The former star of the hit comedy, 'Dharma & Greg,' discusses his personal and professional lives. Gibson also speculates on why television's primetime hit procedural crime drama, 'Criminal Minds,' has lasted 8 seasons in a cancellation-happy environment.
Thomas Ellis Gibson confesses he always wanted to be an actor. "I did my first play when I was about nine years old, and from that moment on, I was hooked," recalls the Charleston, South Carolina native who currently stars in the crime/drama series Criminal Minds. "I knew acting was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I felt a real passion for it, and I wasn't going to let anything stop me from doing it." Gibson would attend the College of Charleston and intern at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival before winning a full scholarship to the prestigious Julliard School of Arts, where he was able to hone his acting skills. Gibson landed his first professional stage gig in '85 (A Map of the World) and he snagged his first feature film role in the Ron Howard-directed Far and Away, followed by appearances in The Age of Innocence and Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut. However, Gibson's proverbial "big break" took place when he won a major role in the TV adaptation of author Armistead Maupin’s Tales Of The City. Then, after several seasons on the primetime medical drama Chicago Hope (1994-1998), Gibson would garner the leading role of “Greg Montgomery” in a comedy series that would turn him into an overnight sensation and a bonafide household name -- Dharma & Greg.
“I guess you could say that Dharma & Greg kind of raised my profile and changed my life -- a wee bit,” the 50-year-old Gibson says jokingly about his time on Dharma & Greg -- a hit sitcom that focused on the daily lives of a rather unconventional married couple. “It was a great show, and I loved doing it (1997 to 2002), especially since I got to work with (costar) Jeanna Elfman every day. I don’t think I could have done it with any other actress. When we first met, the chemistry was instant, and it only grew stronger as the seasons went by. It was like we -- and the show -- got funnier every year.”
Jeanna Elfman and Thomas Gibson in 'Dharma & Greg'
Gibson would receive two Golden Globe Best Actor nominations for his work in Dharma & Greg. “I know a lot of actors always like to say that just being nominated is an honor and winning is not all that important -- for me, that was true,” the 6’ 2” actor confesses. “Of course, I would have loved to win, but I was more excited that critics and fans were acknowledging my work in such a great show. It meant I was doing something right.”
After the successful run of Dharma & Greg came to an end, Gibson would spend the next two years choosing roles in motion pictures (Berkeley, Come Away Home) and in several TV mini-series (Brush With Fate, Into The Night.) He was also spending a great deal of time at home with his two sons and daughter -- with his wife of nearly twenty years, Christine Gibson (they tied the knot in 1993). “I had just finished Dharma & Greg, and I had three little young ones running around the house, so I didn’t feel the need to work all the time," he says. "Like most people, I love being with my family as much as possible....I was just reading scripts and waiting for the right one to come along.”
Thomas Gibson as "Hotch" on 'Criminal Minds'
When Gibson received the screenplay for a FBI procedural network crime series titled Criminal Minds, he knew the tense, hard-hitting show would be quite a departure for him, and he liked the idea of becoming a part of the dramatic series. “People were so used to seeing me doing comedy, I thought this was a great way for me to show them, and myself, what kind of dramatic actor I really was,” he explains. An instant hit with television viewers, Criminal Minds (which premiered in 2005), revolves around an elite team of FBI profilers who analyze the country's most twisted criminal minds, anticipating their next moves before they strike again. Gibson would begin his acting tenure on the show as the Behavioral Analysis Unit's most prominent agent, team leader Aaron "Hotch" Hotchner -- a longtime member of the BAU -- who directs the team on how to solve new cases while pursuing some unfinished business of his own. Each member of the unit brings his or her own area of expertise to the table as they pinpoint predators' motivations and identify their emotional triggers in the attempt to stop them.
“The character of Hotch was an instant fit for me,“ Gibson admits. “Of course, I had to do a whole lot of research to convincingly play an FBI profiler, but it was worth it,“ he remembers. “It really helped me get into the head of Hotch....I learned some really disturbing and scary things about what motivates people to want to kill or what is in the mind of a serial killer, but it only made my performances better.”
Paget Brewster, Shemar Moore and Gibson on 'Criminal Minds'
In Season Seven of Criminal Minds (now available on DVD), the story begins with the team reeling from the presumed death of Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster), and answering to a Senate Committee about their subsequent actions. Profiling expert David Rossi (Joe Mantegna) is faced with a personal crisis involving his ex-wife, while team leader Hotchner oversees his crew on a series of increasingly twisted, complex cases. But with a powerhouse team that includes Dr. Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler), Special Agent Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore), Special Agent Jennifer "JJ" Jareau (A.J. Cook) and technical analyst Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness), no killer ever makes a clean getaway.
During the early days of Criminal Minds, Gibson remembers that the cast and crew would often spend weeks and weeks of 16-hour days on the set in order to come up with the most exhilarating and entertaining episodes possible. However, when Gibson and I spoke earlier this year, the actor was in the midst of finishing up filming on Season Seven, and he says those long days on the set are, thankfully, now a thing of the past. “If you are into the seventh season of the show and you're not doing 10, 11- or 12-hour days, then you are doing something wrong,” he says with a laugh. “Criminal Minds is a machine that is well-oiled by now. We have a great crew. They probably do -- some of them -- 60 or 70-hour weeks. Like today (Tuesday), I am going in at one o'clock and I'll probably work until around 8:00 or 9:00 tonight. Tomorrow, I work 12 hours. Thursday, I think it is about seven hours, and I am off on Friday and headed to Texas for a nice long weekend."
