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maandag 9 januari 2012

'Once Upon a Time': Because good is dumb

'Once Upon a Time': Because good is dumb

This week on "Once Upon a Time," people seem to have moved on fairly quickly from Sheriff Graham's untimely demise.

Fairytale Land

Rumpelstiltskin, before he's who we all know and love, was a peasant farmer and the town coward. The Duke's men take his son Balthar to fight in the Ogre war. An old man approaches Rumpel to steal the dagger the Duke is using to enthrall the "dark one," which will help him keep his son safe. The old man says there is a name written on the dagger - the true name of the "dark one."

So Rumpel and his son set the Duke's castle on fire and Rumpel steals the dagger. He conjurs and takes control of the "dark one," then stabs him with the dagger and discovers it is now his name (Rumpelstiltskin) written on the dagger.

Rumpel is now the "dark one" and stands up to the Duke's guards when they come back for his son. But when he kills them all, it completely horrifies and frightens his son.


The Mayor is promoting Sidney Glass from the Daily Mirror to the Sheriff's position over Emma, who should get the automatic promotion since she's the deputy. So Mr. Gold backs Emma to run against Sidney in an election.

In the election, it comes out that Emma gave birth to Henry in jail, which Regina leaked to Sidney for the paper. But while Emma and Regina are arguing about their opposing sides, a fire breaks out at City Hall. Emma saves the Mayor and confronts Mr. Gold about setting the fire. He needed her to be the hero in order to win the election.

Prior to the debate, Mary Margaret runs into David and they're adorable. And that's all we see of them this week. At the debate, Sidney is parroting all the Mayor told him to say, which is predictably a lot of mishmash (not unlike real-life debates). Emma goes for honesty about her troubled past and the fire being a set up. She comes totally clean.

After the debate, Henry is proud of Emma and vows not to give up on Operation Cobra. Then the Mayor comes in to announce that Emma won. And to scarily congratulate Emma on making an enemy of Mr. Gold.

Mr. Gold eventually comes to the Sheriff's office and we find out his plan all along was that Emma would rat him out and win over the town. He played her like a fiddle, and now he's salivating about her repaying the favor she owes him. Nice twist.

Thoughts & Tidbits

I love how the gist of the episode is "evil will always triumph over good because good is dumb." (Not exactly, but it's a fun "Spaceballs" quote). But it's a good theme - good won't fight as dirty as evil.

Was it weird for anyone else how easily Sheriff Graham's death was glossed over? We thought that would have more gravitas than it did.

It's interesting that Rumpel took over being the "dark one," I hope they explore that further in another episode, especially because Robert Carlyle is so great as Rumpel.

The smile on Lana Parrilla's face when she told Emma Mr. Gold makes a superlative enemy was terrifying, no? Could freeze fire.

'Glee's' Jayma Mays: Emma 'Wants to Get Married'

'Glee's' Jayma Mays: Emma 'Wants to Get Married'

The actress tells THR that the marriage proposal featured in the upcoming "Yes/No" episode won't be a smooth or traditional one and that Emma's parents will return.

When Glee returns Jan. 17, Jayma Mays' OCD guidance counselor Emma Pillsbury will be on the verge of receiving her third marriage proposal, but this time it's from the guy she's had eyes for since Day 1: Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison).

While the duo's path to becoming a couple wasn't an easy one -- Emma even tied the knot and split from her quickie marriage to John Stamos' Dr. Carl -- Mays tells that the impending proposal won't either be a traditional or a smooth one for the two "love-lost creatures," but ultimately "they're moving in good direction."

The episode was originally titled "The Proposal." What was your reaction when you got the script?
Jayma Mays: I felt like [the writers have] been hinting at the idea of a proposal coming soon or Will and Emma moving a bit farther in the relationship. I got excited. I knew they'd been planning something for a while, so I knew it would be something kind of spectacular when it happened. I was really, really excited.

With the episode now called "Yes/No," will it be smooth sailing for Will and Emma?
Mays: Things can never be easy, can they? During Season 1, [Glee co-creator] Ryan Murphy said when people were like, "Are Will and Emma going to get together?" he said quite a few times that it's our job as writers to keep them apart. I feel like you kind of have to keep that tension going, right? Like, are they or aren't they? So, with the "Yes/No" title to the script, I think that goes along with what he's been saying from the beginning: That you kind of have to keep people hanging in the balance with what's going to happen with these characters. I think ultimately, they're moving in a good direction.

Will the proposal be a traditional one?
Mays: There's nothing traditional about this proposal whatsoever. I think it's one of the most spectacular proposals I've ever seen written. It's really fitting for the characters. Knowing that people have wanted this proposal to happen for a long time, I think they'll be really happy with it.

Will it take place in this episode?
Mays: There's definitely talk of a proposal.

What role will the New Directions kids play in the grand proposal?
Mays: The New Directions are always going to be a part of Will and Emma's life. People are speculating that they could be a part of the proposal and it's not incorrect for people to speculate that the kids would also be involved in that. That's such a big part of Will's life and subsequently Emma's life as well; they're like family.

In the teasers, Emma has this wonderful dream/fantasy sequence where she sings her proposal to Will. Who will ultimately pop the question?
Mays: Emma's a bit more on the traditional side of things and would want Will to propose to her. But in the clips, you can tell that Emma is so kind of wrapped up in this notion of wanting to get married that she's almost been pushed to the point of asking Will herself; she wants to get married.

Will Emma's expectations and OCD factor into the proposal?
Mays: I definitely think that's going to be a big factor in not only the proposal but I'm sure it's a big factor in Will wondering how he should propose and what marriage is going to be like with Emma's issues. In the end of Season 2, it was dealt with as more of an issue: She's really been struggling with this problem that she's had for a really long time. Not only is it something to think about -- how is he going to propose? Is it going to be clean? -- but it's also something that is dealt with in a more serious way of how is this going to affect their marriage? What is like going to be like together if you're still having so much trouble with your OCD? It's kind of a twofold thing in this episode.

How will Emma respond to the proposal? How is Will going to respond once the question is out there?
Mays: There is that question of yes or no for both of them moving forward. It's that game that you play with one person feeling like, "Yes, yes, yes!" while the other one's like, "I'm not sure." Then the other is, "Yes, yes, yes!" while the other is, "I'm not sure." That's a running theme throughout this episode. I think all that leading up to the proposal leaves you hanging for a second. If the question is asked, once it's asked, what's the answer going to be? Is it going to be yes or no? I love that tension they've created because if you know what someone's going to say straightaway it takes some of the excitement out of it.

