Rounding up some of the week's notable TV developments
- As reported on this site Monday morning, "Jersey Shore" creator Salsano has actually gotten a good-faith order for several episodes of her upcoming TLC docu-series "Southie Pride," which will follow the struggles of five women trying to get by in one of Boston's toughest neighborhoods.
- Mandy Moore last displayed her comedic range on a season-long stint of "Entourage," but according to the Hollywood Reporter, "Night at the Museum" director Shawn Levy wants her sto star in his upcoming ABC comedy about a married couple living and working in perilously close proximity to their extended family.
- Everyone's favorite source of "Bridesmaids" laughs and breakout sitcom actress, Melissa McCarthy, is looking to pay her success forward. "Mike and Molly" network CBS has given thumbs-up for production on as-yet-untitled comedy starring and co-written by McCarthy's husband, Ben Falcone. The half-hour show will feature Falcone as a casualty of the real-estate industry's downward slide who's forced to move in with his parents.
- Showtime has announced that Jon Voight and Elliott Gould have joined Liev Schreiber in the darkly comic drama "Ray Donovan." The series centers on Schreiber as the title character, a man who helps make important peoples' screw-ups disappear, but can't quite deal with his own family, including Voight as his ex-con father Mickey.
All dressed up -- and plenty of drama -- as Elena, Stefan and Damon attend the Originals' housewarming fete
Last week was all about family in Mystic Falls. “The Vampire Diaries” bloodsucking brothers Damon and Stefan faced off with those other bloodsucking brothers, Klaus and Elijah, who were about to start an all out fraternal war – that is, until their mom, Esther, the original witch, showed up.
Bonnie and her mom united to use their magic to figure what secret lay buried in that fourth coffin (and it turned out to be the aforementioned original mama).
Elena worried about father figure Alaric, who’d been staked like a vampire by Mystic Falls’ resident serial killer, but was recovering okay.
And Caroline mourned the death of her own father, who would rather be truly dead than end up a vampire like his daughter.
This week, the family drama got even more intense!
- Elena and Matt were checking in on Alaric at the hospital when Elena was attacked by a pretty pissed Rebecca – and saved by Elijah. He told her about the clan’s plan to live in Mystic Falls in peace. And as she downloaded all this to the brothers Salvatore, the doorbell rang: an invite to the Originals’ housewarming ball.
- But all was not copasetic at Originals’ house. Klaus’s siblings were still pretty irritated with him, but mom insisted they all get along. More importantly, she wanted to know who Klaus was bringing to the ball. A few minutes later, Caroline received her invite, with a cobalt blue gown and a note from Klaus, asking her to save him a dance.
- Rebecca, too, was looking for a hot date – and found one. In Matt. Much to Elena and Caroline's chagrin. Sometimes even supernaturals deal with high school drama.
- At the dance, Damon was chatting with the mayor when Original kid brother Cole introduced himself to her – and dissed Damon. But Damon was distracted – Elena had arrived, and she looked stunning. With a Salvatore brother on each arm, she was set to be the belle of the (bloody) ball.
- As Elena grabbed a glass of champagne, Finn, another original brother, suggested she lose the bodyguards to meet with mom. But Damon wasn’t about to let that happen. He suggested they dance, instead. Which Stefan looked none to happy about. So of course, he stepped in half way through. And then they stepped outside, where Elena asked Stefan to help her get into that room with Esther, alone.
- Back on the dance floor, Caroline stepped up with Klaus, but she kept an eye on Matt and Rebecca. They switched partners half way through, too, and Caroline demanded to know why he was there "with the she-devil."
- Later, in a quiet room, Elena lured Damon away – and Stefan took him out, hard, breaking his neck. Vengeful much? Elijah intercepted Elena before she headed off to see Esther and asked her to share what was said – because he didn’t trust his mom.
- Upstairs, Esther told Elena she’d been on the other side for 1000 years – and that there was a way for her to undo the evil she created. “You’re going to help us kill Klaus, aren’t you,” Elena said. Esther said, “It will take time, magic – and your assistance.” First step: blood from the doppelganger, only a drop, for the champagne toast later – a cup all of the siblings must drink from to link them. “Klaus can’t be killed, but tonight’s spell links all my children together, so that if one goes, they all go,” Esther said. “I love my family, Elena, but they are an abomination. It’s my duty to kill them.”
