General

The NZ Herald has named a top five all-time favourite shows as based on comments made by their readers over a few days recently.

Their top five list is:
Fawlty Towers
Only Fools and Horses
Blackadder
M*A*S*H
Sex and the City/Outrageous Fortune

What about you?  How does this list compare with your top five all time favourite TV shows?

Here’s a surprising move.  Telecom, the company that everyone has loved to hate over broadband speeds and data caps, is leading the charge with the country’s first all you can eat plan.

This is great news for Sky Online who this week put their service on hold due to poor data caps.  It also means TVNZ Ondemand is likely to be used a bit more now that families wont be so concerned about going over their data limits.

The $59.95 Big Time plan will be available from the 7th of July ($10 more if you don’t have your calls with Telecom).  The one down side is that there will likely be traffic shaping during peak hours on large files including music, movies and software.

I’ve put the question to Telecom as to whether this means that they’ll now be peering locally which should see speeds to sites like TVNZ Ondemand increase.

It will now be interesting to see what the other ISP’s do.  What new plans can we expect to see?

In any case, Telecom have made the first move.  A move that many of us have been waiting for for a long time!

New Idea has a double page spread with the guys from Shortland Street and you can win a prize pack.

Woman’s Day has a feature on New Zealand’s Next Top Model winner, Christobelle and interviews with Laura and Hosanna.

Shortland Street’s Adam Rickitt talks about nearly losing his mum.

TV developments

Lily Allen will have a cameo on Neighbours.

Health Gossip

While the mags say it’s weeks before Susan Boyle will be released from the London psychiatric hospital where she was treated for an emotional breakdown, the Sunday papers say she’s already checked out.

Coronation Street‘s Kym Marsh shows off her new breasts after having implants.

Oprah vows to lose weight for the millionth time.

Concerns for Jordan and Tori Spelling‘s low weight.

Money Gossip

Gordon Ramsey has admitted he was recently on the verge of bankruptcy, owing $18 million in tax.

Relationships Gossip

Hayley Holt and Richie McCaw are photographed together now they’re both back in the country.

Tori Spelling is said to have cut off all ties with her mother Candy.

Baby Gossip

Jennifer Hudson is about to give birth to her first child.

Parminder Nagra (ER) has had a baby boy, Kai.

More soon.

John Campbell will be warned but not prosecuted by police after admitting he broke an official cordon and snuck past armed offenders during the Napier siege to get exclusive news footage. 

“I think that’s our job as reporters to do that – we alone had got the pictures and we had worked hard to get them, been sensible to get them but we had got them.”

SST asks 42 New Zealanders what they will do when the recession ends.

New Zealand’s Next Top Model winner Christobelle Grierson-Ryrie is celebrated.

Nightline’s David Farrier is self-funding a documentary on the Mongolian Death Worm, find out more at his website.

Rhys Darby will star on the new series of The Jacquie Brown Diaries.

Lucy Lawless has posted a mockumentary clip on YouTube:

Gossip

Is Nightline presenter Samantha Hayes going to move to TVNZ?

Matthew Ridge has a fractured hip and pelvis after accidentally being hit by a car at Car-fe. 

Andrew Shaw and Paul Ellis were Spy-ed having lunch together. 

Candy Lane was Spy-ed shopping in Sydney.

Spy points out that Chris Sisarich from New Zealand’s Next Top Model takes more photos of cars than models, according to his website.

Asia Downunder
presenter Jessie Gurunathan is going to hospital for her third laparoscopy surgery.  Jessie suffers from endometriosis.

The wedding photos saga between Shane Cortese and Nerida with New Idea has heated up with it going down a legal track.  New Idea denies they have withheld photos from the couple.

Dai Henwood‘s diet is analysed by nutritionist Jacquie Dale.

Blind item

“Which acting star with ideas of grandeur has left his long-suffering agent in a desperate bid to increase his star power?  Presumably, he’s forgotten who got him a top posting in the first place.”

Will Hall shares a week in his life

Toyota’s new TV ads: Believe

Telecom admits TV ad “faked”

Interviews

Robbie Magasiva talks about his upcoming role as Doctor Maxwell Avia on Shortland Street.

Actor Peter Elliot is interviewed by Sunday magazine – he talks about his childhood and his career.

