Watch out, Jason! Franco is coming for you again
With Jason (Steve Burton) and Sam (Kelly Monaco) hearing wedding bells on "General Hospital," it's no surprise the maniacal and obsessed artist Franco is planning a return. This time, however, James Franco's character Robert "Franco" Frank comes armed with "his most evil plan yet," and it could take some time to unfold.
The lovebirds should definitely be concerned about the serial killer's return, but they're not the only ones. Franco's machinations will again involve Port Charles locals like Maxie (Kirsten Storms), Carly (Laura Wright) and maybe even baby Josslyn -- and this visit is no cameo. Franco has signed on for an extended stay in Port Charles and will first show up September 20.
The hard working actor has tons on his plate, as always, but in the past, he's managed to shoot his "General Hospital" scenes over marathon days.
Bing: More on James Franco
This is Franco's fourth visit to "General Hospital" since he surprised everyone by joining the daytime drama in 2009. The last time Franco stopped in, it was for a quick two-day hit to coincide with his Academy Award hosting duties. Here's a clip from that visit:"General Hospital" airs weekdays on ABC.
On set at 'Rizzoli and Isles,' CBS Tweeting love and a chat with Anderson Cooper
Bing: More about the TCA press tour
First up was Paramount Studios to visit with "Rizzoli and Isles" cast members Angie Harmon (Rizzoli), Sasha Alexander (Isles), Lorraine Bracco (Angela), Lee Thompson Young (Frost), Bruce McGill (Detective Korsak) and Jordan Bridges (Frank Jr.). Much like the show itself, this set seems to maintain a serious balance between work and goofy good fun.
Bing: More about "Rizzoli and Isles"
Harmon and Young kept us laughing, but teased that episode six will be no laughing matter. The homicide detectives will face a case involving one of their own, which means the girls are likely to take a break from the flirty fun they often get into. After Harmon and Young did a bit of schtick with their telephones, it was time to move on. Alexander and Bracco invited us into their swank pad to sample Bracco's cookies, while we talked about the cute men on set, Mama Angela's divorce on the show and life after "NCIS" and "Sopranos."
We could leave without sliding onto a morgue table or stopping by the local watering hole, where we found Bridge and McGill holding up the bar with executive producer and showrunner Janet Tamaro. Unfortunately, they weren't serving drinks, but there was some good dish -- and did we mention the Bracco's cookies?
With sugar coursing through our veins, it was time to hit CBS Radford Studios to talk about Twitter and social media with @PauleyP (Pauley Perrette, "NCIS"), @llcoolj (Todd "LL Cool J" Smith, "NCIS: LA"), @JeffProbst ("Survivor") and @GoodWifeWriters (Meredith and Corinne, "The Good Wife"). After the tweet-stars shared their experiences in the Twittersphere and made each other laugh, LL Cool J theorized that the way things are going with social networking these days, soon "privacy will be the new fame."
Then, it was time for a Fatburger lunch-- yum! -- followed by some "real" work back at the office, but the day wasn't over yet. It was back out on the road to hit the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where the actual TCA tour takes place this summer.
Anderson Cooper played hooky from his gig at CNN to come talk "Anderson" and no surprise, he was completely engaging. That said, MSN TV didn't get a lot of fresh insight on his daytime talker, which premieres August 12, 2011.
You can get an idea of what he has in mind from the promo posted on the TV Buzz Blog yesterday, but Cooper hasn't shot any episodes yet, so much is still up in the air -- will it shoot live? Will he have a sidekick? Who will his first guest be? MSN TV will be talking to him once he has a few episodes in the can for the specifics.
In the meantime, Cooper promises the new daytime gig won't affect his evening responsibilities. "I manage my time very well,” he said. “It’s all very doable. It’s a lot of work, but I like work hard... plus it’s TV, so it’s not like it’s real work.”
Here's what you need to know to get by at the water cooler this week
-Hanna's worried about Caleb's continued shady dealings, but she can't convince him to quit and "fry burgers" for a living. Instead, he tells her that what he's doing now is way cleaner than the criminal stuff he was involved with in the past. Yep, Hanna, he's a keeper. Hanna tells Emily that Caleb's got some issues, but Em doesn't judge. Maybe having a roommate isn't so bad after all.