Will both Will and Emma have reservations?
Mays: There's a little bit of that for both of them because it does create this tension. Is he going to propose? Is she going to propose? Would he say yes? Would she say yes? Is it leaning more toward a yes or no? Are things going rocky again? Is she going to run off with another dentist? (Laughs.) The tension they create makes it really interesting for people to watch. I think they've done a good job of that in this episode in particular. It's never easy.

Will the question of Emma's virginity come up in this episode at all?
Mays: We don't really touch on the virginity thing in this episode. Maybe that's because she's so virtuous in thinking of moving into a wedding. They're just focusing on these two love-lost creatures that should be together.

Has this been a quick trip to the altar for Will and Emma? Is this too soon to be talking marriage for this couple, considering that they still have all these issues?
Mays: I know things have happened quickly in the past with Emma getting married and she was engaged and all these things. But I think all those things happened because she's been madly in love with one person and felt like she couldn't have him. But no, I don't think it's too soon. It's Season 3 and we're assuming that that's been three years that they've known each other and possibly been in love with each other that long. If anything, I think people could have expected them to be married in Season 1 and that wouldn't have felt too soon either.

Considering Emma's "ginger supremacist" parents didn't take too kindly to Will, how will they handle news of a potential engagement? Will we see them again?
Mays: Yes, we'll see them again. They'll stick to the idea that they weren't extremely happy on meeting Will the first time because he wasn't a ginger and because he stood up for me. So, I wouldn't suspect that they would take too happily to the news.

Assuming Emma and Will decide to take that next step, who is Emma's go-to person to share the news?
Mays: Coach Beiste (Dot Marie Jones). They have become very close friends at school. It's funny, you kind of picture Emma as a little bit of a loner -- that all she does is clean all day long and make pamphlets for her students. But I think probably her closest confidant would be Coach Beiste.

Could Coach Beiste end up as a maid of honor or a bridesmaid?
Mays: I think that's possible. She's definitely a part of this fantasy, as is Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) for some reason. Even though she's kind of been the nemesis to Will and Emma. In Emma's fantasy everyone's on her side.

Could a wedding take place this season?
Mays: Oh gosh, that I don't know. I haven't a clue. I think it would be fun to see a wedding this season. Maybe it's more fun to draw this part of the relationship out a little longer.

Where do you see things going next for Will and Emma?
Mays: Emma is definitely looking forward to having a family, I think perhaps even Will. There have been hints this season of Emma maybe wanting to start a family soon. I think it's not only the idea of getting married but having a family that she's been hinting toward. I wouldn't be surprised if maybe that's where they took those characters next. But I also wouldn't be surprised if they moved them in a completely opposite direction as well.

Helen Mirren also guest stars in the episode as someone's internal voice in the episode. Is it Emma?
Mays: (Laughs) I wish she played my voice! I wish that someone would think that I could speak that eloquently. But no, she doesn't play Emma's voice.

'Apprentice' Contestants Agree to Split $1 Million Prize, End Up In Court

'Apprentice' Contestants Agree to Split $1 Million Prize, End Up In Court

A dispute breaks out on the Dubai version of 'The Apprentice' over the ultimate double-cross.

Ever wonder whether a reality show that features a high-stakes contest and lots of back-stabbing could ever instigate a lawsuit?

Look no further than the Dubai version of The Apprentice, where two contestants reached an agreement with each other to split $1 million in prize money and embark together on a business partnership. Bad idea.

In the aftermath of her participation on the show, Hannah Dodkin, a London woman, is suing Richard Best, a California citizen.

In 2008, Best became a finalist on the show (which may or may not be an authorized version of the NBC show). Earlier in the season, Dodkin was eliminated by the show's "Donald Trump" named Sulaiman Al Fahim, but was brought back along with another contestant in the final episode.

Then, according to Dodkin's complaint filed Tuesday in California federal court, Fahim informed the contestants to "go after the money and get the finalists to do your business plan, not their own."

Dodkin and Best not only agreed to work with other, but allegedly they drafted and signed a contract to share the winning prize 50/50.

But then, behind Dodkin's back, Fahim supposedly gave Best 10 percent of the prize money with the caveat that the money be donated to one of Fahim's charities. Later, Fahim crowned Best the winner of the full $1 million prize, but the winner refused to share the money with Dodkin.

Dodkin is now suing for breach of contract and fiduciary duty as well as negligent infliction of emotional distress, unjust enrichment, and promissory estoppel.

Tom Hanks to Create and Star in Animated Sci-Fi Show on Yahoo

Tom Hanks to Create and Star in Animated Sci-Fi Show on Yahoo

The actor's Playtone has teamed with Reliance Entertainment to produce "Electric City," which will stream over the Internet before heading to more traditional outlets.

Tom Hanks has created an animated science-fiction show that initially will stream exclusively on Yahoo in what is the giant Internet portal’s first foray into narrative storytelling, the partners are set to announce Monday.

The show, called Electric City, is a production of Reliance Entertainment and Playtone, the latter being a TV and film company owned by Hanks and Gary Goetzman.

Hanks will voice the lead character in Electric City and Yahoo will roll out about 20 episodes, each one roughly four minutes long, beginning in the spring.

Yahoo already boasts a portfolio of several news-information shows that attract a combined 26 million viewers monthly, but Electric City is its first scripted narrative, and Ross Levinsohn, Yahoo’s executive vp Americas, says there’s more in development.

“Not just shows, but real experiences. We’re looking to build franchises,” he said.

Electric City, for example, could also be a game, and if the show proves popular it could work its way to home video, TV and even a 90-minute theatrical release.

Financial terms of the relationship weren’t disclosed.

“This is the most money we’ve ever spent on a scripted show. Of course, it’s also the first scripted show,” Levinsohn quipped.

Hanks and Levinsohn plan to show snippets of Electric City during a 45-minute, invitation-only presentation Tuesday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Levinsohn says the show is another example of Yahoo’s effort to strengthen its reputation as a legitimate entertainment company. Along those lines, it partnered last week with Will Ferrell’s and Judd Apatow’s Funny or Die on a 13-minute parody of a Republican presidential debate hosted by Larry King.

The company is also creating a Yahoo Comedy Channel that will kick off with a live stream Feb. 23 of CrazyStupidPolitics: Bill Maher Live from Silicon Valley.