SST has an interview with Sir Michael Parkinson

View has a double page spread on Hugh Laurie (House). 

Some interesting tidbits you may or may not already know:

He turns 50 this week. 
His father was a GP in England. 
Laurie has signed up for two more series of House.
He is estimated to be paid $635,000 NZ per episode. 
He has three children (aged 16, 18, 21) and has been married for 20 years.

Reviews

SST and HOS both review 20/20 Special Edition: The Ugly about Beauty:

“flinchingly painful to watch.  What is truly grisly is watching the neuroses and sorrow of a middle-aged woman, laid squirmingly embarrassingly bare.”

“Once you are inside, it’s hard to get out.  I know, deep down, it’s wrong.  But, damn I look good at the moment.”

Who’s advertising?

Native Affairs – Maori Television
Code – Maori Television
Lie to Me – TV3

News

TV3′s 23 hour “The Big Night In Telethon 2009”  on August 8-9th will raise funds for KidsCan StandTall – a charity providing shoes, raincoats and food to thousands of kids in low-decile schools.  Those involved include OpShop, Smashproof, Gin Wigmore, Mike McRoberts, Hilary Barry, Carly Flynn, Petra Bagust, Martin Henderson, Karl Urban.  There’s also be a search for New Zealand’s Top Singer in association with More FM.

More on the Lion Man‘s former Zion Wildlife Gardens after the tragic death of tiger keeper Dalu Mncube.

The immense pressure on Britain’s Got Talent finalist Susan Boyle is profiled in the Herald on Sunday.  At the time of going to print, the winner (dance group Diversity) was not decided. Simon Cowell wants to make a movie about Susan Boyle.

Good Morning host Brendon Pongia is a finalist in the Hyundai Code Sports Personality of the Year Award.  He’s up against Conrad Smith, Murray Mexted and Kate McIlroy.  To vote visit wellingtonsportsawards.co.nz

Producer of New Zealand’s Next Top Model responds to speculation that Christobelle has won by saying no decision has been made on the winner – the finale will be filmed tonight but air on Friday.

Reviews

Deborah Hill Cone reviews new crime show Lie to Me.  She says star Tim Roth gives Hugh Laurie a run for his money as a grumpy genius sex symbol.  “Lie to me is a hot show because it reminds us no matter how smart we get and how many gizmos we have, we’re all just animals – with animal instincts.”

Cliff Taylor reviews Maori Television‘s bilingual version of It’s in the Bag which debuts tonight at 7pm.  Pio Terei says: “Filming in places like Bulls, Levin, Foxton and Shannon was a great experience.  There’s a real energy in those areas, that was proven by the fun we had.  They appreciated us coming and putting on a show.  What you are seeing is real people on TV and people love that.  We had one of the old kuia, the old ladies, and there was no way she was going to take the money.  She was a punter, a gambler, and she ended up winning a potato peeler.  Everyone was real sad for her, but she was really pleased.  She said: “I’ll take this down to the bowling club and talk about it for years!”

Interviews

Outrageous Fortune‘s Siobhan Marshall is interviewed in Sunday News:

“I would love to do something completely different.  My ideal role at the moment would probably be the opposite to Pascalle.  I want to play someone clever, someone smart.  I’m worried that when Outrageous finishes I won’t get any more work in New Zealand because I’ll be Pascalle.” 

Siobhan says she’s a “nana” who rarely goes out, only wears make-up when working, plays indoor netball and does belly dancing.  She’s planning to travel to Cairns, Samoa and Asia.  She’s currently rehearsing for a play, Little Blonde Hen.

View talks about the return of Ethan Pierce on Shortland Street.  Actor Owen Black says Ethan was one of the most fun characters he’s played but says dead Ethan is a caricature of the alive Ethan.  Anna Julienne, who plays Maia, says “it was almost a reprieve to go completely bonkers!” and says the storyline has been “physically and emotionally demanding”.

Wheel of Fortune’s Sonia Gray talks to Herald on Sunday about suffering from pre-eclampsia while recently pregnant with her twin girls.  The babies were born six weeks early but are now nine weeks old and thriving.

