Monthly Archives: December 2005




I don’t get to watch this show much but what I have seen is brilliant. I saw the trailer for season five the other day and was blown away. The only reason I know so much about the show is that my mother is a huge fan and keeps me up to date on the storyline.


Counter-terrorism agent Jack Bauer fights the bad guys of the world, one day at a time. With episodes unfolding in real time, "24" covers one day in the life of Bauer per season. After foiling a political assassination, stopping a nuclear attack and fighting bioterrorism, season four finds Jack working for the Secretary of Defense (while dating his daughter) as a terrorist sleeper cell in Los Angeles activates a plan it hopes will "change the world."


The producers cleaned house for the show’s fourth season, letting most of the previous cast go (except star Kiefer Sutherland) and bringing in a new group of characters to interact with Bauer.

The clock has already started ticking for the fifth season of 24, which will now begin one week later than previously announced with a four-hour, two-night season premiere Sunday, Jan. 15 and Monday, Jan. 16 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. The second hour on Monday, Jan. 16 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) will be the series’ 100th episode.



Who’s In Season 5?

KIEFER SUTHERLAND returns as Agent Jack Bauer (but what is his new name now that he’s technically dead?)
SEAN ASTIN joins the cast as CTU agent Lynn McGill
ROGER CROSS returns as CTU agent Curtis Manning
MARY LYNN RAJSKUB returns as Jack Bauer’s closest CTU ally Chloe O’Brian
LOUIS LOMBARDI returns as Edgar Stiles
KIM RAVER returns as Audrey Raines
CARLOS BERNARD returns as CTU agent Tony Almeida
GREGORY ITZIN returns as skittish President Charles Logan
JEAN SMART joins the cast as President Logan’s wife Martha
JAMES MORRISON returns as CTU head Bill Buchanan
CONNIE BRITTON joins the cast as Jack Bauer’s new love interest. Let’s see howlong she’ll last.
BRADY CORBET joins the cast as Derek, the son of Jack Bauer’s new love interest


The fifth hour of 24 will air in the show’s regular time period on Monday, Jan. 23 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), and the intense series will then unfold on a weekly basis without repeats or preemptions, all the way through the heart-stopping season finale.


Season five picks up 18 months after the exciting conclusion of season four, as national security is brutally breached. A presumably dead Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) is actually living a new life with Diane (Connie Britton) and her son Derek (Brady Corbet). A shaky President Logan (Gregory Itzin) is running the nation, while composed Bill Buchanan (James Morrison) commands CTU alongside key operatives Curtis Manning (Roger Cross), Edgar Stiles (Louis Lombardi) and Chloe O’Brian (Mary Lynn Rajskub).


Also featured in season five will be Emmy Award-winning actress Jean Smart as First Lady Martha Logan. In addition, Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard) and Audrey Raines (Kim Raver) return, while Lynn McGill (Sean Astin) joins CTU.




(December 24,2005)

Cincinnat1 27 Bills 37


 Chad Johnson set a merry mood, pulling championship T-shirts, caps and footballs out of his Santa bag and flinging them into the stands after his first-half touchdown.

Then, the Bengals got really generous.

Playing as a division champion for the first time in 15 years, the Bengals let a game and a first-round playoff bye get away Saturday. Terrence McGee returned a kickoff and an interception for a touchdown, rallying the Buffalo Bills to a 37-27 victory.

McGee is the first player in NFL history to do that in one game.

McGee’s 46-yard interception return with 35 seconds left sent 65,485 fans filing glumly out of the stadium in their orange-and-black Santa hats, stunned by what they’d just seen.

For the first time all season, the Bengals (11-4) lost a game they were expected to win, against a team that hadn’t won on the road all season. They needed a win to keep pace with Denver for the AFC’s No. 2 seed and a first-round playoff bye.

Instead, the Broncos clinched it with a 22-3 victory over Oakland later Saturday.

"Oh, well. Can’t be great all the time," receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh said. "If anybody thought we were that great, this brings them back to earth."

The Bengals clinched the AFC North title a week earlier in Detroit and wished for an afternoon of revelry in front of the home crowd. Instead, they got a reminder of what can happen when they let a game turn into a shootout.

"We need to truly learn from this, and know what playing like this can get us," offensive guard Bobbie Williams said. "It can get you an ‘L’ and when you get to the playoffs, getting an ‘L’ means you’re out of it."

