Hellcats and Nikita Premieres

8 09 2010

Tune into The CW at 9pm eastern tonight to see the premiere of Hellcats, starring one-time Beverly Hills 90210 guest-star Ashley Tisdale, Robbie Jones (Quentin, One Tree Hill), and Matt Barr (Ian “Psycho Derek” Banks, One Tree Hill), and featuring Jeff Hephner (Matt, The O.C.).

For more on Hellcats, check out my review of the pilot presentation.

Then tune into The CW at 9pm eastern tomorrow night to see the premiere of Nikita, starring Melinda Clarke (Julie, The O.C.).

For more on Nikita, check out my review of the pilot and read my interview with Clarke from May.





News Roundup: Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill, 90210 and More

12 08 2010
  • Kristin tweeted that Gossip Girl’s Chuck and Blair are not the subject of her wedding spoiler.
  • Josh Schwartz (executive producer, The O.C.) had tweeted this morning that there is “no truth” to the rumor that Blake Lively (Serena, Gossip Girl) has asked to have her character killed so she could leave the show BUT several hours later I saw that the tweet was deleted. When I checked with The CW earlier this week about this rumor, they issued a “no comment.” Interpret as you wish.
  • Penn Badgley (Dan, Gossip Girl) will present at the MTV Video Music Awards next month.
  • Badgley did a feature for the launch issue of Bullet magazine, but I don’t believe it’s out yet. There’s a behind-the-scenes video where he talks about the photo shoot and shows off some of his pian0-playing and singing skills.
  • Luke Kleintank (Elliott, Gossip Girl) has been cast on The Young And The Restless.
  • Star News came up with an interesting list of 5 crossover ideas for One Tree Hill.
  • JustJared claims Sophia Bush (Brooke, One Tree Hill) and Austin Nichols (Julian, One Tree Hill) will present the Breakthrough in Green Innovation award to Global Green at the Breakthrough of the Year Awards this weekend. He apparently previously reported that Jessica Szohr (Vanessa, Gossip Girl) will get the Breakthrough Actress in Film award while AnnaLynne McCord (Naomi, 90210) will get the Breakthrough Standout Performance award.
  • Trevor Donovan (Teddy, 90210) tweeted that he will be part of the city of Beverly Hills’ 9.02.10 Day celebrations, and he’s hosting a contest related to it.
  • SoapNet will have a Beverly Hills 90210 “Labor Of Love” marathon on Labor Day with Kelly-Dylan season 3 episodes. I could not be any happier. (Well, I’d be happier it if it was a super-long marathon about their whole relationship over the 10 seasons but…this…is…awesome!)
  • EW.com has a “first look” at Brian Austin Green (David, Beverly Hills 90210) on Desperate Housewives.
  • The Associated Press has an article about Vanessa Marcil (Gina, Beverly Hills 90210) returning to General Hospital.
  • According to TVGuide.com, Shailene Woodley (Kaitlin, The O.C.) makes $40,000 per an episode for The Secret Life Of The American Teenager, while one-time Beverly Hills 90210 guest star Ashley Tisdale will be making $30,000 an episode for The CW’s Hellcats.
  • Benjamin McKenzie (Ryan, The O.C.) will be performing in The Glass Menagerie in California from September 1 to October 17.
  • Gossip Cop and I busted a false National Enquirer story claiming Katie Holmes (Joey, Dawson’s Creek) and husband Tom Cruise are feuding over a smoking addiction.




