News Briefs: Food Network Sticks a Fork in Paula Deen for Her Use of Racial Slurs


TWO DAYS' WORTH OF BUSINESS TIME BECAUSE TIM'S ON VACATION:

... Food Network has thrown Paula Deen down its garbage disposal. The butter-peddling celebrity chef has been in hot water all week after admitting to using racial slurs and discussing her desire to have black waitstaff dress up as slaves during a court deposition. The situation boiled over this morning after Deen abruptly canceled an appearance on The Today Show, where she was scheduled to address the scandal; soon afterward, she cooked up a videotaped statement to beg forgiveness "for the wrong that I've done," then decided it didn't taste right, took it down, and prepared a different clip, which I've embedded above. But that didn't stop the Food Network from sending Deen back to the kitchen and announcing that it will not renew her contract when it expires at the end of this month. [Variety]

... Hell on Wheels has shut down production due to heavy rains and flooding in Calgary, Canada, where the series is currently filming. The city's entire downtown area has been evacuated, and the cast and crew—who were in the middle of shooting Episode 306—are en route back to the U.S. a few days ahead of a previously scheduled hiatus. AMC has pushed the Season 3 premiere date back by one week, from Saturday, August 3 to Saturday, August 10. [Deadline / AMC via press release]

... Showtime is developing a comedy from Arrested Development's David Cross about a travel writer who "struggles to keep his families happy and satisfied." Yes, that's families plural... because apparently this guy is also trying to keep them from finding out about each other's existence. So... Lonestar, the sitcom? [Deadline]

... Comedy Central has ordered The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail, a TV-fied version of L.A.'s live stand-up comedy series The Meltdown starring Jonah Ray and Kumail Nanjiani. This one's special to TV.com, cause it's co-executive-produced by our own Emily V. Gordon. Congrats Emily! [Comedy Central via press release]

... Cinemax is developing a Hunted spinoff with writer Frank Spotnitz (The X-FilesStrike Back); Sam Hunter would star Melissa George in a reprise of her role as a spy on the run from her former employer. The project would launch as a four-hour miniseries and allow Cinemax to keep Hunted alive in some form without any help from the BBC, which co-produced the original incarnation of the show but didn't want to move forward with a second season. Admittedly, I never watched Hunted; was it good? Will you check out this spinoff? [Deadline]

... Syfy has announced its next Creature Feature, and the very idea of it stands to terrify Sharktopus himself: Sharknado will premiere Thursday, July 11 and star Ian Ziering (Beverly Hills, 90210), Cassie Scerbo (Make It or Break It), John Heard (Home Alone, Prison Break), and Tara Reid (The Big LebowskiAmerican Pie, tabloid/paparazzi photos) as a group of owners and regulars of a beachside bar who team up "to investigate the ecological nightmare that has sharks swimming through the streets of Los Angeles and falling from the skies." Can't wait! [Syfy via press release] 

... Also on the Syfy Original Movie docket is Blast Vegas, starring Malcolm in the Middle's Frankie Muniz as a dude who travels to Sin City with his frat brothers for spring break, and then they get themselves into trouble when one of them steals an ancient Egyptian relic from a casino and releases a nasty curse on the Strip. Look for it on Thursday, July 18. [Syfy via press release]

... Remember that pilot from a couple years ago, Locke & Key, that was based on the graphic novels of the same name? Ultimately it never really went anywhere as a show, but now it's going to be a movie instead. [THR]

... Discovery is launching Warlocks Rising, a reality show about The Warlocks, a "one percent motorcycle club" in Florida. According to the network, the term came out of a statement by the American Motorcycle Association claiming that 99 percent of all motorcycle clubs don't do anything illegal, implying that one percent are not. Some folks have likened the show to "a real-life Sons of Anarchy"; the series premiere is scheduled for Friday, July 5 at 9pm. [Discovery via press release]

... I am originally from Cleveland and I so I really don't have anything nice to say about the Miami Heat's win over the San Antonio Spurs in Game 7 of the NBA Finals. But you know who does have something nice to say? ABC! The game netted a 17.7 overnight rating in total viewers, the second highest for a pro basketball game in 11 years. [Variety]