Joe Mantagna as "Rossi" and Gibson as "Hotchner" on 'Criminal Minds'
Texas? What is the former longtime resident of Los Angeles doing in the Lone Star state? "That's where I live, actually, in San Antonio, which is my wife's hometown, because we don't have any family in California," Gibson answers. "Gosh, we had talked about moving for a while, and around 2002 -- when Dharma & Greg was over -- it seems like every job, from movies to mini-series, took me out of town, out of California. The jobs took me to Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Canada and Florida, and our kids were really small at the time. So, we decided, I guess it was 2004, to make the leap. We put our house on the market here in California, and it sold immediately, and we had bought a place in San Antonio, which we were renovating. Nothing will get you a job more than buying a plane ticket or moving away. Of course, knowing full well that this was in the cards, Criminal Minds came up in 2005, and I actually started commuting before we actually moved into our house."
Although Criminal Minds is shot in LA, at one time, Gibson recalls hearing chatter about moving the production to Canada. He's glad the producers decided against the move, even though he is a huge fan of all things Canadian. "There was actually some talk about filming the show in Vancouver, and that would have really killed me," he laments. "When I started the show, United Airlines started three non-stops each day in both directions (LA to San Antonio) on a little regional jet, but it was a lifesaver. And now, because of the merger (with Continental Airlines) and all that, they have kind of messed with my schedule. I have actually written to them and said, 'Please, help me.' They said, 'Well, we like the show but we'll do what we can.' But some computer model is going to make the decision, not a person. That's kinda what I have been doing, I feel like I pulled United out of bankruptcy -- single-handedly."
When Gibson is not home in San Antonio on weekends, he has his own pad in the City of Angels so that he can report on time to the LA set of Criminal Minds on weekdays. "I guess you can say that I have triangulated, geographically, my residence in Los Angeles," he continues. "I have an apartment in downtown LA, just up the 5 (freeway) in Glendale, and all my airline non-stops are out of LAX, which is just down the 110 (freeway). I even had a Prius with a carpool land sticker until the darn DMV made them expire last summer. But yeah, I had it dialed in pretty well."
Shemar Moore and Thomas Gibson in 'Criminal Minds'
Criminal Minds has been such a massive ratings hit for CBS that, last year, the network ordered the spin-off Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior -- featuring Academy Award-winning actor Forest Whitaker (Last King Of Scotland) in the lead role. Although there had been tentative plans for Gibson's character of Hotch to appear, from time to time, on Criminal Suspect: Suspect Behavior, Tom (as he's known to his pals) never got the chance to act on the sister show. Even though Oscar-winner Whitaker was the main star of a proven series formula, the new spin-off series lasted only 13 episodes before it was unceremoniously yanked off the air, much to the surpise of most Hollywood insiders. Gibson, however, wasn't all that shocked Suspect Behavior was given the boot.
"As far as the spin-off went, everyone thought they had a proven commodity with Criminal Minds and a great actor like Forest leading the cast, so, how could you go wrong -- it was like it should have been an unsinkable ship, right?" he begins. "But it's kind of interesting, because in the beginning, I think that the network had low expectation for our show, because we were up against Lost in the first season. I think all we were expected to do was a solid second place, and we did. But, by the end of the first season, we had actually caught up to them and passed them. I think it was all about our show flying under the radar. People still ignore us, but we are cool with that, but the spin-off didn't have the luxury of flying under the radar. They were yet another spin-off of another crime franchise, and I think people had high expectations. Shows always have to have time to find themselves.
Forest Whitaker in the spin-off 'Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior'
"The Catch-22 of this business is that if executives where as quick to cancel shows 10, 12 or 15 years ago, as they are now, shows like Seinfeld or even Cheers might not have lasted," he continues. "I don't think any of those shows really found their footing for the first season or two. I don't even know how many episodes Suspect Behavior did, but I guess they were expected to do a certain amount of eyeballs by a certain date, and I guess it didn't happen. Like I said, any show definitely has to take the time to find their niche. With our show being conceptually what it is and then sort of being the underground team who solving these crimes -- maybe it is a bit of a stretch -- but it was going to have to take some time to take some footing. Thank goodness it did."
Criminal Minds begins its eighth season later this month (September 26), so it's safe to assume it has found its footing with a large niche audience. Even in his adopted hometown of San Antonio, fans are always coming up to Gibson to voice their often very strong opinions about the show. "People usually come up to me and tell me how much they like the show, and that's really nice," he says. "Sometimes you get the occasional critic, who says, 'Hey, I didn't like when such and such happened.' And I'll say, 'Well, we will try and do better.'"
Thomas Gibson as "Hotch" investigating a crime on 'Criminal Minds'
At the end of the day, Thomas Gibson is convinced he's figured out why fans continue to watch Criminal Minds every Wednesday night (in the U.S). "I think what keeps people coming back is that these stories are really fascinating," he explains. "For me, whenever I read about some sort of serial crime, even if it is arson...in fact, I was just listening to the radio this morning about the guy who has now been charged with 60 counts of arson here in Los Angeles, the young German kid. Apparently, it was in retaliation for his mother's treatment by immigration. You just think, 'It has to be a little more complicated than that, doesn't it?' What made this kid turn to that as his answer? His very twisted answer to what his mother was going through, and to what he was going through.
"Our show basically asks these questions; 'Why do these people take what's going on with them -- that's obviously causing them pain and suffering -- and deal with it in that way? What happened in their lives -- both nature and nurture -- to make the perfect storm occur where they go to these kind of extremes to find satisfaction?'" Gibson adds. "To me, that's always the fascinating question about these crimes, and I think that is why most people keep tuning in to Criminal Minds. It's just my theory, but great writing and acting seem to be what has kept us on the air all these years. If it ain't broke, why fix it?"
