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MidnightCategory: Television
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Chuck made its title character secondary to the story this week -- but the result was a great episode. Intense, funny and ultimately touching, "Chuck vs. Phase Three" was one of the best episodes of the season.

It seems like I'm saying that just about every week, but "Chuck" is on a huge roll of late. Last week's minor letdown aside, the show has been piling excellent on top of excellent for at least a month.
We have to start with the giant blonde she-male -- er, Sarah (actually, the overplaying of that joke was one of the few bum notes in this episode) and her "Kickboxer"/"Ong Bak"/"Bloodsport"/pick your favorite martial-arts movie fight in Thailand. We haven't seen this much Sarah Walker awesomeness in one episode in a long time, and watching her pretty much obliterate any and all in her path gave a huge jolt of adrenaline to the episode -- and the fight choreography in the "Kickboxer" sequence was expert.
The awesomeness also came from the non-butt-kicking aspects of Yvonne Strahovski's performance. She got to play Sarah going through a full range of emotions: ruthless and slightly scary (Casey even invokes the name of her former boss, Langston Graham, in commenting on her hell-bent attitude) when dealing with the unfortunate Thai functionary, scared and forlorn after finding out about Chuck's proposal plan and finally, gut-wrenchingly committed to saving the man she loves, Intersect or no Intersect. Really great stuff from her this week.
That climactic scene with Sarah rescuing Chuck from the perils of Phase Three -- having his mind wiped to get to the Intersect, essentially -- was tear-inducing. Sarah's opened up a ton since she and Chuck formally became a couple, but to see her so nakedly reveal her emotions was a shade we hadn't really seen from Sarah before, and it played beautifully.
The way the show portrayed Chuck's mind being wiped away also worked well -- the dream images while the Belgian and his doctor tried to locate the Intersect were just real enough to give them a real impact. We kind of wonder why Chuck didn't have any side effects from the mind-wipe, but that may just be one of those "Chuck" things we have to let go.
While Sarah was beating up half of Thailand searching for Chuck (with Casey and Morgan not far behind), the B-story held up its end both comedically and otherwise. Ellie finds the computer in her dad's Mustang, but she and Awesome are unable to get it working -- and she's about to start a 36-hour shift at the hospital. Awesome professes himself to be not very good with the tech stuff -- wait, there's something Awesome isn't awesome at? -- so enter Jeff and Lester.
Actually, enter the whole Buy More crew, who use Awesome's devotion to Ellie (and to completing a task on time) as a way to extract free medical care for all manner of gnarly conditions. Lester does at least get the machine (a Roark 7, if you're keeping score) to start up, but it's password-protected with the prompt "Knock, knock." The password isn't "Who's there" but "I'm here," which is the way Ellie used to mess up the knock-knock joke. She enters the password, says "Oh my god," and ...
We'll see next week. Curse you, "Chuck" writers! One thing, though: I (and many others) assumed the computer was a new Intersect, but based on Ellie's reaction it doesn't look that way. Chris Fedak told us that big things are in store for Chuck's big sister, but that might be a little bit too big a way to draw her into Chuck-world.
The answer to that question will (presumably) come next week. This week, though, was one big bucket of excellent.
Right? Tell us what you thought in the comments.
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Photo credit: NBC
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MidnightCategory: Television
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On last week's episode of "Supernatural", a leprechaun offered to get Sam (Jared Padalecki) his soul back -- for a price -- and Sam refused, prompting Dean (Jensen Ackles) to wonder if Sam wants his soul back at all. In the next new episode, airing Dec. 3, the question bears repeating.

 

