MSN TV Blog - TV Buzz

Fran Drescher calling on two friends to grace her TV Land sitcom

By Corey Levitan Apr 9, 2012 1:55PM

Former "Nanny" star Fran Drescher is calling on two close friends to pump life into her new TV Land sitcom. Rosie O'Donnell and Dan Aykroyd will guest star on "Happily Divorced" some time in May, as part of its current second season.

According to Entertainment Weekly, O'Donnell will play an old high school friend who helps Fran's character challenge her overbearing mother (Rita Moreno). Aykroyd will play a potential love interest introduced to Fran's character by her ex-husband (John Michael Higgins).


Bing: More about 'Happily Divorced'


EW describes the guest appearances as "stunt casting." However, they more likely arose from personal friendships. O'Donnell collaborated with Drescher in 2008 on a sitcom that never materialized, and both she and Aykroyd guested on Drescher's hardly noticed 2010 FOX talk show. 


"Happily Divorced" was created by Drescher with her ex-husband, Peter Marc Jacobson, who remains her friend and business partner.

"Happily Divorced" airs Wednesdays at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT on TV Land.


ReelzChannel acquires 'XIII,' starring Stuart Townsend and Aisha Tyler

By Kenny Herzog Apr 9, 2012 9:46AM
Who says we can't import quality pop culture from our Canadian neighbors to the north? After all, how else would we have enjoyed generations of adolescent scandal via the kids at "Degrassi" or laughed and laughed and laughed at the comedy-troupe antics of the iconic '80s sketch show, "SCTV"?
Now, ReelzChannel wants to see what happens when some riveting action-drama makes its way from our adjacent nation to U.S. cable guides. The network has acquired stateside rights to "XIII: The Series," which stars "The Talk" co-host Aisha Tyler and Charlize Theron's ex, Stuart Townsend. The actors play secret-ops agents trying to both fill the gaps of Townsend's (as the titular XIII) memory loss and help recover perilous software from the bad guys. 

The show's first season debuted in Canada last year and developed a solid cult following, and a second season has reportedly begun filming. No word on its American premiere date, or how Tyler's "Talk" commitments will conflict with her role on "XIII." Either way, we'll have slightly higher hopes for this series than Reelz' other upcoming scripted import, Steven Seagal's "True Justice."


"The Talk" airs weekdays on CBS.


Get ready for dish on this week's prime-time premieres, DJ week on 'Live' and more

By TVDeeva Deanna Barnert Apr 9, 2012 7:53AM

Daytime will be packed with primetimers the week of April 9, as well as big screen stars from "The Three Stooges" and "Think Like a Man." Edie Falco, Ricky Gervais, Mariska Hargitay, Krysten Ritter and Dreama Walker, Adam Goldberg, Allison Williams and Laura Linney are promoting their shows' premieres. Other primetimers peaking out before dark include Dianna Agron, Jeff Goldblum, John Slattery, Archie Panjabi, Ioan Gruffudd, Sofia Vergara, Tina Fey, Christina Applegate, Maya Rudolph, Martha Plimpton, David James Elliott and reality TV's Shannen Doherty, Jack Wagner, Deandre Brackensick, Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine, L.A. Reid, Alison Sweeney, Tori Spelling, Renee Graziano and the "Shahs of Sunset." It's House DJ Week on "Live! With Kelly," with the likes of Samantha Ronson and Pauly D spinning for guest hosts Howie Mandel, Carson Kressley and Joel McHale. Plus, Kelly Ripa debuts her brand new set Friday. "The Talk" has tapped Gina Neely, Khloe Kardashian Odom and Guy Fieri to guest host. Other notables coming to daytime include Trisha Yearwood, Magic Johnson, Guy Pearce, Dr. Sanjay Gupta and transgender beauty queen Jenna Talackova. Plus, don't miss performances from Bonnie Raitt, Karmin, Monica and Brandy, Wilson Phillips, Carly Rae Jepsen, Shooter Jennings and more.

Bing: Watch clips and episodes of 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show'

After managing to give "Today" a run for its money last week, "Good Morning America" hasn't yet released a schedule for this week. Stay tuned for that addition, if it comes in.

Schedules subject to change. Repeat notation provided when possible.