COMIC-CON NEWS:

... ABC has announced which shows its bringing to Comic-Con, which oh geez starts in less than a month now so I guess I should perhaps buy a plane ticket soon. Anyway, the network will host panels for Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Friday, July 19), Once Upon a Time (Saturday, July 20), and Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (also Saturday, July 20). How many of you guys are going to Comic-Con, by the way? (Muderboy, JT_Kirk... who else?) Anyone wanna try and meet up with me and Tim for a drink? [ABC via press release]

... Starz has also announced a bit o' Comic-Con news: The network will be screening its new Michael Bay pirate drama Black Sails on Thursday, July 18. [Starz via press release]

... For its part, Warner Bros. TV—which has shows on multiple networks—is bringing 16 series to the 'Con in some fashion or another: Almost Human (Preview Night pilot screening and Friday panel), The 100 (Preview Night pilot screening and Friday panel), The Originals (Preview Night pilot screening and Saturday panel), The Tomorrow People (Preview Night pilot screening and Saturday panel), MAD (Thursday panel), The Big Bang Theory (Friday panel), Childrens Hospital (Friday panel), The Following (Friday panel), Nikita (Friday panel),  Arrow (Saturday panel), Person of Interest (Saturday panel), Revolution (Saturday panel), The Vampire Diaries (Saturday panel), Supernatural (Sunday panel), Beware the Batman (Sunday panel), Teen Titans Go! (Sunday panel) [Warner Bros. via press release]


JAMES GANDOLFINI NEWS:

... Sopranos actor James Gandolfini's cause of death has been confirmed by an autopsy: As expected, the 51-year-old's sudden death on Wednesday was due to a heart attack. [Variety

... To pay tribute to Gandolfini's life and career, Bravo will re-air his appearance on Inside the Actors Studio three times in the coming week: Sunday, June 23 at 6pm; Monday, June 24 at 10:30am; and Wednesday, June 26 at 6pm. The episode was originally broadcast in 2004. [Bravo via press release]

... Perhaps unsurprisingly, sales of The Sopranos have skyrocketed on iTunes and Amazon in the days following Gandolfini's death. [Variety]


CASTING NEWS:

... Revolution's Charlie has landed a gig that will hopefully offer a reprieve from getting stuck under debris/punched in the face: Tracy Spiridakos will appear in an upcoming episode of Showtime's Episodes as Dawn, a relative of Morning Randolph. [Zap2It]

... Parenthood hasn't seen the last of the always excellent Ray Romano; the actor will reprise his role as Sarah suitor Hank for 12-15 episodes in Season 5. [Deadline]

... Kirstie Alley's upcoming TVLand sitcom is really racking up a roster: Kristin Chenoweth, Kirsten Johnson, and Cloris Leachman will all drop by for guest spots. That's in addition to previously announced cameos by Seinfeld vets Jason Alexander and Michael Richards, who will also appear on the comedy. [TV Guide]

... The Good Wife's Zach Grenier has been upped to series regular for Season 5. [CBS TV Studios' Twitter]

... Psych will feature visits from Loretta Devine and Peggy Lipton in Season 8. Devine will play Melba Birdsong, a former backup singer for 1960s crooner Myles Valour Jr. who Lassie tracks down because he thinks she might be able to help with a cold case. Lipton will take on the role of Scarlett Jones, the former "main squeeze" of a gangster who owned a supper club where cops and criminals rubbed elbows and Myles Valour Jr. performed. [USA via press release]

... Homeland's Zuleikha Robinson—she plays Roya, the journalist and Abu Nazir sympathizer who acted as a liaison between Nazir and Brody in Season 2—has booked a multi-episode arc on USA Network's Covert Affairs as a defense attorney. [TVLine]

... Whoopi Goldberg will executive-produce and star in a Lifetime adaptation of the best-selling book A Day Late and a Dollar Short by Terry McMillan. Whoopi! [THR]

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I seriously doubt Paula Deen will be off television for long. If Dog the Bounty Hunter was eventually able to come back after the horrid stuff he said, then she definetely will.
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What strikes me as funny is that essentially, Ms Deen is being punished for TELLING the truth. As a Southern woman over the age of 60, I would have been very surprised if she hadn't used that word at one time in the past. Instead of perjuring herself, she told the truth.