Criminal Minds: Season 7 DVD Bonus Features: "Seven Stories"; "Minds' Eye"; Gag Reel; Deleted Scenes; Commentaries; "Wedding Toasts"; "Fireside Chat with Matthew Gray Gubler" and "Wheels Up." ON THE NET: Watch video, browse photos and join the ultimate fan community for Criminal Minds at the Official CBS Site @ www.cbs.com/primetime/criminal_mindsThe eighth season of Criminal Minds begins Wednesday, September 26 at 9:00pmEST/8:00CST (Check local listings)NOW AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY & DVD:
Fringe: The Complete Fourth Season
A pair of parallel world continue to collide as mysterious forces work to overwrite the laws of physics in Fringe. Set in two parallel universes, the FBI's Fringe Division investigates unusual incidents that defy explanation. When unimaginable events threaten existence on a universal scale, Special Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv - The Pacific), eccentric fringe scientist Walter Bishop (John Noble - The Lord of the Rings trilogy). and his alternate-universe born son, Peter (Joshua Jackson - Dawson's Creek), continue their mission to heal the rifts between the two worlds. To complicate matters further, Peter has mysteriously returned to a universe in which he never existed -- a virtual stranger to the Fringe team -- while a God Complex-driven madman is crossing between realities with an absolute endgame in mind that will destroy both worlds. Wrestling with questions of identity, destiny and existence, the Fringe team must not only struggle to reset their reality and find each other again, but save both universes -- by sacrificing more than one of their lives. Created by J.J. Abrams (Lost, Star Trek), Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (Hawaii 5-0, Transformers films), the fourth season of Fringe also stars Lance Reddick (Lost, The Wire), Blair Brown (Altered States), Jasika Nicole (She's Out of My League) and Seth Gabel (The Da Vinci Code). Blu-ray Bonus Features: "A World Without Peter"; "The Observers"; "Beyond the Fringe" (comic); Peter Bishop Audition Tapes; "The Scientist Roundtable"; "Fringe Decoded"; Ultraviolet copy of all 22 episodes; Gag Reel and Deleted Scenes. ON THE NET: Enter the world of Fringe and learn more about characters, episodes, cast, watch full episodes, "The End of All Things," "The Consultant," "Letters of Transit" and "Worlds Apart at Fox's Official Fringe Site @ www.fox.com/fringe/Fringe returns for its fifth and final season on September 28, 2012, airing Fridays at 9pmEST/8pmCST on FOX. (Check local listings)
The Five-Year Engagement
From the producers of Bridesmaids (Nicholas Stoller and Judd Apatow) and the director of Forgetting Sarah Marshall (Nicholas Stoller) comes an irreverent comedy about an engaged couple who keep getting tripped up on their long walk down the aisle. Tom (Jason Segel) and Violet (Emily Blunt) seem destined to live happily ever after, but as one hysterical delay follows another, everyone starts to wonder: can they survive the engagement? Co-starring Chris Pratt, David Paymer, Jacki Weaver, Jim Piddock, Alison Brie, Rhys Ifans, Kevin Hart and Mindy Kaling, The Five-Year Engagement is a non-stop, laugh-packed comedy. Blu-ray Bonus Features: Deleted Scenes; Extended & Alternate Scenes; Gag Reel; Line-O-Rama; "The Making Of: The Five-Year Engagement" and Feature Commentary with Filmmakers and Cast. ON THE NET: For photos, clips, images and cast and crew bios head to the Official Site @ www.thefiveyearengagementmovie.com
Hung: The Complete Third Season
Ray (Thomas Jane), a plodding basketball coach and family man who was once a legendary high school athlete finds his life reinvigorated when he figures out how to best capitalize on the most outstanding member of his body. However, in Season 3, in the face of a (still) recession-plagued economy, Ray and his unlikely pimp Tanya (Jane Adams) take matters into their own by hands by opening the "Happiness Consultants Wellness Center for Women." The center is a very public front for their gigolo enterprise complete with "orgasmic living" seminars and "private consultations." Consequently, just as the business begins to make money, their former partner Lenore and her 25-year-old busboy turned male hooker begin to steal their clientele. Additional cast members include Anne Heche as Ray's ex-wife, Charlie Saxton as Ray's son Damon, Sianoa Smit-McPhee as Ray's daughter Darby, Rebecca Creskoff as Ray and Tanya's former partner Lenore, Gregg Henry as Ray's friend and fellow teacher Mike, Lennie James as Tanya's fellow pimp, advisor and occasional paramour Charlie and Stephen Amell as Jason, the new male hooker and client of Lenore's. Blu-ray Bonus Features: "Hung: Inside the Series" - series creators/executive producers Colette Burson and Dmitry Lipkin discuss the story arc for the third season; "Pimpin' Ain't Easy" - Charlie (Lennie James) dispenses words of wisdom on his chosen profession; "Wellness Center Walkthrough" - a tour of the new set conducted by Burson and Lipkin; "Where is Henry Ford?" - Ray's kids Damon (Charlie Saxton) and Darby's (Sianoa Smit-McPhee) music video about Detroit; Alternate Ending - a never-before-seen alternate ending from the season finale "The Whole Beefalo"; Deleted Scenes and Audio Commentaries - four commentaries from Burson and Lipkin as well as writers Julia Brownell, Drew Lindo, Eduardo Machado and Micah Schraft. ON THE NET: The official website for Hung on HBO features videos, images, schedule information and episode guides. Just click on www.hbo.com/hung/index.html
Grey's Anatomy: The Complete Eighth Season
As fifth year residents, it’s do or die for the doctors of Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital. Things heat up in the operating room and in the bedroom as competition abounds and passions are ignited. The six-disc DVD brings fans even closer to the action. Grey’s Anatomy stars Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey, Patrick Dempsey as Derek Shepherd, Sandra Oh as Cristina Yang, Justin Chambers as Alex Karev, Chandra Wilson as Miranda Bailey, James Pickens, Jr. as Richard Webber, Sara Ramirez as Callie Torres, Eric Dane as Mark Sloan, Chyler Leigh as Lexie Grey, Kevin McKidd as Owen Hunt, Jessica Capshaw as Arizona Robbins, Kim Raver as Teddy Altman, Jesse Williams as Jackson Avery and Sarah Drew as April Kepner. DVD Bonus Features: "A Journey Home with Kevin McKidd," where fans can tag along with Kevin McKidd (Dr. Owen Hunt) as he heads home to the Highlands of Scotland and tours his hometown; Deleted Scenes; Extended Episode: "If/Then" and "In Stitches:" Outtakes. ON THE NET: At the Official Site for Grey's Anatomy, watch episodes, see recaps, sneak peak photos, view the episode guide and discuss the show with other fans @ http://abc.go.com/shows/greys-anatomyThe ninth season of Grey's Anatomy premieres Thursday, September 27, 2012 on ABC at 9pmEST/8:00pmCST. (Check local listings)