Mon: Paul McKenna, Farnoosh Torabi
Tues: Jack Wagner
Wed: Charles Duhigg
Thurs: Edie Falco, Deandre Brackensick
Fri: The D.C. Sniper’s ex-wife, human lie detector Janine Driver 

"The Ellen DeGeneres Show"
Mon: Cee Lo Green, Miranda Kerr; Chloe and Halle Bailey perform
Tues: Jane Lynch, Alison Sweeney; Bonnie Raitt performs
Wed: Khloe Kardashian; Gabriel Angelo performs and Ellie Goulding performs
Thurs: Maya Rudolph, Josh Bowman; Karmin performs
Fri: Sean Hayes, Gabrielle Union, Wayne Pacelle


"Live! With Kelly"
Mon: Samantha Ronson, Sofia Vergara, L.A. Reid; guest-host Howie Mandel
Tue: DJ Pauly D., Christina Applegate and Gabourey Sidibe; guest-host Howie Mandel
Wed: DJ Cassidy, Cheryl Hines; Monica and Brandy perform; guest-host Carson Kressley
Thurs: DJ Chrissie Miller, Laura Linney, Bradley Whitford; guest-host Joel McHale
Fri: DJ Twist, John Slattery, Martha Plimpton; guest-host Joel McHale

"The Rachael Ray Show"

Mon: Bobby Flay, Brooke Peterson, David Tutera

Tues: Megan Meany, celebrity looks for less

Wed: Tori Spelling, Dr. Sanjay Gupta

Thurs: Lara Spencer,  Ioan Gruffudd

Fri: Dr. Travis Stork, Archie Panjabi

"The Talk"

Mon: Carnie Wilson, Wendy Wilson and Chynna Phillips chat and perform 

Tues: Shannen Doherty, Taniya Nayak

Wed: Adam Goldberg, Patrick Neely; guest-host Gina Neely 

Thurs: Edie Falco; guest-host Khloe Kardashian Odom 

Fri: David James Elliott; guest-host Guy Fieri

Mon: The Duggars, April Bloomfield, Guy Pearce
Tue: Carole King, Christina Applegate, Mariska Hargitay 
Wed: Ricky Gervais, Pauly D 
Thurs:  Dr. Nancy Snyderman, Adam Levine, Wilson Phillips performs
Fri: Allison Williams, William Bratton, Adam Levine

"The View"
Mon: Jenna Talackova, Dianna Agron, Magic Johnson; Carly Rae Jepsen performs
Tues: Steve Harvey, Krysten Ritter and Dreama Walker
Wed: Edie Falco, Trisha Yearwood
Thurs: Tina Fey, Renee Graziano, Dr. Michael Fiorillo; Shooter Jennings, son of Waylon Jennings, performs
Fri: Jeff Goldblum, Reza Farahan, Golnesa “GG” Gharachedaghi and Mercedes “MJ” Javid; Brian Presley and Erin Hershey Presley

"The Wendy Williams Show"
(repeat week)
Mon: Donny Deutsch, Lisa Niemi Swayze
Tues: Kyla Pratt, DJ Big Boy, Miss America Laura Kaeppeler
Wed: Rev. Jesse Jackson, Nate Parker
Thurs: Joan and Melissa Rivers, Dr. Drew
Fri: Donald Trump


'Masterpiece' producer spills on cast casualties and clash of the matriarchs

By Kenny Herzog Apr 6, 2012 10:26AM
It's hard to imagine that any current drama set in the early 20th century would usurp the viewer buzz and critical adulation of HBO's "Boardwalk Empire." But, alas, with all its family scandal and stately English flourishes, "Downton Abbey" has done the impossible and restored PBS' "Masterpiece" series as popular viewing. 

It'll be another several months before Season 3 hits the air, but the show's producers have barely contained their itch to reveal cast additions, and now, eminent character deaths.

More on "Downton Abbey" | Shirley MacLaine | "Masterpiece"

Orlando Sentinel got some exclusive tidbits from "Masterpiece" Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton, who got viewers' anticipation in a frenzy when she teased,  “Somebody will be born, and somebody will die, somebody pretty key in the cast, unfortunately not going to make it. It’s the 1920s now.” Because, apparently, everyone dies in the 1920s. 

Eaton also shares that newest cast addition Shirley MacLaine, who's playing Lady Cora's (Elizabeth McGovern) wealthy mother, is "ditsy as ever,” and that her on-screen counterpart, Maggie Smith, has been "barely restraining her sneer in having to deal with this American." Oh, actors.

