Sunday, May 31, 2009

Last Survivor of Titanic Sinking Has Died -- Stars of Hit Film Recently Lent Support

Millvina Dean, who as a baby was wrapped in a sack and lowered into a lifeboat in the frigid North Atlantic, died Sunday, having been the last survivor of 1912 sinking of the RMS Titanic. She was 97 years old, and she died where she had lived — in Southampton, England, the city her family had tried to leave behind when it took the ship's ill-fated maiden voyage, bound for America.

Of 2,223 people aboard the Titanic, Dean was the youngest at nine weeks old. Only 706 survived the disaster and 1,517 perished as the ship hit an iceberg on the night of April 14 -- and sank two hours and forty minutes later, early on April 15.

Dean, pictured above at a 1999 Titanic convention, moved into a nursing home after breaking her hip about three years ago. She had to sell several Titanic mementoes to raise money to offset bills, prompting her friends to set up a fund to subsidize her nursing home fees. Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, the stars of the film "Titanic," pledged their support to the fund last month with a joint contribution of $20,000. This was added to by donations of $10,000 from the film's director, James Cameron, and Celine Dion, who sang the theme song for the 1997 blockbuster.

Meanwhile, did you know that Gloria Stuart is still alive and well? Stuart, who played the fictional Rose in the movie, will turn 99 on July 4.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

TMZ Reports that Danny Gokey Voters Sided with Kris Allen

TMZ is reporting that sources at "American Idol" have told them that the margin between Kris Allen and Adam Lambert "wasn't even close" -- and the biggest factor in Allen's win was Danny Gokey.

Although not given the exact vote count, here is what the celebrity news site found out:

  • After Gokey was eliminated, the "lion's share" of his fans voted for Kris Allen in the finale
  • The extent of the lopsidedness surprised a lot of the big wigs at Idol
  • The AT&T texting "scandal" had no impact on the outcome -- the spread was that wide

So what do you think? Will this finally end the story? Do you think Idol should release the exact count? In earlier seasons, host Ryan Seacrest would announce the final vote count -- or at least the percentages. Should that policy be resurrected? And if revealed for this year, would the results match the percentage spread from last week's EntertainmentBlogger Idol poll (see left for results)?

Update: Poll now removed from side bar; here it is with results:


Kris Allen: 61 votes (57% of total votes)
Adam Lambert: 46 votes (43%)

Total votes: 107. Poll conducted over two days and closed before live airing of results finale.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Eminem is Back -- and on Top of the Charts

(AP) - Eminem's new album, "Relapse," has sold more copies in its first week of release than any other album this year. Nielsen SoundScan says the Detroit rapper's first album in nearly five years sold 608,000 copies.

"Relapse" is Eminem's fifth straight No. 1 album. His last disc, 2004's "Encore," sold 711,000 in its first week - though that was only across four days. It went on to sell 5.1 million copies.

Last week's chart topper, Green Day's "21st Century Breakdown," slid to No. 2, adding 166,000 copies sold to the 215,000 copies the band sold in its initial, abbreviated three-day sales week.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Latest Rankings from iTunes: Top 10 Selling Singles and Albums of the Week

Below are iTunes' top 10 selling singles and albums for the week ending yesterday, May 25. And it's a split result for the two finalists from season 8 of American Idol -- winner Kris Allen and runner-up Adam Lambert. Allen won the singles race between the two, but Lambert bested Allen in the album compilations of this past season's performances.