"I'm working for Crowley, aren't I?" Sam argues. But we can't blame Dean for being skeptical. Maybe it's just Sam's cold expression, but it's hard for us to believe him. After all he's been through in his life -- a rough childhood, a dead girlfriend, and the whole Lucifer's vessel thing -- maybe having no feelings at all is a bit of a relief. He's felt plenty already.
The standard Winchester whiskey heart-to-heart (or, in this case heart-to-cold-shell-of-a-heart) is interrupted when Sam suddenly vanishes into thin air. You'd think Dean would be used to this with Castiel, but he draws his gun anyway, and finds Sam passed out on the floor in another room.
Ruh-roh.
What are your thoughts, "Supernatural" fans? Watch the preview clip below and let us know if you believe Sam or not.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0e22erlGQo&feature=player_embedded
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MidnightCategory: Television
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It's finally happening, Vampire Diaries fans: the moment the show has been building toward since the first season, when we first saw Tyler (Michael Trevino) lit by a full moon. He's triggered the Lockwood curse and now he must accept his inevitable fate -- this time, the full moon won't just give him rage issues, it'll turn him into a full-fledged werewolf.
Luckily, he won't have to go it alone -- he's found an unexpected ally in Caroline (Candice Accola). Accola and Trevino stopped by the Zap2it offices today for a little visit, and I had to get all the scoop on their characters' unlikely bond.
We've all been speculating as to whether Caroline and Tyler will ever hook up - Twitter fans even refer to them as "Forwood." (Get it? Caroline Forbes, Tyler Lockwood... yeah.) I'm not a fan of those smushed-together names, though, so from here on out the potential vampire-werewolf romance will be henceforth be known as The Monster Mash on Zap2it. I do what I want.
When I asked that inevitable love connection question, they played coy for a moment before Accola gave me a little hint of what's to come.
"What I think is so wonderful about any romantic relationship, in my opinion, there's usually some sort of friendship that starts that off," she says. "Who knows what'll happen throughout the rest of the season, but as of right now, I think it's a beautiful parallel for both of these characters that are kind of embarking on this new part of their lives in such an extreme supernatural way."
"He gets to know Caroline a little better and has somebody there," Trevino tells me.
Caroline's concern for Tyler takes him by surprise, and he's a little skeptical of it at first. He's struggling with the death of his father and he still thinks that his Uncle Mason (moment of silence for those Lockwood shoulders please) abandoned him to go surfing in Florida. "Maybe she sticks around. Why does she stick around? Why is she caring for Tyler, this douchebag jock?"
There's that adorably clueless elephant in the room, though -- what about Matt (Zach Roerig)? He's Caroline's ex -- and he's still hung up on her -- and he's supposed to be Tyler's best friend. Will Tyler and Caroline's new relationship ruin the bromance for good?
"Now we have this triangle," Trevino explains. "Tyler and what he's going through, and what he's going to go through, and Caroline and Matt. So for a few episodes I think there's going to be this trio, this dynamic of questioning and wondering."
Matt remains clueless about the vampires and the werewolves, but he's starting to be aware that his friends are leaving him out of the loop. "You're going to see Matt investigate some things," Trevino says.
Still, no matter how much Matt learns, it's not likely he'll never be able to relate to the supernatural experience that Tyler and Caroline now share.
"There are certain experiences that happen in someone's life that bring people together that wouldn't normally really have anything in common," Accola says. "And as much as you can try to relate, and try to relate, sometimes you just can't. I think that's going to be a big obstacle in the Caroline/Matt relationship."
I had to ask Accola whether she thinks Caroline is better off with Tyler or Matt, and her answer was the best thing I've ever heard in my entire life. "I think Joshua Jacksonshould come to Mystic Falls and Caroline should be with Pacey," she teased.
I concur. So, so much. Don't miss the video of Part 1 of the interview below. Plenty more is coming -- including juicy details on Trevino's big transformation scene, so keep checking on Zap2it.
Let me know in the comments what you think of the Monster Mash potential. As much as I love Matt, I've got my fingers crossed for some great new twists in the relationship between Tyler and Caroline.
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MidnightCategory: Television
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You've seen how Kyle Massey and Jennifer Grey did on Monday's Dancing With the Stars -- and, oh yeah, you may have heard that Bristol Palin's in the finals too.
America's most famous teen mom (sorry, Amber Portwood) got some of her best scores of the competition on Monday's (Nov. 22) final performance show, but she still ended up at the bottom of the judges' leaderboard. Her first dance, a jive, earned 9s across the board, but she fell a little short of her fellow competitors with her freestyle number, ending up with a combined score of 52.
Maybe it was the lack of lifts -- she and partner Mark Ballas stayed on the floor for their routine, and it ended up looking like a relatively low-risk choice compared to Massey and Lacey Schwimmer's boogaloo and the flying around Derek Hough and Grey did in their freestyle.
Video of the performance is below. What do you think? Is it enough to carry Bristol to the top?
 
