Friday, September 7, 2007

Previews For My Favorite Shows Part 2

Friday Night Lights moves to Friday at 9pm with the hopes of gaining new fans and making this show shine. It is one of the greatest shows on television so check it out! The story resumes eight months after the Panthers claimed the state title and Taylor accepted a college gig in Austin; he temporarily returns to Dillon to assist pregnant wife Tami (Connie Britton) with the delivery. ''It seemed liked a good idea [when] they decided to do this long-distance relationship, but they realize that maybe this is a huge mistake,'' says Katims. Adds Britton: ''I came back this season, gave birth, and experienced postpartum depression — that was my first day of work!''

As the Panthers adjust to a new, bullheaded coach (Chris Mulkey), running back Smash (Gaius Charles) believes his own hype, fullback Tim Riggins (Taylor Kitsch) parties even harder than usual, cheerleading trauma magnet Lyla (Minka Kelly) finds Jesus, and — get this! — paralyzed quarterback-turned-mentor Jason Street (Scott Porter) regains some movement. Elsewhere, Coach's daughter, Julie (Aimee Teegarden), and QB Matt Saracen (Zach Gilford) will grow apart when she meets a college musician and he befriends the nurse trainee caring for his grandma, while a dark event ties reforming bad girl Tyra (Adrianne Palicki) to mathlete Landry (Jesse Plemons). And producers have even discussed the possibility of asking fan Rosie O'Donnell to guest-star on the show. Will any of this transform FNL into a prime-time player? ''I'm not above holding females in the 18-to-49 demographic at gunpoint and saying, 'You better watch!''' says Britton. Chandler is (slightly) less violent: ''Why not be the underdog? If you get too lucky, your knives get dull and someone's going to kill you. We're sharp out here.'' We get the point — and hope that the rest of America soon will, too.

Law and Order: SVU will return to the same time slot on Tuesday at 10pm. But, it will be the only Law and Order with new episodes on NBC. The most popular of the Law & Order incarnations, averaging 12 million viewers will be the lone representative of the franchise on NBC this fall, since the original returns midseason and Criminal Intent was demoted to cable net USA. But even SVU's future appeared in doubt last year, due to touchy salary renegotiations for Hargitay and Meloni, who finally signed new two-year deals in January. ''I think people really do love Mariska and Chris,'' acknowledges creator Dick Wolf. ''If [the series] gets schmaltzy, it's not my favorite way to serve the meal. But the secret to all the shows is great storytelling, and [SVU's] storytelling is dead-on.''

In fact, the show seems to succeed because it strays from the investigate-solve-repeat-and-keep-your-personal-issues-to-yourself formula Wolf introduced 17 years ago. Sure, Hargitay's Olivia Benson and Meloni's Elliot Stabler solve a new heinous crime each and every week, but we are also offered glimpses into their equally intense off-duty lives. This season will be no exception: Stabler's estranged wife will give birth to his baby while Benson continues to simmer with jealousy. And new cast member Adam Beach (Flags of Our Fathers) will reveal his own past as a special victim. As always, though, those personal struggles will come to light mainly through cases. ''It's about understanding the characters through the workplace,'' exec producer Neal Baer says, ''as opposed to going home with them.''


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