Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ska'd For Life

Torchwood writer Jane Espenson has promised that the upcoming fourth season will be a continuation of the series. It was announced in August that the former Buffy and Battlestar Galactica scriptwriter - and, in yer Keith Telly Topping's opinion the funniest writer currently working on US network TV - had joined the writing team for new ten-part series, The New World. She wrote on her Twitter account: 'We have a number of American characters, but please note we're not a total American drama. [It's a] continuation of [the] UK show, [with] UK scenes and [characters]!' Magic Jane went on to say that the new episodes would be a 'continuation' and not 'a fix. The new season is very much in [the] same world as [the last],' she continued. 'I think you'll like it.' It's got you writing for Johnny Barrowman in it, Jane, what's not to love?! Torchwood: The New World will star Barrowman, Eve Myles, Mekhi Phifer and Bill Pullman. It starts filming early in the new year and is expected to be broadcast next summer in the UK and America.

Harry Hill has admitted that he gets depressed by the quantity of the bad TV programmes he has to watch. The comedian told The Sunday Times that he occasionally struggles to stay awake as he goes through the material to compile his weekly commentary show Harry Hill's TV Burp. Hill said: 'I have to watch about ten hours of programmes a day for two months - all sent to me on DVD. The first couple of hours are fine. I have a fifteen-minute break at eleven then it's back to the telly for another hour or two. 'By now I'm getting a bit restless. It feels like I'm involved in a weird experiment: how much TV can we force a middle-aged man to sit through? The afternoons are when I start to get angry. Actually, these days I'm past anger. When I first started TV Burp, it was denial, then it was anger, then acceptance. Now I just get depressed.' He added: 'It's okay if it's a decent programme like The Apprentice, but when it's some awful, crappy reality show, I feel my soul slipping away. People may think it's great to have a job where you just watch TV. At least I'm not down the pit, or stuck on a hospital ward. But bad TV does get to you. We did twenty one episodes for one series. That was the worst ever. Normally I'm an upbeat, optimistic person, but I felt really, really miserable.'

House's Lisa Edelstein has admitted that she would like to feature in an all-female edition of the show. Well, I'm sure Hugh would tranny-up if you asked him to nicely, love. He did it in Blackadder! In an interview with Movieline, the actress complained that she rarely films scenes alongside her female co-stars. 'The women of House never get to spend that much time together,' she said. 'I don't know [why] but I've had very few scenes with Jennifer Morrison, very few scenes with Olivia [Wilde] and now very few scenes with Amber [Tamblyn].' Edelstein suggested that an episode focusing solely on the medical drama's female characters 'would be amazing.' Different, certainly. Discussing her newest co-star, Tamblyn, she added: 'Amber is amazing and has been acting since she was about an inch [tall]. She is very confident and witty and intelligent. She is a blast to be around and a perfect addition to the cast.' Lisa also claimed that 'it was time' to explore House and Cuddy's romantic relationship in the show's current seventh season. 'I don't think our show is about House and Cuddy,' she argued. 'It is about House and his trials and tribulations, and his inability to cope while having an incredible ability to solve problems. Giving him a relationship is an important part of that journey and this one has been building for many years.'

And now, the Top Twenty programmes week ending 12 Dec 2010:
1 The X Factor - ITV - 17.71 million
2 Coronation Street - ITV - 14.75 million
3 Strictly Come Dancing - BBC1 - 12.04 million
4 Eastenders - BBC1 - 10.22 million
5 Emmerdale - ITV - 8.50 million
6 I'm A Z-List Former Celebrity ... Coming Out - ITV - 8.35 million
7 The Apprentice - BBC1 - 8.14 million
8 Countryfile - BBC1 - 6.81 million
9 Coronation Street: Fifty Years Fifty Moments - ITV - 6.75 million
10 Take Me Out - ITV - 5.96 million
11 Ten O'Clock News - BBC1 - 5.84 million
12 Antiques Roadshow - BBC1 - 5.82 million
13 Have I Got News For You - BBC1 - 5.73 million
14 Piers Morgan's Life Stories - ITV - 5.72 million
15 Six O'Clock News - BBC1 - 5.54 million
16 The ONE Show - BBC1 - 5.45 million
17 Casualty - BBC1 - 5.22 million
18 Coronation Street: The Big Fifty - ITV - 5.20 million
19 Live At The Apollo - BBC1 - 4.67 million
20 Turn Back Time - BBC1 - 4.47 million

Marlee Matlin has said that she is keen to star in a new CSI spin-off series. The former West Wing actress will play Julia Holden, a college professor and the protege of Gil Grissom's mother Betty (Phyllis Frelich), in an episode of CSI expected to be broadcast in February. She joked to the Zap2it.com website: 'We have to have another CSI. I'm making the announcement that I think there should be CSI: Chicago. I want it badly and I'm dead serious about it.' She added: 'I need to be one of the stars in it. It's a no-brainer.' Matlin claimed that she would like to play 'an investigator' on the new series, but admitted that her impaired hearing makes the prospect unlikely. 'It'd be awesome, but not realistic,' she suggested. 'I know it's just television, but it wouldn't be real [if I was a police officer]. I could be a former cop [though].'

