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Important Things with Demetri Martin

Here’s an update on the shows you’ll be seeing more of in the months to come:


  • Hannah Montana (Disney) - Season 4
  • Important Things with Demetri Martin (Comedy Central) - Season 2
  • Just for Laughs (ABC) - Season 3
  • Monster Garage (Discovery) - Season 6
  • Rachael Ray (Syndicated) - Seasons 5 & 6
  • Sonny with a Chance (Disney) - Season 2
  • Top Chef (Bravo) - Season 6

(To get a look at TV Envy’s Summer Programming Schedule, click here.)

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Gallery: TV Extensions, Renewals and Cancellations (6/9)


Tabatha Coffey on Shear GeniusAs much as I love , am I the only one getting tired of their FOX reality rip-offs?

Today, the cable channel announced that it is producing a spinoff for one of Shear Genius‘s competitors from last season. Later this summer, the cameras will be following Tabatha Coffey as she “visits struggling salons in the Los Angeles and New York areas and literally takes over the establishments to whip them into shape.” While some may say a show about hair stylists has nothing to do with FOX, I say this production smells exactly like .

In fact, Tabatha’s Salon Takeover would be the second time Bravo has adopted a concept already seen on that other network. Hell’s Kitchen debuted in May 2005 while Top Chef coincidentally appeared in March 2006. And how about ? That reality hit program played a part in Step It Up & Dance‘s debut this year.

Click to continue reading Bravo Steals Another Reality Idea

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Futon Critic

Gallery: Bravo Steals Another Reality Idea

Weeds' Mary Louise Parker

(You can view TV Envy’s Summer Television Programming Schedule here.)


MONDAY (6/16)
  • The Bachelorette: DeAnna Tells All (ABC, 8pm):  “With six bachelors remaining, assesses the competition to win her heart so far, as do her six beaus.” Apparently revealing their boxers just hasn’t told her enough.
  • Weeds (Showtime, 10pm):  Season premiere. “Nancy, Andy and the boys, on the run after she set fire to their house, head to the beach and a ‘heartwarming family reunion’ with Judah’s grandmother.” Had I known this show was only 30-minutes long, I could have caught up a long time ago!
  • The Mole (ABC, 10pm):  “The contestants, clad in nothing but their underwear, hit the streets of Santiago, Chile and solicit clothing.” At this point, the show could probably use a little skin to ramp interest up a bit.
  • Secret Diary of a Call Girl (Showtime, 10:30pm):  Series premiere. “A high-priced London escort entertains a middle-aged client who enjoys role-playing and has a penchant for being down on the farm.” I think that summary says it all.

Click to continue reading This Week on TV (6/16-6/22)

Gallery: This Week on TV (6/16-6/22)

Top Chef Andrew OutIf three previous seasons of have taught contestants anything, it is that you always have to follow the judges’ rules for each challenge. If you don’t, you are the most likely target to be sent packing. In Top Chef, taste is subjective. So all things being equal, the rules are the deal breaker.

Andrew is the latest chef to learn that lesson the hard way. His over-confident attempt to create a healthy sushi box lunch for Chicago cops (???) fell flat with the judges, both because it didn’t taste very good and also because it was missing a food group required for the challenge.

The spastic 30-year-old New York sous chef joins Nikki who went home last week after her ineffectual role in the “Wedding Wars” episode. That leaves just six chefs left to fight it out for this season’s title.

Click to continue reading Top Chef Chicago: Andrew Gets a Raw Deal

Gallery: Top Chef Chicago: Andrew Gets a Raw Deal

Top Chef, MarkTime now to check in on what’s cooking in the kitchen. The last two weeks have seen pretty boy/chef Ryan and the remaining half of the lesbian couple/competitors, Jen, go home. (Girlfriend Zoi went home in episode 5.)

This week New Zealand native and resident mop head Mark got the axe but not before questioning whether head judge Tom Colicchio, likes him personally. Sadly Mark, I think it might just be your food. This week’s challenge involved cooking for kids and he made vegetable curry, you do the math.

This week also saw single-mom Antonia get back in the game in a big way (last week she nearly went home thanks to a badly improvised dish involving polish sausage). That was then, this is now. Last night, Antonia won both the Quickfire and Elimination challenges.

Click to continue reading Top Chef Chicago: Mark Out, Antonia Back in the Game

Gallery: Top Chef Chicago: Mark Out, Antonia Back in the Game

Ugly Betty, America Ferrera

(You can view TV Envy’s Post-Strike Television Schedule here.)


