MSN TV Blog - TV Buzz

Former 'In Treatment' star grabs top billing in network's first scripted series

By Kenny Herzog May 22, 2012 8:57AM
HBO's underrated therapeutic drama "In Treatment" helped launch several young careers, notably those of "Chronicle" star Dane DeHaan and "Alice in Wonderland" ingénue Mia Wasikowska. So it's only fair that "Treatment" lead Gabriel Byrne receive some collateral goodwill from his award-winning turn as Dr. Paul Weston. 
Luckily for both the Irish thespian and fans of period drama, History Channel has embarked on its maiden voyage into original programming. The network just announced that Byrne will star in "Vikings," its inaugural scripted series and contribution to the flourishing Middle Ages sub-genre

Byrne will play tyrannical Viking ruler Earl Haraldson, adversary of commoner-turned-tribal king Ragnar Lothbrok, a role that has yet to be cast. "The Tudors" creator Michael Hirst is behind  "Vikings," and it will be interesting to see how he writes for basic cable, given the somewhat more rigid guidelines concerning explicit nudity and violence. Fortunately for him and us, there are no broadcast standards prohibiting general awesomeness.

"Vikings will premiere in 2013 on History.

ABC's Lara Spencer and Josh Elliott take on the p.m. expansion

By TVDeeva Deanna Barnert May 22, 2012 6:51AM

With "Good Morning America" locked in an ongoing daytime ratings rumble with "Today," co-anchors Josh Elliott and Lara Spencer are expanding the "GMA" brand this summer. The duo will launch the new extension "Good Afternoon America" on Monday, July 9. The one-hour show will replace the canceled "Revolution" and serve as a time-slot holder until "Katie" premieres Sept. 10.


Bing: More on "GMA" | Katie Couric

"It's tremendous that 'GMA' has this opportunity to extend its reach and bring something new to the afternoons," said Josh Elliott. "It is gratifying to play a role in it, and we genuinely hope our audience will come along for the ride."

"I am beyond excited and honored to be part of this new chapter for the 'Good Morning America' family," Lara Spencer added. "'Good Afternoon America' gives us the opportunity to reach a different audience, and better yet, to spend a little more time with our morning viewers who want to be a part of the conversation and fun we plan on bringing to afternoon TV." 


ABC is hyping the new spinoff as "energetic" and "fast-paced" and promising hot topic celebrities, pop culture news and original content. The show will also cover lifestyle, health, workplace and consumer news, along with a bit of ABC self-promotion. "GMA," for example, already goes behind the scenes at sister show "Dancing with the Stars" and gives sneak peeks of hits like "Modern Family." Viewers are sure to see more of that.

"GMA" anchors Sam Champion, Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos will make special appearances, along with other member of the ABC family. Katie Couric is sure to be a regular, as she builds up to her own talk show premiere.

"Good Afternoon America" premieres Monday, July 9, at 2 p.m. ET/PT and will run for nine consecutive weeks.


Robin Thicke, Demi Lovato, No Doubt, Brad Paisley, Counting Crows and more

By TVDeeva Deanna Barnert May 21, 2012 1:10PM

"Good Morning America" released a partial schedule for its 2012 Summer Concert Series. Every Friday morning starting May 25, "GMA" will feature a live performance from the Rumsey Playfield in New York City’s Central Park, while "Today" continues its own summer series across town

More on 'Good Morning America'

So far, the fourth annual Pepsi sponsored event boasts a purely A-list lineup. "Duets" mentor Robin Thicke kicks off the festivities and will be followed by No Doubt, Brad Paisley, Counting Crows, Demi Lovato, The Wanted, Neon Trees and LMFAO. With several dates still to be announced, additional acts will be revealed throughout the summer. (See schedule below.)

All concerts are free and open to the public and will take place live during "GMA." Viewers interested in joining "GMA" in Central Park are encouraged to arrive at Rumsey Playfield via the 72nd street entrance on Fifth Avenue at 6:00am when the park opens to the public.

