When Calls the Heart Elizabeth's (Erin Krakow) sister (Charlotte Hegele) pays a visit to Coal Valley and stirs up trouble. 9 p.m. Hallmark
Saturday Night Live "Girls'" Lena Dunham hosts, with musical guests the National. 11:29 p.m. NBC
Quartet Dustin Hoffman directed this 2012 drama about upheaval in a retirement home for musicians. Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly, Michael Gambon and Pauline Collins star. 6 and 9 p.m. Showtime
A Ring by Spring A fortuneteller (Stefanie Powers) warns a freedom-loving young woman (Rachel Boston) that if she isn't engaged by spring, she'll never marry in this new romance. 7 and 10 p.m. Hallmark
SnitchDwayne Johnson plays a businessman who goes undercover to get the dirt on some bad guys in this 2013 crime drama; Benjamin Bratt, Barry Pepper, Harold...
By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
"@midnight" (Comedy Central, weeknights Monday through Thursday). Busy Chris Hardwick, the alt-Allen Ludden (I might have said "indie Gene Rayburn" or "left-field Dick Clark" just as well), hosts this late-night comedy game show with a social media theme. It's one of those series, in the long tradition of "Information Please," "My Word," "The Match Game" and "Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!" and Stephen Fry's "QI" (as critic-picked this week by Mary McNamara) whose main purpose is the display of celebrity wit. (Points, which are somewhat beside the point, are awarded largely at the discretion of the host.)
It's a hard thing to get right -- IFC's "Bunk" was one fairly recent, overcomplicated failure -- but everything lines up here. It possibly helps that the show runs four nights a week, Monday through Thursday, and that it follows the similarly newsy (allowing for some latitude in the word "news") and hectic "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report." A nightcap to their nightcaps, it...
Forget #followFriday. It's #renewalFriday over at Fox. The network announced it has picked up comedies "New Girl," "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," "The Mindy Project" and thriller "The Following" for the 2014-15 season.
"Brooklyn Nine-Nine," "New Girl" and "The Mindy Project" are part of the network's Tuesday comedy block. Toplined by Andy Samberg, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" has performed modestly in its freshman season, averaging just over 5 million viewers, but has a few golden statues on its side -- it won two Golden Globes earlier this year, for the show and Samberg. It was also paired with "New Girl" to take on the post-Super Bowl slot. Its renewal brings it to a second season.
"New Girl" faced some criticism in its third season, as the union between Jess (Zooey Deschanel) and Nick (Jake Johnson) became a central story line. Though its same-night viewing has slipped, the show is averaging a 3.1 rating among the 18-49 demographic when time-shifting over seven days is included. And its plum post-...
Robert Rodriguez helped ignite an independent film movement in the 1990s with his film "El Mariachi," shot for a mere $7,000, before moving on to blockbuster fare such as "Sin City" and the "Spy Kids" franchise. Now the restless filmmaker, 45, is trying to revolutionize the small screen with the recently launched cable network El Rey, targeted at a young, English-speaking Latino audience. It's available on Time Warner and DirecTV, among other outlets.
You've had a lot of success in films. So why start a television network?
I had always loved television, in fact even networks were interested in me doing TV as far back as "El Mariachi." But I had so much creative freedom in the film world, whereas I would have a friend trying to make TV shows and they had no control over it. I didn't like the process of TV, but I did like the medium, so I just stuck with movies. Movies always seemed like the safer bet, until about three years ago when John Fogelman, who used to be Salma [Hayek]'s agent,...
On a scale of one to crazy, the latest episode of “Scandal,” “We Do Not Touch the First Ladies,” is a relatively tame affair: No one is tortured or murdered in a jealous rage or prostituted out by his spouse. By the standards of this show, it’s a relatively quiet installment, more about character development than, as ABC’s marketing team likes to put it, “OMG moments.” Not that there weren’t any, mind you: I really did not see that last-minute reveal with Maya coming, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
That’s not to say it’s a boring episode -- far from it. Any episode with this much James and Mellie can't possibly be anything but entertaining. Let’s begin with the first lady, shall we? Months ago, we learned that she was raped by Fitz’s father, and doesn’t know if her son -- you know, the one we hear about but have seen, like, once on this show -- is actually Fitz’s. In a long overdue follow-...