Pacific Beat Street‘s Koryn Dunstan talks books – her favourite is Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, is currently reading Imagining Marketing Art Aesthetics & the Avant-Garde as she’s trying to finish her PhD.  She’d like to read Gogo Mama by Sally Sara.

Dai Henwood talks about his past week’s social diary which included performing his show Shabba! at SkyCity, being interviewed on C4, doing his radio show Saturdai Live and filming for Jono’s New Show.

Stacey Morrison shares a photo of her when she was six with Sunday and talks about her family.

Law and Order‘s Vincent D’Onofrio talks about his role on the show.

Poirot‘s David Suchet talks about playing the role over the past 20 years.

Nicolette Sheridan talks about being axed from Desperate Housewives.  Sheridan complains her character Edie was never added to the opening credits, creator Marc Cherry rarely spoke of her in interviews and her character always had a raw deal.  Sheridan says the show lost a lot of its magic, felt complacent and was frustrating.  Edie may come back in flashbacks in future episodes even though she dies.

Spooks star Richard Armitage talks about his new role on the show.

Who is Advertising?

Outrageous Fortune
Lie to Me

Gossip

Barry Soper is to marry ONE News reporter Heather du Plessis-Allan later this year.  She will be his third wife.

Paparazzi Photos

Marcus Lush photographed in Ponsonby Rd wearing long baggy jeans and no shoes.

Newly revamped Sunday News thinks it’s important to put on page 5 a large photo of Tamati Coffey inspecting a friend’s car after a bus crashed into it.

Spy’s Blind Items

“Which TV3 star is desperately concerned that a trumped-up young hack will take up the power pen?”

“Which major media player chortled in front of media big-wigs that Media 7 referred to the number of people who watched the show?”

“Which TV star, in his own words, “sleeps with sl**s”?”

Sagas

Shane and Nerida Cortese are in a dispute with New Idea over their deal for exclusive wedding photos.  Unofficial photos were published in a rival magazine.  The couple are desperate to receive their wedding photos but New Idea says the pair did not meet their side of an exclusive contract.  Shane Cortese is starring in Cats which opens this weekend in Auckland.  He plays Rum Tum Tugger and got fitness training from Monty Betham.  Shane recently returned from Las Vegas, where he renewed his wedding vows with Nerida.

Other

Wendyl Nissen talks about being a reporter on TV show April in the Afternoon.

Gok Wan gives long-haul travel tips.

Shortland Street

Anna Julienne tells New Idea how she’s been affected by playing the role of Maia Jeffries descent into madness after killing Ethan Pierce.  More…

Ex-Shortland Streeter Nicola Kawana (Huia) stars in Nga Manurere a play about solo mums with Keisha Castle-Hughes.

Sarah Thomson (Tracey Morrison) talks to NZWW about becoming an ambassador for Greenpeace.  “It’s very easy to have blinkers on about the situation.  And it’s just naive.  We’ve already done so much damage in disrespecting this spinning piece of rock we all live on… It’s understandable that people want to maintain their current way of life but we all need to make it a priority to be good global citizens.  I love the science of things and I feel these issues are incredibly important, but I think where my talent lies is in advocacy and communicating ideas.”

Will Hall (Kip Denton) tells Woman’s Day about how he met his girfriend from Christchurch Julia Timings (22).  After originally meeting after a charity ball, WIll reconnected with her via Facebook and messaged each other with quotes from “Team America”.  Will says he became a Facebook and Skype addict keeping in touch with her.   Julia plans to move to Auckland to be with Will.  Julia has even filmed a scene with TK on the soap.

TV stars Robyn Malcolm, Bonnie Soper and Harry McNaughton model new Greenpeace t-shirts for “Sign On”.

New Zealand’s Next Top Model

Woman’s Day interviews judge Colin Mathura-Jeffree.  He says he collects rare dolls and action figures.  He talks about his modelling experiences.

Latest eliminee Victoria Williams (21) is now working in a factory in Auckland and is a celebrity ambassador for KONO Mussells.

Woman’s Day Awards

Top Local Female
Candy Lane (28%)
Hayley Holt (26%)
Amanda Billing (20%).

Top Local Male
Richie McCaw (33%)
Marc Ellis (30%)
Paul Henry (23%).

Upcoming TV

In the season finale of Desperate Housewives, Susan and her son MJ are kidnapped and held at gunpoint by a crazed widower hell-bent on revenge.

