Arts, Entertainment, Living

game-of-thronesBEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- HBO announced it has renewed “Real Time with Bill Maher” for a 10th season to air in 2012.

Network executives said they’re also still considering making a pair of “No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency” movies for HBO, but they just received scripts to consider so no decisions have been made.

The premium cable channel also announced launch dates for several fall series, including “Boardwalk Empire” (9 p.m. Sept. 25), “Hung” (10 p.m. Oct. 2), “How to Make it in America” (10:30 p.m. Oct. 2), “Bored to Death” (9 p.m. Oct. 3) and new series “Enlightened” (9:30 p.m. Oct. 3).

Programming original series on Monday is a repeat of an experiment HBO tried and abandoned after a few weeks in 2005. http://www.thefutoncritic.com/news/2005/06/27/six-feet-back-to-sundays-as-hbo-shelves-monday-expansion-18615/6931/

Read more about HBO’s programming plans, including plans for “Game of Thrones,” after the jump. …

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PRESS TOUR: BBC America's fall lineup + 'Dr.Who'

Thursday, 28 July 2011 02:51 PM Written by

drwho_copyBEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – I like a lot of what BBC America puts on but sometimes their scheduling decisions confound, at least from a press pickup perspective.

Today at press tour the network previewed a reality show, “24 Hours in the ER,” which looked pretty good but it’s debuting Sept. 27, smack in the middle of broadcast network premieres, meaning the likelihood that I’ll have time to write about it is pretty slim.

Similarly, the network moved the premiere of supernatural drama “Bedlam” from Oct. 8 to Oct. 1 to take advantage of the lead-in from the season finale of “Dr. Who.” On Oct. 8, “Bedlam” probably would have led my Oct. 7 column but debuting on Oct. 1 “Bedlam” competes for attention with the latest Ken Burns PBS documentary “Prohibition,” and “Bedlam” will lose.

Details on the new season of “Dr. Who” after the jump. …

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PRESS TOUR: Set visit to 'Rizzoli & Isles'

Thursday, 28 July 2011 12:00 AM Written by

rizzoli

Read more press tour coverage at the Tuned In Journal index page.

For this week's Tuned In Podcast, I decided to take listeners along with me to the set of the TNT drama "Rizzoli & Isles" on the first day of the Television Critics Association summer 2011 press tour.

Read more after the jump. ...

 

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A look back at a Burgh blues fest day

Thursday, 28 July 2011 12:00 AM Written by

I got an email yesterday from blues -- and other music -- buddy Tim Roolf, who came in by rail from across the state to enjoy some good music at the Pittsburgh Blues Festival on Saturday.

It's good to know that people still know what trains are for, and it's great to get Tim's response to the day. He's a knowledgeable music fan and a guy who seems to have just the right blues genes.

I'm especially glad that he enjoyed John Nemeth's show. I just happen to think that John is one of the bright lights of young blues stars, a performer who honors the great traditions of soul and R&B, and who has made the style his own.

Here's Tim's take on Saturday, and here's his YouTube channel -- http://www.youtube.com/user/rd350c 

I took the train home from Lancaster to catch the Pittsburgh Blues Festival this past weekend. You know there’s something about a train…

Jimbo and the Soupbones were entertaining.  I’m a sucker for dual percussion, and they used effectively to really jazz their stuff and give a lot of their songs a world-beat feel (think Richie Havens) They’ve also  got Miss Feddye’s old guitarist .  He was always stepping out of bounds backing up a blues/soul  diva like Freddye , but his style fits right in here. 

We liked the Girls with Guitars ; they kept the pyrotechnics to a minimum and tried to mix it up a little, playing a wide range of blues styles and just enough cover material to get apples to apples comparisons to other acts. It was nice seeing  Otis Taylor's daughter Cassie again after seeing her in Wheeling with her dad four years ago - she seemed almost cherubic back then and has acquired some blues swagger.  I am not a big fan of snarling posturers and pelvic pumpers, but somehow it was a lot more palatable when these girls got into it.  Maybe they could arrange a Charlie's Angels kind of triumvirate pose front and center with guitars instead of guns! 

