- Christina Aguilera in talks to return to 'The Voice'
- Upfront season in the US
- Supernatural back with new season
Posted: 14 May 2013 08:45 PM PDT
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Pop singer Christina Aguilera is in discussions to return as a judge on NBC television singing competition The Voice next season, sources with knowledge of the talks said on Tuesday.
Aguilera, 32, went on hiatus from the program this season to promote her latest album, Lotus, with a concert tour. The singer (pic) had been a judge on the first three seasons of the program, which debuted in 2011.
The sources, who were not authorized to speak publicly about the talks, said the former Disney child star would earn about US$12 million to serve as a judge, less than the US$15 million Britney Spears reportedly earned on rival The X Factor.
Representatives for Aguilera and NBC did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.
Aguilera and R&B singer Cee Lo Green both left the show last year. They were replaced by Colombian singer Shakira and R&B singer Usher, who joined returning judges country singer Blake Shelton and Adam Levine, frontman of pop-rock band Maroon 5.
If Aguilera returns, it was unclear who she would replace on the current judging panel when the next season starts in September.
The Voice, which competes against rival broadcaster Fox's singing contests American Idol and The X Factor, averages about 14 million viewers over its two weekly shows.
Its finale is set for June 18.
Posted: 15 May 2013 01:21 AM PDT
Some of your favourite TV shows will not be returning for a new season. Ever.
IT'S upfront season in the United States! Upfront is a period in the US television industry during which broadcasters and networks announce new, returning and cancelled programmes for the coming months.
Last week, a number of major networks revealed what they have in store for viewers, and which shows have received the unkindest cuts. More shows will be unveiled throughout this week, and we do hope some of our favourite shows will survive the "ordeal".
Among the programmes that have been renewed for the 2013-2014 season include numerous shows on Astro like Criminal Minds (Fox), CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (AXN), Blue Bloods (Diva Universal), Community (Fox), The Good Wife (Diva Universal), Modern Family (Fox), Nashville (beTV) and Once Upon A Time (Fox Movies Premium); on HyppTV like Arrow (Warner TV), Chicago Fire (Universal), The Big Bang Theory (Warner TV) and The Mentalist (Warner TV); as well as shows on free-to-air TV including 2 Broke Girls (last seen on 8TV), The Carrie Diaries (8TV), The Vampire Diaries (8TV) and Nikita (Ntv7 and Warner TV).
Meanwhile, shows that have either ended their run or have been cancelled include the long-running CSI: NY (AXN), the cult favourite Fringe (formerly on Fox) and the multiple-award winning 30 Rock which, unfortunately, stopped showing here a long time ago. In Malaysia, TV channels Diva Universal and Star World seem to have suffered the most blows with series like Don't Trust the B* In Apartment 23, Touch, Body Of Proof, and 90210 (Star World), as well as Smash, Up All Night, Go On and Guys With Kids (Diva Universal) all cancelled or ending within the next few months.
And then there's the cancellation of the ever-hilarious Happy Endings (why?!), which was previously shown on Star World. It's amah-zing (a catchphrase from Happy Endings) how sitcoms like New Girl and Two And A Half Men can survive and Happy Endings can't. But then again, this is just a personal grouse from a disappointed fan.
Also a surprise is the continuing survival of reality-based programmes like America's Next Top Model, The Bachelor and The Bachelorette (all of which are/were on Star World's schedule). Guess the market for reality shows is growing stronger each season.
Apart from all these renewals and cancellations, there are also some brand new shows that look promising. One of the biggest – and most exciting – news to hit the stands is the ordering of Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. to a full series. It revolves around the lives of S.H.I.E.L.D (Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division) agents and the mysterious cases they work on. Clark Gregg, who has played Agent Phil Coulson in four of Marvels' superhero films (Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor and The Avengers), leads the cast in this new programme, alongside actors Brett Dalton (Agent Grant Ward), Ming-Na Wen (Agent Melinda May), Iain De Caestecker (Agent Leo Fitz) and Elizabeth Henstridge (Agent Jemma Simmons).
Oh, and one little thing: Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. is directed and co-written by Joss Whedon. There's no US release date yet, but there is a promotional clip that suggests it's "coming soon". It would be really great, and wise, if one of the channels in Malaysia could pick this series up.
Another interesting new show is The Michael J. Fox Show that stars, er, Michael J. Fox. The sitcom is about news anchor Mike Burnaby who returns to work after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, which the 51-year-old actor is also suffering from. It would be nice to see Fox in action on a sitcom again, even though he did a good job playing a recurring role of a lawyer in The Good Wife.
There's also a new drama called Once Upon A Time In Wonderland, which is a spin-off of Once Upon A Time. Loosely based on Alice In Wonderland, it stars Sophie Lowe, Peter Gadiot, Michael Socha and Emma Rigby, with John Lithgow providing the voice for the White Rabbit. Not sure how this one will pan out but it does have some interesting visuals so far.
