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'30 Rock' first look: Liz and Jack talk puzzles and, er, positions -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

30 Rock‘s return next Thursday will be bittersweet. As the title of season 7’s premiere indicates, this is “The Beginning of the End” — the first episode of Tina Fey’s sitcom’s last season. At least we know that the show will hit the ground running: the premiere features Jack (Alec Baldwin) developing an “unusual business strategy” that seems to involve driving NBC into the ground, Jenna (Jane Krakowski) doing her best bridezilla impression, and Hazel (Kristen Schaal) and Kenneth (Jack McBrayer) inviting Tracy (Tracy Morgan) to a dinner party at the “condemned site of the Candy Man Murders” — a.k.a. their apartment.

But before the madness begins, Liz (Fey) and Jack have their annual short catching-up powwow. She tells him how she spent her hiatus — hint: it involves a lot of puzzles — and that she and Criss (James Marsden) are “trying.” He, of course, wastes no time making her feel uncomfortable. Get a first look at their quippy exchange below:


'SVU' Q&A: Showrunner Warren Leight teases a season of suspicion -- and a '50 Shades'-inspired ep

leaving, in a way, opened up a lot of new possibilities. The thing that you worry about most is the thing that often works in your favor.”

Heading into season 14, which premieres tonight. SVU has some momentum to maintain. Leight is confident that introducing some new faces (Paget Brewster, Adam Baldwin) and dynamics (key word: suspicion) will be just the trick. If the show’s performance as NBC’s highest-rated drama finale last season is any indication, he may be on to something. Read what Leight has in store for SVU‘s double-barrel opener below, plus see how a certain ultra-popular erotic novel makes its way onto the show. READ FULL STORY

ABC's 'The Middle': Five things to look forward to about the new season

In May, ABC’s The Middle ended with a wedding, when Rusty (Norm Macdonald) haphazardly got hitched at the Heck home. Frankie (Patricia Heaton) went out of her way to try to make the day nice, but — as tends to happen to the Hecks — everything went to crap. And that — yes, crap! — tends to be a theme for the family sitcom, which will find itself mired in quite a lot more of the stuff this coming season.

Tonight’s hour-long season premiere picks up during what series co-creator Eileen Heisler is “the Hecks’ long, crappy summer. It’s a summer episode because we thought about how you never really get to see that. Last year, we saw a teeny little bit of summer vacation, but this takes us through the whole summer. Frankie and [her husband] Mike [Neil Flynn] want their kids to have a summer like they had when they were kids, with all the joys of summer. They want them to have that so they have something pleasant to look back on later, when their lives are crappy.” See, more crap?

Besides that opening-episode crap, here’s a preview of five things to look forward to when the season starts up again tonight at 8 p.m.:


ABC's 'The Neighbors': The story behind fall's craziest new show

ABC’s The Neighbors concerns a family that moves into a community…full of human-looking aliens…who communicate via something called a Pupar…and cry green goo from their ears. Yep, you’re thinking: Did TV time-travel back to 1996, when “wacky” sitcoms (see: 3rd Rock From the Sun) were all the rage?

How’d the season’s oddest new comedy come to be? Looking for answers, we grilled everyone who helped bring The Neighbors (which debuts tonight at 9:30 p.m., before moving to 8:30 p.m. starting Oct. 3) to life to discover how this wild concept — Pupar and all — landed on Earth.

Inspired by his mother’s condo development, Cars screenwriter Dan Fogelman — alongside producer Chris Koch — shopped the alien-human idea My Fellow Zabrovians (as it was then titled) to the networks, and Fox bought it. But after the writers’ strike hit in November 2007, the show’s development languished — and died — before a pilot was produced.
DAN FOGELMAN: It was fun going around town pitching people and seeing who we could stun out of the room and who would take it. My pitch for the show was, “We’re going to do the first season of The Cosby Show.”
CHRIS KOCH: Sometimes it’s just the genre — aliens — that makes us a target.
FOGELMAN: Alien comedy is a genre of storytelling that’s only been done four times [successfully] on television in 50 years: ALF, Mork & Mindy, 3rd Rock From the Sun, and My Favorite Martian. To those who are quick to dismiss [The Neighbors], the only thing I say to them is, There are 15 alien movies that come out every summer. So what’s the problem?


'Supernatural' season 8: Dean and Sam reunite; Castiel's fate revealed (sort of) -- VIDEO

Something is off about Dean in this sneak peek from Supernatural‘s upcoming season 8 premiere. And it’s bone-chilling.

After spending a year in Purgatory “running for [his] life,” though, no one can blame him for being a little on edge. What’s important is that the brothers are back together — but it doesn’t look like Castiel will be joining them any time soon.

“Cas didn’t make it,” Dean reveals to Sam in the clip. “Something happened to him down there. Things got pretty hairy toward the end, and he just let go.”

So…Cas is dead!? Maybe. “I saw enough,” Dean says in a tense moment.

Watch it below:


'Once Upon a Time' season 2 premiere: Regina faces an angry mob -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

We’ve been waiting all summer to see what the arrival of Magic would mean for the residents of Storybrooke. Now, per this exclusive clip from the upcoming season premiere, we know it means trouble for at least one member of the town.

I may be alone in my sympathy for evil Regina, but I can’t help but feel bad as she realizes [Spoiler alert!] that all her powers are gone.

Watch as she learns this in front of an angry mob of townsfolk, and make sure to catch the season 2 premiere on Sept. 30 on ABC.

'Walking Dead' writer Robert Kirkman confirms New York Comic-Con plans


Walking Dead comic writer — and Walking Dead TV show executive producer — Robert Kirkman will participate in a string of panels and signing events during this year’s New York Comic-Con, which runs at the Javits Center, October 11-14.