-Spencer's super-stressed about the evidence -- some $10,000 -- she secretly passed on to Officer Garrett, but the shady cop still doesn't have any answers for the girls. At least that's what he tells them.
-Aria's dad is throwing a dinner party at their house -- and he's invited Aria's secret boyfriend Ezra Fitz. Erza suggests that it might be the perfect opportunity for the pair to out themselves to her parents. One glitch: Aria's mom invited Jason DeLaurentis to dinner, too. Later, the party is going pretty smoothly, until the doorbell rings and it's the cops. Aria's trouble-making brother Mike has been arrested for breaking and entering. Party's over. While her parents head to the precinct, Ezra helps Aria clean up. But it's Jason who comforts her regarding Mike.
-Spencer gets her dad to hire boyfriend Toby to help with some construction work at their house -- and Papa Hastings is super-impressed with Toby's plans for the grounds. But he asks Toby to keep quiet when he finds something shady -- evidence of a murder, maybe? -- on the property line. So naturally, Toby tells Spencer about it: it was an old Hasting's field hockey stick, broken and wrapped in tape. She tells Aria, and reminds her about an incident with Jason and Alison and that same stick. Later, Spencer finds her dad about to burn the hockey stick. "Please, try and understand, I'm tired, Spencer. No more questions." She tells Toby what happened, and that Ali died due to blunt force trauma to the head.
-Aria goes through Mike's closet to see what he's been stealing -- and she finds the light-throwing pot Jenna Marshall made in the pottery class they took together. But Mike swears he didn't take the pot from the Marshalls' house -- he found it at an apartment rented by shady cop Garrett. Tun tun tun.
-And Spencer just so happens to be talking to the same shady cop, telling him about the new evidence they found in the yard. "If it wasn't Ian," he asks her, "who do you think killed Ali?" The girls don't know yet, but they may just be one step closer to finding out.
'Anderson' promo hits the net
MSN TV is about to head over to the TCA Press Tour to get the story on "Anderson" straight from the host with the most himself, Anderson Cooper. While prepping, we came across this new pseudo-promo for the new show, which made us hope he plans to do his new daytime show from his bike seat. What do you think of it?
Bing: More about Anderson Cooper
"Anderson" premieres Monday, September 12, and will air weekdays in syndication.
Snooki's 'True Hollywood Story' joins this octet of the series' least essential episodes
By Kenny Herzog
Special to MSN TV
To coincide with the upcoming season premiere of "Jersey Shore," which finds our favorite Seaside Italian youths conquering the land of their ancestors, E! will be debuting its "True Hollywood Story" on pint-sized cast member Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi this Wednesday, July 27, at 10 p.m ET/PT. We know what you're thinking: "Hey, it's supposed to be 'True Hollywood Story,' not 'Mostly Authentic Tale of a New Jersey-Via-Upstate-New York Reality Star.'" But we assure you, there have been plenty of dubious celebrities chosen for their "THS" closeup, and here are eight of the least essential.
Sure, the P-man had his share of memorable career highlights. Who can forget his wisecracking turn as a mobster foil to Michael Keaton in "Johnny Dangerously," or his cameo appearance in the New York Mets' 1986 "Let's Go Mets" promotional video. And, of course, his time on "SNL" during the early '80s, where he was most revered for a spot-on Frank Sinatra impersonation. Piscopo was, to his credit, kind of a rich man's Andrew "Dice" Clay, although a retrospective on the latter would prove much more entertaining.
Mischa Barton and Kristin Cavallari
It's too bad "Mischa & Kristin: The Babes of O.C." wasn't in production as we speak, because just this past weekend, rumors were confirmed that "Laguna Beach"/"The Hills" starlet Cavallari and fiancée Jay Cutler broke off their engagement. Scandalous! And while both she and "The O.C." troublemaker Barton were the subjects of much tabloid interest throughout the mid-2000s, packaging them into the same "THS" is a bit like buying those two-for-one DVD sets with totally unrelated films from the same broad genre.