In Syfy's reality competition "Opposite Worlds," Twitter put unprecedented power in the hands of viewers, supplying them with the ability to reward popular contestants with a luxurious spa day while punishing others with a less savory task: cleaning human excrement.
The little blue birdie has fluttered into the writers room on Fox's "Sleepy Hollow," inspiring one episode to address viewers' dismay, voiced loudly on Twitter, over the central character's Revolutionary War era attire. For a humorous few moments, Ichabod Crane doffs his period costume for a pair of uncomfortably contemporary skinny jeans.
These shows are just a sample of the sorts of experimentation being done as network executives and producers navigate social media (and interactivity) to attract viewers to the living room TV and keep them engaged. About one-third of all prime-time shows employ some Twitter element — from NBC's "The Voice," which lets viewers turn to Twitter to "save" performers whom judges have...
Four seasons ago a quartet of young women began receiving threatening, and very well informed texts, from the mysterious "A," who they assumed was their former queen bee Alison, presumed dead. So you can imagine their shock. Now, of course, they know Alison is alive and well, as is "Pretty Little Liars." It quickly became ABC Family's break-out hit and the most tweeted about series in television, setting a template now followed by every other show, including, most recently, the Oscars.
So if Alison's not "A," who is? For years, the Liars and their fans have tried to figure it out, and while theories turned and turned again (if it's not Ezra could it be Alison's mother after all?), it seems unlikely the answer will be revealed in the March 17 season finale. And since solving the mystery could end the show, we really don't want to know.
Who do you think A is? And why do you think "Pretty Little Liars" has kept us guessing all these years? Join TV reporter Yvonne Villarreal, TV critic...
"Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey," is a 21st-century reboot of the groundbreaking 1980 PBS series "Cosmos: A Personal Voyage." The original, hosted by renowned astronomer Carl Sagan, was a top-rated phenomenon that has been viewed by some 750 million people around the world. Executive producer Seth MacFarlane hopes the new version will prove just as popular, and help remedy what he sees as a growing problem of scientific illiteracy. We talked to the "Family Guy" creator about the series, his interest in science, and what he thinks we need to do to get back on track.
How did you get involved in "Cosmos"?
I had met [host] Neil [deGrasse Tyson] through Jerry Zucker’s Science and Entertainment Exchange. I was crossing paths with him at their events and I always thought to myself, I have a connection there to the scientific community and things are going well financially and I wanted to see what I could do to throw some of this extra money around in a positive way. Science is, in many...
The "American Idol" voters got loud and sent Emily Piriz home on Thursday, turning the top 12 into the top 11.
After the 18-year-old from Orlando, Fla., had done her best impression of Jennifer Lopez on "Let's Get Loud," a song lacking in emotional resonance and vocal firepower, on Wednesday night's performance show, Harry Connick Jr. had unfavorably compared Piriz to a passenger on a "big locomotive train," rather than its driver. On Thursday, the "Idol" train pulled out of the station and left Piriz on the platform, clutching a battered satchel full of unrealized dreams.
Her ouster seemed a bit premature. Joined in the bottom three by M.K. Nobilette and (more surprisingly) Jena Irene, Piriz had performed better overall than several contestants still standing. But you can't blame Lopez. She'd praised Piriz after the teen had performed her song, and even appeared to have wanted to use the judges' save to keep her around.
"No!" the former Fly Girl howled when Ryan Seacrest asked if the...
Last Man Standing Eve (Kaitlyn Dever) refuses to talk about her new boyfriend when they may be going on the same junior ROTC overnight camping trip in this new episode. 8 p.m. ABC
Grimm A new predator in town is targeting an expectant couple. Reggie Lee, David Giuntoli, Russell Hornsby, Claire Coffee and Silas Weir Mitchell also star in this new episode. 9 p.m. NBC
Shark Tank Emotions run high in this new episode, starting when Mark Cuban gets angry with a San Francisco engineer pitching a bicycle lighting system, and a mother is brought to tears by the reaction to her line of clothes with reinforced knees and built-in squeakers for crawling babies. 9 p.m. ABC
Marriage Boot Camp The unscripted series returns for a new season. 9 p.m. WE
HannibalThe team gets a break in a grisly case when the body of...