The Good Wife: The Third Season
Turns out the good wife is not afraid to be bad. Tougher in the courtroom. Stronger for her family. And hotter than ever behind closed doors. Season Three reveals a new side to Alicia Florrick (Emmy- and Golden Globe-winner Julianna Margulies) -- and she likes it. Upping her game at the office, Alicia is pivotal in helping Lockhart/Gardner navigate a year of rough waters. While she and Will (Josh Charles) finally get their romantic timing right, there are consequences for both. She has a new professional adversary in her ex, Peter Florrick (Chris Noth), who aligns with Alicia's rival Cary (Matt Czuchry). Will faces disbarment, Diane (Christine Baranski) tries to keep the firm afloat and Kalinda (Emmy-winner Archie Panjabi) tries to mend her damaged relationship with her best friend. Meanwhile, Eli (Alan Cumming) has joined the firm, clashing with partners, attorneys and Alicia -- as only he can. From the start of this 22-episode collection, The Good Wife is a brand-new woman. Season Three also features Makenzie Vega and Graham Phillips. DVD Bonus Features: "The Good Wife: A New Beginning"; "Research And Development"; "A Bi-Coastal Affair"; "Alicia Florrick At A Crossroads" and Deleted Scenes. ON THE NET: For videos, episodes, photo, bios and more, head to the Official Site @ www.cbs.com/primetime/the_good_wife/The Good Wife, the fourth season, begins Sunday, September 30, 2012 at 9:00pmEST/8:00pmCST. (Check local listings)
Person Of Interest: The Complete First Season
What if you could prevent a violent crime from happening before it ever occurred? That's the underlying premise of Person of Interest, one of television's most compelling, action-packed crime dramas. Winner of this year's People's Choice Award for Favorite New TV Drama, Person of Interest stars film and television actor Jim Caviezel (The Thin Red Line, The Prisoner) as John Reese, a former CIA agent, who teams up with reclusive billionaire and computer genius Harold Finch, portrayed by the Emmy Award-winning Michael Emerson (Lost). Secretly tapping into the U.S. Government's all-seeing, pattern-recognition software -- 'The Machine' developed by Finch to identify impending acts of terrorism -- Reese and Finch hone in on an ordinary 'person of interest' who will soon be involved in a violent crime. Using state-of-the-art technology and vigilante tactics, Reese and Finch set out to solve the mystery of the impending crime --before it happens. Person of Interest also stars Academy Award-nominated actress Taraji P. Henson (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and Kevin Chapman (Rescue Me) as NYPD Detectives Joss Carter and Lionel Fusco. Created by Jonathan Nolan (The Dark Knight), the action series is executive-produced by J.J. Abrams (Fringe, Lost), Nolan, Greg Plageman (Cold Case) and Bryan Burk (Fringe, Lost). Blu-ray Combo Pack Bonus Features: Blu-ray & DVD discs as well as UltraViolet for digital download and instant streaming; the Original Broadcast Pilot with producer commentary; an Extended (unaired) Pilot with producer commentary; a Gag Reel, and the exclusive featurette "Living in an Age of Surveillance." ON THE NET: To watch a Season Two Preview, photos, videos cast bios and more, go to the Official CBS Site for Person Of Interest @ www.cbs.com/shows/person_of_interest/ He built a machine to stop crime before it happens -- on September 27th, 2012, will the machine save him? Tune in for the Season Two premiere of Person Of Interest on September 27 on CBS at 9:00pmEST/8:00CST. (Check local listings)
The Office: Season Eight
Big changes are in store for Scranton in the hilarious eighth season of the Primetime Emmy Award-winning series. Andy (B.J. Novak) has taken over as manager of Dunder Mifflin and finds the job to be more than he bargained for. He wants to win the respect of his employees, while going toe-to-toe with Robert California (James Spader, Boston Legal), the enigmatic new CEO who wants to turn the office into his personal playground. Dwight (Rainn Wilson) makes his own grab for power when he leads a team to Florida to work under Nellie Bertram, who may be slightly out of her mind. Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam's (Jenna Fischer) relationship is put to the test when Pam goes on maternity leave and her replacement has eyes for Jim. Meanwhile, Erin harbors lingering feelings for Andy; Angela's relationship deepens with her dashing (state) senator; and Darryl looks for love in the warehouse. Created by Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Greg Daniels, The Office also stars Leslie David Baker, Angela Kinsey, Mindy Kaling, Phyllis Smith, Kate Flannery, Will Arnett and Brian Baumgartner. Blu-ray Bonus Features: Over 100 Minutes of Deleted Scenes; Producer's Extended Cut Episodes; Blooper Reel; Webisodes and The Office Promos. ON THE NET: Check out the dozens of guest stars who have graced The Office over the past eight seasons. On the Official NBC Site you can watch full episodes, read the episode guide, cast bios, video clips and much more @ www.nbc.com/the-office/
Agatha Christie's Poirit, Series 6
Newly remastered and restored to their original U.K. broadcast order ("Hercule Poirot’s Christmas," "Hickory Dickory Dock," "Murder on the Links" and "Dumb Witness"), Agatha Christie’s Poirot, Series 6 features David Suchet as Agatha Christie’s mustachioed mystery-solver in these four feature-length episodes from the hit series. Poirot investigates the baffling cases with the help of Captain Hastings (Hugh Fraser, Sharpe), Chief Inspector Japp (Philip Jackson, Little Voice), and Miss Lemon (Pauline Moran). Series 6 guest stars include Damian Lewis (Homeland, The Forsyte Saga) in one of his first roles and Kate Buffery (Wish Me Luck). These editions capture every opulent detail of Art Deco-era Europe. Brimming with opulent 1930s period details and pitch-perfect performances, these lavish adaptations look better than ever in this remastered edition. ITV Studios’ Poirot has aired on ITV1 in the U.K. since 1989 and on PBS and A&E in the U.S. Series 6 previously aired in 1995-96. ON THE NET: For more information on this Poirot release and previous series, visit the Acorn Site @ www.AcornOnline.com