In every show I have seen her in, she has never acted or spoken disrespectully to any of the other people on set with her. The same cannot be said for any number of the other personalities on the network. Having a waitstaff fit a theme is not an odd, unknown, or disrespectufl concept.

I think EVERYONE has used a rude word or term at some time in the past. It's what you do in the present that should count.

The chef from 'Dinner Impossible' fudged on his resume and was fired. He was brought back not to long afterwards. Odds are, Deen will have a new contract by the end of the year. If only because she produces so much content for the network.
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Firing Paula Deen had nothing to do with politics. It was a business decision. Paula has a right to do or say what she wants in public or in private, but when what she does or says makes the company look bad, they have a right to sever ties with her.

I'm black, and don't necessarily believe that she is racist, but if I'm a Food Network exec, I do not want the kind of publicity that this story is bringing. I don't care about whether Paula was right or wrong. I care about $$. It's not about politics. It's not about free speech. It's abot business. If your actions are bad for business, you have to go.
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The reporting on the Paula Dean story, including this brief, has been crappy. It almost sounds like her troubles are stemming from her admitting in a deposition to using the word "nigger." I've barely heard any mention of the circumstances under which she gave the deposition (a racial discrimination suit), and some comments I've heard on the situation almost sound like there are people in favor of prosecution on the basis of "thought crime." Did the Food Network not renew Dean's contract due to this controversy or was the network not likely to renew her show anyway, because what percentage of Dean's audience care about any of this or what the Twitterverse thinks?
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Ok but nobody is telling what provoked Paula Deen to explode.
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I've heard a lot of stuff about the Paula Deen thing so let me voice my opinion. I for one(being a black person) wasn't that offended or shocked that She used racial slurs. You'd be surprised at the number of people who do, whether in private, among their friends, or in their heads.
Now I d on't believe that using ignorant language makes you a racist or homophobe or anything, but it does make you ignorant and insensitive to other peoples's feelings. Words hurt, and as an adult, whether or not you like blacks, asians, latinos, muslims, christians, gay people, fat people, short people, people with mental defects, or any combination thereof, you should behave as an adult and just grow up and get over it already.
Business is business. Food Network fired Paula because they only see one color, and that's green. keeping her could have caused them to lose money if the advertisement agencies pulled their ads or viewers stopped watching their network. They didn't fire her because of some great moral high ground they were taking.

As for when it comes to people saying racist or sexist things about me, I believe in the "If it doesn't fit don't wear it" rule.
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I wouldn't know. My gentle, kind Mama threatened to wash my mouth out with soap if I used a certain term in her household and when I did it again just to be smart man she let me have it. You can bet I never used it again.
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Paula Deen racist? really? this lovely ol' butter lady from da South? Say it ain't so! SAY IT AIN'T SO!!! Oh well, I don't know what's worse about her, all the heart attack laden diabetes prone recipes she's promoted in her shows and books or the fact that she's a racist biatch.
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In case my earlier comment is too deep into the ranting silliness, I am down for a TV.com readers/editors drink meetup at SDCC.
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I will be expecting a full field report....
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Count me in, but I'm only there on Friday, and yeah, I drink...
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It's interesting that with Paula Deen's contract expiring at the end of the month, Food Network suddenly finds a reason to fire her. It's not like they could have fired her for being too old.
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There go my plans for the Paula Deen themepark, Butterland.

The Meltdown is such a pain in the ass sometimes, I love Kumail Nanjiani but holy crap does this show throw my comic shop into disarray every week, I'll forget and go to pick up mail and do some comics shopping (it's held at Meltdown Comics on Sunset blvd in Hollywood, hence the name) only to have the joint filled with people waiting to get into the show, or sitting in the show in the back making a ton of noise. I want my comic shops quiet and empty, just like my libraries and other place where young people avoid going, not busy and noisy, like my DMV offices.