While we wait for local channels to reveal which shows they will pick up from the ongoing upfront season, let's divert our attention to one programme that's currently playing on Malaysian TV – How I Met Your Mother. Star World is airing the latest season (that would be season eight), although we're a little behind from the US air date. The finale was shown in the US on Monday and "The Mother" is finally revealed! If you don't want any spoilers, then avoid entertainment news portals at all cost.
Tell us which of the new TV shows that you most likely want to see aired in Malaysia, and we'll inform the TV channels and networks here. Tweet us at @MyStarTwo.
Posted: 15 May 2013 03:13 AM PDT
Do the Winchester brothers still have their hunting groove on?
I don't know why, but my main thought leading up to the premiere of Supernatural's eighth season was a fervent hope that this would not be the season the show jumps the shark for me.
Perhaps it had something to do with the finale of the previous season: The Winchester brothers had destroyed head Leviathan Dick Roman (James Patrick Stuart) – the chief baddie of the season – but at the expense of Dean (Jensen Ackles), Castiel (Misha Collins), Prophet of the Lord Kevin Tran (Osric Chau) and demon Meg (Rachel Miner).
As those who follow the show know, Dean and Castiel got caught up in the backlash of Roman's explosive demise, sending them to Purgatory – the prison from which the Leviathans escaped – thanks to Castiel's misguided attempts to gain enough power to win the civil war in Heaven back in Season Six.
There, in the home of all the worst monsters in creation, Castiel promptly wigs out, leaving Dean to face the horrors of Purgatory all alone.
In the meantime, King of Hell Crawley (Mark A. Sheppard), now once again the baddest supernatural monster around with Roman gone, quickly grabs Kevin and Meg, and mocks Sam (Jared Padalecki), who has seemingly lost everyone he cares about, and is left all alone to carry on the fight ... or not.
The heart of Supernatural has always been the relationship between the two brothers, and their separation didn't seem to bode well for the show.
Plus, I was really disappointed with the decision to let Castiel abandon Dean in the middle of the most dangerous place in creation for him; I mean, this is where all the monsters that Dean has ever killed ended up, for Pete's sake!
Anyway, it turns out that the show's producers decided to do another jump in time, and this season begins a year after the incidents in Season Seven. (The previous one-year jump was between Seasons Five and Six, when Sam was trapped in Lucifer's cage and Dean started to build a normal life with ex-flame Lisa and their son Ben.)
The first episode, appropriately (and amusingly) named We Need To Talk About Kevin, starts with Dean arriving on Earth, having successfully managed to escape Purgatory, carrying the soul of a vampire called Benny in his arm.
The two of them part ways once Dean releases Benny into a body, but their meaningful goodbye looks obviously imply a lot of history between them (and any slash fiction fans out there can get their mind out of the gutter!) from their time in Purgatory.
Sure enough, we are treated to flashbacks from both Dean and Sam about their time apart – an ongoing gimmick that seems set to be the trend for this season.
Three episodes in, and we discover how Dean came to ally with Benny, that Castiel is indeed still trapped in Purgatory with Dean and why he seemingly abandoned Dean. There's also the implication that Dean might have been responsible for Castiel's "death".
Meanwhile, Sam appears to have started living the normal life he always wanted, acquiring both a dog and a new girlfriend Amelia (Liane Balaban), and turning his back on the hunting life. So much so, that he never got the desperate voicemail from Kevin, who managed to escape from Crawley.
Kevin seems set to be part of the main story arc of the season, as he is the only one able to read a tablet containing instructions on how to permanently close the gates of Hell, effectively stopping any demons from ever manifesting on Earth again.
But Dean's willingness to kill his demon-possessed mother (Lauren Tom) in the second episode What's Up, Tiger Mommy?, wrecks his faith in the Winchesters, and he disappears into the wind with his now near-catatonic mother.
The third episode Heartache marked the return to the monster-of-the-week type episodes that are the mainstay of Supernatural. In fact, the current storyline is maintaining my interest far more than whatever may have happened in the past year, Supernatural time.
However, the main tension between the brothers – Sam wanting a normal life, and Dean insisting that they are meant to be hunters – is getting really old, really fast. Considering that Dean himself had a shot at the normal life three seasons ago and took it, it seems unfair that he would deny Sam the same chance. And Sam meanwhile has just been going on and on about wanting a normal life for way too long – ever since we first met him, in fact.
I just hope that the writers manage to solve this situation quickly before the whining really does become overbearing. After all, Supernatural has recently been picked up for another season, and showrunner Jeremy Carver has announced plans for a running story arc lasting until a possible Season 10. I certainly don't want to be too irritated by my favourite TV brothers by then!
Supernatural is showing every Friday at 10.10pm, on AXN (Astro Ch 701).
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