The Pittsburgh Blues Allstars put on a good show, highlighted by Gary Belloma singing "I hate a nickel" and some great work by Jimmy Adler.  I continue to be impressed by Pure Gold's  Larry Siefers, who covered all the keyboards remarkably and played a mean sax to boot.       

John Nemeth's band came out smokin'  and kept an amazingly high energy level up through the whole set.   They all seemed to be completely overdressed for the heat, especially John, who never even opened his jacket or took off his hat!. I especially enjoyed watching him work with the microphone stand (like young Rod Stewart) and strike poses during the bridges and the solos.  Sometimes he'd hit this modified parade rest position and his gray suit and sunglasses made him  look like GORT from the day the earth stood still.  The whole band is keenly aware of how the visuals and dynamics are intertwined with the show.  And they DID, a number of times,  strike a kind of Charlie's Angels pose front and center with John standing upright in front of the drums and the others kneeling off to either side.    

Lionel Young had to get the award for most improved act since the last time we saw him in Wheeling three years ago.  Back then it was just him on violin, and upright bass and the big guy adding some rudimentary guitar in the background. , but this time he showed up with A BAND ELWOOD!! Horns a poppin and a nice repertoire.

Like the PGH blues Allstars, they played at the 2nd stage, and Kathy and I split our time watching them (standing) and keeping our (main) seats.  I came up while he was doing OV Wright's "Drowning on Dry Land" and I am sorry I couldn't film it.  I did get a good jump boogie and a (too) long version of Summertime.  But the vids don't show how good they really were.  Hope he'll be coming around for other shows.   

We were extremely pleased with the Tedeschi Trucks Band.  We’ve seen Susan and Derek a number of times - Susan solo and Derek both solo and with the Allman Brothers band.  Susan's show in 2003 at South Park was a lot of fun, although not especially riveting, and Derek's show two years ago at Johnstown waxed into jam band noodling too many times for our tastes and we were left wondering what all the hubbub was about. 

But this band shined, and in so many ways ended up being much, much greater than the sum of its parts.  Susan handled most of the vocals in front of three horns, two background singers, a B3 with a leslie, two phenomenal guitarists and TWO DRUMMERS -- Yeah man!!  Tedeschi has gravitated toward the singer/songwriter chick thing in the past, but this time it seemed as though the presence of the background singers brought her voice up and out into real band leader status. And although she deferred to Derek for the most of the solos, her guitar work was very tasty and noticeable.   

They opened with Matthew Moore's "Space Captain" a song I've heard everyone from Barbara Streisand to the Black Crowes do, but the version I've always LOVED was from 1970's  Mad Dogs and Englishmen.  And that pretty much summed up the energy of this EXTREMELY talented 11-piece band. 

Just about any number they played would’ve fit right in w/ Joe and Leon’s classic. You could literally feel the positive energy flowing between all of the band members. They’d feed off each other’s solos and jump around like they were all having a great time. It was a very R&B laced set – lot’s of originals and a bunch of covers – including Stevie Wonder’s Uptight, Sly’s Simple Song and Dance to the Music, The Beatles I’ve Got a Feeling, Hendrix’s Manic Depression, Bonnie Raitt’s Give it up and much more. Really, Really one of the best shows we’ve seen in a while.

I heard that this was the biggest crowd ever for blues fest, and I’m happy for the Food bank, but I was kind of miffed that the only press for the entire weekend, both pre and post was about TTB.

Yeah, I know, look how much ink here and footage on YouTube I devoted to them – but that’s not the point. We enjoyed ALL of the acts and wouldn’t have made the trip or paid the money just to see TTB. This crowd got super fat right before they came on, and a lot of the people who did come early couldn’t have cared less about John Nemeth or any of the other acts that they had to sit through just to see what they came for.