1. "Boom Boom Pow," Black Eyed Peas
2. "Don't Stop Believin (Glee Cast Version)," Glee Cast
3. "New Divide," Linkin Park
4. "Heartless (American Idol Studio Version)," Kris Allen
5. "No Boundaries," Kris Allen
6. "Mad World (American Idol Studio Version)," Adam Lambert
7. "Waking Up In Vegas," Katy Perry
8. "Fire Burning," Sean Kingston
9. "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho, More English Extended Mix)," Pitbull
10. "Poker Face," Lady GaGa


1. "Relapse," Eminem
2. "21st Century Breakdown," Green Day
3. "ISolated INcident," Dane Cook
4. "A Fine Mess," Kate Voegele
5. "Season 8 Favorite Performances," Adam Lambert
6. "City of Black & White," Mat Kearney
7. "Season 8 Favorite Performances," Kris Allen
8. "Blackout!," 2 Method Man, Redman
9. "The Fame," Lady GaGa
10. "Abnormally Attracted to Sin," Tori Amos

Monday, May 25, 2009

How to Stay Entertained This Summer

Hope you all had a great Memorial Day -- the unofficial start of summer!

So are you looking for some hot tips in entertainment to get you through til Labor Day? Well Time magazine's top critics lay out the season's not-to-be-missed events in the arts -- from Mandy Moore's new album that debuts this week to Willie Nelson's latest, available on August 25. They break down each month and tell you what to look forward to not only in music, but also at the bookstore (Thomas Pynchon), movie theater ("Bruno"), museum (Richard Avedon) and on television ("The Goode Family").

Check out the full story: click here

Twitter Announces TV Venture

(AP) -- Twitter, the Web site that asks what everybody's doing, says it wants to be doing a TV series. The social-networking service said today that it has teamed with Reveille productions and Brillstein Entertainment Partners to develop an unscripted series based on the site, which invites 140-character postings from members around the world.

The show would harness Twitter to put players on the trail of celebrities in an interactive, competitive format. The producers call their proposed series the first to bring the immediacy of Twitter to the TV screen.

The San Francisco-based Twitter, which was founded in 2007, is one of the Internet's fastest-growing sites. A recent Nielsen report found that unique visitors to Twitter skyrocketed from 475,000 during February 2008 to 7 million a year later.

NOTE: You can follow EntertainmentBlogger on Twitter @ Entertainment2u -- where I bring the entertainment news to you.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Movie Reviews: Two Films for Kids of All Ages

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

Ben Stiller is back as Larry Daley in the sequel to the 2006 action comedy hit about museum pieces that come to life in the overnight hours. Larry has moved on from his guard position at the Museum of Natural History -- but still checks in on his late night friends from time to time. When the museum decides to undergo some upgrades and renovations, many of the pieces are moved into federal storage at the Smithsonian Institution -- where once again, exhibits spring into action as soon as the sun goes down. Larry realizes he misses his friends -- and makes his way to D.C. just in time to get mixed up in a power struggle between some of the Smithsonian's pieces and those who have moved down from New York.

Fans of the first movie will be happy to see some familiar faces (Robin Williams and Owen Wilson), as well as some great new additions (Amy Adams and Hank Azaria). But the laughs are few and far between, the storyline simple and the action slow. However, the film does maintain some of the charm of the original -- and includes a few surprises to the already fascinating special effects.

Grade: B-


The geniuses at Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Pictures have reached new heights with this delightful family film directed by Pete Docter (Monsters, Inc.). Carl Fredricksen (voiced by Edward Asner and animated to resemble Spencer Tracey) is a retired 78-year-old balloon salesman who is being forced to leave his beloved home for an assisted living facility. Instead, he concocts a brilliant plan to keep his house while also fulfilling a lifelong dream of visiting South America. Unwittingly, he takes a chubby eight-year-old Wilderness Explorer named Russell along for the ride. The two opposites set off for a thrilling adventure as they encounter rough terrain, unexpected foes, and some interesting creatures that inhabit the wilderness of Venezuela.

Up is the first Pixar film to be presented in both Disney Digital 3D and regular formats. The feature is accompanied by the equally wonderful animated short film, Partly Cloudy. Both films are full of heart and humor -- and will remind viewers of the value of friendships. Unfortunately, the advance screening I attended was not in 3D, but that only gives me the perfect excuse to see this terrific movie again when it opens nationwide on May 29.

Grade: A

5/31 update: I did see Up again today -- this time in 3D. I thought the 3D effects, at least at the theater I attended, were very minimal. So don't stress out about seeing it only in regular format! It will save you a few bucks!