Susan Boyle gets a mention on The Simpsons when Homer auditions for Spingfield’s Got Talent.  Homer tells judge Simon Cowell: “My name is Homer Simpson, I’m 39 years old and I’ve never been kissed.  My dream is to be a great singer like Susan Boyle.”

Faye Dunaway is to guest appear on Grey’s Anatomy as Dr Campbell.

Interviews

20/20 host Miriama Kamo talks to Woman’s Day about having endometriosis and her fertility problems.

Money Man Brendon Johnson tells New Idea about almost losing his pet dog Sherman when he ran onto SH1 and was hit by a car.

Outrageous Fortune‘s Tyler-Jame Mitchel (Sheree) talks to Woman’s Day about how she prepares for her role – she watched lots of trailer-trash-setting shows, took pole-dancing and boxing lessons.

New Idea interviews The Restaurant Series 2 winners Michele English and Russell Clement.

Woman’s Day interviews Gok Wan who is full of praise for Tamati: “I love you so much.  You’re the most handsome man I’ve ever seen in my entire life…. The weather guy is just to die for! Tamati.  We’re dating at the moment, me and Tamati.  He doesn’t actually know it – but we are.”

NZWW talks to Coronation Street‘s Kym Marsh (Michelle Connor) who lost her premature son Archie in February.  “Whatever hardship I experience in my life, I know I can get through.  It’s been a tough old struggle, but you have to try and try and try – and you do come through it.  Going back to work is the right thing to do after any rough time – obviously not straightaway, but you do have to go back.  Being on the Street has helped me tremendously to return to some kind of normality and I’m really grateful to everyone I work with for that.  They’ve all been so kind and have given me so much support and understanding.  There have been occasions when I’ve been at rock bottom, but my greatest inspiration is my family.  The kids have been a great support and they’re so grateful for the life we all have that it makes everything worthwhile.”

Gossip

David Duchovny and his wife Tea Leoni are to renew their wedding vows in November and are said to be trying for a third child together.

Mariska Hargitay (SVU) suffered from a partially collapsed lung after a stunt on the show went wrong.

Sarah Jessica Parker spent $29,000 on the nursery for her twins.

Coronation Street stars Tina O’Brien and Ryan Thomas are photographed with their six month old baby girl Scarlett.

Heroes star Hayden Panettiere (19) is spotted holidaying with her latest lover Steve Jones (32).

Cynthia Nixon has announced her engagement to Christine Marinoni. 

Reality TV star Jordan says she’s fallen for someone else, and that’s why she’s broken up with Peter Andre.  Ellen Pompeo (Grey’s Anatomy) is photographed with her baby bump.

Pamela Anderson shocked guests at an AIDS fundraiser when she came out dressed in a gold bling swimsuit.

Marica Cross is seen out and about with her twin girls and her husband Tom Mahoney who is underdoing cancer treatment.

Tori Spelling’s low weight, a rumored 41kg, is criticised. 

Charlie Sheen shows off his twin boys Max and Bob in this week’s Woman’s Day.

Highlights

It’s all about the return of Outrageous Fortune on June 2 in View this week.  There’s a recap of what’s happened to date and why the show is dubbed “the best television New Zealand has ever made.”  The show averages 770,000 viewers – the second-highest-rating-peak-time series after Desperate Housewives.

The West Family Album will be published in August which includes a drinking game, quiz, photos, interviews and all sorts of little details.

Season 5 has Eric back, more babies, wedding bells and Detective Sergeant Gerard will shake things up.  Gary won’t be back but there will be new character called Angel, a Suzanne Paul cameo and some very traumatic moments.

NZ on air is yet to make a decision on funding a sixth season of the show but James Griffin has confirmed a sixth season would be the last.

News

Kiwi celebrities are getting behind Greenpeace’s “Sign On” climate change campaign including Lucy Lawless, Rhys Darby, Robyn Malcolm, Bonnie Soper, Harry McNaughton and Sarah Thomson.

Mike King is under fire by media commentators for not paying back the money he earnt while fronting the TV commericals for NZ Pork after his expose on the industry last week on TV ONE’s Sunday.