It’s almost comical to see people show up with a cooler and two chairs, trying to squeeze in down front ten minutes before the main act. Reminds me of the people on TLC or NatGeo who are oblivious to what’s proper and how the rest of the people around them are acting.

Anyway, after a late night at Hartwood and a long drive home there’s nothing like a five-hour train ride to close out a great blues weekend. Kathy rode me to the station, with my suitcase in her hand. And when the train came into the station, it had two lights.....

Here's one of Tim's videos -- John Nemeth:

Thanks, Tim. Wish I could've been there.

 

 

I took the train home from Lancaster to catch the Pittsburgh Blues Festival this past weekend.  You know there’s something about a train……………..
Jimbo and the Soupbones were entertaining.  I’m a sucker for  dual percussion, and they used effectively to really jazz their stuff and give a lot of their songs a world-beat feel (think Richie Havens)  They’ve also  got Miss Feddye’s old guitarist .  He was always stepping out of bounds backing up a blues/soul  diva like Freddye , but his style fits right in here.  
 
We liked the Girls with guitars ; the y kept the pyrotechnic s to a minimum and tried to mix it up a little, playing a wide range of blues styles and just enough cover material to get apples to apples comparisons to other acts. It was nice seeing  Otis Taylor's daughter Cassie again after seeing her in Wheeling with her dad four years ago - she seemed almost cherubic back then and has acquired some blues swagger.  I am not a big fan of snarling posturers and pelvic pumpers, but somehow it was a lot more palatable when these girls got into it.  Maybe they could arrange a Charlie's Angels kind of triumvirate pose front and center with guitars instead of guns!  
 
The Pittsburgh Blues Allstars put on a good show, highlighted by Gary Belloma singing "I hate a nickel" and some great work by Jimmy Adler.  I continue to be impressed by Pure Gold's  Larry Siefers, who covered all the keyboards remarkably and played a mean sax to boot.     
 
John Nemeth's band came out smokin'  and kept an amazingly high energy level up through the whole set.   They all seemed to be completely overdressed for the heat, especially John, who never even opened his Jacket or took off his hat!. I especially enjoyed watching him work with the microphone stand (like young Rod Stewart) and stike poses during the bridges and the solos.  Sometimes he'd hit this modified parade rest position and his gray suit and sunglasses made him  look like GORT from the day the earth stood still.  The whole band is keenly aware of how the visuals and dynamics are intertwined with the show.  and they DID, a number of times,  strike a kind of Charlie's Angels pose front and center with John standing upright in front of the drums and the others kneeling off to either side.  
 
Lionel Young had to get the award for most improved act since the last time we saw him in Wheeling three years ago.  Back then it was just him on violin, and upright bass and the big guy adding some rudimentary guitar in the background.  , but this time he showed up with A BAND ELWOOD!! Horns a poppin and a nice repertoire Like the PGH blues Allstars, they played at the 2nd stage, and Kathy and I split our time watching them (standing) and keeping our (main) seats.  I came up while he was doing OV Wright's "Drowning on Dry Land" and I am sorry I couldn't film it.  I did get a good jump boogie and a (too) long version of Summertime.  But the vids don't show how good they really were.  Hope he'll be coming around for other shows. 
 