'So You Think You Can Dance' Adopting Weekly 2-Hour Format

'So You Think You Can Dance' Adopting Weekly 2-Hour Format

Fox execs Kevin Reilly and Mike Darnell sound off on the decision to cut the competition's results show for its upcoming ninth season.

When executive producer and head judge Nigel Lythgoe broke the news of So You Think You Can Dance's upcoming change in format, he used the word "canceled."

His New Year's Day tweet sparked a lot of debate about the future of the series, now going forward in its ninth season without a standalone results show, and during Fox's winter press tour outing, the network tried to clear up what the changes mean for the series and the summer line-up.

“We’re rejiggering the format on Dance, and already we have people saying, ‘How is that going to work?’” said Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly during his Television Critics Association executive Q&A. “We just thought creatively... I think it’s a nice change of format… we want to get a few more shows on in the summer.”

Speaking to a scrum of reporters after his session, he seemed optimistic about the veteran series and what the change could do for it creatively. 

“Some of the purists may say, ‘Oh, I wanted a dedicated night,’ but I think it’s going to make the show itself more exciting," he said. "I think it’s going to be a fun experiment. I know the producers are excited about it. I think the fans are going to like it.”

Speaking of producers, Fox president of alternative entertainment Mike Darnell, on stage after the American Idol panel, confirmed what many expected the lack of a results show would entail.

Darnell says the show will air once weekly, in a two-hour format, with the results layered into the episode.

And though the series may have been down 9 percent, year-to-year, in its 2011 finale, Darnell says it was not a ratings decision. They felt viewers were just more responsive to the two-hour format.

Lythgoe, overseeing auditions for the upcoming season, was not in attendance.

Keith Olbermann Agrees to Anchor Current Election Coverage

Keith Olbermann Agrees to Anchor Current Election Coverage

"I am pleased that I’ll be running the election coverage on Current, following this Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary," said Olbermann in a statement on Sunday. "However, I don’t think those participating in the New Hampshire primary will share my satisfaction."

After a rocky week of public sniping between Keith Olbermann and the management of Current, Olbermann will anchor on election nights beginning after the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday.

"I am pleased that I’ll be running the election coverage on Current, following this Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary," said Olbermann in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter on Sunday. "However, I don’t think those participating in the New Hampshire primary will share my satisfaction."

A spokesperson for Current confirmed that progress between the two parties was made over the weekend and that they expect Olbermann to participate in election coverage going forward.

"He told us he will do upcoming special election coverage," a Current spokesperson told THR on Sunday. "We certainly hope he does. That was our intention all along."

Olbermann will have complete creative and editorial control. But it's unclear exactly what that coverage will look like; whether Olbermann will do a special edition of Countdown with his own panel of guests or lead the network's Politically Direct election specials, which have featured Cenk Uygur, Jennifer Granholm and network co-founder Al Gore.

The timing of the détente means Politically Direct will continue as planned on Tuesday.

Olbermann is nearly a year into a five-year deal that includes the title of chief news officer and an equity stake in the channel. Simmering tensions between Olbermann and Current management boiled over when Current pre-empted Olbermann’s Countdown on Jan. 3 for Politically Direct coverage of the Iowa caucuses, the first vote of the GOP primary season.

Olbermann had planned to anchor his show on Jan. 3 as usual and had his staff report to work. This prompted Current president David Bohrman to send the Countdown staff a memo to clear up the “misunderstanding.”

“As we assumed Keith had communicated to you, Keith was asked to be the sole anchor and executive producer of our primary and caucus coverage. He declined,” wrote Bohrman in the memo, which was obtained by THR. “We then made other plans to have our 4 hours of prime time election coverage [Jan. 3] hosted by Al Gore, Jennifer Granholm, and The Young Turks. We tried several times to have Keith participate in our coverage, including being the lead anchor for the 8p hour tonight, incorporated with our election group in the Los Angeles studio and produced in the LA control room.”

Olbermann said in a statement to THR that he was “never given a legitimate opportunity to host under acceptable conditions. They know it and we know it.”

It’s no secret that Olbermann’s New York-based show has been beset by technical difficulties; satellite feeds have dropped out and in early December a blown fuse caused the lights to go out while Olbermann was on the air.

Fox says no "Glee" spin-off, changes to "X Factor"

Fox says no "Glee" spin-off, changes to "X Factor"

Fox television network said on Sunday there were no plans for a spin-off of its television musical comedy "Glee" and there will be changes to Simon Cowell's "The X Factor" after the show's first season on US television.

But "Glee" fans will likely be pleased that Lea Michele, one of the show's leads, will still be part of the show's upcoming season in which the characters graduate, said Kevin Reilly, president of entertainment at Fox at the Television Critics Association panels held in Los Angeles.

"There will not be a 'Glee' spinoff, but those characters will graduate and it's led to a really interesting idea that I think is going to give us something really cool to dig into next season," he said, referring to the fates of the lead characters after they graduate high school.

While the popularity of shows including "Glee" and "New Girl," helped the network tie with CBS in the top spot for the 18-49 demographic, Glee's ratings have dropped compared to last season. Reilly said they were yet to make key decisions on the long-running "House," as well as "Terra Nova" and "Fringe."

Fox said it reached the top spot for the No. 1 reality series overall with "The X Factor," despite the new singing competition's rocky start not quite living up to creator Simon Cowell's predictions with a show that underwhelmed critics.

Reilly said he was "thrilled" with the show's standing in the crowded singing competition market alongside such shows as "American Idol" with popular host Ryan Seacrest and "The Voice," but did reveal that there were going to be some changes from the "relentless" Cowell.

"Hosting, as we know, it is a much harder job than meets the eye. I think everybody now has come to realize the value of Ryan Seacrest," he said, adding of "X-Factor" host Steve Jones -- "whether Steve's the guy or not, it comes under the heading of growth in general so there will be some tweaks to the show."

While Jones may not be winning as many votes, Reilly said he was eager to retain Seacrest, whose $45 million contract with "Idol" is up for renewal. NBC is also determined to keep Seacrest and expand his role within their network.

"It's very hard to imagine the show without Ryan, we certainly want to keep him, there's no creative discussion there, it is a deal issue, it's a tough negotiation and one that will come to conclusion pretty quickly," said Reilly.


The future of hospital drama "House" starring Hugh Laurie, sci-fi drama "Terra Nova" and FBI thriller "Fringe" was currently undecided, he said.

"It's hard to imagine the network without 'House'," said Reilly, who said that the show would not suffer from an "unceremonious finish" and did not rule out that the show could move to another network.