The Bills (5-10) have been out of it for a long time, losing their previous five games. McGee and Kelly Holcomb led them to a feel-good win at the end of a disastrous season, one that has players wondering what ownership will do in the offseason.

"Nobody gave us a chance to beat these guys," said Holcomb, who was 24-of-31 for 308 yards. "We hadn’t won on the road. It definitely leaves a good taste in your mouth."
McGee had five kickoff returns for 220 yards, including his 99-yard sprint down the left sideline that sparked the comeback late in the third quarter. He set a club record with three kickoff touchdowns last season, and now owns the Bills’ career mark.

"I can’t even explain how I feel," said McGee, who failed to score on an 82-yard return earlier in the season. "All year, the only thing we’ve been missing is a touchdown."

Holcomb played another impressive game in the stadium where he’s had some of his best moments. Holcomb threw for five touchdowns and a career-high 413 yards in Cleveland’s 58-48 loss at Paul Brown Stadium last season.

Filling in a second straight week for injured J.P. Losman, Holcomb became the first Bills quarterback to throw for 300 yards in the last 45 games, ending a drought that started after Drew Bledsoe passed for 314 in the second game of the 2003 season.

McGee clinched it by picking off Carson Palmer’s sideline pass-under-pressure and returning it untouched. Palmer, going to the Pro Bowl in only his second season, went 25-of-36 for 266 yards with two interceptions.

"Just a bad decision," Palmer said. "I was just trying to get the ball out of bounds (after a completion) and stop the clock. He made a good play on the ball. I should have thrown it over his head and into the stands."

The Bills won their eighth in a row over Cincinnati, which hasn’t beaten them since the 1988 AFC title game. They pulled everything out of their bag of tricks in this one — the flea-flicker, the onside kick, the reverse on a kickoff.

"We just let it go," coach Mike Mularkey said. "We threw it all at ’em. I felt like we had to put some points on the board any way we could."

Johnson provided the only satisfying moment for the home crowd, emptying a bag of gifts after his 41-yard touchdown catch put Cincinnati ahead 14-13 shortly before halftime. He had a red bag of gifts hidden on the sideline, and tossed autographed AFC North championship shirts, caps and footballs into the crowd.

The Bills then turned those presents into consolation gifts.

"We let them hang around too long," Palmer lamented.


Palmer slightly pulled groin muscles while scrambling on the play before the clinching interception, but said the injury isn’t worrisome. … Bills receiver Eric Moulds had a season-high 10 catches for 99 yards — exactly what he needed to reach 9,000 yards career. … CB Deltha O’Neal hurt his right knee while making a tackle on the Bengals’ first defensive play and left for an exam. He returned in the second quarter.

WHO DEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Santa Claus: How about a nice football?
Ralphie as Adult: Football? Football? What’s a football? With unconscious will my voice squeaked out ‘football’.
Santa Claus: Okay, get him out of here.
Ralphie as Adult: A football? Oh no, what was I doing? Wake up, Stupid! Wake up!
Ralphie: No! No! I want an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle!
Santa Claus: You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.



Superman Returns – Teaser Trailer
Following a mysterious absence of several years, the Man of Steel, Superman, comes back to Earth–but things have changed. While an old enemy plots to render him powerless once and for all, Superman faces the heartbreaking realization that the woman he loves, Lois Lane, has moved on with her life. Or has she? Superman’s bittersweet return challenges him to bridge the distance between them while finding a place in a society that has learned to survive without him. In an attempt to protect the world he loves from cataclysmic destruction, Superman embarks on an epic journey of redemption that takes him from the depths of the ocean to the far reaches of outer space.

