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Monday's TV Highlights: 'The Big Bang Theory' on CBS

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TV listings for the week of Sept. 21 - 27, 2014 in PDF format

This week's TV Movies


Lauren Lake's Paternity Court This new unscripted series offers a glimpse into the drama surrounding establishing legal parenthood. 11 a.m. KDOC

The Big Bang Theory The popular sitcom temporarily moves back to Mondays to start its eighth season with back-to-back episodes. In the opener Sheldon (Jim Parsons) is far from home, and Leonard and Amy (Johnny Galecki, Mayim Bialik) try to get him back. 8 and 8:30 p.m. CBS

The Voice Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams join returning celebrity judges/musicians/coaches Adam Levine and Blake Shelton as the singing competition is back with a new season. Carson Daly continues host. 8 p.m. NBC

Gotham Detective James Gordon (Ben McKenzie), who eventually will become Gotham's police commissioner, is at the heart of this new series set in the "Batman" universe. Donal...

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'Fashion Police' plans 2015 return with Melissa Rivers' blessing

"Fashion Police" will continue without Joan Rivers.

In the wake of the recent death of Rivers, E! Entertainment has announced that "Fashion Police," the series that starred the comedian and others commenting on the fashion of celebrities, will return next year.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of Joan Rivers and, for the last two weeks, have turned our attention to honoring her memory on all our platforms," the network said in a statement. "We have also thought long and hard about what Joan would have wanted as it pertains to the future of 'Fashion Police.'

"We decided, with Melissa Rivers' blessing, that Joan would have wanted the franchise to continue. Fashion Police will return in 2015, commencing with Golden Globe coverage on Monday, Jan. 12. No further details will be announced at this time."

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Saturday's TV Highlights and Weekend Talk Shows

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TV listings for the week of Sept. 21 - 27, 2014 in PDF format

This week's TV Movies



The Roosevelts: An Intimate History The new Ken Burns miniseries concludes its seven-part run focusing largely on Eleanor Roosevelt (voice of Meryl Streep) after husband Franklin's (voice of Edward Herrmann) health erodes rapidly during his fourth presidential term. 8 and 10 p.m. KOCE

Cedar Cove Olivia (Andie MacDowell) is surprised by Rebecca's (Cindy Busby) reluctance to accept a deal that could save the young assistant district attorney's career in this new episode. Meanwhile, Jack (Dylan Neal) battles a bad case of writer's block as he works on his first article for the Seattle Courier, and Grace (Teryl Rothery) feels threatened by Cliff's (Sebastian Spence) beautiful ranch hand (Rebecca Marshall). 8 p.m. Hallmark


On the Run Tour: Beyoncé and Jay Z Taped in Paris, this new concert...

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Shonda Rhimes responds to 'angry black woman' New York Times piece

"Grey's Anatomy" creator Shonda Rhimes was not flattered by the New York Times' recent essay on her talents and took to Twitter to express her frustration.

On Thursday, Times TV critic Alessandra Stanley wrote an essay about how the prolific TV creator is breaking the current mold of TV heroines and subverting stereotypes in the process.

Unfortunately, the critic started her essay with the words, "When Shonda Rhimes writes her autobiography, it should be called 'How to Get Away With Being an Angry Black Woman.'"

Despite Stanley later in the piece writing, "Ms. Rhimes has embraced the trite but persistent caricature of the Angry Black Woman, recast it in her own image and made it enviable," Rhimes was not amused.

On Twitter on Friday morning, Peter Nowalk, the creator of "How to Get Away With Murder," the new ABC show executive produced by Rhimes, wrote her asking, "did u know u were 'an angry black woman'?"

Rhimes responded, "Confused why @nytimes critic doesn't know identity of...

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Conan's fake Apple commercial has ultimate U2 solution

So you were upset that Apple sent you the new U2 album to your iTunes, even though you didn't ask for it. Now what?

On Thursday night's "Conan," Conan O'Brien aired a possible new solution for Apple to utilize against the surprising backlash to the giveaway.

As the fake Apple executive "Marcus Pratt" says in the bit, "Apparently, to today's youth, giving away a free album from one of the best bands of all time is like going to their house and taking a gigantic crap on their doorstep."

Yes, iTunes users can easily delete the free album, "Songs of Innocence," from their music libraries. But what if they've already listened to it? What if those songs are already rattling around in the synapses of their brains?

Well, the Apple of Conan O'Brien's world has a solution for that too. Now users can have every memory of U2 completely scrubbed from their minds -- a procedure similar to the one shown in "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind."

Once every last guitar lick by the Edge or crooning...

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TV Picks: 'Good Wife,' 'The Middle,' 'Black-ish,' 'Marple' and more

"The Good Wife" (CBS, Sundays), "Nashville" (ABC, Wednesdays), "Madam Secretary" (CBS, Sundays). The most satisfying and the most vexing network dramas, as seen from my little critic's corner of the world, return. And a new show whose degree of satisfaction and vexation is yet to be understood -- but which, like the others, is built around strong female leads -- comes to join them.

"The Good Wife," beginning its sixth season, is the series that has carried the banner for dramatic quality and possibility in network television; I don't want to say that it has carried it alone -- because (1) I'm probably forgetting something and (2) we may differ as to the meaning of "quality" and (3) it is sad to think this might be so. The show is not immune to bad decisions and unprofitable plotting; though I like Josh Charles, it wasn't a bad idea to eliminate his character -- the romance between Julianna Margulies' Alicia and his Will has always struck me as insisted upon from above rather than felt...

