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BFTV's 12 Best TV Drama Series Ever

March 1st, 2013 1:46pm EST
This week's issue of TV Guide featured that magazine's picks for the best dramas of all time. It's not a simple discussion, because there are and have been so many fantastic drama series on TV over the ages - some of which have gotten recognition and others that have flown largely under the radar. Here, then, is BFTV's list of the 12 best drama series I've seen over the last three decades - and why they've earned that recognition.

The following were the criteria for inclusion:

01) It had to be a series that I'd seen at least one full season of. It's not really fair to call something the "...

'1600 Penn' Can't Escape 'West Wing's' Foot Print

January 11th, 2013 7:47pm EST
We've seen this somewhere before...
I’ve spent a fair amount of time in pitch-rooms. Hearing people toss ideas back and forth for show ideas, spec scripts, the occasional web-series or sketch, eventually makes you realize that truly unique ideas are very difficult to find - and even harder to produce properly. It also makes you realize how many folks in the TV biz desperately want to be Aaron Sorkin. 

Every couple of days someone would be turned onto the witty banter of The West Wing or Studio 60 or Sports Night and almost immediately pitch a show or concept that sounded curiously like something Sorkin would do. It’s like St...

Rob Lowe To Star In Lifetime's TV Movie 'Prosecuting Casey Anthony'

May 4th, 2012 8:16am EDT
Rob Lowe
Rob Lowe has signed up to star in a new movie detailing the trial of Casey Anthony, the Florida woman who was cleared of killing her young daughter in a headline-grabbing court case last year.

The West Wing star will play real-life prosecutor Jeff Ashton in an upcoming Lifetime TV film based on the attorney's best-selling book Imperfect Justice: Prosecuting Casey Anthony, which was released shortly after Anthony was acquitted last July.

Anthony was accused of drugging her two-year-old daughter Caylee and suffocating her with duct tape in 2008, but her lawyers claimed the youngster accid...

Paley Center Unveils 'Television Out of the Box' Exhibit

April 25th, 2012 8:00am EDT
Attention TV geeks: the Paley Center for Media has something you're going to want to see.

Long known as a hub for all things small-screen related (dating back to when it used to be called the Museum of Television & Radio), the Beverly Hills museum recently opened "Television Out of the Box," an exhibit devoted to celebrating decades of Warner Bros. television programs.

That includes popular concluded series like ER, The West Wing, Friends, Cold Case, Smallville, Seinfeld, and Deadwood, as well as current series such as Pretty Little Liars and Southland.

On my recent visit, I was able t...

Q&A: Shawn Doyle Plays A Brilliant 'Endgame'

January 9th, 2012 2:05pm EST
Can you solve crimes without ever leaving one building? That's the idea behind Endgame, a Canadian series that gets a second life on Hulu starting today.

In Endgame, veteran actor Shawn Doyle (Big Love, 24, Lie To Me) plays Russian chess champion Arkady Balagan, who's confined himself to a hotel after witnessing the murder of his fiancee. Arkady is both brilliant and difficult, but when he's convinced to apply his powers of observation to the disappearance of a young boy, he finds another use for his amazing talent. With the help of hotel staff and a grad student, Arkady tackles a ...

Showtime Develops 'Animal Kingdom' TV Series

December 20th, 2011 8:00am EST
Animal Kingdom
Oscar-nominated Australian movie Animal Kingdom is heading to the small screen as a new U.S. TV show.

The drama won a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nomination for its star Jacki Weaver in her role as the matriarch of a notorious Melbourne crime family, and now it is set for an American revamp.

The film will be made into a TV pilot for Showtime with the option of turning it into a full-length series.

The movie's Australian producer, Liz Watts, says, "We would hope it goes into a really long-running series, of course. Certainly, the investors are very happy with the deal... They...

Rob Lowe Lands Another Book Deal

December 12th, 2011 11:38am EST
Rob Lowe
Actor Rob Lowe is to expand upon his writing skills by penning a new tome about love, sex and marriage.

Earlier this year, The West Wing star published his memoir, Stories I Only Tell My Friends, and the book went on to win critical acclaim on the New York Times bestseller list.

And now Lowe is looking to capitalize on his new-found success as an author by signing a deal with publisher Simon & Schuster for Love Life, a novel which will focus on his own experiences and observations.

Jonathan Karp, a rep for the company, released a statement which reads, "The first book proved that Rob ...

The 10th Anniversary Of '24'

November 6th, 2011 3:17pm EST
How time flies: 10 years ago today, 24 premiered on FOX, and television - not to mention pop culture and the world - was never the same.