Jeremy Wells is under fire for being endorsing Meridian Energy in their TV and online ads after Meridian was found to be overcharing their customers.

Ben Boyce (Pulp Sport) is in the running for the Mt Albert by-election:  “I’m not interested in a motorway or a tunnel for Mt Albert, I’m planning on introducing a log flume instead.  I’m currently devising a complex pulley system so we can pick up the entire suburb of Mt Albert and move it to Remuera.  A very costly initiative but I believe it will pay off as once the Mt Albert homes are in Remuera, their value will skyrocket.  Being on a sports comedy TV show will help me get the male vote and being more feminine than the last Mt Albert MP will help with the females.”

There’s more re-hash of old news in the ongoing Tony Veitch saga – this time a 358-page police report has been released publicly.

Reviews + Interviews

Sunday interviews Lesley-Ann Brandt who plays Leilani in Diplomatic Immunity.  The article covers the mixed reviews of the show and outrage that a South African (Brandt) plays the role of a Pacific Islander.  Brandt started her career in modelling before moving into IT recruitment and doing TV work on the side.  Her next role is playing Naevia in Spartacus: Blood and Sand – a handmaiden to Lucy Lawless’ character.

SST goes behind the scenes of Maori Television’s Code – often their #1 rating show. Matua Parkinson says “A lot of people can related to us; we’re not asking the generic, boring-arse questions. [The players] know we are probably going to take the piss out of them, but we will take the piss out of ourselves first.  That breaks the ice.  We try to laugh with our guests.”  He turns up less than an hour before the show goes to air and says he doesn’t know who’s on the show, he doesn’t read his emails and just turns up.  He doesn’t want to look too rehearsed. The show gets about 38,000 viewers a week and 100 TXTs and episode.

View talks to Phil Keoghan of The Amazing Race.  Last year he flew an estimated 650,000km and is talking to various NZ companies about marketing opportunities overseas.  The Amazing Race takes up about a quarter of his work.  He also promotes his book No Opportunity Wasted.

SST reviews Doctor Who and profiles the new doctor, Matt Smith.

Deborah Hill Cone reviews SVU: Special Victims Unit.

Gossip

Gok Wan says “I’m actually a little bit sexually obsessed with Tamati at the moment… You know, his beautiful olive skin went bright red when I said I had a crush on him.  Bless.”

Chase Crawford (Nate in Gossip Girl) will star in the upcoming Footloose movie remake. 

Sarah Jessica Parker speaks out about her surrogate mum:  “I am incredibly outraged by the sort of extraordinary and unprecedented invasion of her privacy.  The most unsavoury things have been done.  SHe’s had her phone hacked, her personal computer information hacked, she’s had threats against her and true harassmehnt.  She’s had friends threateed and family threatened and she’s had family of freinds threatened.”

New Zealand’s Next Top Mode judge Colin Mathura-Jeffree tells SST about his past week where he celebrated his birthday with family and The Edge (who invited two strippers) and then at the Gin Room.  He’s reading “Pony Club Secrets” by Stacy Gregg. 

TVNZ Breakfast producer Sarah Bristow accidentally spat on Gok Wan.  He laughed and took it well. 

Jowl McHale
(The Soup) says he likes to watch Deadliest Catch, Dirty obs, Bizarre Foods, Discovery Channel, Flight of the Conchords, Mad Men, Battlestar Galactica, 30 Rock, The Office and yes, American Idol.

Blind items

“Which very high-profile TV stars are hiding a sensational secret that, if exposed, would not only ruin their good girl personas and their marriages, but would disappoint their thousands of fans who buy into their happily married working-mum images?  If their secret life as lipstick lesbian partners was ever exposed, that’s it.  The end.  Careers gone; marriages over; celebrity star power permanently tarnished.  Though there’d be nothing stopping them flogging another women’s rag story.”

“Which ex of which TV star was once a lesbian heroin addict in London?”

Competitions

Win Nickelodeon prize packs in this week’s Sunday News.  TXT WIN NICK to 389 or email giveaways@sunday-news.co.nz with NICK in the subject line.

Who’s advertising?

SVU
3 News

A pilot is two things: A) The person behind the wheel when you’re flying.  B) The first episode of a new TV show.