News Roundup: One Tree Hill, Gossip Girl, 90210 and More

29 07 2010
  • The CW had an event today, similar to the upfront, for the TCA (Television Critics Association), a somewhat-selective organization of television journalists. CW entertainment president Dawn Ostroff spoke and took questions before separate panels for Nikita, Hellcats and Gossip Girl.
  • The Futon Critic is reporting that Ostroff confirmed One Tree Hill has been given a full-season order for the upcoming season, but, as of this moment, I am not seeing other outlets reporting that.
  • Ostroff told Star News last night that OTH could be renewed after season 8, which Sophia Bush (Brooke, One Tree Hill) thinks is “fishy.” Today Ostroff said that it was too soon to discuss whether this is the final season.
  • Ostroff also said there WASN’T an alternate ending for OTH last season, in case the show wasn’t renewed. (Something I maintained all along, if you recall.)
  • Ostroff reiterated that the morning-after Nielsen ratings are not the only factor that is important to them when evaluating a show’s success (hence the renewals of Gossip Girl, 90210, etc.). TVByTheNumbers.com has an interesting piece reacting to this.
  • For more on the session with Ostroff, check out these live-blogs and recaps.
  • The Gossip Girl panel featured Ed Westwick (Chuck), Josh Schwartz (executive producer), Stephanie Savage (executive producer) and Joshua Safran (executive producer).
  • A preview of season 4 was shown and some spoilers were divulged. Taylor Momsen (Jenny) will be back (something else I’ve maintained all along), and the producers admitted that they have an idea of how the show will eventually end but said it’s a long time off.
  • For more on the Gossip Girl panel, check out these live-blogs and recaps. (Warning: spoilers included.)
  • Korbi has a spoiler-filled Q & A with Schwartz and Savage.
  • Chace Crawford (Nate, Gossip Girl) was on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon last night.
  • Crawford spoke with MTV about Juliet (Katie Cassidy, Gossip Girl) and GG shooting in Paris, which he did not partake in.
  • AfterElton spoke with Trevor Donovan (Teddy, 90210), Michael Steger (Navid, 90210) and Matt Lanter (Liam, 90210) individually about the possibility that one of their characters will be the one that comes out this season. Interestingly enough, they each give contradictory stories on how everyone found out about the storyline.
  • Crushable’s interview with Lanter on the same topic is a bit contradictory, too, as he says he knows which character it is, but the above interviews seem to suggest they don’t know who it is, if I’m reading this all correctly. Oh, and there’s totally Lannie spoilers in that interview.
  • AnnaLynne McCord (Naomi, 90210) spoke to Us Weekly about Kim and Khloe Kardashian’s guest appearance.
  • Jessica Stroup (Silver, 90210) performed a powerful monologue by Eve Ensler for MTV.
  • Rachel Bilson (Summer, The O.C.) will reprise her How I Met Your Mother role.
  • Joshua Jackson (Pacey, Dawson’s Creek) hilariously spoke with MTV about Pacey-Con. LOL at the Jen-Con comment. I’m sure the reunion thing, though, will end up being blown way out of proportion by the media.




News Roundup: 90210, Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill and More

30 06 2010
  • The CW has announced premiere dates for the fall season: 90210 and Gossip Girl will start Monday, September 13. One Tree Hill will start Tuesday, September 14. The rest: America’s Next Top Model and Hellcats, featuring Matt Barr (Ian “Psycho Derek” Banks, One Tree Hill) and Robbie Jones (Quentin, One Tree Hill), on Wednesday, September 8;  Nikita, featuring Melinda Clarke (Julie, The O.C.), and The Vampire Diaries on Thursday, September 9; Life Unexpected, featuring Kerr Smith (Jack, Dawson’s Creek) and Shiri Appleby (Rene, Beverly Hills 90210) after OTH; Smallville and Supernatural on Friday, September 24.
  • Gossip Girl’s Dan and Vanessa are nominated for Oddest Couple in Kristin’s Tater Top Awards.
  • Craig Sheffer (Keith, One Tree Hill) has put his home up for sale. Only really posting this because we so rarely hear about him!
  • Rachel Bilson (Summer, The O.C.) has endorsed some Coach pocketbooks and part of the profits from them will benefit The Art of Elysium.
  • Freaks and Geeks, a short-lived show starring Busy Philipps (Audrey, Dawson’s Creek) and Seth Rogen (Bob, Dawson’s Creek), will re-air on IFC beginning Friday.




Nikita

8 06 2010

In addition to Hellcats, the folks at The CW were kind enough to send me a screener of their other new series, Nikita.

