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Herc’s Thursday TV Talkback!! Chat Here About The AWAKE Finale And Shatner On ROOKIE BLUE!! Plus The Premieres Of DUETS, ON THE FLY, MEN AT WORK, TATTOO SCHOOL And DANCE!! Who’s High Pitch?? TV’s Post-Season Launches Today!!

NBC cancelled “Awake” this month. Its numbers keep dwindling but I continue to find it quite compelling. Hopefully we’ll learn a lot during tonight’s finale and even more from the show’s creator soon after. Check out this crazy promo:

“Star Trek Enterprise” couldn’t lure William Shatner to play Mirror Kirk, but “Rookie Blue” has him for its third-season pemiere:

The producers of “Duets” sensed there still aren’t enough singing competitions:

TLC’s examination of stressed-out airport workers, “On The Fly,” looks entertaining:

TBS’ “Men at Work,” about four guys who work at a magazine, is from writer-actor Brekin Meyer (“Robot Chicken”), stars Danny Masterson (“Malcolm in the Middle”), James Lesure (“Las Vegas”), Michael Cassidy (“The OC,” “Smallville”) and Adam Busch (Warren on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) :

Even though it followed a rising "American Idol," the season finale of Tim Kring's "Touch" brought the series to its all-time low.  It'll be interesting to see how it does on Fridays without the "Idol" lead-in.

Thursdays, March 8-May 17, 2012
(18-49 finals; repeats in grey; prior weeks in parentheses)
4.4 (4.0) (4.0) (4.0) (3.9) (4.3) (3.9) (4.4) (4.2) (4.6) (4.9) American Idol
4.1 (3.5) (3.3) (3.3) (3.2) (2.9) (2.8) (1.2) (1.2) (3.0) (1.4) Grey’s Anatomy
2.5 (4.4) (4.7) (4.1) (2.5) (3.0) (4.4) (4.7) (---) (---) (5.1) Big Bang Theory
2.5 (2.4) (2.5) (2.2) (1.5) (---) (2.4) (2.7) (---) (---) (2.8) The Mentalist
2.5 (2.6) (2.5) (2.4) (1.5) (1.8) (3.0) (3.3) (---) (---) (3.4) Person of Interest
--- (2.3) (2.3) (2.1) (2.2) (2.2) (1.0) (1.2) (---) (2.4) (2.6) The Office
2.3 (1.9) (1.9) (2.0) (2.1) (2.0) (2.0) (---) (---) (---) (---) Scandal
2.1 (2.1) (2.2) (0.3) (1.5) (1.6) (1.0) (1.7) (---) (1.5) (0.9) NBA Basketball
2.1 (2.7) (2.7) (2.5) (2.2) (2.7) (2.7) (2.7) (---) (---) (---) Rules of Engagement
--- (1.7) (1.7) (1.6) (1.8) (---) (---) (---) (---) (---) (1.8) Parks and Recreation
1.7 (1.9) (2.0) (1.9) (2.1) (2.3) (2.3) (2.7) (3.3) (2.2) (---) Touch
1.5 (1.4) (1.5) (1.4) (1.5) (1.8) (1.7) (1.6) (0.8) (2.0) (1.9) Swamp People
--- (---) (---) (---) (---) (1.5) (1.2) (1.3) (1.5) (1.7) (1.7) Up All Night
1.4 (1.5) (1.4) (1.6) (1.5) (1.4) (1.2) (1.5) (1.6) (2.0) (1.4) 30 Rock
1.3 (1.4) (1.4) (1.4) (1.3) (1.4) (1.3) (1.7) (1.7) (2.2) (---) Community
1.3 (1.1) (1.2) (1.4) (1.3) (1.4) (1.5) (1.5) (1.6) (2.1) (---) Missing
0.7 (0.9) (0.7) (0.8) (0.8) (0.9) (0.9) (1.0) (1.2) (1.6) (1.6) Awake
0.7 (0.6) (0.7) (0.7) (0.8) (0.8) (0.8) (1.6) (---) (---) (---) Pauly D Project
0.6 (0.5) (0.6) (0.6) (0.6) (0.7) (---) (---) (---) (---) (---) After The First 48
0.6 (0.6) (0.6) (0.7) (---) (---) (---) (---) (---) (---) (---) Don’t Be Tardy
0.6 (0.6) (0.6) (0.6) (0.8) (0.6) (---) (---) (---) (---) (---) Eagleheart
0.5 (0.4) (0.4) (0.6) (0.7) (0.5) (0.6) (0.5) (0.4) (---) (0.5) Conan
0.5 (0.6) (0.6) (0.6) (0.7) (0.7) (0.6) (0.6) (0.7) (0.6) (0.8) The First 48
0.5 (0.4) (0.4) (0.4) (0.5) (0.5) (0.4) (0.4) (0.4) (0.4) (0.4) House Hunters Intl
0.5 (0.5) (0.5) (0.5) (0.5) (0.5) (0.5) (0.4) (0.5) (0.5) (0.5) Impact Wrestling
0.5 (0.5) (0.5) (0.7) (0.7) (0.9) (0.9) (1.6) (---) (---) (---) Punk’d
0.5 (0.4) (0.3) (0.5) (0.5) (0.5) (0.5) (0.4) (0.5) (0.4) (---) Sweet Genius
0.4 (0.4) (0.4) (0.4) (0.5) (0.5) (0.4) (0.5) (0.5) (0.4) (0.4) House Hunters
0.4 (0.3) (0.4) (0.4) (0.5) (---) (---) (---) (---) (---) (---) Kathy
0.4 (---) (---) (---) (---) (0.4) (---) (---) (---) (---) (---) Most Shocking
0.4 (---) (0.8) (---) (---) (---) (---) (---) (---) (---) (---) NHL Hockey
0.4 (---) (---) (---) (---) (---) (---) (---) (---) (---) (---) Obese and Expecting
0.3 (0.2) (0.2) (0.3) (0.3) (0.4) (0.3) (0.3) (0.3) (0.2) (0.4) O’Reilly Factor
0.3 (---) (---) (---) (---) (---) (---) (---) (---) (---) (---) Perez Hilton
0.3 (0.4) (---) (0.4) (0.4) (0.5) (0.4) (---) (0.4) (---) (0.5) World’s Dumbest
0.2 (1.2) (1.2) (1.1) (1.0) (0.4) (0.4) (1.2) (1.3) (1.2) (0.4) Vampire Diaries