I always thought "Frank Spotnitz" would have been a great character name on The X-Files.

Sharknado, this is why we can't have nice things.

Oh man, Agents of SHIELD is a Friday panel? Unless I get lucky and my cousin works security in hall H again this year, I doubt I'm getting into that panel, Friday is generally my busiest day. I expect you to do a thorough rehashing and illegal taping of the full panel content, Jen. ;-) And yes, I'm going to Comic-Con, would love to meet up with you guys for a drink!

Michael Bay - boo. Pirates - yay. Starz - oh, sad, I don't have them.

I thought WB was bringing 17 shows to SDCC, 10 returning and 7 new: The Following, Arrow, Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, Almost Human, The 100, Children's Hospital, Nikita, The Tomorrow People, The Originals, MAD, Big Bang Theory, The Paranormal and Extraterrestrial Squad (ugh, really, that's the title?), POI, Revolution, Beware the Batman, and Teen Titans Go. Are we not counting P.a.E.S. there because it's an online series, or because it sounds stupid? ;-)

Aww yeah, David Lee, Esq, is now a regular, that's good news, everyone! He's my favorite bastard-lite character on tv today.

Nice Psych guest casting, as usual.
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I don't get Cinemax so I never watched Hunter and even though I think it is a different actress I always thought of it as a Nikita spin off and so she was towing Michael's son along with her.
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I live in Europe so Comic-Con is just a dream for me, at least for now.
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There is a small Comic Con in Paris, France, during the Japan Expo. But as a European, I agree : I would love to go to the US for the big Comic Con ...
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A tornado of sharks? Seriously? I don't know why I find that so much more ridiculous than their usual half-this half-that Piranhaconda, Sharktopus, and Dinocroc vs. Supergator kind of movies.
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Because they've officially run out of dangerous animals to cross, so they're just going to dangerous weather patterns to cross with dangerous animals.
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Now that's funny!!!
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I dont know cant be a coincidence DEEN contract up at end of month and controversy starting now. I dont know if she can recover
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This is really absurd and sad. I always find it amusing that the supporters of the repressed often viciously repress those who do not share their political views.

Especially in the context of television, this reminds me of great commentary on "Unreal TV" on the more civilized political discourse in the '80s compared to now in the context of a review of the sitcom "Family Ties." The link is: http://classictvdvdreviews.blogspot.com/2013/03/family-ties-s6-all-in-family-meets.html
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The Locke & Key movie isn't really news. It was announced at the time of the rejection that it would be reworked as a movie. Unfortunately, since it's a pilot film, it's likely to be filled with exposition and have an open ending. But hopefully if it does well enough the network might just reconsider making it a series.

I suspect Blast Vegas will be a low budget films made to promote a casino, much like "Treasure Island The Adventure Begins...." And the title suggests it could end with one of the buildings being blown up.
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Paula Deen now is a has-been.................... excellent news, now some more chefs and perhaps we can get some scripted tv back in exchange.
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How do you get a scripted cooking show? Do you want a fictional series on Food network about a chef and his family or something?
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As with most politicians and celebrities who get rightfully blasted for their discriminatory remarks, I very much doubt she is actually sorry for her beliefs and how she has expressed them as she is sorry for being caught and wants to keep doing what she's doing. Absolutely disgusting.
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She seems like she'd be sorry she hurt people's feelings and disappointed people, but not actually sorry enough to work on the underlying problem.
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Exactly.
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Some great Comic-Con news, but alas, as usual I will spend the summer thinking "I should really go to Comic-Con next year' (but I live in Europe, so it will probably remain a dream). Even more tempting now there's a dinner drink invitation from Jen and Tim.
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Hunted was sweet I'll be looking forward the season 2. Now i want to fly to SD, but not to go to Comic Con(although that would be cool) I want to have a drink with Tim and Jen.
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I'm usually pretty good at avoiding shallow celebrity feuds, but this Paula Dean one has hit my radar 3 times now & is exceptionally ridiculous. 2 out of the 3 times has been in reference to Wendy Williams (Daytime talk show host) expressing outrage at Ms Dean's word use. What I take from what I've heard so far is that Ms Williams got wind of what Ms Dean said & is using manufactured outrage to bump her (Ms Williams') limelight level.

