Dick-infested Man Mattress!
Bradley Whitford is not a dick-infested man mattress. That reference will come later. But I loved this picture of Whitford and his 'stache (taken from the Television Critics Association press tour going on this week) too much not to use it as a header image.
Whitford was on-hand because announced a new cop-buddy show, "Code 58." It stars Whitford and Colin Hanks and comes from Matt Nix, who created "Burn Notice. The thirteen episode comedy, which will air starting in June, features Whitford a drunken old school cop, with Hanks as his straight-edged partner. Fox hasn't shown it to any critics yet, so no early word as to its quality, but it has the right ingredients to possibly be a decent little comedy. We'll find out this summer.
Meanwhile, Bravo has announced that its newest "Top Chef" spin-off, will be hosted by Gail Simmons. I love her as a judge on "Top Chef," so this is relatively good news. However, if this show is as bland as "Top Chef Masters," which returns on April 7, it won't matter.
Turning back to Fox, the biggest news from yesterday is that Simon Cowell is leaving "American Idol" after this season to dump an American version of "The X Factor" on us. It'll debut in Fall '11, and Fox is clearly hoping that it'll match the juggernaut ratings "AI" posts in the winter/spring. Fox has committed to at least 40 wonderful hours, including performance and results shows. The show is basically the same as "American Idol," only a bit broader, as there's no age limit and groups can compete. Also, I guess the judges actually work with the contestants in a more hands-on way. All I know is, this is the first season I won't be watching "American Idol," which starts tonight, and I'm fucking thrilled with my decision. I think I'll make the right call with "The X Factor" right from the get-go and pass on it entirely. Particularly if Paula Abdul winds up as a judge, a distinct possibility given Cowell's professed love for her.
Last bit of Fox news -- "Glee" has been officially picked up for a second season, and there's a nationwide casting call for three new roles this fall. Whatever. I enjoyed the pilot like everyone else, and I've been watching the show, but I find my interest dwindling a bit more with each week, such that I very well may not even be watching anymore by next fall. But many more still will, and that's why Fox's renewal really isn't much of a surprise.
Turning to a better show about teens, "Skins" starts its fourth season run on January 28. Unfortunately for those of us on this side of the pond, that run is only in England, and it'll likely be several months before we get it here. And given that much of the show's excellent music is cut for licensing reasons from the US airings the DVDs, your best bet is to hit the elicit internet places where one gets such things, if you like to be a scofflaw like that. Here's a trailer (and there's a shot of some unadorned female breasteses, which may make it NSFW, if your workplace is the sad kind of place that frowns upon such things):
I didn't enjoy the third season as much as the first two, but it was good enough that I'll be tuning in for the fourth, which is presumably the last for most of this cast, mirroring the second season.
In other teaser news, HBO has dropped a teaser for "Treme," David Simon's new post-Katrina New Awlins show, which has been given an official premiere date of April 11:
Say what you will about HBO (and I've already said I think they're going to have a tremendous year), but they sure make some damn watchable teasers, don't they?
But the best news from yesterday was clearly that AMC's announcement that the third season of "Breaking Bad" will start its run on March 21, at 10 p.m. This was the best show on TV last year, and probably the best show since "The Wire." If you're not watching get caught up.
And finally, god bless "Better Off Ted." This video of outtakes intended only for the web is entirely not safe for work, and entirely lovely:
(H/t: The Live Feed for the video.)