“Looking” Faces a Minority Trap, a “Portlandia” Teaser and Britney Spears Becomes a “Simpsons” Figure

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News

HLN has announced its first set of new shows as part of its new identity as the channel for the “social media generation”. It includes I Can Haz NewsToons highlighting online political satire, Keywords which sounds like an online scavenger hunt game show and #What’s Your FOMO about people’s “Fear of Missing Out”. I double checked the story to make sure it didn’t come from The Onion. It isn’t. I think. I’d better check again.

Talking to a panel, Looking writer JC Lee commented on the criticism the show has received from gay viewers, “It’s a minority trap… When you have a piece that showcases a community, there’s this identity factor where if you’re showing a certain kind of queerness, you’re not honoring what queerness is. There’s a sense their queerness feels threatened by a show that is normalizing it.”

Frankie J. Alvarez, Jonathan Groff and Murray Bartlett in "Looking"

Pretty Little Liars‘ crazypants-wearer Janel Parrish will appear in an episode of Drop Dead Diva. She’ll play a cheerleader who hopes Jane can help with the bullying she faces after her meltdown is captured on video.

After a search that included a possible Heathers series and adapting Danish comedy Rita, Bravo has finally picked its first original scripted series, Deadline reports. The channel has ordered Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce from Buffy writer Marti Noxon. Based on a series of books by Vicki Iovine, the series follows a recently-separated self-help book writer. The cast boast a few TBL-faves: Janeane Garofalo, Lisa Edelstein and Carrie Fisher.

Tim Daly is the latest hottie to book an appearance on The Mindy Project. No word on Daly’s role, but don’t most of the cute guys cast on this show end up kissing Mindy?

Tim Daly

ITV has ordered a third season of Mr. Selfridge, the period drama starring Jeremy Piven as an American department store owner. The second season will start airing on PBS March 30.

Thomas Lennon will appear in a Star Wars-themed episode of The Goldbergs. He’ll play a costumed fan queueing at the theatre to see The Phantom Menace. Lennon was the funniest part Sean Saves the World, so The Goldbergs just might have found a way to get me to see if it’s improved since the pilot.

Lena Dunham asks a web quiz, which Girls character she is, gets confusing result:

 

Apparently, I share a personality type with Lena Dunham. I don’t know how to feel about that.

The Simpsons action figures will release a new line featuring the show’s “25 Greatest Guest-Stars”. That includes Britney Spears and Lucy Lawless. Were you looking for a Simpsons-style pop diva for your collection?

Ryan McPartlin will appear in an episode of the upcoming USA comedy Playing House according to TV Guide. The comedy, about two female friends who decide to raise a baby together, has picked McPartlin to play a hunky (obviously) police officer.

Ryan McPartlin shirtless in "Chuck"Did anyone get around to confiscating all of Captain Aweseome’s shirts? It would be considered a public service.

Terrence Howard has been cast as the lead in Empire. That’s the hip-hop drama pilot from Lee Daniels and Danny Strong about the family of a record label boss.

The second night of Jimmy Fallon‘s Tonight Show kept 75% of the audience who watched the premiere. That improves on the retention of Conan O’Brien‘s second Tonight Show but, again, the Olympics makes the comparison muddy.

Listings

The Rachael Ray Show (syndicated) Check local listings
Nate Berkus shows up to surprise shoppers and offer shopping tips. If it weren’t someone as adorable as Nate, I’d say that sounds like something that should be saved for Halloween. Later, Kyan Douglas looks for an audience member in need of a makeover.

 Rachael Ray and Kyan Douglas

Inside the Actors Studio (Bravo) 8:00 PM ET
In the past, I would have seen that an interview with Matthew McConaughey was on tap for tonight’s episode and moved on. However, McConaughey’s career has shifted from movies like How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and Failure to Launch to Magic Mike and Dallas Buyers Club.

Project Runway: Under the Gunn (Lifetime) 9:00 PM ET
So far, Under the Gunn has turned out to be a refreshing change of pace from the usual Project Runway season. However, tonight brings the first team challenge. How will Under the Gunn fare with the kind of challenge that has generates some of Project Ruwnay‘s most unpleasant hours?

Portlandia: The Celery Incident (IFC) 10:00 PM ET
As an amuse bouche for next week’s return of Portlandia, IFC’s offers this mini-episode. Portland may be a the city where trendy brunch spots back things up to levels Christ Christie could only dream about but the lowly celery is still not a respected food. I hope he tries an ad campaign with the motto, “Celery, it’s not just for mirepoix anymore” or maybe pitching Ants on a Log as a so-ridiculous-it’s-charming midcentury recipe, like candle salad?

Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein in "Portlandia"

King of the Nerds (TBS) 10:00 PM ET
Okay. King of the Nerds decided that it would repeat last season’s debate. When if comes to repeating challenges, that wasn’t one I would have picked. At least, there’s Kumail Nanjiani as a guest judge.

Chelsea Lately (E!) 11:00 PM ET
Sure, the Olympics are still making the Thursday night TV schedule a wasteland but at least that leaves DVR room to watch the Fortune Feimster as part of the panel.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Comedy Central) 11:00 PM ET
Ronan Farrow is set to visit tonight’s show. I’m guessing he’s planning to discuss Monday’s debut of Ronan Farrow Daily but Jon Stewart doesn’t always stick to the planned topic. Maybe Jon wants to pull out that picture he has of a young Helen Mirren again.

What will you be watching tonight? Please share in the comments!

 

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