Bing: Check out the "Today" concert series lineup

"GMA" Sizzling Concert Series 2012 Lineup

May 25: Robin Thicke
June 1: Brad Paisley
June 8: Counting Crows

June 15: Beach Boys

June 22: TBA

June 29: LMFAO

July 6: Demi Lovato

July 13: TBA

July 20: TBA

July 27: No Doubt

Aug. 3: TBA

Aug. 10: TBA

Aug. 17: Neon Trees

Aug. 24: The Wanted

Aug. 31: TBA


"GMA" airs weekday mornings on ABC.


The 'Men in Black III' star seizes audience nostalgia, creates PR magic on BBC

By Kenny Herzog May 21, 2012 8:34AM

Only Will Smith could be criticized for slapping an overseas reporter one minute and then have fans swooning over a televised rap-along the next. But, alas, that's just the sort of crisis-defying charm that get sprinkled like fairy dust from the 43-year-old actor's debonairly graying goatee. 
While stopping by BBC's "The Graham Norton Show" this past weekend, the artist formerly known as DJ Jazzy Jeff's MC du jour guaranteed "Men in Black III" millions in global ticket sales by taking advantage of a golden viral-marketing opportunity. Namely, being a good sport and rapping every word of his "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" theme in real-time with the studio audience. 

More on Will Smith | "Men in Black III" | "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air"

The most endearing, unscripted moment arrives when fellow "Norton" guest and UK pop artist Gary Barlow joins in and performs the song's signature synth melody, and Smith drops his composure and guffaws (and, naturally, fist-pounds with Barlow) in disbelief. And while the movie mega-star hasn't had to rely on his rhyming chops in nearly two decades, it's hard to deny that he's still got cadence and charisma. Damn him.

Justin Bieber, Train, Katy Perry, Kevin Costner and more

By TVDeeva Deanna Barnert May 21, 2012 7:43AM

Daytime is warming up for summer with live music and big screen blockbusters the week of May 21. Justin Bieber, Train, Pitbull, Robin Thicke, Rascal Flatts, Alanis Morissette and Young the Giant are set to perform. Stars from "Men in Black III," "Snow White and the Huntsman" and "Prometheus" are making the rounds. Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton are promoting their TV miniseries "Hatfields & McCoys," while Nicole Kidman and Clive Owen promote HBO's "Hemingway & Gellhorn." Also look for stars from “Mad Men," "Glee," "Episodes," "Unforgettable," “Single Ladies," "Dancing with the Stars," "America's Got Talent," "So You Think You Can Dance," "Real Housewives of New Jersey," "Duets," "The Bachelorette," “Celebrity Apprentice" and "Storage Wars." Guest hosts on the daytime docket include Taye Diggs, L.A. Reid, Seth Meyers, Donald Trump, Rebecca Romijn, Ana Gasteyer and Dr. Mehmet Oz. Other notables include Jimmy Fallon, Katy Perry, Bruce Willis, Kate Gosselin, Linda Evans, Judith Light, Gregg Allman and Billy Bob Thornton. 

Bing: More about 'The Ellen Show' | 'GMA' | 'Today"

On the heels of "The Ellen Show" 1500th episode celebration on Friday, May 18 (see clip above), "The Wendy Williams Show" celebrates 500 episodes with a "Disco Inferno" of Wednesday, "Anderson" talks Whitney Houston with Costner midweek. With "Today" and "GMA" in an ongoing daytime rumble, "GMA" boasts a more impressive lineup, at press time. Schedules are subject to change.


Also: What TV shows are returning next season?


Mon: Mayim Bialik, Billy Bob Thornton, latest "Dancing with the Stars" castoff; Guest co-host Rebecca Romijn
Tues: "Human Barbie" Sarah Burge, Clint Black and Lisa Hartman
Wed: Jimmy Fallon; "Storage Wars" cast and auctioneers Laura and Dan Dotson; co-host Ana Gasteyer
Thurs: Kevin Costner
Fri: Sir James Dyson

