Wednesday, July 29, 2015

License Plate of the Day: Late 80s SNL Edition

License plate

Is someone in Chicago a big fan of the Dana Carvey/Dennis Miller/Nora Dunn/Jan Hooks era of "Saturday Night Live"? Is this Nora Dunn's car? Hmm.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Rate-A-Restaurant #348: Nookies (Chicago)


Restaurant: Nookies

Location: 1746 N. Wells (Chicago)

Type of restaurant: Coffee Shop/Diner


We stipulated: Looking for a simple, late lunch near our hotel in Lincoln Park.


They stipulated: "Situated in the Heart of Chicago’s Old Town, Nookies Restaurant first opened its doors as 'Nookies Snack Shop,' in 1973. Two co-workers, Spiros Alexopoulos, a recent immigrant from Greece, who used to work as a server in a Lincoln Park restaurant, and Ralph Fisher, a cook, joined forces to open what was to become one of Chicago’s favorite diners. The original snack shop was equipped with a deli and an ice cream parlor, and seated only a handful of patrons. Spiros and Ralph named it “Nookies” as in a breakfast nook, although the innuendos of the name where not lost on passersby and local patrons."


What we ordered: Maria: Chicken Piccata (Lightly breaded, sauteed with tomatoes and a lemon caper sauce) $12.45; Mike: Blackened Chicken (Coated with cajun spices, topped with mango chutney) $12.45; Kids: Burger (Lightly seasoned charbroiled and served with lettuce, tomato and pickle) $8.95; kids' spaghetti $3.95


High point:  The blogger kid 2.0's spaghetti with meat sauce was delicious and extremely cheap. Also, loved the '70s/'80s music soundtrack.

Low point:  They didn't accept American Express.


Overall impression: Old fashioned diner, complete with comfort food. Nice vibe.


Will we return: If we stay at the Hotel Lincoln again, I'm sure we'd stop by at some point.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

KCRW's The Spin-Off: The Last Man on Earth / Togetherness / Portlandia Edition

On the latest bonus edition of KCRW's The Spin-Off, we replay the audio from my Emmy For Your Consideration panel featuring the people behind Fox's "The Last Man on Earth," IFC's "Portlandia" and HBO's "Togetherness." I wrote about it back in May; now you can listen to it too! Details:

Members of the panel included Carrie Brownstein and Jonathan Krisel from Portlandia, star and creator of Last Man on Earth Will Forte, and Mark and Jay Duplass from Togetherness. For years the Duplass brothers were known for their work in indie film. They kicked the conversation off by telling Schneider how they got drawn into working on television projects.

Listen below!


Big Emmy Winners Include KMEX, Jon Weisman and Variety


Well, how about that. Two of my favorite former Variety colleagues (FYI, you're all my favorites) took home Emmy gold on Saturday night! I've been writing about the Los Angeles Area Emmy awards for years, but this year it truly hit home: Jon Weisman won the Emmy for Outstanding Sports Feature, having served as an associate producer on Time Warner Cable SportsNet L.A.'s "10,000 Wins" (on Access SportsNet Dodgers). And "Variety Studio: Actors on Actors," including executive producer Donna Pennestri (above, right), won the Outstanding Entertainment Programming Emmy on behalf of PBS SoCal.

Meanwhile, Spanish-language L.A. TV won the day in most of the key categories: NBC-owned Telemundo station KVEA won the top prize, the Regularly Scheduled Daily Evening Newscast (7 pm to Midnight) Emmy for Noticiero Telemundo 52 A Las 11 PM. Univision-owned KMEX won the Emmy for best morning newscast (4 am to 11 am) for Primera Edicion. And KMEX's 6 p.m. newscast tied with KVEA's 5:30 p.m. newscast for best daytime news.

KMEX led all stations with 9 awards, also including outstanding editor-programming (Antonio Camberos), outstanding news director (Horacio Cervantes), outstanding sports reporting (Diana Alvarado), outstanding investigative news reporting, outstanding hard news reporting (Antonio Valverde), outstanding light news story- multi-part report, and outstanding serious news story - multi-part report.

KVEA followed with seven Emmys, then Time Warner Cable SportsNet L.A. (six) and KTLA (five). KCBS' Pat Harvey was given the Governors' Award.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Seth MacFarlane, Josh Holloway, Phineas and Ferb: Highlights of My Comic-Con Panels (WATCH)

Comic-Con 2015

For the fifth year in a row, Comic-Con meant preparing for a hefty line-up of panels to moderate. I don't handle nearly as many as my colleague Damian Holbrook, but I seem to end up annually with four panels (generally a pretty good amount). This year the largest of my panels was likely the one hour/45 minute Seth MacFarlane extravaganza. (The scene from that panel, above.)

The panel included cast and producers from "Family Guy," "American Dad" and "Bordertown." It was also the first time Seth was there to represent all shows on one panel. Also a part of the mix: Seth Green, Alex Borstein, Mike Henry, Scott Grimes, Wendy Schaal, Rich Appel, Steve Callaghan, Matt Weitzman and Brian Boyle.

Here are some highlights of that panel:

Most of the panel

"Family Guy" clip, Part 1

"Family Guy" clip, Part 2

"Bordertown" clip

Comic-Con 2015

Every year, besides our "TV Guide Magazine Fan Favorites" panel, we also organize one other panel. This year, it was "The Last Day of Summer: TV Guide Magazine's Farewell to Phineas and Ferb." Creators Dan Povenmire and Jeff "Swampy" Marsh were joined by along with stars Vincent Martella (Phineas), Alyson Stoner (Isabella), Maulik Pancholy (Baljeet) and Dee Bradley Baker (Perry), as they reminisced about the show and shared their favorite moments. Read more about it here.

Above, someone has posted the full "Phineas and Ferb" panel.

Comic-Con 2015
Holy hell! I moderated a quick panel for Fox's new procedural comic book drama "Lucifer"; here's me with star Tom Ellis. (The full pilot was screened, which just left room for a quick 10 minute chat with the cast and producers.)

"Lucifer" panel clip

"Lucifer" full panel

Comic-Con 2015
Fans of "Lost" and "The Walking Dead," it's the Sawyer/Lori Grimes hookup you always wanted. USA's new drama "Colony" comes from exec producer Carlton Cuse, and we had fun with the Carlton/Josh Holloway reunion.

Comic-Con 2015
Here, Josh Holloway joins Instagram for the first time by taking a selfie on stage.
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