the panel by longtime So You Think You Can Dance choreographer Mia Michaels, who left in November after just one season as a judge. “Last year when I was sitting on the [judges] panel, I knew it wasn’t the right fit because I felt too glossy sitting on the panel,” Michaels told E! Online in November. “I heard they’re bringing Mary Murphy back and I’m really happy for her. I’ve sat in that chair, but I feel like that was Mary’s chair.”

Personally, I am delighted. Mary may be loud, but she is also fun and so invested in the show and the dancers. Furthermore, her critiques are always on point, constructive, and find the right balance between critical and congratulatory. SYTYCD was lacking her oomph last season. Michaels, though a brilliant choreographer, is a very harsh judge and her talents are better served in the dance studio choreographing brilliant contemporary routines for the contestants.

Co-creator, executive producer, and permanent judge Nigel Lythgoe expressed his content at welcoming Mary back. “I am delighted to have Mary back on the show. Her expertise in dance, coupled with her warmth, compassion and humor, make her an excellent judge and fun to work with,” said Lythgoe.

Rounding out the judges panel is film producer, director, and choreographer Adam Shankman (Step Up franchise, Hairspay, A Walk To Remember) who was promoted from guest judge on the show to permanent judge in 2009.

So You Think You Can Dance will kick off auditions for Season 8 on Feb. 2 in Salt Lake City. The show will also host auditions in Los Angeles and Charlotte, N.C. on Feb. 25 and March 1, respectively.

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Ausiello just broke the exclusive news that the producers of Prison Break, Matt Olmstead and Nick Santora, have set plans in motion to cast the brilliant Robert Knepper in their new action-drama series Breakout Kings. Knepper will be resurrecting the role of the Prison Break villain we loved to hate the most: T-Bag! Undoubtedly one of best villainous characters in the history of television, T-Bag is a white supremacist, bisexual, rapist-murderer from Alabama. One of the Fox River Eight who escaped the prison and cut off his hand to evade recapture while on the run, T-Bad ended up where he belonged in the series finale, back in prison where his complex and chilling character could be revived if needed.

I wrote back in June that the axed FOX pilot Breakout Kings, which received praise from critics, was picked up by cable network A&E in the 11th hour. The show revolves around a group of U.S. Marshals and ex-cons that team up to apprehend escaped criminals while racing against the clock. We can speculate that T-Bag will either be a fugitive or an ex-con helping the Marshals. Breakout Kings stars Jason Cerbone, Domenick Lombardozzi, Laz Alonzo, Malcolm Goodwin, and Nicole Steinwedell.

The execs at the studio behind the two shows have already signed off on this proposal, all that is left is to make a deal with Knepper. Following Prison Break’s cancellation in 2009, Knepper was cast as the new villain in the fourth season of Heroes, which was also canceled at the end of that season. Knepper recently joined the cast of Stargate Universe for it’s second season.

So how psyched are you about this wonderful news, Prison Break fans? Are you sure to tune in now to see Robert Knepper reprise his exceptional role as T-Bag?

UPDATE: On November 5th, EW reported the exclusive scoop that Robert Knepper has officially signed on for Breakout Kings! He told EW: “I have to dust off the Southern accent. I have not seen a script. I am putting my faith in these guys’ hands. The only thing I asked was that T-Bag doesn’t die. And they said, ‘Oh, no don’t worry. He won’t.’ He came close many times but managed to cheat and escape death. He’s Teflon.” Filming is set to begin right after the Thanksgiving holiday.

TVGuide.com just broke the exclusive news that Caterina Scorsone, who plays the recurring role of Dr. Amelia Shepherd on Private Practice, has been promoted to series regular. Amelia is the younger sister of Grey’s Anatomy’s McDreamy and is a neurosurgeon just like her older brother. Scorsone even went to medical school in real life before deciding she preferred to play one on TV, but as a viewer I appreciate that she actually knows her stuff.

Amelia appeared in the last 5 episodes of season 3 of the Grey’s spin-off. In April, I reported that she debuted in the episode “Eyes Wide Open,” where she was part of a team brought in to help Kayla, the surrogate coma patient carrying three babies. Her presence really rattled Derek’s ex-wife Addison, though they had to work together to save the patient and Amelia stayed on temporarily to consult for Oceanside Wellness.