Networks' 2009-2010 Schedules Announced

The 2009-2010 television schedules have been finalized by the big networks. The CW's announcement this morning ends a week of unveils. To recap:

ABC - see update/schedule here

CBS - see update/schedule here

The CW - see update/schedule here

FOX - see 5/18 posting here; see update/schedule here

NBC - see 5/4 posting here; see update/schedule here

Here are some highlights on highly-anticipated cancellations/renewals:


  • According to Jim - cancelled (finally!)
  • Better Off Ted - renewed for a second season
  • Castle - renewed for a second season
  • Cupid - cancelled again (please, networks -- no more future incarnations!)
  • In the Motherhood - cancelled after very short run
  • Samantha Who? - cancelled -- this one hurts -- a good show that was treated badly with poor programming by the network; sign online petition to save - click here
  • Scrubs - renewed for a 9th season -- even after airing what was originally called a "series" finale.
  • The Unusuals - cancelled


  • Cold Case - renewed for a 7th season
  • Eleventh Hour - cancelled
  • Gary Unmarried - renewed
  • How I Met Your Mother - renewed
  • Medium - picked up from NBC; moved to Friday
  • Numb3rs - renewed for 22-episode 6th season
  • Old Adventures of New Christine -renewed
  • Rules of Engagement - renewed
  • The Unit - cancelled after 4-season run
  • Without a Trace - cancelled
  • Worst Week - cancelled

The CW

  • Everybody Hates Chris - cancelled
  • The Game - cancelled
  • Privileged - cancelled
  • Reaper - cancelled


  • Bones - renewed for TWO more seasons (#5 and 6)
  • Dollhouse - renewed for 13-episode second season
  • Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - cancelled


  • Chuck - renewed for 13-episode third season
  • Law & Order - renewed for 16-episode 20th season (tying record with Gunsmoke for longest-running drama)
  • Medium - cancelled, but picked up by CBS (yay!)
  • My Name is Earl - cancelled; may be picked up by ABC or FOX; follow the Twitter petition to save the show: click here

Not sure about other shows on the renewal bubble? Check out my updates on the March 19 post. And follow Michael Ausiello's great renewal/cancellation cheat sheet -- compliments of Entertainment Weekly: click here.

Note to Adam Lambert Fans: Don't Despair

I know you had a rough night, but don't feel too bad about Adam Lambert's loss to Kris Allen in the season finale of American Idol. Adam will be just fine. Remember, many of the most successful Idol alumni didn't even make it into the final two during their season. Here is just a sampling:

  • Jennifer Hudson came in 7th her season -- and has now gone on to win not only a Grammy Award, but an Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, a BAFTA Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award among others,

  • Chris Daughtry came in 4th his season -- and his band's debut album has gone quadruple platinum,

  • and even Constantine Maroulis, who came in 6th his season, has earned a Tony Award nomination this year!

I guess that's why I've lost some interest in the show since I attended the finales of the first two seasons -- because ultimately, it really doesn't matter who wins or loses.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Kris Allen Crowned the New American Idol - But Was it an Upset?

In what many are calling a huge upset, folksy singer Kris Allen is the new "American Idol," beating the theatrical rocker, Adam Lambert. Allen gets a record contract along with his American Idol title.

Host Ryan Seacrest said on Wednesday's finale that nearly 100 million votes were cast for the finalists. The 23-year-old Allen, a student from Conway, Arkansas, bested the 27-year-old Lambert, a theater actor from San Diego.

But was the result really an upset? Look to the upper left of this page. Entertainment Blogger's unscientific 2-day poll had Allen favored over Lambert by a 14% margin. The poll closed an hour before the east coast's live airing of the finale -- and proved to be an accurate prediction of the actual result.

Update: Poll now removed from side bar; here it is with results:


Kris Allen: 61 votes (57% of total votes)
Adam Lambert: 46 votes (43%)

Total votes: 107. Poll conducted over two days and closed before live airing of results finale.