Ms Deans' verbage was neither directed at Ms Williams, nor said in this specific era, so if this isn't a ploy by Ms Williams for attention/ratings at the expense of Ms Deans' career, what else is it?

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So what exactly did she say?
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Idea: SharkNader, about Ralph Nader merging with a shark and going on a rampage through a seaside resort town. You can have that one for free, SyFy.
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I always liked the sound of Locke & Key and was disappointed when it wasn't picked up. Looking forward to the movie.
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I know that Paula Deen is suppose to make a guest appearance on Masterchef this season, so I'm wondering what Fox is going to do now. The episode is already in the can, the contestant from that episode was eliminated already so they can't go back and reshoot it. And they can't not air the episode if they want the regualr viewers to keep watching.
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Obviously, they will include it with at worst a caveat about how morally outraged they are about her subsequent actions.
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I never liked Deen, but the transcripts appear to have been taken way out of context. I'd say the only real reason she deserves to be in trouble is that she admitted knowing her brother was harassing employees and did nothing about it. The wedding comments were actually fine compared to how they were stitched together. As for using a racial slur, who the hell hasn't in private? Foul language has a soothing or calming affect on pain or anger and the worst ones soothe the most. She probably shouldn't have put up with the crappy line of questioning though, or when they asked her if she ever used the "N Word" she should of told them "Yeah, while reading Tom Sawyer to my grandchildren."
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I do like Paula Deen but I do agree with your comment. She told the truth and now has lost her job because of it. Oh what a perfect world we live in....NOT
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This PC issue will go the same way as the question of whether someone smoked pot in the 70's. Conservatively 80% did but only 10% admitted to it in the late 90's/2000's due to the consequences. I would love to have someone corner that hypocritically self-righteous Matt Lauer and ask him the question.
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And I think she was talking about being held up at a bank? And then referred to the criminal who was black with the "n" word later on? I heard that unless she talked about using it more. But true, the brother story harassing employees is the big story to get her and her bro into trouble. Although the "n" word should not be used I don't think she said it to an innocent little girl, haha.
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I love the *idea* of going to Comic Con. However, I think the reality would be an ohmygodWAYtoomanypeoplepanicattack.
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It's the best fun, just need to have a guide to help you navigate what to focus on. The exhibit hall is a lot of people as is Hall H where all the mega-huge panels are, but largely everything else is calm and fun, if you focus on what YOU like then it's easier to handle. That said, the way the Comic Con International non-profit board is bungling ticketing, you won't be able to go either way. :-(
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I agree but to know even in a crowd that my eyes would physically be seeing Nina Dobrev, it'd be worth it, haha. And that's assuming she's there but I'd think so being the main star of TVD.
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Congrats to Kumail Nanjiani, a hilariously deadpan comic whose talents deserve to be seen by a much wider audience.
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There's good and bad from SyFy but I do appreciate the channel, shows original, imported or rerun. *Every* channel has issues that upset us and letting them know is feedback they should hear, but for those whose tone questions why SyFy even exists, I see them as ingrates. I'm glad SyFy provides viewing options, some that we wouldn't see anywhere else. Personally, I'm probably not going to see Creature Features but would love to see TV.com's recaps or screen captures.
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What's been good on Siffy since Alphas was canceled?
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Haven, duh
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Sweet cream on an ice cream sammich...SHARKNADO?!?!
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Carnitas and barbacoa tacos with a side of avocado salsa... Sharknado!
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Don't bother with Hunted; it had more holes in the plot than a colander and the most interesting thing about it was Melissa George's co-star, namely, her pout!
Paula Deen's comments make solid that she has the box set dvds of The Black & White Minstrels on repeat 24/7 as both party and sleep aids. Ah those, not so far away or pleasant, good ol' days, y'all. The only way she's coming back is if she duets on another successful project of LL Cool J's. Oh. half a mo...
But then Deen is obviously banking on enough of the average citizens to go, "Oh yeah, she's just some ol Southern gal and we should give her a pass because at the heart of it, you know she's as thick as shit"!
In all seriousness; it will be interesting to see if she does recover from this, as recent years have seen actors kill their careers over exposed racial and/or gay slurs.
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Yes. YEEEES. SyFy's mediocrity sustains me.