The Risk Factor: Rating fall's new TV shows

Every new TV show is a gamble. That’s especially true in the crowded fall season, when the networks roll out an array of new shows. Many of them won’t make it to a second season – and even if they do, it takes years for a TV show to turn a profit. There are ways to mitigate the risk, of course. You cast a recognizable actor. You work with a successful producer – look, there’s Ryan Murphy doing his Ryan Murphy thing with The New Normal! And even in the modern era of DVR and downloading, a good timeslot is still essential. A solid concept also helps – especially if you’re a procedural on CBS, or a female-skewing soap on ABC.

Risk is hardly a bad thing. Some of the biggest crowd pleasers in network history were shows that were eccentric, unique, and overly complicated. Lost was an expensive sci-fi show with an unknown cast headlined by the guy from Party of Five, produced by J.J. Abrams in the days when his brand of serialization was critically acclaimed but commercially unproven. CSI was a crime thriller focused on the geeks in the lab created by then-newcomer Anthony Zuiker, slotted halfheartedly into the schedule on Friday at 9:00. And Glee was a prime-time musical, a genre that was widely considered ratings kryptonite. Notice how nobody ever mentions Cop Rock anymore? (Just for fun, we ran a retroactive Risk Factor on those previous risks-turned-megahit shows. Click here to check it out.)

To kick off this fall TV seasion, we’ve determined the Risk Factor of all 21 new network offerings. We assessed each project by five criteria —  The Pitch (how it fits in within the network’s typical framework), The Stars (who leads the cast), The Team (the creators and showrunners behind the project), The Time (where it falls on the schedule) and Ken’s Risk Rating (EW critic Ken Tucker’s assessment of the quality of each show’s pilot — a determination of high quality translates to a low risk factor rating and vice versa). We assigned a rating of 1 to 5 in each category — with 1 being the least risky and 5 being the most risky. (Click here for an expanded explanation of our terms.) Check out how each new show rates on our scale, below!

Click to enlarge!


'Revolution': J.J. Abrams, Jon Favreau on why a future without power is 'wish-fulfillment,' not apocalypse now

Ask J.J. Abrams to describe his new television series Revolution and the super-producer behind Alias, Lost and Person of Interest will tell you that the epic drama is a prime time Lord of The Rings. “A quest story,” he says, “set in a world as medieval as it is modern.” He’ll tell you that the sci-fi tinged fantasy — created by Eric Kripke (Supernatural) and exec produced by Iron Man’s Jon Favreau (who directed the pilot) — is “Star Wars-ian” in nature, with reluctant heroes poured from the Luke Skywalker and Han Solo molds, struggling and scrapping toward the new hope of a better tomorrow. In fact, he’ll tell you that this high-concept drama – set 15 years after a mysterious planetary event caused all forms of electrical energy clicked off, perhaps permanently – has many things in common with many other memorable stories past and present, including Game of Thrones, yet aspires to be unique — “a hyper-real fantasy world you’ve never seen before.”


Elizabeth Mitchell talks about a 'Revolution'

Lost fans, Juliet Burke is back. Or at least a J.J. Abrams-Elizabeth Mitchell collaboration is on the air again.

Mitchell has reunited with the Lost mastermind for Revolution, an NBC event series that Abrams is executive producing. The show, which comes from Supernatural creator Eric Kripke, takes place 15 years after all sources of electrical power have ceased working — no light bulbs, no batteries, no cars, none of that. Mitchell plays Rachel Matheson, the mother of the family at the heart of Revolution. In the 15-years-post-blackout time when most of the show takes place, (SPOILER ALERT!) Rachel is dead — or at least her family thinks she is — but the actress will appear in several episodes during scenes that flash back to the first days of the blackout.

Mitchell took on the role this summer, replacing Rescue Me actress Andrea Roth who was in the original pilot. Ahead of Monday’s on-air premiere of Revolution (it was released online last week, so watch it here), EW talked with Mitchell about starting a new show via reshoots, working with costars like Tim Guinee and how the show has gotten her thinking about her chances in a post-apocalyptic world.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: When you sign up for another J.J. Abrams-produced, high-concept show, is there a point when you think, “What have I gotten myself into?”
ELIZABETH MITCHELL: Oh, sure. I do that all the time on every project though. I had watched the pilot with Andrea in it, and I thought that it was extraordinary, so when Eric called me, I was really excited. I was like, “Everybody’s okay? Everything’s good? It’s just a different direction? Yes? Okay, awesome.” READ FULL STORY

'Walking Dead' season 3 teaser: Such nice splatter -- VIDEO

AMC has released another quick tease for The Walking Dead‘s third season premiere (Oct. 14). Watch it below. Thanks, Bloody Disgusting. Nothing like some quality splatter in the morning. READ FULL STORY

'Glee' season premiere post-mortem: Cast gives scoop on what's next!

WARNING: If you haven’t watched the season premiere of Glee, the info below will spoil some major plot points.

Now that you’ve presumably seen the season premiere of Glee, you now know that all those warnings about big changes this year were not to be taken lightly. You also got a better idea of what co-creator Brad Falchuk meant when he said they were going to “challenge every relationship” this season.

So what comes next for everyone? Will Brody make a move on Rachel? Will Mike and Tina ever rekindle their romance? Where are some of our old faves? Read on for some answers. READ FULL STORY

'Boardwalk Empire': Watch clips from season premiere -- VIDEO

The third season of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire (finally!) premieres on Sunday and we’ve got some clips to whet your appetite. In the opener, Nucky (Steve Buscemi) and Margaret (Kelly Macdonald) make some unrealistic New Year’s resolutions, and Gyp’s (Bobby Cannavale) mission to take control of the Boardwalk is most ambitious of all — especially now that Jimmy (Michael Pitt) is out of the picture.


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