"The Ellen DeGeneres Show"
Mon: Howie Mandel, Cat Deeley
Tues: Katy Perry, Stephanie Decker; Alanis Morissette performs
Wed: Will Smith; Justin Bieber talks and performs 
Thurs: Charlize Theron, pint-sized presidential experts; "SYTYCD" contestants perform
Fri: Matt Leblanc, Olivia Munn; Rascal Flatts performs

"Good Morning America"
Mon: Bruce Willis, Emily Maynard, behind the scenes at "Dancing with the Stars," Emeril Lagasse, Marco Andretti and J.R. Hildebrand
Tue: Ralph Lauren's wife, Ricky; One Direction video sneak peek
Wed: "Dancing with the Stars" final three; Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Emma Thompson and Josh Brolin
Thurs: Kevin Costner, Josh Brolin, Katie Couric
Fri: Nicole Kidman and Clive Owen, Richard Blais, Robin Thicke performs


"Live! With Kelly"
Mon: Robin Thicke, Emily Maynard and Chad Qian; co-host Taye Diggs
Tue: Jimmy Fallon, Kris Allen; co-host L.A. Reid
Wed: Josh Brolin, Eli Manning; co-host Seth Meyers
Thurs: Kevin Costner; co-host Seth Meyers
Fri: Bill Paxton, Judith Light; co-host Seth Meyers

"The Rachael Ray Show"
Mon: Seamus Mullen, Guest co-host Dr. Oz  
Tues: Buddy Valasco, Ted Gibson
Wed: The burger show with Michael Symon and Katie Lee
Thurs: Linda Evans, Poppy Montgomery
Fri: Julianne Hough, Ching He-Huang

"The Talk"
Mon: Marie Osmond
Tues: Vanessa Williams and her mom, Garry Marshall
Wed: Kathy Griffin
Thurs: Rita Wilson
Fri: Howie Mandel

Mon: Kate Gosselin, Donald Trump and the winner of “Celebrity Apprentice"
Tue: Jimmy Fallon, Paula Deen; Young the Giant performs
Wed: Martha Stewart
Thurs: Olympic hopefuls
Fri: Pitbull performs

"The View"
Mon: Jamie Oliver; Dr. Oz; Dr. Sam Klein, MD; Guest co-host Paula Deen
Tues: Colin Powell, Mario Cantone
Wed: Dan Rather, Matthew Badger
Thurs: Joe Scarborough, Gregg Allman; cast of “Jesus Christ Superstar" performs
Fri: John Slattery; Train performs; Guest co-host Donald Trump

"The Wendy Williams Show"
The 500th episode countdown concludes Friday
Mon: Teresa Giudice
Tues: NeNe Leakes
Wed: Anniversary episode: Paula Abdul, The Trammps, featuring Early Young, perform
Thurs: (rerun) Kathy Griffin; SWV performs 
Fri: (rerun) Katie Couric, Wood Harris

USA expands its cornerstone franchise to 180 minutes

By Kenny Herzog May 18, 2012 10:05AM
Let's be real: "Monday Night Raw" hasn't kept to its scheduled two hours in at least 15 years. The best part of each episode comes in that nebulous 10-minute overrun after 11 p.m., during which somebody either gets hit with a sledgehammer, makes a long-awaited return to action or powerbombs a company exec through the Spanish announce table. So it was only natural that USA formally announced WWE would turn its signature program into a full three-hour blowout, beginning with its 1000th episode on July 23.

The company's biggest superstar, John Cena, made the announcement at an upfront event (no doubt a term us non-network insiders are exhausted from coming across) yesterday. He even took a shot at some of USA's other welcome characters, jesting about how "Raw" has aired 800 more episodes than "Burn Notice." Burn indeed.

More on WWE | "Monday Night Raw" | John Cena

No major details about the aforementioned 1,000th episode have been divulged, nor has the WWE explained just how it plans to utilize that extra 50 minutes of screen time. Either way, teenagers nationwide have already begun the process of negotiating extended bedtime hours with their poor, pitiable parents.

"Monday Night Raw" airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on USA. It will begin broadcasting three-hour episodes as of July 23. 