Bored to Death: The Complete Third SeasonBored to Death keeps the laughs coming as Jonathan Ames (Jason Schwartzman), a noir fiction-obsessed writer who moonlights as a private eye, continues to deal with the mounting mishaps that befall his life. Jonathan continues to ply his trade as an unlicensed private detective, getting caught up in increasingly risky jobs and absurd adventures around New York City with George (Ted Danson) and Ray (Zach Galifianakis), his always supportive partners in solving crime. In addition, a shocking revelation drives him to embark on one of his most important cases yet, the quest to find his biological father. As if that wasn't enough, Jonathan's writing career is finally starting to look up with the publication of his long-delayed second book. Returning cast members and guest stars include Heather Burns, Allyce Beasley, Samantha Bee, Olympia Dukakis, John Hodgman, Richard Masur, Bebe Neuwirth, Patton Oswalt and Oliver Platt, as well as Dick Cavett, Chris Elliott, Halley Feiffer, Isla Fisher, Stacy Keach, David Rasche, Sarah Silverman, Mary Steenburgen, Casey Wilson and Zach Woods, among others. Bored To Death is the brainchild of Guggenheim Fellowship-winning author Jonathan Ames (The Double Life is Twice as Good), whose fascination with noir writers like Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett led him to write a short story in 2007 that became the basis for the show. Ames also serves as executive producer and writer of the show. Blu-ray + DVD Bonus Features: Deleted Scenes; Outtakes; "Inside the Episodes" - backstories on the episodes from creator Jonathan Ames and Audio Commentaries - four commentaries with Jason Schwartzman, Ted Danson, Zach Galifianakis, John Hodgman, Jonathan Ames (writer/series creator), Michael Lehmann (director), Tristram Shapeero (director), and Adam Bernstein (director). ON THE NET: The Official Site for Bored to Death on HBO features videos, images, schedule information, episode guides, Bored To Death Newsletter and more. Just head to www.hbo.com/bored-to-death/index.html
Parks and Recreation: Season 4
Four-time Primetime Emmy Award-nominee Amy Poehler (Saturday Night Live) returns for the hilarious fourth season of Parks and Recreation. The ever-enthusiastic Leslie Knope (Poehler) has her sights set on the City Council, but political campaigns are never easy -- Leslie must deal with shady journalists, a deep-pocketed opponent (guest star Paul Rudd), bus accidents, and even a still-smitten old flame in her quest to serve her beloved hometown. This Peabody Award-winning season features one of television's funniest ensemble cast and phenomenal guest stars including Rudd (Knocked Up), Megan Mullally (Will and Grace) and Louis C.K. (Louie). Catch all 22 episodes uninterrupted and commercial free, from Primetime Emmy Award winners Greg Daniels (The Office, The Simpsons) and Michael Schur (The Office, Saturday Night Live). DVD Bonus Features: Four Extended Episodes: Deleted Scenes; Gag Reel Uncensored; Webisodes; Campaign Ads and "Catch Your Dreams" music video. ON THE NET: Watch videos, episode recaps, photos & bios, cast member information & play online games at the Official NBC Site for Parks and Recreation @ www.nbc.com/parks-and-recreation/
Game of LifeGame of Life is a drama surrounding five families and their spiraling lives. Though divided by race, class, and dysfunctional relationships, Game of Life shows that through everything, the innocence of children and a common bound can bring even the most polar opposites together to unite in a common goal. A children's soccer team is the common link for a multi-layered story giving a candid look into the intersecting lives of five families living in Los Angeles. Game of Life examines the complexities of racial and class division, and reveals that despite the fragile and volatile nature of human relationships, family is what holds us together and unites us all. Game of Life has been critically praised and compared to the Academy Award- winning drama Crash. Director/Writer Joseph Merhi (The Whole Ten Yards, Alex and Emma) cast this very personal film with an ensemble of American and international stars, including Tom Sizemore (Saving Private Ryan, Natural Born Killers), Heather Locklear (Melrose Place, Dynasty), Tom Arnold (True Lies, Sons of Anarchy), Richard T. Jones (Phone Booth, Collateral), and Beverly D'Angelo (American History X, National Lampoon's Vacation).The supporting cast includes all-star actors Jill Hennessy (Crossing Jordan, Law and Order), Marina Sirtis (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Crash), Orson Bean (Desperate Housewives, Being John Malkovich), Orson Soykut (The Hot Chick), and Dylan Minnette (Let Me In, Awake). ON THE NET: For more on Game Of Life, head to Facebook @ www.facebook.com/BreakingGlassPictures * The Official Breaking Glass Site @ www.breakingglasspictures.com * To view clips and trailer, go to YouTube @ www.youtube.com/OfficialBGP
For The Love of Money
A man can't seem to escape the gangster lifestyle in For The Love of Money. Featuring cinematography by the award winning Director of Photography of Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, this action-packed film features a stellar cast including Jeffrey Tambor (The Hangover), Jonathan Lipnicki (Jerry Maguire) and Edward Furlong (American History X) with Oded Fehr (The Mummy) along with Paul Sorvino (Law & Order) and Academy Award-nominee James Caan (The Godfather). Based on a true story, one man, Izek, leaves his old, seedy, gangster filled lifestyle to start over with his family. After relocating to Los Angeles it isn't long before the world of crime that he tried to escape finds him. Threatened by a dangerously temperamental gangster, his criminal cousin and a drug lord, Izek finds making a fresh start almost impossible. As those close to him fall victim to the promises of quick money by way of the gun, violence surrounds him until he has no choice but to confront it. He'll do whatever it takes to keep those close to him safe even if it means going back to his old ways. For The Love Of Money also includes a stellar cast that includes Yehuda Levi (The Arbitrator), Delphine Chaneace (Splice), Joshua Bitton (Larry Crowne), Cody Longo (Fame, Bring It On: Fight to the Finish), Steven Bauer (Traffic, Scarface), Jonathan Lipnicki (Jerry Maguire, Stuart Little), Hal Ozsan (90210) and Meredith Scott Lynn (Legally Blonde, Vamps). Bonus Features: Behind-the-scenes featurette and Trailer Gallery. ON THE NET: For trailer, clips, photos and more, visit the Official Site @ www.fortheloveofmoneythemovie.com