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Readers Talkback
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  • Because if you keep that crap, but cancel Awake that's just retarded. Oh but I forgot we're talking about NBC.

  • May 24, 2012, 1:39 p.m. CST

    LOST Ended 2 Years +1 Day Ago Today. And I Miss It.

    by Crow3711

    Should I do this every day? don't worry i won't

  • May 24, 2012, 2:47 p.m. CST

    lol @ that Awake promo (spoiler)

    by syn_flood

    The final shot of the show is the thumbnail image

  • May 24, 2012, 2:50 p.m. CST

    need to get caught up with Awake

    by Rob0729

    Stopped watching a few weeks ago because I was getting too busy, but I enjoyed the show. Hopefully they will give a somewhat satisfying ending. Obviously we won't get a true ending unless they knew it was canceled before it was filmed, but something that can pass as a faux ending.

  • May 24, 2012, 4:21 p.m. CST

    No reviews for any of the new shows?

    by Dr Hemlock

    I guess I can pass on all of them.

  • May 24, 2012, 5:46 p.m. CST

    on the fly actually looks pretty funny

    by jsfithaca

    good idea for a reality show. and i cant wait for the awake finale.

  • May 24, 2012, 5:59 p.m. CST

    Awake - damn good

    by yubnubrocks

    Slow at first, but I really got into it. Crime mysteries were pretty easy to figure out, but the characters really grew on you. I wish it had just gotten one more season (or even a half) to just give it a good, solid finish.

  • It's probably likely that some of the crew on Rookie Blue filmed Shatner's TekWar back in the 80s/90s. Or the young 'rookies' all went to The Shatner School of ... Acting in Toronto (okay I just made that place up).