- Klaus, meanwhile, was confessing that he fancied Caroline. “You’re beautiful, you’re strong, you’re full of light.” But Caroline wasn’t so easily lured. Matt, unfortunately, was. He stepped outside with Rebecca and offered her his jacket, even though she was a vampire and didn’t get cold. But Rebecca couldn’t do it. “I changed my mind,” Rebecca told Cole. “Just leave him be, okay?” Uh, yeah right. Just minutes later, Cole introduced himself and tried to crush him. But Damon intervened, causing a major scene.
- Damon awoke, and he was really mad at Stefan for, you know, breaking his neck. "Your emotions are getting in the way of our plan," Stefan told him. "You care too damn much."
- Back at the ball, Elena told Elijah that his mother’s intentions were pure – to unite their family – and let him sip from the champagne toast, sealing his fate.
- After the toast, Klaus took Caroline to his art studio and showed her his work. Then he offered to take her all over the world, Rome, Paris, Tokyo. But Caroline called him out. “Why do you need Tyler? Give him his life back. Your father didn’t love you so you assume no one else will either.” At home, she left Tyler a message, then found a black velvet box on her bed. But it wasn’t jewelry, it was a picture of her that Klaus drew, thanking her for her honesty.
- When Damon found Elena, he let her have it. "I’m mad you because I love you," he said. "I care too much. I’m a liability." When she couldn't reciprocate, he went off on a typical Damon rampage.
- Elijah, too, was a liability. At least for Esther. “He’s so moral,” she told Finn, who was apparently in on the plan. “This spell I’m casting tonight will bind you all together as one.” But Finn assured her, “when it is time, I will be ready to die.” So Esther cast it, creating a family tree out of blood, linking the five original siblings to live or die, as one.
- Elena regretted Elijah’s loss, too, but Stefan called him collateral damage, reminding her that the family had brought her nothing but darkness. She asked Stefan to tell her how he didn’t feel anything. She demanded he show her. But he told her, "If I let myself care, all I feel is pain."
- Rebecca got rejected by Matt, who was tired of dealing with the supernatural crap and near-death experiences. So Damon suggested she find someone “a little more durable.” Like him.
25th anniversary guests and a new ingénue on the scene
Joanna Johnson's Karen Spencer is stopping through town so she can deposit her daughter Caroline (Linsey Godfrey). The young upstart is named after her late aunt, who was Johnson's original character, Karen's twin and Ridge's first love -- before "that tramp from The Valley" Brooke showed up and set Ridge on his endless path of love triangles, of course!
"I'm excited as always to return to my alma mater and I'm looking forward to being a mother!" Johnson told MSN TV. "I'm so happy Karen has a daughter and hasn't been in New York all alone these many years. And of course, the fact that she's named after the first character I played on the show, Caroline Spencer, is very special. Though I have to admit when I was highlighting my script lines I accidentally highlighted 'Caroline' instead of 'Karen.' It's confusing to look at the page and remember which one I'm playing."
MSN TV confirmed the story broken by TV Guide and learned that Momma Karen won't be sticking around. As an original member of the "The Bold and the Beautiful" family, the exec producer of ABC Family's "Make It or Break It" is just dipping her toes back into acting to introduce the new character. If she were to stick around, there would be plenty of history to play with. Just like her twin, Karen has a history with both Ridge and Thorne, but Johnson is leaving the triangle drama to the next generation.
With her eye on landing a job at Forrester, Caroline will surely shake things up for the young set. Since Liam is her cousin and Bill her uncle, however, those two should be out of the running romantically.
This is Godfrey's first daytime role, but she starred in the Hallmark movie "Jack's Family Adventure" alongside Peter Strauss back in 2010 and also boasts several guest stints on shows like "Wizards of Waverly Place" and "CSI: Miami."
Another March "The Bold and the Beautiful" arrival is "One Life to Live" alum Hillary B. Smith. As previously reported, Smith join the cast as Dr. Stacy, a psychiatrist who specializes in sex therapy. MSN TV has confirmed Dr. Stacy will show up March 8 to help a major player in crisis.