Courtesy of IFILM


Entourage has been nominated for two Golden Globe® Awards, including Best Television Series, Comedy or Musical and Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (Jeremy Piven).
Encore presentations of Season Two of Entourage can be seen on HBO Zone, Saturday nights at 8:30pm. I have also been watching season one on HBO demand.
I am going through some serious Entourage withdraw right now but these episodes on HBO Zone are keeping me happy for now. I watched the episode with Bob Saget last week and I forgot how funny he was the first time I saw that episode.
 Eric: Tom Cruise is going to play Pablo Escobar? C’mon, the guy’s not even Hispanic.
Ari Gold: Yeah, and Hilary Swank has a ***, but she won an Oscar pretending she has a dick. That’s what actors do. They pretend.
Eric: All right, I got it. So what if Cruise passes?
Ari Gold: Then they go to Brad Pitt. He passes, they go to Keanu Reeves, and on down the list.
Eric: Where is Vince on that list?
Ari Gold: He ain’t on the list.
Eric: Well, how do we get him on the list?
Ari Gold: You do "Aquaman," you stupid f***!
Entourage season 1 DVD
• Format: DVD
• ISBN: 0-7831-2099-0
• Closed Captioning: Yes
• Number of Discs: 2
• Sound Track Language: English
• Run Time: 240 minutes
• Subtitles: English, Francais, Espanol
• Aspect Ratio: Standard [4:3 Transfer]
• Sound Quality: Espanol: Dolby Surround Stereo 2.0; English: Dolby Surround Stereo 2.0; Francais: Dolby Surround Stereo 2.0
DVD Features
• Audio Commentary: Three audio commentaries with creator Doug Ellin and Executive Producer Larry Charles (Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm) for the episodes "Entourage (Pilot)", "Busey and the Beach" and "New York"
• Interviews: Behind the scenes interviews with cast and crew
Disc 1 Episodes
• Entourage (Pilot)
• The Review
• Talk Show
• Date Night
Disc 2 Episodes
• The Script and the Sherpa
• Busey and the beach
• The Scene
• New York
• Bonus Features


Cincinnati Bengals
(December 18,2005)

Cincinnati 41, Detroit 17

Bengals thrash Lions 41-17, end 15-year postseason drought

Carson Palmer threw three touchdown passes in the first half. They gave Palmer 30, breaking Ken Anderson’s previous single-season mark of 29 from 1981. Palmer also threw two interceptions, though.

Rudi Johnson rushed for more than 100 yards for the fourth time this season and ran 4 and 16 yards for touchdowns in the second half.

He equaled his rushing touchdown total, 12, from 2004. The 16-yard touchdown run was Johnson’s 24th attempt and gave him 117 yards.

The Bengals also intercepted three Jeff Garcia passes, one each by defensive tackle John Thornton and cornerbacks Deltha O’Neal and Tory James.

O’Neal’s interception was his 10th, breaking the previous franchise record of nine by Ken Riley in 1976.

Thornton intercepted a deflected pass.

The Bengals scored 10 points off turnovers in the first half, increasing their league best number to 146.

The victory also gave the Bengals their second consecutive sweep of an NFC division. They were 4-0 in 2004 against the NFC East. In three seasons, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis’ teams are 10-2 against the NFC and 17-17 against fellow AFC teams.

Palmer threw scoring passes of 18 yards to Kelley Washington, one yard to Chad Johnson and seven yards to T.J. Houshmandzadeh.

Palmer also threw two interceptions in the first half, and the offense was a bit sloppy in its final two possessions of the second quarter.

Backup quarterback Jon Kitna relieved Kitna with 6:43 remaining in the game. Palmer finished 28-for-39 passing for 274 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. His passer rating was 95.5.

As advertised, many Lions fans came dressed in orange – a Bengals color – and cheered for the visiting Bengals. Lions’ general manager Matt Millen was hung in effigy outside of Ford Field before the game.

WHO DEY!!!!!!!