In this week’s Upfronts the networks revealed, in varying detail, many of their new shows which will begin in September.  The networks make a big deal of this, and it can turn into a real show piece, all trying to demonstrate why they deserve a bigger piece of the advertising pie.

With Pay-TV becoming just as big a force as network TV in recent years, and the fact that they do not conform to the September-May ratings period the networks use, the new season of shows starting in September is far less of a rule than it used to be.  Pay TV channels like HBO, Showtime, and FX start their new shows at all times of the year, not necessarily waiting to begin in September as the traditional network model has dictated.

Even the networks have begun to buck the trend recently, with many shows not beginning until January this allows them the luxury of screening a new episode every week.

The biggest advantage of this format for viewers is that they don’t have to suffer frequent reruns of old episodes, which can often turn viewers off as it just becomes too much work to keep up and remember when a new episode is on.  Think about it, in the US they have to stretch 22 episodes out over almost 9 months, which could mean 14 or more weeks that they have to fill with either a repeat or a whole different show.

This gives the networks a few options:

A) Show 3 or 4 new episodes every 6 weeks, and fill the other weeks with something else, which is what has traditionally been what they’ve done.

B) Show the whole season back to back with a new episode every week.  24 and Lost are both shows that have used this format to their advantage, and are prime examples of how this works as creatively they obviously both benefit from not having long gaps between new episodes where people can forget what’s happening.

C) Have only a few one week breaks in the season which extends it slightly.  The approach Lost employed this season (two one week breaks over 17 episodes – although the first and last episodes were both double episodes).

D) Break the season in two - run the first half back to back, take a big break in the middle, then show the rest.  Lost tried this a couple of years ago and it didn’t really work for them, Prison Break also did it the last two years.

In New Zealand they always used to do either B or C, with the new shows they thought were going to rate the best starting in February and running (more or less) until they ran out of new episodes.  In the last couple of years they’ve begun to change their model here too, with the occasional show starting in about November and airing new episodes close(r) to the US airdates.  In Australia it’s not uncommon for episodes of their most popular shows (I know they did this for House) to air 48 hours or less after they do in the US.  The downside of starting the new episodes sooner obviously being that you’re going to have to put up with a break or some repeats during the season.  Some shows, typically the procedurals that have standalone episodes with little or no major continuing storylines, aren’t at all affected by this.  For a while there I felt like there was either a Law and Order or CSI on every single night of the week, and half the time you can never tell where it falls within their limited continuity.  Which is the beauty of them, and precisely why they’ll be in repeats forever.  Other shows, the serials that rely heavily on long storylines drawn out over weeks, months, or the whole season, can really suffer from those breaks.  Sometimes it can cost them heavily in lost viewers, and sometimes it’s heavy enough for the show to get cancelled.

My personal preference is to not wait weeks from one new episode to the next, although I guess that viewpoint is strongly influenced by my love of serialised shows like Lost or Dexter.  When I’m wrapped up in the world of a show I don’t even like to have to wait seven days for my next fix, which is one reason my shelves are bursting with TV shows on DVD.  But I certainly prefer one episode a week to getting a couple, then nothing for a week or two, then a new one, then another gap…

So are you like me and prefer to watch one episode after another of a continuing storyline like chapters in a novel?

Are you happy to get a new episode episode weekly?

Do a few weeks of repeats bother you?

Or do you not care, and just watch whatever’s on TV when you turn it on?  (If you’re the person keeping Wife Swap on TV, please stop)

Come back next week for “Upfronts Part Three: New Pilots 2009″

It’s “Upfronts” week in the US, which is when all the big networks present their new schedules which will air from September to May to potential advertisers.  The networks show previews of their new and existing shows, and advertisers then decide which ones they want to buy their ad-time in.  They then give the networks a bunch of money for that ad-time, which helps the networks go away and actually finish making the shows so they’re ready to begin airing in September.

This is usually when we’ll find out some more information on the new shows, or pilots, which each network has picked up, as well as finding out which shows they have decided to renew (or in some cases, prolong!).  Perhaps the most interesting part of the announcements this year is the number of shows given 13 episode seasons, as opposed to the standard 22, which seems like a pretty clear cost-cutting measure.  Shorter (often 13 episode) seasons are common on the US Pay TV channels like HBO, Showtime, and FX, but now the networks seem to be embracing the shorter runs too.  There is of course always the chance that those 13 episode orders can be extended to a full 22 if they rate well enough.