The action-drama series, created by La Femme Nikita bosses Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran, and starring Kiefer Sutherland as now-famous government agent Jack Bauer, was a groundbreaking piece of entertainment. It introduced the idea of a television series in real time (each episode was an hour in a day) and employed a distinctive visual style that included the widespread use of "boxes" to provide simultaneous glimpses at multiple storylines. In concept ...

Rob Lowe Says He Was Onboard Al Qaeda's 9/11 Test Flight

May 4th, 2011 2:42pm EDT
Rob Lowe
Actor Rob Lowe has sensationally revealed he was onboard the terrorist test flight Al Qaeda operatives took while planning the 9/11 attacks on America.

The former The West Wing and Brothers & Sisters star didn't realize how close he came to the men behind the 2001 atrocities until he received a letter from the Attorney General of Maryland in excusing him from having to testify at the 2006 trial of hijack mastermind Zacarias Moussaoui.

Moussaoui, who was arrested after the 9/11 attacks on New York and The Pentagon that killed almost 3,000 people, was on Lowe's flight from Washington, D.C...

Rob Lowe In Talks To Replace Charlie Sheen?

March 8th, 2011 3:45pm EST
Rob Lowe
Rob Lowe is in talks to replace Charlie Sheen in Two And A Half Men.

Sheen was fired from the sitcom on Monday following a 10-day media blitz, during which he blasted show producers and show creator/writer Chuck Lorre for cancelling the remaining episodes of the current eighth season of the program.

And Lorre is already lining up the star's replacement following speculation TV veteran John Stamos would be the man for the job. reports Lorre's team has been talking to Lowe, who is currently starring in sitcom Parks & Recreation after stints on dramas Brothers & Sisters and The W...

Aaron Sorkin Says He's Returning To TV With New Series For HBO

January 26th, 2011 9:36am EST
He's got a Golden Globe win and an Oscar nomination for The Social Network, but he's not done yet. In a recent interview with BBC Breakfast, Aaron Sorkin revealed details of a project that's sure to sound familiar to any of his fans: a series set behind the scenes in television.

This time - his fourth television series - Sorkin is turning his eye toward cable news for HBO. "I've written the pilot episode and we're casting it right now," he says in the interview, though the premium network has made no official statement regarding a future project. Of course, writing and casting a pil...

Rob Lowe Involved In $660 Million Miramax Deal

August 1st, 2010 8:00am EDT
Rob Lowe
Robe Lowe is hoping to turn the fortunes of the Miramax Films studio around - the actor has confirmed he is one of the investors in a massive $660 million deal to acquire the company.

The West Wing star recently formed a multimedia investment venture with the chairman of Colony Capital LLC, Tom Barrack, and they were rumored to be in talks to buy the movie company.

Miramax was sold to a group of investors on Friday and Lowe has now confirmed he is part of the takeover.

In a statement, he says, "The acquisition of a classic brand like Miramax is an exciting first step in my partnership...

Rob Lowe In Trouble With The Taxman

July 27th, 2010 2:35pm EDT
Rob Lowe
Rob Lowe is in trouble with the tax office - the actor has been accused of owing $269,000 in back payments.

Officials at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have filed a lien against the West Wing star and his wife, Sheryl Berkoff, alleging they owe the massive sum in income tax payments dating back to 2008.

The paperwork was filed on July 9th in Lowe's native Ohio, according to The Detroit News, but Lowe's publicist Alan Nierob is adamant the star didn't know about the lien. He says, "I checked with my client and he knows nothing whatsoever about this and has not been contacted by anyon...

Rob Lowe Creates Multi-Million Dollar Company

July 2nd, 2010 8:20am EDT
Rob Lowe
Rob Lowe is on the fast track to becoming a media mogul - the actor is reportedly creating a company to invest in sports teams, distribution firms and multimedia.

The former "West Wing" star and Colony Capital chief executive Tom Barrack have teamed for a multimedia venture backed with $500 million, according to the New York Post.

The new company will reportedly have a portfolio within California-based Colony Capital to invest in sports teams, distribution firms, television networks or online properties.

A source tells the newspaper the deal is "pretty far along."

Representatives for Lo...

Bradley Whitford: Expect Lots Of Fun, Action & Moustache In FOX's 'The Good Guys'

May 18th, 2010 10:30am EDT
Bradley Whitford The Good Guys
Bradley Whitford is back on television like you’ve never seen him before. Sure, you’re probably used to seeing him as an articulate intellectual on Aaron Sorkin shows like The West Wing or Studio 60. If you’re a movie fan, maybe you like him as a generic villain. The Good Guys brings Whitford to the buddy cop drama as an alcoholic renegade paired up with a young, by the books hotshot.

