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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- If you were lost watching Jennifer Garner over the years in the ABC spy thriller, "Alias," you were not alone. J.J. Abrams, the creator of "Alias" and the co-creator of "Lost," cracked up critics here at the annual TV critics meetings, when he explained that he became lost, too, years ago while watching at the house o…

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Kevin Reilly, the president of Fox Entertainment, faced his moment of truth today. Asked by one of the nation's television critics to defend the content of the shameful reality series, "The Moment of Truth" -- voted the worst show on television by critics -- Reilly didn't apologize. "This is Fox," he said. "One of the thi…

     BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. --  It won't be easy to just say no to "The Cleaner," the well-meaning A&E series. After all, it stars Benjamin Bratt ("Law & Order") as a former addict who has found God and intervenes with addicts and tries to get them clean. However, A&E's first original scripted drama in more than six years…

   BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- If you're an actor in New York City, there are a couple of career cliches. First, at one point in your life, you probably were waiting tables or tending bar. Secondly, if you become successful, you'll eventually appear on NBC's "Law & Order." But amazingly, veteran actor Kevin Kline never has made it on "Law & …

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Veteran actors Dennis Hopper and Shirley MacLaine, who generally aren't considered the most normal or reasonable people in their industry, are hoping cooler heads will prevail and a threatened actors strike will be avoided. Speaking at a press session for his upcoming new Starz series, "Crash," based on the Academy Award-winning movie, H…

BEVERLY HILLS -- It may not be fair to judge a Steven Bochco legal series on the basis of one episode, but the pilot of TNT's "Raising the Bar" certainly lowers expectations for a show that premieres Sept. 1. Despite Bochco's name and a cast that includes Mark-Paul Gosselaar ("NYPD Blue"), Jane Kaczmarek ("Malcolm in the Middle") and Gloria R…

BEVERLY HILLS -- CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer didn't make it to Hollywood this morning because of a problem that usually would sideline a member of his hometown Buffalo Bills. "I had a little pulled hamstring," Blitzer explained via satellite from Washington, D.C., during a CNN session on its election coverage. "It is still a little painful." Of course,…

The "Entourage" crew's return has been delayed by the writers' strike. Photo by Associated Press. BEVERLY HILLS -- I'm fashionably late for the extended working party known as the Television Critics Association press tour. I feel a little like a kid who has missed the first three days of school and is catching up by reading a classmate's notes. In this case, …

After further review, it is too early to tell how Katie Couric will look once The CBS Evening News is carried in high definition. In my column today about the joys of high definition TV, I noted that Couric looks terrific anchoring the newscast in HD. But a tech-savvy writer advised me that the broadcast isn't carried in high def yet. It reportedly will go to high def in …

I know what you're thinking. The newest CBS reality series, "Greatest American Dog," illustrates how far network television has sunk in the summer. But, hey, the CBS promos for the series, which premieres at 8 p.m. Thursday, feature some adorable dogs and their masters and it looks kind of cute. Additionally, there is a local reason for watching. The show's hos…

It won't exactly be HBO's version of "Inside the NFL," but the cast of the show when it moves to Showtime in September looks promising. The best news is that Cris Collinsworth -- who also works for NBC and The NFL Network -- is making the move from HBO to Showtime and will remain a regular. I predicted that might happen last month. However, I didn't foresee that…

The Emmy nominations don't arrive until July 17, but a Los Angeles Times Web site already has confirmed the obvious. It looks like it will be cable's time to party big time. According to Emmy historian Tom O'Neil -- who writes for the Web site Gold Derby -- seven of the Top 10 candidates still in the running for the five nominations for best actress in a drama starred in …

While network TV carries Americanized versions of Japanese reality shows and assorted shows involving supposed celebrities, cable television is making some encouraging news. HBO has announced that its therapy series, "In Treatment," has been renewed for a second depressing and well-acted season to air in 2009. Gabriel Byrne, who plays the therapist, and Dianne W…

The week-long tribute to "Meet the Press" moderator Tim Russert after his sudden death has led to some inevitable criticism. Several columnists have found the coverage of the death of the popular Buffalo native to be excessive. CNN's Howard Kurtz addressed the issue with two newspaper reporters and a TV producer during a segment of his Sunday media program, &quo…

Some Western New York viewers may have been surprised to hear "Today" host Matt Lauer say Monday that Luke Russert was named by his parents after the Apostle, St. Luke. After all, legend around here is that the late Tim Russert and his wife, Maureen Orth, named Luke after Luke Easter of the Buffalo Bisons. Actually, both Lauer and the legend are correct. Acco…