Stranded in a remote Iranian village, a foreign journalist (James Caviezel) is approached by Zahra (the always amazing Shohreh Aghdashloo), a woman with a harrowing tale to tell about her niece -- and the gruesome circumstances of her recent death. Her story exposes the dark power of mob rule, uncivil law and the lack of rights for women. Zahra makes it her mission to get her story into the hands of the journalist. Not only so her niece's death will not be in vain -- but to also communicate the injustice to the world.

The film, opening on June 26, is based on a true story -- and it will surely haunt you for a long time. Ultimately, it is hard for me to recommend the movie because of the disturbing sequence of cruel and brutal violence. But it would be a shame if you miss Aghdashloo's riveting performance. And yet another crime if she does not earn her second Academy Award nomination.

I was lucky enough to attend an advance screening presented by the film's producer, Stephen McEveety (The Passion of the Christ). McEveety mentioned that this was the most powerful film he had been a part of in his 30-year Hollywood career. I can see why. For more on McEveety and the movie, click here for a recent article from the Los Angeles Times.

Grade: A


It's ironic that the fourth movie installment in the Terminator franchise opens the same week as the television series, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, was officially cancelled by FOX. But it also highlights the reason why the movies were successful and the series was not: fans want to experience big-budget robotic action. And Terminator Salvation will not disappoint there. Set in the year 2018, the evil Skynet is preparing a devastating final attack designed to eliminate the human resistance forces once and for all -- using some familiar old-school robots, but also plenty of advanced models sure to give you a thrill ride.

An adult John Connor (Christian Bale) struggles to head up the resistance, but is shaken by the sudden appearance of a mysterious stranger named Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington). Unable to determine whether Marcus is a friend or foe, Connor begins to wonder whether there is any hope left for the human race as Skynet grows more powerful and aggressive than ever before. Anton Yelchin rounds out the cast as a young Kyle Reese in what is planned to be a new Terminator trilogy from director McG (Charlie's Angels).

Fans looking for this film to be Bale's to carry alone may be disappointed to learn that Worthington's screen time is nearly equal. And some critics and movie-goers may not be excited about the film's dark tone. But how could the mood be any different in a post-Judgment Day world? This new edition is not perfect, but neither were the previous three films. Sure there are some holes in the plot, but most summer blockbuster movies have them. I, for one, find myself already longing to see the next installment.

Grade: B+

Monday, May 18, 2009

First Guests Announced for the Premiere of The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien

NBC has made Entertainment Blogger a happy camper today (which negates his unhappiness over rival network ABC cancelling Samantha Who?). Why? Because his favorite band was announced as Conan O'Brien's first musical guest when he takes over the reins of The Tonight Show from Jay Leno! NBC announced today that Pearl Jam and Land of the Lost star Will Ferrell will appear on O'Brien's debut show, scheduled for June 1.

FOX Announces 2009-2010 Schedule

FOX announced its 2009-2010 schedule this morning. Seven new shows have been added -- with one having a sneak preview after American Idol tomorrow night. Highlights include:

  • Renewals of old hits (and some misses): American Idol, The Simpsons, Bones, House, American Dad, Family Guy, 24, COPS, America's Most Wanted and 'Til Death
  • Renewals of newbie hits Lie to Me, Fringe and Dollhouse
  • Cancellation of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
  • Added fall edition of summer hit, So You Think You Can Dance
  • Addition of Wanda Sykes' talk show to replace MadTV on Saturday nights at 11:00pm
  • Addition of full-season drama, Glee -- about a high school choir group -- which has a sneak preview tomorrow
  • Addition of two full-season comedies: The Cleveland Show (spinoff of Family Guy) and Brothers, which follows a former pro football player who returns home to his mom's house
  • Addition of one mid-season family comedy: the quirky Sons of Tucson
  • Addition of two mid-season action dramas: Human Target (based on the DC Comics franchise) and Past Life, about a psychologist who works with a former detective to solve mysteries
For a full recap of FOX's fall 2009 and mid-season (spring) 2010 schedules, check out this article from Entertainment Weekly: click here

Friday, May 15, 2009

Movie Review: ANGELS & DEMONS

Let me first state that I did not read author Dan Brown's novel, Angels & Demons or its sequel, The Da Vinci Code. Nor did I see the 2006 film version of the latter -- which despite mixed reviews, earned over $758 million worldwide, making it both star Tom Hanks' and director Ron Howard's most successful film.