Series creator Shonda Rhimes has revealed they are certainly planning a Shepherd-centric crossover for this upcoming season focusing on Amelia and Derek. How excited are we to finally see McDreamy interact with one of his much-talked-about sisters, especially one that followed in her brother’s footsteps career-wise?

Joining Scorsone as a series regular for season 4 is Brian Benben’s character Sheldon Wallace, who had a recurring role for the past 2 seasons as a Psychiatrist from rival practice Pacific Wellcare and was Violet’s lover/possible baby daddy recently turned Charlotte’s new love interest.

The fourth season of Private Practice will premiere on Thursday September 23, 2010 in it’s normal time-slot at 10pm following Grey’s Anatomy. The season premiere will pick up a few weeks from where we left off, giving everybody some time to grieve after Dell’s tragic death.

Today, Ausiello reported the official scoop that the rejected FOX pilot Breakout Kings, from the same creator of Prison Break, has found a new home on cable network A&E. The show revolves around a group of U.S. marshals and ex-cons that team up to apprehend escaped criminals while racing against the clock. I’m imagining a sort of Prison Break/White Collar mashup. Breakout Kings stars Jason Cerbone, Domenick Lombardozzi, Laz Alonzo, Malcolm Goodwin, and Nicole Steinwedell.

FOX’s decision to axe Breakout Kings back in May was particularly shocking considering it was received with high praise and was deemed a frontrunner among the pilots FOX would air this fall. Deadline reported the reason FOX passed on such a highly acclaimed pilot was due to its decision to renew its two bubble shows Lie To Me and Human Target. Despite our disappointment that FOX passed on a great opportunity, it gives me the tiniest bit of faith that the network chose to give these two other good shows a chance at success. As weird as this is to say, ABC would do well to follow FOX’s example and resurrect the brilliant comedy series Better Off Ted, which it never gave the chance to find a larger audience.

Breakout Kings will make a great fit at A&E, where they are looking to add character-driven procedural dramas to its long list of reality series. Next month, A&E will premiere The Glades, a new drama about a brilliant and difficult homicide detective recently relocated to the outskirts of the Florida Everglades.

As a staunch Prison Break fan, I am extremely excited about Breakout Kings…will you tune in?

If you read my March entry that explained the drastic changes SYTYCD will undergo to make Season 7 the best season ever, then you are aware that Dance executive producer and judge Nigel Lythgoe announced the most exciting change of them all – the introduction of the All-Stars! The All-Star Pool consists of America’s favorite dancers from the 6 previous seasons to act as rotating partners for this year’s top 10. Each ‘All-star’ specializes in a specific genre of dance. It only took Nigel three weeks (since March 30th to be exact) to reveal the entire cast of all-stars for Season 7 one by one via his Twitter account @dizzyfeet but alas the time has come!

The full cast of returning finalists from past seasons along with their dance genre:

Stephen “tWitch” Boss, Season 4—Popping, Locking, Krump

Comfort Fedoke, Season 4—Hip Hop

Courtney Galiano, Season 4—Contemporary

Anya Garnis, Season 3—Latin Ballroom

Lauren Gottlieb, Season 3—Hip Hop, Jazz, and Contemporary

Neil Haskell, Season 3—Contemporary

Allison Holker, Season 2—Jazz, Contemporary, Broadway & Cultural

Mark Kanemura, Season 4—Contemporary

Pasha Kovalev, Season 3—Standard & Latin Ballroom

Kathryn McCormick, Season 6—Jazz, Contemporary, Broadway and Cultural

Ade Obayomi, Season 5—Contemporary and Classical

Dominic “D-trix” Sandoval, Season 3—Hip Hop

A couple of thoughts: On a good note, the Ballroom power couple Anya and Pasha who occasionally choreograph for Dance is back though unfortunately not dancing together. The All-Star cast is quite heavy on seasons 3 and 4, it only has 1 each from Seasons 2, 5, and 6, and none from season 1! I just think it should be a little more spread out. Also, I’m upset that Nigel ignored my request to include Season 5’s Brandon Bryant and Season 6’s Jakob both of whom turn me on with their beautiful contemporary dancing. Fortunately, Nigel mentioned that he’ll bring on other favorites for the next season. Other than that, I’m really excited to see the highest quality dancing ever on the upcoming season, which will air during the summer—this information I obtained in January through a personal conversation with judge Mary Murphy when I saw her perform in Burn The Floor on Broadway!