Whitford rocks a ‘70s moustache since his character hasn’t really left behind the glory days of his early career. Even in person, he’s pulling it off. Perhaps it helps that he has an ironic sense of humor abo...

Charlie Sheen & Brooke Mueller: The Couple That Rehabs Together, Stays Together

February 25th, 2010 8:44am EST
Charlie Sheen & Brooke Mueller
Here we go again - Charlie Sheen is going back to rehab. Not so shocking news, but break out the large flannel button-downs and spin your favorite Nirvana record because it's starting to feel like the 90s!

Charlie is one of Hollywood's most infamous bad boys and is arguably known more for his hard-partying ways and multiple trips to rehab than his roles in blockbuster films like "Major League" or "Platoon."  But then fortunately, or unfortunately depending on the celebrity news outlets, his people insisted he clean up his act.  One of his first trips to rehab in 1990 was a result of a fami...

'The West Wing' Ruled Allison Janney's Life

February 8th, 2010 7:00pm EST
Allison Janney
Allison Janney felt "adrift" when long-running drama The West Wing ended - because the hit show had taken over her life. The actress, who played press secretary C.J. in the White House-based series, worked 18-hour days and rarely had time to socialize with pals.

And when the show eventually ended its seven-year run in 2006, Janney realized how much of life she had missed out on.

She tells the U.K.'s Sunday Express, "It was relentless. We did 18-hour days - and we were so happy to be where we were. But as the years went by, we started to be less happy. There are so many things I miss...

Ten Greatest Entertainers of the Decade

December 18th, 2009 9:39am EST
Greatest Entertainers of the Decade
This week, we've brought you the Ten Greatest TV Shows, Songs, Albums and Movies of the Decade. Now it's time to roll it all into one with the Ten Greatest Entertainers of the Decade.

This was a decade where entertainment became increasingly fractured. With 500 channels 500 bazillion websites and every medium on-demand, bringing together any significant chunk of people to one thing was a true sign of greatness. In an era when nobody had to agree - making them agree took something beyond the level of entertainer we saw in the past.

With that in mind, here are the Ten Greatest Entert...

The Ten Greatest Of The Decade: TV Shows

December 14th, 2009 9:30am EST
Best TV Of The Decade
As the decade reaches its conclusion, you'll undoubtedly come across many lists. Lists that purport to tell you the best, the top, the cream of the decade as they relate to pop culture. You're also certain to come across many lists that claim to rank the "greatest" of the ten year period from 2000-2009. But what does that really mean?

"Greatest" should be something entirely different from what we usually associate with these lists. Mostly, these lists claim to rank the best - something that is only truly possible were a listmaker to, say, see every single movie in a given decade. If...

Fictional Characters We Wish Were Real

November 12th, 2009 2:52pm EST
Fictional Characters Who Need To Be Real
While we all have dealt with our own Michael Scotts, here are fictional characters we all wish were on our plane of reality.


Claire Huxtable ('The Cosby Show')

A dramatic improvement from the current reality TV mom, Kate Gosselin, Claire would be a role model for moms and lawyers everywhere.

- Click pic for next page -

Leroy Jethro Gibbs ('NCIS')

If Gibbs looked like Mark Harmon, those intense blue eyes would beat out Jack Bauer's torture tactics any day.

- Click pic for next page -

Jack McCoy ('Law and Order')

Seriously, would you even ...

Matthew Perry Has New TV Comedy In The Works

October 13th, 2009 11:03am EDT
Matthew Perry
Matthew Perry will co-write, executive produce, and star in a new single-camera comedy, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Perry, who turned 40 in August, created the idea for the show in which he will play a self-involved manager of a second-rate sports arena who begins to re-evaluate his life on his 40th birthday.

Thomas Schlamme, who worked with Perry on "Friends," "The West Wing" and "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," is on board to direct and exec produce. The project is currently being pitched to networks.

See more photos of Matthew Perry here!

Image © PR Photos

Slideshow: Some Great Celebrity Comebacks

September 15th, 2009 10:00am EDT
Celebrity Comebacks
From Britney Spears to Whitney Houston, find out which celebrities are the latest to hit the comeback trail!

Whitney Houston

A string of number ones over the past two decades made the super-talented Whitney Houston a household name around the world. Unfortunately, all of the talent and the successes took a back seat in recent years due to persistent headlines detailing rampant drug use and abuse by her ex-husband Bobby Brown. Lucky for us, she's divorced Brown and reportedly put her problems behind her, the pop singers new CD I look to you hit stores last month.

- Click pic for ne...

Faux Documentaries Entertain Film & TV Audiences

August 5th, 2009 11:52am EDT
Documentary films, the traditional kind that the average person simply ignores, have long since given way to the popular faux documentary. These films, unlike their parent genre, have been and continue to be wildly successful. In fact, they are now so tightly woven into our culture that we truly forget what they are.