Lara Flynn Boyle
The brunette, freckled veteran actress is certainly close to being a household name after two decades of work in "Wayne's World," "Threesome," "Twin Peaks" and "The Practice," but the interesting nuggets end there. These days, Flynn Boyle (or is it just Boyle?) is primarily a headline for what appears to be massive cosmetic-surgery work and the unfortunately titled (and more or less self-explanatory) 2011 film "Cougar Hunting." How she went from David Lynch to possible liposuction is anyone's guess, but not really worthy of hour-long investigation.
Jay North (aka TV's "Dennis the Menace")
The "THS" franchise has devoted plenty of specials to former child stars fallen from grace or gone too soon (see: Scott Schwartz, Rebecca Schaefer, Rodney Harvey et al), but North's story is punctuated by neither tragic death nor descent into C-level pornography. But "Dennis the Menace Revealed: The Jay North Story" was also an early entry in the fledgling series, back in the days when E! focused more on pop culture than paparazzi. Suffice it to say, however, that North's journey from kid sitcom star to Floridian corrections officer makes for less than scintillating TV.
Bing: Child stars turned bad
This is another instance in which "THS" was still a home where old-fashioned famous types were celebrated, not just socialites with their own reality show on the same network, which makes actress/singer/dancer Zadora's installment actually kind of endearing. Except for the hard truth that, even in 2002 when it aired, no one was really asking for the authentic story behind her cheesetastic, 1984, women-in-prison video for "Rock It Out." Except, perhaps, for episode interviewees including Jermaine Jackson and Ed McMahon. Yikes.
Search: More about Pia Zadora's career
Sometimes, as with Snooki's impending opus, "THS" is transparently looking to cash in on an audience share with a breakout reality show. This is the only possible explanation why the same broadcasting space that has allotted time for the likes of Michael Jackson and Leonardo DiCaprio greenlighted the hunky "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" host Ty Pennington. The guy's charming and successful and all, but his resume beyond "EMHE" is pretty much bare, outside of that one time he was a production assistant on the set of "Leaving Las Vegas." Hence, we care little about his humble uptown beginnings in a quiet suburb and his struggle to overcome various insecurities and naysayers on his way to the top.
The Pussycat Dolls
Nicole Scherzinger and her pop-burlesque cohorts aren't exactly the Supremes, or even SWV. Yet, they inexplicably scored their own "THS" in 2008. We're sure it had nothing to do with a possible major ad buy from their record label or assurance that the band would exclusively appear on other network programming, but we just can't seem to figure out what else would warrant 60 minutes covering the lives and careers of a pre-fabricated group that was inspired by a cheesy cabaret act and only released their first album three years prior. Watching the special itself does little to bring clarity to this dilemma.
We can't believe it's not butter either, but you don't see anyone producing a "THS" documentary about us. In one sense, it's easy to see how the hunky pitchman and romance-novelist muse would seem good fodder for his own episode of the show. He was something of a cultural phenomenon. But now, despite a minor re-emergence in Old Spice's viral ads, Fabio's legacy is more of an ironic footnote, which is probably why you don't see many reruns of his inglorious 2001 "THS."
The Snooki "True Hollywood Story" premieres Wednesday, July 27, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on E!
Leo and Greenlee reunite on August 4!
Josh Duhamel has already been to Pine Valley to shoot his "All My Children" return, which is slated to air on August 4. MSN TV has the first photos of Duhamel in his old stomping grounds.
"All My Children" has lined up some serious returns for its final days on ABC, not in the least of which is Josh Duhamel. The super star is set to shake things up as Pine Valley's favorite con artist, Leo du Pres, with a one day guest spot next month.
As "All My Children" fans know, after Leo was paired with Rebecca Budig's Greenlee in 2000, the duo quickly became a soap opera super couple. Then Leo allegedly fell to his death in 2003, allowing Duhamel to move to the show "Las Vegas" and onto the the big screen.
Bing: More about Josh Duhamel
Duhamel's scenes on August 4 promise storyline twists -- the biggest probably being that Leo's alive, unless the reunion pictured below is a dream or fantasy.
"All My Children" airs weekdays on ABC.