Matt Baker, the Countryfile host, looks set to replace Jason Manford as co-presenter of The ONE Show. The Strictly Come Dancing finalist is understood to have been formally offered the job by the BBC in a deal reported by today's Daily Mirror to be worth about two hundred grand a year. Baker, thirty two2, will join Alex Jones on The ONE Show sofa on Monday to Thursday evenings if he accepts the offer. Chris Evans will continue to co-host the extended Friday evening show with Jones. Baker, the former Blue Peter presenter has shared presenting duties on the topical magazine show since Manford quit last month. He will continue to present BBC1's Countryfile programme on Sunday nights, a role he took up late last year, and is understood to be keen to join next year's Strictly live tour. Earlier this week, Baker said he was keen to take up The ONE Show full time, but ruled out stepping down from his Countryfile duties. 'I've had a great relationship with them over the last year so it would be lovely,' he said of The ONE Show's Jones and Evans. 'Whatever happens I do want to keep going with Countryfile so I won't be finishing with that for sure.'

Poirot's David Suchet has admitted that the show's fans have been waiting for the upcoming adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express. The actor told What's On TV that the original 1934 Agatha Christie novel was 'iconic. Fans have been waiting for this adaptation, and so have I to an extent,' he said. 'Although I didn't want to blow it out of all proportion. It's another Poirot story and if I approached it with undue reverence then it'd have made me too careful and try too hard.' Suchet praised the crime mystery's resolution, calling it 'brilliant and extraordinary. I defy anybody who doesn't know the ending to even hazard a guess,' he teased. 'The ending's so iconic and unlike any other book ever written, which is what makes it so famous.' He added that viewers will see the 'physical disintegration of Poirot' throughout the two-hour drama. 'We don't play him Hollywood and he hasn't got his lipstick on all the time, so to speak,' explained Suchet. 'He's the same man, but it's a new take on the character.'

Product placement will be allowed for the first time on UK television from next year, but various restrictions will remain on what can and can't be shown, Ofcom has confirmed. From 28 February, commercial broadcasters will be permitted to include paid-for references to products and services in their programmes. Ofcom has liberalised the rules governing references to brands and products on commercial radio from today. Broadcasters such as ITV hope to earn millions of pounds in additional revenue from TV product placement, as it will allow real brands such as Heinz or Vodafone to be placed in programmes such as Coronation Street and Hollyoaks. The move follows new legislation introduced by the government earlier in the year to bring the UK in-line with changes to European broadcasting legislation. Ofcom has laid out a series of strict rules governing what types of products can be placed, along with the programmes that are eligible. Product placement will be allowed in films (including dramas and documentaries) and TV programmes (including soaps, entertainment and sports shows), but will be prohibited in all children's and news programmes, as well as UK-produced current affairs, consumer affairs and religious shows. The placement of tobacco, alcohol, gambling, and foods or drinks that are high in fat, salt or sugar will remain banned under UK legislation, along with medicines and baby milk. Ofcom has also prohibited the paid-for placement of any products and services that cannot be advertised on TV, such as weapons or escort agencies. The rules state that product placement 'must not impair broadcasters' editorial independence and must always be editorially justified.' This means shows cannot be 'created or distorted so that they become vehicles for the purposes of featuring product placement.' Products and services must also not be given undue prominence within programmes. After the new product placement rules come into force, viewers will be warned that a paid-for reference has been included via an on-screen product placement logo. The logo, to be published by Ofcom in the New Year, must appear for a minimum of three seconds at the start and end of programmes, as well as around advertisement breaks. All commercial broadcasters intending to air programmes containing product placement must launch an audience awareness campaign in the New Year, overseen by Ofcom. On radio, broadcasters are now able to include commercial references to products within shows, as long as listeners are always made aware of what is going on. References to brands and products in news and children's programming will remain prohibited. In October, Channel Four and Channel Five claimed that revenue from TV product placement will be modest, while ITV holds 'clear commercial advantage' in attracting the best deals.

Michaela McManus is to make a guest appearance in a forthcoming episode of Hawaii Five-0. TV Guide reports that the actress will play a district attorney named Kathleen Roberts in a February episode. The tough Roberts will team up with Kono (Grace Park) when the two cross paths during a criminal investigation. McManus currently plays the werewolf Jules on CW's The Vampire Diaries and previously featured in a recurring role on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. She also appeared in seventeen episodes of One Tree Hill as Lindsey Strauss and has made recent guest appearances on CSI: Miami and Castle.

