Tag: leverage

TNT Announces Summer Premieres

TNT has announced their slate of summer premieres for new series and returning favorites. Rizzoli & Isles, Franklin & Bash, Falling Skies and Leverage all return with brand-new seasons with The Closer ending its highly-acclaimed seven year run. The network looks to continue the formula of high-concept dramas featuring extraordinary talents with the hotly-anticipated debut of Dallas as well as The Great Escape, Perception and The Closer spin-off Major Crimes. Make sure your summer plans include time for these awesome series!

Rizzoli & Isles
Season Premiere: Tuesday, June 5, at 9:00 PM
Season 3: 10 summer episodes
For the past two summers, Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander have proven that two heads are better than one in this drama series based on the crime novels by best-selling author Tess Gerritsen. As Boston detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles, the pair share a quirky chemistry and put away some of Boston’s most notorious criminals.

Franklin & Bash
Season Premiere: Tuesday, June 5, at 10:00 PM
Season 2: 10 episodes
Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Breckin Meyer star in this light-hearted legal drama as two fly-by-the seat-of-their-pants lawyers working for a button-down law firm. Malcolm McDowell plays the firm’s wonderfully eccentric patriarch. Also starring are Garcelle Beauvais, Dana Davis, Kumail Nanjiani and Reed Diamond.

New Series, Two-Hour Series Premiere: Wednesday, June 13, at 9:00 PM
Season 1: 10 episodes
This summer, Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray reprise their famous characters as J.R., Bobby and Sue Ellen Ewing return to Southfork with secrets, schemes and betrayals. This time, they’re joined by the next generation of Ewings, played by Josh Henderson and Jesse Metcalfe, who take ambition and deception to a new level. Dallas also stars Jordana Brewster, Julie Gonzalo and Brenda Strong. Shot on location in the title city, Dallas comes to TNT from Warner Horizon Television, with premiere episode writer Cynthia Cidre and director Michael M. Robin serving as executive producers. It was developed by Cidre and created by David Jacobs.

Falling Skies
Two-Hour Season Premiere: Sunday, June 17, at 9:00 PM
Season 2: 10 episodes
The wait is nearly over as basic cable’s #1 new series of 2011 returns to continue its extraordinary story about life and survival in the wake of a catastrophic alien invasion. Noah Wyle stars as a college professor who becomes an unlikely resistance leader in this gripping series from DreamWorks Television and executive producer Steven Spielberg. Moon Bloodgood, Will Patton, Drew Roy, Maxim Knight and Connor Jessup also star.

The Great Escape
New Series Premiere: Sunday, June 24, at 10:00 PM
Season 1: 10 episodes
This fast-paced, nail-biting competition series drops ordinary people into the middle of their own epic action/adventure movie. Each week, Rich Eisen (NFL Total Access) hosts as teams of competitors try to find their way out of seemingly impossible situations for a chance to take home a cash prize. The series, from Fox Television Studios, is executive-produced by the Oscar winning team of Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, as well as the Emmy-winning producers of The Amazing Race, Bertram van Munster and Elise Doganieri. The series is created and executive produced by Justin W. Hochberg (The Apprentice) and Charlie Ebersol (The Wanted).

The Closer
Premiere: Monday, July 9, at 9:00 PM
Season 7: Six final episodes
TNT’s record-breaking series returns one last time to bring its extraordinary seven-year run to an end. Emmy winner Kyra Sedgwick stars as Los Angeles Deputy Police Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson, whose impeccable investigative and interrogation skills have resulted in countless confessions and convictions. Mary McDonnell, who will continue her role as Captain Sharon Raydor in TNT’s upcoming series Major Crimes, also stars.

New Series Premiere: Monday, July 9, at 10:00 PM
Season 1: 10 episodes
Drama fans are about to meet one of the most unique crime solvers on television when TNT premieres this fascinating new series about an eccentric neuroscience professor who is recruited by the FBI to help solve complex cases. Emmy and Screen Actors Guild Award winner Eric McCormack stars as Dr. Daniel Pierce, who possesses an intimate knowledge of human behavior and a masterful understanding of the way the mind works. Although Pierce’s mind may be brilliant, it’s also damaged as he suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. Perception also stars Rachael Leigh Cook, Arjay Smith and Kelly Rowan. Produced by ABC Studios, the series was created by executive producer Ken Biller and co-executive producer Mike Sussman, with McCormack serving as producer.

Season Premiere: Sunday, July 15, at 8:00 PM
Season 5: 10 summer episodes
Television’s coolest gang of thieves, grifters and con artists are back in the fifth season of this fast-paced, light-hearted caper series from blockbuster executive producer Dean Devlin and Electric Entertainment. Academy Award winner Timothy Hutton stars, along with Gina Bellman, Christian Kane, Beth Riesgraf and Aldis Hodge.

