Bob Newhart's fans have been waiting for this one - his first appearance on The Big Bang Theory Thursday night (May 2). Duly promoted as befits a sweeps-sized casting coup, Newhart has come aboard TV's highest-rated sitcom for at least three episodes, playing a "Mr. Wizard"- style kiddie science show host who's a childhood idol of Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and Leonard (Johnny Galecki). When Sheldon learns that "Professor Proton" is available for appearances, he giddily books him for an engagement at their apartment.
For the past three seasons of Showtime's The Big C, Laura Linney's cancer-stricken character, Cathy Jamison, has gone through three stages of grief - denial, anger, bargaining. In the season that launches April 29, subtitled "Here after," Cathy will reach the stage of acceptance. This is a different kind of a season - with four two-hour episodes they're calling a "limited series event."
When Nurse Jackie debuted in 2009, ingesting mass quantities of Oxycontin and Adderall, trading sex for pills, careening from raw emotion to mordant humor, she didn't look like a strong candidate for longevity. But here we are, about to embark upon Season 5, premiering on Showtime tonight. Emmy winner Edie Falco's emergency room anti-heroine has made it through rehab and is about to face her toughest challenge yet - sobriety.
At the Mad Men Season 6 premiere last month at the Director's Guild Theater in Hollywood, Jon Hamm told reporters that the drama's time frame for this season has parallels to today - an intriguing idea, in that Mad Men is now in 1968, arguably the most dramatic year of calamity and change in those tumultuous times. (Yes, yes - we know hyper-secretive series creator Matt Weiner wanted the year kept under wraps, but it has already been reported elsewhere.)
Game of Thrones, Season 3, is seven days away, and already you can hear it coming. The HBO fantasy drama series is at the center of a pop culture tornado roaring our way, swirling with action figures and bobblehead dolls, crowds of fans and photographers at its Grauman's Chinese Theatre premiere, a couple of TV Critics awards, a Peabody and more. Distinctively, G of T can claim both a collection of prestigious honors and a worldwide cult following in 70+ countries. It is visually breathtaking, decidedly adult fare - even with its dragons - and probably does have more in common with The Sopranos, as some have suggested, than it does with many of its siblings in the fantasy realm.
Vikings sets out on its voyage as History's first original series tonight (3/3), and it's quite the spectacle to behold. From filmmaker Michael Hirst of Showtime's The Tudors and the big-screen Elizabeth fame, the drama gives us power struggles, romance, intrigue, encounters with Odin and sailing adventure - along with the requisite gouging and impaling you knew would be part of any story of these brutal raiders of the north. (Especially those hoping to attract a young male audience, as this one is.) The series, made for a reported $40 million, stars Australian actor Travis Fimmel as the legendary Ragnar Lothbrok, a leader-in-the-making. He's a guy with revolutionary newfangled technology (a navigation tool and a boat with visionary design) who is burning to go to the heretofore unexplored West and plunder new lands against the wishes of Viking king Gabriel Byrne. Katheryn Winnick plays Ragnar's wife, a "shield maiden" - yes, women really did go into battle alongside their men - and Jessalyn Gilsig of Boston Public, Nip/Tuck and Glee plays the queen, Siggy.
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