Cliff Curtis: From a small island to global characters

The list of famous Maori actors is relatively short. There's Keisha Castle-Hughes (no relation to me, or to Cinderella's Castle), an Oscar-nominee in the immensely charming "Whale Rider." And there's Cliff Curtis, who played her father in that one ... then played just about everyone, everywhere. Curtis has become a fascinating actor, spanning the globe. Currently, he's in Fox's "Gang Related"; here's the story I sent to papers:

Super Sunday: Her's the 12-hour rundown

OK, by now we should be geared up for Super Bowl Sunday. My two previous blogs offered an overview and a profile of Terry Crews, former pro football player who reaches the Super day via acting. Now here's the third of the three stories I sent to papers; it offers a chronological rundown.


Super Bowl: A cold night for red hot chili quarterbacks

(This is the first of three stories I sent to papers, previewing the Super Bowl)


Raking through a messy (and funny) TV life

This is a busy time in the TV and cable world, as mid-season shows arrive. "Rake" (Thursday on Fox) is an amiable one, with Greg Kinnear as a sharp lawyer with a messy life. Here's the story I sent to papers:


"Idol" returns, putting on a fresh accent

"American Idol" returns tonight (Wednesday), freshening a form that already works. Here's the story I sent to papers:


This big little brother finally has his day

Geoff Stults may be big on TV -- starring in a new series that starts Friday -- but he's not that big a deal in his own family. After all, George Stults is also an actor and has big-brother status. Here's the story I sent to papers:


The "'Glee' Era" persists, amid churn and change and such

The season-finales are piling in now, with "Glee" as one of the first. That's Thursday; here's the story I sent to papers: 



In the expanse of TV history, “Glee”
is still a newcomer. On Thursday, it concludes its fourth season;
that's only halfway to matching “Midwestern Hayride.”

Mama knows best: The making of a scare master

If you missed the taut debut of Fox's "The Following" on Monday, don't fret. That episode reruns tonight (Friday, Jan. 25, 10 p.m.). The second episode runs twice next week ... then the first two get a cable rerun on Feb. 8.

The show is worth catching, despite moments of wretched, gory excess. Here's the story I sent to papers:


Some moms might take their kids to
Candyland, Disneyland and other comfy lands.

Here's "Idol" in brief

The previous blog offera an overview of the upcoming "American Idol" season. A sidebar is coming, but first here's a box with the basics:


The new edition of “American Idol”
is ready to consume our TV time. Here's a summary:

– When: 8-10 p.m. Wednesdays and 8-9
p.m. Thursdays, Fox.

– Except for: Thursday episodes run
two-hours on Jan. 17, Feb. 21 and Feb. 28. Also, there's a Tuesday
episode on March 5.

This Hollywood princess now has her own show

It's good to be second-generation Hollywood, better to be third-generation ... and best to have actual talent, while being in a well-made show.

Dakota Johnson qualifies on all counts. On Tuesday, she shares a comedy hour with her mother and grandmother; here's the story I sent to papers: 


The rewards to royalty can vary.
England's princesses might become queen; Hollywood's become Miss
Golden Globes.