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'Castle' and 'Brothers & Sisters' season premiere sneak peeks: Watch, gasp, groan

Today, Hulu is offering first looks at the season premieres of ABC’s Castle and Brothers & Sisters. Watch the first eight minutes of Castle below, followed by two minutes of B&S. The former appears to get off to a fine start on Sept. 20, as it begins with Castle (Nathan Fillion) and Beckett (Stana Katic) firing bullets at one another. You expect it to be a dream, but instead, we flash back to three days earlier when she arrested him for murder. (Clearly, there’s been some kind of a mistake. We’ve seen Castle handle a gun before. It’s more comical than deadly.) Brothers & Sisters, on the other hand, looks like it’s in desperate need of a laugh. It’s been a year since the car accident, Sarah and Nora have decided to sell Narrow Lake for the money, and everyone is too miserable to have any clever banter. (The clip makes it sound like Kevin and Scotty might not have a child. What?) Here’s hoping the Walkers snap out of their funk early on Sept. 26, because, while we enjoy the wining on this show, the whining brings us down.

P.S. What do you think of Sarah’s new hairstyle? It’ll have to grow on me. But I’m already a fan of Kevin’s facial hair.   READ FULL STORY

TV's top earners: What surprises you?

graham-parsonsImage Credit: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC; Sonja Flemming/CBSCharlie Sheen, Jon Cryer, and Hugh Laurie are the small screen’s highest-paid actors, according to TV Guide‘s roundup of TV’s top earners. The magazine breaks its sampling of paychecks down by category, so Two and a Half Men‘s Sheen tops the comedy side with a reported $1.25 million an episode (followed by Cryer with $550,000), and House‘s Laurie leads the dramas with $400,000+ per episode. Peruse the list and tell us what catches your eye. For dramas: I was pleasantly surprised to find Parenthood‘s Lauren Graham making $150,000 per episode, which puts her only $25K behind The Good Wife‘s Julianna Margulies, on-par with Outlaw‘s Jimmy Smits, and $25K ahead of NCIS‘s Michael Weatherly and Blue Bloods‘ Tom Selleck. Also noteworthy: I’ve got a definite type, and it’s set at $100,000: White Collar‘s Matt Bomer, Castle‘s Nathan Fillion, Mad Men‘s Jon Hamm, Hawaii Five-0‘s Alex O’Loughlin, and Justified‘s Timothy Olyphant.

As for comedies: READ FULL STORY

'Castle' season finale recap: Decisions, decisions

Castle-Fillion_320.jpg Image Credit: Michael Desmond/ABCBefore we get into Beckett’s decision, let me just say that I’m kinda sorry that the “pretend-you’re-a-spy-vacation” victim was folded into an episode with the resolution of the Beckett-Castle-Demming love triangle. That was a fun case that I believe Castle could have had even more fun with if given those extra minutes to play. I guess we were supposed to see the parallel between the case and Beckett’s dilemma: people get hurt when others don’t have the nerve to say what they truly feel (a married man was gunned down by his mistresses’ husband during the spy game). But I feel like that’s a cool enough case that you devote an entire hour to it in Season 3. (I mean, I Googled to see if companies like “Spy Ventures” exist. I came up empty-handed. Anyone find anything?) READ FULL STORY

'Castle' recap: Food for thought

Castle-Fillion-StanaImage Credit: Ron Tom/ABCBy now, we all know that Beckett is going to have to make a decision between Castle and Demming (recurring guest star Michael Trucco), so I appreciate Castle‘s writers not playing coy. In between our usual moments of Rick adorableness (i.e. using liquid nitrogen to freeze fruits and vegetables, then dropping them to watch them shatter), the lines were drawn: The victim was a playboy chef who was trying to grow up so he could propose to his foster brother’s girlfriend, who was carrying his child. The girlfriend stayed with her boyfriend because unlike the chef and Castle, he didn’t sleep with every woman who walked by. “You have no idea how hard it is to love someone knowing they’re gonna break your heart,” she told Beckett and Castle. Castle thought she should have gone with the chef — the heart wants what it wants. Beckett said she understood why she played it safe: Some men make you feel alive, but if you know they’re gonna let you down in the end, why risk it? READ FULL STORY

Stana Katic lands Polish Brothers film. Stay smart!

Stana-KaticImage Credit: Tina Gill/PR Photos Hit TV shows do come with perks, like getting the chance to land starring movie roles during the hiatus. Castle‘s Stana Katic has nabbed the lead in For Lovers Only, a romance written by and co-starring Mark Polish and directed by his brother, Michael Polish (Twin Falls Idaho, Stay Cool). According to Variety, the plot centers on a journalist (Katic), who ends up on the run with a former lover across France. “Both characters experience long periods of carefree bliss and joy punctuated by brief moments of guilt and confusion with the final outcome left open to interpretation,” the trade reports.

Despite my problems with the Polish Brothers’ film The Astronaut Farmer (and an irrational distrust of movies with ambiguous endings — I feel cheated, and like the writer/director didn’t have the balls to make a decision), this news is happy. It sounds like another smart role for Katic. After getting to know her as Castle‘s homicide detective Kate Beckett, it would hurt if we were to see her play dumb. Or blonde. (I said it.) I want her strong, sexy, and brunette. Who’s with me?

