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TV Review: Michael Douglas, Matt Damon in ‘Behind the Candleabra’

CHICAGO – It could have been so awful. Liberace was such an over-the-top character that capturing his most extreme behavior in the form of a TV movie could have been the kind of campy thing that deserves comparison to “Showgirls.”

TV Review: FOX Launches Unique ‘Does Someone Have to Go?’

Does Someone Have to Go?

CHICAGO – They could have called it “Undercover No-Boss”. FOX’s very unusual “Does Someone Have to Go?” is a new, Summer reality offering about workplaces that need shaking up and get their upheaval by turning the employees into bosses. Every week, the staff will be empowered by a series of exercises, and, ultimately, have to answer the title question - Is the best route of action for the company to let one of their employees go?

TV Review: Confident Veterans Elevate ABC’s ‘Rookie Blue’

CHICAGO – Can it still be called “Rookie Blue” in its fourth season? Should they change it to “Experienced Blue”? The irony of the fourth season premiere of ABC’s strong Summer hit, a Canadian import like “Flashpoint” and “Motive,” is that the reason it works is because the cast seems so comfortable in these roles. They’re far more entertaining, likable, and believable than a lot of modern cop shows and I think it’s the people, not the situations, that has made “Rookie Blue” a hit.

Blu-ray Review: Final Season of FOX Hit ‘Fringe’

Fringe: "August"

CHICAGO – I find it fascinating that “Fringe,” the show that always seemed to be on the bubble for renewal and was always included in articles about low-rated programming, appears to be one of the most influential on the Fall 2013 season. FOX has two new dramas in the Fall and they’re both from “Fringe” alum — J.J. Abrams’ “Almost Human” and Robert Orci & Alex Kurtzman’s “Sleepy Hollow”. They’re clearly looking for, believe it or not, the next “Fringe.” For while the smart sci-fi drama never found a huge audience on TV, it found an incredibly loyal one on Blu-ray, On Demand, iTunes, etc. and those fans can now complete their collection with a bittersweet but complete fifth and final season release.

TV Review: Gordon Ramsay Returns with Nicer ‘Masterchef’ on FOX

CHICAGO – “Masterchef,” starring Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich, and Graham Elliot, returns tonight, May 22, 2013 at 7pm with a two-hour premiere that hints at a kinder, gentler season, in keeping with the general trend of these shows.

TV Review: ABC Gives Canadian ‘Motive’ to Mystery Fans

CHICAGO – I know — Another mystery show, right? When do we grow tired of mystery after mystery? Other cultures have to be amazed at our obsession with murder and the people who solve crimes. While I feel no genre is more glutted with filler than this one, ABC’s “Motive,” an import from Canada a la “Rookie Blue” and “Flashpoint,” isn’t half bad. It has a strong cast and decent mystery plotting.

TV Review: FOX Buries ‘The Goodwin Games’ For Good Reason

The Goodwin Games

CHICAGO – “The Goodwin Games” is bad, bad, bad. You know a show is likely to be awful when a network cuts back the order and buries its premiere in a time of year when most people are getting outside or going to see Summer blockbusters. While the networks are busy promoting Fall 2013 at Upfronts, who cares about a new show that won’t make it more than two months? And yet there is sometimes reason for hope that a network executive just missed the humor and is actually burying a hidden gem. Hope dies at “The Goodwin Games” and I wish they had buried it deeper.

TV Review: ‘Mel Brooks: Make a Noise’ Captures Comedy Genius

CHICAGO – I’m a huge Mel Brooks fan, one of those critics who bows at the altar of arguably the two best comedies of all time, “Blazing Saddles” & “Young Frankenstein.” I’ve seen them both a dozen times and can’t wait to watch them again.

TV News: The 2013-14 Fall TV Schedule by Night

Hostages

CHICAGO – The five broadcast networks have announced their Fall 2013 schedules and so it’s now easy to see them night by night, timeslot by timeslot. Which timeslots seem the most competitive? Do you know what you’re going to watch or schedule in your DVR? Here’s the chart you need to figure it out.

TV News: The 2013-14 Fall Schedule by Show

The Michael J. Fox Show

CHICAGO – Wondering where to find your favorite shows this Fall? See a preview for something new and want to check your series manager to see if you can DVR it? Keep the following list handy and share with your friends.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Downward Dog

    CHICAGO – From “Mr. Ed” to “Dog with a Blog,” talking animals have had their place on TV. The latest has origins as a web series, with the clever title “Downward Dog.” The show premieres on Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 (9:30pEST/8:30pCST), on ABC TV, and features Ned the Dog as Martin, and human companions portrayed by Allison Tolman and Lucas Neff.

  • Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret

    CHICAGO – When faced with adversity, the best way around it is to somehow break into song. That is the feeling behind the Brown Paper Box Co.’s “Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret,” running April 7th and 8th at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. The event features company member Kristi Szczepanek as host, and presents song stylings by other company members, including Anna Schutz, plus some special guests. For details and ticket information, click here.

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