2 Broke Girls: The Complete First Season
From Emmy Award-winner/executive producer Michael Patrick King (Sex and the City), 2 Broke Girls stars Kat Dennings as Max Black (Thor, Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist) and exciting new discovery Beth Behrs (American Pie Presents: The Book of Love) as Caroline Channing. One's street-smart and blue-collar born; the other's book smart and nouveau bankrupt. Together, as unlikely roommates and even more unlikely friends, Max and Caroline are two broke girls waiting tables in a Brooklyn diner while amassing the startup money it takes to launch a cupcake business. Saving the $250,000 they need won't be easy, but Max and Caroline are proving that life can be fun -- even if you're broke -- and the pair's saucy humor and blossoming friendship makes for a priceless adventure. 2 Broke Girls -- which also stars Garrett Morris (Saturday Night Live), Jonathan Kite (I'm in the Band) and Matthew Moy (Scrubs) -- was co-created by King, who serves as executive producer, and comedian Whitney Cummings (Whitney). Blu-ray Bonus Features: "2 Girls Going 4 Broke" featurette: Beth Behrs and Kat Dennings talk about the pursuit of the American dream, their characters and Alternate Jokes. ON THE NET: Browse videos, episodes, photos, "A First Look at Season 2," exclusive photos from the Season 2 premiere and more at the 2 Broke Girls Official Site @ www.cbs.com/shows/2_broke_girls/Season Two of 2 Broke Girls begins airing on Monday Sept 24th at 9pmEST/pmCST. (Check local listings)
How To Make It In America: The Complete Second SeasonHow To Make It In America: The Complete Second Season continues to follow the adventures of Ben (Bryan Greenberg) and Cam (Victor Rasuk), two 20-something friends and entrepreneurs who aspire to making it in the New York City fashion world. With an appealing young cast, the hip, urban half-hour HBO comedy takes viewers into the fascinating bohemian subculture of the city's downtown to find out just what it takes to make it to the big time. Still hustling to succeed in the ultra-competitive fashion industry, Season Two opens with Ben and Cam scouring the NYC downtown scene in search of new business connections that will help get their new CRISP line of T-shirts and hoodies off the ground. But as the stakes get higher, the lovable would-be-moguls encounter new obstacles that will require all their street smarts to overcome. Additional cast members of How To Make It In America includes Lake Bell as Ben's ex-girlfriend Rachel; Luis Guzmàn as Rene, Cam's cousin who is pursuing his own get-rich scheme; Scott Mescuti (aka Kid Cudi) as Domingo, Cam and Ben's well-connected friend; Eddie Kaye Thomas as David Kaplan, a successful hedge fund manager and high school friend of Ben's; Margarita Levieva as Julie, Ben's girlfriend and Nicole Laliberte as Cam's new girlfriend Lulu. Guest stars include Gina Gershon, Andre Royo, Joe Pantoliano, James Ransone, Eriq LaSalle, fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi and others. The series is executive produced by Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson and Rob Weiss, the same team that made Entourage a hit. Blu-ray + DVD Bonus Features: "3 Days Downtown" - a glimpse at the lives of three entrepreneurs trying to find and hold onto success in the Big Apple; "Inside the Series" - a behind-the-scenes look with cast and crew as they share details about characters and plotlines; Audio Commentaries - three commentaries featuring actors Bryan Greenberg, Victor Rasuk, creator/executive producer Ian Edelman and executive producer Julian Farino. ON THE NET: The Official HBO Site for How to Make It in America features videos, images, schedule information, episode guides and more @ www.hbo.com/how-to-make-it-in-america/index.html
Created by Anthony Horowitz (Foyle’s War, Midsomer Murders), Injustice, offers a tale of murder, conspiracy, secrets, and guilt. James Purefoy (Rome, Episodes and opposite Kevin Bacon on FOX’s forthcoming series The Following) leads a distinguished cast featuring Dervla Kirwan (Ballykissangel), Charlie Creed-Miles (Five Days), and Nathaniel Parker (The Inspector Lynley Mysteries) in this taut five-part thriller that merges legal drama, police investigation, and high-tension suspense in an atmosphere of moral ambiguity Purefoy plays defense barrister William Travers, who has fled from London murder trials to the peace of the Suffolk countryside with his family. He is called upon to defend an old friend in a homicide that may be much more than it seems, even as death strikes close to home and he becomes a target of investigation himself. Besides Foyle’s War, BAFTA-nominated screenwriter Anthony Horowitz’s other credits include Collison, Agatha Christie’s Poirot, Midsomer Murders and Robin of Sherwood. He also wrote the most recent Sherlock Holmes novel, The House of Silk and the hit Alex Rider book series. Bonus Feature: Photo gallery. ON THE NET: For more on Injustice, head to the Acorn Site @ www.AcornOnline.com
Tom & Jerry: Tricks and Treats
Get set for a ghoulishly good time with that tussling twosome, Tom and Jerry as they scare up some fun for the whole family this Halloween with Tom & Jerry: Tricks and Treats. This “spooktacular” collection showcases 20 eerie cartoons plus two bonus cartoons -- everyone’s goodie-bag will overflow with fun. Tricks and treats are at every turn, from ancient Egypt to Transylvania, from creepy houses to haunted forests, the hair-raising hilarity is non-stop! Our favorite Cat and Mouse mingle with ghosts, mummies, werewolves and witches in these terrific tales. Of course Tom and Jerry have a bounty of tricks up their own sleeves as well. Fear not, the chase is on! It’s a “scare-iffic” good time for the whole family. In "Over the River and Boo! The Woods," Tom and Jerry find themselves lost in a haunted forest. Tom leaves home to become a witch’s companion in "The Flying Sorceress." In "Haunted Mouse," Tom is put under a spell by Jerry’s magician uncle. Jerry meets a bat who looks just like him and together, they trick Tom into believing the bat is Jerry’s flying ghost in "Bats What I Like About the South." Legendary monster hunter, Van Helsing, chases after Tom when he’s transformed into a werewolf in "Monster Con." In "Which Witch," Tom is a servant to a witch who needs a mouse to complete her magic potion. Jerry discovers the secret tomb of an ancient Egyptian cat in "Tomb it May Concern." In "Spook House Mouse," Tom and Jerry find themselves in an abandoned fun house where they embark on a rickety ride featuring lots of spooky attractions. These and several other “fang-stastic” shorts are featured in the collection. DVD Bonus Features: Extra Cartoons: "Ho Ho Horrors" and "Doggone Hill Hog." ON THE NET: Watch various Tom & Jerry cartoons at YouTube, you can start at www.youtube.com/watch?v=cf7tPynCs9E