Christopher Guest's films Best in Show, For Your Consideration, and A Mighty Wind were all based on a fake, typically unseen camera crew following a group during or to an event. Sacha Baron Cohen also took this approach, with an obviously irreverent tone, with Da Ali G S...

Dulé Hill Answers 'Psych' Fan Questions

August 5th, 2009 9:44am EDT
Dulé Hill
A few weeks ago we interviewed James Roday from "Psych" (returning Friday, August 7 at 10pm on USA). And when we say "we," we mean all the legions of dedicated Psych-Os that sent in their questions for Roday via Twitter. Since then, the Psych-Os have been relentless that they want... nay (!), need round two with co-star Dulé Hill. We were determined, no matter how long it took, to give the "Psych" fans exactly what they want. So, yes, Dulé Hill now answers your questions about the upcoming season of "Psych," his time on "The West Wing" and even writes a scene involving him and President Bar...

Spotlight On The Best Big-Screen Lawyers

April 16th, 2009 10:00am EDT
Lawyers have been around basically as long as the law has been present - even back in Ancient Rome and Greece there were men who would stand up and speak for the laws they made. Over the years the role of the lawyer has altered a few times, but it always comes back to truth, justice, and honesty ... or the exact opposite of those ideas.

Lawyers have gained a rather negative persona, either due to them wanting too much money or doing it for their own ego rather than what is right. Film often interprets reality, and so lawyers on screen are usually portrayed as either virtuous, helpful,...

TV Shows I've Been Missing Out On

December 26th, 2008 9:40am EST
Mad Men
Some people's lives are filled with regret-the lost love in high school, not being ambitious enough at work, never seeing Fido again after forgetting to close the gate, eating that third helping of chili cheese fries. I try not to think of things like that, but missing out on popular television shows? That's when I start losing sleep. Enough already!

To help fill the gaping void, I've compiled what I hope will be a cathartic list of my biggest TV-watching regrets. Maybe that'll stop all the tossing and turning at night.


As a mid-20s guy, I can't help feeling old once...

Suffering Dancing Withdrawal? Check Out What You've Been Missing!

December 8th, 2008 11:29am EST
What's that? You've spent the last few months watching Brooke Burke become champion of Dancing With The Stars season 7, and now you have a gaping hole in your Mondays and Tuesdays? Well now might be the perfect chance to turn that dial and see what you've been missing.

The CBS Comedy Monday has been a consistent second place to Dancing over the last several years. The shows are some of the best sitcoms on broadcast TV. Here's a peek into what you can expect.

Monday 8/7c CBS

The Big Bang Theory is a wonderfully quirky comedy about Cal-Tech research physicists Sheldon and L...

Spotlight On Kristin Chenoweth

November 12th, 2008 10:00am EST
Kristin Chenoweth
With the voice of an angel and enough charm to wrap cynical Aaron Sorkin around her little finger, Kristin Chenoweth has spent a long time in the celebrity spotlight, yet always just on the outer edges.

Born Kristi Dawn Chenoweth 40 years ago, this Oklahoma-born girl got her start singing in church choirs and studying voice at Oklahoma City University. She earned a degree in musical theater and a MA in opera, and she then moved into pageant life by getting runner-up in the Miss Oklahoma contest of 1991 - a loss that she still jokes about fake-bitterly in interviews.

Kristin was ...

'30 Rock' Returns Tonight, Catch Up Here!

October 30th, 2008 9:30am EDT
30 Rock
It's been quite a year for Tina Fey. First, she revived a sinking Saturday Night Live. Then she completed the second season of 30 Rock in the face of the fallout that many scripted shows were unable to overcome. She not only overcame but thrived, showing NBC and the world that in the face of waning writing and the incestuous reality TV genre, a well-written show would garner viewers. If only Arrested Development had survived.

Next she starred in Baby Mama, which renewed Hollywood's hopes in a tandem of comediennes being able to carry a box office weekend. It seemed Tina Fey could do n...

The 'That Guy' Encyclopedia, Letters L Through Z

May 29th, 2008 10:45am EDT
Danny Trejo
Throughout cinematic history, there has been a plethora of actors that, for some reason or another, never become a household name. So here is a cheat sheet of sorts, a brief encyclopedia on "That Guy." Part Two: Letters L-Z. If you missed the first installment, you can check it out here.

Stubborn General or Muslim, Harry Lennix

Lennix played Lock, the unbelieving general in Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions. He appeared in short bursts in TV shows such as Diagnosis Murder and ER before a longer stay on Commander in Chief. He played a Moor in Titus and a Muslim in 24. He is currently s...