Nigel recently clarified via tweet the speculation that the All-Star pros will choreograph like on DWTS: “The All-Stars will NOT Choreograph. They will only dance in their own specific styles. Partners are of the opposite sex and change weekly.” Unlike DWTS, the contestants will rotate with the professional partners based on the dance genre they are assigned. Now here’s an interesting observation, there are 12 All-Stars, 6 males and 6 females, but there will only be 10 contestants that they will be partnered with and 1 will be eliminated each week. This means that each professional will not have to dance each week but rather take turns as the contestants dwindle.

Are you excited by the list of All-Stars? Anybody who you wish made the cut? Are you more excited to see the All-Stars or the contestants on the new season of Dance?

THE BEST SHOW EVER started filming season 2 in South Beach with the original cast on Monday. JERSEY SHORE: Spring Break in Miami Edition has stirred up some controversy among us fans…how can it take place anywhere other than the Jersey Shore? There are no other Italians in Miami, that would have to be for the Cuban spin-off! Well my loyal (?) followers, the Jersey Shore is not warm this time of year and if you want your next dose of Jersey Shore sooner (summer) rather than later (winter), the cast clearly had to go someplace warmer so they could start filming now. And if the cast can go to any of the top spring-break destinations, the rowdy college kids with fake IDs whiling out “Girls Gone Wild”-style in South Beach is right up the guidos’ alley.

But really, the cast can go anywhere that has a tanning salon, a gym, bars, clubs with house music, a hot tub, drunk guys who think they’re tough trying to fight Ronnie, desperate girls willing to sleep with The Situation, grenades and grenade launchers, and a refrigerator that is stocked with pickles. They just have to get the guidos on a plane, pack the quacking duck, lock up Sammi’s hair extensions in a cage and put it in the cargo hold, get an extra seat on the plane for JWOWW’s double WW’s, pay for the unusual baggage size of Pauly D’s tanning bed, ship all the “I Love The Situation” booty shorts, play Scarface during the fight and the guidos are good to go. However, Jersey Shore will remain somewhat true to its roots as the original cast will conclude season 2 by returning to the infamous spot where it all began: Seaside Heights, as reported by TV Guide. Apparently, the guidos running amuck in Miami couldn’t find any other “juiced tanned guidos” to hook up with besides each other and their excessive guido fabulousness annoyed all the Cubans straight into haters-ville.

But in other Jersey Shore news, MTV and the casting agency posted an online casting call “to explore the possibility to adding new roommates to ‘carry on the legacy,’” according to TV Guide. Eight tanned hypersexual guidos in one house is already more drama (and of course more entertainment) than anybody thought humanly possible, now they are going to add some newcomers into the sacred guido household of drunken debauchery and inappropriate hookups? Uh oh, we got a situation!

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Craig Ferguson is not only the late night talk show host who most women want to sleep with, as polled by Marie-Claire, he is also the recipient this year of the prestigious Peabody Award!

What is a Peabody you might ask? The Peabody Awards are awarded for broadcast excellence in news and entertainment. Ferguson was the only TV talk show host to win a Peabody this year, view the list of 2010 Peabody winners. If you have ever seen The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson and are wondering why such an unconventional late night show would win, then you might benefit from reading the guideline by which the Peabody is awarded: “The Award is determined by one criterion – “Excellence.” Each entry is evaluated on the achievement of standards it establishes within its own contexts.” But seriously, he possesses a rare assortment of insight, wit, playfulness, self-deprecation, mass sexual appeal—he is just the whole package, topped off with a cute Scottish accent.

Ferguson won in particular for the March 2009 episode where he interviewed Bishop Desmond Tutu, (one of his more serious interviews) but they also recognize his success with his late-night style that ventures beyond the established traditions. The Peabody Board stated: “As this fascinating, often funny interview attests, the Scottish-born Ferguson has made late-night television safe again for ideas.” No one can deny that Craigy Ferg certainly has new ideas for late night that he’s not afraid to explore on his show, such as an entire episode earlier this year dedicated to dialoguing with Stephen Fry sans audience.

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Last month, TV Guide reported that Caterina Scorsone joined the cast of Private Practice in a recurring role as Dr. Amelia Shepherd, Grey’s Derek Shepherd’s younger sister. Clearly this is another clever tactic from Shonda to get more McDreamy loving Grey’s fans to watch the Addison-centered Grey’s spinoff set in sunny LA. Catch Scorsone’s debut on the new episode of Private Practice tonight at 10pm on ABC.

