CBS, Sundays, 9 p.m. |
Here it is, the last major new network series of the fall, and it's DOA. Alex O'Loughlin, who was slightly ahead of the vampire craze with his failed but intriguing 2007 crime series Moonlight, stars in an urgent, earnest medical drama set at a Pittsburgh transplant center. It's as if someone surgically removed all the fun, sex and overwrought nonsense of Grey's Anatomy, packed them in ice and FedExed them off to parts unknown. Three Rivers doesn't even have the juice of NBC's silly new nursing show Mercy. O'Loughlin is meant to be a dynamic surgeon, yet the show doesn't establish much beyond his name, which happens to be Andy Yablonski. Katherine Moennig (The L Word) makes more of an impression as his intense, unsmiling colleague. She should sit down between transplants and plot her transfer to Seattle Grace.
Curb Your Enthusiasm
HBO, Sundays, 9 p.m. ET/PT |
Larry David has hit on a great, bizarro story for season 7: The Seinfeld cast agrees to stage an NBC reunion special with their sitcom's creator. Who, of course, is Larry David. The reunion itself is a meta-gag: No one's holding their breath waiting for such an NBC special to materialize. The gang's first appearance Oct. 4 was a self-parodying summit of TV royalty, bristling and impatient (except for Michael "Kramer" Richards, who played his scenes with an air of fly-chasing distraction). Curb needs them: Over time David's abrasiveness has dulled into narcissistic cuteness, while costars like Susie Essman have faded. Maybe he's been master of this domain too long.
Leave It to Lamas
E!, Oct. 11, 11 p.m. ET/PT |
This new show about a lesser Hollywood dynasty seems meant to focus on Shayne Lamas, best known for her brief engagement to Bachelor Matt Grant. But, given that the high point of the premiere is her standing by in a leopard-print hoodie while her mother tests out a barbecue grill—indoors—Shayne all but forfeits the show to her famous father, actor Lorenzo Lamas. He commands the camera whether the subject is trite (a parasite that's infected his kitten) or serious (his strained relationship with son AJ). In this environment, old man Lamas has the stature of Lincoln.
ABC, Tuesdays, 10 p.m. ET/PT |
Christian Slater is Alex Donovan, an ex-detective who heads a team of amateur investigators dedicated to uncovering the identities of murder victims—John and Jane Does. The forensics are entertaining, but the members of this ragtag group—a phone-company guy (Bob Stephenson) who trips over his enthusiasm; an artist (Anthony Carrigan) who shapes busts of the victims—seem like a morbid substitute for bridge club. Donovan is haunted by a related, personal tragedy: He suffered a breakdown after his daughter disappeared. Slater plays the role with stoic calm and the occasional lifting of his brows. Not memorable.
>1 PEOPLE COUNTRY ON CMT
SUN. 10/11 11 A.M. CMT
Stars include Taylor Swift, Brad Paisley and their families.
2 DROP DEAD DIVA
SUN. 10/11 9 P.M. LIFETIME
Season finale of the sweet comic fantasy starring Brooke Elliott.
3 LAW & ORDER: SVU
WED. 10/14 9 P.M. NBC
Det. Benson (Mariska Hargitay) investigates a possible love triangle gone wrong.
WED. 10/14 10 P.M. FX
New season of the demented plastic-surgery drama. Mario Lopez and his abs guest star.
FRI. 10/16 8 P.M. ABC
Jo Frost, that eminently sensible woman in the eggplant suit, helps a distressed family in Georgia.
>MY 5 FAVORITE TV ASSISTANTS
• "I love playing characters I'd never want to spend time with," Ansari jokes of his role as Amy Poehler's not very helpful assistant Tom on the NBC show. The actor and comedian, who says we'll soon see Tom's softer side, lists some unusual support staffers he'd hire for himself.
MAD MEN'S PEGGY OLSON
I love watching Peggy [played by Elisabeth Moss] moving high up at the company. In the first season, she was Don Draper's assistant—and now she's smoking weed in her office! Usually, that's not associated with being promoted, but she's doing a great job.
HORATIO CAINE'S SUNGLASSES ON CSI: MIAMI
The sunglasses David Caruso's character wears on CSI are a vital sidekick! At the beginning of every show, he'll find a crime scene, say a one-liner, and throw the sunglasses down, like, "Bam!" They're like Magnum's moustache on Magnum, P.I.
BREAKING BAD'S JESSE PINKMAN
Aaron Paul plays a burnt-out former student who helps Walter make and sell crystal meth so he can have money to give his family after he dies. He's always messing things up—which is why you shouldn't be taking help from someone who makes meth.
CHLOE O'BRIAN OF 24
I love how aggravated Chloe [played by Mary Lynn Rajskub] gets on 24—and how much smarter she is than everyone else in the terrorist unit. She's always, like, "Fine, looks like I'll have to handle this myself!" It's hysterical.
KNIGHT RIDER'S KITT
Even though he had the body of a car, KITT had the soul of a man. When I was a kid, there was nothing cooler than a talking car. I thought there would be talking cars by the time I grew up. A GPS is sort of a talking car, but you can't joke around with it.
>After three seasons and three consecutive best-comedy Emmys, Tina Fey's satire of network TV is back Oct. 15 on NBC. The premiere delivers swift, precise little jabs—imagine the fists of an indignant squirrel—at corporate greed and media elitism. Well done, Tina!
>WALTZES OVER TO BROTHERS & SISTERS
• The 33-year-old heartthrob plays Luc Laurent, a French artist who woos Rachel Griffiths on the ABC drama.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR NEW ROLE.
He's a renaissance man. He can paint, dance, cook, love. He talks with his heart. He falls in love with Sarah [Griffiths] when she's on a trip in France. Next thing you know, he does the craziest thing he's ever done—he flies to America.
HOW IS IT BEING THE NEW KID?
I'm having the best time of my life. One day of working with Rachel is like two years of acting class. And Sally Field, she only thinks positive and wants good things for people. She has a beautiful soul.
YOU MADE QUITE THE SPLASH AS DANCING'S RUNNER-UP LAST SEASON.
That show was the best thing to happen to me. It gave me such an opportunity, because now people will see if I can act.
WILL YOU BE IN THE NEXT SEX AND THE CITY MOVIE?
No. The script took a different turn, and it makes no sense for my character to be there. Dante did well in the first movie. I'm very proud of that. People still send me messages: "Oh my God, I saw it 15 times just for you." That is priceless.