"Terra Nova," which has been an expensive investment for Fox, was also not confirmed for a returning season.

"It was an exciting bet to take, and I think it's proven that it was worthwhile," said Reilly. "The show looked fantastic, it's clearly a conceit that people wanted to watch, they had ample opportunity to reject it and they didn't."

Fox is expanding its comedy with a new division to create alternative animated content in a late night programming block on Saturday nights, with plans to distribute it across television and multi-platform digital networks."

The move towards producing more animated content comes after the cancellation of Jonah Hill's short-lived comedy "Allen Gregory," which Reilly said was not returning although there were plans to work with Hill on other show ideas, including a live-action comedy already in the works.

Quirky animated comedy "Napoleon Dynamite" will be joining new seasons of "Bob's Burgers" along with Fox's Sunday night animation domination shows "The Simpsons," "Family Guy," "American Dad" and "The Cleveland Show."

Kiefer Sutherland to show paternal emotions in "Touch"

Kiefer Sutherland to show paternal emotions in "Touch"

Kiefer Sutherland is ready to let audiences get in touch with his emotional side.

Sutherland told reporters on Sunday at the Television Critics Association panels for Fox, held in Los Angeles, that he was ready to transition from repressed action man Jack Bauer in "24" to an emotional father of an autistic son in the new Fox drama "Touch."

"Touch" tells the story of an evolving relationship of a father and his voiceless child who communicates through numbers, drawing connections between seemingly disconnected people and events across the world.

Sutherland said stepping away from the character of Bauer into Martin Brohm, a former journalist and luggage handler whose wife was killed in the September 11 attacks, was refreshing.

"The opportunity that I had in '24' to repress the character, informed the character beautifully for me. To be able to have the antithesis to that in this show, where he can openly show and have an emotional reaction to what is happening at this moment, is another fantastic opportunity," said Sutherland.

"The real choice to do this was not to get away from '24,' the reason I could not turn this down was that it spoke to me on a really profound level."

Creator Tim Kring, who was behind the sci-fi series "Heroes" about ordinary people with superhuman capabilities, said he long been interested "in this theme of interconnectivity."

"This is really a chance to continue what you would call social-benefit storytelling, the idea of using archetypal narrative to create and promote a positive energy in the world," said Kring.

The series will operate as stand-alone episodes with characters that interconnect throughout, tied together by the relationship between father and his autistic son as the son leaves a trail of clues through numbers to guide his father on a path of discovery.

The character of the son, Jake, played by David Mazouz, is initially identified as autistic, but Kring was eager to emphasize that the show was not exploring autism specifically.

"The show does not attempt to talk about autism, it's not a show about autism," said Kring, adding "as storytellers, we want to reserve the right to say there is some other idea floating above it, something spiritual or supernatural."

For "24" fans, Jack Bauer will be making a return as Sutherland confirmed he was shooting the "24" movie in late April this year.

Sutherland and Mazouz will be joined by co-stars Danny Glover and Gugu Mbatha-Raw in "Touch," premiering mid-season on Fox.

Fox's Spring Comedy Panel Brings the Laughs

Fox's Spring Comedy Panel Brings the Laughs

The cast and creators from "Raising Hope," "New Girl" and "Breaking In" on being "adorkable," crafting their characters and seeing more naked Schmidt.

In addition to talking inspiration and teasers about what's coming up in the spring, Fox's Tuesday night comedy panel also touched on the crazy and absurd -- tarantulas on babies, a Season 2 fairy and more.

Featuring Raising Hope's Garret Dillahunt, Martha Plimpton and Greg Garcia; New Girl's Zooey Deschanel and Liz Meriwether; and Breaking In's Megan Mullally, Christian Slater and Adam F. Goldberg, here are 10 of the funniest quotes from the session.

1. "My first day of shooting was yesterday, all I can say is that I am adorkable." -- Mullally on her new Breaking In character, referencing Fox's New Girl marketing and Deschanel's summer 2010 "adorkable" TCA panel.

2. "I do believe in fairies! I do believe in fairies!" -- Slater revealing the voice mail he left for exec producer Goldberg after getting word the series had been brought back from the dead for a second season.

3. "April's going to be rape month on Fox!" -- Meriwether joking about Fox's upcoming story lines.

4. "Yes, I will be doing the Party Down movie." -- Mullally. "A Party Down movie?! That's awesome!" -- Meriwether

5. "We had a tarantula crawl over her face while she's sleeping and she didn't budge. … The babies hate the tarantulas … they're a couple of pussies!" -- Garcia on what Hope's Cloris Leachman and the babies would do.

6. "Aren't we all?!" -- Plimpton after being asked if she thinks her Hope character Virginia Chance is adorkable, too.

7. "I just pulled it right out of my ass!" -- Mullally on developing her character.

8. "We put clothes on him but he just keeps taking them off; we have a big naked moment coming up," Meriwether on what's coming up for Max Greenfield's Schmidt.

9. "I want to make sure I say this in a public forum: Please, more of it!" Hope's Garcia expressing his demand that New Girl's Schmidt appear naked on screen more often.

10. "First of all, f--- you, do you know who I am?!" -- Garcia, sharing a conversation he had with his 11-year-old son who says Schmidt's "tiny nipples" make New Girl the "funniest show on TV."

The second season of Breaking In joins Fox's Tuesday lineup March 6, airing at 8:30 p.m., between encore and original episodes of New Girl while Glee is on its spring hiatus.

'The Finder' and 'Bones' Intended as Companion Series, EP Sees Future for Both

'The Finder' and 'Bones' Intended as Companion Series, EP Sees Future for Both

Creator and showrunner Hart Hanson, appearing via Skype, describes the midseason spin-off as a proper partner to his veteran procedural, while echoing Kevin Reilly's wishes for another order of "Bones."

Fox's Television Critics Association panel for The Finder was among the rowdiest thus far at winter press tour -- if only for the minor communication issues with creator and showrunner Hart Hanson.

Sidelined by a motorcycle accident last week, Hanson appeared, via Skype, on two large monitors in the ballroom to walk reporters through his midseason Bones spin-off. And it is, indeed, a spin-off.

Though The Finder is rooted in other source material -- Richard Greener's book series, The Locator -- and last year's backdoor pilot introduced a completely new set of characters, Hanson said the shows are intended to work together.

"Right from the get-go, The Finder was conceived as a partner to Bones," Hanson says. "Something that existed in the same universe. They're [at] the same tonal place."

