Idol is pretty much old news to the critics who are busy with about 40 new fall shows and prying the truth from executives from all the networks, who parade through what's called the Summer Press Tour in a two-week blur.
Rest assured that the show and Ellen and Simon Cowell and Steven Tyler (some other critics' inside-source speculation to replace Cowell) will be front-and-center when Fox gets into the revolving door on Sunday.
Maggie Q, McG, CW: All the letters spell "Nikita" Maggie Q, action star, did not change her name so she could work with McG, action producer/director.
"Oh, my name," Margaret Denise Quigley responded at a Television Critics Association panel when I asked the dumb question. "They couldn't pronounce it in Asia, and that's all that happened. So they shortened it." Q spent her whole life in Hawaii before going to Asia for a modeling gig. She wound up staying there for years.
McG shortened his name from Joseph McGinty Nichol because he thought it was cool.
Q, who'll star in the CW's thrill-packed Nikita this fall, has an amazing tattoo.
"It's a phoenix," she explains. "When I moved to Asia, it was ... it was tough for me. And I was incredibly poor and inexperienced and all the things that you can be when you're insecure." So, she went along with her friends who were big into fortune-tellers. All the seers saw her as a bird. "They would always tell me that I was a bird. Always." An artist told her it must be a phoenix, since she was building something out of nothing, and a major tattoo was born.
Nikita is a melange of every hot-chick action flick and TV show you've ever seen, with a heavy dose of the Fox series Dollhouse and the film La Femme Nikita. The CW aims pretty specifically at young women, but this one should attract the boys as well.
Matt LeBlanc, Joey, and Philly boy David Crane: Together again after "Friends" How you doin', Matt LeBlanc?
Just fine, thanks, working on a new show with my old buddy David Crane from "Friends," son of Gene Crane, the legendary Philly TV guy, and playing - "Matt LeBlanc."
Showtime's Episodes has a lot in common with Curb Your Enthusiasm, another show in which a successful NBC sitcom guy from the '90s plays a slightly skewed version of himself. Only in the case of Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David is the writer, producer, and the star. On Episodes, Crane and his writing and life partner, Jeffrey Klarik, do the behind-the-scenes.
The show, which premieres in January, tells the story of the adaptation of a British sitcom about a boarding school headmaster into an American series about a hockey coach, starring Joey Tribbiani, the guy from Friends. The American TV execs don't really get that LeBlanc only played Joey, but, needing work, is willing to Joey-ize his real self for their (and our) pleasure.
All seven episodes of Episodes were written before one scene was shot, and, if the show is picked up, things will continue that way each season.
As for LeBlanc, he can never escape people asking him Joey's trademark, "How you doin'?"
"I've gotten it a couple of times already today," he told the TV critics at a news conference. "My job is to make you believe what I'm saying. If people really believe I'm Joey, I've done my job. It happens a lot, and I take it as a compliment."
Contact television critic Jonathan Storm at 215-854-5618 or jstorm@ phillynews.com.