  • Everything up there is painfully bad. Give me something with teeth. The feminized bullshit is insulting. How many new shows have to be about gay people? 50%+? <P> I just gave up on The Borgias because they decided to throw in some gay bullshit propaganda. It seems like every show is required to have some gay shit like they used to require a token black guy. <P> You'd think with AMC and FX doing as well as they are while network TV tumbles they'd take a cue and give up on the agenda. If only HBO could be restaffed and turned around too cable would really take over. Even Starz is killing NBC in quality.

  • May 24, 2012, 6:31 p.m. CST

    they should have gone the full TJ Hooker

    by paulloch

    and get Zmed and Locklear too. Even a mini reunion would be nostaligic sweetness.

  • May 24, 2012, 7:16 p.m. CST

    I thought mirror Kiek was Shatner

    by freerangecelt

  • May 24, 2012, 7:17 p.m. CST

    GET AN EDIT FUNCTION ALREADY!

    by freerangecelt

    Grrrr...anyway I thought that Mirror Kirk was Shatner's idea, but the powers that be wanted him to be the ship's cook, and he was supposed to impersonate Kirk at some conference in the 23rd century.

  • May 24, 2012, 10:08 p.m. CST

    WTF happened in Awake?

    by Mugato5150

  • May 24, 2012, 10:12 p.m. CST

    mugato i have no fucking idea

    by jsfithaca

    i think they pulled a "he woke up and it was all a dream" except he dreamed that he couldnt tell when he was awake or dreaming.

  • May 24, 2012, 10:20 p.m. CST

    It was a dream

    by Dan

    He wakes up at the end, signified by a lack of coloring on the lens. We have full color reality. However, he may in fact have figured out the conspiracy at work based on small clues, which places his family at risk if he pursues the dream. And he may decide it's not worth it.

  • May 24, 2012, 10:22 p.m. CST

    I guess they were both dreams

    by Mugato5150

    and the one at the end was reality. The truth is no one knows because that wasn't meant to be the series finale.

  • May 24, 2012, 10:43 p.m. CST

    "that wasn't meant to be the series finale."

    by Kabukiman

    Of course it was. Anyone with half a brain knew that this was never going to make it past the first season, and Kyle Killen is a smart, smart man who surrounded himself with other smart writers, all of whom have more than half a brain. Hell, look at the concept, there is no way in hell anyone expected that they were going to get a second season. The only question was whether they were going to get to tell a full story like Shawn Ryan got with Terriers and The Chicago Code or if they were going to get cancelled two episodes in like Killen's last show Lone Star.

  • May 24, 2012, 10:47 p.m. CST

    i think they shot 2 different episodes,

    by jsfithaca

    one as a season finale and one as a series finale in case they didnt get picked up

  • May 24, 2012, 11:01 p.m. CST

    I think Blue was real

    by Dr. Chim Richalds

    He basically accepted that the Red world was a dream. Then, his mind fractured again and he created another dream in which both the son and wife were alive.

  • May 24, 2012, 11:37 p.m. CST

    Dr. Chim Richalds is right!

    by Matthew MacAdam

    I completely agree with your theory. At least that's what I got out of it. It really was one of those compelling shows on television and it is a damn shame to be cancelled! Jason Isaacs is just incredible at everything he does. Very underrated actor! Maybe Netflix could pick this show up. Not likely I guess. I look forward to see what Jason does next. He should be a lead in a great action movie.

  • May 25, 2012, 2:19 a.m. CST

    Yeah I also agree with dr. chim richalds

    by Paul

    But I also think that they filmed two final scenes just because the pacing of the last few moments was a little off.

  • May 25, 2012, 6 a.m. CST

    One reality can't be real and one a dream

    by Mugato5150

    Because they were linked together. He used information he got in one reality to use in another. That couldn't work if one was real and one was a dream. And the creator did say that they didn't know it was the only season when they made the finale.