Paula Deen totally made her own bed on this one; who the hell dodges THAT many opportunities to apologize? She doesn't even look fast enough to dodge that quickly. (Maybe if she put a little less butter on it)

Lovely. So Mr. Gandolfini's the new Amy Winehouse or Whitney Houston. I'd love to see a swath of girls on facebook herald him as their hero; they could do worse.

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I'll watch the Hunted show.. but I won't call it a spinoff because it's basically the same show, they just can't use the title Hunted since BBC owns the title lol
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I virtually grown out of any interest in david cross. first it was that IFC show where he played an idiot and the dude from the inbetweeners UK played a douche. and then him on arrested development this season left a lot to be desired. and then there were the chipmunk movies and him being one of the least interesting parts of running wilde. like the guy but don't know that I'd really care to see him in anythign anymore.

not fair your rubbing your attendance to comic-con the face of someone who's lived in southern california for 29 years and never been. so many of those items set to take place sound awesome. would love to see jennifer morrison in person for instance. the show screenings too.

will look forward to seeing whether tracy spiridakos has range and it's just revolution that would lead you to believe otherwise or if she is just better suited for a show like revolution.

don't recall where I knew zuleikha robinson from prior to homeland but she's hot and look forward to seeing her on covert affairs!
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Wait What? Other people have to stop talking about the cool opportunities they have just because you suck? 29 years of being within driving distance and you don't go, the only reason I'm not there every year is its a long plane flight from Hawaii just to get into the area not including the hassle of finding a place to stay.
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go fuck yourself douchebag. it was obvious (to others) it was meant in jest. fucking idiot.
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Someone seem a little touchy on the subject. might i suggest some Comic-con tickets. They might cheer you up.
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Aww, sorry, didn't mean it like that! Look at it this way: You don't have to stand in any lines for hours and hours to possibly still not see the people/panels you want to see.
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The story of my visit to the Bob's Burgers panel. :-( Who puts a Fox show in a room that seats only 200 people?!? Then again, same room didn't get filled despite having Adam West, Burt Ward, and Julie Newmar on the panel stage.

Anyway, yeah, it sounds cool and fun because it is, but it also is wicked expensive and crowded and hot and you stand for hours and there's tons of counter-programming (multiple panels at the same time that have the same audience appeal) and even the occasional cancellation, not to mention the miserable hate-filled stress of trying to get tickets. Not everyone can hack it, so it's not unfair either.
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If you ever watched The Lone Gunmen, the short-lived spinoff of The X-Files, you might remember Zuleikha Robinson as the enigmatic Yves Adele Harlow (an anagram of Lee Harvey Oswald, by the way).
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She was good in that too.
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I remember her from the last season of Rome.
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a lack of proof-reading for the loss. also almost misspelled proof just now.
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I'm pretty sure Mr. Cross hates himself more than you do:

http://www.amazon.com/I-Drink-Reason-David-Cross/dp/B0046LUJFA/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1371869385&sr=1-1&keywords=david+cross
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but dude is with amber tamblyn which is crazy and I know I could make myself happy if I were with her. maybe he should quit drinking, I know I'm i've been doing much better since I stopped.
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I'm sure he has a few hairy reasons to justify it:

http://movieline.com/2011/12/16/david-cross-calls-alvin-and-the-chipmunks-chip-wrecked-an-awful-unpleasant-experience/
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Isn't Locke and Key from Stephen King's son? GENES.
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