TVision: A-list cameos for ‘Entourage’ premiere

Monday, July 6, 2009 at 12:00am
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When 'Entourage' premieres Sunday night, you'll find Vinny, Ari and the boys, plus the famous faces of Zac Efron, Tom Brady, Jay Leno and more!

A sign of the popularity that HBO’s Entourage still enjoys among the Hollywood crowd can be seen in the crowded list of people eager to make cameo appearance. When it returns Sunday night at 9:30 p.m. for its sixth season, Zac Efron, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, Jay Leno, and William Fichtner are among scheduled guest stars. HBO also just issued the fifth season on a DVD boxed set.

‘Big Brother’ begins 11th season
It’s been around longer than American Idol, Dancing with the Stars or The Biggest Loser, and now even has a late-night companion program on Showtime.

When Big Brother kicks things off again Thursday at 7 p.m on WTVF-5, it will mark the 11th season for the show, making it one of CBS’ most successful reality ventures, though it lacks either the prestige (and awards) of The Amazing Race or the publicity pull of Survivor.

But the show has gotten some renewed attention lately, mainly due to a rumor that longtime host CBS news anchor Julie Chen was leaving to take maternity leave. Chen squashed that notion last week, telling TV Guide she was staying with the program through her pregnancy. As before, 13 households will “compete” for a $500,000 cash price.

CBS will be airing Big Brother three times a week this run. Besides the Thursdays at 7 p.m. episode, additional segments will be presented at 7 p.m. on Sundays and 8 p.m. on Tuesdays. Big Brother After Dark also airs late night through the week on various Showtime channels.

New Sci-Fi shows debut
The Sci-Fi channel has found itself eclipsed this summer, as TNT, USA and even TBS have stolen much of the thunder regarding scripted programs on cable and satellite. But they’re now going to enter the arena with the launch of a new show and the return of a channel favorite.

Warehouse 13 launches Tuesday at 8 p.m., and it will use the genre’s longtime reliance on conspiracy theories and alien encounters as the program’s thematic foundation. The show highlights adventures inside a top-secret storage facility in the Badlands called Warehouse 13. There are many things hidden inside, most of them never designed to get out and all of them hidden from the public.

A quirky caretaker (Saul Rubinek) is in charge of the warehouse and he also works with the inevitable government agents Pete Lattimer (Eddie McClintock) and Myka Bering (Joanne Kelly). But this is far from the “us against them” ethos of The X-Files or the gritty drama that made Battlestar Galactica such a treat. It’s high concept comedy, with a sci-fi bent, and the two-hour pilot establishes the ground rules and sets the stage for future episodes.

Eureka, the program that takes the eccentric geniuses run amuck theme of The Big Bang Theory and turns it into a dramatic convention, returns Friday at 8 p.m. with the last 10 episodes of its third season. One change announced by the producers will be an outside threat that forces everyone to work together, including now fired sheriff Carter (Colin Ferguson) and visiting scientist Tess Fontana (Jaime Ray Newman). There’s also a pregnancy that leads to some other odd developments and the beginning of a potentially heated relationship between Carter and Fontana.

As with Warehouse 13, the mood and tone here is mostly light, with the intention to lure both the usual sci-fi fans and others who enjoy comedy with a bit different thematic direction.

‘Harper’s Island’ concludes

What looked like a novel idea on paper didn’t work out so well once they began airing it. Now Harper's Island, the CBS show that featured a new character being killed each week and sought to hook viewers on figuring out who was the murderer ends Saturday night at 8 p.m. on WTVF-5. For the handful of people still watching it, one of the least gracious and likable people still alive bites the dust in the finale.