Tidbits from around the dial
If there’s one thing MTV needs it’s more hidden camera prank shows. (Kinda like TLC needs more docu-reality shows about fishermen.) “Money From Strangers” is set to join the MTV lineup on April 30. In the show, comedian Jeff Dye picks strangers off the street, gives them a hidden earpiece and directs them to perform humiliating pranks on other unsuspecting strangers. If they succeed, they get paid $1,000. So, basically, it’s “Girls Gone Wild,” but with less drunken sorority chicks and fewer hotel showers. Honestly, America, if we keep asking ourselves, “How far would you go for $1,000?” we’re going to keep getting the same disgustingly disappointing answer. Anyway, you can enjoy this lovely companion piece to the newly resurrected “Punk’d” later this month.
Since loooongtime “60 Minutes” correspondent Mike Wallace passed away April 7 (don’t feel too bad, the dude was 93!), CBS is taking the opportunity to air a special tribute. On Sunday, April 15, “60 Minutes” (KRQE-13 6 p.m.) will look back at the life and career of the man who started as a radio announcer in the ’40s and finally retired from public life in 2008 following a successful triple bypass operation. Along the way, Wallace racked up 21 Emmy awards, which ain’t too shabby.
Hot on the heels of its Steven Seagal-led cop drama “True Justice,” comes Reelz channel’s second scripted TV series. “XIII” is based on the Belgian comic book writer Jean Van Hamme’s popular (in Europe, anyway) series “XIII.” The story (first published in 1984) concentrates on an amnesiac who wakes up with a mysterious tattoo (the Roman numeral for 13) on his neck and a whole bunch of spies, assassins and cops on his trail. In 2003, Ubisoft released a multiplatform video game based on the series. In 2008, Canadian television produced a XIII miniseries starring Val Kilmer and Stephen Dorff. This new, 13-episode (how appropriate) TV series was produced by French television and aired in France in 2011. It stars Stuart Townsend (Queen of the Damned, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) and Aisha Tyler (“Talk Soup,” “Archer”). There will be a sneak preview of the series this Friday, April 13 (how appropriate), during “True Justice” (Reelz 7 p.m.). Unfortunately, the show won’t actually debut stateside until June of this year, following the season finale of “True Justice.”
FOX has officially renewed “Glee,” “New Girl” and “Raising Hope” for the 2012-2013 season. That’s not shocking news, considering the very public speculation about post-graduation Season 4 on “Glee” and all the headlines “New Girl” Zooey Deschanel continues to garner. It’s good news for “Raising Hope”—which doesn’t attract the biggest ratings, but continues to be a solid laugh-getter with a great cast. Congrats are in order for creator / executive producer Greg Garcia, whose last underappreciated sitcom (“My Name is Earl”) suffered from rickety ratings and a premature cancellation.