Here are the 10 major plot points you need to know to get by at the water cooler
- Necromancer Marnie cast a scary spell on the very camp vamp Pam when she came to confront the coven about Eric being MIA. Pam ran off in a fit of fear and rage, but the coven -- including Lafayette, Tara and Jesus -- said Marnie better stop messing around with the vampires -- or they'd all end up dead. Tara said she was headed back to New Orleans, but Jesus suggested he and Lafayette pay a visit to his Mexican grandfather, someone he knew could help "fight fire with fire." He relayed a story about his grandfather presenting him with a pet goat -- then making him kill it. Afterward, he made little Jesus lick the knife so he could take the spirit of the animal inside. "It was power, a force, it was incredible. Whatever that force was, we need it. We need it now."
- Arlene and Terry were super-worried about their baby being possessed by his bad dad, the long-dead Bon Temps serial killer Renee. So Terry called Reverend Daniels and his wife -- Tara's mom Lettie May. The priestly pair sang songs and waved incense around, but could that cure the baby? Maybe. Later, Terry and Arlene enjoyed the quiet of a peaceful night. But a matchbook magically set on fire tells us everything's not quite right.
- Still memory-less and confused, Eric found himself hovering over Sookie, bloodlust driving him crazy. But his love for Sookie kept him at bay. Then his long-dead (like, for real) maker Godric appeared to remind him that he was damned, so he should just drink. As he bit into Sookie's succulent neck, the dream faded and Eric woke with a shock. Then he wandered into Sookie's room, fangs bared. Sookie woke and Eric told her about her his bad dream. Sookie told him he could sleep with her, "as long as you keep your hands and fangs to yourself."
- Tommy Mickens went back to see his mama Melinda Mickens -- who told him she finally left his mean-to-the-bone dad. But it was a trap: Joe Lee Mickens captured Tommy via chain rope, with plans to put the shifter into a big dog fight the next day. But Tommy, knowing his dad, played dead, then attacked, killing his father. Unfortunately, mama Mickens bit it in the process, too. So Tommy brought the bodies of his parents to his big brother Sam's, bringing big time drama into Sam's life once again. Sheriff Bellefleur, always antagonizing Sam, pulled the pair over. He spotted blood in the van, and demanded to inspect it. When he unlocked the door, Andy found a giant gator. Quick thinking, Tommy. Then the brothers dumped the bodies in the swamp, and Sam told a stressed out Tommy that he, too, once killed people in self-defense. "I ain't seen no devils in my mirror or nothing," he said.
- Bill Compton found out last week that his new lover, Portia Bellefleur, was actually his great, great granddaughter. But Portia saw no reason to stop their dalliances -- incest was only banned to prevent messed up kids, she explained, and Bon Temps had its share of kissing cousins. So Bill compelled her to run screaming any time she saw him. Vampire Pam, wearing a black mantilla, thanks to her corpse-like face, went to go see Bill to gain vengeance. But he said there was nothing he could do without getting Pam punished -- and vampire-on-human violence got the "true death" penalty.
- Alcide got a visit from Marcus Boseman, packmaster of Shreveport, La., who was pretty pissed that Alcide had been living in his territory without registering with the pack. "I'm currently exploring free agency, it's a nice fit so far," Alcide told him, blowing him off. Something tells me we haven't seen the last of Marcus Boseman.
- Hoyt and Jessica, problems aside for the moment, focused on helping Jason, who had been torn apart by the were-panthers. But they still hadn't really reconciled. Hoyt asked if there was something Jess hadn't told him. She said she loved him, but he couldn't bring himself to say it back. Later, at Merlotte's, Jason told Hoyt about being raped by the were-panthers. Jason overheard witchy waitress Holly talking about the full moon looming and freaked. That night, Jason dreamed that Jessica came on to him -- and Hoyt was there to watch.
- Sookie stopped fellow Merlotte's witchy waitress Holly to ask her about the Wiccan stuff -- but Holly wasn't talking, at least out loud. So Sookie read her mind and found out about Marnie and the coven. Later, Sookie went to visit Marnie's store for "a reading." She told the witch that when she was younger, her two favorite shows were "Sabrina The Teenaged Witch" and "Charmed." As Marnie began the reading, Sookie tried to read her mind. But it was chaos. Marnie told Sookie that her gran was watching over her. Gran had a message: "the new man you have feelings for, you are not to give him your heart." Then she told Sook that Marnie was a danger -- and to run!