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MidnightCategory: Television
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Vampire-Diaries.net dug up the casting call for Klaus, the vampire out for Elena's blood and looking to seek vengeance against Katherine for slipping through his grasp 500 years ago. In order to break the vampire curse and walk in the sun without a ring, Klaus needs to kill not only Elena, but Bonnie, Tyler, and Caroline as well.
According to the casting sides, "Klaus is late-20′s to mid-30′s. He's handsome, charming, intelligent, with a sharp wit. He's the only person who can out-Damon Damon. That's because he's got a thousand years on him. Klaus is one of the Originals. Possibly the oldest. But you'd never know it because he keeps up with the times."
Ooh, sounds sexy. We put our heads together and came up with our list of dream casting for the pivotal role, so here are our nine favorites. We tried to keep it to TV actors, because we can all dream big, but we're pretty sure that Tom Hardy and Leonardo DiCaprio are unlikely to swing by Mystic Falls any time this century.
Hal Ozsan
You may not know him by name, but chances are you're familiar with his work as the super creepy rapist teacher on "90210" or as Dawson's unlikely mentor on "Dawson's Creek." He's got a sexy British accent -- which works out well, as Katherine first met Klaus in London in 1492. He's also good with a one-liner and he's definitely skilled at giving us the uh-oh feeling.
Why it won't happen: In addition to playing Professor No-means-yes, he's also played a man-witch on "Supernatural." How much CW villainy can one man take?
Joshua Jackson
The last time we saw Jackson, he told us that he was still waiting on a job offer from "Diaries" executive producers Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson. Yeah, he was probably kidding -- but we'd still love for them to call his bluff. Aside from his obvious shared history with the EPs, he's certainly debonair enough to have been a nobleman in the 15th century, and believe it or not, he doesn't always play the nice boy next door - check out his movie "Shutter."
Why it won't happen: Carina is not in charge of the world. Yet.
Milo Ventimiglia
Venti-latte worked with Williamson and Plec on "Cursed," alongside Jackson, and we've missed him on TV since NBC finally pulled the plug on "Heroes" in its vegetative state. We know he can rock a leather jacket, so he'll completely blend in with everyone else in Mystic Falls, and we've always loved his ability to deliver lines with a surprisingly stinging wit.
Why it won't happen: Unfortunately, Milo is too short to be scary.
 
Taylor Handley
Does anyone remember Kevin Williamson's far too short-lived CW summer drama, "Hidden Palms"? Handley, best known as Oliver from the first season of "The O.C." played a new kid in town with a troublesome past. We know he plays psycho-crazy-cuckoo-bananas pretty well - remember when he pulled a gun on Marissa Cooper? - and his grin is sexy enough to seduce even Katherine.
Why it won't happen: He's only 26 and looks even younger, so we're not sure he fits into the age bracket they're looking for. Plus, his juvenile demeanor is what makes him a charmer, but might not be believable for a 1000 year old vamp.
Jensen Ackles
Hello, dream casting! Have you seen him? (If not, we can show you pictures... they're plastered all over our cubicles to cheer us up on rainy days.) Ackles can switch from endearing to menacing in the blink of an eye - and he's proven that he can play a manaical lunatic with 2009's "My Bloody Valentine 3-D." He's definitely worthy of both Katherine's initial affection and her centuries-old fear. As for out-Damoning Damon? Jensen Ackles didn't invent the single man tear, but he perfected it. Accept no imitations.
Why it won't happen: Uh, he's kind of busy driving his soulless brother around the country in the best car ever.
Adam Brody
The wild card! Okay, we confess, we just miss having him on our televisions. Desperately. They want someone who keeps with the times, right? Nobody can blurt out a pop-culture reference like Adam Brody. It'd be wildly unexpected and might draw some new viewers to the show -- which will help now that "American Idol's" results show has been plunked down in that 8 p.m. Thursday timeslot. We'd rather watch Seth Cohen vamp out than hear Jennifer Lopez's opinion on anything.
Why it won't happen: We just can't imagine Klaus in skinny jeans, and we're pretty sure Brody's are super-glued to his legs.
 