 

From this year, some announcements will be no surprise: Lost gets its final season, Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy will continue.

Sometimes there are pleasant surprises: Chuck gets another (albeit 13 episode) season, and Scrubs, which was assumed to be dead and gone after its finale last week, but somehow gets renewed (with many of the main cast – Zach Braff/Sarah Chalke – returning for 6 episodes).

And sometimes there are shocking renewals: America’s Funniest Home Videos and Wife Swap both get new seasons.  Who really watches that stuff?

 

Personally, I’m most pleased to see Chuck will be back for a third season (although it’s at the cost of a shorter season, some of their stellar supporting cast, and two writers), Castle getting a second season (one of my favourite shows so far of 2009), Fringe and Lie to me coming back, and quite surprisingly, Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse being renewed for 13 episodes.  Dollhouse has had pretty miserable ratings in its Friday night slot on Fox, but they’re obviously happy enough to bring it back for another go, although it will also have fairly large budget cuts (along with Chuck).  It’s nice to see a network (particularly Fox, who are notorious for cancelling shows without a second thought – or sometimes second episode) giving these shows a chance to really build a following, though lets face it, they wouldn’t do it if they didn’t think it could make money.  And in Dollhouse’s case I’m sure they’re also taking into account Whedon’s rabid following who will also no doubt buy the show on DVD, and as JJ Abrams has been quoted as saying, those plastic cases don’t cost (US)$50.

 

I’m most disappointed that Life was cancelled, I really enjoyed both seasons of it (the second hasn’t begun here yet).  And I hadn’t even realised they were still making According To Jim…

 

Below are a number of shows that have been renewed, cancelled, or are still on the bubble (could go either way).  Are you happy to see them back?  Do wish some of them would just go away?  Let us know.  Information on the new shows is to come soon.

 

Renewed:

ABC: Lost, Brothers and Sisters, Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, Ugly Betty, Private Practice, Castle, Better off Ted, Scrubs

CBS: Two and a Half Men, Survivor, The Big Bang Theory, The Amazing Race, Cold Case, Ghost Whisperer

CW: Gossip Girl, America’s Next Top Model, 90210, Smallville, One Tree Hill, Supernatural

Fox: Fringe, American Idol, 24, Family Guy, The Simpsons, American Dad, Til Death, Lie To Me, Dollhouse, Bones

NBC: 30 Rock, The Office, Friday Night Lights, Law & Order: SVU, Parks and Recreation, Southland, Heroes

 

Likely to live (but no confirmation yet):

CBS: The Mentalist, CSI, CSI: NY, CSI: Miami, NCIS, Numb3rs, Criminal Minds, How I Met Your Mother, Flashpoint

 

On the Bubble:

CBS: The Unit, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Gary Unmarried, Rules of Engagement

CW: Privileged

Fox: Sit Down, Shut Up

NBC: Law & Order, My Name Is Earl

 

Likely to be cancelled:

ABC: Cupid, According to Jim

CBS: Eleventh Hour, Worst Week

CW: Without A Trace, Everybody Hates Chris, Reaper

 

Cancelled:

ABC: The Unusuals, Samantha Who?, Opportunity Knocks, Boston Legal, Life On Mars, Eli Stone, Dirty Sexy Money, Pushing Daisies

CBS: The Ex List

Fox: Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles, Do Not Disturb, Prison Break

NBC: Life, Kath & Kim, Kings, Knight Rider, My Own Worst Enemy, Lipstick Jungle, Crusoe, ER

 

Thoughts?  Opinions?  Is your favourite show coming back or are you going to be stuck watching the same episodes over and over on DVD?

 

Come back tomorrow for “Upfronts Part Two: Pilots 101″

In the Woman’s Mags this week:

NZ articles

Bernadine Oliver-Kerby is expecting her second baby.

Woman’s Day interviews Paul Henry and his mum Olive Hopes (79) – who jumped off the SkyTower to celebrate her birthday.   She says Paul’s never embarrassed her but he’s definitely given her cause for concern.  “I said to him, ‘Paul, you’re going to get in trouble.’ He’s a bugger at times, and very funny.  And he certainly livens that programme up.”  She watches him every day.