  • May 25, 2012, 6:11 a.m. CST

    Watched it twice now...

    by V'Shael

    Here's what I figure. Red Reality - He's in jail, locked up, framed, and his boss has covered her tracks. In the Red Reality, while in jail, he falls asleep and has a dream (that for reasons never explained, but maybe having to do with his head trauma, bullet wounds, surgery, anesthetics and taser) doesn't send him to the Green reality. He slowly transitions there, but he doesn't flick to it in an instant. In the Green reality, he is told by his female shrink that the all the horrible and crazy things happening in Red reality are proof that it's falling apart and that the green reality is real. When he suggests that all the bizarreness was just a transitioning dream, and not actually a part of the Red reality at all, the doctor gets frustrated and a little sad, and says this is like inventing a third reality. (It isn't really, since Partner-Wearing-Penguin suit dreamscape hardly constitutes a reality by anyones definition, even Brittons) At that point, Green reality fractures/schisms/alters. Call it what you like. And he gets to transition to a reality where his family is alive. The only conclusions you can draw, reasonably, I think are that Britton is crazy - the family reality is another psychotic break. The only question is where the break occurred - in jail, in the red reality, or in the doctors office in the green reality. There's no compelling evidence that I can see, which says eithe Red or Green was real and the other was not. Each one has shown primacy over the other at some point in the series until now. (Facts revealed in one reality first, then confirmed as true in the other.) Since neither can be shown to have been real, there's every liklihood that niether one of them was real. And if that was the case... then the final family reality *could* be real, though it would mean we watched 13 episodes of a man asleep and dreaming an elaborate and complex dream. And that doesn't seem likely.

  • May 25, 2012, 6:14 a.m. CST

    Get Jason Isaacs into the 24 movie!!!

    by wtriker1701

    Unless the success-nonsuccess TOUCH, Kiefer suffers at the moment, won't cease to exist... But Isaacs could be the lead, Jack with his Sack special guest stars, et voila! And a second one could be made with Jack in the lead - again!!! (I strongly believe, Touch won't be any longer on air by then...)

  • May 25, 2012, 9:32 a.m. CST

    v'shael said...

    by thepoohguy

    "then the final family reality *could* be real, though it would mean we watched 13 episodes of a man asleep and dreaming an elaborate and complex dream. And that doesn't seem likely." That doesn't seem likely? No different than 6 seasons of people who were already dead.

  • It can't be that the Rex dream is real and the wife one isn't (I don't know the colors) because he used information from one dream to influence the other. So both have to be dreams or both have to be real. There's no going half way if the two are so interconnected with one reality influencing another. And who dreams like that, in cohesive narrative form? It seems like they threw in Fez as a panda to make it seem more dreamlike but that seemed forced. I liked the performances but I should have known better to get into it because I should have known it would was a show that wasn't really thought out and therefore would have a lame ending. At least it didn't take up as much of my time as Lost.

  • May 25, 2012, 9:44 a.m. CST

    thepoohguy is correct

    by Dan

    We watched an elaborate dream, which is so obvious, so simple, and yet did not occur to me for 13 episodes. Unlike Lost, where I guessed they were dead as of Episode 1. With this show, I thought that perhaps neither reality was real, but I considered delusion, alien abduction (the whole thing was an experiment meant to better understand human family dynamics and loss), and government experiment (he would find that it wasn't heroin in the storage unit, but himself hooked up to a machine). The dream "logic" of Episode 13 was so uncanny it gave my wife and I nightmares. I may buy the series when it comes out on DVD, as it is a good illustration of Freud's concept of "Unheimlich" art.

  • May 25, 2012, 9:49 a.m. CST

    Although ... there is the "Sopranos" option

    by Dan

    My wife and I are convinced that the extended black out at the end of the Sopranos signifies that Tony is killed by one of many conspirators. The show is his point of view, and it blacks out if he is dead (as opposed to dying, when we see his dreamscape). It is possible that Britten was dying after the vehicle accident and that the "dream" is his dying mind jumbling together facts and suspicions with grief. He unifies it all as illusion at the end, gets one memory from before the accident (Rex states that it is time to go to school for registration), and blacks out to death. Rather than "Awake," one word, it's "A Wake," as the blotch briefly creates during the credits. This is Britten's own wake, his memories and thoughts as he transitions to death.

