TV: “Steel Magnolias” Gets a Makeover at Truvy’s Beauty Parlor

Normally, we here at Trove dedicate our Thursday blog post to what’s new in the world of TV – upcoming premieres, season finales, awards show, and the like.

But, to be perfectly honest, this week in TV leaves something to be desired. (“Hairy Bikers”? “Invitation Only: Martina McBride”?) so we thought we’d focus on something new and different in the world of television:

The remake of “Steel Magnolias” – as a Lifetime movie with an all-African-American cast.

That’s right – the iconic 1989 film about a tight-knit group of friends who live in rural Louisiana and spend an inordinate amount of time at Truvy’s Beauty Parlor is undergoing a makeover of its own.

The made-for-TV-movie is set to be directed by Kenny Leon, who recently worked on “Fences” and “The Mountaintop” on Broadway, which starred Viola Davis and Angela Bassett, respectively.

So who can fill the high heels of the famous roles played by Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Julia Roberts, Shirley MacLaine, Darryl Hannah, and Olympia Dukakis?

Some of our guesses are below.

M’Lynn Eatenton:

Angela Bassett

Truvy Jones:

Queen Latifah

Ouiser Boudreaux:

Whoopi Goldberg

Shelby Eatenton Latcherie:

Nia Long

What do you think?

For more, follow Trove’s Lifetime Movie and Television channels.

Images by Getty.

Move Over, Bluths: AbFab Is Back

The big television news of the day, according to Trove’s TV channel, is the announcement that the cult series “Arrested Development” will be returning — both as a TV spin-off and as a movie.

While we’re excited that the dysfunctional Bluths are ready for their close-up, another show’s imminent return has us anxiously awaiting the next crop of premieres: British comedy “Absolutely Fabulous” is set to return early next year on BBC America and Logo with a trio of new specials.

Entertainment Weekly got a sneak peak at what Patsy and Edina have been up to in the two decades. Apparently, not much has changed.

What we want to know is: what happened to Edina’s daughter, Saffy? And has Patsy ingested anything other than vodka in the past 20 years?

Stay up-to-date with the latest premieres, cancellations, and rumors with Trove’s TV channel.

Images by BBC.

TV: Angela Chase Meets “24” in “Homeland”

If psychological thrillers about double agents, top-secret CIA missions, and conspiracy theories pique your interest, you might want to tune into “Homeland,” one of the season’s most highly anticipated new TV series, premiering this week on Showtime.

“Homeland” stars Claire Danes as a covert intelligence officer who believes that recently returned war hero, Sgt. Nicholas Brody, is an Al Qaeda operative who has been brought back to the U.S. in order to carry out a terrorist plot. Danes must work undercover, against powerful bureaucratic forces intent on framing the hero’s return as a triumphant public relations story, before it’s too late.

Advance reviews of the series have been laudatory. Entertainment Weekly’s Ken Tucker says “Homeland” is a “swift thriller” that’s “the fall season’s most intriguing, tense puzzler.” The Washington Post’s Hank Steuver agrees, calling the series “exhilarating” and praising Danes’ “stellar performance” as “this season’s strongest female character.”

Angela Chase meets “24”? How can you not be intrigued?

“Homeland” premieres Sunday night at 10 p.m. EST on Showtime. If you’d rather not wait for the weekend, the entire first episode is streaming on Showtime’s official site.

For more on what’s coming to a TV screen near you, check out Trove’s Showtime and Television channels.

TV: Can Sue Sylvester Resurrect the Emmy Awards?

It may not be known for Roberto Benigni’s acrobatics, awkward duets between Eminem and Elton John, or meme-spawning interruptions by Kanye, but the Primetime Emmy Awards have one thing other award shows lack: very little to live up to.

The annual award show, which airs Sunday night from 8 – 11 p.m. EST on Fox, is now in its 63rd year. Although some critics fear the program will be as “bad, boring and bombastic” as its predecessors, others believe that this year’s host, Jane Lynch, will be successful in injecting a dose of adrenaline into the night.

The Internet is abuzz with speculation about who will go home with the shiny statuettes, who will be overlooked, and who will be at home watching. Here’s a round up of Emmy links around the web:

» The Atlantic interviews Jane Lynch about Sue Sylvester, her new memoir, and what it’s like to prepare for her star-studded hosting gig.

» Ceremony producer Mark Burnett talks about keeping the show “brisk” and “peppy” – Even the time-honored “In Memoriam” segment “doesn’t have to be a bummer.”

»’s compiles “The Biggest Emmy Snubs in TV History” (“The Wire”! “Battlestar Galactica!” Buffy! Sigh.)