Phyllis Diller is also heading to town for anniversary month. The 94-year-old, who has been stopping in for wild runs as Gladys Pope since 1995, is bringing her wacky character back to town for two days. She'll leave her makeup job behind to get in on a romantic storyline, according to TV Guide Magazine.
Before "The Bold and the Beautiful" March Madness begins, "Big Brother" alum turned "Amazing Race" contestant Rachel Reilly also returns as a Bikini Beach waitress on Feb. 22 and 23.
"The Bold and the Beautiful" airs weekdays on CBS.
Entertainment Weekly's three cover options will have fans salivating
Heading home to Port Charles
Bing: More about "General Hospital"
Heather will return to Port Charles in early April, MSN TV has confirmed. She may be heading to town to deal with the son she sold on the black market, Steven (Scott Reeves), who is now hospital Chief of Staff, according to Soap Opera Digest. Mattson played the troublemaker from 1980-82, with a brief return in 2004, but as soap fan know, she's also played evil or just plain crazy on several daytime soaps. Her most recent stint was a reprisal of Janet from Another Planet on "All My Children."
Mattson's return will fall after Kimberly McCullough (Robin Scorpio) ends her run at "General Hospital." With Robin's exit storyline beginning to unfold Feb. 20, her kin will be making returns, starting with Finola Hughes' Anna on Feb. 14. Emma Samms' character, Holly, and Tristan Rogers' Robert show up Feb. 28 and 27, respectively. Finally, Rick Springfield returns as Robin's father-in-law, Dr. Noah Drake, in late March. He'll likely be on hand to support his son Patrick in the face of Robin's exit, however that plays out.
And let's not forget the Llanview players making the move to Port Charles, in a storyline that somehow centers on Sonny (Maurice Benard). "One Life to Live" alums will start hitting town the week of Feb. 20, led by Kristen Alderson (Starr). Her onscreen parents Roger Howarth and Kassie DePaiva (Todd and Blair) will show up Feb. 27, with Michael Easton's John McBain arriving in March.
"General Hospital" airs weekdays on ABC.
Emmy winners join 'Office' mastermind Greg Daniels' NBC sitcom
PETA furious with HBO over two production deaths
Two horses were killed during the filming of the first season of "Luck," HBO's peek behind the stables of thoroughbred racing created by David Milch and starring Dustin Hoffman.
And People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is outraged.
Initially exposing the deaths on its website on Friday, Jan. 27, the animal rights organization claimed that it tried sharing safety protocols with producers before shooting began, but was repeatedly rebuffed.
"Perhaps if producers had considered the proved safety protocols that we would have suggested, these horses would still be alive," PETA said.
Although PETA was barred, the production was overseen by the American Humane Association. According to this statement posted on the AHA website, one death occurred while filming the pilot and another during the seventh episode.
"The two racehorses stumbled and fell during short racing sequences," AHA's statement read. "The horses were checked immediately afterwards by the onsite veterinarians and in each case a severe fracture deemed the condition inoperable.
"The decision was that the most humane course of action was euthanasia."
Appropriately, the pilot episode did not contain the standard AHA approval stamp: "No animals were harmed during the filming of this program." Instead, it noted only that "the American Humane Association monitored the animal action."
(Update: The horse portrayed in the pilot as breaking its leg and being euthanized was not one of the fatalities; that scene was successfully staged.)
In an email to the New York Observer, HBO responded to the controversy by stating that it halted production after the second accident to create additional protocols with AHA and racing industry experts, which included hiring an extra vet and X-raying the legs of all horses used in the production.
"HBO fully adopted all of AHA’s rigorous safety guidelines before production resumed," the network said.
However, according to this new Entertainment Weekly report, HBO still won't cooperate with PETA, which has demanded to know the identity of the deceased horses, their conditions before the accidents, and how they were treated between racing sequences.
“When we began to ask uncomfortable questions, they closed the door on us," said PETA VP Kathy Guillermo. "We received an email this morning saying all this information is confidential and that they’re doing all that they can to prevent injuries.”
"Luck" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.