Save for the news that Ridley Scott has jumped back onto the sinking Alien ship, there is absolutely nothing going on in the movie world today. So, let’s turn our attention to TV, where lots of minor news is happening.
First off: Renewals. The cablers have renewed several shows over the last few days, although there aren’t really any surprises here: The USA Network renewed both “Burn Notice” (Yay!) and “Royal Pains” (Boo!) for another season. Is it just me, or is this “Burn Notice” seasons awfully short — there are only two or three more episodes left (I’m not completely familiar with how USA Network rolls out their shows, but I understand that, in some cases, seasons are split up over the course of year?).
Over on HBO, “Entourage,” has been picked up for another season of idle twitness, “True Blood” has been renewed for a third go around (I’m still missing the appeal), and the freshman show, “Hung,” has been picked up for a second season (decent show — worth watching, anyway). Also, they announced that “Flight of the Conchords” will probably get a third season (sorry, folks, but I really don’t get it), and the next season of “Big Love” will debut in March (hoo-wah!), along with the Spielberg/Hanks mini-series, “The Pacific.” Both “In Treatment” and “The Number One Ladies Detective Agency,” are on the bubble.
Besides renewals, a few other shows are also getting the greenlight. On the USA Network, they’ve ordered up “Covert Affairs,” about a CIA trainee (Piper Perabo) who winds up being mysteriously promoted to the field as an operative. NBC turned down the show, but it does seem to tie in with USA Network’s programming slate (although, Perabo as a CIA agent? That’s kind of like Denise Richards playing a scientist.)
Update: Cindy just brought me news that “Curb Your Enthusiasm” will also debut on September 20th. And there will be a “Seinfeld” reunion on the show: Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Michael Richards will all appear on five episodes, as they attempt to restart the classic sitcom.
Also, Donal Logue, one of the castoffs of the cancelled “Life” (you bastards!) has landed a new show, as well. He’s set to star in “Terriers,” FX’s comedic hourlong pilot from “The Shield” creator Shawn Ryan and “Ocean’s Eleven” writer Ted Griffin. It’s about a guy named Hank (Logue), an ex-cop who partners with his best friend to launch a P.I. business where the duo, both with maturity issues, solve crimes while trying to avoid danger and responsibility. It comes from good people, and you can hardly go wrong with Logue, so it’s at least a show worth checking out.
In other news, as they did last season, the NBC Thursday night season will kick off with two weeks of “Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update Thursday,” which was a better idea during an election season, but maybe not so much in 2009. However, Amy Poehler will return to the anchor chair, along with Seth Meyers, to host. Meh.
And finally, just to keep you all updated on the Late Night wars, Conan O’Brien is kind of stinking up the place. He’s still hanging on to the number one spot, by a thin margin, among 18-49 year olds, but he’s otherwise getting spanked not just by “Late Show with David Letterman,” but “Nightline,” in overall ratings. In fact, last week, “The Tonight Show,” set an all-time low for the week, and lost 44 percent of its audience compared to the same week last year. Letterman, meanwhile, is up 14 percent, and handily beating Conan by nearly a million viewers a night. Expect the margin to widen once Leno takes over the 10:00 spot this fall.
And, on a personal note, I just wrapped up season one of “Doctor Who,” and I’m really bummed about the turn it took. I hope to God David Tennant is half the Doctor that Eccleston was. I didn’t know Eccleston that well before last week, but that dude is fucking phenomenal.