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If you didn't shed a tear or two watching the ABC News special, "The Last Lecture, A Celebration of Life," on the late Randy Pausch, then you better check your pulse to see if you're alive. This isn't to say that Diane Sawyer, who was the anchor and reporter on this updated special, was trying to coax tears out of viewers. She kept to the upbeat spirit of the 47…

Bonnie Hunt, a TV and movie star who may be best known as one of David Letterman's favorite guests, is getting her own syndicated talk show this fall. Jim Toellner, Channel 2's general manager, has confirmed that "The Bonnie Hunt Show" will be carried locally on WGRZ-TV, Channel 2, at 2 p.m. weekdays. She will part of the station's three-hour talk block that als…

Ellen Crooke, who has been the architect of the revival of Channel 2 News in her six years as news director, is leaving to take the same job at another station owned by Gannett, WXIA-TV in Atlanta. "Her leadership, creativity and execution have been key to WGRZ's growth over the last several years," said Channel 2 General Manager Jim Toellner. "We have been…

The decision by CBS to move the family-oriented reality show, "Greatest American Dog," hosted by Town of Boston native Jarod Miller, from 8 p.m. Thursday to 8 p.m. Wednesday came about after the third episode of the series took another ratings hit. The July 10 opener made the show, in which dogs and their owners compete, look like a potential hit. But it has exp…

Maureen Orth, the widow of Tim Russert, appeared on NBC's "Today" this morning to promote her latest article in Vanity Fair magazine on Carla Bruni, the beautiful First Lady of France. At the end of the interview, "Today" co-host Matt Lauer asked the special contributor to Vanity Fair how she and her son, Luke Russert, were doing. "We're doing gr…

Contributions to my Over/Under list in today's TV Topics are more than welcome. Feel free to add -- or subtract -- your own nominations for all that is overrated and underrated on those things that come into our homes every day. --Jeff Simon

If you're looking for "Swingtown" tonight, you'll be sorely disappointed. CBS has swapped the time slot of the 1970s series about swingers and changing attitudes about the roles of the sexes with the time slot of "Flashpoint," the Canadian-produced police drama series. "Flashpoint," which could have easily played in the 1970s, has had surpris…

   On Sunday, film critic Richard Roeper announced he wouldn't be returning to the syndicated series "At the Movies." On Monday, Roger Ebert made the same announcement. They have already been replaced.      Disney-ABC Domestic Television announced Tuesday that Ben Lyons and Ben Mankiewicz will be taking over the show that was started in …

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- NBC announced a significant change in plans today. No, the popular Jay Leno isn't staying as the host of "The Tonight Show" beyond May of 2009. The change involved the "Office" spinoff that was supposed to premiere after NBC's coverage of the Super Bowl in February 2009. Ben Silverman, the co-chairman of NBC Entertainment, to…

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. --NBC is smartly bringing back “Saturday Night Live” a few weeks early next season to satirize the happenings in the presidential election campaign. The season premiere will be Sept. 13, the first of four Saturday shows in a row. "SNL" will air seven times before the November election and have 22 episodes next season compared to…

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- The Television Critics Association, which consists of 200 reporters and columnists, went mad about "Mad Men" Saturday night, giving the AMC series set in the New York advertising community three prestigious awards. The series, which received 16 Emmy nominations on Thursday, was honored as program of the year, outstanding new program and …

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Call them salary caps hit. The cast of "Friday Night Lights" will be losing two key players during the upcoming season when the critically acclaimed series begins its run on DirecTV. Scott Porter and Gaius Charles will be leaving the regular cast after each has a four-episode story arc, producer Jason Katims told the nation's television …

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Name recognition can only take you so far. Ask the "Bionic Woman," which got off to a promising start last season on NBC before crashing and burning. That's why it is hard to get excited about today's announcement by the producers of the "new" CW series, "90210," that Shannen Doherty is going to join former "Beve…

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- It's in the DNA of network executives to practice denial. So it is no surprise that CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler told critics today that she doesn't expect the popular series, "CSI," to miss a beat after William Petersen (who plays Gil Grissom) leaves the show after 10 episodes next season. After all, said Tassler, "Crim…

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- "Brothers & Sisters" producer Greg Berlanti admitted the show made a mistake in its season finale and asked for forgiveness. "Ugly Betty" producer Silvio Horta admitted his series spent too much time on romance last season. "Grey's Anatomy" producer Shonda Rhimes has forgiven Katherine Heigl for complaining about…