Ryan Murphy dispels rumors and confirms whole cast's return

By Kenny Herzog May 17, 2012 1:43PM
The opening theme song to "Full House" once asked, "Whatever happened to predictability?" Well, for one thing, Twitter. As we reported last week, "Glee" cast members Amber Riley and Dianna Agron sent out some pretty mixed messages via social media about the future of their McKinley High alter-egos. And with the Season 3 finale and big graduation ceremony only five days away, the buzz mill immediately churned with gossip about who may or may not come back next year.
Perhaps tired of the speculation and weary of his young actors' loose lips, creator Ryan Murphy spoke with Vulture earlier today, separating fact from fiction. In a nutshell, fans of Mercedes, Quinn, Kurt, Finn, Santana and the show's outgoing seniors can breathe easy.
Also: What TV shows are returning next season?


Murphy tells Vulture that, "Anyone who is a regular is coming back. Everyone said yes." He also addressed Riley and Agron's Tweets, explaining, "I think Amber was talking about that bittersweet feeling of, 'I'll never be in the choir room with that exact group of people.' At least that's what she told me ... When I read that [Tweet,] I said, 'I think people will misconstrue that.' She's excited about where her character is going. They all are. I wanted to do the right thing by all of them."

Don't get too excited though. Murphy also concedes that some of the college-bound "Glee" kids may not appear in the entire next slate of episodes, but assures his audience that, "When I told [the cast] what the next season was, I think they all liked it because they all get to grow and be back to struggling."

One thing's certain: Between firming up the future for "Glee" and prepping another anticipated installment of "American Horror Story," Murphy himself won't be struggling to make a living any time soon.

The Season 3 finale of "Glee" airs Tuesday, May 22, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.

The comedian opens up about Katy Perry and breastfeeding

By TVDeeva Deanna Barnert May 17, 2012 7:47AM
Russell Brand visited "Ellen" to promote "Rock of Ages" in an episode airing Friday, May 18. During the pre-taped episode, the newly announced host of the upcoming 2012 MTV Movie Awards talked about his divorce from Katy Perry, breastfeeding and "The Bachelor," as seen in the preview clip above. He also hung out with Sophia Grace and Rosie.

Bing: More about "The Ellen Show" | Russell Brand


Ellen DeGeneres was tactful when she asked about Brands divorce, referring to the "big change" since his last visit and asking how he was doing.

"All right, thank you," Brand said. "Because me and Katy got divorced. I still- I love her as a human being. But sometimes when you’re in a relationship I suppose it doesn’t work out, does it? But that doesn’t mean I regret it or anything. I was very happy to be married with her. She’s such a beautiful human being and I just have only love and positivity for her."


DeGeneres and her audience were impressed with his outlook. "Yes, because you can’t absolutely make everything the way you want it to be in life, eh?" Brand conceded. "Sometimes thing are just different and then you to just move with that and try and remain in contact with what is beautiful about yourself and each other with any situation."


"Just remain beautiful," he concluded. "That is still a person I still consider to be beautiful and I have nothing but positivity for her."


DeGeneres also covered some current events with Brand, since that's what he'll be taking on with his late night FX series "Strangely Uplifting," premiering June 28. She wasn't quite as comfortable with that line of chatter. Not only did Brand's slant on the controversial Time magazine breastfeeding cover leave her speechless, but DeGeneres may even have been blushing.


Also: What TV shows are returning next season?


"I'm trying to figure out what I can ask you now, because I can see where everything goes!" she stalled, before getting his take on "The Bachelor."

Check out the clip to see why she called it quits after hearing those two hot topics.  


Brand also had fun reconnecting with DeGeneres' other guests, Sophia Grace and Rosie. Last time, he offered to babysit the singing sisters. It seems that offer remains on the table.


"While I’m looking after you have to behave yourselves," Brand teased. "Especially you [Sophia]. Me and you [Rosie] probably have to team up to control her.  I don’t know how you put up with this."


The trio bonded over their Essex roots, and when Brand asked Sophia what was going on in her mind, it was pretty heady stuff.

"Pink!" she announced, leaving DeGeneres in hysterics.  

"The Ellen Show" airs weekdays in syndication.