Changing The Game
A young black man can't seem to escape corruption and death in Changing The Game. This action film stars Tony Todd (24), Kirk "Sticky Fingaz" Jones (Flight of the Phoenix), Dennis L.A. White (Notorious), Sean Riggs (Into the Woods), Irma P. Hall (Soul Food), Mari White (The Preacher's Kid) and Suzzanne Douglas (How Stella Got Her Groove Back). An epic tale about a supremely intelligent young African-American male who rises from the ferocious and oppressive streets of North Philadelphia to become a shining star in the lucrative world of high finance at Wall Street's most prestigious firm. However, he soon finds that the white-collar world is filled with crime and death just like the drug-filled hood he left behind. His only chance of survival is to fully integrate a mysterious gift from a slain childhood friend fully into the fabric of his character. DVD Bonus Feature: Stills Gallery. ON THE NET: For Changing the Game trailers and interviews with the cast. head to www.urbanswirl.com/.../2417-changing-the-game-new-movie
Adventures of the Wilderness Family
A modern day family becomes bored with the hassles of the city life in Los Angeles and moves to the Rocky Mountains, never to return in the Adventures of the Wilderness Family Trilogy. Now, for the first time ever, the three individual movies have been remastered -- endorsed by the Dove Foundation as Family Approved. This timeless G-rated film speaks to the heart of family togetherness. Join the Robinson family as they embark on suspenseful, exhilarating adventures in Adventures of the Wilderness Family, Adventures of the Wilderness Family 2 and Adventures of the Wilderness Family 3. In Adventures of the Wilderness Family: Skip Robinson and his wife Pat, along with their two children, Jenny and Toby, begin an incredible encounter with nature. After building a log cabin in a peaceful mountainous area, the family befriends a pair of bear cubs and is menaced by a ferocious grizzly. Share all the excitement with your family by collecting the first movie in the Wilderness Family trilogy. Adventures of the Wilderness Family 2: This heart-pounding sequel continues the saga of the family who chose to live in their peaceful log cabin home in the Rockies over fast-paced big-city life. They now face terrifying times in fierce winter storms, an avalanche and being attacked by a ferocious pack of hungry wolves. Watch as America’s favorite family stands strong together to prove that the best things in life are really free. Adventures of the Wilderness Family 3: In the final chapter, the Robinson family now faces the bureaucracy of the United States Forest Service. Set against the glorious wilderness background that only nature could create, the entire family must stand firm in their commitment to keep their Rocky Mountains home. Will a strange twist of fate and an old mountain prospector help the Mountain Family Robinson? ON THE NET: For more about the history behind the Adventures of the Wilderness Family, head to Wikipedia @ http://en.wikipedia.org/.../The_Adventures_of_the_Wilderness_Family
Mad Monster Party
Before Baron Von Frankenstein (voice of Boris Karloff) can retire as the head of the powerful Worldwide Organization of Monsters, he must inform his faithful group of ghouls. How to deliver the news? Through a Mad Monster Party, of course! Von Frankenstein's guests include a who's who of Halloween favorites, including the Werewolf, Dracula, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, the Mummy, the Invisible Man and more in this frighteningly fun holiday classic from Rankin/Bass that will leave kids of all ages howling with delight. Directed by Jules Bass and written by Forrest J. Ackerman, Len Korobkin and Harvey Kurtzman, Mad Monster Party includes the voices of Ethel Ennis, Phyllis Diller, Gale Garnett and Allen Swift. Blu-ray Bonus Features: "Mad Monster Party: Making of a Cult Classic"; "It's Sheer Animagic!: Secrets of Stop-Motion Animation"; "Groovy Ghouls!: The Music Of Mad Monster Party"; 2 Sing-Alongs and a trailer. ON THE NET: For an invite to next real Mad Monster Party, go to themadmonsterparty.com * Peruse through additional info on the BD/DVD @ www.imdb.com/title/tt0061931
The Garfield Show: Holiday Extravaganza
‘Tis the season to celebrate with Garfield and his friends! Join the party as you eat your way though a hilarious menu of Garfield’s three favorite holidays! You’ll enter a haunted house, join the Thanksgiving table and open loads of presents this Christmas. So bring out the pumpkin-pie and hang up the stocking and fill it up with a little Garfield cheer. Garfield was born on the comics pages on June 19, 1978. The mastermind of cartoonist Jim Davis, Garfield is a humorous strip centered on the lives of a quick-witted orange cat who loves lasagna, coffee, and his remote control; Jon Arbuckle, his owner; and Odie, a sweet but dumb dog. Garfield was introduced to the world in just 41 newspapers and is now the most widely syndicated comic strip ever, appearing in 2400 newspapers. The success of the comic strip spawned a popular animated TV show, Garfield and Friends, which appeared on CBS-TV from 1988 to 1995, and is currently in worldwide syndication. In 2009, The Garfield Show debuted on Cartoon Network USA and now airs in 135 countries. Garfield has long been considered a “classic” or “evergreen” property because he has not only endured, but continues to be fresh and funny after nearly 35 years in the limelight. DVD Bonus Feature: Bonus Episode: "Heir Apparent." ON THE NET: Follow Garfield, along with 3.5 million other fans, on Facebook @ facebook.com/Garfield) and Twitter @ twitter.com/Garfield * Garfield entertains his fans on a popular web site @ www.garfield.com, and engages kids in interesting and pedagogically sound activities to promote literacy @ www.professorgarfield.org. English, Science and Life Skills are among the topics Garfield and his pals address @ www.learninglab.org. a public service of the Virginia Department of Education.