So it's no surprise that both Howard and Hanks are back to continue the storyline of Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon. Howard chose to reverse the order of the films -- to match the order in which most people read the books. But you need not have read the books or seen the first movie to follow the plot or understand what drives the lead character. With that said, here is my review...

Angels & Demons

The movie opens with the death of the Pope -- and the kidnapping of four Cardinals considered the top prospects to replace him. The plot follows Professor Langdon (Hanks), who is brought in to assist investigators in stopping the suspect -- the Illuminati, the most powerful underground organization in history. Is the legendary secret society really back in action? And why are they so hell-bent on not only messing up the papal election process (the conclave), but destroying the entire Vatican City with a very lethal time-bomb?

The race against the clock is nonstop and full of action as Langdon rushes to unravel mysterious 400-year-old ancient symbols -- the only hope to save the Vatican. Langdon is joined by Italian scientist Vittoria Vetra (played by acclaimed Israeli actress Ayelet Zurer). Ewan McGregor plays the Camerlengo, who until a successor Pope is elected, serves as acting head of state of the Vatican City. Will he help or hinder Langdon's race to save it?

Howard does a great job exploring the highest workings of the Catholic Church -- and showcasing some sealed crypts, dangerous catacombs and deserted cathedrals in the Vatican City and neighboring Rome. But you have to suspend reality -- and you have to excuse the fact that the police are all portrayed as complete idiots.

Grade: B

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Recap of an Explosive LOST Season 5 Finale

It was an explosive end to season 5 of LOST as the producers cleared some things up, then confused us all over again. To recap some highlights:

  • We finally got to meet the never-before-seen uber-boss of the island, Jacob...only to see him stabbed to death by Ben as angry payback for decades of being ignored.
  • We finally got to see Rose and Bernard -- boy, have they been missed. But they really didn't seem to miss anyone else.
  • And we finally learned the identity of the major character rumored to be killed off: Juliet, who had plunged to the bottom of a shaft where, moments before, Jack had dropped his handy mini nuclear warhead. It failed to trigger on cue. But Juliet, badly injured, pounded the bomb with a rock to set it off and fulfill Jack's mission.
So did the explosion work to return all to a safe landing of the original flight? That is not yet clear. What is clear is the usual black end title screen with 'LOST' in white lettering has been reversed. We were now left with a white title screen with 'LOST' in black lettering. Because everything has changed. Now we must somehow patiently wait nine months til the final season explains it all.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Contest: Win VIP Pass for Two for Summer Blockbuster, TERMINATOR: SALVATION

UPDATE: This contest -- for a chance to win a VIP screening pass from for the upcoming summer movie, Terminator: Salvation -- has now ended.

Look out for more great contests on Entertainment Blogger.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Donald Trump and Miss California: A Tale of Two Hypocrites

Donald Trump announced today that Carrie Prejean will keep her crown as Miss California despite the controversy surrounding her views on same-sex marriage and the semi-nude photos of her that surfaced on the Internet. "We are in the 21st century," Trump, who owns the Miss USA pageant, said. "We have determined that the pictures taken were fine." As for the anti-same-sex-marriage answer she gave during the nationally-televised pageant last month, Trump said, "She gave a very honest answer when asked a tough question."

Well we have a story of TWO hypocrites.

1) Miss California has every right to believe what she wants about gay marriage. BUT when you get on a soapbox and act holier-than-thou and then we find out that you have done tons of semi-nude photo shoots -- well then you are a hypocrite. What God-loving Christian does that? And yes, more and more photos are now showing up -- check TMZ for yourself -- she reveals a full boob in one. So please, Miss California supporters, don't tell us that these are tasteful model shots.