Though unlike Bones, the will they/won't they? aspect has been turned on its head, giving way to a dysfunctional couple of sleuths who've already gotten together.

The addition of Mercedes Masöhn as Deputy U.S. Marshall Isabel Zambada, a partner of sorts for Geoff Stults' Walter Sherman, was intended to turn the idea of a romantic foil on its head.

"That trope works so well," Hanson said of the duo, "and then to add the fact that they're boyfriend and girlfriend -- and just not meant for each other -- gave us so much story."

It was around this point when Stults asked Hanson if he was wearing any pants, which Hanson answered by lifting up a bare calf.

Hanson went on to talk about how the freshman 13 will delve into darker topics -- Walter's ability to find anything hinges on a debilitating brain injury -- and what the audience seemed to regard as an uninspired title.

"You know what I wanted, and Kevin Reilly said no, was Cougar Town," Hanson said to great laughter and the keystrokes of at least 100 tweets.

And echoing the Fox entertainment president's earlier hopes for another season of Bones, Hanson confirmed that he's on board.

"Oh hell yes," said Hanson. "I'm very confident that we'll come to an agreement and have an eight season of Bones. We're all really excited and have story ideas.. There is still really good amount of stoiries to tell in the Bones universe... and I'm not even on pain killers right now."

Host Ryan Seacrest Says He 'Can't Imagine Life Without 'American Idol''

Host Ryan Seacrest Says He 'Can't Imagine Life Without 'American Idol''

With speculation swirling about Seacrest's future, he declines to comment about reports of a future on the "Today" show.

With his future the topic of much speculation in recent weeks, Ryan Seacrest took the stage at the Television Critics Association press tour Sunday to address his own fate.

"I love this television show... and I can't imagine life without American Idol," said Seacrest, whose annual $15 million contract is set to expire after the Fox music competition series' eleventh season wraps this spring. The mutli-hyphenate was tighter lipped when it came to reports that he's eyeing an expanded role at NBCUniversal, with a possible position on the Today show. When asked about a potential future with NBC's rival series, The Voice, Seacrest slithered about in his seat, noting that his focus this year is on Idol.

"I have a deal with NBCUniversal that we're in negotiations discussing what I'll do, but I already work there," he said, declining to comment on any specifics regarding the morning show. Sources suggest the Seacrest is also weighing such options as Barbara Walters-style specials and a prominent role in the company’s Olympics coverage. In addition, he will continue to produce scripted and unscripted shows for his production company, which is responsible for the Kardashian franchise and Bravo’s upcoming Shahs of Sunset.

The statements came mere hours after Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly insisted that his network would work hard to keep Seacrest on the No. 1 show, a message reiterated by alternative entertainment president Mike Darnell. “As we know, it is a much harder job than meets the eye," said Reilly, a point made clearer by the mixed reviews X Factor host Steve Jones has received in recent months.

"I think everyone has come to realize the value of Ryan Seacrest. It's very hard to imagine [American Idol] without Ryan. We certainly want to keep him," he added. Though discussions surrounding Seacrest’s future at American Idol have not yet begun, Reilly suggested that it would be a “tough negotiation” but one that would “come to a conclusion pretty quickly.”

NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt used his platform before the TV press two days earlier to offer similarly optimistic words about Seacrest, whose contract with NBCUniversal’s E! will expire even sooner. Though Greenblatt said keeping Matt Lauer, whose contract at Today is up later this year, is NBC’s “no. 1 priority,” he noted that “the goal at the moment is we’d love to keep Ryan Seacrest in the family, primarily because of the E!.... he’s become this incredible star.”

J.J. Abrams Says 'Alcatraz' Won't Be Purely Serialized

J.J. Abrams Says 'Alcatraz' Won't Be Purely Serialized

The executive producer says Fox's new time-travel drama will have a case of the week style while still having an over-arching mythology.

After series including Alias, Lost and Fringe, J.J. Abrams defended the serialized drama while noting that his upcoming Fox drama Alcatraz will have a case of the week style while still having a larger mythology at play.

"This show was designed as episodic with an overarching large mythology we get to over time," Abrams told reporters Sunday during the Television Critics Association's winter press tour session for Alcatraz.

The time-travel drama stars Sam Neill, Sarah Jones and Jorge Garcia as specialized detectives investigating the mysterious reappearance of the original 1963 inmates from the famed San Francisco prison.

After telling reporters of a time in which he went to a friend's and happened to watch an episode of his Alias and being completely confused coming in as a "new" viewer, Abrams defended the serialized format and noted the problems the format presents to viewers.

"I watched four minutes of the opening of [an Alias] and said, 'What the f--- is going on,'" Abrams said. "I knew the story and worked on the episode. You see it from the outside and my heart broke for everyone. I loved doing Alias, it's one of my favorite things, but that show was really built as a serialized show. When we were instructed b the network at the beginning of Season 3 to stop that, we then went to episodic and I think the show suffered for it."

With a handful of new series attempting a broader format while still balancing serialized elements -- including Fox's Alcatraz, Touch and NBC's Awake -- producers including Daniel Pyne, Jack Bender and Jennifer Johnson noted the San Francisco-set drama would be able to appeal to viewers no matter when they tuned in to the series.

"If you watch it occasionally, you won't be disappointed; if you watch it consecutively, you'll understand through lines; if you watch it piecemeal you'll be able to understand it," Pyne said.

Abrams also noted that Alcatraz is a very different series from Fringe, calling the parallel universe drama starring John Noble, Anna Torv and Josh Jackson a more "emotional show from the beginning."

"That show [Fringe] is more about a condition than a premise," Abrams said. "We have ideas of where the show is going but because the show is based more on a premise than Fringe was … this show has an opportunity to both episodic case of the week with big questions looming."

Alcatraz premieres Monday, Jan. 16 at 8 p.m. on Fox.

Irish Actor Kevin Ryan Joins Cast of BBC America's 'Copper'

Irish Actor Kevin Ryan Joins Cast of BBC America's 'Copper'

The cable network's first scripted series begins shooting this month in Toronto, Canada.

Irish actor Kevin Ryan has joined the cast of BBC TV's upcoming seies Copper, joining M-15/Spooks star Tom Weston-Jones and German actress Franke Potente (The Bourne Supremacy) in the police drama set in 1860s New York City.