Round Two this week.
John Spencer, an actor who received an Emmy Award for portraying the flawed but efficient chief of staff who anchored the large ensemble cast on NBC-TV’s "The West Wing," died on Friday December 17th.
He was 58.
John Spencer’s portrayal of Leo McGarry was brilliant, completely faultless. He brought a huge array of acting talent to bear on scenes that demanded anything from cranky humour or heartfelt kindness through to gut-wrenching sadness or pounding fear – all with understatement and subtlety. A lovely character, a lovely man, and possibly one of the greatest but undervalued actors of our time. In a show with an outstanding ensemble cast, John stood apart with his acting always being sheer perfection.
 From his entrance into The West Wing, through the story of his alcoholism in Bartlet for America, from his reaction in Twenty Five to the scarily accurate heart attack scene in The Birnam Woods, Spencer managed to make Leo a real person and not just a character in a television show.
With all the great scenes that have been shown on the West Wing, I think one of the most memorable Leo moments was the scene in "18th and Potomac" when he hears of Mrs. Landingham’s death, and realizes he’s going to have to give the president this unbearable news. In that long, long close-up, Spencer gives the equivalent of a heart-wrenching monologue using nothing more than facial expressions.
For those of us that watched the West Wing religously you made us laugh, you made us cry, you made us believe.
The world has lost a wonderful actor, and the West Wing has lost its heart and soul.
West Wing Analogy
A dark-horse candidate comes from behind to win his party’s nomination. As if to spite the pollsters and talking heads, the frank and brilliant former governor, Jed Bartlet, captures the White House to become President of the United States.
Surrounding himself with the best and the brightest, the president chooses his staff from the team responsible for putting him in the White House. Leo McGarry, the president’s oldest friend — and the man who convinces Bartlet to run — is named chief of staff. One of the most powerful men in his party, Leo presides over the West Wing of the White House with a firm hand and a fatherly tone. With uncanny prescience, Leo puts his faith in Toby Ziegler, the only original staff member to make it through the campaign. Despite six previous failures, Toby’s work along with a new team of friends and strangers, helps get Bartlet nominated and elected. Now, as the communications director for the White House, Toby holds an important role in crafting the president’s word.
Using the power instilled in him as an old family friend, Leo McGarry brings Josh Lyman to the campaign with a simple request to come hear Jed Bartlet speak. In a VFW hall in Nashua, New Hampshire, the skeptical Josh does come and is amazed to finally find a candidate to believe in. Convinced that the man should be president, Lyman gets his friend Sam Seaborn to quit his job at a major law firm where he is about to become a partner and join Bartlet’s campaign. Gladly serving at the pleasure of President Bartlet, Sam is now the White House deputy communications director and his friend Josh is the deputy chief of staff. Two men from different backgrounds from opposite ends of the country are united not just by friendship but by their devotion to the president.
Leo Quote
Season 2, Episode 10
"This guy’s walking down the street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can’t get out. A doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, ‘Hey you. Can you help me out?’ The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up, ‘Father, I’m down in this hole can you help me out?’ The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a friend walks by, ‘Hey, Joe, it’s me can you help me out?’ And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, ‘Are you stupid? Now we’re both down here.’ The friend says, ‘Yeah, but I’ve been down here before and I know the way out.’  
Spencer died after suffering a heart attack, said Ron Hofmann, his publicist. He said the actor had fallen ill at home and died at Olympia Medical Center in Los Angeles.
"We’re shocked and deeply saddened by the sudden death of our friend and colleague," Aaron Sorkin and Tommy Schlamme, executive producers of "The West Wing," said in a statement. "John was an uncommonly good man, an exceptional role model and a brilliant actor."
On the Emmy-winning hourlong drama that began airing in 1999, Spencer’s character, Leo McGarry, is running for vice president on the Democratic ticket with Rep. Matthew Santos, played by Jimmy Smits.
Art sadly imitated life for Spencer. His "West Wing" character was chosen as a running mate despite a recent heart attack and a history of alcoholism. The actor openly acknowledged that he had struggled with alcohol addiction since high school
In a statement, Smits said, "I am honored to call John Spencer a friend, and his death is a loss that will be felt for a long time to come. Working with him was a privilege…. John was a true pillar of a man."
The death of an actor while a series is still in production challenges the producers and writers to find a logical plot line for the character’s sudden absence. "The West Wing" will have to deal with the loss because the fictional election is central to the story line.
David E. Kelley, a writer and executive producer on "L.A. Law" when Spencer joined that show in 1990, was too upset to speak but issued this statement: "We are all deeply saddened."
James Mangold, who directed Spencer in the 1997 film "Cop Land," said he first noticed the "brilliant" actor when he played a street-smart attorney on "L.A. Law" on NBC.
"He was a kind, sweet, funny man … a man who made your words come to life in ways you would never expect," Mangold said.
Spencer was born John Speshock on Dec. 20, 1946, the only child of a working-class family. Most sources give his birthplace as New York City, but some say New Jersey.