Major Crimes
New Series Premiere: Monday, Aug. 13, at 10:00 PM, following The Closer finale
Regular Timeslot: Mondays at 9:00 PM
Season 1: 10 episodes
This all-new drama series is ready to take television’s favorite squad of detectives into bold new territory. Two-time Oscar nominee Mary McDonnell will continue her role from The Closer as Los Angeles Police Captain Sharon Raydor. Major Crimes will focus on how the American justice system approaches the art of the deal as law-enforcement officers and prosecutors work together to score a conviction. Joining McDonnell are fellow Closer veterans G.W. Bailey, Tony Denison, Michael Paul Chan, Raymond Cruz and Phillip P. Keene, with guest appearances by Jon Tenney and Robert Gossett. New cast members include Graham Patrick Martin as a homeless juvenile and Kearran Giovanni as an ambitious undercover detective. Major Crimes is produced by The Shephard/Robin Company, in association with Warner Bros. Television, with The Closer‘s James Duff, Greer Shephard and Michael M. Robin serving as executive producers.

Under The Radar 05: Leverage

When I was a kid all the best TV shows were on the “Big 3” of CBS, NBC and ABC. As I grew up, soon the best shows were on FOX and sometimes even the WB. Today that has all changed as many award winning TV programs can be found on cable and premium channels like HBO and Showtime. In the past few years, TNT has been one of the channels to step up its original programming and one of the products they’ve brought out has been the action/comedy/drama show Leverage. Get ready to get even with a team of thieves who are modern day Robin Hoods.

Starting in 2008, Leverage has become a hit for TNT as it drew nearly 4 million viewers in its’ first season and 4.5 million in its’ second and third seasons. The Pilot episode itself does a great job of setting the mood for the entire series. Timothy Hutton plays Nathan “Nate” Ford, a former insurance investigator who after the death of his son puts together a team to help victims get revenge on those who’ve wronged them. The Leverage team consists of Sophie Devereaux (Gina Bellman) who is the team grifter, an actress who gains their targets confidence by any means necessary. Alec Hardison (Aldis Hodge) is the team Hacker and all around geek, able to get into any computer system and take over and usually the one to make pop culture references. Eliot Spencer (Christian Kane) is the Hitter, who is exactly what it sounds like. Eliot hates guns, but is all for head-butts! The final team member is Parker (Beth Riesgraf) who is the team thief. Parker is an orphan whose step father would take her toys away and lock them up, telling her to either stop “or become a better thief.” So she did.

Whether they’re taking on a corrupt judge, loan sharks, the mob, or a crooked housing developer, Leverage is always packed with action, drama and a surprising amount of comedy. I had caught the show by accident one day and soon was caught up in what I would find out to be season 3 of the show. If you’re like me you may feel awkward about tuning into a show if you haven’t watched from the start, but Leverage is easy to get into no matter where you’re starting off at. Though it does occasionally have story arcs that carry over through the season, the majority of the episodes are self-contained, allowing new viewers to jump in at any point. Still not comfortable jumping in? Season 1 and 2 are currently available on DVD and TNT.com offers episodes for free to view online. Season 3 will be released on DVD on June 7, 2011 and season 4 will premiere on June 26th! Now is the perfect time to get caught up and see why some of the best TV, isn’t on network television anymore!

TNT Announces Summer Schedule


Franklin & Bash – Series premiere Wednesday, June 1, at 9:00 PM – Season 1: 10 episodes

Mark-Paul Gosselaar (NYPD Blue) and Breckin Meyer (Road Trip) star in this light-hearted legal drama as two fly-by-the seat-of-their-pants lawyers working for a button-down law firm. Malcom McDowell (Heroes, Entourage) also stars as the head of their firm.

Falling Skies – Two-hour series premiere Sunday, June 19, at 9:00 PM; regular timeslot Sundays at 10:00 PM – Season 1: 10 episodes

Noah Wyle (ER) stars in this gripping drama series from DreamWorks Television and executive producer Steven Spielberg about the aftermath of an alien invasion and the resistance movement formed by the survivors.


Men of a Certain Age – Premiere: Wednesday, June 1, at 10:00 PM – Season 2 continues: Six summer episodes

Ray Romano (Everybody Loves Raymond), Scott Bakula (Quantum Leap) and Andre Braugher (Homicide: Life on the Street) star in this acclaimed drama series about three men facing the challenges of midlife.

Memphis Beat – Premiere: Tuesday, June 14, at 9:00 PM – Season 2: 10 episodes

Jason Lee (My Name Is Earl) stars as a Memphis police detective with an intimate connection to the city, a passion for its music and a very demanding boss. Alfre Woodard (True Blood) and DJ Qualls (Hustle & Flow) also star.

HawthoRNe – Premiere: Tuesday, June 14, at 10:00 PM – Season 3: 10 episodes

This powerful drama series stars Jada Pinkett Smith (The Matrix trilogy) as Christina Hawthorne, the impassioned Chief Nursing Officer at James River Hospital, with Michael Vartan (Alias) and new cast member Marc Anthony (El Cantate) also starring.

Leverage – Premiere: Sunday, June 26, at 9:00 PM – Season 4: 10 summer episodes

Timothy Hutton (Ordinary People) stars as the head of television’s coolest gang of thieves, grifters and con artists out to help everyday people get even against the big shots who have destroyed their lives.