» The 2011 Emmy ballot, where you can see who’s nominated and whether or not you agree with TV critic Robert Bianco’s predictions.

» And, of course, the official Emmy site, with links to webcasts, news, and an incessantly ticking countdown clock.

For more on this year’s show, check out Trove’s Emmy Awards, Jane Lynch, and TV channels.

Images via official Emmy site

Must See TV Apps

It’s tough to get away with not paying for cable when all you really want to do is lounge in front of the TV and watch the season finale of “True Blood.” But things are changing: some new TV network apps give you free reign to watch what you want when you want to — although you may have to log in with the dreaded cable provider.

A bevy of new (and recently updated) iPad apps let you focus in on your personal must-see TV. Here’s a rundown of what’s available:

» TNT has the newest app which, according to electronista, provides access to all its movies and shows, and integrates social media like Twitter and Facebook.

» In July, HBO updated its HBO GO app. If you have HBO service, you can now stream over 1,400 shows pretty much anywhere. AppSafari thinks HBO “knocked it out of the park” with the app.

» With the 2012 election frenzy just getting underway, the CNN app is a must-have for any political junkie. PC Magazine loved the vast amount of streaming content and social integration, but was frustrated by the app’s slowness and few sporadic bugs.

» Wait — there’s more. ABC, Time Warner, NBC, ESPN, and PBS all have iPad apps that are worth checking out.

For even more, check out Trove’s Television and Mobile Apps channels.

TV: From Bon Temps to Amish Country

First, it was a family living in a funeral parlor. Then, a troop of supernatural creatures running amok in Louisiana. And now? An ex-con, adept in the martial arts, posing as a murdered sheriff in Amish country. What do these things have in common?

All three are television series created by the acclaimed screenwriter Alan Ball.

The writer and producer of HBO’s “Six Feet Under” and “True Blood” is raising eyebrows with his latest project: a move to Cinemax to executive produce a new series called “Banshee.”

A tight lid is being kept on the show’s details. The LA Times obtained an exclusive report that reveals only the following: “Banshee” will premiere on Cinemax as part of the network’s push towards original programming. It will be set in a small town in Pennsylvania Amish Country. It will be darkly comic in tone and feature an “ex-con posing as a murdered sheriff, imposing his own brand of justice while also cooking up plans that serve his own interests.”

Oh, and there won’t be any faeries, vampires, or otherworldly inhabitants. The residents of “Banshee” are one hundred percent human — which doesn’t make them any less flawed, or moral, than their non-human counterparts, if “Six Feet Under” is any indication.

Will you tune in to see what the macabre screenwriter has to offer? Is the third time the charm?

Be sure to follow Trove’s HBO, True Blood, and Television channels to keep up with the latest in Ball’s unpredictable celluloid journey.

Image by Getty

TV: The New ‘Must See TV’ Is Sunday Night on HBO

Let’s face facts: It’s August. Network executives are most likely sunning themselves on yachts under cloudless Caribbean skies, sipping gin-and-tonics, their only concern what Hamptons property to buy next.

What aren’t they doing? Thinking about what’s on TV right now. And that’s why – to be frank – the current lineup is a parched wasteland, the only tumbleweed a lonely “Jersey Shore” in Italy, dragging Snooki’s wilted poof through the dust.

Luckily, there’s one exception to the rule:

Sunday nights on HBO.

The cable network’s Sunday night lineup has become a staple of popular culture in and of itself, as individual shows cycle through their seasons at different times. And the dead zone of August is no exception.

So what does this haven of original programming look like? Glad you asked.

» “Boardwalk Empire,” currently airing repeats of its debut season in anticipation of next season’s premiere, chronicles the origins of crime in Atlantic City during the Prohibition Era. Called “the most purely — and impurely — enjoyable storytelling HBO has delivered in ages, like a movie that you never want to end” and “the best new show on television” by critics, it’s hard to think of a reason not to tune in.

» “True Blood” – the fourth season about the residents of fictional Bon Temps, Louisiana, adds even more sizzle to its already scalding Cajun mix by introducing a slew of supernatural creatures (were-panthers, necromantic witches) to keep the vampires company. “True Blood” has been called “graphically sexy and scary, and often wildly funny,” and “an irresistible mixture of pungent political satire, observant pop sociology and lurid drive-in thrills.” Also, the vampires are sexy.

» “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” now in its eighth season, follows “Seinfeld” co-creator Larry David as he blunders his way through conventional social situations, offending friends and enemies alike. Critics call the current season “as twisted, and twistedly funny, as ever” and “a strange world indeed, where the rules and the rituals are both fragile and yet brash. It’s like Jane Austen doing vaudeville.” Pretty-pretty-pretty good.