Read more: Castle cliffhanger: It’s too early for Richard and Kate to get together. Right?

'Castle' cliffhanger: It's too early for Richard and Kate to get together. Right?

castleImage Credit: Karen Neal/ABCNathan Fillion has confirmed to E! Online what Michael Trucco — who’s recurring as robbery detective Tom Demming, wooing Beckett, and making Castle realize his feelings for her — hinted to us last week: The second season of Castle will end on an emotional cliffhanger. “I would say it’s left open. There’s no indication either way,” Trucco said when asked if there was a chance of him returning in the fall. “What I can tell you is that obviously, there’s some decisions to be made in terms of these relationships. Things start to ramp up, get heightened, and a major wrench gets thrown into the works… Hearts will be aching, that’s all I can say.”

Fillion seemed to give a more straight forward response when E! asked if Beckett and Castle will get together: “I believe that’s called jumping the shark. Moonlighting did a very valuable lesson there.”

I agree that Season 3 is too soon for Beckett and Castle to become a couple. I vote they give us a kiss, and she pulls back. That seems to be the MO lately: The Good Wife, Bones… You give us little something to get our hearts racing, but nothing that releases the sexual tension, nothing from which the characters can’t recover. Win-win.

What’s your vote? How far should Castle and Beckett go?

Read more: Exclusive: Michael Trucco on storming Nathan Fillion’s Castle

Michael Trucco exclusive: Beckett's new love interest on storming ABC's 'Castle'

Michael-TruccoImage Credit: Adam Taylor/ABCCastle returns with a new episode on May 3. To tide us over, we phoned Michael Trucco (Battlestar Galactica), who has the enviable/unenviable job of guest-starring as robbery detective Tom Demming, Beckett’s new love interest, for the remainder of the season before he heads to Vancouver to shoot his own series, USA’s new dramedy Facing Kate with Sarah Shahi (NBC’s Life, Showtime’s The L Word), in June. Note to future Castle guest stars: He reveals Nathan Fillion’s prank of choice.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Why did producers think you were the right man for the role?
Michael Trucco:
I wasn’t totally familiar with the show, but I know in a situation like this, the dynamic between the two leads is very important. It’s not unlike the situation when I came in to Battlestar Galactica. There’s a lot of parallels there because my character [Anders] also came in to thwart the relationship between the two leads on that show, much in the same way this one is designed to throw a wrench in the works. It’s a tightrope for a character to come into a show, especially one that has such a strong fanbase as Castle, one that is gaining such traction, one that is based heavily on the potential relationship between Castle and Beckett. So I tried to make this character really likable, really believable, so that the audience can relate to Beckett and her potential attraction. If you come off as smarmy or sleazy, you end up being the bad guy in the end, then it just feels like the audience gets cheated. So, I wanted to put a real challenge in front of the characters and say, “We kinda like this guy.” At least that’s what I’m hoping for. READ FULL STORY

'Castle': Beckett gets a love interest. Let the games begin!

Castle-Stana-Trucco_320.jpg Image Credit: Karen Neal/ABCI’m not afraid to admit I teared up watching Castle last night. Probably not at the part you think — at the end, when Castle looked sad watching Beckett chat with robbery detective Tom Demming (Michael Trucco, who’ll recur for the rest of the season). But when Esposito, cradling his old partner, introduced him first to Ryan, then said, “And this is my other partner, Castle.” I’m a sucker for male bonding, and that was the ultimate. READ FULL STORY

'Castle' recap: Unfunny business

Fred-Willard-CastleImage Credit: Michael Desmond/ABCIs it just me, or did you also expect a Castle episode revolving around a late night war to be funnier? The show prides itself on its light side, but they played this one too straight. There was just… so much talking. We had so many people to rule out that we had no time for Castle to play with things he shouldn’t — unless you count the actress (Nip/Tuck‘s Kelly Carlson) sleeping with him to get a role in the Nikki Heat movie — or for Beckett to get shot at. I missed the physical humor/peril. READ FULL STORY

Fred Willard talks upcoming 'Castle,' 'Modern Family,' 'Chuck' appearances

Fred-Willard-Castle-showImage Credit: Michael Desmond/ABC“I’ve found over the years that for some reason, people either are big fans and have to use me, or they don’t quite understand what I’m doing,” Fred Willard once told EW. Good news for those of us who love seeing the 70-year-old actor, best known as a member of Christopher Guest’s movie troupe, in action — it’s the former these days. He guest stars on ABC’s Castle tonight (ABC, 10 p.m. EST), returns to ABC’s Modern Family on April 28, and drops by NBC’s Chuck on May 3.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: On Castle, you play the sidekick to a murdered late night host (Tom Bergeron). It’s actually a more serious role than we’re used to seeing you in. Looking back at your career, have there been other serious roles you’ve wanted, didn’t get, and still think you’d have done a great job with?

FRED WILLARD: No… I did a show called Lois & Clark, it was about Superman, years ago. They wanted someone to play the president of the United States. The plot was the president got kidnapped by a group, and they made a clone of him who was very irresponsible and silly. And they said, “We know Fred can do that. We’re not sure he can play the president.” So, I insisted on them letting me come in and read, and I knew I was the only one in my category who could do both parts. And of course, I did it well.  READ FULL STORY

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