- Tara told Sookie about her girlfriend Naomi -- and that she might lose her because she lied about who she is. She asked Sookie if she could stay, and Sookie said no. And Tara soon found out why. Eric appeared, and Tara freaked. "He's a psycho, murdering asshole," Tara reminded her. "You hate Eric Northman." Then she ran off. Eric was surprised to hear all the horrible things he'd done to Sookie. But Sookie said she trusted that he could change. "I've seen you change. I like it. I like you." Eric, who couldn't trust himself. decided he must go. But Sookie asked him not to -- and kissed him, for the first time, of her own violation.
- Marnie got another visitor, Katie, a coven member, who apparently was undercover -- and had Marnie hauled away by guards. But who are they working for? Locked away in a cell, Marnie again saw the bad witch who'd been possessing her -- and the horrible things her coven was put through by evil vampire priests. Shortly after that, Bill spoke to her via speaker, asking, quite calmly, where Eric is. He asked her to reverse the spell she put on Pam, but Marnie insisted she didn't know how. Bill went into the cell to glamour Marnie to find out the truth -- and learned that she wasn't lying. Bill gathered the remaining four vampire sheriffs to tell them about Eric. One of them told of Antonia, a great sorceress who massacred all the vampires in the area 400 years ago via a spell. The sheriffs and Pam wanted to kill the witch to avoid facing a similar fate -- and Pam accidentally outed that Eric was at Sookie's. Oops.
"True Blood" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.
Aretha Franklin, Journey and Tim Robbins ready to rock your mornings
Special to MSN TV
Here's the lowdown on which daytime talkers will be hanging out with Lance Bass, Megan Mullally, Aisha Tyler, Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, Daniel Craig, Swoosie Kurtz, Denise Richards, Craig Ferguson, Jordan Sparks, Dominic Cooper, Don Cheadle, Rebecca Black and Caroline Manzo and Playmate Crystal Harris. Plus, don't miss live performances from Aretha Franklin, Journey and Tim Robbins and The Rogues Gallery Band.
Bing: More about Tim Robbins
"Live With Regis and Kelly"
Monday: Heidi Klum, Jayma Mays, guest co-host Neil Patrick Harris
Tuesday: Steve Carell, Ray Davies
Wednesday: Sofia Vergara, OneRepublic
Thursday: Julianne Moore, 3 Doors Down
Friday: Craig Ferguson, chef Michael Psilakis
"The Ellen Show"
Monday: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Michael Grimm
Tuesday: Jim Parsons, Kym Douglas, Bristol Palin, Mark Ballas
Wednesday: Ricky Martin, Mike O'Malley, Kellie Pickler
Thursday: Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Marisa Miller, the Band Perry
Friday: Steve Carell, Alison Sweeney
"The Gayle King Show"
Monday: Giada de Laurentiis
Tuesday: Caroline Manzo
Thursday: Lance Bass
Friday: Rebecca Black
Monday: Playmate Crystal Harris, Audra McDonald
Tuesday: Denise Richards, Tim Robbins and The Rogues Gallery Band perform
Wednesday: Tom Bergeron
Thursday: guest co-host James Woods; Donyelle Jones and Shane Sparks
Friday: Mario Cantone, John Pinette, Donyelle Jones and Shane Sparks
"The Rachael Ray Show"
Thursday: Alison Sweeney
Friday: Sofia Vergara, Nancy O'Dell
Monday: Megan Mullally
Tuesday: Kathy Baker, Aisha Tyler
Wednesday: Giuliana and Bill Rancic, Chef Ludo Lefebvre
Thursday: Swoosie Kurtz, Penn Jillette
Friday: Gillian Anderson, Beth Littleford
Monday: Daniel Craig, Giada DeLaurentiis, Don Cheadle, Aretha Franklin performs
Tuesday: Denise Richards, Steve Carell and Julianne Moore, Jeff Gordon, Natalie Cole, Gregg Allman
Wednesday: 3 Doors Down perform, Henry Cejudo, Denise Richards, Jordan Sparks
Thursday: Dr. Nancy Snyderman, The Scotto Family, Dominic Cooper
Friday: Journey performs live on the plaza, Craig Ferguson