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Lifetime line-up: Heche, “Bad Seed,” true-crime, more

Anne Heche’s next film – an intense one – is ready to air on Sept. 17.
An Aug. 5 crash left Heche (shown here) in a coma, but she’d already finished “Girl in Room 13,” which has been edited and is ready to go. “She did a phenomenal job,” said director Elizabeth Rohm.
Heche plays the mother of a young woman (Larissa Dias) who has disappeared. It’s a fictional story, done with Polaris, which tracks human trafficking.
That’s part of a flurry of movies Lifetime and the Lifetime Movie Network discussed today (Aug. 11) with the Television Critics Association. They include: Read more…

It’s the end of the “Breaking Bad” world

Vince Gilligan was getting ready to close his “Breaking Bad” world … again.,
He’d already done this once, wrapping up “Breaking Bad” in 2013. He killed the main character and saved his colleague, drawing lots of praise and some dismay.
Now he’s at it again. At 9 p.m. Monday (Aug. 15) on AMC — rerunning at 10:38 — the acclaimed “Better Call Saul” (shown here) has its series finale. Did he feel pressure to do it right?
“If we don’t win the Nobel Prize for winning this, I’ll be highly disappointed,” he joked to the Television Critics Association. Read more…

Mysteries sprawl across Australia

Couples seem to “meet cute” in movies and TV shows.
Not this time. Instead, they nearly collide.
Two strangers are driving opposite ways on a narrow Australian road, neither paying much attention. Soon, one vehicle is upended; so are two lives.
That’s in “Darby and Joan” (shown here), the eight-part mini-series on the Acorn streaming service, with two parts each Monday, starting Aug. 8. It has flaws, especially in the early parts, but gradually clicks. Read more…

Brunson’s “Abbott” tops TCA awards

It’s been a splendid first season – well, partial season – for Quinta Brunson and “Abbott Elementary.”
The ABC comedy debuted at mid-season and has had only 13 episodes so far. But in the Television Critics Association awards, it was named best comedy, best new show and program of the year; also, Brunson (shown here) won the award for individual achievement in comedy.
That’s a multi-tasking individual. In the Emmy Awards, she’s the first Black woman with three comedy nominations – as best actress, as producer and as writer of the pilot film. Read more…

Disney+ is ready to dance … and to hulk up

“Dancing With the Stars” will be back soon … albeit a bit harder to find.
The show has set Sept. 19 as its debut date on the Disney+ streaming service. That follows 30 seasons on ABC.
It arrives alongside other Disney+ shows, some scripted (“She-Hulk: Attorney at Law,” shown here in its previous comic-book form, and the second “Mighty Ducks” season) and some with star explorers, young (Bertie Gregory) and not (James Cameron). The schedule, announced today, includes: Read more…

“Dogs” is back, with lives scrambled

For most of its first season (a good one), “Reservation Dogs” (shown here) was an us-vs.-the-world tale.
Then the “us” imploded. That sets up the two intriguing episodes that arrive Wednesday (Aug. 3) on Hulu, to open the second season.
This is a modest show that has drawn a surge of praise. It already has Peabody and American Film Institute awards; in the upcoming Television Critics Association awards, it’s nominated for best comedy and best new show. Read more…

PBS sprawls from rap to Flack to Tiger and beyond

It’s not easy to be in the something-for-everyone business.
Other networks might specialize in food or weather or creepy crimes or such. But Paula Kerger describes PBS as “a variety network.” That means ranging from rap to Flack (Roberta Flack, shown here, that is), from “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” to Ukraine’s war-torn neighborhoods.
In a virtual press conference with the Television Critics Association, Kerger occasionally talked about shows that are on the air right now. She praised: Read more…

It’s a nomadic journey for “Big Brother” episode

For “Big Brother” fans, this gets sort of dizzying: Thursday’s episode has been moved yet again,
It was originally moved to Friday. Now, instead, it’s part of a two-hour bloc Sunday.
The shift began when CBS decided to air the congressional Jan. 6 committee hearings. That’s from 8-10 p.m. ET Thursday, ousting two comedy reruns and starting the nomadic journey for “Big Brother” (shown here). Read more…

“Elvis”: a story worth re-re-re-re-telling

Every person, we’re told, has a story. Every life would make a good movie.
Perhaps, but TV and movies keep telling one life-story over and over. That’s Elvis Presley.
The latest example is Baz Luhrmann’s glittery, jittery “Elvis”(shown here) now in theaters. Some critics found it too frenetic, but most approved; with a few reservations, I liked it a lot. Read more…

Emmys avalanche brings some good news

So now the Emmy nominations are out there – approximately 3.4 billion of them.
You can catch the full list at www.emmys.com or other sites. But amid the avalanche, let met point to a few things:
— Some summer shows timed this perfectly: Their new seasons are airing now, just as nominations arrive for the previous ones. “Better Call Saul” (9 p.m. Mondays, AMC) is up for best drama. Up for best comedy are two delights — the jaunty “Only Murders in the Building” (shown here with Selena Gomez, Tuesdays on Hulu) and the wonderfully weird “What We Do in the Shadows” (10 p.m. Wednesdays, FX). Try them. Read more…