The show resolves around Nikita, a former assassin who used to be part of Division, one of the government’s top secret, um, divisions.  When she falls in love with a civilian, she flees the organization and her lover is killed. She spends 3 years in hiding before resurfacing with the goal of destroying Division.

Like Hellcats, Nikita opens with the title character, played by Maggie Q, narrating. The exposition continues in another scene, where Nikita reveals to her foster dad what she’s been up to since she last saw him. I’m big on flashbacks and I love that it allowed us to see Nikita in a vulnerable state, since she’s pretty much kicking ass and taking names the rest of the time. Which is something I don’t quite understand. She wants to stop Division, stop them from killing people, but to do so…she has to kill people.

The biggest bright spot for me was the cast. Maggie Q is not only stunning but talented, both of which were made clear during her brief appearance at The CW Upfront. I had never seen Lyndsy Fonesca in anything before and she blew me away. Shane West is as handsome as ever. I could watch him in anything. And Melinda Clarke (Julie, The O.C.) seems to be channeling Mrs. Cooper-Nichol a little bit, which is a win in my book. (Check out my interview with Clarke for her thoughts on the show.)

Throughout the pilot, though, I felt like I was watching a FOX show. Perhaps a female-driven version of 24.

Nikita is part action drama, part psychological thriller. Neither appeal to me.

I’m not big on violence. I’m not big on mind games.

And then the twist came.

At the end.

And while I won’t reveal it, I will say it left me intrigued. Intrigued enough to check out episode two when the time comes?

I don’t know yet. I’m still processing.

A premiere date for Nikita hasn’t been announced yet but it will air Thursdays in the fall after The Vampire Diaries.

I have to note, though, that Nikita won’t be covered extensively on this site since it is not a teen drama. I will continue to include it as I have thus far: when there’s something relevant to Clarke or executive producer McG (executive producer, The O.C.) or when there’s some other teen drama connection.





Hellcats

7 06 2010

Thanks to The CW, I was able to watch a screener of their new series Hellcats.

The series stars Ashley Tisdale (who once guest-starred on Beverly Hills 90210), Aly Michalka and, from the teen drama world, Matt Barr (Ian “Psycho Derek” Banks, One Tree Hill; Keith van der Woodsen, Gossip Girl; Wes, The O.C.) and Robbie Jones (Quentin, One Tree Hill).

The show revolves around Aly’s character, Marti, who loses her college scholarship and decides to try out for the Hellcats, the competitive cheerleading team at Lancer University, since all members receive scholarships.

The screener was only approximately 35 minutes long, so I’m not sure if additional scenes will be added for the premiere or if it will have more commercial breaks than normal. I would guess the former is more likely, as this was probably more of a pilot presentation than a pilot. Still, it was significantly longer than what was shown at The CW Upfront.

Among the things that I liked:

It was refreshing to see a show set in the college world from the start. While the actors aren’t quite college age in real life (though Barr doesn’t look like he’s aged a day since One Tree Hill), it felt like a nice change of pace. How much it’ll actually differ from a high school-focused show, I don’t know. But all the cheerleaders have to live together, which provides a convenience that high school-based shows don’t have.

The soundtrack was fun–I really enjoyed the use of Train’s Hey Soul Sister and Lady Antebellum’s Need You Now–though I’m sure the songs are subject to change. In addition to the typical background songs that all shows have in several scenes, the cheerleading sequences provide another opportunity to play music, but of a diegetic nature. Music aside, at first I felt like these scenes were a waste of time, overkill, fluff and filler. But then I remembered how often One Tree Hill had basketball sequences during several of its seasons and how much I came to enjoy them. Perhaps I would feel the same way here in time.

As I noted in my upfront recap, it seems they are setting up a love triangle with Marti and Barr’s Dan (seriously, they couldn’t pick a different name for a CW character?) and Jones’ Louis. Dan is Marti’s close friend, who just may be harboring some feelings for her, but she and Louis, a member of the Hellcats, are starting to get their flirt on. I am intrigued by the interracial component but also because I’m just a sucker for love triangles.