Paul was born in New Zealand three years after his parents moved to New Zealand from England and he is a quarter gypsy.  When Paul was 11, he went back to England with his mum and lived in a council flat.  “We were really poor.  I went without all luxuries but there was nothing that I needed.  For me it was horrible, because living in a council flat i England as opposed to living in Howick with a track down to the beach and a dinghy… it couldn’t have been further removed.  It was pretty miserable.”

Step inside actor Andrew Eggelton’s Westmere home in Woman’s Day.  He hosts Sky TV’s Girl Racers and plays Detective Inspector Bill Lamont on Shortland Street.  The house won House of the Year in 1926. 

Shortland Street actress Sarah McLeod (Cindy Watson) talks to Woman’s Day about living with coeliac disease which means she has to have a gluten-free diet.

New Zealand’s Next Top Model eliminated contestant Teryl-Leigh talks to Woman’s Day about her financial problems.  She narrowly missed being bankrupt and signed a “No Asset Procedure” scheme.  The solo mum of two boys Zion (4) and Venice (1) said she struggled being apart from her kids and missed her son’s first steps.  She says she’s not mean as she was portrayed on the show.  She would love to become a lawyer one day.

Stacey Morrison talks to New Zealand’s Woman’s Weekly about her new role hosting It’s in the Bag which starts later this month.  Learn more.

Baby Gossip

Chyler Leigh (Lexie, Grey’s Anatomy) has given bith to her third child, Anniston Kae. 

Sarah Michelle Gellar is five months pregnant with a girl.  Sarah’s currently filming a pilot for HBO, The Wonderful Maladays.

Cynthia Nixon (Sex and the City) wants to have a baby – evem if via a surrogate like Sarah Jessica Parker.

Coronation Street
actor Jack P Shepherd (David Platt) shows off his 3 month old daughter Nyla to girlfriend Lauren Shippey.

Sarah Jessica Parker‘s surrogate mother is reported to be bisexual.

Jennifer Garner talks about being a mom being her number one priority and not being in a rush to get back to being shape.

TV Developments

Luke Perry will guest star in 90210.

Maggie will talk in The Simpsons - she’ll give a speech about babies’ rights.  Jodie Foster will give voice to her.

Official Simpsons stamps have been launched. Check them out.

Coronation Street won six awards at the British Soap Awards but lost the supreme award to EastEnders.

Bruce Willis appeared on the Letterman show wearing a rubber-band helmet. See the video.

Health Gossip

Kath & Kim star Magda Szubanski has gone from 121kg down to 91kg.  Her goal is 85kg.

Farrah Fawcett (Charlie’s Angels) nears the end of her battle with cancer. A two hour documentary has screened.

Kym Marsh (Coronation Street) has had a breast enlargement.

Vanessa Williams (Ugly Betty) admits to using botox to help her stay looking young.  The 46 year old mum of four also does weight training twice a week with a personal trainer.

Relationships Gossip

Reality TV stars Katie Price (aka Jordan) and Peter Andre have split after almost four years of marriage.

Heidi Klum (Project Runway) and Seal renewed wedding vows with a white-trash theme.

David Duchovny and Tea Leoni have had a second honeymoon in the Carribbean.

Other

Underbelly actor Peter Phelps (Joe Messina) talks to New Idea about being a dad to his two girls Aja Blue (6) and Polly Elsie Rose (3).  

Eric Dane (McSteamy, Grey’s Anatomy) is spotted jet skiing in Miami.

Oprah
‘s $66 million ranch in southern California is in the path of out-of-control bushfires.

Lincoln Lewis (Geoff Campbell, Home and Away) lends his support to RSPCA.

Coronation Street stars wonder if there’s a ghost haunting the soap’s set.

Victoria Principal (Dallas) allegedly pulled a gun on her housekeeper because she took too long to walk her dog.

More articles following the rugby league sex-scandal documentary.

Gok Wan of Gok’s Fashion Fix is in New Zealand this week gives style advice in New Idea.

Miranda Cosgrove, the down-to-earth star of Nickelodeon’s iCarly is profiled in New Idea.  She’s currently producing her debut solo album and is tipped to be in the upcoming movie How Could You Do This to Me.