2) Donald Trump -- where do we start? He fired Khloe Kardashian on this season's Celebrity Apprentice -- not for the task at hand -- but because she had a DUI in her past. We've learned that the teetotaler can't handle anyone else drinking. But somehow he can accept Miss California doing pornography in the past? Here I thought the organizers say the Miss USA Pageant is a serious scholarship-driven program for respectable young women. And that all who participate are role models for young girls. Yeah, right.


On June 10, Carrie Prejean was dethroned as Miss California for 'contract violations.' An EntertainmentBlogger poll that followed netted the following results:

Do you think Carrie Prejean was justifiably dethroned as Miss California?

Yes - a bit of a hypocrite = 39 votes (72%)
No - she deserved better = 15 votes (28%)

Total votes = 54

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Out of This World Opening Weekend for New Star Trek

No surprise here: I predicted a $75 million opening weekend for Star Trek -- and it did slightly better -- earning $76.5 million. Paramount Pictures said director J.J. Abrams' reboot of the beloved sci-fi franchise made $4 million just in pre-midnight screenings Thursday - plus a record $8.2 million in IMAX showings.

The studio had estimated that the movie would make about $50 million for the weekend, but figured that strong reviews helped carry it to the bigger opening. I have not read one bad critical review....have you? In fact, the film has so far received 96 percent positive reviews on

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Movie Review: STAR TREK

Let me first preface this review by saying I was never a Star Trek superfan. I watched -- and mildly enjoyed -- some repeats of the original series, but never any of the follow-ups or movie editions. So, you may be surprised by this (former?) non-superfan's review that follows...

Star Trek

J.J. Abrams (Lost, Cloverfield) resurrects the Star Trek franchise in this fun prequel that tells the story of how Kirk and Spock met -- and the full Enterprise crew bonded. With fast-paced action, lots of humor and a nod to the original (perfect cameo for original Spock, Leonard Nimoy), the movie will surely please both old fans and newbies. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto (Heroes) head up the youthful cast. What could have been a 90210-like disaster, turns out to be thrilling two-hour ride into space. Bring on the sequels -- live long and prosper, J.J. Abrams!

Grade: A-

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tony Nominations Announced

Billy Elliot, the tale of a British coal miner's son who dreams of becoming a dancer, has the potential to win a record number of 2009 Tony Awards, honoring the best of the Broadway season.

Its 15 nominations announced yesterday - tying the number received by The Producers in 2001 - included best musical and a rarity: the three boys who share the title role - David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik, Kiril Kulish - were named together for best actor in a musical.

The Tony Awards will be presented on Sunday, June 7. A complete list of nominees can be found here:

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

CDU: Comedic Legends

Hollywood has lost two comedic geniuses -- less than two weeks apart.

Dom(inick) DeLuise, the portly actor/comedian, whose career spanned 50 years and included memorable turns in movies such as The Cannonball Run, Spaceballs, Robin Hood: Men in Tights and Blazing Saddles, died last night in Los Angeles. He was 75.

Bea(trice) Arthur, the tall, deep-voiced actress who considered herself lucky to be discovered by television executives after a long stage career that included a Tony award for the musical "Mame," died of cancer Saturday, April 25 at the age of 86. The star also won Emmy awards for her TV roles in "Maude" and "The Golden Girls."

Both DeLuise and Arthur appeared in the 1981 Mel Brooks' cult classic (and the funniest movie I've ever seen), History of the World: Part I.

Monday, May 4, 2009

NBC's Fall Schedule Sneak Preview

LOS ANGELES (AP) - NBC is adding four new dramas to its 2009-10 schedule, including a pair of medical shows and the Ron Howard-produced "Parenthood," based on the 1989 movie he directed, the network announced Monday.

Two new comedies, "Community" with Chevy Chase and "100 Questions," were announced, and the network is ordering prime-time episodes of the "Saturday Night Live" fake newscast "Weekend Update." NBC said it's renewing "Heroes" and newcomers "Parks & Recreation" with Amy Poehler and police drama "Southland."