The Bring It On comparisons are inevitable and the show knows that, smartly incorporating the film into the plot. When Marti needs to prepare for her try out, she breaks out the DVD and soon she’s dancing all around her living room.

Among the things that I didn’t like:

In just 35-ish minutes, they blew through a ton of plot. I understand the need to set up the show, but it felt like they set up the show and resolved so much of it within one episode. I didn’t expect Marti to come up with her game plan–trying out for the team–and make the squad all in one episode. I didn’t expect Marti and Tisdale’s Savannah to go from budding enemies to just buddies so quickly. And I didn’t expect qualifiers, or the first major competitive event, to begin at the end of the episode. It seemed like these things, these conflicts, could’ve been drawn out over a couple of episodes. But you run the risk, then, of taking too long to get going. Still, I don’t see a season’s worth–much less a series’ worth–of creative plotlines here.

Among the things I’m mixed on:

Savannah wasn’t quite what I expected. I anticipated a more obvious mean girl but the pilot seemed to suggest that she isn’t really the enemy or the foil to Marti’s character. Maybe that will change over time.

As many have noted based just on promotional photos, Marti bears some resemblance to Peyton (Hilarie Burton, One Tree Hill), circa seasons one and two. Still, differences abound: Marti’s mom is in her life whereas Peyton’s wasn’t. Marti is joining the cheerleading team when the series starts whereas Peyton was already a member. Marti is single and her closest friend is male whereas Peyton had a boyfriend and her closest friends was female. Marti, scholarship drama aside, doesn’t seem to be all that bummed out about life whereas Peyton’s personality fell largely under the category of “broody.” Marti is book-smart and intends to have a career in law, whereas Peyton was all about the arts. Bottom line: Marti may look like Peyton at first glance, but she is far from a carbon copy. Too early to tell whether that’s good or bad.

The show started and finished with narration from Marti. Not sure if that was just a plot device to get things off the ground or if it will be a regular feature, but I’m not sure if I’m feeling it.

“Not sure” is actually how I feel overall. I don’t really care to watch, don’t really care not to. I’m a firm believer that some worthy shows need some time to get going, but whether I’ll give this one a chance, I don’t know yet.

A premiere date for Hellcats hasn’t been announced yet but it will air Wednesdays in the fall after America’s Next Top Model.

I have to note, though, that Hellcats won’t be covered extensively on this site since it is not a teen drama. I will continue to include it as I have thus far: when there’s something relevant to Barr or Jones or when there’s some other teen drama connection.





News Roundup: One Tree Hill, 90210, Gossip Girl and The O.C.

1 06 2010
  • Despite some outlets looking favorably on the network, The TV Addict gave The CW a C- for the season.
  • The CW sent me screeners for Hellcats, featuring Matt Barr (Ian “Psycho Derek” Banks, One Tree Hill) and Robbie Jones (Quentin, One Tree Hill), as well as Nikita, featuring Melinda Clarke (Julie, The O.C.). After I watch them, I will post some thoughts, like I did for Life Unexpected.
  • Encore has an interview with Mike Grubbs (Grubbs, One Tree Hill). Have you read my interview with him?
  • Starpulse has an interview with Tyler Hilton (Chris, One Tree Hill).
  • TV Fanatic gave 90210 a C for the season, making quite a few great points about the show’s flaws and what it needs to work on.
  • You know all those questions we had after the 90210 season finale? On why promised or hinted to things never actually happened? E! Online has some answers and I, for one, am pissed off. (Of course, that’s nothing new for me in regards to this show but still…)
  • Jason Priestley (Brandon, Beverly Hills 9021o) will have a recurring role on ABC’s Scoundrels, which premieres June 20. Thanks to Jethro and Gina for alerting me to the news. Not sure what this means for Call Me Fitz, if anything.
  • The Stir has an interview with Jennie Garth (Kelly, Beverly Hills 90210).
  • Zap2it has an interesting article debating whether the Gossip Girl season 2 finale or season 3 finale was better.
  • McG (executive producer, The O.C.) will produce the film The DUFF, based on a novel of the same name.







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