  • May 25, 2012, 10:38 a.m. CST

    Jason Isaacs in Case Histories

    by austinguy

    If you want to see more Jason Isaacs, check out the 'Case Histories" BBC short series, which has also run on PBS in the US. These are TV versions of the first three Kate Atkinson 'Jackson Brodie' mysteries - if you liked Isaacs on Awake, you'll like him here even more.

  • there are plenty of ways to find out about the whole story- either watch the shows, or read about it online please stop saying they were all dead the whole series - it makes whatever else you say about anything else specious

  • - perhaps, like with Christ- we can measure time with BL and AL - Before Lost and After Lost - I hear ya Lost set the bar too damn high- with the exception of Fringe and Young Justice- there is currently nothing on TV that we anxiously wait for like Lost did to us...

  • May 25, 2012, 11:08 a.m. CST

    And then there is After M*A*S*H, but....

    by Michael Lunney

  • May 25, 2012, 12:10 p.m. CST

    More than a Dream

    by joee60

    If there was another season, we would have learned that there was a car crash, that the son and the wife both survived, that Jason Isaacs was in a coma, and a deep dream like state. The two psychologists were both real, but using his brain in it's coma state to solve crimes in the real world.

  • May 25, 2012, 12:32 p.m. CST

    And then there's Maude.....

    by Michael Lunney

  • May 25, 2012, 12:38 p.m. CST

    If Awake had continued..

    by CeejayNightwing

    I think we would have found that Britton was still in a coma from the crash and that his wife and kid were the ones who were still alive. His venture through the dreamscape is where he's journeying through two realities he's created in his mind to cater for the both family members he's assumed he's lost in the accident. With each case he completes in either reality he advances to uncover the conspiracy that's behind the accidsent, but for this episode he had to forsake one reality in order to be successful in the other. This happens in the jail while he is fighting the urge to fall asleep, his determination to close the case literally fashioning a route to escape one reality and collapse it in order to merge with his other self and utilize the information he brings with him to close the case. He again by chance fashions another route out of the green reality when he questions its validity and creates another door into a reality where his family has never been in an accident. Again he steps out of one reality without without sleeping and forsakes/collapses its existence by doing so. The second season maybe would have had him some how fighting the attempts to pull him back into reality from his coma and away from the world he's created in his mind.

  • too bad the show never found a sizeable audience.... too much thinking involved- people love their mindless laugh track rat a tat dumb humor shows because they are just like spam or twinkies - or deep fried butter, to a hungry American viewing audience who just want to relax in these troubling times, rather than watch a mystery show that involves psychoanalysis as part of it's main appeal I wanted to like it more than I did, and found it hard to watch after just a few episodes - I am sure it was worthy viewing, but I guess life is short and there is just too much TV to love it all equally - and then there's Maude...

  • May 25, 2012, 12:58 p.m. CST

    according to any reputable source you try to look up

    by VoiceOfSaruman

    The finale was written and shot before cancellation and there was no alternate endings filmed. It is what it is. I too regret the too-soon ending to this show. Jason Isaacs in particular was doing great work; I'm a fan now and will follow whatever he does next. We can speculate all we want, for fun, but for me it was more about the emotional connection than the final explanation. My son is nowhere near Rex's age, but having a wife and toddler son I love dearly, the whole concept, the devil's bargain between the two great losses, made for compelling television for me. And it was well executed. But since this is an AICN talkbalk I will bitch about two things - the wife was miscast, her acting wasn't strong and she looked way too young, typically. And Laura Innes needs to clear her damn throat. She annoys me onscreen, though her direction behind the camera made for some of the best show moments.

  • May 25, 2012, 1:05 p.m. CST

    @Voice of Saruman - Agreed

    by Dan

    Watching this with my wife after the birth of our daughter in January, with her in the next room sleeping as we caught up on the show ... it made both of us think a lot. And also creeped us out a lot last night as it wrapped up in such a bizarre fashion, with collapsing and merging realities and dream-logic.