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Friday's TV Highlights: 'The Knick' on Cinemax

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TV listings for the week of Sept. 14 - 20, 2014 in PDF format

This week's TV Movies


The Roosevelts: An Intimate History After winning a third presidential term, FDR (voice of Edward Herrmann) turns his attention to World War II — well before the attack on Pearl Harbor — in the sixth installment of Ken Burns' documentary miniseries. 8 and 10 p.m. KOCE

Tanked Shaquille O'Neal wants an aquarium built in a semi-truck's front end, and the guys help a Vegas illusionist re-create an old Houdini escape trick with fish in this new episode. 10 p.m. Animal Planet

The Knick In this new episode, Thackery and Bertie (Clive Owen, Michael Angarano) vow to reverse a series of operating theater mishaps. David Fierro, Juliet Rylance, Eric Johnson, Maya Kazan, Andre Holland and Jeremy Bobb also star. 10 p.m. Cinemax

Z Nation In this new episode, the crew slowly makes its way across country until...

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'Simpsons' executive producer Al Jean says upcoming death is permanent

Al Jean, executive producer and show runner for Fox's long, long, long-running "The Simpsons," says the death that is coming to Springfield in the upcoming 26th season premiere will be permanent.

"When we kill [a character], they stay dead," Jean said. That said, he did say the death was a bit "overhyped."

Earlier this year, "Family Guy," which airs with "The Simpsons" on Fox Sunday nights, took the shocking move of killing the family dog, Brian, before bringing him back a few weeks later.

Whoever dies in the episode, "Clown in the Dumps," which airs Sept. 28, will stay dead. But he or she could always come back in dreams or visions. You never know.

"We gave [the episode] that title for a reason," Jean said in a recent call with reporters. "Some people have guessed it correctly and some people are really, really off."

The episode, which guest stars David Hyde Pierce, Sarah Silverman and Jeff Ross, will be about Krusty the Clown retiring from showbiz after getting offended at a...

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'The Good Wife' star Alan Cumming favors Scottish independence

Alan Cumming, who plays Eli Gold on CBS' "The Good Wife," has been an American citizen since 2008, but he still has a keen interest in the affairs of his native Scotland. And on the day that Scots are heading to the polls to decide whether the country will leave the United Kingdom, the actor published an op-ed in the New York Times advocating for independence.

The op-ed, titled "Scotland's Moment of Destiny," argues that the Yes campaign, which he has supported since 2012, " is about hope for a fairer, more caring and prosperous society." Meanwhile, a no vote is a vote for "the devil you know."

Cumming says he remains an optimist.

Many Scots have long been frustrated with government rule originating from England and feel they have no strong voice for themselves in their own future.

While British Prime Minister David Cameron has argued against Scotland move away from his country, Queen Elizabeth II has mostly remained silent. She did, however, make the comment that she hoped that people...

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'Tyrant' gets a second reign as FX renews drama

FX has ordered a second season of "Tyrant," the drama about an American family that gets pulled into the inner workings of a turbulent fictional Middle Eastern country.

The series, from Emmy Award-winning producer Howard Gordon ("24," "Homeland"), will begin production in spriing, and the 13-episode second season is schedulued to debut in the summer of 2015.

"Tyrant" sparked initial controversy before it debuted this summer when the leaders of the Council of American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights group, expressed concerns about "potential Islamophobic stereotyping."

The cast includes Adam Rayner, Jennifer Finnigan and Ashraf Barhom.

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Mark Burnett, Mike Darnell team up for new ABC game show

Mark Burnett and Mike Darnell, two reality competition kingpins, are teaming up for a new ABC game show.

"500 Questions," the show's current working title, has been given a direct-to-series order from the network for a rollout in 2015.

The goal of the show is to test the IQ of contestants in a "pressure-packed, incredibly intense environment," according to a release from ABC.  Given the resume of Burnett ("Survivor," "The Voice") and Darnell (who was behind such reality fare as "When Animals Attack"  and "American Idol" during his time as president of alternative entertainment at Fox), we won't be too surprised if contestants are answering questions as animals attack or while hiking 11 miles in a dense jungle.

The game show comes from Burnett and his One Three Media production company and Warner Horizon Television. Darnell now serves as the president of unscripted and alternative television at Warner Bros.

Burnett, who will serve as an executive producer, expects the show to combine...

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TV Picks: 'Sleepy Hollow,' 'Gotham,' 'Blacklist,' 'Madame Secretary'

"Sleepy Hollow." The surprise hit of last fall is back, and not a moment too soon.

For one thing, well more like six things, last season's finale left Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) buried alive, Abbie (Nichole Beharie) trapped in purgatory, Katrina (Katiana Winter) captured by the Headless Horseman, Capt. Frank (Orlando Jones) arrested for murder, Abbie's sister Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood) unconscious after a car crash and, if it could get any worse, the seemingly trustworthy and lovable Henry (John Noble) revealed as Ichabod's son and the Second Horseman of the Apocalypse (ol' Headless being the First.)

Top that, "Scandal."

More important, because there were only 13 episodes, the first season ended in January, which means the show's many rabid fans have been waiting nine months to find out how on earth the writers are going to get everyone up and out and back and healed in time to stop the End of Days.

The End of Days, people. So let's get moving.

Oh, and a little show called "Gotham" is on...

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