» “Entourage” – the eighth and final season chronicling the trials and tribulations of A-list movie star Vincent Chase and his childhood friends from Queens as they attempt to navigate the unfamiliar landscape of LA is “unmatched as a portrait of the entertainment industry.” “’Entourage’ is clarifying a moral message — drugs will kill you, terrible behavior is terrible, and real friends are forever. It feels like a reassuring final season.”

Gangsters, vampires, neurotics, and movie stars – what else could you possibly ask for on a Sunday night? The curtain rises at 8 p.m. eastern.

To follow the line-up, check out Trove’s HBO, Boardwalk Empire, True Blood, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Entourage channels.

All photos from HBO.

TV: It’s Time to ‘Make It Work’ with ‘Project Runway’

If you can’t remember the difference between charmeuse and chenille, or haven’t practiced your ruching technique lately, it’s time to dust off your pattern books and Make It Work: Project Runway returns tonight.

The ninth season of the fashion design reality show cranks up the competition by introducing twenty designers to the panel of irascible judges, who must whittle the contestant pool down to sixteen before the first challenge. (The first task is billed as “one of the toughest first challenges in the series’ history,” but considering most first challenges require the contestants to make a garment that “best reflects them as a designer,” that’s not saying much.)

This season’s designers, who are profiled on the official Project Runway blog, promise to rival previous contestants in terms of quirkiness and melodrama: Bryce Black “worships at the altar of Gaga.” Fallene Wells is “named after Bambi’s girlfriend.” And Joshua McKinley is “one of the few people who have removed their shirt during a casting session.”

Austin Scarlett, guard your corn husks.

Catch the “Road to the Runway” casting special for the ninth season of Project Runway tonight on Lifetime at 8 p.m., followed by the season premiere at 9.

Carry on.

Also premiering this week:

» The High Low Project: Host Sabrina Soto “works to replace high-budget items in a room with low-budget items that look expensive.” Monday at 10 p.m. on HGTV.

» Take the Money and Run: A “high-stakes reality series” that challenges contestants “to answer the question: can you commit the perfect crime and get away with it?” Tuesday at 9 p.m. on ABC.

To see who Heidi bids “Auf Wiedersehen” to this season, follow Trove’s Project Runway channel. And for more, check out Trove’s Television channel.

The Return of Brenda Walsh

If there has been a Brenda Walsh-shaped hole in your heart ever since the feisty bad girl abruptly moved to London in “90210“‘s fourth season, never to return again, you’re in luck:

Shannen Doherty is returning to television.

A new WEtv reality show will follow Doherty as she plans her wedding to celebrity photographer Kurt Iswarienko and renovates their Malibu home.

The show will premiere in January 2012, but we wonder: would Doherty be better off joining another weTV show, Bridezillas? Only time will tell.

Image by Getty.

TV: “I Do Over” Ties the Knot Again

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, life was simple. Ricky loved Lucy, everyone dreamt of Jeannie, and Lassie always came home. But times have changed – now, there’s a TV show that appeals to every niche imaginable. And the wedding-industrial complex has them all covered.

From “My Big Redneck Wedding” to “Engaged and Underage,” cable TV’s matrimonial market is a force to be reckoned with. Too fat to squeeze into your wedding dress? You’ve got “Bulging Brides.” Want a professionally choreographed dance routine? Try “Rock the Reception.” Did your venue catch on fire or your groom flat line at the altar? Tune into “I Do Over.”

Wait, what?

Yes, that’s right. The newest addition to the wedding party is a program that promises to provide couples that have endured less-than-ideal nuptials a second chance at their dream wedding.

Each hour-long episode features “celebrity event designer” Diann Valentine as she “transforms bridal memories… into fantasy celebrations that will reset [the newlyweds’] matrimony.” Story lines include “a wedding destroyed by a tsunami fueled storm, a five-alarm reception hall fire, a groom rendered unconscious during the ceremony, and every bride’s worst nightmare - a seamstress gone missing with ALL of the dresses!”

Forget the comatose groom – where are the dresses?!

“I Do Over” premieres on WE tv on Sunday at 10 p.m.

Also premiering this week:

» The eighth and final season of “Entourage,” HBO’s “preposterously enjoyable” show that follows a movie star and his merry band of brothers as they navigate through LA’s rocky landscape of sex, drugs, and actors’ union contracts. Sunday at 10:30 p.m. on HBO.

And stay up to date with all the ceremonies and celluloid by following Trove’s Television, Weddings, and “Entourage" channels.

Image via Reuters.