 
Matt Czuchry
Just imagine Czuchry and Ian Somerhalder going head-to-head in a scene together. Most epic smirk-off ever. Czuchry can play the most unlikeable character on the planet, and you'd still find yourself wanting to take him home to Mom. We love him on "The Good Wife," but we loved him even more in his role as the entitled, selfish, sexy, and oh-so-wrong-for-Rory "Gilmore" guy.
Why it won't happen: He looks so much like Zach Roerig, and there's only room for one set of BAMF doppelgangers in this town.
Gale Harold
Though he currently plays a buttoned-up law professor on "Hellcats," we know just how sexy Harold can be from his time on "Queer as Folk" as Brian Kinney. In fact, on occasion, Damon's sexy smirk and catlike movements remind us of Brian, so we're sure Harold could out-Damon Damon with both hands tied behind his back.
Why it won't happen: Harold is a little old for the role - and speaking of doppelgangers, he definitely resembles Daniel Gillies, who plays Elijah.
Taylor Kitsch
We've got it on pretty good authority that Plec has a soft spot for those "Friday Night Lights" boys, and so do we. As a vampire in Mystic Falls, Klaus will definitely be required to remove his shirt, and nobody's better at doing that than Kitsch. He can smolder like nobody's business, and, much like vamp vixen Katherine, pretty much everyone he so much as glances at falls in love with him. We know we have.
Why it won't happen: We could see Kitsch going toe-to-toe with Damon, but we aren't sure he could intimidate Katherine.
To be honest, we definitely don't envy the casting director who has to fill this particular role. To find a man who makes Katherine want to hang out in a tomb indefinitely, as her body desiccates and her hair gets all un-shiny? It's not going to be easy.
Weigh in in the comments, Vamp fans, or tweet us your ideas. Let us know your dream Klaus, and don't forget to tell us if you hate our ideas. There's nothing we love more.
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MidnightCategory: Cancellations
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Fast National ratings for Friday, Nov. 19, 2010
CBS continues its successful Friday streak -- led by the just canceled "Medium," which experienced a slight raise in the ratings this week. Also notable was NBC's TV Movie "Harmony: A Film Inspired by the Prince of Wales," which debuted to mediocre ratings despite the current renewed interest in the Royals' personal lives.

CBS averaged 9.6 million viewers and took a 6.1 rating/11 share of households for the night. ABC was second with 5.3 million and a 3.5/6. NBC came in third (4.0 million, 2.7/5). FOX was in fourth (3.0 million, 1.8/3) and the CW came in fifth (2.3 million, 1.4/3).

ABC bested CBS with a 1.6 in the key demo. CBS (1.5), The CW (1.0), NBC (0.9) and FOX (0.9) followed.

Friday hour by hour:

8 p.m.

CBS: "Medium" (7.3 million, 4.6/8)
ABC: "Supernanny" (4.1 million, 2.8/5)
FOX: "House" rerun (3.3 million, 2.1/4)
CW: "Smallville" (2.6 million, 1.5/3)
NBC: "School Pride" (2.5 million, 1.8/3)

18-49 leader: "Medium" (1.4)

9 p.m.

CBS: "CSI: NY" (10.2 million, 6.5/11)
ABC: "Primetime: What Would You Do?" (4.9 million, 3.2/6)
NBC: "Dateline" (5.7 million, 3.9/7)
FOX: "The Good Guys" (2.7 million, 1.6/3)
CW: "Supernatural" (2.0 million, 1.3/2)

18-49 leader: "Primetime" (1.6)

10 p.m.

CBS: "Blue Bloods" (11.3 million, 7.0/13)
ABC: "20/20" (6.8 million, 4.6/9)
NBC: "Harmony: A Film Inspired by the Prince of Wales" (3.7 million, 2.5/5)

18-49 leader: "20/20" (2.0)

Ratings information includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are preliminary and subject to change. Source: The Nielsen Company.

More ratings at Zap2it: Daily, weekly and cable
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MidnightCategory: Television
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Don't miss this episode of The Walking Dead and pay close attention to Jim (Andrew Rothenberg).
As we can see from this episode, Shane (Jon Bernthal) is once again having to flex his muscles to keep the peace at camp.
Jim is such a gentle soul though. We're not sure why this scene had to go down that way. The whole camp shouldn't have been called it as if it were some intervention.
Most heartbreaking line ever: "The only reason why I got away is that the dead were too busy eating my family."
We've seen this episode in advance, and there's so much action in it, including what Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and the other group are dealing with in Atlanta. Seriously, it's a good one.
Episode 4, Vatos airs on Sunday, Nov.21 at 10 p.m. ET.
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