Misfits creator Howard Overman has confirmed that the E4 drama will return for a third series. Speaking to fans on the show's official website, the writer confirmed that another season had already been commissioned. The second series concluded this week with a Christmas special. The show's penultimate episode had previously attracted a series high of 1.2m viewers on 16 December. In the online chat, Overman dismissed the suggestion that future episodes would explain the mysterious storm that gave the show's characters their special powers. 'The plan is never to explain,' he confirmed. 'Series tend to fall apart when they try to explain everything.' He also denied that a film version of Misfits is currently in the works. 'We've had a lot of interest, but I don't think we'll do it,' he admitted. 'I don't want to charge [the fans] ten quid for a re-hashed version of what you've already seen.'

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is to become the weekly show in the UK. From next month, More4 is to drop its four times a week 8.30pm showing of the satirical show, instead airing the compilation Global Edition on Monday nights only. The show, whose correspondents include British stand-up comedian John Oliver, has been a staple of More4's schedules since it launched in 2005. The Global Edition is compiled for international broadcasters – including CNN – with Stewart adding a new introductory monologue. At present, More4 airs this edition on Monday with new episodes on Tuesday to Friday, one day after they have been broadcast on America's Comedy Central. The Daily Show attracts an average of around seventy five thousand viewers in Britain.

Sharon Osbourne was forced to apologise for repeatedly swearing while presenting a live show on TV on Monday. The America's Got Talent host was filling in for presenter Lorraine Kelly on morning programme Lorraine when she used the word 'bloody' at least twice. After producers asked her to apologise to viewers, Osbourne said, 'I think I've offended somebody because they've said in my ear here that I've said the word "bloody" and I've got to apologise. I'm sorry, I shouldn't say that in the morning. It's not allowed and I don't want to offend anyone and it's Christmas, so I'm going to be nice.' But Osbourne 'faced the wrath of TV bosses' when she subsequently used the offensive word again - telling guest Pamela Connolly, who has recently lost a lot of weight: 'You've got nothing to bloody lose.' When Osbourne realised that she had said it for a second time, she told viewers, 'Oh, I've done it again. I'm sorry. I'm really, really sorry. Honestly, I won't say it one more [time], I'll be really good. I'm sorry.'

And, lastly - but by very much no means leastly - for today's plethora of yer actual Keith Telly Topping's 45(s) of the Day (and, you'll notice there's getting more of them by the day - seven this time!). I thought, for the shortest day of the year, the Winter Solstice, it might be quite fun to celebrate some music that one normally associates with hot weather. Well, they do have Christmas in Jamaica as well. So, yer Keith Telly Topping reckons that, frankly, we need to get ourselves down to the Government Yard in Trenchtown and skank to a little reggae like it used to be. An' ting. First up, one specifically for you, you, you dear blog reader. Oh yeah.Rock-style. Next, possibly the single most infectious organ riff ever produced on a record by somebody that wasn't Booker T Jones. Still used down at the Hawthorns, Molyneaux and probably lots of other enclaves where the skinhead way is still hanging on by its fingertips. Tell 'em all about it, Harry!And next, one for all the proper Rudies out there. Those who dig all that a-robbin' and a-stabbin' and a-lootin' an a-shootin' nonsense, like the mostest, baby. Woah, woah, woah. Meanwhile, in 1971, what a truly magnificent voice that Dave Barker had. Although, arguably, not quite as good as as the very King of Ska Jungle himself, Mister Desmond Dekker and his many Aces. (That was the subject of a fair few teenage arguments down the yout' club, I seem to remember. I always slightly preferred Desmond's voice myself - smoother. Silkier. Like rich dark chocolate kissing the throat.) 'Ken Boothe, UK pop reggae/With backing band soundsystem,' Joe Strummer once sang, with a passion that bordered on reggae elitism. 'If they've got anything to say/There's many black ears here to listen.' Plenty of white ones an'all, Joe, as it happens! This is Ken's best known moment. A great version of, let's face it, a pretty soppy - dare one say boring? - song. Nice threads too. But, of course, all of these were merely a prelude to the day, in 1975, when the Wailers played the Lyceum and, suddenly, everybody knew what reggae was really all about. Tasty. But, I do feel like I've desecrate the works of Jah after all that waffle instead of just directing you all straight to You Tube for a listen. So, in penance, I'm off to watch The Harder They Come and, hopefully, redeem my sinful soul. Tomorrow, we have a very special day in the life of yer actual Top Telly Tips.