Ryan will play the series regular role of Detective Francis Maguire, an Irish-American cop working alongside Weston-Jones' Kevin Corcoran. Ryan, who is now based in L.A., plays the lead in the upcoming thriller Tripping Tommy from director Philippe Caland (Boxing Helena).

Copper was created by Oscar-winning director Barry Levinson (Wag the Dog), Tom Fontana (Oz) and Will Rokos (Southland). The period drama focuses on the lives of Irish immigrants living in Manhattan's Five Points neighborhood and on its lead character, played by Weston-Jones, who tried to uncover the truth about his missing wife and dead daughter.

Shooting is set to begin this month in Toronto, Canada It is BBC America's first scripted series. Shaw Media and Cineflix Studios are co-producing. Copper will premiere on BBC America this summer and in Canada on Shaw Media Showcase in the Fall.

Kiefer Sutherland and Tim Kring Insist 'Touch' isn't 'Heroes' or '24'

Kiefer Sutherland and Tim Kring Insist 'Touch' isn't 'Heroes' or '24'

The duo behind Fox's fast-tracked drama address terrorism, spirituality, autism and the possibility of undertaking another long-running series -- while the rest of their press tour panel sits largely silent.

Members of Touch's 7-person panel did not have much to say if they didn't star in 24 or create Heroes.

During Fox's Sunday presentation at the Television Critics Association winter press tour, almost all questions went to Kiefer Sutherland and Tim Kring. And all answers seemed to go back to their respective series.

So does this new show, which follows a single father and his curiously gifted son, resemble either of their previous efforts? They say no.

Despite Touch's supernatural premise about a boy with powers to see the way the world is connected, Kring insists its more spiritual. And while the pilot includes references to 9/11 and a terrorist threat, Sutherland says he's not reprising Jack Bauer.

"I was on about page 25, and I went, s**t, I'm really trouble here," Sutherland said of his first read-through of the script. "It was so beautifully written... If you're going to do something, for potentially another 8 years, you want something you can sink your teeth into."

Sutherland said the big hook was that this new character, Martin Bohm, goes in such a different direction from 24's stoic, repressed Bauer.

"To openly show and have an emotional reaction to what is happening at the exact moment is a wonderful opportunity," says Sutherland. "The repression on 24 got heavier. This character... he wants to get more open."

References to 24 seemed to outnumber questions about Kring's Heroes 3 to 1, but the similarities between the gifted child (Jake, played by David Mazouz) at the center of the story and some of the characters on Heroes was something Kring was asked to clear up.

"In term's of Jake's character being on Heroes, we probably had some characters that would have abilities like this," says Kring. "But it's not a superpower idea. It's more of mystical or spiritual idea."

Another departure from 24 and Heroes will also be the serial element. Despite the clear arc of the series, Kring says the weekly procedural-type element takes priority.

"Each week will have enough of a standalone feeling because you'll get a beginning, middle and end," says Kring. "The Martin and Jake characters will follow the A-story and some breadcrumb trail that Jake's character is leading his father on."

As for Jake and his outwardly autistic manner, Kring says its just a vehicle for relatable, current storytelling. "It's not a show about autism," he assured.

And since no Fox event with Sutherland would be complete without addressing the 24 movie, the actor took the occasion to hint at a time frame for the long-discussed project. He said they're aiming to start filming between late April and mid-May.

'The Simpsons' 500th Episode Attempts To Break Guinness World Record With Fan Marathon

'The Simpsons' 500th Episode Attempts To Break Guinness World Record With Fan Marathon

This February, "The Simpsons" could break another world record.

In celebration of the cartoon's historic 500th episode milestone (Sun., Feb. 19), Fox is inviting "The Simpsons" lovers to participate in a marathon that will hopefully lead to a new record for the longest continuous television viewing. The current Guinness World Record of 86 hours, 6 minutes and 41 seconds.

The "Ultimate Fan Marathon Challenge" at Hollywood & Highland in Los Angeles will begin on Wed., Feb. 8, as "The Simpsons" superfans come together to -- if they succeed -- watch 500 continuous episodes through Feb. 19. The winner will take home $10,500 and some special merchandise, of course.

The iconic animated series already holds Guinness World Records for the longest running animated series, the longest running sitcom and the most Emmy Awards won for an animated series, among others.

But a decade ago, "The Simpsons" parodied Guinness World Records, in the Season 13 episode "Sweet and Sour Marge," in which Homer tries to get everyone in Springfield together to build the tallest human pyramid. Instead, when their attempt comes crashing down, officials deem Springfield the world's fattest town. Hopefully, the "Ultimate Fan Marathon Challenge" will yield better results.

In its current 23rd season, "The Simpsons" is chock-full of guest voices this spring: Lady Gaga teaches Lisa to love herself in the finale; Lisa falls in love with Michael Cera on Valentine's Day; "Breaking Bad's" Bryan Cranston plays a fictional Hollywood spy; Jeremy Irons will play Moe's only friend; "The Social Network" star Armie Hammer lends his voice to "The D'oh-cial Network"; and Glenn Close will reprise her role as Homer's mom Mona.

"The Simpsons" airs Sundays at 8 p.m. EST on Fox.

'Bonnie And Clyde' Miniseries In The Works At A&E

'Bonnie And Clyde' Miniseries In The Works At A&E

First a Broadway musical and now a miniseries? A life of sin has never looked so good. The tumultuous story of star-crossed-lovers-turned-criminals, "Bonnie and Clyde," is getting the TV reboot treatment, thanks to A&E Networks, reports TVLine.

The cable network is currently developing a miniseries based off the Great Depression era drama that will air on either Lifetime or the History Channel.

Infamous for one of the bloodiest death scenes in cinematic history, the iconic 1967 film starred Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway as the title characters -- and outlaws -- Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker. Meanwhile, a movie remake of "Bonnie and Clyde" is currently in the works as well, reportedly starring actor and model Sean Faris as Clyde. After "Lizzie McGuire" actress Hilary Duff was dropped from the film, Lindsay Pulsipher was cast in the role of Bonnie in "The Story of Bonnie and Clyde."

A&E Networks has yet to cast the titular characters, but according to TVLine, the network is on the search for their perfect Bonnie and Clyde. Whoever the network chooses, let's hope Faye Dunaway approves this time.

TV Tonight 9th of January 2012

TV Tonight 9th of January 2012

The daily list in alphabetical order, of all the new episodes airing.