NBC is building its next schedule on a bold gambit, giving its daily 10 p.m. EDT slot to "The Jay Leno Show" - the title announced Monday - after he steps aside as "Tonight" show host this month. Conan O'Brien takes over the late-night talk show June 1.

The fourth-place network, which has struggled to launch new shows, is "doubling down on its scripted commitment," said Ben Silverman, co-chair of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios. "We're going to have more strength from 8 to 10 p.m. than we've ever had to assure that Jay has big lead-ins," Silverman said.

NBC had previously announced the return of "30 Rock,""The Office,""Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,""The Celebrity Apprentice,""Biggest Loser" and "Friday Night Lights." The new reality shows "The Marriage Ref," produced by Jerry Seinfeld; "Breakthrough With Tony Robbins" and "Who Do You Think You Are?" also had been announced.

The fate of other series won't be known until NBC unveils its full schedule May 19. That includes "Medium,""Chuck,""My Name Is Earl" and the original "Law & Order." NBC's announcement jumped the gun on the traditional "upfront week" in which networks present their lineups to the advertisers who make preseason ad buys.

Seth Meyers anchors "Weekend Update," which is expected to kick off NBC's Thursday nights. The network already has two comedies on Thursday starring former "Weekend Update" anchors - Poehler and Tina Fey of "30 Rock," and it's likely they'll be making return visits. That announcement doesn't seem to bode well for "My Name Is Earl," a comedy considered on the bubble, but Silverman said no decision has been made about the show.

The new shows announced this morning:
  • "Parenthood," starring Peter Krause ("Six Feet Under"), Maura Tierney ("ER"), Craig T. Nelson ("Coach") and Bonnie Bedelia as family members dealing with the pressures of life. The show was shadowed by tragedy last week when NBC executive Nora O'Brien died after collapsing on the set in Northern California.
  • "Trauma," about the heroics of San Francisco paramedics and deemed by Silverman the "adrenaline-rush" successor to NBC's recently departed "ER." The cast includes Derek Luke ("Notorious"), Aimee Garcia ("George Lopez") and Jamey Sheridan ("Law & Order: Criminal Intent"). Peter Berg is the executive producer.
  • "Mercy," a hospital drama that puts nurses at center stage. The ensemble cast includes Taylor Schilling ("Dark Matter"), Jamie Lee Kirchner ("Rescue Me"), James Tupper ("Men in Trees") and Guillermo Diaz ("Weeds").
  • "Day One," a saga about neighbors who must rebuild their lives and society after a mysterious catastrophe decimates the world's infrastructure. Adam Campbell ("Date Movie"), Catherine Dent ("The Shield") and Julie Gonzalo ("Eli Stone") star. The drama is planned as a "big event" to follow the Winter Olympics, Silverman said.
  • "100 Questions," a comedy about a young woman (Sophie Winkleman, "Peep Show"), looking for love with the help of an online dating site and counselor (Amir Talai, "The Ex List"). It's a traditional multicamera sitcom, a format that has dimmed in popularity in recent years, but which NBC believes in, Bromstad said.
  • "Community," a sitcom about community college misfits that brings Chevy Chase of "Saturday Night Live" fame back to TV. The cast includes Joel McHale ("The Soup"), Gillian Jacobs ("The Book of Daniel") and Yvette Nicole Brown ("Rules of Engagement").

Yet Another Woodstock Anniversary Concert

Some performers from the 1969 Woodstock concert are heading back for the 40th anniversary show this summer. On the bill for August 15 are The Levon Helm Band, Jefferson Starship, Big Brother and the Holding Co., Ten Years After, Canned Heat, Mountain, and Country Joe McDonald. Helm performed at the original Woodstock concert with The Band.

This summer's concert will be held at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Bethel. It was built on the site of the dairy farm trampled on by some 400,000 people on the weekend of August 15-17, 1969. It includes an amphitheater and a museum up the hill from the original stage. Let's hope it has wheelchair ramps -- for the concert-goers AND the performers.