MONDAY (4/21)
  • Gossip Girl (CW, 8pm):  New episode.  “A dethroned Blair musters up the strength to head back to school, and Jenny tries to keep up with the financial demands of the in-crowd.”  Mondays are always better when other people are miserable.
  • Deal or No Deal (NBC, 8pm):  George Bush provides support to a war vet going for the million.  After three tours in Iraq, the President figured it was the least he could do.
  • How I Met Your Mother (CBS, 8:30):  If you can’t handle the thought of humming a tune about sandcastles over and over again, this might not be the episode for you.
  • The Bachelor: London (ABC, 10pm):  “Matt accompanies Amanda, Chelsea, Noelle and Shayne to their hometowns.”  Being allowed to live in the U.S. takes more than just a sham marriage.  It means faking it with her family too.

Click to continue reading This Week on TV (4/21-4/27)

Gallery: This Week on TV (4/21-4/27)

Top Chef ManuelEpisode 4 of on Bravo TV was all about meshing technique with imagination. In the end, gentlemanly chef Manuel paid the price for his partner Spike’s lack of both. Manuel is out and classically trained molecular gastronomist Richard was Top Chef of the night thanks to his team’s whimsical take on a salmon dish inspired by Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory.

This episode began with a rather mundane Quickfire Challenge. Guest judge, French Chef Daniel Boulud, asked them to create a vegetable plate showcasing classic techniques, including three specific techniques designed to impress the reknowned French chef. Boulud says technique is the foundation of any worthy chef.

We learned that front-runner Richard and pretty boy Ryan both worked for Chef Boulud at some point in their careers. But Ryan brushed it off saying his stint with Boulud didn’t last long because it wasn’t his style of cooking. (For a short biography of each chef competing in season 4 click here .)

Most of the chefs seemed intimidated by this challenge. Lisa said “classical” isn’t her style. (I’m getting the feeling that applies to ANYTHING she doesn’t like to do.) In the end Chef Boulud’s least favorites were Nikki’s use of endive as a boat (too simple). Lisa’s plate was deemed too cluttered and unfocused and Manuel’s plate did not express enough technique. Chef Boulud called it “level one”.

Click to continue reading Top Chef Chicago: Manuel Packs His Knives and Goes

Gallery: Top Chef Chicago: Manuel Packs His Knives and Goes

Top Chef logo

I’ve decided to enact a strict “three episode” policy for all reality shows. I won’t judge how good or bad the show is until I’ve sat through three entire episodes. This policy is painful at times, but necessary to weed awful shows out of the limited time I have to watch TV. (See .)

I’ve now completed my preliminary obligation to and despite some reservations (no pun intended) after the first two episodes, I’ve decided this could end up being a good season after all.

The fourth installment of the popular reality series takes 15 would-be celebrity chefs to the culinary mecca of Chicago. This season is a familiar blend of stereotypical characters from seasons past with one big exception: this time around there is a lesbian couple among the competitors (they compete separately, of course).

Click to continue reading Top Chef Chicago: Episode 3

Gallery: Top Chef Chicago: Episode 3

The Real Housewives of New York City

(You can view TV Envy’s Post-Strike Television Schedule here.)


MONDAY (3/10)
  • The Bachelor: Where Are They Now? (ABC, 8pm):  “Highlights from past seasons include segments catching up with past bachelors (Andrew Firestone and Aaron Buerge) and former contestants.”  So the whole point of the show is to say there is no point to this show.  Look at how successful it’s been!
  • Canterbury’s Law (FOX, 8pm):  Series premiere.  “Julianna Margulies stars as a maverick defense lawyer who plays by her own rules to help the falsely accused.”  I’m guessing will still be on long after this program goes off the air.
  • New Amsterdam (FOX, 9pm):  Regular day and time.  If you didn’t watch last Tuesday or Thursday, I’m sure you won’t tonight either.
  • October Road (ABC, 9pm):  Special time.  In the season (series?) finale, “Eddie’s ex-girlfriend shows up to reconnect with him, causing problems in his relationship with Janet.”  Since we may never get a satisfactory resolution from this ratings-starved show, let’s just pretend Janet kicks her ass.

Click to continue reading This Week on TV (3/10-3/16)

Gallery: This Week on TV (3/10-3/16)

The Closer


MONDAY (12/3)
  • (TNT, 8pm):  The special two-hour holiday episode brings Brenda’s parents into the investigative fold.  Nothing says Christmas like talking blood with your blood.
  • (NBC, 9pm):  (NOTE:  This is the last new episode left.)  ‘Peter squares off against former friends thanks to Adam’s confusing story about the Shanti virus.’  He shouldn’t fault Adam; the confusing storyline is to blame.
  • (FOX, 9pm):  ‘Boulet and Cobb investigate an insurance adjuster’s murder.’  As if there weren’t enough people in New Orleans with a motive.
  • (NBC, 10pm): (First half of the two-parter; 2nd half airs Wednesday).  ‘Evidence points to Reese’s father in the murders that sent Crews to prison.’  I’m guessing this won’t be resolved anytime soon…otherwise, we wouldn’t have a show.

Click to continue reading This Week on TV (12/3-12/9)

Gallery: This Week on TV (12/3-12/9)