NOW AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY:
Conjure up a caldron of laughs with Hocus Pocus, a fiendishly fun movie now on Blu-ray for the first time, featuring new digital restoration with enhanced picture and sound. Academy Award-nominee Bette Midler (Best Actress, 1991, For The Boys), Sarah Jessica Parker (Sex In The City) and Kathy Najimy (The Wedding Planner) star in a wild and wacky comedy for the entire family. When three 17th century Salem witches are accidentally summoned by modern-day pranksters, the 300-year-old trio sets out to cast a spell on the town and reclaim their youth, but first they must outwit three kids and a talking cat. Get ready for a night of zany fun in this bewitching comedy classic. Directed by Kenny Ortega (High School Musical), Hocus Pocus also stars Omri Katz (Dallas), Thora Birch (American Beauty), Vinessa Shaw (3:10 to Yuma) and Stephanie Faracy (Sideways). ON THE NET: To view trailers and clips, go to YouTube and type in "Hocus Pocus."
The Hand That Rocks The Cradle
Relive all the chills and excitement of the critically acclaimed thriller in a sensational 20th Anniversary Edition. Rebecca De Mornay (Risky Business) is at her brilliant best in this riveting drama available for the first time on Blu-ray, featuring new digital restoration with enhanced picture and sound. Claire Bartel (Annabella Sciorra - What Dreams May Come, Jungle Fever) has the perfect life and family…exactly what her new live-in housekeeper, Peyton Flanders (De Mornay) desires. How far will Peyton go when the life she wants belongs to someone else? And will it be too late for Claire to stop her? Experience every breathtaking moment like never before on Blu-ray. Directed by Curtis Hanson (L.A. Confidential, 8 Mile, Wonder Boys, In Her Shoes), The Hand That Rocks The Cradle also stars Matt McCoy (L.A. Confidential, Abominable), Julianne Moore (Magnolia, The Big Lebowski), Ernie Hudson (The Secret Life of the American Teenager), Madeline Zima (Californication), John de Lancie (Reign Over Me) and Kevin Skousen (MacGruber). ON THE NET: Watch trailers and clips at YouTube. Just type in "The Hand That Rocks The Cradle."
Cold Creek Manor
Experience all the heart-pounding thrills of Cold Creek Manor like never before on Blu-ray, featuring new digital restoration with enhanced picture and sound. Dennis Quaid, Golden Globe-winner Sharon Stone (Best Actress in a Motion Picture, 1996, Casino) and Kristen Stewart (The Twilight franchise) star in a gripping mystery bound to keep you on the edge of your seat. Wanting to escape the city life, Cooper Tilson (Quaid - The Day After Tomorrow, Vantage Point), and his wife Leah (Stone - Basic Instinct) move their family to the remote countryside of New York. But their broken-down dream house becomes a living nightmare when the previous owner shows up and they discover the frightening secrets of the estate’s dark and terrifying past. Directed by Mike Figgis (Leaving Las Vegas, One Night Stand), Cold Creek Manor also stars Stephen Dorff (Blade, Immortals), Juliette Lewis (Natural Born Killers, From Dusk to Dawn), Ryan Wilson (Just Ask My Children), Dana Eskelson (Definitely, Maybe) and Christopher Plummer (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). Blu-ray Bonus Features: Alternative Ending; Deleted Scenes; “Rules of the Genre” featurette; “Cooper's Documentary” and Audio Commentary with Director Mike Figgis. ON THE NET: To view trailers and clips, go to YouTube and type in "Cold Creek Manor."
Get caught in a web of laughs, thrills and chills with Arachnophobia from legendary producer Steven Spielberg – now available on Blu-ray, featuring new digital restoration with enhanced picture and sound. Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom, Dumb and Dumber), and John Goodman (The Artist, The Big Lebowski) star in this creepy comedy, crawling with the perfect mix of fun and fright. Everyone is afraid of something. But when Dr. Ross Jennings (Daniels) moves his family to a quiet place in the country, the one thing that bugs him most is terrifying everyone in town. For this unlikely hero, overcoming a childhood fear of spiders might just save the day. Enjoy the hair-raising entertainment of Arachnophobia like never before in HD. Directed by Frank Marshall (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Indiana Jones franchise, Seabiscuit, The Color Purple), Arachnophobia features an ensemble cast that includes Julian Sands (Leaving Las Vegas, The Killing Fields), Brian McNamara (Short Circuit, Caddyshack II) and Harley Jane Kozak (Magic in the Water, Necessary Roughness). Blu-ray Bonus Features: Production featurette; Frank Marshall featurette and "Venezuela Sequence." ON THE NET: Watch trailers and clips at YouTube. Just type in "Arachnophobia."