Season 3 of "Downton Abbey" premieres in January 2013 on PBS.

Alison Sweeney, Chandler Massey and Deidre Hall open up about recent storyline at OUTFEST

By TVDeeva Deanna Barnert Apr 5, 2012 4:26PM

Will Horton has come out as gay on "Days of Our Lives." Sami and Lucas' son kissed a boy back in February, but on Thursday, April 5, Will made it official, thanks in part to Grandma Marlena. The plot now turns to his coming out to the rest of Salem, and that process could take awhile. In the meantime, "Days of Our Lives" and OUTFEST celebrated the landmark storyline and Will Horton's character in West Hollywood, and MSN TV was on hand to get the dish from everyone involved in the story, including Chandler Massey (Will), Deidre Hall (Marlena), Alison Sweeney (Sami), Bryan Dattilo (Lucas) and Lauren Koslow (Kate).

Bing: Watch clips and full episodes of "Days of our Lives" | More about OUTFEST

It's a storyline that's been building for over a year, but Will has finally taken the hardest step. "After all the tears, the crying, the struggle and the angst, the actual moment where he accepts [that he's gay] came easy," Massey recounted in the video above. "Will's done denying it and it turned into a fun afternoon with Grandma, which is great. It was a nice moment and it's been a long time coming. It was almost a relief. Even though I'm playing a character, I've been playing this conflict for so long I felt like I, personally, had a huge burden lifted off my shoulders."

Members of the LGBT community were ready to throw Grandma Marlena her own party.

"I could not be happier with the Will storyline," Hall raved in the clip below. "I'm the luckiest girl in town. I have a website, and when I write anything about the storyline, I get hundreds of responses. Everybody is wildly accepting and supportive, and a lot of gay men are writing, 'I wish I had Marlena when I was going through that.' It's a nice example for family. As a parent, we always know we don't raise the kids we want: We raise the kids we've got. We have Will, as he is."

Lauren Koslow contends that message is what makes this storyline transcend the gay issue. "It's dealing with a specific issue, but it's also about coming of age and finding out who you are," she explained. "What I love is that it's not an overblown story. It's about dealing with the issue of owning who you are and realizing that you're loved."

As fans know, Grandma Kate embarrassed Will by being too accepting. Having long assumed he was a homosexual, she approached him about it before he'd even accepted it. She was just being her fierce self and hopes he'll take the example.

"Kate, who's been an outsider most of her life, wants to warn him: 'People may not like you. People may love you. That's okay. You don't have to conform to other people's ideas of who you should be. She certainly hasn't!'" Koslow said. "She's very supportive of him and that's the special thing she brings to him - to be fierce."

While the grandmas and gay BFF Sonny have been instrumental in Will's journey, Hall gives Massey and the show's recently fired headwriters credit for making this storyline work.

"It's so rich, touching, humane and beautifully written and it's just been delicious watching him," she raved. "Through it all, he's known how he wants to do it. All we do is push, shove, laugh and share meals, so it creates that intimacy, but this work is all his. There's no place that he's not looking, and you will see more of that intensity in the next few months."
Hall is referring to the continuation of this story, as Will begins to reveal himself to the rest of Salem. "He comes out differently to different people," she previewed. "Everybody has a different reaction. Some people don't [react well], some people do, some people are nervous about it, some people are in denial – it's all there."

Will thinks his parents won't take it well, but a proud Lucas may just surprise him. "It's not an easy thing, exposing yourself like that," Bryan Dattilo (Lucas) teased. "It will be hard, so Lucas will be sympathetic and willing to defend him. He'll be waiting for someone to cross the line - He wants to throw a right hook!"

But Sami will be, well, Sami. "I was on pins and needles, wondering, 'How is Sami going to react?'" Sweeney teased in the clip above. "The funny thing about Sami, in any situation, is that you do wonder what her reaction will be. You can count on it to not be an average person's reaction and this is certainly no different. She definitely has a very Sami reaction."

Sami may not be ready for what her son has to tell her, and to be fair, neither are some daytime fans.

"One of the amazing things about "Days of Our Lives' is that we've never shied away from breaking storylines," Sweeney maintained. "This is certainly another example of storylines that get people talking."

"Anytime you get into a story that transcends the arena, you'd like to be a part of it, because you're changing people's lives," Datillo added. "If we can help with that, that's great."

