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Here are some highlights of the spring's new shows and returning hits that should be on your radar!

DOLLHOUSE – Friday nights at  9 et/pt on Fox

A covert organization uses technology to implant their actives with a personality suited to each mission. They can wipe the active clean when they're done. As Echo, the lead active, Eliza Dushku gets to play a completely different character each week. Sometimes she kicks butt, sometimes she's vulnerable, but who has the right to decide what personality she should have?

Eliza Dushku says, "Without over simplifying it too much, I’d say it’s sort of about not the search for one’s true identity, but it’s about sort of identifying what makes us who we are- our thoughts and our surroundings and what happens when you start to allow other people or a big corporation or a mass of people [to change them]. I think objectification is a huge theme of the show and just sort of how and why we are authentic individuals. I guess I’m now getting so philosophical, it’s just getting so big in my head, but just what it means to be an individual and to have that toyed with or to have that taken from you and what that means and how we come out and how strong our sense of self is at the end of the day, no matter up against what, any kind of technology or any kind of tampering, makes us who we are."

LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON – Weeknights at 12:30 et/pt on NBC

Jimmy Fallon inherits Conan O'Brien's after hours comedy show, bringing an internet-inspired take to his sketches and interviews.

Jimmy Fallon says: "I know what it's like to be on the other side of a talk show, so I know sometimes as a celebrity you come on the show and you have a terrible story and nothing to talk about, talking about a summer vacation, or something that's just boring. It's up to the host to make you look good. I think that my goal is to make you look good when you come on my show."

THE NO. 1 LADIES DETECTIVE AGENCY – Sundays at 8 et/pt on HBO

Precious Ramotswe (singer Jill Scott) opens a detective agency in Botswana, solving cases of adultery, kidnapping, fraud and more. Based on the series of novels by Alexander McCall Smith, the ladies keep things fun while they investigate serious issues facing Africa.

Jill Scott says: "I didn't get it completely until I got to Botswana and I looked around and I saw people that looked like me and I saw my cousins and saw all my girlfriends and saw all these faces.There was such a gentle nature to the people that I understood why Mma Precious Ramotswe was so kind and so gentle and so loving and why she wants the best for her country. Botswana was never tainted or touched by apartheid so that makes the country and the people very strong and very warm towards each other. They don't have ugliness. They just don't have it."

NURSE JACKIE – Coming soon to Showtime

The Sopranos' Edie Falco returns to television as a New York City nurse. She's having an affair with a doctor and she's addicted to drugs, but she handles emergency situations before senior staff get there. Her actions and choices might be controversial, like when she enforces her own brand of justice by destroying a rapist patient's severed ear, but she gets things done.

Edie Falco says, "I have great admiration for people who are sort of volitional in that way. They're going to get done what they have to get done no matter what it takes and don’t care so much about what other people think of them and are not all that concerned with the rules. I just think it's fascinating and I think they are heroes in their own right. I myself am so different from that so I really welcomed the opportunity to see what it felt like to just be that ballistic."

OSBOURNES RELOADED – Tuesday nights at 9 et/pt on Fox

The first family of heavy metal and reality TV reunite for a variety show. They'll make grandmas strip, children swear, Ozzy work fast food and more.

Ozzy Osbourne says, "These reality shows are easy, and we thought everything else in the television world was easy until we did a show and did our business. We just liked having a 9 to 5 job and the extra hours. We never stopped doing TV, but it's been an experience, and I'm willing to try anything once. I think people are going to be well surprised. I hope they are. We've got a very disturbed, dysfunctional family doing a very dysfunctional show."

PARKS AND RECREATION – Thursday nights at 8:30 et/pt on NBC

Leslie Knope is trying to turn the local landfill into a beautiful park. The ineffective bureaucracy of local government, apathetic co-workers and a disinterested public will give her comic humiliations every week. A comedy from the producers of the American The Office, this is a vehicle for Amy Poehler to star as Leslie.

Amy Poehler says, "Most comedies, the lead character suffers from being not very self-aware. Leslie is an optimist, and she's really ambitious, and she's really kind of hoping that the place she is now is not the place she's going to stay. So she's kind of struggling to find her way in a 'man's world,' to try to make her mark, and along the way, she's deluded. I was excited about the idea of being able to turn the volume down a little bit and sit with a character for a while. SNL is an amazing place to work, but the ideas and scenes and characters were very transient, and I was very excited about the idea of working with these guys who are the best at what they do and really being able to be a real character for a while."

RESCUE ME – FX's firefighter drama returns for a fifth season.

Tommy (Denis Leary) faces his ex-wife's latest new boyfriend, a paraplegic played by Michael J. Fox. Also, a reporter working on a 9/11 10th Anniversary book solicits the firehouse for contributions, drumming up even more old wounds.

Denis Leary says, "What happens on the show is somebody is doing a big book like that and has to come to gather information. We thought, boy, in real life that would just be such a dagger for these guys. I mean, they've really been trying to get over it. That's what the show's about. In Tommy's case, I think, as well, they kind of think they had forgotten it for a month or two or a few weeks. So if this person comes around and starts asking questions, man, that would be, for all these guys, such a thing that they want to participate in and, at the same time, not want to be.  Like, they want to make sure they get their point across, so they don't want to be excluded from it. It's like a moth-to-the-flame kind of thing."

THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH CONAN O'BRIEN – Weeknights at 11:30 et/pt on NBC

Conan O'Brien inherits the throne from Jay Leno, bringing his brand of comedy to interviews and sketches an hour earlier.

Conan O'Brien says, "I want to make sure that I don't over-think it. Television's changing drastically, and I want to make sure that my show isn't too buttoned up, and that I don't have this feeling of, well, it's The Tonight Show now, and so I'm going to completely change everything about myself. I think I will make changes day-in and day-out, tiny little ones or adjustments that I feel are appropriate. But I think the show just has to be funny. I think if I'm relaxed and funny and I'm in an environment and our writers are hitting on all cylinders, I think it's going to be a good show and a worthy Tonight Show."

THE TUDORS – Sunday nights at 9 et/pt on Showtime

The biography of King Henry VIII (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers) continues in a third season. This year, Henry takes his fourth wife (of six), Anne of Cleves, played by singer Joss Stone.

Joss Stone says, "The whole thing was a little bit different and a little bit worrying because I’m not used to doing it. I’m not confident with acting. You get more confident as you go, but I can’t stand here and tell you that I know how to act. That would be a big, fat lie. I have no idea. I really don’t. And I don’t really know how to sing. I honestly don’t. I just make it up as I go along, and see how it pans out."

THE UNUSUALS – Wednesday nights at 10 et/pt on ABC

A cop show centering around the cases of unusual crimes, investigated by unusual cops. There's a former vice detective (Amber Tamblyn) who finds herself chasing guys in hot dog suits. There's a cop (Adam Goldberg) with a tumor trying to get killed in the line of duty. His partner (Harold Perrineau) is obsessed with safety because all of the men in his family died at 42. It goes on from there.

Amber Tamblyn says, "In the same vein that Joan of Arcadia was a drama that had a lot of humor to it, this show has a taste of that with a harder edge and the humor in it is very unique. We’re going to coin actual terms for things that are really funny and unique about precincts and cops, and the things cops find, everything from prostitutes to people who dress up in hot dog costumes. It’s really, really a character-driven show. That’s the best part about it, for me. The procedural part is the secondary aspect. The cases are secondary to actually knowing about the characters and trying to figure out the characters’ pasts, their secrets and the things that they’re hiding. It’s more about the people." / Issue 95 - September 2018
Turnpage Blk

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