    Above Suspicion S04E01: "Silent Scream (1)"
    Alaska Wing Men S02E02: "Ski Chopper Daredevils"
    American Pickers S04E07: "The Elephant in the Room"
    Antiques Roadshow (US) S16E02: "Tulsa (2)"
    Bargain Hunt S31E06: "Series 31, Episode 6"
    Cake Boss: Next Great Baker S02E07: "Here Comes The Bride-Zilla!"
    Castle (2009) S04E11: "Till Death Do Us Part"
    Celebrity Big Brother S09E05: "Series 9, Episode 5"
    Conan S02E29: "David Cross"
    Coppers S02E01: "Series 2, Episode 1"
    Coronation Street S53E07: "Mon Jan 9, 2012 [Episode 2]"
    Coronation Street S53E06: "Mon Jan 9, 2012 [Episode 1]"
    Countdown with Keith Olbermann S10E04: "Season 10, Episode 4"
    Deal Or No Deal (UK) S07E128: "Episode 1808"
    Desperate Scousewives S01E07: "Series 1, Episode 7"
    Dickinson's Real Deal S08E25: "Series 8, Episode 25"
    Disappeared S04E11: "The Road Not Taken"
    Doctors S13E172: "Tomorrow"
    EastEnders S28E06: "January 9, 2012"
    Emmerdale S41E07: "January 9, 2012"
    Escape To The Country S12E05: "Lancashire"
    Extreme Clutter S02E04: "Addicted to Shopping"
    Fear Factor (US) S07E05: "Roach Coach"
    General Hospital (US) S49E195: "#12469"
    Got to Dance S03E12: "Series 3, Episode 12"
    Great British Railway Journeys S03E06: "Windsor to Didcot"
    Hacktion S01E13: "Alfától omegáig"
    Hoarders S05E02: "Barbara / Richard"
    Hollyoaks S18E06: "January 9, 2012"
    Horizon S50E07: "The Hunt for Higgs"
    Hotel cæsar S28E130: "Season 28, Episode 130"
    Intervention S12E02: "Dallas"
    It's a Brad Brad World S01E02: "Canadian Takeover"
    Jeopardy! S28E81: "Show #6286"
    Jimmy Kimmel Live S09E182
    Late Night with Jimmy Fallon S02E200
    Late Show with David Letterman S19E05
    Lizard Lick Towing S02E06: "Season 2, Episode 6"
    Love & Hip Hop S02E08: "Miami Vice"
    Love Games: Bad Girls Need Love Too S03E06
    Ministry of Curious Stuff S01E01: "Episode 1"
    Mixed Up S01E09: "Episode 9"
    Modern Marvels S17E02: "Waterproof"
    Mrs Brown's Boys S02E02: "Mammy's Coming!"
    Neighbours S28E01: "Episode 6311"
    One Life to Live S44E122: "Ep. #11101"
    Only Connect S05E22: "Mastermind Special"
    Pasila S04E10: "Auervaara"
    Pawn Star$ S04E66: "Smells Like Pawn Spirit"
    Pawn Star$ S04E65: "Learning the Ropes"
    Pointless S05E90: "Series 5, Episode 90"
    Pretty Little Liars S02E15: "A Hot Piece of A"
    Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is S05E06: "Series 5, Episode 6"
    RAW comedy club S05E06: "Hasse Brontén och Ola Aurell"
    Red Sonja (BE) S01E06: "Piekstroom"
    Saints and Scroungers S03E06: "Series 3, Episode 6"
    Scouted S01E00: "Scouted To Stardom"
    Scouted S01E07: "Marissa and Hallie"
    Shameless S09E01: "Series 9, Episode 1"
    Stolen Voices, Buried Secrets S02E06: "Hunting Season"
    Sveriges mästerkock S02E01: "Säsongsstart för Sveriges mästerkock"
    The Bachelor S16E02: "Week 2 (S16)"
    The Bold and the Beautiful S25E205: "Ep. #6234"
    The Chase (2009) S05E05: "Series 5, Episode 5"
    The Colbert Report S08E04: "Melissa Harris-Perry"
    The Daily Show S17E04: "George Lucas"
    The Ellen DeGeneres Show S09E74
    The Gadget Show S16E00: "Best of the Gadget Show 2011"
    The Jeremy Kyle Show S07E81: "January 9, 2012"
    The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson S08E06
    The Layover S01E08: "San Francisco"
    The Lying Game S01E12: "When We Dead Awaken"
    The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills S02E18
    The Rosie Show S01E45: "Darrell Hammond"
    The Royal Bodyguard S01E03: "Bullets Over Broad Street"
    The Tonight Show with Jay Leno S19E221
    The Young and the Restless S39E202: "Ep. #9817"
    Thuis S17E96: "Season 17, Episode 96"
    TI & Tiny: The Family Hustle S01E06: "Bad and Sneaky"
    University Challenge (1994) S18E35
    Wanted Down Under S06E06: "Series 6, Episode 6"
    Watch What Happens: Live S06E02
    Wereld draait door, De S07E87: "Season 7, Episode 87"
    Who's Still Standing S01E07: "The Need For Speed"
    WWE Raw S20E02: "Episode #972"
    Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal S01E38: "Bound To Hope! Hope Sword Mars Slash!!"

Fox Plans Late Saturday Night Animated Shows With 'Boondocks,' 'Childrens Hospital' Producer

Fox Plans Late Saturday Night Animated Shows With 'Boondocks,' 'Childrens Hospital' Producer

Fox is planning a Saturday late-night animated comedy block to compete with NBC's "Saturday Night Live."

The network announced Sunday that it will launch a new unit to oversee the development and production of alternative animated shows, to be led by former Adult Swim executive Nick Weidenfeld, an executive producer of "Childrens Hospital" and "The Boondocks."

Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly said the new animated shows will also air on game consoles, mobile apps, video on-demand, and online. It could air on Internet television stations similar to those emerging on YouTube, Reilly said.

The new comedy block will air Saturdays from 11 p.m.-12:30 a.m. beginning in January 2013.

Reilly spoke at the Television Critics Association winter press tour, where he also announced the end of the Fox animated show "Allen Gregory," which debuted in the fall to disappointing ratings. He said the network planned to continue to create shows, however, with Jonah Hill, the show's creator and lead voice actor.

Fox Head Kevin Reilly: 'Terra Nova' Was 'Hunting' Creatively, 'Allen Gregory' Dead

Fox Head Kevin Reilly: 'Terra Nova' Was 'Hunting' Creatively, 'Allen Gregory' Dead

Fox entertainment president acknowledged Sunday that the network's fall gamble "Terra Nova" spent much of its first season "hunting" creatively, but said he was glad Fox had aired it. He declined to say whether the dinosaur drama -- or the veteran "House" and struggling "Fringe" -- would return next season.