  • May 25, 2012, 2:24 p.m. CST

    I loved the wife

    by Paul

    I agree that she was too young for him, but man was she hot!

  • That the accident had happened, that he was in a coma and that some damage to his brain had caused him to live one comatose dream in his right brain and another in his left.

  • May 25, 2012, 2:33 p.m. CST

    Was it even simpler than we thought? Red=fake Green=real?

    by tangcameo

  • May 25, 2012, 2:42 p.m. CST

    Finale

    by joee60

    I understand the finale was filmed before knowing that they were cancelled... but that does not mean the second season Jason Isaacs cannot still be in a coma, having dreamlike revelations. By the way,,,,, In the second episode, especially, but other episodes as well, we see events from the point of view of both the son and the wife, without Jason Isaacs being in the room. Is this happening in his head, even if he's not around. Or when the shooting in the Motel Room takes place, how do we as the audience see this??? Is it really happening or is it all in his head?

  • May 25, 2012, 3:28 p.m. CST

    AWAKE's brilliant finale

    by dr. brezzel

    Just saw the finale, and must say that I was stunned by its brilliance. It's feel is very close to that of THE PRISONER's famous finale in the late '60s - clearly the writers didn't feel the need to spoon-feed narrative answers to their audience, as at the point they wrote this episode, they had to know that their audience was small and committed. I read the final scene as part of a mental breakdown that occurs in the office of the female therapist, the final scene in the one true reality of the series. The clue is given in the final "dream" scene with Britton's wife, when she asks for one final kiss (because his dream that she's alive is ending) and then tells him to go get his boss for the murder. He does, in reality, and then realizes that he still isn't willing to give up his wife, so his mind forces itself to break from true reality one final time, so that he "wakes" in his bedroom to a perfect morning where his family is still alive. This ending of the series links directly to the end of the pilot when Britton tells his therapists that he doesn't want to be cured because he's unwilling to sacrifice either his wife or son. Whether or not it was meant as a series finale is beside the point. It's the best series finale I've seen since THE WIRE's. Great work.

  • May 25, 2012, 3:46 p.m. CST

    Awake's Finale - remembering the 2nd or 3rd episode

    by GlyphGuy

    I thought the finale was great. It leads me to believe that the wife and son are both dead, or Britton is as well, or at the very least in a coma. If you think back to the 2nd or 3rd episode where we are introduced to Kessel, he was having a conversation with Harper. She said something to the affect that Kessel didn't have to kill Britton's whole family. I thought that may have been some throw away line leading us to some greater conspiracy beyond just drugs, but I think it is simply stating a now obvious fact.

  • May 26, 2012, 4:54 a.m. CST

    Hello to Jason Isaacs.

    by nightvip

  • May 28, 2012, 4:12 a.m. CST

    OH MY GOD!

    by MegaBeth

    Rookie Blue is still on television. I watched five minutes of the first show of season one, it is without a doubt the worst cop show EVER!

  • May 28, 2012, 6:43 a.m. CST

    Agree with Dr Brezzel and the others about Awake

    by TBYITBSITBH

    and there's an interview here http://www.hitfix.com/whats-alan-watching/awake-series-finale-interview-with-creator-kyle-killen with Killen where he explains that's essentially it. He also says or at least implies that if next season had happened it would've been the same back and forth between the red world - with britton in jail - and either the green world AND the world in which both his wife and kid survived, or just the latter. And he makes it pretty clear that although he and the writers worked it out so that both were always possible (see his comment about working it out on whiteboards), the writers didn't really know which one - red or green - was real and which was not, nor did they care to ever tell us, necessarily. Which to me is a cop-out and would've driven people crazy for however much longer and then led to massive disappointment probably, so maybe just as well it ended now esp considering it was closure of SORTS haha

  • Well, at least those 5 minutes were. Regardless, obviously you didn't see any of NYC 22.

  • June 1, 2012, 4:17 a.m. CST

    scorpiar and pooh: apparently you didn't watch Lost..

    by Executor

    ...or didn't understand it. They weren't dead from Season 1. It wasn't a dream. The only "afterlife" parts of the show were in the final season, but it was intercut with reality.