His mother, Mildred, was an occasional waitress and homemaker who dropped out of school in the eighth grade. His truck driver father, John, never finished grammar school.
"They wanted me to be educated, a doctor or a lawyer. They weren’t happy that I chose the arts," the gravelly voiced Spencer told the Chicago Tribune in 1992. "They wanted me to have a good life. It’s ironic that I made the leap in a different way," he said.
As a student at the Professional Children’s School in New York City, he sometimes took classes with Liza Minnelli.
At 16, he left his home near Paterson, N.J., to pursue acting in New York City and took Spencer as his stage name.
"I lived at the YMCA," he recalled. "My mom would meet me at the bus station and slip me $10."
In the early 1960s, he landed his first television role, on "The Patty Duke Show" on ABC. He played Henry Anderson, the boyfriend of Cathy, the British twin.
"I had big ears and was quite tall for the show, 5-foot, 6 inches," Spencer recalled in 2000. "I looked like a toothpick with ears."
After that, he attended Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey and later New York University but dropped out to return to acting.
Most of his early work was on the stage, where he established himself as a character actor in regional theater.
He toured with Gloria Swanson, playing her blind son in "Butterflies Are Free." In 1982, he received an Obie for his portrayal of a returning Vietnam veteran in the Emily Mann off-Broadway play "Still Life."
Mann also offered him the role of killer Dan White in "Execution of Justice," her stage re-creation of the 1978 murders in San Francisco of political figures George Moscone and Harvey Milk.
"Still Life" led to his first film role, as a military grunt in 1983’s "WarGames."
His big break in the movies came in the 1990 film "Presumed Innocent." He played Harrison Ford’s detective sidekick, the man who tosses the incriminating piece of evidence overboard at the end of the courtroom thriller.
"My life changed overnight," he told Time magazine in 2000.
From there, he went directly to the NBC hit "L.A. Law." Casting director Ronnie Yeskel knew Spencer’s work from the theater.
"He’s dangerous and interesting, not your typical pretty boy, and he’s got great humor," Yeskel said in 1992. "We were looking for somebody different from the cast, an older guy, maybe with a little more ‘street.’ "
Although Spencer was hesitant to join the series, Kelley’s script convinced him otherwise.
"I got five pages into it, and it was one of the best scripts I’d read. David had got inside my head. He wrote it like I thought," Spencer told the Chicago Tribune.
He joined "L.A. Law" in 1990 as maverick lawyer Tommy Mullaney and stayed until the show’s end in 1994. Spencer claimed Mullaney’s rumpled look was based on his own wardrobe.
Spencer, whose grandfathers were both alcoholics, said he woke up one morning in 1989 and decided to quit drinking. He called a cousin to take him to a rehabilitation center. A decade later, Spencer gave up smoking.
In his 40-year career, he also worked with Nicolas Cage and Sean Connery in the action-suspense film "The Rock" (1996) and with Paul Newman in the 1998 private-eye yarn "Twilight."
After appearing in the short-lived NBC series "Trinity" in 1998, Spencer swore off doing hourlong dramas but once again changed his mind when his agent showed him the pilot script for "The West Wing." The role would bring him five Emmy nominations, including a win in 2002.
Right after he signed the contract for the pilot, his agent called again to say he’d just come across "the best new American play" he’d ever read, called "The Glimmer Brothers," Spencer told The Times in 2001.
Again, it was a role that Spencer felt he couldn’t pass up.
He played Martin Glimmer, a dissolute trumpet player who’s about to pay the final dues of a hard life, at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts during "The West Wing’s" summer hiatus in 1999.
Two years later, he revived his well-reviewed role in "Glimmer, Glimmer and Shine" — same play, different title — at the Mark Taper Forum while filming "The West Wing."
During the play, his role on the show was cut back, but Martin Sheen, who portrays President Josiah Bartlet on "The West Wing," told The Times in 2001 that he noticed no difference in life on the set with Spencer.
"He’s extremely energetic; he’s got it down — I can barely keep up with the show," Sheen said. "I don’t know how he does it, but man, he’s doing it."
The Crackpots and these Women
“It is in the spirit of Andrew Jackson that I, from time to time, ask senior staff to have face-to-face meetings with those people representing organizations who have a difficult time getting our attention. I know the more jaded among you see this as something rather beneath you. But I assure you that listening to the voices of passionate Americans is beneath no one, and surely not the people’s servants.”
Let Bartlet be Bartlet
"You want to see me orchestrate this right now? You want to see me mobilize these people? These people who would walk into fire if you told them to. These people who showed up to lead. These people who showed up to fight… That guy gets death threats because he’s black and he dates your daughter. He was warned, do not show up to this place. You’re life will be in danger. He said to hell with that, I’m going anyway. You said no. Prudent, or not prudent, this 21 year old for 600 dollars a week says I’m going where I want to because a man stands up… Everyone’s waiting for you. I don’t know how much longer."
"If we want to walk into walls, I’d want us running into ’em full speed… And we’re gonna lose some of these battles, and we might even lose the White House, but we’re not gonna be threatened by issues. We’re gonna put them front and center. We’re gonna raise the level of public debate in this country, and let that be our legacy."
John Spencer

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