Episode 19, “Eyes Wide Open” – When famed neurosurgeon Dr. Ginsberg and her team pay a visit to St. Ambrose to save the life of Kayla, Addison is shocked to see Amelia Shepherd – Derek’s younger sister on the team. But Amelia’s presence causes strife between Addison, Sam and Pete when she claims she can save Kayla’s life after Dr. Ginsberg declares nothing can be done. Meanwhile Charlotte seeks from Cooper’s with a sex education seminar for the elderly that only leads to more tension between the two, as they try to figure out how to work together.

SYTYCD has received a complete restructuring adopting a format similar to Dancing With The Stars with 10 contestants competing each season, only 1 contestant eliminated each week, and introducing professional partners called the All-Stars, which are top contestants from the previous 6 seasons of Dance. Sound fascinating? Scared to death about the future of SYTYCD? Confused as all hell? Read on…

A couple of weeks ago, FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance exec producer and judge Nigel Lythgoe took to Twitter to tease that some “shocking changes” were coming to the best dance competition show on TV. All week Nigel Lythgoe has held all Dance lovers in the palm of his hands as he announced drastic changes (one each day for the past week via his Twitter account @dizzyfeet) on the upcoming season that will change the very being of Dance as we know it. At first, the changes piece by piece didn’t seem to make any sense (how can only 1 dancer be eliminated each week, that would leave a dancer partnerless every other week?!) but once all the pieces were put together I saw a whole new vision for Dance, of how even more amazing Dance can be.

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Two weeks ago Ausiello broke the news that Grey’s Anatomy creator and executive producer Shonda Rhimes agreed to release Katherine Heigl (Dr. Izzie Stevens) from her contract early effective immediately, meaning that she would not return to the Grey’s set as planned for the last five episodes of the current season. But the real breaking news came this week (in three parts) as Ausiello sat down with Heigl in her LA home and she confirmed her exit, as well as revealed her real reasons for leaving. Ausiello also got all the inside scoop on the many controversies the outspoken actress has been involved in over her 6-year span on the hit TV series. Only part of Ausiello’s exclusive interview with Heigl is available online, but no need to fret I bought the magazine to get the full scoop so you don’t have to, so by all means use me, please…

It is no coincidence that as this hot story broke Shonda Rhimes took to…blogging? She guest blogged for The Ausiello Files about the major twists that are forthcoming in the season finale, she insists that this is the real “GAME. CHANGER” unlike those weak ones that everybody else claims to grab attention, hahaha I suppose its worth taking a gander.

Meanwhile, ABC Studios released the following statement: “By mutual agreement, Katherine Heigl has ended her successful run as Dr. Isobel Stevens. The studio wishes her well. Everyone at Grey’s Anatomy is now focused on delivering a shocking season finale and a great show for seasons to come.”

Heigl stated that the real reason she left was due to shifting priorities in her life after the adoption of her special needs daughter Naleigh whereby her busy career was preventing her from bonding with her daughter and becoming the mom she wants to be. Last year Heigl approached Shonda to let her know that she planned to adopt and warn her that she might be leaving the show. According to Heigl, they tried to work out a way that she could balance her family life and her career, “but at the end of the day, there wasn’t a great way to compromise the work schedule that didn’t negatively affect the crew or the cast.”During Heigl’s mid-season maternity leave from Grey’s, she spent three months focusing solely on her relationship with her daughter, during which time she realized that she no longer wanted to work full-time. Before she was due back she asked Shonda again to be let out of her contract early and this time she got what she wanted.

“Even though I know I’m disappointing the fans, and I know I’m disappointing the writers and my fellow cast members and the crew, I just had to make a choice. I hope I made the right one. I had to try to find the courage to move on. And I am sad. And I’m scared. But I felt it was the right thing to do; we just didn’t quite know how to do it appropriately, gracefully, and respectfully to the audience. And I think we all felt it wasn’t respectful to the audience to bring [Izzie] back again and then have her [leave] again.”

Heigl also came clean about her mistakes and admitted she needs to “filter” her opinions. Among the many controversies that contributed to Heigl’s perception as an “ungrateful diva” were the Emmy faux-pas and the 17 hour work-day complaint. Lets see what she had to say about those now that she is sans contract shall we…

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