The Closer – Premiere: Monday, July 11, at 9:00 PM – Season 7: 10 summer episodes

TNT’s record-breaking series returns this summer with 2010 Emmy winner Kyra Sedgwick as Los Angeles Deputy Police Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson.

Rizzoli & Isles – Premiere: Monday, July 11, at 10:00 PM – Season 2: 10 summer episodes

Last summer, Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander proved two heads are better than one in this drama series based on the crime novels by best-selling author Tess Gerritsen. As Boston detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles, the pair share a quirky chemistry and put away some of Boston’s most notorious criminals.

Providing Leverage: Preview “The Ho Ho Ho Job”

“THE HO HO HO JOB” Airs Sunday, December 12 at 9:00 PM on TNT
Written by Michael Colton and John Aboud, Directed by Marc Roskin

To restore Santa’s reputation, the team infiltrates a mall on Christmas Eve and uncovers a nefarious scheme perpetrated by an old nemesis. Dave Foley (News Radio, Kids in the Hall) and Wil Wheaton (Star Trek: The Next Generation) guest-star.

Leverage resumes its third season on Sunday with a little Yuletide story before next week’s two-part season finale. This episode sees the welcome return of Wil Wheaton as Hardison’s hacker rival Colin “Chaos” Mason. I’m looking forward to seeing how he attempts to thwart our team this time. Additionally, we get the awesome Mr. Dave Foley along for the ride. Foley is always a treat and both he and Wheaton are perfect gifts for what looks to be a truly special episode. Catch a recap of the season so far below as well as a preview of Sunday’s episode!

Providing Leverage: “The Jailhouse Job” & “The Reunion Job”

Leverage is back for a third season this week and for the premiere TNT is airing two episodes back to back. Returning for the new new season are Timothy Hutton as Nate Ford, Gina Bellman as Sophie Devereaux, Christian Kane as Eliot Spencer, Beth Riesgraf as Parker and Aldis Hodge as Alec Hardison. The series is once again being shot in Portland, OR (standing in for Boston) and will run for sixteen episodes.

“The Jailhouse Job” – Sunday, June 20, at 9:00PM
Written by John Rogers, Directed by Dean Devlin

In order to save the life of an innocent inmate, Nate must bring down the corrupt warden of the Super-Max prison where he’s currently incarcerated and escape… whether he wants to or not. Elisabetta Canalis and Edwin Hodge guest-star.

“The Jailhouse Job” picks up in the aftermath of the second season finale. Nate is in a privately run prison after surrendering himself so that his friends could go free. The gun shot wound that hampered him in the closing minutes of the finale has healed nicely, so no worries there. The rest of the team (Sophie, Eliot, Parker and Hardison) are all ready to break Nate out, although everyone isn’t certain he should be freed after not keeping them in the loop with his plan. Ultimately, Nate refuses to be broken out as, surprise, he has found them a client within the jailhouse. Lurking in the shadows is a mysterious Italian woman who decides to make life a lot more complicated, if not interesting, for our merry band of con artists.

This first season three episode is as sharp, witty and brilliantly paced as any episode of Leverage previously. The actors have their characters nailed down so perfectly and the banter shoots back and forth with rapid-fire giddiness. There are some great touches for long-time fans (specifically concerning Sophie’s real name) and clever use of a proposed con at the beginning in order to inform first-time viewers exactly what this show is all about. In the first season Nate was the one holding the group together and in the second season everyone else tried to hold Nate together. It would appear that they are all on equal footing this season, thanks to our mystery Italian lady friend, so it will be interesting to see where that goes. Sophie confronts Nate about his drinking at the end of the episode and I think that sort of tells us that Nate has accepted the others as equals and says a lot about the respect he now has for them. Oh, and for those of you still mourning the loss of Hardison’s beloved van, Lucille, take heart; there’s a new girl in town. All in all, a fine return for a series that has always stood out as a quality show.

“The Reunion Job” – Sunday, June 20, at 10:00PM
Written by Michael Colton & John Aboud, Directed by Jonathan Frakes
To uncover a password, the team infiltrates the high school reunion of an amoral software magnate who’s the IT department for the Axis of Evil.

“The Reunion Job” is a great trip down memory lane for those of us that came of age in the 1980s. As the episode description implies, the crew basically steals a High School reunion in order to steal a password from someone playing fast and loose with some very evil men. This episode is chock full of great scenes and character moments. We see two significant flashbacks involving a quick look at what two of our heroes were up to in the 80s and there is a dance at the end that will make long-time fans pretty happy, but it’s the not the dance you think (as in, not the one pictured below). Also, there is a very unexpected wrinkle in an otherwise perfect plan, but thinking on their toes is one of this group’s strengths. Mainly because I’m a computer nerd (geek alert for the low tech on display), but mostly because I went to High School in the mid-80s, I think I like this episode just a bit more than the premiere.

Leverage is back and better than ever. Great scripts, awesome direction and impeccable acting are the hallmarks for the first two episodes of season three. Getting even has never looked so good or been as much fun.