He was more certain about the fate of the Jonah Hill animated comedy "Allen Gregory," saying it will not return. The show had seemed doomed when it scored low ratings and was pulled from the schedule, but Reilly made it official. He spoke at the Television Critics Association winter press tour.

Reilly said "Terra Nova" was profitable despite its costs, which included shooting in Australia. He said he was pleased with the 13-episode first season of the show, whether or not it continues.

"We made money on it, the studio made money on it, the audience enjoyed it," he said, noting that the show was the second-highest rated drama of the fall -- one marked by declining ratings for dramas.

But he said the show was "hunting for itself through the season," in part because there were many ideas at work.

"Creatively it was hunting," he said.

He said if "House" ends this season, he will make sure the show has a strong sendoff -- and acknowledged it could potentially move to NBC, given that the show is produced by Universal Television. (Both the network and studio are under the NBCUniversal umbrella.) The show has dipped in the ratings this year.

Reilly was most blunt about the prospects for "Fringe." He said Fox was losing money on the low-rated Friday sci-fi drama, and would have to decide whether there was a way it made sense to keep airing it. But he stressed that it was not cancelled.

"Please don't start the letter-writing campaign right now," he joked. "I can't handle it."

He spoke just moments after one of the producers of "Fringe," J.J. Abrams (pictured with Abrams, above), took to the same stage to discuss his upcoming Fox show "Alcatraz."

Reilly also addressed the ratings for "Glee," which are now down nearly 20 percent compared to last season's ratings. Show co-creator Ryan Murphy stunned fans last year when he said some of the show's stars would leave after this season as their characters graduate, but later said their graduation wouldn't necessarily end their appearances on the show.

Reilly dismissed the possibility that their exit could spawn a spinoff.

"We are graduating the characters... what's come out of it is Ryan and the guys have come up with a really cool idea. There will not be a 'Glee' spinoff. But those characters will graduate and it's led to a very interesting idea that I think is going to really give us something cool to dig into next season."

Reilly also said that despite the end of "Allen Gregory," Fox plans to continue to create shows with Hill, its creator and lead voice actor.

'Bones' Creator Hart Hanson Predicts 8th Season

'Bones' Creator Hart Hanson Predicts 8th Season

"Bones" creator Hart Hanson says he's very confident the procedural will be back for an eighth season.

The show, one of Fox's most consistent performers, would focus next season on lead characters Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) and Temperance "Bones" Brennan (Emily Deschanel) raising a child together, he said.

Asked if he wanted the show to return after this season, he responded, "Oh hell, yes. ... I'm very confident that we'll come to an agreement and have an eighth season of 'Bones.'"

Hanson spoke to the Television Critics Assn.'s winter press tour during a panel for the "Bones" spinoff "The Finder." He appeared via Skype because he is recovering from injuries in a motorcycle crash.

Hanson said on Twitter that he was injured Tuesday morning on the 10 freeway in Los Angeles, suffering a broken ankle and minor injuries. He was taken to a hospital by ambulance.

He said the "Bones" team is already planning an eighth season that will focus on his lead characters starting their family after years of a will-they-or-won't-they dynamic.

"We're all excited about it and have story ideas," he said. "Putting Booth and Brennan together raising a child, as far as we're concerned, reinvigorated our series. I wouldn't want to try to figure out how to do another year of them not being together.

"I think there's still very, very good stories to be told. ... There's an infinite amount of murders. So when I say stories, I mean stories that our characters generate.

"That was a long way of saying yes," he joked, "and I'm not even on painkillers right now."

Randy Jackson Says 'X Factor' Copying 'Idol' -- But Wishes It Well

Randy Jackson Says 'X Factor' Copying 'Idol' -- But Wishes It Well

Simon Cowell said before "X Factor" aired that he hoped it would displace "American Idol" as the biggest show on television.

That didn't happen, and on Sunday, "Idol" judge Randy Jackson said he wished Cowell well -- while slipping in his opinion that "X Factor" and other singing shows are copying "Idol," and that "X Factor" doesn't seem to have lived up to Cowell's expectations.

"Simon and Paula are dear friends of ours," he told TheWrap. "They started this whole 'Idol' tradition with us. I think that 'Idol''s still the best TV show that's come on anywhere. We're the original, we kind of invented this whole game that everybody's now copying, and I say that they're copying it, right?"

He added: "So, I mean, listen, I mean, Simon's done well with his show, probably not the expectations that he wanted, but you know, we wish him well and you know we've gone on with this and done well."

Jackson is the sole remaining original "Idol" judge after Cowell and Paula Abdul departed and joined fellow Fox show "X Factor." He and fellow judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez talked about the show Sunday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour.

The panelists had no well wishes for NBC's singing competition "The Voice." Asked about former "Idol" champ Kelly Clarkson joining "The Voice" as a mentor, Fox president of alternative entertainment Mike Darnell said it was a compliment to "Idol."

He quipped, "We're not hiring a lot of people from 'The Voice' to be on our show."

In another jab, Jackson accused "The Voice" of ripping off its spinning judges' chairs from "Star Trek."

"Idol" host Ryan Seacrest, who also hosts E! News for NBCUniversal, declined to comment on reports that he has talked to NBC about the "Today" show. His contract with "Idol" is up after this season, and he seemed eager to return.

"I can't imagine life without 'American Idol,'" he said.

Asked whether he might one day join "The Voice" as part of his deal with NBC, he responded, "Good question," adding, "At this point honestly I only see myself as hosting 'American Idol.'"

Darnell said his expectation was that Seacrest would "be with the show for as long as we can get him to be on this television show. Hope that's forever."

In one of the panel's funnier moments, Lopez responded with surprise -- or feigned surprise -- when told that Telemundo is making a telenovela version of her movie, "Made in Manhattan," that will air opposite "Idol" on Wednesday and Thursdays.

"I've gotta call my lawyer," she said.

In another solid quip, Tyler joked about borrowing Lopez' clothes.

"I've always wanted to get in her pants and you know, then she lets me -- to wear them," he said.

Tyler also said that his "Idol" appearances have been good news for his band, Aerosmith, telling reporters that the group's sales are up 260 percent.

As for Cowell's goal for the season: "X Factor" was the strongest reality show of the fall season, but averaged less than half of the ratings for "Idol."