We were extremely pleased with the Tedeschi Trucks Band.  We’ve seen Susan and Derek a number of times - Susan solo and Derek both solo and with the Allman Brothers band.  Susan's show in 2003 at South Park was a lot of fun, although not especially riveting, and Derek's show two years ago at Johnstown waxed into jam band noodling too many times for our tastes and we were left wondering what all the hubbub was about.  But this band shined, and in so many ways ended up being much, much greater than the sum of its parts.  Susan handled most of the vocals in front of three horns, two background singers, a B3 with a leslie, two phenomenal guitarists and TWO DRUMMERS -- Yeah man!!  Tedeschi has gravitated toward the singer/songwriter chick thing in the past, but this time it seemed as though the presence of the background singers brought her voice up and out into real band leader status. And although she deferred to Derek for the most of the solos, her guitar work was very tasty and noticeable.   They opened with Matthew Moore's "Space Captain" a song I've heard everyone from Barbara Streisand to the Black Crowes do, but the version I've always LOVED was from 1970's  Mad Dogs and Englishmen.  And that pretty much summed up the energy of this EXTREMELY talented 11-piece band. Just about any number they played would’ve fit right in w/ Joe and Leon’s classic. You could literally feel the positive energy flowing between all of the band members. They’d feed off each other’s solos and jump around like they were all having a great time.  It  was a very  R&B laced set – lot’s of originals and a bunch of covers – including Stevie Wonder’s Uptight, Sly’s Simple Song and Dance to the Music, The Beatles I’ve Got a Feeling, Hendrix’s Manic Depression, Bonnie Raitt’s Give it up and much more.  Really, Really one of the best shows we’ve seen in a while. 
I heard that this was the biggest crowd ever for blues fest, and I’m happy for the Food bank, but I was kind of miffed that the only press for the entire weekend, both pre and post was about TTB.  Yeah, I know, look how much ink here and footage on YouTube I devoted to them – but that’s not the point. We enjoyed ALL of the acts and wouldn’t have made the trip or paid the money just to see TTB. This crowd got super fat right before they came on, and a lot of the people who did come early couldn’t have cared less about John Nemeth or any of the other acts that they had to sit through just to see what they came for.   It’s almost comical to see people show up with a cooler and two chairs, trying to squeeze in down front ten minutes before the main act.  Reminds me of the people on TLC or NatGeo who are oblivious to what’s proper and how the rest of the people around them are acting.  
Anyway, after a late night at Hartwood and a long drive home there’s nothing like a five-hour train ride to close out a great blues weekend.  Kathy rode me to the station, with my suitcase in her hand.  And when the train came into the station, it had two lights..........

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Avatar Kinect - Impressions

Wednesday, 27 July 2011 10:50 PM Written by

The wait is over for Avatar Kinect.  OK, it may not be the most anticipated piece of software ever, but it was one of the things Microsoft unveiled at E3 at their press conference.

Avatar Kinect is Microsoft's own virtual chat experience.  It uses new facial tracking features, which makes your avatar's face match whatever face you're making.  Facial recognition has been promised by companies in the past, but how well does Avatar Kinect actually work?

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PRESS TOUR: Roseanne's orchestrated interruption

Wednesday, 27 July 2011 06:45 PM Written by

rosea6961

Read more press tour coverage at the Tuned In Journal index page.

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Despite lackluster ratings for "Roseanne's Nuts," Roseanne Barr showed up at Lifetime's press tour session to interrupt network executive Nancy Dubuc.

Read what she said after the jump. ...

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PRESS TOUR: 'Boston' Rob circles the globe

Wednesday, 27 July 2011 06:13 PM Written by

ATW_Shot3_51711_SR_0179BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – “Boston” Rob Mariano, a past star of CBS’s “Survivor” and other reality shows, attempts yet another “reality” series of his own with History's “Around the World in 80 Ways.”

This time he’s paired with monster truck champ Dennis Anderson for an odd couple-ish adventure: Rob’s a Northerner, Dennis is a Southerner, now they’re traveling the world together!

Read more after the jump.  …

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PRESS TOUR: Nicollette Sheridan plays nice

Wednesday, 27 July 2011 02:36 PM Written by

HoneymoonForOne_0004U_1245bBEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – Nicollette Sheridan may be embroiled in a lawsuit over how she was treated on the set of “Desperate Housewives,” but there’s always a home for actresses in Hallmark movies. Sheridan stars in “Honeymoon for One” (9 p.m. Aug. 13) as a woman who dumps her philandering fiancé and then embarks on a solo vacation.

Read more after the jump. …

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