Sweeney, however, had to laugh when asked about playing a storyline that may leave fans divided. After all, she's been playing Sami for almost 20 years.

"Oh, please. I have never not been involved in a storyline that got mixed reactions!" she said, before getting serious. "Obviously, this has some higher stakes on the political landscape than some of the other stories I've been a part of, but at the same time, part of being in entertainment is that you get people talking, on both sides of the conversation. I have always worked hard to understand everybody's perspective and that people do have a valid point of view, so I'm interested. I can't wait to hear people's reactions. Bring it on!"

"Days of Our Lives" airs weekdays on NBC. 

The casts of 'That '70s Show,' '90210', 'The X-Files' and more set to appear

By Corey Levitan Apr 5, 2012 9:49AM

"That '70s Show" stars Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis , Laura Prepon and Wilmer Valderrama will reunite for "The FOX 25th Anniversary Special," according to the Huffington Post. The two-hour show will feature cast members sharing favorite series memories.

Kutcher and Kunis agreed to appear just to rub their Hollywood success stories in the faces of Shannen Doherty, Jason Priestley, Ian Ziering and Gabrielle Carteris from the original "Beverly Hills, 90210." (Just kidding. But seriously, we do wonder why Luke Perry's name is not mentioned. What better booking does he have that night?)

Also reuniting will be "In Living Color" stars/brothers Keenen Ivory, Marlon and Shawn Wayans, "The X-Files" co-stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson and the cast of "Married … With Children."

The current FOX lineup will be represented by, among others, "American Idol" judges Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson, and host Ryan Seacrest.

"The FOX 25th Anniversary special" airs Sunday, April 22, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.


The 'White Collar' star says he'd reassume his old 'Sex and the City' alter ego if asked

By Kenny Herzog Apr 5, 2012 9:16AM
As an insightful fellow somewhere once advised, "Shake what Michael Patrick King gave ya." Nearly 15 years ago, the "Sex and the City" mastermind plucked Willie Garson out of relative character-actor obscurity and made him a household name as Carrie Bradshaw's equally neurotic gay BFF, Standord Blatch. Since then, he's popped up via significant roles in films like "Fever Pitch," and as a series regular for HBO's cult cancellation "John From Cincinnati" and, most notably, Matt Bomer's duplicitous but charming sidekick Mozzie on "White Collar." But if asked to don the Stanford spectacles one more time for CW's "SATC" prequel, "The Carrie Diaries," he'd be there in a Blatch.

In an interview with Huffington Post, Garson tacitly acknowledges he's not currently in any discussions to make a guest appearance, but concedes, “If they called I would do it." He adds that, “Every time I think it is over, the phone rings again. I think it is great that people want more of these characters since we are basically in wheelchairs at this point.” 

And if Garson does drop in as a 20-something Stanford, or some kind of Stanford of Fashion Future, he can at least warn young Carrie about the disastrous outfit choices she's going to make a decade later.

View clips and full episodes of Willie Garson in "White Collar"

Season 1 of "The Carrie Diaries" and Season 4 of "White Collar" will both premiere on TBD dates in 2012 on the CW and USA, respectively.

Are three crucial cast members splitting for the movies?

By Corey Levitan Apr 5, 2012 8:03AM"Saturday Night Live" may be deadening next season, if there is truth to an US Weekly report that has Kristen Wiig, Andy Samberg and Jason Sudeikis splitting for the movies. Two sources told the magazine that the three won't be back after their contracts expire at the end of this season.

"It will be a huge blow to the show," one source said. "Without Andy's video shorts and Kristen saving every skit, they'll need help."


Bing: More about 'Saturday Night Live' | Video: Full episodes and clips


The news comes a week after the announcement that the show plans to try out a new female cast member, Kate McKinnon, as a possible Wiig replacement.

In the wake of her "Bridesmaids" fame, Wiig's departure would hardly be shocking. But Samberg and Sudeikis still seem early boarders for the runaway-success train. (Samberg will next be seen playing second fiddle to Adam Sandler in "That's My Boy," coming out June 15; Sudeikis will be third-billed behind Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis in "The Campaign," coming out Aug. 10.)

A "Saturday Night Live" rep told TVLine that "no decisions have been made and won't be until the end of summer."

"Saturday Night Live" airs Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.